For Aircraft enthusiasts: the Wright Brother's wings.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Blazer, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    In aviation history Otto Lilienthal will always be the man who changed everything, he made the first functional gliders and his theories on how to make planes fly were considered to be the bible for early aviators.

    Lilienthal decided to be the generous guy and published a book, helping fellow aviators out on reaching for the skies.
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    So far that’s all public knowledge but once THESE two pioneers came into view something happened that the general public didn’t know about.

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    The Wright Brothers kept a close eye on what the other aviation pioneers were doing and they noticed something amiss. Because as they were working on their engine powered plane, they were almost beaten to the Punch by Samuel Pierpont Langley, who attempted to launch a motorized plane from a boat. But the plane fell into the water straight away.

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    So why wouldn’t Langley’s plane fly, what did he do wrong? The Wrights learned that Langley worked with Lilienthal’s book and used the latter’s wing and propeller design. But when the Wrights did their research using a wind tunnel the found out to their own shock that Lilienthal’s designs were wrong, they would NEVER work for controlled and powered flight.

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    Once the Wright brothers had redesigned their wings, they found that their gliders performed much better and getting a motorized plane in the air all of a sudden was child’s play.

    Not many people know this but the Wright brothers’ wing designs are STILL used in modern day planes
     
  2. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

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    However, two fun facts:

    1. A group of researchers recently put together an exact model of the Wright Flyer flown on December 17, 1903. After repeated trials with multiple qualified pilots including test pilots they discovered that it was incredibly unstable in the pitch axis, meaning that the pilot spent his entire time trying to prevent either a rapid, uncontrolled dive or a sudden pitch upwards into a stall. The plane was virtually unflyable. The flight lengths they recorded that first day were about all you could expect from their first design before a crash.

    2. The Wrights achieved control in flight by means of "wing-warping," ie. using cables to physically deform the trailing edge of the wings and elevator/stabilizers to allow control of flight. They also quickly patented virtually everything having to do with their plane, so their control system was off-limits to others who were experimenting unless with flight unless they payed a (rather high) licensing fee to the Wrights. That forced another inventor, Glenn Curtiss, to consider other options. Seeing that the warping practice was limited, he developed hinged ailerons, elevators, and rudder. Unlike the Wrights, Curtis saw into the future and felt that something as foundational as reliable control would be needed by all if the art of flight was to thrive so he patented his creation but allowed it into the public domain. And that is why most aircraft today use hinged ailerons, elevators, and rudders.

    Bob
     
  3. 4 Cat Slim

    4 Cat Slim Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for another aviation post, Blazer!
    Not trying to be funny, but I had always been curious about why Otto Lilienthal (in general) did not seem to be held in such high regard as some other pioneers of aviation. The photo of Langley's aircraft in several feet of water offers the possible explanation that his wings were designed for gliding, not powered flight.
     
  4. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Great post Blazer.

    Really wonderful read on early aviation is Wings of Madness about Alberto Santos-Dumont. The competition early on was intense.
     
  5. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    Gustave Whitehead.
    First powered controlled flight.
    Connecticut, August 1901.
     
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  6. jimbo735

    jimbo735 Tele-Afflicted

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    Dont forget the the guys that flew before the Wright brothers on the shores of lake Mich.
     
  7. Cesspit

    Cesspit Tele-Meister

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    Way to go blazer. I learned years ago in the air cadets that aeroplanes are 'sucked' into the air. It's great stuff.
     
  8. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic

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    Another great genius of the day. Great post.
     
  9. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Everyone seems to forget the first powered flight in 1848 by John Stringfellow in Chard, Somerset
     
  10. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Why no mention of Max Krator, inventor of powered flight and crossed the Atlantic in 1576.
     
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  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    I was at the Smithsonian Museum last year with the family and saw their display of the Wright Brothers work that made the whole visit worthwhile -- it was about this very topic and confirmed the conclusions, that their wind tunnel testing was showing all the other work was wrong. I'm close to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village with the Wright Brothers workshop where they did the work and building and this detail about the testing and findings has been absent from that exhibit (since I was a kid). So it was good to uncover the background.

    .
     
  12. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic

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    RC model (not to scale) of the Wright Flyer, flown FPV (first person View).

    Model has actual wing warping controls. :cool:

     
  13. emisilly

    emisilly Tele-Afflicted

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    Langley still ended up OK as he had both an aircraft carrier and a major Air Force based named after him.

    Great post as always Blazer!
     
  14. otterhound

    otterhound Poster Extraordinaire

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    One of the major obstacles encountered by the Wright brothers was to create a power plant that was both light enough and powerful enough for their design .
     
  15. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Ad Free Member

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    Nice! Thanks for the informative post. I don't just come here for the guitar and music posts, you know. I learn a whole bunch of stuff I'm interested in but never knew from people like yourself here. Much appreciated!
     
  16. Mechanic

    Mechanic Friend of Leo's

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    Thank You Blazer for another day of education in aviation!
     
  17. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    David Mcullough's book on the Wright brothers is amazing... visiting Kitty Hawk is also amazing.

    One of the really interesting things is there are a lot of conspiracy theories about other (European mostly) aviators being ahead of the Wrights.

    The Wrights kind of went into "secret mode" after their initial flights at Kitty Hawk. They were putting in a ton of work in up in Dayton without showing anyone.

    There are direct quotes in the book from most of the famous European aviators that contradict most of the conspiracy theories... when the Wrights finally went to Europe their competitors realized they were WAY ahead. Talk of flying around in circles for 30 minutes, etc.. when everyone else was still trying to do little hops.

    Kind of wish I had gotten to see some of the Glenn Curtis related stuff in San Diego recently. His work was fascinating too.
     
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