Léon Levavasseur was born in Cherbourg, France back in1863. Initially he wanted to study fine arts, but switched to engineering, his focus was in arc lamps and petroleum engines. He approached Jules Gastambide with a proposal about an idea he had. Jules financed the venture naming the invention after his daughter Antoinette.
The Antoinette company was incorporated in 1906, with Jules as president and Léon as technical director. In 1906, Léon experimented with the construction of aircraft. In 1909, his design at Reims, France won the altitude prize, finished second in the speed competition, took third place in the Gordon Bennett Cup for airplanes. In 1918, he began working on an aircraft with variable wins surface, he won a “Safety in Airplanes” prize and was later acquired by the French Government. He died in poverty in 1922, he was 59.
What you may not know about Léon is that engine named Antoinette was the first V-8 engine built, he also invented direct fuel injection and the first liquid engine cooling device.
NW Arkansas, come for a visit, stay for a lifetime.