Insights into Aerospace Engineering and Aviation
On December 17 1903 a bicycle mechanic Orville Wright piloted the first heavier-than-air airplane along a 60 foot launch rail with his brother running alongside him to prevent the wing tip from touching the floor. The Wright Flyer was constructed mainly from wood and canvas and was powered by a 12 horse-power petrol engine, connected to two large propellers with, unsurprisingly, a set of bicycle chains. This flying machine lifted 10 feet into the air, flying erratically for 12 seconds before landing rather clumsily 120 feet from the starting point. Just 66 years later Neil Armstrong was walking on the moon!
Besides the computer the invention of the modern airplane is THE invention that revolutionised the 20th century. Modern jumbo jets have shrunk the world and have made international travel possible for any ordinary human being. Just consider the awesome engineering achievement of the original Boeing 747. Its wing span is longer than the original Wright Flyer flight and since its inauguration in 1970 it has transported more than 3.5 billion passenger, which is half the world’s current population .
The technical story of flight is and continues to be of incredible human effort and ingenuity, requiring tremendous advances in science and engineering.
This Blog discusses the dream of human flight and especially past and present ordeals to perfect it!
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