N79969
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Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Mon Apr 28, 2003 12:07 pm

 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Mon Apr 28, 2003 12:15 pm

The Wright brothers caveat being "powered, manned, controlled" flight. Many flew one or 2 of these prior to the Wrights but the Wrights were the first with all three.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
Oz777
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RE: Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Mon Apr 28, 2003 12:49 pm

Sorry IMiss Piedmont but....

Richard Pearse in Canterbury, New Zealand is documented as having made a " powered, controlled, manned" flight before thwe Wright Brothers.

Seems his aircraft was a "puller" rather that a "pusher" and also used a rough aerloron rather than the Wrights rudder for directional control.

Due to the remoteness of the location, and the time it took for the news to travel to the rest of the World, it was never fully acknowleged.
(much like the US media of today  Smile )

But it was documented, and a replica of another of his aircraft is still on display at the Museum of Transport and Technology (MoTaT) Auckland.

Oz777
 
YKM97Y
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RE: Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Mon Apr 28, 2003 2:00 pm

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.

Pete
 
NZ767
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RE: Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Mon Apr 28, 2003 8:24 pm

Umm, Pete. Pearce made his flights on the Canterbury Plains.
There are no hills of any note for miles around.  Insane
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Tue Apr 29, 2003 1:11 pm

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.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
jwenting
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RE: Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Tue Apr 29, 2003 2:25 pm

Oz, your hero didn't have anyone there at the time to provide independent documentation of his feat.
Therefore it's not acknowledged, he could just have made up his story for all we know.
I wish I were flying
 
Ciro
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RE: Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Tue Apr 29, 2003 4:41 pm

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!
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RIX
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RE: Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Wed Apr 30, 2003 4:14 am

"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?  Smile

BTW, ever heard of the "Mozhajskij airplane"? Powered by steam engine. FYI, this was the first flight ever, in 19th century! Big grin
 
Oz777
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RE: Flying Before The Wright Brothers?

Wed Apr 30, 2003 10:11 am

jwenting

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.

Oz777