The History Of Flight: From Da Vinci To The Wright Bros

The dream of flight is perhaps mankind’s most enduring and primordial dream, spanning cultures as far back as historians can look, as evidenced by cave paintings and ancient myths. In Greek mythology, Icarus designed his wings out of wax and feathers so that he could fly like a bird. I’m young. He “flew to him.” The “sun” may have been figurative, but it was very clear in the ancient Greeks’ attitude towards mankind’s flight.

Ancient Flight

But not everyone was afraid to fly on their own. Already in the 4th century BC, 400 BC, Chinese inventors Mozi and Lu Ban created the first artificial flying device in the shape of a kite. Around the same time, a Chinese toy maker invented the Takecopter. It’s essentially a small toy helicopter with little utility, but it uses the same rotor system as modern helicopters. The ancient Chinese also discovered the basic mechanics of hot air balloons with the invention of floating lanterns.

Mid-Millennium: Da Vinci And A Load Of Hot Air

Leonardo da Vinci, the famous Italian artist and scientist who continued to inspire the Renaissance, had a creative but ultimately erroneous idea of ​​the future of flight. Like the ancient Greeks, da Vinci wondered if bird-like wings could lift humans off the ground, but he ran into problems figuring out the source of that power. . After all, humans are so much heavier than birds that they don’t have the advantage of hollow bones.

In the 18th century, the French brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier created the first hot-air balloon that could actually support the weight of a human being, successfully demonstrating its firepower while flying over it. At the time, the balloon design seemed to have won the competition. Five miles over Annonay, France, November 21, 1783. Ballooning and parachuting became a popular pastime in Europe over the next century, and proved useful in military conflicts such as the Civil War when the Union Balloon Company carried out espionage and reconnaissance operations.

20th Century Flights

In the early 19th century, when British engineer George Cayley published his treatise on air navigation in 1809, laying the foundation for the study of aerodynamics, mankind was finally shown the right way. Some 70 years later, Nicolas Otta built the world’s first gas-powered combustion engine, which was significantly lighter than the old steam engine. Using this groundbreaking knowledge, Orville and Wilbur Wright built the first airplane, completing its historic test flight on December 17, 1903. The brothers took turns piloting the rudimentary aircraft, flying for just 12 seconds and 59 seconds respectively, the first controlled flight in human history.

The flight received little media attention, and the media did not seem to understand its significance, but after the Wright brothers perfected the technology and invited the press to photograph the aircraft, the United States The military quickly realized the potential. Within a decade the aircraft was in commercial and military use, especially during World War I when aircraft such as the German Albatross and the American Curtiss JN dominated the skies. , the Wright brothers were very wealthy people.

25-year-old Charles Lindbergh ushered in a flight into the modern age, flying over 3,000 miles from New York City to Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis. He thus made his first transatlantic flight, proving the aircraft’s long-range potential. There are currently around 100,000 flights departing daily around the world and despite some passengers being nervous, it has proven to be the safest and most efficient form of travel.