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Vincent de Groof

Vincent de Groof


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In the 1770s, Jean Pierre François Blanchard worked on designing heavier-than-air flying machines, including one based on a theory of rowing in the air currents with oars and a tiller. A machine that flies by flapping its wings became known as a ornithopter.

In 1809, Jacob Degen claimed he had successfully flown in an ornithopter. However, this was not strictly true as his machine was tethered to a large hot-air balloon. Degen actually used his wings to provide him just enough lift to rise with the help of the balloon. He repeated this performance several times in Paris and Vienna between 1806 to 1817.

A Belgian, the Brugge-born Vincent de Groof, also attempted to get an ornithopter to fly. He moved to London where he built his flying machine. On 8th July, 1874, Groof, who called himself the Flying Man, launched his ornithopter from a shuttle balloon piloted by Charles Simmons. The ornithopter failed to work and Vincent de Groof fell 80 feet (24.3 m) to his death.


Vincent de Paul

Vincent de Paul (24 April 1581 – 27 September 1660), commonly known as Saint Vincent de Paul, was a French Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor. In 1622 Vincent was appointed a chaplain to the galleys. After working for some time in Paris among imprisoned galley slaves, he returned to be the superior of what is now known as the Congregation of the Mission, or the "Vincentians" (in France known as "Lazaristes"). These priests, with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and stability, were to devote themselves entirely to the people in smaller towns and villages. Vincent was zealous in conducting retreats for clergy at a time when there was great laxity, abuse, and ignorance among them. He was a pioneer in clerical training and was instrumental in establishing seminaries, and founder of the Congregation of the Mission and Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.

Saint Vincent de Paul has a charity named after him by Blessed Frédéric Ozanam. He was renowned for his compassion, humility, and generosity. Vincent was canonized in 1737 and was venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. [1]


The Day Batman Crashed Into Chelsea

June 1874, and a peculiar sight could be spied over Chelsea. A hot-air balloon hovered a kilometre above the ground with the most curious of payloads dangling beneath: a gigantic bat with a human at its controls.

This Victorian Batman was M Vincent de Groof, otherwise known as "The Flying Man" or L'homme Volant. Newspaper accounts of this ambitious individual contradict in almost every conceivable way. He was either Belgian or French, sometimes Dutch. He was aged either 35 or 36. He'd had success with his flying contraption on the Continent, or else he'd rarely left the ground. Some accounts suggest he'd made a successful flight over Epping Forest a week before, yet seemingly nobody witnessed the feat. Whatever the details of his biography, he was now set on piloting his fragile wings through the skies of Chelsea.

The balloon, known as Czar, had taken off from Cremorne Gardens, a pleasure garden close to the future site of Lots Road power station. Its dangling cargo was built from cane and waterproof silk, with a complex network of ropes and pulleys to be operated by de Groof. At some point in the flight, de Groof was to cut the cord and part-flap, part-glide his contraption back to earth.

After hovering over the Thames for some time, the balloon pilot reduced the height to around 90 metres in preparation for separation. The decent came so low, in fact, that de Groof's bat contraption was swinging dangerously close to the tower of St Luke's church, just north of King's Road.

At this point, press reports again diverge in detail. Perhaps sensing he would hit the church, perhaps by accident, or maybe because he was ready to begin his stunt, de Groof cut the rope. His batwing immediately flipped over and the unfortunate aeronaut tumbled to the ground, landing in what is now Sydney Street.

Some accounts suggest that he was killed immediately. Others say he lived long enough to be carried to Chelsea hospital where he later expired. One article, in the Illustrated Police News, affords him a few final moments of consciousness with his distraught wife. He can't have lingered long, given that the subsequent inquest described his broken neck and caved-in skull.

There was almost a second tragedy. As soon as de Groof was loosed to his death, the unburdened balloon shot into the air, eventually reaching such a height that the pilot, Mr Joseph Simmons of Regent Street, passed out. On regaining consciousness, he found himself over Victoria Park, eventually coming down on railway tracks a mile from Chingford, narrowly missing a train.

A somewhat shambolic coroner's inquest (one of the jury was found to be in the employ of Cremorne Gardens) apportioned no blame to the tragic accident. The wreckage from the crash was advertised for sale in Bruge the following February, and de Groof, the lamentable would-be Batman, was buried in Brompton Cemetery

This article is based on numerous press stories from the British Newspaper Archive. Batman image from Illustrated Police News, 18 July 187 (c) The British Library Board. All rights reserved.


English Historical Fiction Authors

In 1855, during a military fete at Cremorne Gardens, a platform collapsed under the weight of sixty soldiers carrying their muskets and bayonets. According to an 18 August 1855 edition of the Huddersfield Chronicle, the soldiers were comprised mostly of Grenadier Guards who were enacting “the capture of the Mamelon and rifle pits by the allied troops before Sebastapol.” The performance had received the patronage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as well as of “the highest military authorities.” Both the Household Troops and Royal Artillery were in attendance.

Banqueting halls at Cremorne Gardens, mid-19th century.

To enact the mock siege, stages of various heights had been constructed. As the Huddersfield Chronicle reports:

During the fall, some of the men were bayoneted on their own weapons. Others broke their legs or fractured their ribs and limbs. No soldiers died at the scene, but one is reported to have suffered serious internal injuries.

The Broken Wire

The Ashburnham Pavilion at Cremorne Gardens, Illustrated London News, 1858.

The London Daily News states that Valerio was taken to Chelsea Hospital where he “lingered in great pain” until three o’clock in the morning, at which point “he expired” from his injuries. His death prompted an outcry against dangerous exhibitions. It was reasoned that, since acrobats would continue to test their skills in ever increasing feats and since the public would continue to arrive in droves to see such performances, it was up to the proprietors of places like Cremorne Gardens to prohibit exhibitions which put performers’ lives at risk.

In fact, Valerio’s death prompted Mr. E. T. Smith, then the proprietor of Cremorne Gardens, to write to the editor of The Era declaring just that. His letter, printed in the 28 June 1863 edition of The Era, reads in part:

The Flying Man's Shroud


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Balloon Ascent at Cremorne Gardens, Walter Greaves, 1872.

M. de Groof ascended into the air by means of a balloon, from which he was suspended by a rope “about twenty feet below the car.” As the balloon rose to a height of approximately 1000 feet, M. de Groof flapped his wings, making for a churchyard some fifty years away. When he hit a favourable current of wind, he cut the rope, fully expecting to fly free of the balloon by virtue of the wings attached to his arms. Instead, as the Belfast News-Letter grimly relates:

In Conclusion

As the decade progressed, Cremorne Gardens’ reputation as a popular venue for wholesome entertainment began to sink. After the sun had set and Victorian families had departed, it transformed into what one Baptist minister of the 1870s referred to as “a nursery of vice.” Robberies and assaults were regularly reported, as were the goings on of prostitutes and their clients. In the end, it was this less gruesome but rather more unsavoury aspect of Cremorne Gardens which led to its closure in 1877. An increasingly prudish Victorian public objected to the goings on there, especially after dark.
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Sources

Belfast News-Letter (Antrim, Northern Ireland), 11 July 1874.
Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser (Angus, Scotland), 30 June, 1863.
Elgin Courier (Moray, Scotland), 17 August 1855.
The Era (London, England), 28 June 1863.
Guard, Richard. Lost London. London: Michael O’Mara Books, Ltd., 2012.
Huddersfield Chronicle (West Yorkshire, England), 18 August 1855.
Illustrated London News (London, England). 5 June 1847.
London Daily News (London, England), Saturday 27 June 1863.
Thomas, Donald. The Victorian Underworld. London: Orion Publishing Group, 2014.

This article is an Editor's Choice and was originally published September18, 2017.
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Later Roles

In the years since leaving Law & Order, D&aposOnofrio has maintained a busy acting career. His film credits include Kill the Irishman (2011), Crackers (2011), American Falls (2012), Fire with Fire (2012) Chained (2012), and Jurassic World (2015) among others.

In 2015 D&aposOnofrio landed another memorable TV role when he was cast as the brooding and bald, Fisk, a.k.a., "the Kingpin" in the Netflix series Daredevil, the first in a series of shows that tells the story of the Marvel universe.


Leonardo da Vinci and Human Flight

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most influential and prolific thinkers in human history. He is most famous for his paintings, but the man was a true polymath, and he studied and thought about myriad subjects. There is an obsessive curiosity that surrounds his oeuvre, and there doesn’t seem to be a limit to what he would explore. For our purposes here, we’ll focus on his quest for human flight, which he pursued from the late 1480’s to the mid 1490’s.


Parmadale

Parmadale Children's Village of St. Vincent de Paul opened its doors in 1925 on State Road in Parma, Ohio. With funding and organizational support from the Catholic Charities Corporation, Parmadale opened with the mission of caring for orphaned boys aged six to sixteen. Parmadale was among the first orphanages to move away from institutional care, implementing a cottage residential plan meant to foster a sense of family.

The campus was designed by architect George S. Rider and built by John Gill & Sons, a construction company notable for their work on the Terminal Tower and Allen Theatre. Initially, the campus consisted of only twelve cottages, but as nearby orphanages consolidated or closed, Parmadale expanded to meet demand. In addition to the cottages, the grounds consisted of a school, gymnasium, pool, dining hall, administrative building, and convent, making it almost unnecessary for the children to leave the grounds unless they were going on a special outing.

The first occupants at Parmadale arrived from the St. Vincent's de Paul and St. Louisville orphanages, which were both closing their doors as Parmadale was being built. St. Vincent's de Paul Orphanage had been established in 1853 by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. The sisters continued their work at Parmadale before its shift to a residential treatment facility, serving as teachers and housemothers.

As local conditions changed, Parmadale's mission evolved and its campus grew. In 1947, Bishop Hoban blessed the opening of additional cottages as Parmadale saw the arrival of the first girls from the closing St. Joseph's Orphanage. Parmadale also took on the care of children from Home of the Holy Family when that institution closed in 1952.

