Clément Ader, a French engineer and inventor, may have been the first person that made a powered flight. The distinction between Ader and Stringfellow probably being that Ader's was a manned flight. He built three aircraft patterned after bats and the first one is reported to have flown 160 feet, or 50 meters, on October 9, 1890 in the Eole, his first aircraft. The Eole was powered by a steam engine as were his later unsuccessful designs built under contract to the French Ministry of War, the Avion II and Avion III. Ader claims the title as the Father of French Aviation.
Clément Ader Avion No. 03, 1897.
Clément Ader was a prolific inventor and produced an electric microphone and theatrephone, consequently discovering the stereo effect. In 1881, he used twelve microphones to transmit a performance of the Paris Opera to the Exhibition hall at the Pâris Exposition International d' Électricité, Palais de l'Industrie (World Exhibition of Electricity, Palace of Industry) through electric wires laid through the Paris Sewers. Listeners at the exhibition could listen to the distant opera through stereo earphones. This invention was a great sensation and eventually named the Theatrephone. The Compagnie du Theatrophone made the service commercially available to coin operated phones and subscribers from 1890-1932.