A Conversation for The Wright Brothers - Aviators
bravenewmark Started conversation Mar 24, 2004
Very informative and interesting, for which thanks.
I've read a lot about the Wrights in the last few months, thanks to the Centenary, and I can't help thinking we celebrate the wrong date. The Wrights were bound to do a few hops before they made any proper flights, and nothing I've read about the 1903 efforts convinces me they were anything but. In length, they weren't much of a progression beyond, eg., what Clement Ader managed in 1890. And no, they weren't properly controlled. If you'd asked the Brothers in 1903 to take off and manoeuvre around, they couldn't have done it. The machine was pretty much restricted to going in a straight line.
As you say yourself, the first proper aeroplane was certainly the rebuilt 1905 Flyer, and I think Aviation really kicked off when Wilbur demonstrated it to the Europeans in 1908.
Though you slightly gloss it over, the crucial step was taken with those changes in 1905, which made their design fully controllable, enabling independent control in all three axes.
Ironic, isn't it, about the wing warping patent. It was a method of control only used by a few pioneers, and only for a limited time, while ailerons became prevalent. And no, wing warping isn't what we see when we look out of the windows of our jumbo and see the wingtips flexing in an alarming way
Cardi Posted Mar 6, 2006
The interesting think about wing warping now, is that the modern pioneers of flight are looking at wing warping to control planes at supersonic speeds where it provides less drag than coventional flaps...
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