Sir Hiram Maxim's unsuccessful four-top, twin-engine, full-size powered aircraft, 1894.
• Some went directly to full-size, powered aircraft, focusing on the engine as the main problem.
• Others used models as their primary research tool.
• Still others believed that testing their ideas with full-size gliders was the most effective approach.
The Wrights' course
By the late 1890s, experimenting with full-size, man-carrying gliders was proving to be the most fruitful avenue. These experimenters believed in a gradual, evolutionary path to flight. Careful study of aerodynamics and control with simple hang gliders, they argued, would lead to a more sophisticated powered airplane capable of sustained, controlled flight. The Wright brothers followed this course.
Chanute-Herring unpowered glider in flight, 1896.
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