By 1680, after studying long flight of birds, physiologist and Italian physicist Giovanni Borelli concluded that man can not fly under its own power. Therefore, many thought then after sensational invention of Montgolfier brothers, the solution is the human flight machines lighter than air.
But when did the idea of replacing muscle strength by a car appeared supporters of flying machines heavier than air. The most important representative of this orientation was an English with a remarkable vision, George Cayley. In the book On the Air Navigation he stated the principle of operation of the airplane bearing surface supports a weight bearing down air resistance through a driving force) and I described the main components, including the propeller.
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In 1804 he built a model, and since 1809 more gliders, but I had available an engine light enough. Despite its remarkable innovations, Cayley was unable to progress because of the technology times in which he lived. Widely used in the 1800s steam engine revolutionized the design of ships and made possible the emergence of railways, ships and locomotives not only had to get up in the air.
Steam engines were massive and heavy, too heavy for the power produced, and required considerable quantities of wood or charcoal for food and water to produce steam. However, Cayley’s glider models have not gone unnoticed. Many have studied and copied her achievements and gliders are still used today, registering haul and impressive times. Cayley’s research was continued by his admirer, William Henson. His associate, engineer John Stringfellow, built on a small scale, “car air with steam”, which in 1848 performed the descent in gliding flight engine weight not allowing it, unfortunately, gain altitude, but only extend slipping.
The first important scientific contribution to the development of gliders and belonged to the German engineer Otto Lilienthal. He has long studied the flight of birds, and recorded the results of observations in “Flight of birds as the basis of aviation”. Lilienthal built and piloted gliders in numerous different experiments and incorporated into the design of his plane a small gasoline engine. He had already carried out numerous flights when, in 1896, was fatally injured falling from 15 meters height. In the same period, the Englishman Hiram Stevens Maxim American home built in 1894, a biplane driven by steam power.
The plane had two engines and two propellers and managed to get off the ground. Despite promising debut, Maxim dropped inexplicably to continue work on this project. In 1900, the number of experiments done by the predecessors was large enough to allow a methodical and persevering inventor to fly a mechanically propelled device and having a person on board. This was achieved by the Wright brothers. Orville and Wilbur Wright, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio (USA) unequivocally recognized by historians with the invention of the first functional airplane aeronautics. True, the Wright brothers had not received a complete education, initially trying to embrace a career of editors and publishers of a newspaper, and then dealing with the repair bicycles. But as soon as they became interested in flying birds, in 1899, they began to study aviation in the most serious way, standing out as true experimental researchers.
Wright brothers developed a device characterized by stability wings, they have elongated, diminishing their curvature and by providing them with an order that allowed their deformation (until then, when the glider tilt to one side, the pilot who recover his body leaning to the opposite side to avoid collapse, deformation, wingtip rises to the device that bends and down the other side, which produces reverse tilt movement).
Once built a stable unit, the Wright brothers were busy propulsion, achieving a combustion engine, lightweight 83 kg and 13 hp they needed. The first attempt at takeoff was a failure due to a pilot error committed by Wilbur (he had won the right to fly on the first attempt, giving a coin). A second attempt Orville’s allowed him to carry out a “flight” 12 seconds a distance of 36 meters. On the same day – December 17, 1903 – he managed to keep the device in the air for 59 seconds and a distance of 260 meters.