When Parmadale merged with St. Anthony's Home for Boys and Young Men in 1975, the organization was rechristened Parmadale Family Services. With the orphan population in decline by the 1980s, Parmadale began to focus on serving special needs children. To facilitate these changes, new buildings were constructed, including two Intensive Treatment Facilities (built in 1989 and 1994) and the Multi-Purpose Center. In 2009, Parmadale changed yet again, bringing an end to the cottage residential plan and opening the Parmadale Institute, a residential treatment facility intended to treat up to eighty adolescents with behavioral health needs, such as chemical dependency, trauma, severe depression, and other psychological disorders.


Early life

Van Gogh, the eldest of six children of a Protestant pastor, was born and reared in a small village in the Brabant region of the southern Netherlands. He was a quiet, self-contained youth, spending his free time wandering the countryside to observe nature. At 16 he was apprenticed to The Hague branch of the art dealers Goupil and Co., of which his uncle was a partner.

Van Gogh worked for Goupil in London from 1873 to May 1875 and in Paris from that date until April 1876. Daily contact with works of art aroused his artistic sensibility, and he soon formed a taste for Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and other Dutch masters, although his preference was for two contemporary French painters, Jean-François Millet and Camille Corot, whose influence was to last throughout his life. Van Gogh disliked art dealing. Moreover, his approach to life darkened when his love was rejected by a London girl in 1874. His burning desire for human affection thwarted, he became increasingly solitary. He worked as a language teacher and lay preacher in England and, in 1877, worked for a bookseller in Dordrecht, Netherlands. Impelled by a longing to serve humanity, he envisaged entering the ministry and took up theology however, he abandoned this project in 1878 for short-term training as an evangelist in Brussels. A conflict with authority ensued when he disputed the orthodox doctrinal approach. Failing to get an appointment after three months, he left to do missionary work among the impoverished population of the Borinage, a coal-mining region in southwestern Belgium. There, in the winter of 1879–80, he experienced the first great spiritual crisis of his life. Living among the poor, he gave away all his worldly goods in an impassioned moment he was thereupon dismissed by church authorities for a too-literal interpretation of Christian teaching.

Penniless and feeling that his faith was destroyed, he sank into despair and withdrew from everyone. “They think I’m a madman,” he told an acquaintance, “because I wanted to be a true Christian. They turned me out like a dog, saying that I was causing a scandal.” It was then that van Gogh began to draw seriously, thereby discovering in 1880 his true vocation as an artist. Van Gogh decided that his mission from then on would be to bring consolation to humanity through art. “I want to give the wretched a brotherly message,” he explained to his brother Theo. “When I sign [my paintings] ‘Vincent,’ it is as one of them.” This realization of his creative powers restored his self-confidence.


History of Flight Around the World

Many nations gave birth to aviation and the pioneers who propelled its stunning successes. To recognize these contributions, we asked the International Council of Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) to have each ICAS country identify its pioneers and present the story of its national achievements in aerospace.

The notable figures profiled here are but a few examples of those who could be considered. If you feel your country or its pioneers are not sufficiently represented and you have the history to share, please contact the AIAA Web Editor.

Country Profiles

The forbidding Andes Mountain range made Argentina an attractive destination for flight pioneers from other countries and a challenge for the country's own people.

The first Argentinian manned balloon flights, mainly with French aerostats, occurred in the second half of the 19th century, but it was not until the first years of the 20th century that the frequency of those flights increased. On 24 June 1916, E. Bradley and Capt. A.M. Zuloaga flew over the Andes in a flight that started in Santiago, Chile, and ended in Argentina's Uspallata Valley. The flight took a little more than three hours and reached an altitude of 8100 meters. It was the first flight over the Andes range.

Argentina's first officially recorded flight of a vehicle heavier than air was made by the French pilot E. Brégi on 6 February 1910, during the centennial commemoration of Argentina's May Revolution of 1810. The celebration included several planes and pilots from France and Italy. Brégi flew a biplane Voisin with a 60 CV engine, reaching an altitude of 60 meters and a speed of 53 kilometers per hour.

In 1912, Teodore Fels used a Blériot to accomplish the first crossing of the Rio de la Plata, joining Buenos Aires with Montevideo, Uruguay. Fels flew back to Buenos Aires the following day. The following year, the German pilot Lübbe, in a Rumpler Taube with a 110 CV Argus engine, set the world record flight with a passenger over the water, flying from Buenos Aires to Montevideo. Flying across the Andes range was an obsession for the Argentine aeronautical pioneer J. Newbery, the passenger in that plane, and it prompted him to improve the altitude world record. On 10 February 1914, with a Morane Saulnier aircraft powered by a 80 CV supercharged engine, he reached an altitude of 6225 meters, exceeding the world record by 75 meters.

However, Newbery crashed and died without accomplishing his goal of crossing the Andes. That accomplishment went to 1st Lt. L. Candelaria on 13 May 1918 in a Morane Saulnier (Parasol) with a Le Rhone rotary engine of 80 CV. However, Candelaria flew to the south, where the mountains are lower. The crossing over the highest peaks of the range was performed on 12 December 1918 by the Chilean pilot D. Godoy, who flew a Bristol airplane equipped with a 110 CV engine. Two years later, the Argentine V. Almandos Almonacid made the first night flight over the Andes in a Spad aircraft with a 220 CV engine. Almonacid also carried out the first night bombing mission for the Allied Forces during World War I.

The first planes to fly in Argentina came from France, and some were used as models for the first Argentinian planes. In 1910, P. Castaibert began the construction of the first Argentine airplanes, but production was interrupted when, because of World War I, he couldn't import the engines he needed to complete them. The Castaibert planes were used for exhibition and school, and later were the first planes used by Argentina and Uruguay's air forces. Two of those planes are now in the Museo Aeronáutico of Uruguay.

In 1924, Raul Pescara, an Argentinean working in Paris, built a coaxial helicopter with biplane rotors and achieved a record by flying 736 meters. He was one of the first to recognize the autorotation phenomenon, and he also achieved control of the flight through cyclic-pitch change, obtained by warping the blades periodically as they rotated.

For more than 65 years, the biggest aeronautical development and production center in Argentina was the Fábrica Militar de Aviones in Córdoba, an inland city 700 kilometers from Buenos Aires. The company first built airplaces (1929) and engines (1930) under license and later began building its own planes. The first national plane conceived and produced was the Ae.C.1 (April 1932), a three-seated passenger plane with a covered cockpit.

In August 1947, the first flight of the IA-27 (Pulqui I), a jet fighter designed and developed in Córdoba by a team led by the French engineer E. Dewoitine, took place. It was the fifth jet fighter in the world and the first built in Latin America. The Córdoba factory employed other European professionals, particularly Germans and Italians, to work with Argentineans on military and civilian projects, including flying wings, swept wing fighters, small- and medium-sized passenger transports, and general purpose aircraft. However, most of these projects only reached the prototype stage.

Aero-commercial operations in Argentina began on 10 June 1919 when a company founded by S.H. Kingsley made flights between Buenos Aires and others cities in Argentina and Uruguay. The first passengers were taken across the Rio de La Plata on a De Havilland plane. Kingsley's operation flew 8750 kilometers until financial difficulties forced him to close operations.

His place was soon taken up by other companies, such as Aeroposta Argentina, founded in September 1927. Aerospota began regular flights in January 1929 with Breguet 14-A-2 and Laté 25 airplanes. The opening of aero-commercial routes in Argentina was made by intrepid men battling against a hostile environment and precarious logistical support, especially in Patagonia.

Originally provided to AIAA for the Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

Since some thirty years many publications, first in the United States, later also in Europe, described remarkable intellectual contributions of Austrians in the period from 1867 until 1938. Consequently it became more widely known, that the so-called 'Vienna 1900' - phenomenon referred not only to important achievements in music, fine art, literature and psychology, but also in philosophy, economics or physics.

However, it is a much less common knowledge, that in this very period - especially in the first decades of this now ending century - Austrians also played quite a prominent role in the pioneer phase of rocketry. Whilst only relatively few of the ideas of these pioneers were realized in their home country, an important part of today's space applications and concepts can be traced back to the first blueprint created by these men.

I hope the following short biographies will help draw the attention of a wider public to this historic aspect of space exploration and rocketry. Dr. Caspar Einem, Former Austrian Federal Minister for Science and Transport

Biographies courtesy of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Space Technology Centre (ESTEC) fine arts club. The author of the biographies, Bruno P. Besser, works at the Space Research Institute Austrian Academy of Sciences, Schmiedlstrasse 6, a-8042 Graz, Austria -- e-mail: [email protected]

Eugen Sänger

Born 1905 in Prebnitz, Bohemia (now flooded in the Prisecnice Lake, Czech Republic), Died 1964 in Berlin.

Eugen Sänger first studied civil engineering at the University of Technology in Graz, but after reading Hermann Oberth's (see Pioneer Profile) book about space travel he changed to the field of aeronautics at the University of Technology Vienna. It was impossible for him to graduate with a thesis on rockets so instead he wrote one about experimental airfoil design and graduated in 1931.

In 1932 he started to establish a test-bed for rocket engines at the University of Technology Vienna, where he worked as an assistant researcher and developed and experimented on different designs of combustion chambers.

His famous book Raketenflugtechnik (Rocket Flight Engineering) was published in 1933. This was the first book on rocketry from an academic professional. His experimental success in designing rocket engines led to engagement as head of his development center for jet engines in Trauen, Germany, in 1936.

During World War II he experimented with designs for combustion chambers providing a thrust of up to 100 tons and designs of jet propulsion. Together with his wife Irene Sänger-Bredt, he worked out the detailed plans for a horizontally starting and landing rocket space plane, which could transport a one ton payload into orbit. This so-called "Silbervogel" (Silver Bird) was the prototype of a subsequent series of designs of horizontally starting and landing space planes. In honor of his achievements the German proposal for a next generation space plane is named "Sänger II". It consists of an airplane for reaching higher altitudes plus the piggyback rocket plane.

After the war he worked for the French government and he was one of the founders of the International Astronautical Federation in 1951. He served as its first president. After 1954 he worked as a professor for jet propulsion in Berlin, Germany.

Herman Potocnik

Born 1892 in Pola, Austria (now Pula, Croatia), Died 1929 in Vienna.

Herman Potocnik, educated at various military schools in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was appointed second lieutenant at the military college of Mödling near Vienna in 1913. After serving in a railway corps during the First World War he studied and graduated from electrical engineering at the University of Technology in Vienna.

