Cover image for The magnificent Moisants : champions of early flight
The magnificent Moisants : champions of early flight
Rich, Doris L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington : Smithsonian Institution Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
x, 248 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL540.M554 R53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Describes how the Moisants promoted the cause of commercial aviation at the turn of the twentieth century through their exhibitions and flying school.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Prior to WW I, a considerable number of individuals sought fame and fortune by entering the aviation business. Against the careers of famous pioneers like Glenn Curtiss, the Wright brothers, and others, most are forgotten. Rich's concise history of the Moisants represents a corner of aviation history that deserves attention. Of French-Canadian descent, the Moisants settled in Illinois, but ambition eventually led to sugar plantations and banking in El Salvador. Bankrolled by their brother Alfred, John and Matilde became proficient fliers in the French-made Bleriot monoplane, which the family planned to build and sell in the US. As a means of generating public enthusiasm for aviation--and a market for their product--the Moisants became regulars on an international air show circuit that took them throughout the US as well as into Mexico and Cuba. Their troupe included some of the first women aviators, like Matilde, as well as variety of foreign pilots. Clashing personalities, unreliable engines, fragile aircraft, and shady air show promoters made all of this a colorful and unpredictable era. Using unexplored family archives, interviews, and obscure news sources, the author has fashioned an informative contribution to the literature of flight. General readers; undergraduates; graduates. R. E. Bilstein; University of Houston--Clear Lake