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The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?  
User currently offlineDarrenthe747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5760 times:

The other day I started a topic about the 777-200LR's record breaking flight. It was quite interesting to hear what many had to say about it. One sub-topic that was brought up by BlueSky1976 I found to be quite intriguing. The quote:

Quote:
Actually, the first controlled flights were done in Europe by Otto Lilienthal. The aviation was born in 1891, not in 1903 as some "history experts" seem to believe.

Source

Sadly, this was the first I have heard of this man, which is really sad considering my love for aviation. Frankly, I disagree though that history experts are erroneous in their beliefs that he was the father of aviation as we know it. I still believe that the Wright brothers were since they designed objects that fly based soley on mechanical devices that control the aircraft with human inputs, not the use of running off hills, use of thermals, and shifting body weight.

41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2104 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5732 times:

Otto was a pioneer but surely not responsible for aviation "as we know it." His flights were not powered. They were gliders. And they were not controlled flights. He used weight shifting to turn. His control was tenuous at best. Unfortunately, one time his weight shifting did not have the intended effect and he crashed and died. So I would say that aviation as we know it, is not related to him. Indeed, aviation "as we know it", is not related to anything that old.


An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineMD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5711 times:



Pretty amazing....for the 19th century.

He had the right idea with the tail section....as it still looks roughly the same 110 years later.

Did a lawnmower become a lawnmover only after an engine and throttle handle was attached to it? Was Otto's craft any less of an airplane than the Flyer was? I think BlueSky1976 is correct here.


User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2104 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5699 times:

Otto invented a glider. A very poor one. It only went down. Not an aircraft. They have separate classifications. Certainly not a powered aircraft. And certainly not a fully-controllable powered aircraft - which is what the Wrights made. A big difference there. Otto never figured out the secret that made aviation "as we know it" possible - Flight controls.


An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineMD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2660 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5691 times:

Odds are he died before "figuring it out". He apparently was heavily into mimicking large birds, and they happen to have "perfectly" designed flight controls.  Wink Had he lived....aviation might have been different from what we are accustomed to today.

If he wasn't the father of aviation....he certainly was the first to "buy the farm".


User currently offlineUadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5629 times:

the father of aviation as i know it?

alfred kahn....... Smile



bus driver.......move that bus:)
User currently offlineJoKeR From Serbia, joined Nov 2004, 2235 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5563 times:

Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 5):
the father of aviation as i know it?

Richard Branson Big grin



Kafa, čaj, šraf?
User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5559 times:

Just as Thomas Edison is credited as the inventor of the lightbulb, despite his carbon filament bulb being demonstrated by Joseph Swan in Newcastle, England over 10 months prior to Edisons claims of invention, there are several claims to heavier than air machines achieving powered flight before the Wrights flight at Kitty Hawk.

Remember that a lot of history is written by the person that can shout the loudest and whatever the evidence to the contrary, the written history will always remain canon rather than anything new.


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13040 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5522 times:

People like Lilienthal were among the 'fathers' of aviation as we know it. His work and others despite their failures still contributed to the science of powered airflight.
The Wright Brothers took a very disiplined and scientific approach to airflight. The studied almost all of the work done by others in the USA and Europe. Some of their ideas included the concept of the 'wind tunnel', a small one where small models were tested and the importance of control of the wing to adjust lift ability (they took the approach of 'wing warping'). They developed controllable gliders and learned how to have controlled flight first, then scaled it up and added an engine. They were able to sustain contolled flight and do it repeatably, with enough witnesses to get the credit they got.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5516 times:

I'd still rate the Wright Brothers as Father of Powered Flight.Whereas
Father of Indian Aviation :- J.R.D.Tata.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5489 times:

I believe his name was Icarus!


14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5483 times:

Icarus*


(* with a footnote to make up this response to the minimum word-count, even though it adds nothing to the post. Thank you.)


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 7990 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5475 times:

Actually, the true pioneer of modern aviation is Alberto Santos-Dumont. Many of the ideas he pioneered in airplane design--especially movable wing surfaces for aerodynamic control instead of warping the whole wing like the Wright Brothers did--have lasted to this day.

User currently offlineRichardPrice From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5461 times:

Frank Whittle must have a mention as the 'father of aviation as we know it' with the sheer success of the jet engine.

