100 Years of Air Travel

Discussion in 'Community' started by Doctor Q, Dec 17, 2003.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #1
    Technology fans should ponder the meaning of today's anniversary: 100 years since the first manned airplane flight, by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, December 17, 1903, 10:35am.

    I remember seeing the Wright Brothers plane at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Wilbur and Orville worked for years to solve each problem they encountered scientifically, and they used the construction knowledge they gained from their bicycle business. I've been reading their story here and it is fascinating.

    If you want to, you can skip right to the good part: their first flight.
     

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  2. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816

    Sweetfeld28

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    #2
    I too, thought that their journey was incredable. I just recently watched the PBS special on the guy that has been trying to reproduce the original plane. This same guy's plane will be, or was, flown at the anniversary ceremony.
     
  3. iGav macrumors G3

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    #3
    in one way, it seems like such a long time ago.... and in another way 100 years is no time in the whole grand scheme of time.

    I was watching a program on BBC 2 the other night about a little known, and long forgotten man Percy Pilcher.

    He had a powered aircraft (tri-plane) some 4 years before the Wright bros. and was ready to fly it in September 1899 but due to bad weather, decided to fly his existing glider instead, one that had broke the world record for flight distance achieved at that time, some 250 metres.

    But because a technical fault developed in the glider, he crashed and died 2 days later.

    Interestingly, in this documentary, they rebuilt his tri-plane, to give it it's first flight... and hey presto it flew... only for a short duration granted, but it flew.

    With minor changes that he would have noticed, on the second attempt, it just flew, and flew truly incredible!

    It's very sad, that this pioneer has long been forgotten....

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SCIpilcher.htm
     
  4. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #4
    It's also my anniversary today. :D

    I just got back from Washington DC where they lowered the plane down from the ceiling and made it it's own exhibit. It was breathtaking to say the least. I can post some pictures later if you want.

    P-Worm
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    Yeah, post some pictures!

    I found this little tidbit the other day, and it piqued my interest because of the renewed interest in building your own plane which sounds like a heck of a lot of fun to me. It also touches on the problems associated with private aviation a little.
    Tell that to John Denver.... but I digress.
    Sure would love to be able to build and fly my own aircraft someday for under $120,000.
     
  6. iGav macrumors G3

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    #6
    apparantly, the attempt to recreate the historic first flight failed, as the plane broke apart on takeoff.

    It's little mad to attempt it now, never mind the step into the unknown it required back in 1903...

    shame they couldn't fly it though.... :(

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3326297.stm
     
  7. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #7
    i don't know for sure about first manned flight... there are a lot of people that believe that various ancient civilizations had some sort of flight, thousands of years ago...

    paul
     
  8. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #8
    They had motors thousands of years ago? That's what this about. Powered flight, not gliders.

    P-Worm
     
  9. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #9
    The small town of Pittsburgh, Texas still celebrates the Ezekiel Airship, a craft built by Baptist minister and inventor Burrell Cannon. It had a brief flight in 1902. It is one of many other claimants to the "first flight" title. But the Wright brothers also had flights in 1902, and in earlier years, as they tinkered with and improved their design. As in a title like "first personal computer", there are dozens of contenders, and it depends mostly on how you define your terms. Earlier crafts that glided, couldn't be steered, remained aloft only a few seconds, etc., may each have been advances of their own, but the Wright Brothers' carefully documented and successful flight is generally considered to be the first airplane flight as most people define it.
     
  10. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #10
    Gliders would not fit into these theories. Some other power source. Internal combustion? probably not... gas would have been cheaper tho...

    paul
     
  11. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

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    #11
    And to think, they didnt even get a bag of peanuts on that flight ;)
     
  12. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #12
    I read that a minor election in Culver City, California was decided by a coin toss last month, after the votes produced a tie and the candidates agreed that a coin toss would save the money for any other solution. They were good sports about it.

    Orville got his place in history by losing that coin toss!
     
  13. cr2sh macrumors 68030

    cr2sh

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    #13
    Living in Dayton, its all your freakin hear about. My office building is right next door to the shop where the Wright's purchased the wood they used. They have an enormous banner, and just down the street is a huge metal statue of the Wright's and their plane.
     
  14. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #14
    i saw the real flyer at the smithsonian, or a life sized mockup and that thing looked incredibly rickety as if it were a model

    the earliest plane i have ever seen in flight was a 1930s biplane at an air show...wow, talk about scary looking but it held together

    also the 1940s b-17 and b-24 were also kind of rickety looking in flight but at the time i saw them, they were 50+ years old and restored

    today's new jets look so sleek and solid by comparison and we have come a long ways since the early 1900s...it's really a short period of time when you think about going from a wooden plane to the space shuttle
     
  15. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #15
    Happy National Aviation Day in the U.S. It's Orville Wright's 133rd birthday today. You may all have cake and ice cream.
     
  16. cheekyspanky macrumors 6502a

    cheekyspanky

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    #16
    ..and I live just a few miles away from where the last Concorde to fly is now located. Seems we've kind of stopped moving forward, at least for the time being!
     

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