Charles de Lambert was a man with two aspects, the admirer of two elements, water and air.
For some time he is interested in gliders, corresponds with Otto Lilienthal in 1894 and buys for two thousand French francs one of his machines which he stores near Versailles where he lives with his young wife and his mother. He makes little use of it and neglects it. He is not convinced on the future of this method.
Otto Lilienthal informs count de Lambert on despatch of an ordered
The preceding year he has executed several trials with the almost 3300 kilos heavy craft of arms manufacturer Hiram Maxim. It is equipped with a steam engine and moves on a distance of one mile between two rails. Furthermore, as mentioned in Chapter 5, he tests the machine designed by English inventor Horatio Frederick Philipps.
No doubt he comes to the conclusion that those machines are still far from satisfying because during fifteen years he is no longer actively interested in it. In fact it is in 1908 and particularly during his first flying instruction on ‘Camp d’Auvours’ at Le Mans on October 28 1908 that his short – five years – but beautiful aviation career starts.
At the beginning of January 1909 the hangar on the moor of Pont-Long, designed by Wilbur Wright, is ready to receive the first flying school in the world in Pau. The first pilot trainees are 43-years old aristocrat Charles count de Lambert (1st pilot), balloonist Paul Tissandier (pilot) and, specially sent by the Ministry of War, Captain Paul Nicolas Lucas-Girardville.
Memorials in Pau
Monday September 5 2005
Meanwhile Orville Wright had recovered from his serious injuries received on September 17 1908 in Fort Meyer. Together with sister Katherine (19/8/1874 – 3/3/1929) he arrived at Pau with a delay of five hours on January 17 1909. Brothers and sister are lucky to be reunited because on the way Katharine and Orville escape a catastrophe because in Puyoo their train runs off the rails with two dead and nine injured as consequence…
Monday February 15 1909
Charles de Lambert at the start of his first flight on the flying school at Pau