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Alexandr Fyodorovich Mozhaisky (1825-1890)
Alexander Mozhaisky, a talented Russian naval officer, scholar and inventor, he still remains the one who invented the world's first airplane.
Alexander Mozhaisky was born in 1825 into a sailor's family. Following in his father's footsteps, he made a highly successful naval career. In 1853 and 54 he circumnavigated the world on board the frigate “Diana”.
Watching the flight of the birds Mozhaisky started, for the first time in his life, thinking about building something able to go up in the air and fly like a bird…
Quitting the Navy, Mozhaisky busied himself studying the fundamentals of aeronautics. He eventually figured out the necessary design and built a scaled down model of the world's first plane which he showcased before a huge crowd in St.Petersburg in the fall of 1876.
Translating the project into life proved a near impossibility, though, because Mozhaisky's brainchild was more than just an airplane, it was a weapon and Russia was then at war with Turkey. The long and arduous work was complete and, in 1882, the first plane was finally in place braving official indifference and enemy intrigues.
Unfortunately, very little information has lived to this day to give us a full picture of that groundbreaking test flight, but it is still enough for us to say that Mozhaisky's was the world's first airplane that was actually able to fly. The plane was very sturdy too. Mozhaisky's success was a major boost to aircraft building everywhere.
After Alexander Mozhaisky's death, Russia's enemies tried hard to consign his invention and his very name to oblivion giving all the credit to the Wright brothers. And still, Mozhaisky's name lived on .
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