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lehpron
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Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:11 am

Refer to this pix:



  • If the wings are lifting, why are the wingtips bending down?

  • Was this a take-off or landing photo? The canards up front look as if it were on take-off, but with the wings bending down could it be approaching a stall...

  • For that guy on the right, the induced flow must not be that strong?


  • Hindsight is 20/20, I would never stand that close to an airplane at any moment.

    For any bi-plane wing configuration:
  • what is the pressure in the region in between the wings? The lower has low pressure on top of it while the upper surface has a higher pressure underneath it, do they cancel or mix?
  • The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
     
    Newark777
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:16 am

    I believe the wings were bent down because that is just the way the wings were shaped, because this picture was indeed taken during takeoff. Regarding the man standing to the side (the other Wright brother I believe), you really don't know where to stand in relation to an airplane when this is the first ever flight of one.  Smile Plus, the plane was very small and went very slow, so I don't think he was in any danger at all.

    Harry
    Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
     
    2H4
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:21 am

    Didn't he run along and stabilize the wing during the takeoff "roll"?


    2H4
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    SlamClick
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Fri Jan 14, 2005 9:42 am

    That is correct 2H4 he had held the right wing and had just let go when the picture was snapped. It is a truly amazing photograph, snapped at the very instant the world changed.

    BTW, takeoff and landing were not very far apart and I don't think this thing ever got very far above a stall, nor very far below high speed instability. It just barely flew. But it did fly.
    Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
     
    vikkyvik
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:39 am

    You can see what I believe is the track that the plane ran on during it's takeoff roll on the left under the wing. The first flight was all of 12 seconds, if I remember correctly, so, as Slamclick pointed out, takeoff and landing were not too distant from each other. Though, I believe the second flight was on the order of 56 seconds.

    ~Vik
    I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
     
    Newark777
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:42 am

    The length of the first flight was shorter than the size of the cargo holds on some cargo planes. Pretty amazing if you think about, how far we have come on just 100 years.

    Harry
    Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
     
    2H4
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:24 pm

    Just look at the amount of elevator(?) deflection in that shot. From the footage I've seen of the Wright Flyer re-enactments, pilot-induced oscillations in that thing are almost unavoidable. I bet Orville was really wrestling with it on that first flight.


    2H4
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    SATL382G
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:24 pm

    The wings had no ailerons. Roll control was done by "wing warping". This may account for the unusual wing geometry you see. The "warping" was controlled by the pilot shifting his hips from side to side.
    "There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
     
    lehpron
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:50 am

    So technically it was a hang glider, or ultralight?
    The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
     
    dl757md
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:08 am

    So technically it was a hang glider, or ultralight?

    Uhh No. Never minding that these categories didn't exist until some 70-80 years after the first flight of the Wright Flyer, the Wright Flyer weighed 605 lbs. The FAA weight limit for an ultralight is 254 lbs. A hang glider is just that....a glider....no engine.

    What the Wright Flyer was, was the first mechanically powered heavier than air craft capable of sustained controlled flight.

    Cheers
    Dl757Md
    757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
     
    XFSUgimpLB41X
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:37 am

    With one engine and two props...now theres a category just about all on its own.
    Chicks dig winglets.
     
    2H4
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:04 am

    With one engine and two props...now theres a category just about all on its own.


    Yeah, FSU....I remember a thread awhile back debating whether, if built today, the Wright Flyer would require a multi-engine rating. After all, in the event of a prop or transmission failure, it would exhibit adverse yaw charactersitics, right?  Smile


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    HAWK21M
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Sat Jan 15, 2005 3:15 pm

    If this was the 1st Flight Pic,then 12s was all it got in air.
    Interesting to have one Engine drive two props.
    How did the 100 yr Aniversary Wright flyer do in comparison.I heard it did worse.
    About Wilbur standing near the wing.If only a pic of his facial expression was available when it lifted off  Smile
    regds
    MEL
    I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
     
    pilotpip
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:27 pm

    It should, however, apply for the new sport pilot regs  Smile

    MEL,

    They failed last December. It was sad, but it also reminded us of how lucky Wilbur and Orville were that day back in 1903. The plane flew successfully a couple times before crashing and being totaled, which is why it's not a museum piece today. History Channel here in the US did a great documentary on the process of recreating the flier. It is more than likely available on DVD if you would like to see it.

    I had the "pleasure" of flying a simlulator that the EAA built using MS flight sim software. The cool thing was that there was a full size cockpit mock up where you shifted back and forth to warp the wings and had a stick to control the canard just like the real thing. I would sit in the lobby of my school for an hour or two watching the cocky freshmen get knocked down a notch or two when they couldnt' fly it. I didn't fare much better, I think I made one turn in it once and actually maintained control. It was incredibly pitch sensitive and was very hard to level out after a turn. After doing this, I'm amazed that thing ever did get off the ground and have an even greater admiration for what those two guys accomplished on that day.

    DMI
     
    SlamClick
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:28 am

    To its incredible instability add this; the Wright brothers weren't pilots. They each had a few brief flights in the earlier gliders but that is it!