In 1928 Potocnik worked out a detailed technical design of a space station and published it in 1929 in a book called "Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums - der Raketenmotor" (The Problem of Space Travel - The Rocket Motor) under his pen name Hermann Noordung.

His space station consisted of up to three modules: the "Wohnrad" (Inhabitable Wheel), the power station and the observatory. The modules would be connected by cables. The inhabitable wheel has the form of a giant wheel and rotates to simulate gravity in the living areas. On top of the wheel there would be parabolic mirrors mounted to concentrate the solar radiation for the power supply through a heat engine power station. Potocnik worked out all the necessary equipment for his space station in great detail. A very similar concept of a space station design has been proposed by Wernher von Braun in 1953.

Herman Potocnik also describes in his book how a satellite could be positioned such to be visible all day long from a very spot on Earth, namely about 36,000 kilometers above the equator. Today satellites in this geostationary orbit play an important role for telecommunications and weather forecasting.

Herman Potocnik died of pneumonia caught during the war, shortly after the publication of his book in Vienna.

Guido von Pirquet

Born 1880 in Hirschstetten (now part of Vienna), Died 1966 in Vienna.

Guido von Pirquet studied mechanical engineering at the Universities of Technology in Vienna and Graz. He was a member of a distinguished Austrian family his brother Clemens was a worldwide renowned physician.

His expertise in ballistics and thermodynamics made him a notable personality in the rocket circles. He got elected first secretary of the rocket society founded by Franz von Hoefft.

His most important contributions in the field of rocketry were his article about the possible concepts of space travel in his book "Die Möglichkeit der Weltraumfahrt" (The Possibility of Space Travel) edited by the young German Willi Ley in 1928 and his series of articles about interplanetary trajectories (to Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) in the journal "Die Rakete" (The Rocket) of the "Verein fur Raumschiffahrt" (German Rocket Society), the worlds largest rocket society at the time.

Through the calculations of a rocket nozzle for a manned rocket to planet Mars, he realized that the rocket needed to lift-off directly from earth would be too large, the nozzle area of the first stage being about 1500 square meter, to be technically feasible. He concluded that a manned expedition to Mars could only be accomplished by building a space station in earth's orbit, where the space ship for travel to Mars could be assembled.

His calculated trajectory (published in 1928) for a space probe to reach Venus is identical to the one use by the first Soviet interplanetary spacecraft to Venus in 1961.

Franz Abdon Ulinski

Born 1890 in Blosdorf, Moravia (now Mljadejov, Czech Republic), Died 1974 in Wels (Austria).

In 1910, after attending secondary school in Linz, Austria, Franz Abdon Ulinski joined the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He served in different positions before the First World War and as technical officer in the aviation corps during the war. Around 1919 he proposed the design of a spacecraft, propelled by a jet of electrons (or ions). A year later, he published his ideas in a journal of aeronautics in Vienna. Two types of energy supply were proposed, firstly using solar panels for energy accumulation and secondly disintegration of atoms. His ideas for propulsion of a spacecraft were ahead of his time and were not taken seriously. One reason was certainly the magnitude of the energy needed to leave the gravitation of the Earth using such a spacecraft. Nevertheless, his concept proves to be of importance for manned space travel to other planets, namely as an economical way of transport where launching is performed from a station already in Earth orbit.

The technological advancement has taken some time but not long ago a spacecraft using ion thrusters was put into space to demonstrate the concept. Deep Space One will fly by an asteroid before its trajectory brings it close to a comet. Another application for ion thrusters is the stabilization of satellites in Earth orbit.

Max Valier

Born 1895 in Bozen, Tyrol. Died 1930 in Berlin.

Max Valier was very interested in astronomy during his youth. After attending secondary school and in parallel working as an unpaid trainee in a precision mechanics workshop, he started in 1913 to study astronomy, mathematics and physics at the University of Innsbruck. After serving in the aviation unit of the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War, he resumed his studies in Vienna and Munich, but never graduated and worked as a writer on scientific subjects.

After reading Oberth's (see Hermann Oberth's Pioneer Profile) book in 1923 he felt compelled to write (with Oberth's help) a popular book on the subject, "Der Vorstoß in den Weltenraum" (Advance Into Space) which was published in 1924 and was written in a non-technical language. Six editions went into print until 1930.

Valier proposed an evolutionary program to advance rocketry, which consisted of four stages:

  • Test-bed experiments
  • Rocket-powered vehicles (cars, railcars, sledges and gliders)
  • Rocket-assisted airplanes
  • Increase of airplane performance up to rocket-propelled space ship.

Valier's rocket car, rocket railcar, rocket sledge and rocket glider experiments using solid fuel rockets obtained very large publicity in Germany. Some of the experiments were done in collaboration with Fritz von Opel, the owner of the German Opel car factory.

Around 1929-1930 he started to experiment with liquid fuel rockets but was killed in an accident during one of the test-bed experiments on May 17, 1930 in Berlin, when the rocket combustion chamber explode.

Franz von Hoefft

Born 1882 in Vienna, Died 1954 in Linz.

Franz von Hoefft studied Chemistry at the University of Technology in Vienna and the University Göttingen and graduated at the Vienna University in 1907 with a thesis on physical chemistry. He worked as an engineer for furnaces in Donawitz, as a tester at the Austrian Patent Office and as a consultant.

During the twenties several rocket societies were founded, which contributed a lot in spreading the idea of rocketry. Dr. Hoefft founded in 1926 the first space related society in Western Europe, the "Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft fŸr Höhenforschung" (The Scientific Society for High Altitude Research) in Vienna.

Hoefft, an expert of rocket fuels, proposed a noteworthy development. The first step was the development of a liquid-fuel sounding rocket called RH-1 (RH meaning Repulsion Hoefft). The rockets would be transported by balloons up to the height of 5 to 10 kilometers, where they would be launched. Such rockets could be used for rocket mail and for photographic remote sensing of he Earth. The capacity of the rockets would be advances till the last step in the development, the space ship RH-VIII. One of the intermediate steps, the manned spacecraft RH-V, would fly around the Earth in ellipses. The special form of the RH-V should make it possible to take off and land on water by skids and fly within the atmosphere as an airplane and above the atmosphere as a rocket. RH-V could also be used as the upper stage of RH-VI to RH-VIII, which would be launched from a space station and could be used to reach other planets or even leave our solar system. But Hoefft never had the opportunity to promote his visionary program by practical contributions.

Born approx. 1509 in Dornbach (now part of Vienna) Died 1579 in Hermannstadt, Transylvania

Not very many details about the life of Conrad Haas are known. He was born in Dornbach, near Vienna. He served as an artillery guard and commissioned officer of the Imperial court of Vienna. In this function he probably came in 1551 with Imperial troops to Transylvania and became chief of the artillery camp of the arsenal of Hermannstadt.

Between 1529 and 1569 he wrote the above-mentioned manuscript which seems to be among other things the very first description of the principle of a multi stage rocket. He describes and depicts rockets with two and three stages, talks about bundling of rockets, stabilizing fins and using liquid fuel.

In one of the drawings he shows a cylindrical housing at the top of a rocket, which is probably the first (naive) drawing of a space station.

According to Todericiu, Haas has even made experiments with solid-fuel stage rockets.

Among all the geometrical and ballistic calculations, descriptions of the test and measurement techniques, Conrad Haas warns against the use for purposes of war and wants his knowledge to be used for peaceful applications.

Further details about Haas can be found in: Hans Barth, Conrad Haas - Leben und Werk in Wort und Bild, Bukarest 1983.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

An increasing number of attempts to fly with vehicles heavier than air took place in Belgium at the end of last century. The most famous was by Vincent De Groof, who launched his flying machine from a balloon piloted by an English pilot. He survived a first jump of 100 meters, but a second experiment in 1874 ended in a deadly accident.

The first flight in Belgium took place in November 1908 with an airplane built by "les freres Voisin" and powered by a Belgian Vivinus 100-horsepower motor. The plane was piloted by Baron Pierre de Caters. He also was the first pilot to fly in Africa (December 1909) and India (December 1910). De Caters competed with Louis Bleriot at an air meeting in Frankfurt in 1909 and was the first to receive a Belgian pilot licence in December of that same year.

The first Belgian woman to fly a plane was Helene Dutrieu, who, after little training, flew a "La Demoiselle." In spite of a near fatal landing, she began more thorough training and received the 27th Belgian pilot licence. In 1911 she won the "Coup du Roi" in Florence after competing with 14 male pilots. She also achieved several altitude and distance records in New York.

The period before World War I saw the creation of a large number of small airfields and pilot schools in the country. The driving force for the further development was the large potential of air transport in Congo. From 1911 on, attempts were made to use a "Farman" with a 50-horsepower motor for local transport near the Equator, but the attempts were unsuccessful due to the difficult climate. A special contest held in 1912 to find the best hydro-aeroplane for tropical applications was won by a French pilot on an aeroplane called "Borel."

Most of the airplanes used by Belgian pilots at the numerous meetings and shows were of French origin but equipped with Belgian engines. They were used to achieve a long series of duration, altitude, and distance records by a large number of pilots, including Charles van den Born, Jan Olieslagers, and Elie Hanouille, who was the first Belgium to perform a loop.

A new company, JERO, was created by the Bollekens brothers to construct and repair JERO-FARMAN F16s and F20s for the Belgian army. Their main competitor was Leon de Brouckere, who founded a factory in Herstal, near Liege, to construct the Deperdussin under licence.

By the beginning of World War I, 104 Belgian pilots had earned a licence, of which 50 were military personnel. Factories and pilot schools were transferred to France and Belgian pilots participated actively in the hostilities in Europe and central Africa.

Shortly after the First World War several companies were created for for civil transport, including SNETA (Syndicat National pour l'Etude des Transports Aeriens) and CENAC (Comite d'Etudes pour la Navigation Aerienne au Congo). SNETA organized regular flights on De Havilland DH9s, and in 1923 SNETA and the Belgian government began the national airline Sabena.

