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Roland Garros (6 October 1888 – 5 October 1918) was an early French aviator and a fighter pilot during World War I.

Garros was born in Saint-Denis, Réunion, and studied at HEC Paris. He started his aviation career in 1909 flying Alberto Santos-Dumont's Demoiselle monoplane, an aircraft that only flew well with a small lightweight pilot. In 1911 Garros graduated to flying Bleriot monoplanes and entered a number of European air races with this type of machine. He was already a noted aviator before World War I having visited the U.S. and South America; by 1913 he had switched to flying Morane-Saulnier monoplanes, a vast improvement over the Blériot, and gained fame for making the first non-stop flight across the Mediterranean Sea from Fréjus in south of France to Bizerte in Tunisia. The following year, Garros joined the French army at the outbreak of the conflict.

In the early stages of the air war in World War I the problem of achieving a practicable platform for a forward-firing machine gun on combat aircraft was considered by a number of individuals. The so-called interrupter gear did not come into use until Anthony Fokker developed a synchronization device which made a large impact on air combat, however Garros also had a significant role in the process of achieving this goal.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Roland Garros."
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