darrenthe747
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The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:23 am

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.
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hmmmm...
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:45 am

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.
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md80fanatic
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:58 am



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.
 
hmmmm...
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:10 am

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.
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md80fanatic
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:16 am

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".
 
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 4:37 pm

the father of aviation as i know it?

alfred kahn....... Smile
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JoKeR
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:12 pm

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

Richard Branson Big grin
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RichardPrice
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:36 pm

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.
 
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:22 pm

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.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:24 pm

I'd still rate the Wright Brothers as Father of Powered Flight.Whereas
Father of Indian Aviation :- J.R.D.Tata.
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zrs70
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:58 pm

I believe his name was Icarus!
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:07 am

Icarus*


(* with a footnote to make up this response to the minimum word-count, even though it adds nothing to the post. Thank you.)
 
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RayChuang
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:13 am

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.
 
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:20 am

Frank Whittle must have a mention as the 'father of aviation as we know it' with the sheer success of the jet engine.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:21 am

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]
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Cadet57
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:22 am

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.


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BlueSky1976
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:07 am

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]
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David L
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:18 am

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

Montgolfier brothers?
 
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:20 am

Quoting David L (Reply 17):
Montgolfier brothers?

Yes, thanks for the correction  Smile
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planemaker
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:24 am

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.
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PPVRA
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:01 am

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.
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PPVRA
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:05 am

Here is the picture of a later flight:

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MD11Engineer
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:17 am

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
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PPVRA
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:22 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 22):

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

Cheers
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leelaw
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:53 am

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?
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:58 am

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 (swept wings with jet engines in pods slung under the wing) as the Boeing B-47, and George has been credited as being the father of the B-47.
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 4:11 am

Here's a picture of the B-47:



See the resemblence to a modern airliner?
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aeroweanie
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:12 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 25):
If we are talking about aviation as we know it today, my vote goes to George Schairer.

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 would consider a "technology enabler", much like Kelly Johnson. He enabled new technology to actually be used. Igor Sikorsky falls mostly in this group too.

If you are talking about fundamental technology development, I would vote for Ludwig Prandtl, William Lanchester, Adolf Busemann, R.T. Jones, Frank Whittle, Hans von Ohain, Theodore von Karman, A.M.O. Smith, Herman Glauert, Dietmarr Kuchemann, H.H. Piercey, Richard Whitcomb, Max Munk, Gustave Eiffel, Robert Gilruth, Eastman Jacobs, John Stack and many others.
 
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:26 am

The Father of COMMERCIAL Aviation as we now know it (US Model):

Frank Lorenzo.

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Revelation
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:54 am

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 27):
If you are referring to swept wings

Not just that, the engines on pods to counter the twisting of wings, extensive use of the wind tunnel to optimiize the design, etc.

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 27):
Schairer mainly used what he had learned on his tour of the AVL labs in Germany after WWII. Schairer is what I would consider a "technology enabler", much like Kelly Johnson. He enabled new technology to actually be used.

Fair enough. He was in the right place at the right time with the right skill and determination to put it all together.

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 27):
f you are talking about fundamental technology development, I would vote for Ludwig Prandtl, William Lanchester, Adolf Busemann, R.T. Jones, Frank Whittle, Hans von Ohain, Theodore von Karman, A.M.O. Smith, Herman Glauert, Dietmarr Kuchemann, H.H. Piercey, Richard Whitcomb, Max Munk, Gustave Eiffel, Robert Gilruth, Eastman Jacobs, John Stack and many others.

Great list!
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darrenthe747
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:03 am

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 new technologies like that had multiple people working on it at the same time. a classic example of this was the the invention of calculus being accredited to Sir Isaac Newton, when in fact Leibniz of Germany also invented it around the same time. many historians don't know who really came up with it first. So, who knows...
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stirling
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:27 am

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 aviation. Science is a continuous evolution; that in the case of aviation, goes back several hundred years before the first controlled flight by the Wright Brothers...

As for Otto, he needed a hill...the Wright Brothers had one just a hundred yards away, and chose not to use it.

Remember the accomplishments of Santos were in Balloons....nonetheless, the Smithsonian calls him the father of Aviation.

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ODwyerPW
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:57 am

Glenn Hammond Curtiss certianly deserves mention.