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5463 times:

Actually by the time Otto Lilenthal crashed, he and his brother Gustav were working on a CO2 driven motor to attach to their gliders.
The Lilienthal brothers (Otto being a successfull mechanical engineer with several patents, including a revolutionary steam boiler, which he built in his own factory and which provided him with the capital to fund his research, and Gustav being a successfull architect, there are still many of his houses around in and around Berlin), were not tinkers, but had both a lot of technical knowledge and did systematic research on the flight of birds, especially storks. They even had an artificial hill built in the southern suburb Lichterfelde of Berlin to test their gliders.
They built a gadget, which would rotate an airfoil section in circles to measure the forces, similar as the wind tunnel of the Wright brothers and discovered the importance of camber, air speed, angle of attack and the basic formulas, which describe lift and drag. Actually, Lilienthal's works were the books, which got the Wright brothers interested.

Lilienthal's polar diagram is still being used to describe the relation between the coefficients of lift and drag and the angle of attack for airfoils.


Jan

[Edited 2005-11-12 16:31:58]

User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 31
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5456 times:

When it comes to flight i beleive Lilienthal was the father of flight while the Wrights were the pioneers of powered flight. Dont know if you all know this, but before he was killed Lilienthal actually worked with the wrights in NC to help them with their wing-warping, and body shifting system.


Cheers,
Justin



Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently onlineBlueSky1976 From Poland, joined Jul 2004, 1870 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5431 times:

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Thread starter):
Frankly, I disagree though that history experts are erroneous in their beliefs that he was the father of aviation as we know it. I still believe that the Wright brothers were since they designed objects that fly based soley on mechanical devices that control the aircraft with human inputs, not the use of running off hills, use of thermals, and shifting body weight.

You have to look at the study of aerodynamics and the chain of events that led to the first flight of Wright brothers. They learned a good deal of their aerospace knowledge from prof. Octave Chanute, who himself was testing gliders first based on Lilienthal design. Lilienthal's basis were - among others - findings of Leonardo da Vinci, who was the first scientist to put together the theory of flight.
Other than that, Lilienthal is credited as the first human being able to fly an instrument heavier than air and being able to control it. The powered flight of Wright brothers was a natural evolution. The birth of powered controlled flight is not the birth of the controlled flight itself, unfortunately. Therefore, with as much credit being due to Wright brothers, the honour of giving birth of aviation belongs to Otto Lilienthal.

The bottom line:
First flight in an apparatus lighter than air, not controlled: Montpelier brothers, France, circa 1789
First controlled flight in apparatus heavier than air : Otto Lilienthal, 1891
First controlled flight in powered apparatus heavier than air: Wright brothers, 1903.

Hope this clears things up.

Cheers

[Edited 2005-11-12 17:10:03]


STOP TERRORRUSSIA!!!
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5412 times:

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 16):
First flight in an apparatus lighter than air, not controlled: Montpelier brothers, France, circa 1789

Montgolfier brothers?


User currently onlineBlueSky1976 From Poland, joined Jul 2004, 1870 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5407 times:

Quoting David L (Reply 17):
Montgolfier brothers?

Yes, thanks for the correction  Smile



STOP TERRORRUSSIA!!!
User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6123 posts, RR: 34
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5404 times:

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Thread starter):
I still believe that the Wright brothers were since they designed objects that fly based soley on mechanical devices that control the aircraft with human inputs

There were a few others before the Wright brothers who... "designed objects that fly based soley on mechanical devices that control the aircraft with human inputs..."

The Wright brothers are credited with the first "successful" powered flight... no where close to being considered the father(s) of flight.

Furthermore, while the Wrights are almost universally acknowledge as having made the first successful powered flight, there are still several competing claims even for this feat.

If you read any biography on the Wrights, you will find that they relied heavily on the research and exploits of others, especially of Octave Chanute.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8942 posts, RR: 40
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5395 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 12):
Actually, the true pioneer of modern aviation is Alberto Santos-Dumont. Many of the ideas he pioneered in airplane design--especially movable wing surfaces for aerodynamic control instead of warping the whole wing like the Wright Brothers did--have lasted to this day.

