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First Real Studies of Flight

There were several trials to fly in old history, the idea was brought to mind after the invention of kites by Chinese, then Leonardo da Vinci made the first real studies of flight in the 1480’s. He had over 100 drawings that illustrated his theories on flight. The Orthopteran flying machine was never actually created. It was a design that Leonardo da Vinci created to show how man could fly. The modern-day helicopter is based on this concept. In 19 century Otto Lilienthal, a German engineer studded the flight of birds, he wrote a book about that and after many trials with his glider he was crushed and died. His book was used by the Wright Brothers as the basis for their designs.

The work of all of these men was known to the Wright Brothers when they built their successful, powered airplane in 1903. The first of its kind to carry a man aloft, the Wright Flyer had thin, cloth-covered wings attached to what was primarily truss structures made of wood. The wings contained forward and rear spars and were supported with both struts and wires. Stacked wings (two sets) were also part of the Wright Flyer. still supported by wires, but a mast extending above the fuselage enabled the wings to be supported from above, as well as underneath. This made possible the extended wing length needed to lift an aircraft with a single set of wings. Bleriot used a Pratt truss-type fuselage frame.

More powerful engines were developå and airframe structures changed to take advantage of the benefits. As early as 1910, German Hugo Junkers was able to build an aircraft with metal truss construction and metal skin due to the availability of stronger power plants to thrust the plane forward and into the sky. The use of metal instead of wood for the primary structure eliminated the need for external wing braces and wires. His J-1 also had a single set of wings (a monoplane) instead of a stacked set. (History) Leading up to World War I (WWI), stronger engines also allowed designers to develop thicker wings with stronger spars. Wire wing bracing was no longer needed. Flatter, lower wing surfaces on high-camber wings created more lift. WWI expanded the need for large quantities of reliable aircraft. Used mostly for reconnaissance, stacked-wing tail draggers with wood and metal truss frames with mostly fabric skin dominated the wartime sky.

The history of airplanes structures underlies the history of aviation in general. Advances in materials and processes used to construct airplanes have led to their evolution from simple wood truss structures to the sleek aerodynamic machines of today. Combined with continuous power plant development, the structures of “flying machines” have changed significantly. The discovery of how to “lift” could be created by passing air over the top of a curved surface set the development of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft in motion. Leading up to World War I (WWI), stronger engines also allowed designers to develop thicker wings with stronger spars. Wire wing bracing was no longer needed. Flatter, lower wing surfaces on high-camber wings created more lift. WWI expanded the need for large quantities of reliable aircraft. Used mostly for reconnaissance, stacked-wing tail draggers with wood and metal truss frames with mostly fabric skin dominated the wartime sky. Using metal in aircraft construction increased, and the knowledge that inspired in using planes in war affected the planes that were built, World War II accelerated advances in aviation technology.

Planes and transportation:

Airplanes were around the first few years of the 20th century, but flying was a risky endeavor not commonplace until 1925. In this year, the Air Mail Act facilitated the development of the airline industry by allowing the postmaster to contract with private airlines to deliver mail. Shortly thereafter, the Air Commerce Act gave the Secretary of Commerce power to establish airways, certify aircraft, license pilots, and issue and enforce air traffic regulations. The first commercial airlines included Pan American, Western Air Express and Ford Transport Service. Within 10 years, many modern-day airlines, such as United and American, had emerged as major players. The Oldest Airports in The World is College Park Airport in the U.S. state of Maryland is the oldest airport that is still in operation. The airport was established in the year 1909 as a training field by the Wright brothers, and was used to train two military men to fly the U.S. Federal government’s first airplane. The airport has been continuously operated since then and is a getaway to Prince George’s County, Maryland and Washington, DC.

The airport was home to the first female passenger flown in a powered aircraft in 1909. The first airplane to make a mile-high flight took off from College Park Airport. The airport has been operated by Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission since 1973.It is located near the Metro Rail network which makes it readily available for commuters. Additional facilities include weather briefing, fueling services, and a pilot’s lounging area.

Today, planes are basically flying buses. Seats are crammed together. The food stinks or is nonexistent. The bathrooms are gross, tiny, and getting smaller. A flight is something to be endured, not enjoyed. But flying today is better than it ever was back in the day, for four key reasons: it’s cheaper, it’s safer, it’s faster, and it’s never been more luxurious — if you have money to spend.

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