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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » 100 Years of Flight (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RiffClown
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Yorktown, Virginia (Previously Germany)
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Today is the Centennial Anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight. What a long way we've come.
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
RandyStewart
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Texas (USA)
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Rob,

I live four blocks from DFW airport (Dallas). When taking a flight, I'm so close, that I suppose I could just walk there while pulling luggage on wheels but have kind neighbors who spare me the four block drive and cost of parking.

Only downside is, while at home day or night, I hear every incoming flight......and yes we have a very busy airport. We downtown creatures just ain't right.
RiffClown
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I can definitely identify with that. I've lived in the flight pattern of several Air Force bases. If you think the commercial jets are loud, you should hear the C-5 Galaxies Take off or even EA6B Prowlers and F-16 Falcons on full afterburner.
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Jordan Piper
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British Columbia, Canada
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I read a blurb in the newspaper saying the Wright brothers may not have been the first to fly, but rather a spanish man. Has any one else heard of this? I'll try and dig up the article. My mistake, he was from Brazil. Here's the link: Click HERE
eddieloughran
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The Wright Bros where definitely not the first to fly.
Balloons have been used since the 1700's although Marco Polo credits manned kites in 14th centuary China.
The first full sized, manned glider was flowen in 1809 - Yorkshire.

These were lighter than air, and unpowererd.

The Wright Brothers claim is to the first heavier than air, manned, powered flight.

A German living in America, Gustave Whitehead, claims flights from 1901, and these flights may have been witnessed.

THere was so much arguing over the claim to the first flight that the Wright Bros machine was sent to an English museum.
It was returned to the Smithsonian after 20 years only on the condition that they would never publish or display a statement that there had been earlier flights.

We will never know the truth, its a pity that no one seems to want to try.
Eddie
irossall
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Snohomish, Washington
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Most historical firsts are not really firsts. Most people don't know that the first television was made in the 1800,s and the telephone was not only invented by Mr. Bell but had another person or even person's working on it at the same time. Usually it is the first person to get a patent on their invention that gets all of the credit.
Iven Smile
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kilgourpower
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London
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I still cant figure out how planes fly,There TOO HEAVY,and MADE OF METAL! but still fly across oceans and stuff! It freaks me out! No loops involved. I swear its an illusion?!??!

I live next door to Heathrow airport and kinda miss the concorde,It used to thunder across the sky at 11am every morning. Waking me up! Smile
RandyStewart
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Texas (USA)
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Quote:
On 2003-12-19 10:17, kilgourpower wrote:
I live next door to Heathrow airport and kinda miss the concorde,It used to thunder across the sky at 11am every morning. Waking me up! Smile


I'd love to sleep in 'till 11:00 AM! Smile

But even on weekends when I can afford to do so, the internal clock goes off and wide awake at least by 7:30 Ugh!
Steve Friedberg
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Well, if anyone saw the re-enactment, you just knew it was doomed to failure from the get-go...three reasons:

- Too much wind.
- Too much rain.
- Orville got stopped at the security checkpoint with a pair of nail clippers.

:bg:
Cheers,
Steve

"A trick does not fool the eyes, but fools the brain." -- John Mulholland
RiffClown
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Quote:
On 2003-12-19 06:01, eddieloughran wrote:

THere was so much arguing over the claim to the first flight that the Wright Bros machine was sent to an English museum.
Eddie


Actually, the dispute was with the Smithsonian itself. They credited Samuel P. Langley's Aerodrome with first flight even though it launched from a boat and hit the water almost immediately. The fact that Langley was the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and had been granted a lot of money by the US Government to do research had much to do with it. He wasn't about to be upstaged by a couple of Bicycle Builders that got into the fray so late.
Quote:
December 8, 1903 - Samuel P. Langley's "Aerodrome," piloted by Charles Manley, plunges into the Potomac River on the second launching attempt and is completely wrecked

This was to "quantify" funds received from the government as successful. The Wright's secrets were also shared with competitors even though they were shared in confidence.

Samuel P. Langley, the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, succeeded in launching the first reasonably large, steam-powered model aircraft on flights of up to three quarters of a mile over the Potomac River but the flights were uncontrolled and unmanned. The Wrights' claim to fame was that their aircraft was under the "control" of the pilot at all times. Upon successful first flight, their patent application was not for the flyer but for the methods to control flight about 3 axis.

The Flyer was sent to the Science Museum in London in the late 20's where it was exhibited for 20 years. Only when the Smithsonian apologized for their misleading information concerning Samuel P. Langley and give proper credit to the Wrights did Orville consent to the flyer returning to American soil. World War II prevented the flyer from being transported out of Europe until it was finally donated to the Smithsonian on Dec 17, 1948. Most of the information published or blessed by the Smithsonian concerning First Flight is worded extremely carefully to "save face" while acknowledging the accomplishments at Kitty Hawk.

I won't jump into the Gustave Whitehead fray because I'm not an authority in that respect. I will provide this link. I don't have the references or background for this article but it is interesting reading in that respect.

I will concede that history is not made up of events but of individuals' recollection, documentation and viewpoints of the events. For example, reading American textbooks and English (British) textbooks concerning the American Revolutionary period will provide extremely diverse accounts of those events. Truth is merely a matter of your perspective.
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>http://www.riffclown.com
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
ChrisZampese
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Hamilton, NZ
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Well, I have to put a plug in here for Richard Pearce!
"Who?" I hear you say! He was a New Zealander who developed his own airplane around the same time as the wright brothers. Some say that he flew about 8 months before the wright brothers, but it is definitely a debatable point.
Check out this Link for more info about who was first

It must have been amazing for the wright brothers to watch the development of flight, and sad too to see its use in the world wars.

Like a lot of technologies in the last century, flight has gone through fantastically rapid development....

Happy anniversary manned, heavier-than-air flight!
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are
vratkins
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New Orleans USA
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I like Richard Pearce. He did an amazing thing. And he never claimed his was the first manned controlled flight. He gave full credit to the Wrights.
To be clear, the Wrights never claimed the first manned heaver than air flight, citing Hiram Maxim and Clement Alder as predicessors in that regard. The Wrights clamed the first heavier than air, manned, controlled and sustained flight.
I was fully convinced that the Wrights did "teach the world to fly" when I saw a chart showing the progress of flight over time. It was a plot of the length of flights, both gliding and powered. Pre-Wrights - no change, all were short flights showing no improvement over time. After the Wright's flight, there was rapid improvement, first of the Wrights own flights, then everywhere after the publication of their patent in 1905.

Rob, when it comes to aviation history, you're no clown.
Thanks.
Victor
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