AVSC 1010 Lecture 2 - AVSC 1010 Lecture 2 The greatest...

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AVSC 1010 Lecture 2 The greatest breakthrough in the history of aviation was not made by one great scientist, but by two Dayton, Ohio, bicycle makers. Orville and Wilbur Wright struggled through years of failure before making their historic flight on a sandy dune in North Carolina. Their efforts required a thorough observation of previous work on gliders; to that they added the development of steerable control devices and the production of a lightweight engine to power the aircraft. They refined their model through years of extensive testing. The Wright Brothers firmly believed that for the basic glider designs to become successful as powered airplanes, the aircraft had to be more controllable than gliders. The Wrights made close observations of birds in flight. They noted that birds change the shape of their wings continually during different flight conditions by moving their tail feathers in and out of the wind and changing the curvature of their primary wings. They called this phenomenon “wing warping” and began designing cord control wing warping devices, which they would later attach to a glider. They selected a windy hill in North Carolina, Kill Devil Hill, on which to perform their initial flight tests and began making annual excursions from Ohio beginning in 1900. After their first year of glider tests, they developed an effective wing warping device that allowed the aircraft to turn. A series of cables moved by the pilot changed the shape of either the right or the left wing. This effectively increased lift on the wing with greater curvature and caused it to bank up higher than the other wing. However, the 1901 glider was difficult to control and the Wrights were forced to return to their Dayton workshop. They developed a series of wind tunnel tests that enabled them to refine their initial designs. They recorded their experience in their own words. How We Made the First Flight, by Orville Wright, was published in 1913 in the Aero Club of America Bulletin. What were the Wrights’ major achievements? Were the Wrights the first to achieve flight? No. The Wrights are historically proven to be the first to attain powered, sustained, manned, heavier-than-air flight on Dec. 17, 1903. Montgolfier’s balloon pilot achieved the first known manned flight. The first heavier-than-air flights were performed by whoever flew the first gliders. Powered glider flights were made even before the Wrights’ first flight. The French, Germans, and Brazilians all claim that they had inventors who accomplished this feat before the Wrights, yet only the Wrights have the historical proof in photographs and newspaper coverage to maintain that they were first. The Wrights kept refining their ideas after 1903, presenting their ideas to Europeans and to the U. S. military. They sparked the great explosion of airplane inventions that followed their flight.
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This note was uploaded on 09/04/2011 for the course AVSC 1010 taught by Professor Green during the Fall '11 term at Utah Valley University.

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AVSC 1010 Lecture 2 - AVSC 1010 Lecture 2 The greatest...

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