LARA (Ligne Aerienne Roi Albert) began operationis in the Congo, connecting several cities on the Congo River by hydro-airplanes. In the same period there were efforts to link Belgium with its colony by air transport. The first flight was made in 1925 with a Handley-Page powered by 3 engines of 850 total horsepower (one Rolls Royce and two Siddely). The trip took 51 days for a total of only 75 hours and 25 minutes of flight. The same itinerary (8000 kilometers) was made in 1930 in eight days and nine hours and 25 minutes on a Breget XIX. Regular flights were made from 1935 on with a Fokker F VII (four days with six passengers) and later with a Savoia-Marchetti S93 (three days with eight passengers)

In parallel with the air transport was the development of the aeronautical industry. SABCA's first project was a small aeroplane called the Sabca J1, which was powered by the engine of a FN motorcycle. The company also constructed "Sabca" 1500 with a 200 HP engine and some gliders. It later assembled the Handley-Page, Fokker F VII, and the Savoia-Marchetti used by Sabena.

The Avions Fairey factory was created in 1931 and began building 83 Filefly airplanes for the Belgian army. They were later replaced by the Fox II M, designed by Belgian engineer Marcel Lobelle, who also conceived the Swordfish. In 1939 the company received an order for 80 Hurricanes, but it could not finish them before hostilities started.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

In 1875, Júlio Cesar Ribeiro de Souza, born in Belém, a city located in northern Brazil, started some research in aeronautics because he was impressed with the flight of certain native birds of the Amazon rain forest. he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he published works on air navigation and presented talks on this subject to the Instituto Politécnico, an engineering faculty. he designed a dirigible, which was christened Victória after his wife. after obtaining part of the funding in Brazil, the device was constructed in Paris. attempts to place the device airborne failed both in France and in Brazil. Back in his native city, he created a workshop to produce hydrogen gas for the machines that he invented. Júlio finally succeeded with his dream of pursuing air navigation with the flight of another dirigible, called Cruzeiro, in 1886 in Paris.

Another Brazilian, Severo Augusto de Albuquerque Maranhão, born in Macaíba, Rio Grande do Norte State in the northeast of Brazil, designed and flew the dirigible Bartolomeu de Gusmão in Rio de Janeiro in 1894. he also developed and constructed a second machine, the Pax. Two four-cylinder buchet engines with 16 and 24 hp powered the Pax, and two pusher propellers set at 50 rpm drove the aircraft. The forward and aft propeller diameters were 5 and 6m, respectively. in addition, two other propellers were placed noral to the machine's longitudinal axis for lateral control, only. a further propeller was placed below the deck and was employed to control the pitch movement of the 30-m-long aircraft. Maranhão had some insights in designing the Pax, which were not taken into account by his predecessors. one of them was the placement of the traction line coincident with the drag one to better control and handling of the aircraft. however, he unfortunately died during his flight on the Pax on May 12th, 1902 in Paris.

The aviation also changed after the Brazilian Alberto Santos Dumont. Alberto Santos Dumont was born on July 20th, 1873, in the village of Cabangu, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. At the age of 18, his father sent Santos Dumont to Paris where he devoted his time to the studies of chemistry, physics, astronomy and mechanics. He had a dream and an objective: to fly. In 1898, Santos-Dumont went up in his first balloon. It was round and unusually small and he called it Brésil (Brazil). However, it was capable of lifting a payload of 114.4 lb, and had in its lower part a wicker basket. His second balloon, "America," had 500 m3 of capacity and gave Santos Dumont the Aero Club of Paris' award for the study of atmospheric currents. Twelve balloons participated in this competition but "America" reached a greater altitude and remained in the air for 22 hours. Between 1898 and 1905 he built and flew 11 dirigibles. Contrary to the prevailing common sense at that time, he employed in his lighter-than-air aircraft piston-powered engines with the lifting-gas hydrogen. He won the Deutsch Prize, which was conceived and granted by the oil tycoon Deustch de la Merthe, when for the first time in the history a dirigible went around the Eiffel tower on October 19th, 1901. This prize amounting 100,000 Francs stipulated a dirigible ride comprised of a flight with takeoff and landing at the Saint-Cloud field with a total duration of 30 minutes, including the going around the Eiffel Tower. In 1904, Santos Dumont came to the United States and was invited to the White House to meet President Theodore Roosevelt, who was very interested in the possible use of dirigibles in naval warfare. The interesting thing is that Santos-Dumont and the Wright brothers never met, even though they had heard of each other's work.

Louis Cartier invented the wristwatch for his famous friend, Alberto Santos Dumont, in March of 1904. They had met and become good friends in 1900. Santos Dumont's Deustch Prize conquest was celebrated at Maxim's that evening, and at some point Santos Dumont complained to Cartier about the difficulty of checking his pocket watch to time his performance. He wanted his friend to come up with an alternative that would permit him to keep both hands on the controls. Louis Cartier went to work on the idea and the result was a watch with a leather band and a small buckle, to be worn on the wrist. Santos-Dumont never took off again without his personal Cartier wristwatch.

Santos Dumont also designed a helicopter, the picture of which was displayed on the cover page of the periodic "La Vie au Grand Air" of January 12, 1906. Due to technical difficulties to put such machine airborne, Santos Dumont pursued his dream of flying with a winged aircraft, instead. In 1906, Santos-Dumont took the nacelle of his dirigible balloon no. 14 and added to it a fuselage and biplane wings, whose cellular structure resembled the kites still found nowadays in Japan. An Antoinette V8 engine of 24 hp power was installed ahead of the wings, driving a propulsion propeller the airplane flew rear-first and was denominated 14-bis (since it was descendent of the dirigible balloon no. 14). It had a wingspan of 12 m and 10-m-long fuselage, and had a tricycle fixed landing gear. Santos-Dumont developed what has to be called the first flight simulator, using winches and gears to let the 14-bis roll down a plan, while he learned how to control the plane. On 21 August 1906, Santos-Dumont made his first attempt to fly. He did not succeed, since the 14bis was underpowered. On September 13th, with a reengined 14bis (now with a 40 or 50 hp power engine which he obtained through Louis Bréguet), Santos Dumont made the first flight of 7 or 13 m (according to different accounts) above the ground, which ended with a violent landing, damaging the propeller and landing.

On October 23th, 1906 his 14Bis biplane flew a distance of 60 meters at a height of 2 to 3 meters during a seven-sec-long flight. Santos Dumont won the 3,000 Francs Prize Archdeacon, instituted in July 1906 by the American Ernest Archdeacon, to honor the first flyer to achieve a level flight of at least 25 m. Before his next flight Santos-Dumont modified the 14-bis by the addition of large hexagonal ailerons, to give some control in roll. Since he already had his hands full with the rudder and elevator controls (and could not use peddles since he was standing), he operated these via a harness attached to his chest. If he wanted to roll right he would lean to his right, and vice versa. One witness likened Santos-Dumont's contortions while flying the 14-bis to dancing the samba! With the modified aircraft, he returned to Bagatelle on 12 November. This time the Brazilian made six increasingly successful flights. One of these flights was 21,4 sec long within a 220 m path at a height of 6 m. The Brazilian always used his Cartier wristwatch to check the duration of his flights. The flight experiments with the 14Bis took place at Le Bagatelle (air)field in Paris. Santos Dumont did not employ any catapult or similar device to place his craft aloft. As far as the world knew, it was the first airplane flight ever and Santos-Dumont became a hero to the world press. The stories about the Wright brothers' flights at Kitty Hawk and later near Dayton, Ohio, were not believed even in the US at the time.

The Brazilian aviation pioneer continued with his experiments, building other dirigible balloons, as well as the aircraft no. 19, initially called Libellule (later changed to Demoiselle) in 1907. It was a small high-wing monoplane, with only 5.10 m wingspan, 8 m long and weighing little more than 110 Kg with Santos Dumont at the controls. With optimum performance, easily covering 200 m of ground during the initial flights and flying at speeds of more than 100 km/h. Dumont used to perform flights with the airplane on Paris and some small trips for nearby places. The Demoiselle was the last aircraft built by Santos Dumont and the type suffered several modifications from 1907 to 1909. Santos Dumont was so enthusiastic about the aviation that he released the drawings of Demoiselle for free, thinking that the aviation would be the mainstream of a new prosperous era for the mankind. Clément Bayard, an automotive maker, constructed several units of Demoiselle. Dumont retired from his aeronautical activities in 1910. Alberto Santos Dumont, seriously ill and disappointed, it is said, over the use of aircraft in warfare, committed suicide in the city of Guarujá in São Paulo on July 23, 1932. His numerous and decisive contributions to aviation are his legacy to mankind.

On the 7th January 1910, the first airplane constructed and designed in Brazil took off for its maiden flight in Osasco, São Paulo. The aircraft was conceived by the Frenchman Demetre Sensaud de Lavaud and was very similar to the Bleriot designs. The first flight was only 6-sec long. Afterwards, several other flights followed and the airplane, known as São Paulo, attracted huge crowds during its flights exhibitions. The aircraft was 100% Brazilian-made (even the propellers and the engine were manufactured by Mr. Lavaud). It was the first of several other designs developed in Brazil and the event took place long before the country could see aircraft serial manufacturing.

In 1899 in São Paulo the Strength of Material Laboratory of the Engineering Faculty Escola Politécnica was created. In the first years of its existence, the Laboratory performed tests with materials mostly employed in the civil construction. In 1926, the Laboratory evolved itself into the Laboratory for Material Testing also gaining research attributions and in turn gave later birth to the Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas (IPT). The interest of IPT in aviation appeared from studies looking for application areas of wood in engineering. A report containing properties of numerous wooden elements, result of an extensive and systematic research, was published by IPT and was worldwide acknowledged. In 1938, Frederico Brotero and Orthon Hoover designed a monoplace aircraft of wooden structure. The first one of the four prototypes of the aircraft was constructed in the IPT facilities and finished in Rio Claro, a city located in the countryside in the State of São Paulo. The airplane was nicknamed Bichinho de Rio Claro (Rio Claro's mascot) but later it gained the IPT-0 denomination. The plane brought some aeronautical innovations, among them high-lift devices at wing leading edge, which became a standard feature for aircraft types developed later by IPT. The first prototype of IPT-0 was equipped with a 60-hp engine. The wing ribs and the fuselage were composed of freijó (Cordia goeldiana), a moderate-weight wood type, which was researched by IPT. The skin of IPT-0 was made of IPT-manufactured plywood.

