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Ancestors

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  • 1. CLEMENT ADER'$ 1890 EOLE (NAMED AFTER THE GREEK GOD OF THE WINDS) “I have resolved the problem after much work, fatigue, and money". .. It has been sometimes claimed that Frenchman, Clement Ader made the first "heavier-than-air" flight. If an uncontrolled hop of about 165 feet can be called "flight". . Frenchman, Clement Ader, was attempting to fly in a powered aircraft, and seemed dedicated to trying to emulate the birds. The appearance of his Eole was bat-like, with a stean driven propeller which resembled feathers. It was re- ported to have skimmed the ground at a height of around 8 inches for a distance of 165 feet with Ader being totally enclosed within the Eole. It was powered by a steam engine complete with a high pressure boiler . and condenser. Far from being a practical flying machine, it can lay claim to be the first manned craft to take off from level ground. To fund further experiments, Ader turned to the French Ministry of War, which was eager to explore any "secret weapon" that might give France an edge over its neighbor Germany. Armed with the first EVER military budget for airplane development, Ader built a twin-engined aircraft, the Avion III. But when tested in front of military observers in October 1897, it failed to get off the ground. Funding was cut off, and Ader’s experiments came to an end. While imaginative and daring, Ader's experiments did little to open new paths to controlled and sustained powered flights.
  • 2. 1853 CAYLEY GLIDER In 1853, Sir George Cayley, after a long career in early aviation, built a large gliding machine and coaxed his willowly coachman ‘ft, into testing the device. The darn thing flew but I’ the coachman, as the story goes, protested saying he was hired to drive a coach and NOT to risk his life flying a glider. Building his first aerial device in 1796, many consider Cayley the first person to truly understand the underlying principles and forces of flight.
  • 3. K. ‘ '51? Mlillfilfll li_l/ Octive Chanute was a genuine pioneer of glider flight in the United States. He focused his efforts on the develop- ment of a mechanized system of con- trolling flight rather than the shifting of one's body weight. He developed several successful gliders during the late 1800s and between 1896 and 1897, Chanute's assistants made over 1000 flights in his machines. All this happened when he was over 60 years old I His accumulated knowledge of early flight was documented in his book “Progress of Flying Machines, published in 1894. The Wright brothers sought his help in the development of their gliders. They enjoyed a close relationship with Chanute and their success in 1903 was due in great part to their friendship. 1896 GLIDING PIONEER OCTIVE CHANUTE
  • 4. JACOB DEGEN'5 1809 ORNITHOPTER With a bit of science and a lot of showman- ship, Degen actually used his wings to provide just enough lift to rise with the help of the balloon. Basically, he was just balloon jumping in large leaps on a parade ground. Soon people dropped the idea of flapping like a bird and Jacob Degen, a Swiss clockmaker living in Vienna, developed a machine with beating wings which he tested while suspended from a cord connected to a counterweight, which he made lighter as he improved his machine. Later, he replaced the counterweight with a small balloon and thus carried out a number of publicized ascents in Vienna and Paris. There was a major setback in the Champ- de-Mars when a furious crowd broke the machine into pieces. Picking himself up, so to speak, Degen returned to the circuit and ‘flew’ until 1817. set out on a new concept: fixed wing aircraft,
  • 5. I ‘§‘, }.VAVliI| Ill / I" ‘—— mitt. ‘- VA AVAVAVI A BRAZILIAN CAPTIVATES PARIS Combining ingenuity and courage with wealth, Alberto Santos-Dumont scored victory after victory in the conquest of the air. The dashing young plantation owner from Brazil spent lavishly in building sausage-shaped air ships while establishing the very first airport for his growing fleet of dirigibles. His first flight was made in 1898 in a cylindrical balloon 80 feet long and propelled by a small gas- oline engine suspended in a car below. He became a well-known and popular figure, responding to mishaps such as crashing on the roof of a hotel. Sometimes DuMont travelled by air down the Champs -Elysees stopping at the club for a drink. Parisians could aways tell when he was there from the airship tied up outside. In 1901 Dumont flew his dirigible #6 from the Parisian suburb $aint—Cloud around the Eiffel Tower and back in under 30 min- utes to win a 100,000 franc prize.
