Who Were Wilbur and Orville?
1889 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905
Aeronautical Approaches
Aeronautical Approaches
As flight research became better organized in the second half of the 1800s, aeronautical pioneers pursued three distinct lines of experimentation:
Sir Hiram Maxim's unsuccesful 1894 aircraft
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 Glider
Chanute-Herring unpowered glider in flight, 1896.

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Langley Aerodrome No. 5 In Flight

Samuel P. Langley’s large steam-powered model Aerodrome No. 5 making a successful flight,1896.