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da Silva, Abeillard Gomes
In 1909, Abeillard Gomes da Silva, was in Beira in the then Portuguese colony of Mozambique. Working there, at customs, was Abeillard Gomes da Silva, who that year had the opportunity to visit Europe during a holiday. At his own expense, he set off for France with an interest in heavier-than-air flight.
Upon arriving in France, he promptly spent 23,000 francs to build an airplane of his own invention: the Gomes da Silva I.
Gomes da Silva died in Mozambique in 1930, and holds the distinction of being a Portuguese air pioneer, as evidenced not only by his invention, but also by the title of honorary member of the Aéro-Club de France and by his pilot’s licence, obtained in Germany during his European tour.
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