Charles Parsons, England, inventor of the turbine motor, tests a small 1/4 horsepower steam turbine engine in a model airplane, propelling it for approximately 300 feet. Although Parsons experiments had little effect on the development of aviation, some consider this to be the first jet aircraft.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
1880 to 1884 Airplane
1881-Louis Moulliard, France, writes another milestone in aeronautics, Empire of the Air, in which he proposes fixed-wing gliders with cambered wings, like birds. He also proposes that aviators practice in gliders to gain the skill needed to pilot an aircraft in the air. Up until that time, everyone in the infant field of aviation presumed you could navigate the sky with no more skill than a chauffer. It split the field into two camps, each with a different approach to making a practical aircraft. The chauffeurs focus on engineering, making a powered flying machine. The pilots practice with gliders to gain skill before attempting powered flight.
1883 - John J. Montgomery of California builds a monoplane glider and makes the first gliding flight in America. The glider crashes and is destroyed at the end of its maiden flight, and Montgomery barely escapes with his life.