On this date in 1709, A Jesuit Brother by the name of Bartolomeu de Gusmao, demonstrated the powers of combustion and hot air at the court of King John V of Portugal. He presented a demonstration in which he fired a ball to the roof using combustion…I’m guessing it was some kind of rudimentary potato gun…and he displayed his design for an airship which he proposed to build for the king. The king was impressed enough to give Gusmao a professorship, but Gusmao never built the airship. Portugal never did become an early power in aviation, possibly because Gusmao was eventually obliged to change his name, take up a disguise and flee to Spain to escape the Portuguese inquisition, a group that wasn’t impressed with aviation.
Album Notes: Grateful Acknowledgments to Mike Koenig, and Drum 8. Some Musical Motifs Written and Performed by Kevin McLeod, Licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 3.0″ http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ and used here by permission, and with appreciation and thanks. Some audio may be used under the Fair Use Doctrine