Early History of Flight

Topics: Airline, Wright brothers, Philippine Airlines Pages: 14 (3625 words) Published: March 23, 2013
Early History of Flight:
Around 400 BC - Flight in China
• The discovery of the kite that could fly in the air by the Chinese started humans thinking about flying. • Kites have been important to the invention of flight as they were the forerunner to balloons and gliders.  

Hero and the Aeolipile
• The ancient Greek engineer, Hero of Alexandria, worked with air pressure and steam to create sources of power. One experiment that he developed was the aeolipile which used jets of steam to create rotary motion.  

1485 The Ornithopter and the Study of Flight
• Leonardo da Vinci made the first real studies of flight in the 1480's. He had over 100 drawings that illustrated his theories on bird and mechanical flight. The drawings illustrated the wings and tails of birds, ideas for man carrying machines, and devices for the testing of wings.   

1783-The Flight of the First Hot Air Balloon
• The brothers, Joseph Michel and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier, were inventors of the first hot air balloon. • They used the smoke from a fire to blow hot air into a silk bag. The silk bag was attached to a basket. The hot air then rose and allowed the balloon to be lighter-than-air. • In 1783, the first passengers in the colorful balloon were a sheep, rooster and duck. It climbed to a height of about 6,000 feet and traveled more than one mile. • The first manned flight was on November 21, 1783, the passengers were Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent.    

• Sir George Cayley is considered the “FATHER OF AERODYNAMICS”.. • Cayley experimented with wing design, distinguished between lift and drag, and formulated the concepts of vertical tail surfaces, steering rudders, rear elevators, and air screws. • Cayley designed many different versions of gliders that used the movements of the body to control. A young boy, whose name is not known, was the first to fly one of Cayley's gliders, the first glider capable of carrying a human.  

1891 Otto Lilienthal
• German engineer, Otto Lilienthal, studied aerodynamics and worked to design a glider that would fly. Otto Lilienthal was the first person to design a glider that could fly a person and was able to fly long distances.  

1891 Aerodrome
• Samuel Langley was physicist and astronomer who realized that power was needed to help man fly. • He built a model of a plane, which he called an aerodrome that included a steam-powered engine. In 1891, his model flew for 3/4s of a mile before running out of fuel. • It was too heavy to fly and it crashed. He was very disappointed. He gave up trying to fly. His major contributions to flight involved attempts at adding a power plant to a glider  

1894 Octave Chanute
• Octave Chanute was a successful engineer who undertook the invention of airplanes as a hobby, after being inspired by Otto Lilienthal. • Chanute designed several aircraft, the Herring - Chanute biplane was his most successful design and formed the basis of the Wright biplane design.  

1903- The Wright Brothers
• Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright was very deliberate in their quest for flight. • The Wright Brothers designed and used a wind tunnel to test the shapes of the wings and the tails of the gliders. After they found a glider shape that consistently would fly in the tests in the North Carolina Outer Banks dunes, then they turned their attention to how to create a propulsion system that would create the lift needed to fly. • The "Flyer" lifted from level ground to the north of Big Kill Devil Hill, at 10:35 a.m., on December 17, 1903. Orville piloted the plane which weighed six hundred and five pounds. • The first heavier-than-air flight traveled 120 ft. in 12 seconds. The two brothers took turns during the test flights. It was Orville's turn to test the plane, so he is the brother that is credited with the first flight. • In 1904, the first flight lasting more than five minutes took place on...
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