Bichinho was in operation until 1988. The experience gathered by making plywood elements for Bichinho enabled a creation of a unit for plywood manufactured at IPT, which started production in 1940. In 1943, engineers at IPT designed a new aircraft with more powerful engines ranging from 65 to 80 hp. Three prototypes had been constructed, each of them with a different motorization. All aircraft presented outstanding flight characteristics. In 1948, the Divison of Aeronautics of the IPT was created, originated from the Section of Aeronautics. The IPT designed a glider for primary instruction, the Gafanhoto, which was designated IPT-1. A public-domain report was published by IPT containing the required information to build the glider. The IPT-2 aircraft, also a glider, was nicknamed Aratinga and performed its maiden flight in July 1942. IPT built 17 different types of aircraft along its aeronautical activities.

In early 1951 Prof. Heinrich Focke moved to Brazil. He was head of the former Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau AG, which designed and manufactured the Fw 190, considered by many specialists one of best fighters of the World War II. At Centro Técnico Aeroespacial (CTA), Prof. Focke conducted some ground tests with a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, the Convertiplano. The BF-1 Beija-Flor helicopter was a Prof. Focke design from 1956, at this time still working at CTA. A two-seater, the Beija Flor had its 225hp Continental E225 engine fitted in the nose, with a short coupling to the rotor pylon, which was mounted centrally in front of the crew. An open structure tubular steel tail boom carried a pair of tail surfaces and a small tail rotor. The prototype flew on 1st January 1959, and performed an extended flight-testing campaign until it was damaged in an accident. It is thought that further work on the Beija Flor was then abandoned. A group of engineers working at IPD, an institute belonging to CTA, designed and built the twin-engined Bandeirante, an all-metal aircraft conceived to transport 20 passengers and that was able to operate at unpaved airfields. The Bandeirante was later manufactured by Embraer, which designed stretched civil and military versions of the type.

At the end of the 80s, the CTA adapted an aeronautical piston-powered engine to use ethanol as fuel. A Brazilian made T-25 Universal military trainer aircraft equipped with this engine successfully flew in 1989. Currently, there is research being conducted to introduce this kind of engine to agricultural airplanes.

The aeronautical activities of IPT and CTA led to necessary knowledge and the education of specialized people to support the modern Brazilian aircraft industry, which was born in the 60s and early 70s. Currently, Brazil has the fourth largest commercial aircraft manufacturer in the world, which has significantly contributed to the development of the regional aviation worldwide with comfortable, modern, and efficient designs.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003. By Bento Silva de Mattos

Canada has a special place in aviation and aeronautics, with a history dating back to the very earliest days of flying. Since that time, the shape and thrust of the industry and research community has changed in response to various stimuli: military interests were supplanted by the need for exploration of Canada's north and international market realities have since caused Canada to focus on more specialized or niche markets. Canada's aerospace industry now leads the world in developments such as turboprop commuter aircraft, business and commercial jet aircraft, turbine engines, helicopters, landing gear, microwave landing systems, satellite communications technology, flight simulators, and space robotics technology. Today, the industry employs more than 100,000 people in every region of the country in aerospace-related jobs. More than 12,000 of these are scientific and engineering personnel.

Canada is totally self-sufficient in its development of aerospace technical, engineering, scientific, and operational skills with well-developed educational facilities in all regions of the country.

The country also develops its own new technologies through well-developed research facilities at several major universities. Because of its proximity to the United States, a large exchange of skills and qualified people also takes place on a continuing basis, further enhancing Canada's aerospace skill development. This mixing of Canadian and foreign, as well as the practical and theoretical, has resulted in a cross-flow of information that is of great value to both the academic community and industry. It has furthered the practical exploitation of aerospace research. The National Research Council's Institute for Aerospace Research is the keystone in the academic and research efforts of the country, now largely funded by the private sector on a fee-for-service basis.

There are several major aerospace companies in Canada, notably Bombardier's Canadair and de Havilland divisions, Pratt and Whitney Canada, Bell Helicopter Canada, Spar, and CAE. The Bombardier products of the Canadair Challenger, the de Havilland Dash Eight, and the Regional Jet are well known worldwide, as is the family of Pratt and Whitney Canada engines. Bell Helicopter Canada has the world mandate to market the civil variants of its parent company's product lines, and Spar, best known for the Space Shuttle's "Canadarm" remote manipulator system, is also a prime manufacturer of communications satellites and space systems. In addition to these and branch plants of other large companies such as Boeing, there are more than 50 medium-sized and hundreds of smaller companies that provide proprietary products or build-to-print components that are sold to companies outside Canada.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The embryonic forms of modern aircraft-the kite, rocket, Kongming lamp, and bamboo dragonfly-were invented and created in ancient China and played an important role in the generation and development of aviation.

In the middle of the 19th century, Western aviation knowledge was introduced to China. At first, aviation news and scientific fictions were published. Then foreign flyers came to China to make flight demonstrations. Later, the Chinese government sent students abroad to study aeronautics and procured balloons and aircraft and some Chinese living overseas designed and manufactured airships and airplanes.

In 1855, a book written by an English doctor was the first to introduce hydrogen balloons and parachutes to the Chinese. In 1911, Rene Vallon, a French flyer, made a flight demonstration with his airplane and sparked an interest in the Chinese people.

In 1905, Zhang Zhidong, the Huguang governor, obtained two reconnaissance balloons from Japan and demonstrated them in Wuchang. Balloon teams were established in the armies of the Hubei and Jiangsu provinces and in October of that year, the Hubei Army balloon team performed a demonstration during its autumn exercise at Taihu.

In aircraft development, Feng Ru made outstanding achievements. The earliest aircraft designer and flyer in China, he went to the United States when he was a child and was inspired in 1903 when the Wright Brothers' made their successful flight. He devoted himself to aircraft manufacturing and his interest was sponsored by local overseas Chinese. He began manufacturing airplanes in a factory in Oakland, California, in 1907 and started the Guangdong Air Vehicle Company in 1909, completing an airplane that year. He returned to China in 1911 to begin development of aviation business in his native country, but he died in a flight accident in 1912.

Another aviation forerunner in China was Tan Gen. He was one of the early designers and manufacturers of hydroplanes and made a hydroplane with a ship body in July 1910. The aircraft won a prize in an international aircraft manufacturing competition in Chicago. Tan Gen was appointed as a designer of the Zhonghua Air Vehicle Company in Honolulu and trained pilots there. His hydroplanes made flight demonstrations in Hawaii, Japan, and Southeast Asia, and one of them flew over a 2,416-meter volcano in the Philippines, setting a hydroplane altitude world record.

Between 1901 and 1911, the Qing Dynasty government assigned students to go abroad to study aeronautical engineering and flying skills. One of the students, Wang Zhu, became the first chief engineer at Boeing Aircraft Company and designed a "C" type hydroplane for the company. He returned to China in the 1920s and led the design of many types of hydroplanes at Mawei Hydroplane Institute in Fujian Province.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The history of French aviation began at the dawn of the 20th century. The French had been involved in human flight since 1783, when François Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes flew over Paris in the first human flight in a hot air balloon. That same year, the scientist Jacques Alexandre Charles flew with Ainé Robert in the first hydrogen balloon flight. On 7 January 1785 Jean-Pierre Blanchard crossed the English Channel, from Dover to Calais, on board a hydrogen balloon. He was accompanied by John Jeffries, an American citizen, who was the first passenger to travel via air from the United Kingdom to France.

The military usefulness of balloons quickly became apparent to the French. Late in 1870, when the Prussians besieged Paris, balloons allowed the military to stay in touch with authorities trying to organize resistance in the French provinces. Although the Paris airlift was not able to change the course of the military operations in the 1870-1871 war between France and Prussia, it had considerable impact on world opinion about aerostats.

In 1784, just one year after the first flights of man-operated balloons, the French inventor G. Meusnier proposed a design for a streamlined propelled and steerable balloon. The design was a forerunner of dirigibles. The first flight of a dirigible was accomplished by another French pioneer, Henri Giffard, in September 1852 in an airship powered by a 3 HP steam-engine. In 1884, two French officers, Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs, made a five-mile trip aboard the dirigible, La France, powered by an electric motor.

When internal combustion engines became available, Alberto Santos-Dumont, an inventive Brazilian living in Paris, understood their potential for powering dirigibles. He built simple and light ships and, in 1901, won the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize for the first flight from Saint-Cloud to the Eiffel Tower and back. The flight took less than 30 minutes.

Then, in France, the transition from lighter-than-air balloons to aircraft took place. Col. Charles Renard and his assistant, Capt. Ferdinand Ferber, set up the first facility in the world for testing aircraft models as well as engines and propellers (1904) at Chalais-Meudon. Ferdinand Ferber designed and flew a motorized aircraft on 27 May 1905. It was the first flight in Europe of a perfectly stabilized and controlled plane. In October 1906, Santos-Dumont made the first official heavier-than-air powered flight in Europe. From that time on, aviation developed rapidly in France. Among the pioneers were the Voisin brothers, Henri Farman, Louis Blériot, and Robert Esnault.

In 1909, other important aeronautical achievements took place in the country, including the first "Exposition internationale de locomotion aérienne" (now "International Aeronautical and Space Display"), which was held in in Paris for ground display the first international aircraft-in-flight display, which was organized near Reims and included superb feats achieved by French and foreign pilots flying innovative aircraft and a flight school subsidized by the government and set up by the Wright Brothers near Pau in the south of France.

In 1910, Henri Fabre designed and flew the first seaplane over Berre Lake near Marseilles. That same year, Gustave Eiffel operated his first wind-tunnel near the Eiffel Tower and tested models up to 63 kilometers per hour.

Another outstanding inventor was Robert Esnault-Pelterie, the pioneer of monoplanes powered by a radial engine with an odd number of cylinders. He also was the inventor of the control column, which allows immediate and instinctive reactions for roll and pitch control commands. He not only contributed to aviation development, he also is credited with long-term prospects in rocket propulsion and interplanetary trips.

