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The Airplane: An Incredible Innovation
Transcript of The Airplane: An Incredible Innovation
The brothers built a movable track on Kill Devil Hill just outside of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to help launch the Wright Flyer. After two attempts (one of which resulted in a minor crash), Orville Wright succeeded in flying a 12-second, sustained flight 120 feet above the ground. This was the first successful powered, manned, and controlled flight in history. Early Innovators: Orville and Wilbur Wright He developed a quarter-scale flying model to test-fly (August, 1903). Although it struggled to leave the ground, it was the first successful gasoline-powered aircraft to fly. Langley then constructed a full-size Aerodrome A based off his model. "The fact that the great scientist, Professor Langley, believed in flying machines, was one thing that encouraged us to begin studies."
- Wilbur Wright Often referred to as the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright have been credited with flying the first powered, controlled, man-carrying, heavier-than-air aircraft.
On December 17, 1903 , they carried out the first successful flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with a machine they christened The Flyer. As with any new innovation, many within society felt unsure about the airplane. The majority of people greeted the idea of this new technology with skepticism for three main reasons: Society's Scepticism Before building their flyer, the Wright brothers studied aeronautics and applied their knowledge through test-flying their own gliders. From 1900 to 1902, Orville and Wilbur Wright built three gliders, two of which were unsuccessful. With the tremendous success of their 1902 glider, the Wright brothers became confident enough to take on the task of building an airplane. Wilbur Wright
(April 16, 1867 - May 30, 1912) Orville Wright
(August 19, 1871 - January 30, 1948) The majority of the plane was made from wood; the body was spruce, the wings were slabs of ash with sheets of tarp stretched over them, and the outriggers were bamboo.
Powered by an engine and a propeller (found behind the pilot's seat)
Capacity: 1 passenger
Crew: 1 (pilot)
Wingspan: 38 feet
Length: 29 feet
Weight: 700 lbs
Maximum Speed: 50 mph Benefits and Drawbacks Alternate Methods of Transportation Just like every other innovation on that list, airplanes are a staple in modern day society. Although majorly underappreciated, the invention and further development of the airplane allowed humans to travel great distances within a few hours, something that was unheard of centuries ago. We chose to study the airplane because of its relevance in society and because of its fascinating history. The development of the airplane brought about a tremendous amount of social change; this innovation altered war tactics, increased the convenience of travel while simultaneously decreasing travel time, and fueled the process of technological change. Its development allowed humans to achieve the seemingly unachieveable; finally, we were the masters of controlled flight. Why Did We Choose To Study This? Airplanes: Then and Now Curtiss Model D (1911) Boeing 787 Dreamliner (2011) The majority of the plane is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic; used on the fuselage, tail, wings, doors, and interior.
Powered by two engines (found on the wings)
Capacity: 210-250 passengers
Crew: 2 (pilot, co-pilot)
Wingspan: 197 feet
Length: 186 feet
Weight: 502,500 lbs
Maximum Speed: 593 mph Humans were testing the power of flight, something previously thought to be impossible. Figuring out the right combination of factors to get a plane off the ground was difficult, and the wrong designs resulted in crashes. Particularly in the early years of aviation exploration, there was no guarantee that the plane would stay above ground. Safety Comfort For over a decade, it was a challenge to get people comfrotable enough to step onboard an airplane. By the 1920s, air attendants and stewardesses were hired to reassure the passengers and keep them calm. Cost The airplane itself is expensive to manufacture, fuel and maintain, resulting in expensive air fare. Flying is costly - even to this day, many cannot afford the luxury of flight. Air traffic contributes largely to pollution, our deteriorating ozone layer, and climate change. "An Aviation and Global Climate Change" study found that air travel is the world's fastest growing source of greenhouse gases. According to this study, the world's 16,000 commercial airplanes emit more than 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that, by 2050, aircraft emissions could be responsible for up to 15% of global warming produced by human activities. Aviation in World War I Caudron G.4
An early French bomber used by the French during WWI, this plane was built specifically to attack targets on the battlefield, but could also strike deep within enemy lines. Curtiss JN-4
Developed by Glenn Curtiss and B. Douglas Thomas, the JN (or Jenny) became the most successful American trainer of the war. Its rear cockpit was used for the first Army Aeromedical Evacuation. Halberstadt CL.IV
An effective light bomber introduced by the Germans in March 1918. These high-performance, two-seat bombers were used in "battle flights", which consisted of four to six aircrafts striking at specific points on the battlefield. After the war, many WWI veterans, having just learned to fly, were not willing to abaondon the joy of flight. These pilots sought enjoyment through aviation by any means necessary. Along with the exhibition pilots before WWI, these pilots - better known as "barnstormers" - performed aerial demonstrations across the country wherever anyone would pay them to fly. The recklessness of these pilots and their high death rate gave aviation a dangerous reputation. As the need for quicker and more convenient travel continues to grow, airports are moving in on green areas, destroying the habitats of the plants and animals that live there. Before the airplane design succeeded in its testing, society had adopted other methods of transportation. The most popular ways to travel long distances were by train, steamboat or ocean liners. Automobiles were developed to travel shorter distances and used by those who could afford to purchase them. As well, travelling by horse-drawn carriage or on horseback was common. For those who were brave enough to venture into the air, the hot air balloon was a popular form of flight. However, the balloon could not be manually controlled - the passengers would travel in the direction of the wind. Travelling by air is one of the fastest methods of transportation available to us. Flying decreases travel time, allowing people to get where they need to be quickly.
