Unformatted text preview: nes far too heavy and too low in power for airplane use. Accessory
e quipment such as spark plugs, carburetors, and magnetos was not available
on the open market and had to be obtained from reluctant automobile
b uilders or else built by hand. Worst of all, there was no established body
of good practice, and details of existing practice were either very difficult
to find or else held as closely guarded secrets. In view of these difficulties,
t he accomplishments of the Wrights and the Langley group are all the
m ore remarkable. 17 Figure 15.—Antoinette monoplane with Levavasseur Antoinette engine, 1909. (Photo A-3099) Figure 16.—Levavasseur Antoinette 8-cylinder engine, 1905-1907; 32 hp at 1400 rpm, 93 lb.
(Photo courtesy Science Museum, London) 18 Engines 1903-1909
After the Wrights had demonstrated the actuality of airplane flight, a
p eriod of nearly three years elapsed before anyone else flew in a heavierthan-air craft. Meanwhile the Wrights increased their duration of flight
t o more than half an hour and their distance to nearly 25 miles, both
r ecords accomplished in their flight of 5 October 1905. In 1906 the Hungarian Trajan Vuia, the Dane J. C. H. Ellehammer, and the Brazilian
A lberto Santos-Dumont accomplished flights, hardly more than short
" hops," in airplanes with u nconvincing c ontrol systems. Not until 9 November 1907, did anyone but the Wright brothers stay in the air for as long
as a minute or fly a distance of over a thousand feet. On that date Henri
F arman in a Voisin biplane flew 3,368 ft in 1 min 14 sec, w ith a 50-hp
A ntoinette engine, apparently under good control.
A ntoinette engines (figs. 15 a nd 16) were built in Paris by Levavasseur
as early as 1905 and were to become very important powerplants for European aviation in the next few years. Santos-Dumont used one rated at
24 hp for his " hop" of 772 ft in November 1906. The engines of Farman
a nd Santos-Dumont were 8-cylinder V types rated at 50 and 24 hp, respectively. F arman's e ngine weighed 3 lb, hp, a remarkable figure at that
t ime (see table 1).
A ntoinette engines had m achined-steel cylinders with brass water
j ackets. All were water-cooled V types and were later built in 16- and
3 2-cylinder m odels. Together with the engines of Glenn Curtiss and the
F rench ENV (fr., en V) of 1909, they pioneered the use of the watercooled V-type engine in aeronautics. Other noteworthy details of the
A ntoinette included inlet port fuel injection, and evaporative cooling.
Louis Bleriot also used the 50-hp Antoinette engine in his first tractor
m onoplane, No. VII, w hich flew in December 1907. T he first helicopter
to lift a man off the ground (Paul Cornu, 13 November 1907) was also
p owered with an Antoinette engine. Cody made the first airplane flight
in England on 16 O ctober 1908 w ith an airplane somewhat resembling the
W right in design, powered by the 50-hp Antoinette.
T he year 1908 was memorable for the rapid development of increasingly successful airplanes...
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This document was uploaded on 01/19/2014.
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