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Unformatted text preview: ngines. Since 1926 he has been Professor of Automotive Engineering at
t he Massachusetts Institute of Technology, retiring from active duty there in 1965.
H e is still an active consultant in the field of internal-combustion engines.
Professor Taylor is author, with Charles Chatfield and Shatswell Ober,
of The Airplane and Its Engine ( McGraw Hill, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1948);
with E. S. Taylor, of The Internal Combustion Engine ( International Textbook Co.,
1938, 1948, 1961); and of The Internal Combustion Engine in Theory and Practice
( M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2 vols., 1960, 1968). He has also published
n umerous papers and articles in professional journals.
S. P AUL JOHNSTON, Director July 1, 1969 National Air and Space Museum
VII A cknowledgments
T his publication is based chiefly on the author's close personal connection
with the development of aircraft engines during the period 1 917-1950. I mportant editorial assistance by members of the staff of the National Air and Space
M useum is gratefully acknowledged. Especial thanks are due to Mr. Robert B.
M eyer, Jr., Curator, Propulsion. The bibliography has been edited and arranged
by Dr. Richard K. Smith.
C. FAYETTE TAYLOR VIII A IRCRAFT PROPULSION
A R eview of the Evolution
O f Aircraft Piston Engines ctflfK
Figure 1.—Reproduction of Launoyand Bienvenue helicopter (NASM 1 930-15), using bentbow propulsion, 1784. (Photo A-18232) Figure 2.—Penaud's Planaphore (NASM 1930-17), using rubber-band propulsion, 1871.
(Photo A-19627) E arly Attempts at Propulsion
w ere the earliest
a nd most obvious source of power suggested for flight. I n spite of innumerable attempts, there is no record of heavier-than-air sustained flight having
b een made with this kind of power until 1961, when Derek Piggot, in
H ampshire, England, was reported to have flown 70 yards in a monoplane
t hat was powered by a pedal-driven propeller. 1 O n the other hand, many
e arly balloons were equipped with oars or paddles, and at least two dirigible
b alloons, that of Charles E. Ritchel at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1878
a nd that of d eLome i n Paris, 1863, w ere equipped with propellers driven
by pedals and a manned windlass, respectively. As late as 1907, Cromwell
D ixon of Seattle, Washington, demonstrated a dirigible-airship powered
by a pedal-driven propeller.
T he first successful free flights by a man-made heavier-than-air contrivance seem to have been by model helicopters whose counter-rotating
p ropellers, usually made of bird feathers, were driven by a wooden or
w halebone bow (fig. 1). Charles H. Gibbs-Smith, in his excellent historical
a ccount The Aeroplane, credits the Chinese with this invention, as early as
t he 4th or 5th century, A.D. A French painting of such a device is dated
1460. M odels of this type were flown by Launoy and Bienvenu in France
i n 1784, a nd by Sir George Cayley, "Father of Aerial Navigation," in
1792. A lphonse Penaud (1851-1880) improved on C ayley's design by using
twisted rubber bands, both for model helicopters and for a near-conventional model...
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