On October 19, 1901, the people of Paris turned out by the thousands to watch, a dashing, impeccably dressed Brazilian-born inventor, Alberto Santos-Dumont, conquer the skies. His fragile, gas-powered balloon made an astounding half-hour flight over the city and around the Eiffel Tower, and later, he piloted Europe's first ever airplane flight. For a brief moment of glory, Santos-Dumont was the toast of Paris and acclaimed around the world. Then, eclipsed by the growing fame of the Wright Brothers, Santos-Dumont began slipping into illness and depression. During World War I, the airplane, which he believed to be his own invention, became a lethal weapon, eventually driving him to despair and suicide. Featuring captivating recreations and replicas of Santos' pioneering balloons and airplanes, NOVA reveals the daring flights and dramatic life of a neglected genius.