The aviation development in France during the early 1900s was spurred on by the Wright Brothers' historic flight in 1903, and by Wilbur Wright's displays in France in 1908. But preceeding the aviation pioneers of the 20th century, there was another French pioneer, Clément Ader. Born in 1841, Ader was an inventive engineer. He filed many patents in various fields, including land vehicles and telephone sets. But his main hobby was the observation of birds and bats. Ader built kites and small-scale gliders and measured, using dynamometers, the forces needed to keep them flying. He was the first engineer to know the value of lift and thrust needed for flying. In 1890, he made a short take-off aboard Eole, an airship powered by a steam engine. He managed to fly a distance of 50 meters at a height of a few decimeters.

Ader's airships were very advanced for their time, but suffered from major handicaps, including a complex airframe with bat-like wings a difficult aeroengine integration, owing to the use of a steam engine and an ineffective control system without any roll command.

Nevertheless, Ader must be recognized as the visionary prophet of aviation and its military applications in France. He gave the family name of "avions" to his aircraft and the name has been adopted by the French aeronautical community for designing propelled aeroplanes.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The history of air transportation began in Germany with the work of F. Graf Zeppelin in 1887. The requirements of payload and range-traversing mountainous regions and the sea-seemed at the time only to be achievable by the rigid Zeppelin airship, the first of which the inventor built and tested in 1900. In 1909 Zeppelin founded the first airline company, DELAG, which transported 18,000 passengers in five years and covered 90,000 nautical miles.

German Otto Lilienthal's flight research culminated in 2,000 controlled gliding flights over distances of up to 750 feet from 1891 to 1896. He was one of the first aircraft manufacturers, selling a number of his Standard Gliders to customers in Austria, England, and Russia. His published findings helped motivate the Wright Brothers.

The technology of the "aero-engine"-first built for airships and then for airplanes-is largely based upon the development of the automotive "high rpm" four stroke gasoline engine.

The dedicated commercial transport aircraft was pioneered by another German, H. Junkers (1919) with the JUF13. Essential for its success was Junkers' development of an aircraft structure technology based upon heat-treated aluminum alloy (Dural, developed by a supplier in Germany). Beginning in 1917 he had gained manufacturing experience in delivering 230 "close air support aircraft" employing this technology. Junkers' concept of "internally braced thick wing" had been essential to the success of his concept.

The first "Jumbo-Transport aircraft" was demonstrated in 1929 by Dornier with his then giant flying boat "DoX," which carried 169 passengers during a special one-hour flight. In 1944 Dornier began production of the ultimate high-speed operational aircraft. "Do335" was powered by reciprocating engines reaching 745 kilometers per hour. Another German pioneer was Pabst von Ohain, a pioneer of air-breathing jet propulsion who first demonstrated the technology in flight in 1939.

The concept of the swept wing for the transonic flight regime was pioneered in Germany in 1936. The first experimental aircraft of 23° negative wing-sweep went into flight test in August 1944, while one with 35° positive sweep could not be taken beyond final assembly due to the termination of aircraft development in the country in 1945.

Aeronautics had first been extended into aerospace through the flight-trajectory, which was achieved by the Penemuende-A4 liquid-fuelled rocket (Werner von Braun) as of 1943.

With the advent of the jet-age, parachute airbrakes were pioneered by the FIST (Flight Institute of the technical University/Stuttgart) beginning in the mid-30s. They found global use, including on the Space Shuttle.

Since 1959 the aerospace industry in Germany has perhaps been the most active partner in successfully pursuing multinational programs, including a flight research program on controlled maneuvering flight beyond the stall limit with the X31 as test vehicle.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The tradition of Greek aviation begins in Greek mythology. In the palace of Knossos in Crete, King Minos was holding captive Daidalus, an ingenius engineer and architect who had designed the palace. The only way for Daidalus and his son Icarus to escape the palace was to fly away using wings made of feathers and wax. However, during the flight to freedom, Icarus disobeyed his father's instructions and flew too close to the sun, which melted his wings. The sea where he crashed and met his death was named Icarian and is part of the Aegean.

True Greek aviation began much later-in 1911 when the Ministry of Military requested applications from officers to be trained in aviation. Four officers were selected and trained in France while the first military aircraft was ordered from the French firm, Farman. Several records were achieved in the next few years, including a world record flying height of 3,100 meters in 1912 and a speed record of 110 kilometers per hour in a hydroplane that same year. Additionally, Greeks took part in the first naval cooperation mission in history above the Dardanelles in January of 1913 during the Balkan Wars.

Greek military aviators participated in many other wars, including the Hellenic-Turkish War (1919), World Wars I and II, and Korea. Today, the Hellenic Armed Forces, equipped with the most technologically advanced aircraft, continues that tradition.

Emm. Argyropoulos, the first Greek civilian pilot, flew above thousands of spectators in his Nieuport aircraft in 1912 in the first ever flight in Greece. In 1931, the first laws regulating air traffic and air transportation were created. In 1939 the first Hellenic aviation company connected several Greek cities, and by 1957, there were several aviation companies operating in Greece. In 1957, Olympic Airways was created, incorporating all the previous civil aviation companies. In 1975, ownership of Olympic Airways passed from Aristotles Onassis to the Hellenic government. Today, several private commercial airline/airtransport companies are based in Greece and continue to operate and expand, making the field a competitive market place.

The Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) was founded in 1975 and today ranks among the largest and most advanced aircraft and engine support centers in Europe, with more than 130 business cooperations with a wide range of global customers.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The first small, hydrogen-filled experimental balloons (1784) are associated with the names of István Szablik and József Domin.

In 1811, while traveling as a passenger on a gas balloon from Budapest to Gyöngyös (70 km), Dr. Menner dropped to earth various small domestic animals with little silk parachutes, unharmed.

The first Hungarian balloon, the "TURUL", filled with lighting gas, rose with its two passengers to 4040 metres (13,255 feet) on its first aerial journey (1902) and landed smoothly.

David Schwarz (1850-1897) said: "Dirigible aero-navigation can be attained with a rigid body of metal construction." In 1897 his truss girder structured airship, covered with aluminium sheets, achieved a speed of 35 km/h (56 mph). A Prussian officer as a "test-pilot" controlled the maiden flight.

Lajos Martin (1827-1897). A university lecturer, he became the first outstanding aeronautical experimentalist known worldwide. He suggested the use of aileron-surfaces in dynamic aviation. In 1893 his hovering wheel model, which applied one of the technological solutions of today's helicopters, reached completion.

In 1896 Béla Tóth gave notice for the first Hungarian patent for an aeroplane.

The first aeronautical journal, the "Repülo-Hírlap " ("Aero News") appeared in 1893, and in 1902 the first professional journal, "The Aëronaut" was published. In October 1910, the reformed Hungarian Aero Club was accepted as a member of the Fédération Aeronautique Internationale (FAI). In June 1910, it organised international air-races in Budapest.

1909: Blériot flew over the English (La Manche) Channel and following that, held his first demonstration flight in Budapest the same year.

Ágoston Kutassy (1879-1932). Owner of the Hungarian No.1 pilot certificate, he sacrificed almost all his possessions and bought, during the summer of 1909, a French (Far-man) aeroplane to show it at home.

RÁKOSMEZÕ, 1909: The cradle of Hungarian aviation. Here the first two wooden booth-hangars were built. At the 1910 International Air-Race already 16 (plus 24 temporary) hangars stood at the disposal of the local Hungarian and the 29 competitors from abroad. The first 3 flying pioneers started from here, flying successfully, small, Hungarian-built, light monoplanes:

János Adorján (1882-1964). The first Hungarian pilot to fly in this country on his own, self-designed aeroplane (1910).

Ernõ Horváth (1883-1943). Won the National Prize on the 2nd International Air-Race in Budapest. He started flying in 1910, but after a crash he withdrew and engaged himself only in design and building. His book, "The Flying Engine" became the textbook of Hungarian and Austrian flying schools.

Aladár Zsélyi (1883-1943). Famous for his innovations. At the time of the international race he had already flown 3 - 4,000 metres (1800-2500 miles) distances on a circular course. His machine was "the first Hungarian aeroplane constructed by an engineer with a master degree." In 1912 he designed the plan of a 500 h.p. Aerobus to carry 34 passengers. Later, in 1912-13 he experimented with primitive gas turbines as a new source of power for aeroplanes. In 1913 he passed the pilot examination in Wiener-Neustadt, Austria, built a fast plane considered as modern for a 66 kW engine - but crashed at its test flight and died of tetanus infection.

Mihály Székely (1885-1959). His achievement won a distinguished place in the history of Hungarian aviation. In 1911, he flew with a Pischof-monoplane (60 h.p. ENV motor) from Wiener Neustadt to Budapest (240 km). This was the first long-distance flight by a Hungarian. He won second prize in altitude and third prize in speed at the National Air Race in 1913.

Géza Kolbányi (1863-1936). He was one of the aeroplane and aero-engine designers of the initial stage of Hungarian flying from 1909. The Kolbányi-Galcsek 6-cylinder, 60 h.p. air-cooled, fan-type engine was the most valuable part of his first machines.

József and Kálmán Tóth. Two young mechanics. Their machine was the first completely covered, plywood stressed-skin structured plane in Hungary.

Sándor Svachulay (1875-1954). Dedicated his whole life to experiments in man-powered flying machines. He built one of his first planes "ALBATROS" with a boat hull: this was the first Hungarian experiment with an amphibian.

András Kvasz (1884-1974). Worked from 1909 as a mechanic at Zsélyi's aero-experiments. He built several planes of his own from 1911 and was an outstanding pilot, the most popular in the country at the time.

Dedics brothers, Ferenc (1874-1929) and Kálmán (1877-1969). Pioneers of Hungarian aero-engine manufacture from 1909. Kálmán studied in Germany. He built the first aeroplane engines between 1909-13, when the manufacture of planes was still in its infancy everywhere. He was the first to apply the 6-cylinder radial-engine which caused a sensation in 1911, as it produced 44 kW output with a mere 62 kg (137 lbs) mass. Later, the brothers switched to the production of 7-cylinder rotary engines. Gyula Minár won with it their greatest success, the first prize, in 1914 at Pöstyén at the Austro-Hungarian air-race.