1908 Lead designer and pilot of "June Bug", first official, pre-announced, public flight in US
1908 "Flight engineer" for 1st Army dirigible trial
1909 Produced and sold first private aircraft in US
1909 Won first international air speed record with 46.5mph--Rheims,Fr.
1910 Long distance flying record of 150 miles from Albany to New York
1910 Established Flying School and Exhibition Company
1910 Trained Blanche Stuart Scott, the first American female pilot
1911 RECEIVED PILOT'S LICENSE NUMBER ONE for "June Bug" flight
1911 First successful pontoon aircraft in America
1911 "Father of Naval Aviation", Hydroaeroplane A-1 purchased by USN
1911 First dual pilot control
1911 First retractable landing gear (Hydroaeroplane)
1912 Developed and flew first flying boat--(demonstrated on Lake Keuka)

The museum dedicated to him in Hammondsport is a must see, between touring the Wineries of the Fingerlakes.
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RICARIZA
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:11 pm

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 myself.

Very interesting. I read all posts very carefully.

Thanks!!
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aeroweanie
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:01 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 29):
Not just that, the engines on pods to counter the twisting of wings, extensive use of the wind tunnel to optimiize the design, etc.

Another really big advance was slotted wall wind tunnels, to enable accurate testing at transonic speeds. With solid walls, the shock waves are reflected back into the flow, screwing everything up. Ray Wright at the NACA Research Center was responsible for this idea, right after WWII and John Stack implemented it.
 
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:38 pm

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 passenger traffic skyward and paved the way for many innovations.

Here's the original letter from TWA to Douglas requesting the aircraft...





The man himself...

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MD80Nut
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:51 pm

Quoting Stirling (Reply 31):
Since none of these men operated in a vacuum, I'd say it'd be darn near impossible to say one way or another which one was the De facto father of aviation. Science is a continuous evolution; that in the case of aviation, goes back several hundred years before the first controlled flight by the Wright Brothers...

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. Aviation has a whole herd of fathers, even a few "mothers"!  Big grin

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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 3:18 pm

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 practical warplanes (BE2C, FE2, and DH4, the 'Liberty Plane'); designed the first lowcost 'aeroplane for everyman', the Tiger Moth; repeated his WW1 wartime achievements with the most versatile aeroplane of WW2, the Mosquito; produced one of the first practical jet fighters, the Vampire; and finished off with the first jet airliner, the DH.106 Comet.

http://www.centennialofflight.gov/es...y/Aerospace/DeHavilland/Aero49.htm
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Sun Nov 13, 2005 3:50 pm

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 at Waitohi, near Temuka, New Zealand.

Richard Pearse flew a single propeller, high wing monoplane, tricycle gear aircraft.

The Wright brothers first flew later that year on December 17, 1903, traveling 120 feet. The yanks just re-invented the wheel on December 17...nothing more.

http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/pearse1.html
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MD11Engineer
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:41 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 29):
Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 27):
f you are talking about fundamental technology development, I would vote for Ludwig Prandtl, William Lanchester, Adolf Busemann, R.T. Jones, Frank Whittle, Hans von Ohain, Theodore von Karman, A.M.O. Smith, Herman Glauert, Dietmarr Kuchemann, H.H. Piercey, Richard Whitcomb, Max Munk, Gustave Eiffel, Robert Gilruth, Eastman Jacobs, John Stack and many others.

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, without a means of propulsion, Nikolaus Otto would have to be included, who invented the Otto cycle piston engine.

Jan
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darrenthe747
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:45 am

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 changed when the airfoil was invented. i wonder who first came up with this genious idea?
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aeroweanie
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RE: The Father Of Aviation As We Know It?

Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:08 am

Quoting Darrenthe747 (Reply 40):
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 changed when the airfoil was invented. i wonder who first came up with this genious idea?

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 understood the concept, as they were looking at pressure distributions on them. For that matter, Lilienthal's wings were cambered, but he might have done this because bird's wings are cambered, rather than understanding the concept.

The concept of having a thickness form on the camber line, to create an airfoil as we know it, came later. I'd be tempted to credit Hugo Junkers with this. One could also credit Nicolai Egorovich Joukowsky with coming up with the concept. Junkers did it out of necessity, to contain structure, while Joukowsky developed the concept from a more theoretical basis.