History of aicraft piston engines

in n rth c arolina w ill b e f ully reported to i ht

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Unformatted text preview: forward T he m a c h i n e , It Is Bald, can be rals> d or lowered w ith p er,|, and c an c a r r y a strong; g a s o line engine capable of m a k i n g a t peed of t> n m iles an hour T h e test m ad.- In N '«rth C arolina w ill b e f ully reported to I ht O r d n a n c e Board of tho W a r D e p a r t m e n t , and If t he m a c h i n e comm e n d s i f . if sufficiently, f u r t h e r t ests will b e m a d e In t he vicinity of W a s h i n g t o n , a nd a nge a s ale of the dernment. The use to which J p ut It would be In w ork, and possibly in torpe.J. • I n spite of the fact that the flights near Dayton in 1904 and 1905 w ere witnessed by numerous people, the press ignored them. The first eyewitness report published was a letter in Gleanings in Bee Culture, M edina, O hio, 1 J anuary 1905, by its publisher, A. I. Root, under the title " What G od Hath Wrought." This article is reproduced by Gibbs-Smith in his book The Aeroplane. An early public report by the Wrights themselves appeared in t he S eptember 1908 issue of Century Magazine, a p ublication similar in content a nd format to Harpers a nd the Atlantic Monthly. I r ecall discovering this a rticle when our copy arrived at home, and I remember that my father, in spite of the many photographs of the machine in flight, refused to believe that human flight had been achieved. This attitude, five years after t he Wright's first flight, was pretty general at the time, partly on account of the great number of false claims of flight which had been made in the p ast. These spurious claims also account for the seemingly incredible 11 absence of reports by the Dayton press, whose representatives, after witnessing two unsuccessful attempts at flights made in 1904, failed to report eyewitness a ccounts of the many flights made in 1904 and 1905, or even to go eight miles out of town to see for themselves! T he Century a rticle is extraordinary for its simple and beautiful expository style, and for its evidence of the almost excessive modesty of the b rothers Wright, together with their rationality and persistence. I believe t hat it should be rated as a classic in American scientific literature. T he 1903 Wright engine (fig. 11) was designed by the brothers and b uilt with the assistance of their faithful mechanic Charles E. Taylor (fig. 12; h e is not related to the writer). This engine is especially well described by Robert B. Meyer in the Annual Report of the . . . Smithsonian Institution . . .for the year ended June 30, 196 J. I t was a 4-cy Under water-cooled, h orizontal engine of 200-cu-in. displacement, with automatic inlet valves. Figure 11.—Engine f rom Wright b rothers'1903 airplane (NASM 1961-48); 12 hp at 1090 rpm, 179 lb. (Photos A-38626-B) 12 F uel was supplied by gravity from a small can on top of the engine. From t here it flowed through an adjustment valve to a surface carburetor in the i ntake manifold, which was heated by the cylinder water jacket. Ignition was...
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