H.King Aeromarine Origins (Putnam)
Nevertheless, that same year - 1905 - saw the first manned (though unpowered) flight from water, by Gabriel Voisin on June 6. His craft was a float-mounted glider, towed behind the racing motor boat La Rapiere, and the trial was conducted over the Seine.
Gabriel tells the story in his book Mes dix mille cerfs volants (1961 ), translated by Oliver Stewart and published by Putnam in England in 1963 with the title Men, Women and 10,000 Kites. Thus Gabriel:
'Now, fifty-five years later, as I write these lines, I hear once more the lapping of the water against the sides of the floats.... I had the controls ready. I waited for a time and then I applied elevator. My lovely glider instantly left the water.
'In a few seconds I was as high as the tops of the poplars along the quay. I went along without oscillation either in pitch or roll. We were approaching the Sevres bridge. La Rapiere slowed and I alighted on the water without incident...
'I had flown from the Billancourt bridge to the Sevres bridge at an altitude of fifty to sixty-six feet.'
Gabriel made three flights above the Seine that day. One was of 600 metres; the others of 100 metres and 30 metres. His historic float-glider was of Hargrave box-kite type (poetic justice, for Hargrave came near to being the first man to achieve flight from water) and was mounted on two floats constructed to his own designs.
L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
Deleted by request of (c)Schiffer Publishing