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List of early flying machines

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

The human dream of flight: Utopian flying machines from the 18th Century (illustration from the late 19th Century).
The human dream of flight: Utopian flying machines from the 18th Century (illustration from the late 19th Century).

This is a listing of early flying machines.

Claims regarding early flying machines vary in countries, books and encyclopedias. They all use different criteria when considering, among others, the validity of a claim, and the meaning of the phrase flying machine. These and other controversial issues are discussed in first flying machine.

In this list, various advancements are presented, including actual flying machines, prototypes, models, designs or important pieces of literature. But note that some of this information is disputed by some sources.

Historic records

Inventor Accomplishment or Claim Year
Zhuge Liang Kongming lantern, first hot air balloon 2nd or 3rd century
Yuan Huangtou Manned kite, first successful manned flight 559[1]
'Abbas Ibn Firnas First parachute flight; ended in injury. 852
'Abbas Ibn Firnas Single flight of manned ornithopter; ended in crash and injury. 875[2][3]
Eilmer of Malmesbury Single flight of manned glider. 1010
Unknown Chinese Manned kites are common. Reported by Marco Polo 1290
Lagari Hasan Çelebi First rocket flight 1633
Bartolomeu de Gusmão First lighter-than-air airship flight 1709
John Childs Unnamed flying device, flew 700m three times over two days. Documentation suggests that he glided down along a 700m rope and landed where the rope was fixed to the ground. 1757
Montgolfier brothers Modern hot air balloon 1783
Diego Marín Aguilera Single flight of manned-glider-wings 1793
William Samuel Henson Aerial Steam Carriage, flight of model 1842
John Stringfellow Stringfellow Machines 1848, 1868
Henri Giffard Non-rigid airship, hydrogen filled envelope for lift, powered by steam engine 1852
Sir George Cayley Cayley Glider, flight of manned glider. Investigating many theoretical aspects of flight. Many now acknowledge him as the first aeronautical engineer. 1853
Rufus Porter New York to California Aerial Transport, an early attempt at an airline 1849
Jean Marie Le Bris Artificial Albatross 1857, 1867
Félix du Temple de la Croix Monoplane (1874) Maybe first powered manned fixed-wing flight, a short hop, from a downward ramp. 1857 - 1877
James William Butler and Edmund Edwards Steam-Jet Dart Patented a prophetic design, that of a delta-winged jet-propelled aircraft, derived from a folded paper plane. 1865
Francis Herbert Wenham Wenham's Aerial Locomotion 1866
Jan Wnęk Loty glider, many flights 1866
Frederick Marriott Marriott flying machines, as well as an attempt at an early airline 1869
Alphonse Pénaud Planophore, Pénaud Toy Helicopter 1871
Thomas Moy Moy Aerial Steamer, 1875
Thomas Moy The Military Kite 1879
Charles F. Ritchel Ritchel Hand-powered Airship 1878
Victor Tatin Tatin flying machines 1879
Massia and Biot Massia-Biot Glider 1879? 1887?
Alexandre Goupil Goupi Monoplane, La Locomotion Aerienne 1883
John J. Montgomery Montgomery Monoplane and Tandem-Wing Gliders 1883 - 1911
Aleksandr Fyodorovich Mozhaiski Mozhaiski Monoplane 1884
Charles Renard|Arthur Constantin Krebs The first fully controllable free-flight was made with the La France 1884
Pichancourt Mechanical Birds 1889
Lawrence Hargrave Hargrave flying machines and Box kites 1889 - 1893
Clement Ader Éole, Avion, short, manned and powered, flights 1890 - 1897
Chuhachi Ninomiya Karasu model, Tamamushi model 1891 ,1895
Otto Lilienthal Derwitzer Glider, Normal soaring apparatus and others, many flights 1891 - 1896
Horatio Phillips Phillips Flying Machine 1893, 1906
Hiram Stevens Maxim Maxim Biplane 1894
Pablo Suarez Suarez Glider 1895
Octave Chanute and Augustus Herring Chanute and Herring Gliding Machines 1896
William Paul Butusov Albatross Soaring Machine 1896
William Frost Frost Airship Glider 1896
Percy Sinclair Pilcher Pilcher Hawk Based on the work of his mentor Otto Lilienthal, in 1897 Pilcher built a glider called The Hawk with which he broke the world distance record when he flew 250 m (820 ft) 1897
