Leonardo da Vinci's Ornithopter
Leonardo da Vinci made the first real studies of flight in the 1480's. He had over 100 drawings that illustrated his theories on flight. The Ornithopter flying machine was never actually created. It was a design that Leonardo da Vinci created to show how man could fly. The modern day helicopter is based on this concept. 1783 - Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier- the First Hot Air Balloon [pic]
One of The Montgolfier's Balloons
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 1 mile. After this first success, the brothers began to send men up in balloons. The first manned flight was on November 21, 1783, the passengers were Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent.
1799 - 1850's - George Cayley
One Version of a Glider
George Cayley worked to discover a way that man could fly. He 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 his gliders. Over 50 years he made improvements to the gliders. He changed the shape of the wings so that the air would flow over the wings correctly. He designed a tail for the gliders to help with the stability. He tried a biplane design to add strength to the glider. He also recognized that there would be a need for power if the flight was to be in the air for a long time. [pic]
One of the many drawings of gliders
Cayley wrote On Ariel Navigation which shows that a fixed-wing aircraft with a power system for propulsion and a tail to assist in the...