Flight memories

Jul 20 11:10 2017 Relly Victoria Virgil Petrescu Print This Article

Authors: RVV Petrescu and FIT Petrescu

 

According to Aulus Gellius, Archytas, the Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and strategist, was reputed to have designed and built, around 400 BC, the first artificial, self-propelled flying device, a bird-shaped model propelled by a jet of what was probably steam, said to have actually flown some 200 metres. This machine, which its inventor called The Pigeon, may have been suspended on a wire or pivot for its flight.

The 9th century Muslim Berber inventor,Guest Posting Abbas Ibn Firnas's glider is considered by John Harding to be the first attempt at heavier-than-air flight in aviation history.

In 1010 AD an English monk, Eilmer of Malmesbury purportedly piloted a primitive gliding craft from the tower of Malmesbury Abbey. Eilmer was said to have flown over 200 yards (180 m) before landing, breaking both his legs. He later remarked that the only reason he did not fly further was that he forgot to give it a tail, and he was about to add one when his concerned Abbot forbade him any further experiments.

Bartolomeu de Gusmão, Brazil and Portugal, an experimenter with early airship designs. In 1709 demonstrated a small airship model before the Portuguese court, but never succeeded with a full-scale model.

Pilâtre de Rozier, Paris, France, first trip by a human in a free-flying balloon (the Montgolfière), built by Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, 9 km covered in 25 minutes on October 15, 1783. (see Le Globe below for first unmanned flight, 2 months earlier)

Professor Jacques Charles and Les Frères Robert, two French brothers, Anne-Jean and Nicolas-Louis, variously shared three milestones of pioneering flight:

Le Globe, the first unmanned hydrogen gas balloon flew on 26 August 1783.

On 1 December 1783 La Charlière piloted by Jacques Charles and Nicolas-Louis Robert made the first manned hydrogen balloon flight.

On 19 September 1784, La Caroline, an elongated craft that followed Jean Baptiste Meusnier's proposals for a dirigible balloon, completed the first flight over 100 km from Paris to Beuvry.

First heavier than air powered flight, accomplished by an unmanned free flight steam powered monoplane of 10-foot (3.0 m) wingspan, was realized by John Stringfellow, in 1848 in England. In 1868, he flew a powered monoplane model a few dozen feet, at an exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London.

First well-documented Western human glide, was realized by George Cayley, in England year 1853. Cayley also made the first scientific studies of the aerodynamic forces on a winged flying machine and produced designs incorporating a fuselage, wings, stabilizing tail and control surfaces. He discovered and identified the four aerodynamic forces of flight - weight, lift, drag, and thrust. Modern airplane design is based on those discoveries including cambered wings. Cayley is sometimes called the "Father of Aviation".

Matias Perez was a Portuguese pilot, a Cuban resident who, carried away with the ever increasing popularity of aerostatic aircraft, disappeared while attempting an aerostatic flight from Havana's "Plaza de Marte" (currently Parque de la Fraternidad) on June 1856.

First airplane able to lift itself under its own power, was made by the French Victor Tatin in 1874. The Aeroplane was an unmanned plane powered by a compressed-air engine.

First recorded controlled, powered, sustained heavier than air flight, in Wright Flyer, USA, 1903. In the day's fourth flight, Wilbur Wright flew 852 ft (260 m) in 59 seconds. First three flights were approximately 120, 175, and 200 ft (61 m), respectively. The Wrights laid particular stress on fully and accurately describing all the requirements for controlled, powered flight and put them into use in an aircraft which took off from a level launching rail, with the aid of a headwind to achieve sufficient airspeed before reaching the end of the rail. Modern analysis by Professor Fred E. C. Culick and Henry R. Rex (1985) has demonstrated that the 1903 Wright Flyer was so unstable as to be almost unmanageable by anyone.

Traian Vuia (August 17, 1872 - September 3, 1950) was a Romanian inventor and aviation pioneer who designed, built and flew an early aircraft. His first flight traveled about 12 m (40 feet) at Montesson, France on March 18, 1906. This was the first well-documented unassisted takeoff and landing on a level surface by an engine-driven monoplane with a completely-wheeled undercarriage (Aversa et al., 2017 a-e, 2016 a-o; Mirsayar et al., 2017).

After graduating from high-school in Lugoj, Banat, Romania in 1892, he enrolled in the School of Mechanics at the Polytechnic University of Budapest where he received his engineering diploma. He then joined the Faculty of Law in Budapest - Hungary, where he earned a Ph.D. in law in May 1901 with the thesis "Military and Industry, State and Contract regime".

He returned to Lugoj, where he studied the problem of human flight and designed his first flying machine, which he called the "airplane-car". He attempted to build the machine, but due to financial constraints decided to go to Paris in July 1902, hoping to find someone interested in financing his project, possibly balloon enthusiasts. He met with considerable skepticism from people who believed that a heavier-than-air machine could not fly. He then visited Victor Tatin, a well-known theoretician, and experimenter who had built an aircraft model which flew in 1879.

Tatin was interested in the project but doubted that Vuia had a suitable engine or that his aircraft would be stable. Vuia then presented his plan to the Académie des Sciences in Paris on February 16, 1903, and was rejected with the comment:

        „The problem of flight with a machine which weighs more than air can not be solved and it is only a dream.”

