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Wright Brothers were NOT first to fly a plane


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#16    lightly

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:13 PM

.. and Ford didn't 'invent'  the car,  Marconi the radio, or Edison the light bulb...   Sometimes we are taught  ALTERNATIVE HISTORY.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#17    Abramelin

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:18 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 23 May 2013 - 10:27 AM, said:

Then the Mongolfier brothers beat them all...

In that case even the ancient Chinese with their man-lifting kites would beat them all.


#18    questionmark

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 04:06 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 23 May 2013 - 12:18 PM, said:

In that case even the ancient Chinese with their man-lifting kites would beat them all.

True, almost forgot about them.

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#19    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:01 AM

Do we have consensus who fly first?

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#20    third_eye

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:42 AM

bees ... bees were the first

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#21    MiskatonicGrad

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:14 AM

View Postthe L, on 24 May 2013 - 07:01 AM, said:

Do we have consensus who fly first?

From what I'm gathering the definition of flight is I would say the first dumba** to fall out of a tree.

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#22    third_eye

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:34 AM



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#23    questionmark

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:50 PM

View Postthe L, on 24 May 2013 - 07:01 AM, said:

Do we have consensus who fly first?

Doubtfully, as we only know  who did it by eyewitness accounts and historical record, there might have been many more before. As far as the records we have, flying without a rope connecting the person to the ground (i.e. kites) or by free balloon it would be the Austrian Johann Degen in 1809, after reading George Cayley's publication in Nature about aerodynamics he built various contraption and jumped from a platform raised by a balloon, he gave up in 1812 after not being able to figure out a method to raise but only managed to glide to the ground.

Edited by questionmark, 24 May 2013 - 12:56 PM.

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#24    danielost

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:20 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 22 May 2013 - 08:45 PM, said:

still wrong, both Hiram Maxim (1894, 250 yards) and Clement Ader (1896 and 1897, 300 and ~1000 yards) managed to lift off a contraption before Weisskopf. They both just had a problem with landing their contraptions in one piece.

View Postquestionmark, on 22 May 2013 - 08:45 PM, said:

still wrong, both Hiram Maxim (1894, 250 yards) and Clement Ader (1896 and 1897, 300 and ~1000 yards) managed to lift off a contraption before Weisskopf. They both just had a problem with landing their contraptions in one piece.


You have to land safely or it doesn't count.  The right brothers were given a model airplanewhen they were kids.  I am sure that it was a glider.

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Edited by danielost, 24 May 2013 - 04:24 PM.

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#25    RabidCat

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 05:28 PM

Strikes me that the Wright bros. were (and always have been) described as the first powered heavier than air controlled flight...  The others that obviously flew prior to the Wrights had little concept of how to control a machine in the air.  The Wrights were actually able to turn the plane in a desired direction.

However, since this alternative history, isn't it an established fact that artifacts from both Egypt and Central/South America indicated that both those civilizations had at least the rudiments of heavier than air flight?  I recall an aeronautical engineer who saw the artifacts, one Smithsonian - Egypt, the other in the Americas in a museum, measured and recorded all data from both, including the airfoil, and built models of both.  They were subsequently deemed airworthy after their respective flights.  The main clue to the concept that these devices were not bird replicas is that the tail section has both vertical and horizontal stabilizers.  The version from C.A./S.A. also has what appears to be jet intakes and exhausts.  I can find pictures of one or the other (maybe both) if anyone is interested.

Perhaps those should be registered as first powered and controlled flight.


#26    BiffSplitkins

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 05:42 PM

Hmmm, I always thought it was Icarus and Daedalus that made the first flight?

Well, maybe not Icarus so much. :P

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#27    questionmark

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 06:22 PM

View PostRabidCat, on 24 May 2013 - 05:28 PM, said:

Strikes me that the Wright bros. were (and always have been) described as the first powered heavier than air controlled flight...  The others that obviously flew prior to the Wrights had little concept of how to control a machine in the air.  The Wrights were actually able to turn the plane in a desired direction.

However, since this alternative history, isn't it an established fact that artifacts from both Egypt and Central/South America indicated that both those civilizations had at least the rudiments of heavier than air flight?  I recall an aeronautical engineer who saw the artifacts, one Smithsonian - Egypt, the other in the Americas in a museum, measured and recorded all data from both, including the airfoil, and built models of both.  They were subsequently deemed airworthy after their respective flights.  The main clue to the concept that these devices were not bird replicas is that the tail section has both vertical and horizontal stabilizers.  The version from C.A./S.A. also has what appears to be jet intakes and exhausts.  I can find pictures of one or the other (maybe both) if anyone is interested.

Perhaps those should be registered as first powered and controlled flight.

Which is not really true either, Percy Pilcher had mastered that before. The real innovation of the Wrights was that they introduced  structural control in flight... and brought along a lot of press to see them fly.

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#28    Vance665

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 08:50 PM

Who cares...


#29    actower

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:51 AM

I think Maxim would have been the first to fly IF he had been on board when his machine took off.


#30    Codenwarra

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 01:31 PM

As far as I know, the Wright Bothers were the first to launch a powered aircraft under it's own power, fly under control and land safely. This was disputed by Curtiss for years and I believe the Smithsonian supported Curtiss' claims for some of that time.  While gliders and kites had been used for decades before that, they were not powered, or could not get off level ground, were uncontrollable or crashed.

In the late 1800s Australian inventor Lawrence Hargrave had invented the box kite with a curved aerofoil about 1895, which was a man lifter.  He corresponded with the Wright brothers and it has been said that the biplane design of the "Flyer" was ultimately based on Hargrave's ideas. Hargrave apparently also invented or developed the radial engine in 1889, in an attempt to get enough power to lift one of his kites.  Unfortunately at the time there was no engineering works in Sydney (or Australia) good enough to make the engine to the needed standard and the entire thing fell through.    

There is fair evidence that a New Zealand farmer, Richard Pearse, flew a monoplane equipped with ailerons six months after the Wright biplane but crashed into a hedge.

There were dozens of other inventors who were nearly successful or successful to some extent.
This is almost routine in new inventions.





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