Samuel Pierpont Langley Langley Aerodromes 1896 - 1903
Gustave Whitehead Aeronautical Club of Boston and manufacturer Horsman in New York hired Whitehead as a specialist for hanggliders, aircraft models, kites and motors for flying craft. Whitehead flew short distances in his glider. 1897
Carl Rickard Nyberg Flugan, very short manned flight 1897
Edson F. Gallaudet Gallaudet Wing Warping Kite 1898
Gustave Whitehead Steam engine powered, 500-1000m flight ended in collision with a three-story house, according to affidavit 37 years later by Louis Darvarich, self-described passenger.[4]. The fireman Martin Devane, who was called to the scene of the accident reported: "...I believe I arrived immediately after it crashed into a brick building, a newly constructed apartment house on the O'Neal Estate. I recall that someone was hurt and taken to the hospital. I am able to identify the inventor Gustave Whitehead from a picture shown to me". [5] [6] [7] 1899
Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin Zeppelin airship LZ 1. The first Zeppelin flight occurred on July 2, 1900 over the Bodensee, lasted 18 minutes. The second and third flights were in October 1900 and October 24, 1900 respectively, beating the 6 m/s velocity record of the French airship La France by 3 m/s. 1900
Wilhelm Kress Kress Waterborne Aeroplane hops 1901
Gustave Whitehead Number 21, 20hp. Newspaper reported manned, powered, controlled 800m flight. Witnessed by a reporter and other people who said the airplane landed softly on the ground without damage, one of four flights the same day. [8] According to affidavits and witness reports he made many flights that summer, before the publicized August 14 event. For example: Harworth also said No. 21 was flown by Weisskopf in the summer of 1901 from Howard Avenue East to Wordin Avenue, along the edge of property belonging to the Bridgeport Gas Company. Upon landing, recalled Harworth, the machine was turned around and another hop was made back to Howard Avenue.[6] 1901
Alberto Santos-Dumont Santos-Dumont came to prominence by designing, building, and flying dirigible balloons. On 19 October 1901, he won the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize of 100,000 francs by taking off from Saint-Cloud, flying his steerable balloon around the Eiffel Tower, and returning. 1901
Gustave Whitehead Number 22, 40hp. He claimed a manned, powered, controlled 10km flight, a circle over Long Island Sound, one of two flights the same day, landing in the water twice without damage to the plane. Supported by signed affidavit from Pruckner. [9] 1902
Lyman Gilmore Gilmore Monoplane Built a steam-powered airplane and claimed that he flew it on May 15, 1902. 1902
Wright brothers Completed development of the three-axis control system with the incorporation of a movable rudder connected to the wing warping control on their 1902 Glider. They subsequently made several fully controlled heavier than air gliding flights, including one of 622.5 ft (189.7 m) in 26 seconds. 1902
Richard William Pearse Pearse Monoplane. Evidence exists that on 31 March 1903 Pearse achieved a powered, though poorly controlled, flight of several hundred metres, crashed into the hedge at the end of the field. The aircraft had a modern tricycle type landing gear. By the end of July 1903, possible flights of around 1 kilometre in length, some with turns. 1903
Karl Jatho Jatho Biplane 10hp 70m hops 1903
Guido Dinelli Dinelli Glider, Aereoplano 1903, 1904
Wright brothers Wright Flyer I, Successful, manned, powered, controlled and sustained flight, 259m, according to the Federation Aeronautique International and Smithsonian Institution. Every flight of the aircraft on December 14 and 17 -- under very difficult conditions on the 17th -- ended in a bumpy and unintended "landing". The last, by Wilbur, after a flight of 59 seconds that covered 853 feet (260 m), broke the front elevator supports. In 1904, the Wrights continued refining their designs and piloting techniques in order to obtain fully controlled flight. Major progress toward this goal was achieved in 1904 and even more decisively with the modifications during the 1905 program, which resulted in a 39-minute, 24 mile nonstop circling flight by Wilbur on October 5. While the 1903 Flyer was clearly a historically important test vehicle, its near-mythical status in American imagination has obscured its place as part of a continuing development program that eventually led to the Wrights' mastery of controlled flight in 1905. 1903
