Pilots

This page will present and write short descriptions about different famous pilots,from Otto Lilienthal to Chuck Yeager and hopefully much more.

The Wright Brothers, Part 1

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Wilbur and Orville Wright, were the first people to be successful in the domain of powered flight.The Wright brothers, from Dayton, in the State of Ohio in the USA, opened a bicycle shop, in 1892, called “The Wright Cycle Exchange”, where they started selling and repairing bicycles. The Wright brothers shop later became a small bicycle manufacturing company . The brothers were interested in the new science of flight, as they had seen articles written in newspapers about Otto Lilienthal (please see my previous article for more details about this great aviation pioneer), from Germany, the very first aviation pioneer and the man who made those ecstatic glider flights of the late 19th Century. The Wright brothers used the money they made from their business to fund their new passion. In 1896, Otto Lilienthal died in a glider crash in Berlin, leading to great mourning in the aviation community. Wilbur Wright, the older of the two brothers, praised Otto Lilienthal, by saying that he was ” the greatest of the precursors “. 1896 was the year in which Wilbur Wright started to experiment his ideas. He used some of the drawings of other 19th century aircraft engineers, such as Samuel Langley and Otto Lilienthal, to aid him in his experiments. Originally, it was Wilbur Wright who started working on his own, but even when his younger brother joined him, Wilbur still remained the leader, the one who was doing all the press conferences , the one who was the strength behind all their work. Orville was not an unnecessary addition, in fact he worked just as hard as his older brother, it was just the fact that, from day one, it was really Wilbur who gave birth to everything. 22nd of November 2019

Otto Lilienthal

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Otto Lilienthal,is,after the Renaissance artist and plane designer Leonardo Da Vinci,the first of all aviation pionniers,even before Wilbur and Orville Wright.During his short life,he created many glider models,especially hang gliders and wing-flapping gliders.Born in Germany in 1848 ,he and his brother Gustav had always wanted to fly like birds so they tried to fly by attaching themselves to wings that they had made by hand.Sadly,they failed to fly.Otto Lilienthal made himself an artifcial hill in Berlin,from which he would take off of.He was a specialist in making hang-gliders (similar to modern paragliders).He flew more than 2000 flights and flew for a total of five hours,which was,at the time,a massive success.On the 9th of August 1896, one of Otto Lilienthal’s gliders started pitching down dangerously and due to the fact that he could not shift his weight when his glider was in such a position,the glider crashed.Lilienthal died about three days later,at the clinic of the famous German-Baltic surgeon,Ernst von Bergmann.Even though having lived for only 48 years, his contributions in the early days of flight had an enormous effect on the future of aviation,his ideas inspiring The Wright Brothers,and his disciples,who were strong believers in the theory of powerless flight.At the beginning of the 20th century,there were two theories about the way humans should fly:powerless(without an engine,like Lilienthal) and with power,(like the Wright Brothers and Louis Blériot).Powered flight turned out to be the winner of this shortly lived contest and even though Lilienthal’s ideas were quite popular in the early 20th century,they have only a very small impact on today’s planes. 6th September 2019