    The smart money that day would have been bet against them.
    Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
     
    FredT
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Mon Jan 17, 2005 2:02 am

    The Flier had negative static stability. This was intentional, as the Wrights thought it necessary for them to be able to control the aircraft. However, the time constant was sufficient for manual control... although it was, of course, not easy. We're talking a number of seconds for a pitch disturbance to double.

    In a modern FBW jet, this figure is fractions of a second. IOW, if you were to fly it manually, you'd be stalled out before you could blink... if you were lucky. Chances are you'd be deep in GLOC and/or rip your wings off before stalling... there was a reason those EF test pilots punched out while they still had control of the aircraft.
    I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
     
    2H4
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Mon Jan 17, 2005 2:05 am

    To its incredible instability add this; the Wright brothers weren't pilots.


    Ah, but they were bicycle mechanics.....


     Big thumbs up


    2H4 (bike shop guy)
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    SlamClick
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Mon Jan 17, 2005 2:26 am

    Bicycle mechanic and "Son of a Preacher Man"
    Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
     
    pilotpip
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Mon Jan 17, 2005 3:51 am

    They weren't pilots, they weren't even scientists. They did, however, know that through research of others before them and solving one problem (lift) before the other (power) would be the key to breaking the surly bonds of earth. Being bicycle mechanics gave them a great deal of fabrication skill.

    They even built a wind tunnel and tested dozens of airfoil designs for the wing and propellers. One of the best things about all of their research is they kept incredibly meticulous technical data and notes. The brothers also used the research available from the pioneers before them to get a better idea of what worked and what didn't work.
    DMI
     
    saab2000
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:04 am

    I saw a TV shot of a Hot Shot Air Force pilot try to fly a re-creation of the Write Flyer. The Flyer's inherent instability meant that there was no flight. The Air Force pilot crashed it several times with nothing between take-off and landing which could be called controlled flight. The speeds were really slow and the Air Force pilot was very much humbled.

    I gained an awful lot of respect for the Wright Bros. (not that I did not have it before though) after I saw the Air Force pilot essentially unable to fly the new version of the Wright Flyer.

    The gliders the Wright Brothers flew barely had forward motion as they were lifted off the ground just by the wind on that beach.
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    2H4
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:18 am

    Another amazing accomplishment is the efficiency of their propellers. One of their propellers from 1911 was tested, and the aerodynamic efficiency was measured at 81.5%....incredible engineering, considering the best wooden propellers currently made are capable of 84-85%.

    Here's a great article on their props:

    http://www.wrightexperience.com/indepth/pdfs/props.pdf


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    HAWK21M
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:29 pm

    Hey Dont forget to thank 'Charles Taylor' too.
    regds
    MEL
    I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
     
    FredT
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:27 pm

    Hawk21,
    very good call! Charles Taylor was the mechanic of the Wright brothers, largely responsible for the engine which really was a large part of the core of their achievement. He got little of the positive spin, was largely forgotten and ended up spending his old days on the factory floor of an aircraft manufacturer during WWII.

    Goes to prove that the world is not a fair place.

    As for the Wrights not being scientists... I wasn't aware that there was a 'scientist' title? Do you have to apply for the position? Which universities have scientist educations?  Big grin

    What they did was science, thus they were most certainly scientists - and bicycle mechanics. If more scientists knew how to handle a spanner, the world of science would work a lot better and a achieve bigger things faster. Big grin

    (No, I do not subscribe to the in many circles common view that you are a scientist only in proportion to the amount of published papers and the obscureness/volume of your references)

    Regards,
    Fred
    I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
     
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    litz
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Wed Jan 19, 2005 2:00 am

    I think the thing that went the most against the December re-enactment of the flight was the godawful weather.

    Canvas Wright Flyer, gusty wind, and *rain* generally do not mix, I'd think.

    I wonder how much heavier it was due to the weight of the sodden canvas?

    I *do* know that they successfully flew it several times during test flights. There's video on their webpage, as well as some of the TV shows documenting the project.

    As far as stability goes, of the 3-4 TV shows done on re-enacting the Wright flight, not a SINGLE pilot on any of the shows said anything other than "That's the hardest thing to fly I've ever flown".

    And some of these people are military test pilots with dozens, and dozens, of different aircraft types under their collective belts.

    Wright Redux, for instance, actually *crashed* their replica on 10-14-03 ... the NTSB report (yes, for a Wright Flyer - imagine investigating THAT accident!) is here : http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20031020X01779&ntsbno=CHI04LA010&akey=1

    In short, rolled down the rail, gust of wind, up it went, stall, and down it went ... Luckily for the pilot, it only went about 30 feet up in the air and pretty much floated down.

    Utterly amazing that those guys got the thing built and flying in 1903, with the technology of the day. In 2003 several different teams built replicas ... and pretty much all of them - at best - barely flew.

    - litz
     
    SlamClick
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    RE: Corny Questions About Wright Flyer

    Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:01 am

    Well, I figure if Scott Crossfield crashed it, that's good enough for me. Us mere mortals would have to rely almost entirely on luck to get it back down.
    Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.

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