If Bess had cast dubious eyes on the outflow of money during the art period, it was nothing compared to what came next. When Houdini first saw the flying machine that day at the Hamburg race course, he knew he had to have it. Inquiries made of the pilot revealed that it was a model designed three years earlier by M. A. Santos Dumont, and was the product of Messrs. Voisin.
Harry paid 25,000 francs for the plane, rented a building to serve as a hangar and hired a mechanic, M. Brassac, to teach him how to fly it. The plAne had an English E.N.V. 60.80 horsepower petrol engine, powerful for that day, but temperamental. (168)