Mór Bokor (1881-1942). At the initial stage of flying, he experimented in America. In 1909 he built a machine for the airship-school there and won the $500 Arlington prize with it. In 1910 he continued working at home.

Sándor Pfitzner (1880-1910). An American-Hungarian pioneer who graduated at the Hungarian University of Technology. In 1910 he flew 216 km (134 miles), reaching a height of 1100 metres (3600 feet) within 2 hours.

Lilly Steinschneider (1891-1989?). The first Hungarian woman pilot. She received, in 1912, the No.4 pilot certificate.

Antal Lányi came to Rákosmezõ in 1911 and became well known by his flight over Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe.

Létai brothers, Sándor, Lajos, András came to the forefront of Hungarian aeronautics by their up-to-date constructions. Their most successful aeroplane (1913) was a monoplane with closed fuselage powered by a radial-engine, without the common single-skid undercarriage.

Between 1914-18, the Hungarian aircraft industry (established here by the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy) began developing. The 3 greatest: Hungarian Aircraft Factory (1914), Hungarian General Aicraft Factory (1916) and Hungarian Lloyd Aircraft and Engine Factory (at Aszód - 1916). At Aszód, Tibor Melczer designed types according to his own imagination. 287 aircrafts were built during the war: fighter planes, bombers and reconnaissance planes. The first air-to-air combats produced heroic fights with many tragic losses, among them one of the most famous and most successful fighter-pilot of the Monarchy, József Kiss, holder of 3 Great Gold, 4 Great Silver, 5 Small Silver Medals of Valour (with 19 victories).

In 1914, at the 3-day Schicht Air Race between countries of the Monarchy, out of 10 entrants, 3 were Hungarian. The winner, Viktor Wittmann won European fame for himself and shining glory for Hungarian avionics: he flew 1092 km (679 miles) within 15 hours, 50 minutes, 18 seconds.

István Petróczy, colonel, played an important role in organising amateur-flying after the 1st World War.

In 1921 the Sporting Flying Club of the University of Technology (MSrE) was set up. Three of its most famous founders:

Árpád Lampich 1898-1956). An open-minded construction engineer and pilot, prime mover of the MSrE Club, played a leading role in the rebirth of Hungarian aeronautics in the early 20s.

Lajos Rotter (1901-1983). While still a university student, achieved outstanding international success with his dissertation for a Swiss helicopter competition. Later, with his glider "KARAKÁN" (1934) he broke the Hungarian distance and duration records with 276 km (171.5 miles) and 24 hrs 14 minutes flights respectively, scoring in 1935 the first international victory for Hungarian gliding. At the 1936 Olympics, with his masterpiece "NEMERE" he flew a 336 km (209 miles) goal-distance world record to great international acclaim. In 1937 the FAI established the golden ISTUS ring for outstanding work in glider sport - this was awarded for the very first time to Lajos Rotter.

Ernõ Rubik (1910-1997). Aircraft engineer, (father of the inventor of the magic cube), was the creator of Hungarian sail-plane mass production which enabled pilot training in large numbers. He designed 24 sail plane archetypes, 5 motor-powered planes, 4 glider UL-aircrafts. Over 1000 of his machines were produced.

Antal Bánhidi (1902-1994). Became world famous by both his aircraft designs and his performance as a pilot. His plane "GERLE" achieved considerable international success. In 1933 with Tibor Bisits on "GERLE 13" they flew round the Mediterranean Sea, equal to 12,500 km (7769 miles), in 100 hours, 22 minutes. The moral success of this journey was significant all known aviation journals mentioned it. The aircraft was rebuilt as an old-timer, and is still flying today.

Károly Kaszala (1891-1932). His world records: in 1927 he flew non-stop for 9 hours 21 minutes in a circular course on his light, low-performance machine. In 1928, he flew with the same plane to Rome, where they painted its later name ROMA on the aircraft. With this plane (L-2 Roma) its designing engineer Árpád Lampich made 1022 km (635 miles) in 16 hours - another world record!

In 1930 Hungarian patriots in the US and Canada set up the Hungarian Transatlantic Flight Committee to enable Hungarian pilots to make a transatlantic flight. Lord Rothermere helped by offering a prize and he decided to name the aircraft "JUSTICE FOR HUNGARY." György Endresz was invited to be the pilot for this historical flight. In the summer of 1931, at the focus of international interest, he made the 5,800 km distance with his navigator, Sándor Magyar in record time (26 hours 20 minutes). This successful flight evoked immense international acclaim.

Tódor Kármán (1881-1963). World famous aerodynamicist, one of the greatest scientists of our age. In 1912 he was commissioned to organise and manage the Aeronautic Research Institute in Aachen, Germany. During the 1st World War he already designed a tethered observation helicopter. In 1926 he was invited by the California Institute of Technology to organise the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory in Pasadena, of which he became the director in 1930. His scientific work is preserved in over 100 scientific papers and books. He created the Theory of Edge Surface and in connection with this, the theory for the design and measurement of wing surface for supersonic flights. Based on his results he is regarded as the father of supersonic flight. In 1963 he was the first to receive the greatest scientific award of the United States, the National Medal of Science. He was also holder of the Prandtl Memorial Ring, the Watt International Medal and the Gauss Medal. His chief works were published in all major languages.

Péter Besenyei (1956-). The most successful Hungarian powered aerobatic pilot of all times, many times Hungarian, European and World champion. To this day, an active member of the FAI World Grand Prix powered aerobatic pilot team, holder of several Gold Medals, and one of the most sought after airshow pilot of Europe.

In 1962 the FAI awarded the right to organise the Second World Aerobatics Championship to Hungary. There József Tóth (1933- ), glider pilot, holder of a golden diploma with one diamond, became overall world champion. This was an achievement never before attained in Hungarian sport flying, and constitutes the most shining pages of Hungarian civilian flying history. In 1966 József Tóth also became the Hungarian national champion.

In 1980, of the two fully trained Hungarian astronauts, Béla Magyari and Bertalan Farkas, the latter flew into space by the spacecraft Soyuz-36 (on board Salyut-6 space station).

In 1999 in Fairford, England, Maj. Gyula Vári, accompanied by Peter Kovács, won for the second time the prize awarded for the best solo demonstration flight of military pilots. controlled maneuvering flight beyond the stall limit with the X31 as test vehicle.

Contributed by Ms Mária Kovács. With special thanks to Mr. Attila Szabo and Mr. Gábor Fekecs.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The first airplane to visit the Holy Land was a Bleriot XI, flown by the French aviator Jules Vedrines, who participated in a competition to fly from Paris to Cairo. He landed near Jaffa, on the Mediterranean coast, on December 27th, 1913 - at a time when Palestine was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

Vedrines took off from Nancy in eastern France on November 20, 1913, and headed his Bleriot XI for central Europe, where his main stops were Prague, Vienna and Belgrade. His last stop in Europe was the Ottoman Empire capital Constantinople (today Istanbul in Turkey), after which he flew over Ottoman territory around the eastern Mediterranean, finally reaching Egypt via Beirut and Jaffa.

A few days later, on December 31st, 1913, a second French airplane reached Palestine - a Nieuport flown by Mark Bornier and Joseph Bernie, which landed near Jerusalem.

As Turkish pilots wanted also to prove their ability to perform long-distance flights, the "Cairo Expedition" was announced at the beginning of 1914. The aim was to complete a travel of about 2,370-km from Istanbul in Turkey to Alexandria in Egypt, through Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. Two airplanes - a Bleriot XI and a Deperdussin with Turkish pilots - took off on February 8th 1914 for the attempt. The Bleriot XI crashed near the Lake of Galilee and its two pilots were killed. The Deperdussin managed to reach Palestine and landed near Jaffa on March 9th, but when taking off to continue the journey, it crashed into the Mediterranean one pilot drowned in the accident, while the other survived. Another Bleriot, named "Edremit" and flown by Salim and Kemal Bey, finally completed the "Cairo Expedition" successfully in mid-May 1914.

Aviation played a limited role in the Middle East during World War I. British military forces trying to conquer Palestine had to confront German airplanes, which came to the help of the Turkish army. By the end of the war, the British captured the entire land of Palestine. In 1923, the League of Nations gave the U.K. a mandate for the administration of Palestine, which continued until May 1948.

The minority Jewish population in Palestine started to show interest in aviation in the mid 1930s. Initially, a few aero clubs were founded for glider training - the Carmel Club, the Flying Camel Club and the Aero Club of Palestine. The next step was obviously to train pilots on single-engine light planes. This activity commenced at the Palestine Flying Service, which operated three Taylorcraft light planes. The first 11 graduates received their private pilot licenses in April 1939. A second flying school was run at the same time by the Aviron ("Airplane") company, operating a Tiger Moth biplane and three Polish-made RWD-8 biplanes. First graduates of the Aviron flying school received their licenses in July 1939. Aviron grew bigger with the years, merged with Palestine Flying Service and acquired more aircraft. By January 1942, already 95 private pilot's licenses were obtained in Palestine. Aviron also assisted the Jewish underground military organization ("Haganah") in defense operations.

The first local airline - Palestine Airways - started operating inland flights in July 1937 with two Shorts S.16 Scion twin-engine aircraft. Later it acquired a Shorts S.22 Scion Senior and a DH-89A Dragon Rapide, and extended its services to Egypt, Lebanon and Cyprus. Palestine Airways continued operating until August 1940, when its aircraft were taken over for British military service in WWII.

Between July 1937 and the end of the British mandate in May 1948, 22 commercial and private aircraft were registered in Palestine. Following the UN resolution in November 1947 to divide Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish states, effective upon the termination of the British Mandate in May 1948, there was an outbreak of severe hostilities. The need for air power became critical to the Jews' survival, and from this dire necessity was borne the Sherut Avir ("Air Service") - an illegal, clandestine Jewish air force. Only 10 light planes were available then in Jewish hand. Additional aircraft were acquired from every possible source. When the state of Israel was founded in May 14th 1948, Sherut Avir had already 25 aircraft. It became the Israeli Air Force, which played a vital role in the War of Independence. In less than a year the Israeli Air Force introduced into service 178 aircraft of 30 different types - an outstanding achievement from the operational and maintenance aspects. Those included heavy bombers, fighters, large and small transports, trainers and various other types.

