The Department of Education of Novocherkassk
Municipal School of General Education#1
13/99 Moskovskaya st., Novocherkassk, Rostov region, Russia, 346400
Information and research project
« The Creation of the First Aircraft »
Leaders of the project:
Coordinator of the Project: N. N. Petrova
Target group: grades 9-11
Project timeframe: 1 academic year
Project type: Information and research
Target group: 9 grade
Coordinator of the project: N.N. Petrova
Institutional framework: the English language, 9 grade
Objectives of the project: to make students acquainted with the history of creation of the first aircraft.
First phase: We chose a theme.
Second phase: We searched information in the Internet.
Third phase: We made a presentation of the project.
The actuality of the project is concluded in the lack of the given in school information about development of ballooning and aeronautics. Today it became one of essential parts of our life but one haven’t even the basic knowledge about its history.
This research work is directed to prepare the information about the beginning of aeronautics era and the creation of first aircraft.
In order to solve the problem one should to explore different sources of information and to gather the main facts of aeronautics history.
The following methods of research was used:
- Analysis and colligation
The beginning of ballooning and aeronautics era
The history of ballooning, both with hot air and gas, spans many centuries. The modern era of lighter-than-air flight began early in the 17th century with Galileo's experiments in which he showed that air has weight. Later following Robert Boyle's Boyle's Law which had been published in 1662, and Henry Cavendish's 1766 work on hydrogen, Joseph Black proposed that if the gaseous element filled a balloon, the inflated object could rise up into the air. Jacques Charles, whose study of gases led to his namesake law of volumes, had studied the works of Cavendish, Black, and Tiberius Cavallo, and also thought that hydrogen could lift a balloon.
Jacques Charles designed the balloon, and the Robert brothers constructed a lightweight, airtight gas bag. Barthelemy Faujas de Saint-Fond organized a crowd-funded subscription to finance the brothers' project. The Roberts dissolved rubber in a solution of turpentine, with which they varnished stitched-together sheets of silk, to make the main envelope. They used alternating strips of red and white silk, but the rubberising varnish yellowed the white silk. Jacques Charles and the Robert brothers began filling the world's first hydrogen balloon on the 23rd of August 1783, in the Place des Victoires, Paris. The balloon was comparatively small, a 35 cubic metre sphere of rubberised silk (about 13 feet in diameter), and only capable of lifting about 9 kg. It was filled with hydrogen that had been made by pouring nearly a quarter of a tonne of sulphuric acid onto half a tonne of scrap iron. On August 27, 1783, the balloon was released. The balloon flew northwards for 45 minutes, pursued by chasers on horseback, and landed 21 kilometres away in the village of Gonesse where the reportedly terrified local peasants attacked it with pitchforks and knives, and destroyed it.
The firs unmanned flight was committed on 19 September 1783. the Montgolfier brothers' balloon Aerostat Réveillon was flown with the first non-human living creatures in a basket attached to the balloon: a sheep called Montauciel, a duck and a rooster. The sheep was believed to have a reasonable approximation of human physiology. The duck was expected to be unharmed by being lifted aloft. It was included as a control for effects created by the aircraft rather than the altitude. The rooster was included as a further control as it was a bird that did not fly at high altitudes. This demonstration was performed before a crowd at the royal palace in Versailles. The flight lasted approximately eight minutes, covered two miles (3 km), and obtained an altitude of about 1,500 feet (460 m). The craft landed safely after flying.
After experimenting with unmanned balloons and flights with animals, the first tethered balloon flight with humans on board took place on October 19, 1783 with the scientist Jean-François Pilatre de Rozier, the manufacture manager, Jean-Baptiste Reveillon and Giroud de Villette, at the Folie Titon in Paris. The first untethered, free flight with human passengers was on 21 November 1783. For this occasion the diameter of the balloon rose to almost 50 feet with a smoky fire slung under the neck of the balloon placed in an iron basket, it was controllable and replenishable by the balloonists. In 25 minutes the two men traveled just over five miles. Enough fuel remained on board at the end of the flight to have allowed the balloon to fly four to five times as far, but burning embers from the fire threatened to engulf the balloon and the men decided to land as soon as they were over open countryside.
The pioneering work of the Montgolfier brothers in developing the hot air balloon was recognized by this type of balloon being named Montgolfiere after them.
On December 1, 1783 professor Jacques Charles and the Robert brothers launched a new, manned hydrogen balloon from the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris, amid vast crowds and excitement. The balloon was held on ropes and led to its final launch place by four of the leading noblemen in France, the Marechal de Richelieu, Marshal de Biron, the Bailli de Suffren, and the Duke of Chaulnes. Jacques Charles was accompanied by Nicolas-Louis Robert as co-pilot of the 380-cubic-metre, hydrogen-filled balloon. Sand ballast was used to control altitude. They ascended to a height of about 1,800 feet (550 m) and landed at sunset in Nesles-la-Vallee after a flight of 2 hours and 5 minutes, covering 36 km. The chasers on horseback, who were led by the Duc de Chartres, held down the craft while both Charles and Robert alighted.
Charles then decided to ascend again, but alone this time because the balloon had lost some of its hydrogen. This time he ascended rapidly to an altitude of about 3,000 metres, where he saw the sun again. He began suffering from aching pain in his ears so he 'valved' to release gas, and descended to land gently about 3 km away at Tour du Lay. Unlike the Robert brothers, Charles never flew again, although a balloon using hydrogen for its lift came to be called a Charliуre in his honour.
The next great challenge was to fly across the English Channel, a feat accomplished on January 7, 1785 by Jean-Pierre Blanchard.
