Topic Author
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 2:00 pm

First True Flight.....

Mon Oct 08, 2001 8:33 am

I know this may cause great controversy on this message board,but it is one that I believe that should be adressed,since it is very important to the aviation world. Who actually made the first airplane flight: The Wright brothers, or the Brazilian inventor Santos Dumont?
Here in Brazil we are taught that it was Santos Dumont,although we also recognize the Wright brothers accomplisments. In the US, Santos Dumont is completly ignored. He doesn't even receive acnkowlegment for his invention of the aileron. Does everbody agree with me that that is very disrespectful? During my first year at Embry-Riddle, I did extensive research into the matter,and found this out:
The Wright brothers "flew" first,but it is questionable if it was a true airplane flight. Their aircraft was catapulted into the windiest skies of North America and only flew for a few seconds,during which they had NO control of the plane. Santos Dumont,on the other hand,took his craft off in downtown Paris infront of millions,flew it for much longer than the Wright brothers,and had control,meaning he performed turns and climbs.
With that information,it seems to me as if the Wright brothers plane perfomed more as a kite,making Santos Dumont's flight the first true one. Plus,at the time, the Wright brothers were unkown. Santos Dumont and his accomplisments and inventions were know world wide. So there was no way Santos Dumont could have copied the Wright brothers ideas,since they were not even know within the United States. I am not trying to knock down the Wright brothers,or trying to build up Santos Dumont just because he is Brazilian. I am just brining into light information I gathered over the years from various American,Brazilian,and neutral sources. I very much admire the Wright brothers,but I feel it is wrong to ignore Santos Dumont,and the possibility that he could have truly made the first flight. This whole topic came to my head a few days ago when I saw a movie that showed a license plate from the state of Ohio,and on it was written,"the birthplace of aviation",obviously because the Wright brothers are from Ohio. Then I thought,if Santos Dumont is the true father of flight,then my state(and his!) of Minas Gerais is the birthplace of aviation!
What do you guys have to say about this. I understand that many,especially Americans,may have never even heard of Santos Dumont. If you would like to know more about him,go to any search page such as msn or yahoo and type in his name. Thanks guys,hope to hear your opinions soon!

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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 1999 12:33 am

RE: First True Flight.....

Mon Oct 08, 2001 9:15 am

Wright Brothers were not the first to fly. It says on North Carolina's license plates "First in Flight" well that is so wrong, they were only the first to fly a powered aircraft with motors. Other people like Otto Llenthal flew before them but nobody realises that much.
Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 5:02 pm

RE: First True Flight.....

Mon Oct 08, 2001 9:26 am

You present a reasonable argument, Varig. Unfortunately, I'm not knowledgeable enough to argue for or against you, but I admire your maturity in presenting your argument.
I love America. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle, but I'd rather be a dog in New York City than a prince in Riyadh.
Topic Author
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2000 2:00 pm

RE: First True Flight.....

Mon Oct 08, 2001 1:14 pm

Thanks tsully. I was afraid people may get the wrong impression on what I was trying to say. Any more ideas?
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: First True Flight.....

Mon Oct 08, 2001 1:19 pm

For many many years the Wright Bros. were not acknowledged with making the first powered flight. I completely forget where I heard this from, probably some Discovery channel documentary... but by the 1930's it was widely acknowledged that the Wright brothers did make the first powered flight.

I'd be interested in seeing a timeline of the other competing fliers and see how they compare.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 11:31 am

RE: First True Flight.....

Mon Oct 08, 2001 6:26 pm

The Wright brothers accomplished the first POWERED FLIGHT but not the first flight. Others before them had flown balloons/boxkites/gliders-but none of these were powered. The Wright brothers i believe also did some gliding of their own- starting in 1901 off of hills in NC and gaining more knowledge from each flight up until the powered one in 1903.

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