He was also the first to take-off with a self-powered aircraft, i.e., no catapults or any sort of help to get him into the air. This feat was achieved in 1906, in Paris.

He was born in Rio de Janeiro but moved to Paris when his father became ill and seeked treatment. Don't remember the illness his father had, but Alberto was in his 20s I believe.




That's aircraft he flew in 1906, as I mentioned above. He named it 14-Bis.

His house in Rio is now a museum. He is also acredited with the invention of the wrist-watch, kinda complicated to pull that clock on a chain out of your shirt pocket when flying.  Smile

Cheers

PS: In the Paris airshow this year, Embraer had a full-size 14-Bis model on display. I'm pretty sure it can actually fly.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8942 posts, RR: 40
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5380 times:

Here is the picture of a later flight:




"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5368 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 20):
He is also acredited with the invention of the wrist-watch, kinda complicated to pull that clock on a chain out of your shirt pocket when flying. Smile

Um, wrist watches, defined as watches built into a bracelet existed already during the 19th century, but were exclusively used by women (men used pocket watches on a chain). Wrist watches for men became popular in the trenches of WW1, when it was more convenient to carry a watch on your wrist than in your pockert and it was less likely to get lost. The various military also made marching compasses with wrist bands.

After WW1, they largely replaced the pocket watch.


Jan


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8942 posts, RR: 40
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5363 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 22):

I don't know man, that's what I've heard... maybe he made it fashionable for men?

Cheers



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5333 times:

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 16):
Lilienthal's basis were - among others - findings of Leonardo da Vinci, who was the first scientist to put together the theory of flight.

If Leonardo "put together the theory of flight," why isn't he the father since you can't have aviation without flight?


25 Post contains links Revelation : If we are talking about aviation as we know it today, my vote goes to George Schairer. Amost all the airliners we fly today have the same basic layout
26 Post contains images Revelation : Here's a picture of the B-47: See the resemblence to a modern airliner?
27 AeroWeanie : If you are referring to swept wings, Schairer mainly used what he had learned on his tour of the AVL labs in Germany after WWII. Schairer is what I w
28 OzarkD9S : The Father of COMMERCIAL Aviation as we now know it (US Model): Frank Lorenzo. Take a trip or two to Chapter 11. Break unions, slash salaries, still l
29 Revelation : Not just that, the engines on pods to counter the twisting of wings, extensive use of the wind tunnel to optimiize the design, etc. Fair enough. He w
30 Darrenthe747 : Well I suppose if he was using airfoil theory to make an object fly then that was the ultimate foundation of aviation. and it's very true that most ne
31 Stirling : Since none of these men operated in a vacuum, I'd say it'd be darn near impossiible to say one way or another which one was the de facto father of avi
32 ODwyerPW : Glenn Hammond Curtiss certianly deserves mention. 1908 Lead designer and pilot of "June Bug", first official, pre-announced, public flight in US 1908
33 RICARIZA : This thread should be mandatory to be read everytime someone signs up the first time on A.net, specially for aviation enthusiasts but not experts like
34 AeroWeanie : Another really big advance was slotted wall wind tunnels, to enable accurate testing at transonic speeds. With solid walls, the shock waves are refle
35 Post contains images TUNisia : The "father" of civil aviation IMHO has to be Jack Frye of TWA, because of his push for the creation of the DC series of aircraft which launched passe
36 Post contains images MD80Nut : I think that pretty much says it all. So many contributed, standing on the shoulders of those who came before them, advancing aviation as they went.
37 Post contains links NAV20 : I think Geoffrey De Havilland deserves a mention in this company. He designed and flew his own 'boxkite' in 1909; went on to design some of the first
38 Post contains links Zeke : Richard Pearse I believe flew a his homebuilt aircraft powered by a two cylinder engine of his own design and construction 150 yards on 31 March 1903
39 MD11Engineer : I would also include Ernst Mach and Yukovski for their achievements in theory of flight. Also Monsieur Pitot, the inventor of a Pito tube. Then, with
40 Darrenthe747 : I think the difference between aviation as we know it today and say more "primitive" aviation (glider of a hill), is the use of an airfoil. it all cha
41 AeroWeanie : It all depends on what you call an airfoil. If you are talking about a camber line with no real thickness form on it, Chanute and the Wright Brothers
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