Ferdinand Ferber and Gabriel Voisin Archdeacon glider 1904
Wright Brothers Wright Flyer III Wilbur Wright pilots a flight of 24 miles (39km) in 39 minutes, a world record that stood until 1908. When testing of Flyer III resumed in September the results were almost immediate. The bucking and veering that had hampered Flyers I & II were gone. The minor crashes the Wrights had experienced disappeared. The flights with the redesigned Flyer III started lasting over 20 minutes. Thus Flyer III became a practicable, as well as dependable aircraft, flying solidly for a consistent duration and bringing its pilot back to the starting point safely and landing without damage to itself. 1905
Louis Blériot and Gabriel Voisin Blériot-Voison floatplane glider, biplane 1905
Traian Vuia Vuia I, Vuia II, Several short powered flights. August 1906, 24m flight. July 5, 1907, Flew 20m. and crashed. 1906 - 1907
Jacob Ellehammer Ellehammer monoplane September 12, 1906 became the second European to fly an airplane (after Traian Vuia). He made over 200 flights in the next two years using many different machines. No distance data found. 1906 - 1907
Alberto Santos-Dumont 14-bis, First official European flight. Santos-Dumont made the first public European demonstration of a powered heavier-than-air aircraft in Paris on 23 October 1906. Designated 14-bis or Oiseau de proie (French for "bird of prey"), this craft, in which the pilot would stand rather than sit, made a short hop under ground effect of 50 meters. On 12 November 1906, Santos-Dumont flew the 14-bis 220 metres in 21.5 seconds. 1906
Glenn H. Curtiss AEA June Bug Performance: Maximum speed: 39 mph (34 knots, 62 km/h) Range: 5,360 ft (1,630 m). 1908
Louis Blériot Blériot V, Blériot XI On July 25, 1909 Louis Blériot successfully crossed the Channel from Calais to Dover in 36.5 minutes, 35km 1909
Aerial Experiment Association (AEA) Silver Dart on 10 March 1909, McCurdy flew the aircraft on a circular course over a distance of more than 35 km (20 mi). 1909
Aurel Vlaicu Vlaicu 1909, Vlaicu I, Vlaicu II, Vlaicu III 1909-1910
Henri Fabre Le Canard, First seaplane. 1910
Duigan Brothers Duigan Pusher Biplane 1910
Henri Coanda Coandă 1910 Biplane First built jet engine airplane. At the airport of Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, Coandă lost control of the jet plane, which went off of the runway and caught fire. Coanda discovered the Coanda-effect. (Hans von Ohain, went to work for Ernst Heinkel, a planebuilder who had a strong interest in advanced engines. Together they crafted the world's first flying jet plane, the experimental Heinkel He 178, which first flew on August 27, 1939.) 1910

Literature, myth or designs only

Inventor Accomplishment Year
Indo-European mythology Sun chariot 2nd millennium BC
Greek mythology Story of Daedalus and Icarus 13th century BC
Hindu mythology, Sanskrit epics Vimanas 5th century BC or earlier
Roger Bacon Secrets of Art and Nature: ornithopter design c. 1250
Leonardo da Vinci Ornithopter design and literature c. 1490
Conrad Haas Multistage rocket technical literature 1529 - 1556
Emanuel Swedenborg Flying Machine design and literature 1714
Sir George Cayley On Aerial Navigation: technical literature 1809 - 1810
Le Comte Ferdinand Charles Honore Phillipe d'Esterno On The Flight Of Birds (Du Vol des Oiseaux): technical literature 1864
Louis Pierre Mouillard The Empire Of The Air (L'Empire de L'Air): literature 1865
Horatio Frederick Phillips Sustainer design, literature 1884 - 1907
James Means The Problem of Manflight, Aeronautical Annual literature 1894 - 1897
Martin Wiberg Patent for design of "Luftmaskin": liquid fuel rocket powered machine 1903

See also

External links

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Published - July 2009

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