Undeterred, Vuia applied for a patent which was granted on August 17, 1903, and published on October 16, 1903. He began to build his first flying machine in the winter of 1902–1903. Overcoming more financial difficulties, he also started construction of an engine of his own design in autumn 1904 and received a patent for it that year in the United Kingdom.

        By December 1905 Vuia has finished construction of his first aircraft, the "Traian Vuia, 1" a high-wing monoplane powered by a carbonic acid gas engine. The liquid carbon dioxide was vaporized in a serpollet boiler, this added heating of the working fluid gave the engine a duration of about three minutes. He chose a site in Montesson, near Paris for testing. At first, he used the machine only as a car, without the wings mounted, so he could gather experience driving it. On March 18, 1906, he made his first flight attempt. After accelerating about 50 meters, the plane left the soil and flew about one meter high for about 12 meters distance, then landed. The British aviation historian Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith described it as "the first man-carrying monoplane of basically modern configuration", and "successful".

Newspapers in France, the U.S. and the United Kingdom wrote about the man they believed was the first to fly in a heavier-than-air machine. Romanian enthusiasts emphasize that Vuia's machine was able to take off from a flat surface by onboard means without outside assistance, such as an incline, rails, or catapult. Debate continues over the precise definition of "first" airplane (see the First flying machine for more discussion).

        After his March 18 takeoff, Vuia made several more short flights in 1906 and 1907. In August 1906 he built a modified version of his flying machine, the "Vuia I bis."

        In 1907, his "Vuia II" airplane, with an Antoinette 25 hp (19 kW) internal combustion engine, was exhibited at the first Aeronautical Salon in Paris.

        Aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont, who made famous short flights in Paris in October and November 1906, recognized Vuia as a "forerunner" of his efforts, as described by Charles Dollfus, the curator of an aeronautical museum in Paris.

        Between 1918 and 1921 Vuia built two experimental helicopters on the Juvissy and Issy-les-Moulineaux aerodromes, contributing to the development of vertical take-off.

Another invention by Vuia was a steam generator with internal combustion that could generate a very high pressure of more than 100 atm (10 MPa) that is still used today in thermal power stations.

On May 27, 1946, Vuia was named an Honorary Member of the Romanian Academy.

Aurel Vlaicu (Romanian pronunciation (November 19, 1882 – September 13, 1913) was a Romanian engineer, inventor, airplane constructor and early pilot.

Aurel Vlaicu was born in Bincinci (now renamed Aurel Vlaicu), Geoagiu, Transylvania. He attended Calvinist High School in Or_tie (renamed "Liceul Aurel Vlaicu" in his honor in 1919) and took his Baccalaureate in Sibiu in 1902. He furthered his studies at Technical University of Budapest and Technische Hochschule München in Germany, earning his engineer's diploma in 1907.

After working at Opel car factory in Rüsselsheim, he returned to Bincinci and built a glider he flew in the summer of 1909. Later that year, he moved to Bucharest, to the Kingdom of Romania, where he began the construction of Vlaicu I airplane; it flew for the first time on June 17, 1910.

With his Vlaicu II model, built in 1911, Aurel Vlaicu won several prizes summing 7,500 Austro-Hungarian kroner (for precise landing, projectile throwing and tight flying around a pole) in 1912 at Aspern Air Show near Vienna, where he competed against 42 other aviators of the day, including Roland Garros.

Aurel Vlaicu died in 1913 near Câmpina while attempting to cross in flight the Carpathian Mountains in his aged Vlaicu II airplane.

The Coand-1910, designed by Romanian inventor Henri Coand, was the first full-size attempt at a jet aircraft. Built as a sesquiplane, it featured an experimental aircraft engine which Coand called the "turbo-propulsor," a centrifugal compressor propulsion system with a multi-bladed rotary fan situated in a duct and driven by a conventional piston engine. The unconventional aircraft attracted attention at the Second International Aeronautical Exhibition in Paris in October 1910, being the only plane without a propeller. Coand used a similar mechanism to drive a snow sled but did not develop it further for aircraft.

Decades later, after the practical demonstration of motorjets and turbojets, Coand asserted that his turbo-propulsor was the first motorjet engine complete with fuel combustion in the air stream. He also said that he had made a single brief flight in December 1910, crashing just after take-off, the aircraft destroyed by fire.

 

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About Article Author

Relly Victoria Virgil Petrescu
Relly Victoria Virgil Petrescu

Ph.D. Eng. Relly Victoria V. PETRESCU

Senior Lecturer at UPB (Bucharest Polytechnic University), Transport, Traffic and Logistics department,

Citizenship: Romanian;

Date of birth: March.13.1958;

Higher education: Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Faculty of Transport, Road Vehicles Department, graduated in 1982, with overall average 9.50;

Doctoral Thesis: "Contributions to analysis and synthesis of mechanisms with bars and sprocket".

Expert in Industrial Design, Engineering Mechanical Design, Engines Design, Mechanical Transmissions, Projective and descriptive geometry, Technical drawing, CAD, Automotive engineering, Vehicles, Transportations.

Association:

Member ARoTMM, IFToMM, SIAR, FISITA, SRR, SORGING, AGIR.

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