In his moving 1939 book Wind, Sand and Stars, the legendary aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry reflected on the progress that had been made in aviation.

"In those days the motor was not what it is today," he wrote. "It would drop out, for example, without warning and with a great rattle like the crash of crockery."

The memory of the commercial aviation pioneer, who disappeared while flying a reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean for his French air squadron 60 years ago, lives on as a testament to just how far the industry has progressed over that period.

It is the subject of an exhibit, entitled The Conquest of the Skies and Space, held under the patronage of French defence minister Michele Alliot-Marie.

Espace Saint Exupéry (Stand B111) is a cultural and humanitarian association, established in 1990 by the heirs of Saint-Exupéry to keep his memory alive and to support various children's causes.

Francois d'Agay, nephew and godson of Saint-Exupéry, is attending the show throughout the week to support the showcase on his celebrated relation.

French aerospace photographer Alain Ernoult and sculptor Jean-Marc de Pas have also made their own artistic contributions to the exhibit, and French publishing house Editions Gallimard has teamed up with Espace Saint-Exupéry to highlight the experience of the author depicted in his classic publication.

Source: Flight Daily News