YKM97Y From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2146 times:
I've heard of Pearse's flights being discounted because they essentially were takeoffs from a hill with descent (though under power) to lower elevations. The Wrights' flights actually gained altitude under power, something that distinguished their powered flights from the the glider flights they'd made in previous years. Based on the Seattle Times article mentioned above, it sounds like Pearse felt somewhat similarly, and didn't challenge the Wrights' claim to be first.
IMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6287 posts, RR: 34
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2035 times:
I'd like to see that documentation. I've seen several articles but nothing I'd place my money on. All seem to have emerged after December 3, 1903 with no photos or impartial witnesses. Not that it could not have happened, just no reliable info exists, Legends do not count.
Ciro From Brazil, joined Aug 1999, 662 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2014 times:
From my humble knowledge, I can only remember Americans who do regard the first flight belonging to the Wright Brothers.
Americans are very found of concrete evidence... Well, the first public flying apperance was held in Paris, in 1906, by Santos Dumont. Sounds more concrete than written reports and pictures that could even be fake!
The fastest way to become a millionaire in the airline business is to start as a billionaire.
RIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1787 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1963 times:
"I can only remember Americans who do regard the first flight belonging to the Wright Brothers... pictures that could even be fake... - ??? Meaning, created in Hollywood? Kinda fake moon landing, yeah?
BTW, ever heard of the "Mozhajskij airplane"? Powered by steam engine. FYI, this was the first flight ever, in 19th century!
Oz777 From Australia, joined Jun 2000, 521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1938 times:
I acknowlege that Pearse could have made up his claims, however the circumstantial evidence suggests very differently.
Pearse was a 'rocket scientist'. He invented a number of items, clearly advanced for their time, and was regarded by many as a bit eccentric. His constant 'experiments' soon lost their novelty value to the local population and hence there was no 'notable' eyewitnesses to the original flight.
According to several statements later recorded, there were a number of children present, but their testimony was discounted as children at that time and in the context of the culture then extant, had no real credibility.
Again the anecdotal evidence is: Pearse certainly built his aircraft before the Wright Brothers. Subsequent analysis has proved that it was certainly capable of powered flight, including take-off (using strong winds, a feature of Canterbury at certain times of the year). Pearse, once he proved he could fly, then set about designing improved versions that bore little resemblance to the Wright Bros designs.
The evidence is certainly quite compelling. Retaining an open mind about it, I think in all probability Pearse was the first to fly - just that the location (its remoteness, in a country far from anything else) mitigated against global acclaim.
Kiwis are an inventive lot - just look at who was the first to split the atom (Lord Rutherford) - and who just happened to make it to the top of Everst first (Hillary). Neither of them had a Hollywood set to record (or fake) their achievements either.