Arthur Charles Hubert Latham was born in Paris, France back in 1883. He spoke French, English and German fluently. He attended Balliol College at the University of Oxford, in 1904, after which he fulfilled his reservist military service obligation in Paris. He led an exploratory expedition to Ethiopia in 1906/07 collecting specimens for the Natural History Museum in Paris.
When he returned he saw Wilbur Wright fly his airplane in front of the French Government near Le Mans. He knew he wanted to fly so he joined the Antoinette company in 1909. He was taught to fly for the next two year until he could master the controls. During that same year the Antoinette company worked with the French Army to establish the first military aircraft trials. Arthur became the school’s principal instructor. In 1910, he broke the altitude for flight at that time of 3,600 feet, later on he set the official World Airspeed Record of 48.166 MPH.
What you may not know about Arthur is that he was the first person to attempt to cross the English Channel in an airplane. Due to engine failure he was also the first person to land an airplane on a body of water. In 1912, he left on an expedition to the French Congo where he died, he was 29.
Smile, and the world smiles with you.