  • 6. Along with the patent drawing, DuTempIe (1823-1890) included specifications for his mid 19th century monoplane that holds clues as to his genious. He suggested that it be built of wood or tubular metal with the nacelle being covered or not “as desired". The wings consisted of two cross-over main spars braced in position by a network of cords to which the fabric was attached. PROVISION WAS MADE FOR pAsss~6ER5 l The monplane was controlled by a steering wheel, rudder bar, and cables. The three wheeled landing gear was fitted with shock obsorbers and was designed to be re- tractable in flight. It had a span of 55 feet 9 inches and had a 13 foot propeller. Later, DuTemp| e built a wing with a span of 98 foot 5 inches I
  • 7. 1_8i3 STEAM-DRIVEN AIRLINE Serious and sustained interest in heavier- than-air flight was triggered in 1840 by the success of the steam engine applied to transportation systems. Railroad con- struction was booming as were ocean-going steamships. Jumping on the bandwagon, in 1843 an ambitious English inventor William Samual Henson patented an “Aerial Steam Carriage for conveying letters, goods, and passengers from place to place". . |.| lJl. ||. |! Basing his ideas on Cayley's published research, Henson imagined a monoplane with a cambered wing for extra lift, a rudder and tailplane for control, and two pusher propellers. It was to be powered by a 30hp steam engine in the fuselage. Henson's grandiose plans for an Aerial Steam Transit Company momentarily attracted the interest of investors- the proposal for passenger flights spanning the globe was rendered credible by fanciful illustrations of the Steam Carriage soaring over exotic locations. But doubt and ridicule soon followed and although Henson built a small model of his aircraft, he couldn't find anyone ready to put up the cash for a full-size version. As ambitious as the Aerial Carriage was, the design was, nonetheless, one of the important stepping stones between the thories of Cayley and the reality of flight in the 20th century.
  • 8. J EAN-MARIE Le BRIS and his 1868 ‘Artificial Albatross’ Le Bris built a giant 50 foot span albatross, a bird he had studied on his sea voyages. The body of the craft was shaped like a canoe and the angle of incidence of the wings was adjustable by pullys and cords. The lifting surface was 215 square feet. LeBris tested his albatross in 1868, making a few semi- successful flights before the glider was totally destroyed. He was murdered a few years later by a gang. had hoped to build a ship of the air. He persevered with his experiments despite personal hard- ships and despite being relatively poor. His dedication and Jean Marie LeBris was a pioneer and. hard work have reserved him a place among other brave pioneers of early manned flight.
  • 9. OTTO LILIENTHAL All over Europe, in the late 1800s, adventurous minds were grappling with the problem of how to . , V | @ make effective, controlled flights. 1’ This frantic search for answers influenced a young German engineer named Otto Lillenthal. The prospect ' ‘ of flight had fascinated Otto since his school days. He had observed birds in flight, and correctly deduced that the curvature of a bird's wing held the secret to its lifting properties. He constructed gliders with wings shaped like those of a bird, and used ribs to create and maintain the curved wing profiles. He engineered strong but light structures of bamboo and willow for the ribs, and stretched cotton fabric tightly across this frame for the wings. A fixed vertical and horizontal tail unit was mounted on a short bamboo extension at the rear. g a’ r 3 Starting in 1891, he made over 2,000 successful flights in a number of esthetically beautiful gliders, some of which were biplanes. However, his reliance on body weight control methods was to be his '-"‘d°i"9- On a glider flight in 1896, while soaring in one of his inventions, a gust of wind lifted the nose of the craft. The glider stalled and Lilienthal was unable to right it. He crashed so heavily that the specially designed bamboo fender built to protect him was unable to absorb the shock. Tragically, Otto died soon afterward.
  • 10. .. And the World's First Pilot, Francoiss Pilatre de Rosier; holds the honor of being the first person in the world to make a successful ascent into the air. The Montgolfier Brothers were eager to perfect a hot air balloon that would carry human passengers. A balloon 74 feet high and 48 feet in diameter was constructed, and on Oct 15, 1783, de Rosier went up for a few minutes in a ‘captive’ balloon anchored to the ground with a long rope. The pilot carried a supply of straw fuel to keep the air within the bag heated. As a precautionary measure he also took along buckets of water and sponges to keep the balloon from catching fire. This ascension was soon followed by daring flights in free ballooons. De Rosier, sadly, was killed in the first fatal accident on June 15, 1785, when his balloon caught fire in an attempt to cross the English Channel.
  • 11. NEW ZEALAND '5 RICHARD PEARSE BAMBOO DICK Through the Scientific American magazine, Pearse kept in touch with foreign inventers. He sems to have been working on ideas for powered flight from 1899 and had built his first two-cylinder gasoline engine by 1902. Using bamboo, tubular steel, wire and canvas, he then constructed the low aspect ratio monoplane. '45‘ l! !! . , I ll. llllll TLIJIIII in 'l| lIli! : -IIIIEIIIII After considerable taxiing on his farm paddocks Pearse made his first public flight ~ attempt down the Main Waitohi Road adjacent to his farm. After a short distance aloft, perhaps 50 yards, he crashed on top of his own gorse fence. No details were ' recorded by Pearse or onlookers of this historic flight. '
  • 12. l 1901 FLYING MACHINE Inventor and aviation #21 enfhusiast G‘-l51'aVe Two years before the Wrights! Whitehead, from Bridgeport, Conn. , built this bird-like flying machine and claimed that he flew it over Long _, ” Island Sound and back two , ‘5 years before the Wright H V ‘| Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk. Ag It was powered by his own unique acetylene engine driving two wide contra-rotating propellers and had a wing span of about 40 feet. The plane folded up like an umbrella for easy storage and was quite an impressive piece of equipment. The plane no longer exists but good reproductions have been made over the years.

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