Allows us to visit parts of the world that were previously thought of as being inaccessable.
Through flying, we can see an area in its totality, giving us a bird's eye view of the landscape below.
All flights must follow certain rules and regulations as well as operational schedules, making air travel one of the safest forms of transportation.
Airplanes allow us to keep in touch with those in other countries through quick and easy travels. Benefits: Drawbacks Bringing About Change Early 1400s – First attempts at flying are made; inventors attached feathers to themselves and mimicked the wing motions of birds Timeline of Flight 1485 – Leonardo da Vinci designs flying machine (The Ornithopter) 1783 – The first successful air flight achieved in hot air balloon by Jean François Pilâtre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes (Aerostat Reveillon) 1800s–1900s – Inventors such as George Cayley and Otto Lilienthal succeed in getting gliders airborne 1902 - Wilbur and Orville Wright design a successful glider
1903 - Wilbur and Orville Wright successfully fly a powered, controlled, manned plane (Wright Flyer) 1941–1958 – the age of propeller airliners; new technology led to the creation of piston-engine aircrafts 1958–present-day – the commercial jet age; the development of more powerful engines enabled manufacturers to build larger, faster, and more productive aircrafts 1890–1896 – Clement Ader and Samuel Pierpont Langley succeed in flying the first uncontrolled steam-powered planes (Éole) (Aerodrome No. 5) Although travelling by air was already possible by hot air balloon, innovators were unsatisfied with it. People were unable to control the direction of which the balloon travelled.
Automobiles, trains, and carriages were unable to navigate difficult terrains, resulting in more travel time for passengers.
Although steamboats were useful in travelling across oceans, travel time was, once again, an issue.
Innovators believed that they could develop a safe mode of transportation that man could control that also shortened travel time for its passengers. http://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/gal102/americabyair/heyday/index.cfm (1)
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blearlyflight2.htm Bibliography The Nation's Hangar: Aircraft Tresures of the Smithsonian, from the National Air and Space Museum's Steve F. Udvar-Hazy Centre. Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C. 2011. It's a natural human trait to try and achieve the seemingly unachievable. And, for centuries, this is exactly what the human population has tried to do: we have tried to master the art of flying. However, after many early innovations, it seemed that, without the dynamic feathering and wings of birds, we were destined to remain on the ground.
It wasn't until the late eighteenth century that Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes ascended into the skies over France in a successful hot-air balloon, becoming the first men to fly. And, nearly a century later, man developed more complex flying machines, eventually tackling the problems of developing a successful powered, controlled, piloted, and heavier-than-air flying machine. Both Langley and his assistant, Charles Manly - who volunteered to fly Langley's Aerodrome A - lacked flight experience.
On October 7th and December 3rd of 1903, the Aerodrome A was put to the test. However, during both flights, the machine broke in half and fell into the Potomac River below. Langley's reputation was ruined by his failure. He gave up aviation and passed away only three years later. However, his earlier experiments in 1896 proved that controlled flight was possible and that research into aerodynamics was a worthy cause. Additionally, his work helped inspire the Wright Brothers. He tested almost 100 different aircraft designs and, by 1892, he was ready to experiment with steam-powered flying models.
Like many others before him, his first attempts at flying were unsuccessful. However, his Aerodrome No. 5 (a steam-powered, unmanned aircraft) succeeded on May 6th, 1896. It flew 3,330 feet in the air. Early Innovators: Samuel Pierpont Langley From then on, interest in aviation gathered momentum. With the success of the Wright Brothers' flights widely known, no one could doubt that flight was not only possible but also practical in many different ways. Imitators assembled their own versions of airplanes and stumbled into the air. This brought about exhibition pilots: a thrill-seeking group who performed stunts before vast crowds for their entertainment. Soon, the technology was incorporated into WWI through the development of bombers, fighters, and trainers. Aircraft technology also became a large part of the U.S. postal service - on May 15th, 1918, the first successful air mail flight commenced. This founded the U.S. Air Mail Service that pioneered all the nation's air routes.
Within the years between the two world wars, the airplane itself matured from the weak wood-and-fabric planes of 1919 to the sleek, all-metal airliners of 1939. The engines evolved from unreliable rotary engines to the jet engine. In less than a century, airplanes became a staple of long-distance transportation within society. "In 1955, for the first time, more people in the United States traveled by air than by train. By 1957 airliners had replaced ocean liners as the preferred means of crossing the Atlantic." (1)