Concept

John Moisant

Summary
John Bevins Moisant (April 25, 1868 – December 31, 1910) was an American aviator, aeronautical engineer, flight instructor, businessman, and revolutionary. He was the first pilot to conduct passenger flights over a city (Paris), as well as across the English Channel, from Paris to London. He co-founded an eponymous flying circus, the Moisant International Aviators. Moisant funded his aviation career with proceeds from business ventures in El Salvador, where he had led two failed revolutions and coup attempts against President Figueroa in 1907 and 1909. Only months after becoming a pilot, Moisant died after being ejected from his airplane over a field just west of New Orleans, Louisiana, where he was competing for the 1910 Michelin Cup. The site of his crash is the location of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, which was originally named Moisant Field in his memory. He was born in L'Erable, Illinois to Medard Moisant (1838–1887) of St-Cyprien-de-Léry and Josephine Fortier (1841–1901). Both parents were French-Canadian immigrants. His siblings include: George Moisant (1866–1927); Ann Marguerite Moisant (1877–1957); Matilde Moisant (1878–1964) who was the second American woman to receive her pilot's license; Alfred J. Moisant (1862–1929); Louisa Josephine Moisant (1882–1957); and possibly Eunice Moisant (1890–?) who was born in Illinois. Alfred and Matilde were also aviators. In 1880, the family was living in Manteno, Illinois and Moisant's father was working as a farmer. In the late 1880s, after the death of Moisant's father, the family moved to Alameda, California. He and his brothers moved to El Salvador in 1896 and bought sugarcane plantations that generated a substantial sum for the family. In 1909, José Santos Zelaya, president of Nicaragua, asked John to go to France to investigate airplanes. John Moisant entered the aviation field in 1909 as a hobby, after attending the Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne air show in Reims, France in August 1909.
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