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The Early History of the Airplane

The Early History of the Airplane by Wright, Orville and Wilbur
By: (1871-1948 / 1867-1912)

The Brothers Orville (1871 - 1948) and Wilbur (1867 – 1912) Wright made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, on 17th December 1903. They were not the first to build and fly aircraft, but they invented the controls that were necessary for a pilot to steer the aircraft, which made fixed wing powered flight possible. The Early History of the Airplane consists of three short essays about the beginnings of human flight. The second essay retells the first flight: "This flight lasted only 12 seconds, but it was nevertheless the first in the history of the world in which a machine carrying a man had raised itself by its own power into the air in full flight, had sailed forward without reduction of speed and had finally landed at a point as high as that from which it started." (Introduction by Availle)

First Page:

The EARLY HISTORY of the AIRPLANE

The DAYTON WRIGHT AIRPLANE CO. DAYTON OHIO

The Wright Brothers' Aeroplane

By Orville and Wilbur Wright

Though the subject of aerial navigation is generally considered new, it has occupied the minds of men more or less from the earliest ages. Our personal interest in it dates from our childhood days. Late in the autumn of 1878 our father came into the house one evening with some object partly concealed in his hands, and before we could see what it was, he tossed it into the air. Instead of falling to the floor, as we expected, it flew across the room, till it struck the ceiling, where it fluttered awhile, and finally sank to the floor. It was a little toy, known to scientists as a "helicoptere," but which we, with sublime disregard for science, at once dubbed a "bat." It was a light frame of cork and bamboo, covered with paper, which formed two screws, driven in opposite directions by rubber bands under torsion. A toy so delicate lasted only a short time in the hands of small boys, but its memory was abiding... Continue reading book >>


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