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Unformatted text preview: ycle" gasoline
e ngine began with developments in England and Germany in the 1880s,
s timulated by automobile development. Its application to aircraft came soon
after. The first flight with this type of engine was apparently that of a
d irigible airship designed by David Schwartz. The flight took place in
G ermany in 1897.
A lberto S antos-Dumont, in Paris in 1898, flew a dirigible equipped
w ith a pair of "tricycle" engines in tandem, rated together at 3% h p a n d
weighing, it is said, 66 lb, or 19 l b/hp. T hese engines were probably forerunners of the 3-hp Clement engine used by D umont for his one-man
d irigible airship flown during the summer of 1903. T his engine was a 2cylinder V-type, air cooled, and weighed 8.8 lb/hp. It is on exhibit at the
S mithsonian's National Air and Space Museum (NASM 1908-1).
T he first successful heavier-than-air flight powered by a gasoline
engine was that of Langley's %-size m odel, which flew 350 ft on 18 June
1901, a nd 1,000 ft on 8 August 1903. T he engine (fig. 8) was a 5-cylinder
air-cooled radial, designed and built by Stephen M. Balzer and redesigned
a nd rebuilt by Charles M. Manly. It produced 3.2 hp at 1800 rpm with a
weight of 7 lb (see table 1, p. 88, for other data). At 2.2 lb/hp, this engine
c an legitimately be described as remarkable for its time. Figure 9 shows a
l etter from Manly giving some data on this engine that were not published
in the Langley Memoir.
T here is still some controversy, however academic and futile, about
w ho made the first man-carrying powered flight. If short straight-ahead
" hops" a re counted as "flights," then the claims of Ader and Du Temple,
p re-date the well documented flights of the Wright brothers in 1903. T hese
8 Figure 8.—Gasoline engine used in Langley's quarter-size model aerodrome (NASM 1950-3); 3.2 hp
at 1800 rpm, 7 lb (without battery), 1901. (Photo A-23759) were also short hops but they demonstrated good control and were followed
soon after by sustained flights. Certainly the Wright brothers developed
t he first practical, controllable airplane; and their flights at Kitty Hawk,
N orth Carolina, on 17 D ecember 1903, mark the beginning of this revolutionary achievement. Also, the engine they used in 1903, and in their
s ubsequent flights, was their own design.
T he Wright engine of 1903, and the Langley full-scale engine completed late in 1901, and tested in 1902, 1903, and 1904, may be taken as
t he real beginning of the age of the reciprocating internal-combustion
e ngine in aeronautics. As such, these engines are worthy of some detailed
a ttention. Wright Brothers' Engine, 1903
L ittle was known about the accomplishments of the Wright brothers
u ntil some years after their flights of 17 D ecember 1903. F igure 10 shows
a s hort and amusingly inaccurate report in The New York Times of 26
D ecember 1903, w hich attracted little attention. M A N L Y AND V E A L
250 WEST ENGINEERS
54T" STREET NEW YORK
A pril 2 7 , 1926.
P rofessor C. F ayette Taylor,
A eronaut! c al Ds partuient ,
M assachusetts I n s t i t u t e of T echnology,
Cambridge A, M assachusetts*
Dear Professor T aylor...
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This document was uploaded on 01/19/2014.
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