The Age Of Aerospace Learning from the Past

The Age Of Aerospace Learning from the Past - INTRODUCTION...

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INTRODUCTION Human beings have always been fascinated by flight. Cave people carved, sculpted, and painted winged creatures soaring through the sky. Greek mythology tells of the winged horse Pegasus, ancient Persian myths tell of winged bulls that guarded the royal halls, and a 4000 year old Chinese story, from the Annals of The Bamboo Books, describes how the Emperor Shun escaped from captivity by "donning the work-clothes of a bird." People struggled for centuries to make human flight a reality, and they succeeded. Man worked for decades to bring about the first space flight, and as the 20th century draws to an end, we look to Mars and beyond in hopes of success. Purpose Throughout this document you will find that the following three fundamental concepts, when applied in conjunction with one another, have lead to the most dramatic aerospace advances. 1. Public awareness and excitement. 2. International and intranational competition. 3. Motivation to set and attain goals. Areas of interest This document will delve into the following areas, in an effort to learn from the successes and failures of our predecessors. 1. The history of flight. 2. The history of the U.S. space program. 3. Current aerospace technologies. This knowledge will then be used to glimpse into man's future in the Age of Aerospace. Figure 1: The Egyptian goddess Isis. (1) THE HISTORY OF FLIGHT Introduction Mans' early attempts at flight met with utter disaster. People would climb high cliffs or towers, armed with magic spells, homemade wings, or a combination of the two, and plunge to their deaths as they attempted to fly. Figure 2 illustrates an apparatus designed for such a tower flight. The American Heritage History of Flight credits Roger Bacon as the first man to take a scientific approach to flying. Bacon described a machine that would use man powered artificial wings to beat the air like the
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wings of a bird. Although Bacon envisioned a flying machine, he made no attempt to create one. The first great scientific pioneer of aviation would not come along until 150 years after Roger Bacon. Figure 2: A flying apparatus designed by the French locksmith Besnier. AH PG 28. Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, architect, musician, and mathematician. He detailed his ideas and inventions in a series of manuscripts and drawings, Figure 3, which he left with a friend. These documents did not receive serious consideration until the late 19th century. Although science had overtaken most of his ideas by this time, his towering genius resounded from his works. Da Vinci's manuscripts detailed designs for the following: 1. Parachute 2. Ornithopters (flapping wing devices) 3. Balloons 4. Kites 5. Helicopter Da Vinci's ideas were followed by years of ludicrous theories of flight. These theories, and the tales of those who attempted to validate them,
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2008 for the course PP 315 taught by Professor Shew during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.

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The Age Of Aerospace Learning from the Past - INTRODUCTION...

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