Running head: THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN AVIATION 1 The History of Science and Technology in Aviation Documented by: S.Hylton Date: February 18th, 2012
THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN AVIATION 2 The History of Science and Technology in Aviation Students, it is my esteemed pleasure to deliver this speech about the most significantdevelopment in the history of Science and Technology. Science and Technology has beenpresent from the establishment of creation. Before continuing, I will define Science andTechnology because they are both different in their own unique way and are oftenmisunderstood. According to an Anonymous writer, science refers to “the intellectual andpractical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physicaland natural world through observation and experiment”. While, technology on the other handrefers to the process by which human fashion tools, machines and systems to increase theircontrol of the material environment. So we can see that Science and Technology evolves fromthe daily efforts of people trying to improve their way of life. Back in ancient days the only means of transportation was by foot. People would travelmany miles with heavy loads before reaching their destination. However, humans becameuncomfortable and worn out with blistered feet and so they desired another means oftransportation. To more specific I will address aviation’s history and development. From time totime we may observe the sky and wonder, which brilliant individual came up with the idea ofinventing aircrafts and what inspired them? Just to say, that our environment and nature itself cancontribute to many of mankind’s inventions. Mankind’s desire to fly came about after firstobserving birds. The first attempt to imitate birds was by attaching feathers to their arms andflapping, but as we all know this was unsuccessful. Kites were the first form of man-made flyingobjects. It was developed in China by Mozi and Lu Ban, two famous Chinese philosophers in the
THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN AVIATION 35th century BC. In those days it was mainly for military purposes where it was used as a messagefor rescue mission. Today, children enjoy using kites for leisure activities. In the 17th century scientists began to analyze their environment and the various gasesand chemicals that can be found in it. This led to the development of the hot air balloon in June1783 by Jacque Montgolfier and Joseph Montgolfier, two French brothers in Annonay France. Itwas made after the brothers observed how paper flew up in the chimney with hot air. They madeit from simple cloth bag with fire burning beneath it on a grill. Later in August 1783, JacqueCharles a French physicists invented the hydrogen balloon. He did this by using his expertise inmaking hydrogen along with his co-pilot Nicholas Roberts’ new method of coating silk withrubber. However, some limitations of the balloon were that if the air inside it got cold it woulddescend, it is highly flammable and it was difficult to steer in the intended direction. In 1785Pierre Romain and Pilatre de Rozier were the first people to die in a balloon after experimentingwith a balloon containing a combination of hydrogen and hot air. Then in 1804, the first non motorized flying machine known as the glider was designedby George Cayley an English Engineer. It was 5ft long, built with a fixed main wing and anadjustable tail surface to control the direction of the flight. However, it too had its faults.Later in 1852, Jules Henri Gifford a French engineer built the first steam airship. This was filledwith hydrogen and was approximately 43 meters long, had a 2200 watt steam engine that drove athree bladed propeller and was steered using a vertical air foil. However, this airship was tooheavy even to fly. In 1874, Felix du Temple built a large aluminum airplane in France consistingof a single wing. This wing was approximately 40 feet long and with an average weight of 160pounds. However, an operator made efforts to experiment with the plane but it returned toground after gaining speed. This monoplane was the first powered successful flight in history.
THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN AVIATION 4 Then in 1890, Clement Ader, a self taught engineer invented the steamed poweredairplane. The wing of this plane had the shape of a bat’s wing. He once experimented with it 50meters in the air on an estate. Albeit, it was the first piloted aeroplane to take off under its ownpower, the steam engine was not suitable for stability and control as in this case required agasoline engine. But it never stopped there. In 1893 Otto Lilienthal developed the firstcontrolled flights that flew up to 230 meters in the air. This was controlled by changing thecenter of gravity by shifting his body. However he died in 1896 after trying to steer the flightthrough a heat wave. He was a German pioneer who believed that small sacrifices must be made. Otto Lilienthal served as a great source of inspiration and information to the Wrightsbrothers. In 1903, Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright, two brothers designed a sustained controlpowered flying machine with spruce, designed their own engine and had the surface coveredwith muslin. It weighed approximately 283 kilogram and had wing span of 40 feet. Theyconducted many studies of how they could improve their inventions and experimented onmultiple occasions with many faults. The most fascinating thing about these brothers was thatevery time they came across an error, they seek to perfect their work with great determination.The Wright brothers’ airplane was the foundation of all the other airplanes that was built aftertheir era. In the 1930s, Igor Sikorsky an aircraft designer successfully built the VS-300 modelhelicopter along with the first XR-4 helicopter for military purposes in the United States ofAmerica. Both of his helicopters had the control to fly safely in all directions. He continued hiswork into the 1950’s when he designed another helicopter that had a boat hull with the capabilityto float, land and takeoff from water. Following this in 1935, Dr. Hans Vons Ohain invented the
THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN AVIATION 5first operational jet engine which was shown to be productive in the turbo concept. In addition, itwas also used in many British and American aircraft. Upon analyzing the history of aviation, if we speculate through a microscope we wouldhave realized that all the developments were brought about through experimenting or trial anderror per say. These developments were also influenced through building on the works or ideasof other people in the early days. Needless to say, that if it were not for the dreams andaspirations of our descendants the evolution of technology would not have been possible. It istime that we reflect on our former inventors and develop an appreciation for the contributionsthat they have made towards making life easier for the generation to come thereafter.
THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN AVIATION 6 ReferenceAnonymous ( ), Retrieved on January 29, 2012 from: http://www.google.com.jm/#hl=en&q=science&tbs=dfn:1&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=I9gl- f4LYOdgQfw7aiRCQ&ved=0CCYQkQ4&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=21679865 f67caa2b&biw=1280&bih=699Retrieved on January 29, 2012 from: http://livingsta.hubpages.com/hub/History-of-FlightWard, P (2006) Science and Technology in Society Course Reader V5a. Kingston: University of Technology