Friday, March 6, 2009

Invention of Airplane

The story of the invention of the airplane is one of honest, straightforward, hard-working Americans trying to accomplish something that had been evading inventors for years. At the turn of the century, dozens and dozens of people were working on inventing a flying machine. With extensive studies of birds and their flights, hang gliders, and even kites, people were obsessed with this idea of developing a machine that can fly.

It was a German engineer, Otto Lilienthal who finally made a real discovery that contributed significantly to the final development of the airplane. Lilienthal seriously the idea advocated by Sir George Cayley almost a hundred years earlier that the lift function and the thrust function of a bird's wings were separate and distinct. He thought they could be imitated by different systems on a fixed wing craft and began working on the idea. In the end he made two very important contributions to the emerging field of airplane invention by perfecting a glider before attempting powered flight and a table of the lift provided by curved wings.

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