Exceptional Patrons

Dorine Bourneton and Bertrand Piccard, our patrons, cultivate the pioneering spirit and have realised their crazy dreams

Dorine Bourneton

Dorine Bourneton is a French aviator, writer and speaker. The only survivor of a plane accident at the age of 16, she became the first paraplegic woman in the world to be an aerobatic pilot.

For the opening of the museum retracing the history of L’Aéropostale, she agreed to become the patron of the site. A true pioneer, she says: “This is my life […], full of trials, surprises and victories. At 16 years old I could not imagine being the guest of Michel Drucker, I also could not imagine receiving the Legion of Honour and even less performing a high-flying demonstration at the Paris Air Show . I didn’t know that one day in May 1991, a plane crash would steal my legs. This accident did not steal my destiny. I build it every day with the same enthusiasm.”

To find out about Dorine’s journey

Bertrand Piccard

Bertrand Piccard is also a pioneer, an adventurer at heart. A Swiss explorer and doctor, he successfully completed the first circumnavigation of the world in a balloon and is the initiator and co-pilot of the Solar Impulse solar plane, with which he completed the first circumnavigation of the world without any fuel in 2016.

He says: “I will never forget the moment I saw the Apollo 11 rocket take off for the moon. I was 11 at the time. Werner von Braun, the inventor of the Apollo rockets and a family friend, invited me to watch the launch at Cape Canaveral. I thought then, these astronauts have a dream that is bigger than their fear of failure. These heroes dare the impossible. They are undertaking something that no man has ever done before them. This is the pioneering spirit. This moment was one of the turning points of my life.”

To find out about Bertrand Piccard

Pierre Elie Ferrier known as PEF

PEF is an author-illustrator of French children’s and youth literature recognised by the educational community. In 1980, he invented the character of the Prince de Motordu [Twisted Words], read by a multitude of generations of children in France.

His first success “La Belle Lisse Poire du Prince de Motordu” [The Beautiful Smooth Pear of the Prince du Motordu] sold more than a million copies. This recognition led him to collaborate with school teachers and speech therapists. His albums combine storytelling and “mirror” literature in which children like to recognise themselves. Pef plays with the French language: word games, minimal pairs, phonetic writing which he supports with colourful illustrations.

In 2020, PEF became the patron of the educational activity of L’Envol des Pionniers. Passionate about the history of airmail, he also claims to have been inspired by the incredible epic of the Lignes Aériennes Latécoère for his book “Motordu pilote d’avion” [Motordu, Air Pilot]. In January 2020, PEF entrusted L’Envol des Pionniers with his personal 1:3 scale model of a Bréguet XIV.