Blanchard went on to make the first manned flight of a balloon in America on January 10, 1793. His hydrogen-filled balloon took off from a prison yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The flight reached 5,800 feet (1,770 m) and landed in Gloucester County, New Jersey.
Gas balloons became the most common type from the 1790s until the 1960s.
The creation of the first aircraft
At the end of 19th century simultaneously with the development of aeronautic, there appeared another type of flying machines – the aircrafts or airplanes. A lot of enthusiasts tried to find an alternative to balloons and dirigibles. So the inventors paied their attention to how birds fly and especially hover in the air and came to the creation of a glider.
The greatest results in making gliders were achieved by Otto Lilienthal. Otto Lilienthal was a German engineer who became known as the Glider King. He was the first person to make well-documented, repeated, successful gliding flights. During his short flying career, Lilienthal developed a dozen models of monoplanes, wing flapping aircraft and two biplanes. He performed his first gliding attempts in the summer of 1891 at the so-called "Windmühlenberg" near to the villages of Krielow and Derwitz which are located west of Potsdam. In 1894, Lilienthal built an artificial conical hill near his home in Lichterfelde, called Fliegeberg ("Fly Hill"). It allowed him to launch his gliders into the wind no matter which direction it was coming from. The hill was 15 metres high. There was a regular crowd of people that were interested in seeing his gliding experiments. His final flight was on 9 August 1896. Lilienthal went, as on previous weekends, to the Rhinow Hills. The day was very sunny and not too hot (about 20 °C). The first flights were successful, reaching a distance of 250 metres in his normal glider. During the fourth flight Lilienthal's glide pitched forward heading down quickly. Lilienthal had previously had difficulty in recovering from this position because the glider relied on weight shift which was difficult to achieve when pointed at the ground. His attempts failed and he fell from a height of about 15 metres, while still in the glider. Lilienthal died there a few hours later (about 36 hours after the crash); his last words to his brother Gustav were "Opfer müssen gebracht werden!" (Sacrifices must be made!).
An Americal Samuel Langley approached most closely to the creation of aircraft. He was an American astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation. Langley got a subsidy of $ 50 000 from the American government, but his two attempts at piloted flight were not successful. Langley began experimenting with rubber-band powered models and gliders. He built a rotating arm (functioning like a wind tunnel) and made larger flying models powered by miniature steam engines. His first success came on May 6, 1896 when his Number 5 unpiloted model flew nearly 3/4 of a mile after a catapult launch from a boat on the Potomac River. On November 11 that year his Number 6 model flew more than 5,000 feet.
A Russian military engineer Alexander Mozhaisky has been working on the idea of flights for 15 years and had designed his own construction of a plane so called “aerodynamo”. On January 21 of 1883 Mozhaysky presented his project to the Russian Technological Society's Seventh Division (Aeronautics). A special presentation was made, and resulted in the assignment of an evaluation commission, which included a Division II (Mechanical) representative. The aircraft however was not powerful enough for flight, and neither the Technological Society nor the Ministry of War could assist Mozhaysky.
In 1885 the Mozhaysky Commission appealed to the Chief of Military Engineering, but the request was not accepted. That same year, the aircraft tried to take off in the presence of authorities, piloted by its mechanic I.N. Golubiov. During the flight trial a wooden member failed, resulting in a broken wing.
The aircraft was originally powered by two steam engines with a total power of 30 horsepower. It had an estimated flight speed of 40 km/h, a gross weight of 950 kilograms, a wingspan of 24 metres and a fuselage length of 15 metres.
The persons who really marked the dawn of the aeroplane era were the Americans, the Wright brothers Orville and Wilbur. In 1904-1905 the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.
The brothers' fundamental breakthrough was their invention of three-axis control, which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium.
They gained the mechanical skills essential for their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice.
The Wright brothers' status as inventors of the airplane has been subject to counter-claims by various parties. Much controversy persists over the many competing claims of early aviators. Edward Roach, historian for the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park argues that they were excellent self-taught engineers who could run a small company, but they did not have the business skills or temperament to dominate the growing aviation industry.
The brothers flew the glider for only a few days in the early autumn of 1900 at Kitty Hawk. In the first tests, probably on October 3, Wilbur was aboard while the glider flew as a kite not far above the ground with men below holding tether ropes.
In camp at Kill Devil Hills, they endured weeks of delays caused by broken propeller shafts during engine tests. After the shafts were replaced (requiring two trips back to Dayton), Wilbur won a coin toss and made a three-second flight attempt on December 14, 1903, stalling after takeoff and causing minor damage to the Flyer. the Wrights finally took to the air on December 17, 1903, making two flights each from level ground into a freezing headwind gusting to 27 miles per hour. The first flight, by Orville at 10:35 am, of 120 feet in 12 seconds, at a speed of only 6.8 miles per hour over the ground, was photographed by John T. Daniels.
Later the brothers continued their flights in public and by 1908 they gained a world-wide fame.
Since ancient times Man had a wish to fly just as birds do it. At the end of the 19th century simultaneously with the development of aeronautics, there appeared another type of flying machines – the aircrafts or aeroplanes.
A lot of enthusiasts in different countries tried to find an alternative to air balloons and dirigibles. As a rule, they began from making and using kites, but a kite cannot carry anything in the air but itself. So the inventors paid their attention to how birds fly and especially hover in the air and, eventually, came to the creation of a glider.
We were able to achieve the supplied goals. The main information about ballooning era and creation of first aircraft was prepared and adapted.
Zigunenko S. V. “100 greatest achievements of aeronautics and cosmonautics”
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