History of Aircraft

Essay by wwarmfieUniversity, Bachelor's April 2006

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Throughout the history of flight aircraft has seen many changing faces. From pictures and sketches of models to the Boeing 747s that takes over airports today, aircrafts are constantly changing. Once the Wright Brothers took off from Kitty Hawk, drawings became a reality, allowing man and machine to combine and changing how people thought about travel. The future of aircraft has the capabilities of breaking larger barriers of speed, power, and vertical lift.

Before the 19th century there were many conceptual ideas, and drawings that are resemblances of the basic aircraft for flight. There were many attempts and rare successes of seconds of flights that individuals raised eyebrows too. A few men in particular were able to design and publish data that was crucial to future successes. The findings of Penaud, Mauillard, Lilienthal, Montgomery, and Chanute compiled propeller driven-driven designs, aero designs, successful hand glider flights, published lift and drag data, and patented wing warping.

Overtime, Chanute became the brothers' mentor in their earlier experimental stages. However, the Wright Brothers were the first to have a planned development program that led to controlled flight. Kitty Hawk was selected as the test site due to its combination of remoteness and dunes used to launch glider flights, along with sea winds to create a natural wind tunnel. The first test was conducted on October 6 1900. After numerous attempts and failures, accumulated with various versions of aircraft, on October 10th 1902 a controllable airplane finally took flight. During this month over 400 controlled flights were documented and photographed. A key piece that the Wright Brothers' began testing and gathering data from, was a wind tunnel that gave them lift and drag data. Their next step in the process was to build an engine to power the aircraft.

The first run with the...