Aviation progress in Israel was very rapid over the years, in almost every aspect. Notable aeronautical milestones in the first years are:

  • Establishing an Israeli Society of Aeronautics in February 1951 (which merged in 1968 with the Israel Astronautical Society and became the Israeli Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics).
  • Establishing the national airline EL AL in November 1948.
  • The maintenance facility Bedek Aviation opened its gates in 1953, forming the basis for an aircraft industry - later to become Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).
  • A department of aeronautical engineering was inaugurated in the Technion in 1954, later to become the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.

55 years after its foundation, Israel has one of the biggest and most modern air forces in the world, successful international and regional airlines, hundreds of registered general aviation and sport aircraft, renowned research and educational academic institutes, and above all - a most advanced aerospace industry. Israeli defense companies have been developing and manufacturing for years combat aircraft, business jets, all kinds of missiles, UAVs, space launchers and satellites. Israel has become a world leader in many aerospace fields.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The first Italian who flew did so on board a balloon in 1784. Exactly 100 years after Paolo Andreani's flight, the Army of the young Italian state was equipped with a number of balloons that took part in the first Italian expedition to East Africa in 1890.

Experimentation with aircraft in Italy was given a push by the visit of the French pioneer Delagrange (1908), and by Wilbur Wright, who flew in Italy and gave lessons on flying practice to two young Italian aviators. After that, aeronautical flight received a tremendous increase in activity and expansion, culminating in the first national event, the aerial circuit of Brescia in 1910.

While it is difficult to say who was the first designer and which was the first design of an Italian aircraft, it is important to note that the country was the first nation to employ aircraft for military applications-using it for observations (photography) as well as the launching of hand-bombs during the Libyan War in 1911.

At the beginning of World War I, the Italian aircraft industry was almost nonexistent and the Armed Forces were equipped with a very poor fleet (60 aircraft, 5 airships, and 12 seaplanes). However, aircraft were used for the launching of propaganda leaflets over Vienna in 1915.

The Italian aircraft industry started to take its first steps in 1910 when Gianni Caproni built a factory to produce large bombers. But the industry expanded tremendously during the war. By the end, 12,000 airplanes and 25,000 engines had been produced. Italy had become the fourth aeronautical power in the world, after France, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

The end of the war necessitated a re-conversion of the aeronautical industry in order to ensure the continued employment of the 300,000 people involved. Caproni was the first to promote and encourage the construction of large civil airplanes. But commercial airline companies had not yet been established in the country and the Italian industries had to market themselves to the foreign market. For this reason, Ansaldo Aviazione and Caproni organized several demonstration trips to European and South American countries.

The period between the two wars was characterized by great Italian exploits in sorties, air cruises, records, and sport victories. Among these were: speed record for seaplanes, as yet unbeaten (Macchi, 1934) the two air cruises through the Atlantic under Italo Balbo's leadership (South America, 1930 North America, 1934) and the Schneider Cup for seaplanes, which was won four times by the Italians.

The events of World War II were unsuccessful for Italy and its military aviation, essentially because of the overwhelming superiority of the Allied fleets in the central and final periods of the war. The MG 202, 205, the FIAT G55, and Italian fighters couldn't compare with the performance of American and British aircraft. At the end of the conflict, the Italian aviation industry no longer existed.

The period following WWII, though, can be considered the Renaissance of Italian aviation. In commercial activities, Alitalia is one of the most prestigious companies in the world. It started in 1947 with a very small fleet, and now its aircraft travel everywhere in the world. The Italian aeronautical industry had and still has its major representative in Alenia, the former Aeritalia. Under the direction of first-class designers such as Gabrielli, and eventually of his pupils and successors Cereti and Vallerani, Alenia has been involved in several military projects (Tornado, AMX, and EFA-Typhoon) and civil aircraft (Boeing 767, MD80s, and ATR42/72).

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The first airplane flight in Japan was likely on 29 April 1891, when a propeller-driven unmanned plane took off and flew about 10 meters at a height of one meter and 36 meters at a height of six meters the following day. The plane's inventor was Tyuuhaci Ninomiya, known as a genius of kite-making in his neighborhood. The airplane was called "Crow Type Flying Machine" and was a monoplane with a tail similar to that of a crow, 61 centimeters long and 59 centimeters wide with a three-wheel landing gear and a four-blade propeller driven by twisted rubber strings. After the success of this model airplane, Ninomiya tried to develop a manned airplane and wrote a letter to the Japanese Army for support, but his request was denied. When he learned of the success of the Wright Brothers, he was discouraged and never returned to the aviation field, even though he received a letter of apology from the Japanese Army.

The first human flight in Japan was made on 5 December 1909 in a glider. The machine was invented by Yves Paul Gaston Le Prieur, an attaché of the French Embassy in Tokyo, and Lt. Shirou Aibara of the Japanese Navy. A boy flew onboard their biplane with a box-type tail. The plane was 6.8 meters long and 7.2 meters wide and had 4-wheel landing gear. It flew 15 meters at a height of four meters on 5 December 1909 after a ground run by the power of several people. Five days later, Le Prieur took off with a ground run pulled by an automobile and flew about 100 meters.

The first flight of a Japanese-made powered airplane was made on 5 May 1911. The plane was designed and built by Sanji Nagahara, a Japanese Navy engineer and was 10 meters long, 9.2 meters wide, and equipped with a 50-horsepower Gnome engine. It flew approximately 60 meters on 5 May 1911. Because its flying quality was so stable, it flew to many cities throughout Japan for demonstrations.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

While the people of the Netherlands experimented with hot air balloons in the 18th and 19th centuries, avation attracted little interest in the country until 1907, when a handful of people, convinced that aviation had a bright future, founded the Dutch Aeronautical Society (later the Dutch Royal Aeronautical Society).

The society tried to promote interest in aviation by procuring a number of balloons and gliders in 1909, and its activities stimulated aviation in the early years of the century. The first flying display was, however, organized in 1909 by a private citizen using a two-seat Wright Flyer. Soon, the first Dutch civil aviators began flying in Bleriot, Anoinette, and Curtiss airplanes, and the aviators numbers increased steadily after the first flying school was established in 1910. That same year Dutchmen built their first airplanes. The first was a replica of a Bleriot monoplane, but Dutchmen soon began flying in their own designs.

Army aviation began in July 1913, followed by the Naval air service in 1915. In 1914 the aviation department of the Dutch East Indies Army (KNIL) was founded. The Netherlands was neutral during World War I, so the Dutch armed forces did not benefit from the substantial progress in aviation technology that was made during that period.

Because of the limited interest in aviation before the war, many Dutch aircraft designers went abroad. Frits Koolhoven went to the United Kingdom in 1911. He returned to the Netherlands in 1920 and started his own factory in 1930. His most successful aircraft was the FK51, but his factory was bombed in 1940 by the German Luftwaffe and never restarted. The most famous Dutch entrepreneur was Anthony Fokker. He was educated in Germany, where he built his first airplane in 1910. Fokker produced 7,600 airplanes for Germany during the First World War. Famous aircraft included the Fokker Eindecker, the Fokker D-III, and D-VII. After that war he smuggled 200 aircraft, 500 engines, and other parts to the Netherlands and started his own factory at Sciphol near Amsterdam.

Many famous civil and military aircraft were produced by Fokker's company before World War II. During the war production came more or less to a standstill, but the Dutch government decided that aircraft production in the Netherlands should resume after the war. The government consolidated industrial activities into one company, Fokker. The new Fokker developed a number of military training aircraft (S-11 to S-14). It also engaged in the assembly and license-production of military aircraft (Seafury, Meteor, Hunter, F-104, F-5) and later participated in the co-production of the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The company also developed the successor to the DC-3-the F27 Friendship. After the F27's first flight in 1955, 786 planes were sold, making it the most successful civil turboprop aircraft in the Western world. A much-improved derivative, the Fokker F50, was offered in the 1980s.

The Fokker Company was one of the first to implement cross-border integration by merging with the German VFW Company in the 1970s. However, the merger ended in failure. Fokker gave it another try with DASA in the early 90s, but the Fokker Aircraft Company went bankrupt, even though its products were well liked and backlog orders still existed. The STORK Company bought the surviving Fokker "Aviation" Company, which now employs more than 3,000 people and specializes in the production of major components, electric- and power distribution systems, and advanced aerospace materials as well as maintenance. The Fokker Aviation Group is a partner in several global aircraft projects and-following a government decision in 1997-participates in Airbus projects.

Helicopter design and development also thrived in the Netherlands. In 1922 the British Air Ministry offered a prize of £50,000 for the design and construction of a helicopter and this stimulated the start of the Netherlands Helicopter Society. The first Dutch helicopter was flight tested from 1925 to 1930. Although the helicopter was of modern design, including the use of a tail rotor, it never went beyond the prototype stage. A second Dutch helicopter was developed in the 1950s. After an experimental period, the Netherlands Helicopter Industry was formed in 1955 to develop and manufacture the "Kolibrie" helicopter. This machine featured ramjet engines at the rotortips and self-adjusting blades. This helicopter had excellent flying characteristics, but high fuel consumption and noise levels limited its application and only a small number were produced. The latest development related to helicopters is the acquisition by the Dutch RDM company of Boeing civil helicopters in the United States in 1999. This company is famous for its MD-500 range of helicopters and the "NOTAR" development.

Thanks to the support of the Dutch Royal Aeronautical Society, Albert Plesman founded the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) one of the first scheduled airlines in the world, in 1919. KLM was one of the first carriers to promote the idea of creating transatlantic mega-carriers by associating with Northwest. This cooperation is currently extended to Alitalia. This group is now one of the four leading mega-carriers in the world and Schiphol Airport has become one of the leading gateways to Europe. All aeronautical activities in the Netherlands are supported by the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), which was founded in 1919. NLR provides technological support to the industry, government, and operators.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign.

The pioneer of aeronautics in Portugal was a Jesuit monk, Gusmao, who interrupted his studies at Coirnbra University to ask the monarchy for help in developing his flying machines. On 5 and 8 August 1709, the monk demonstrated the principle of lighter-than-air to the king, his court, and the Papal Representative Conti (later to become Pope Inocencius XIII). Gusmao put a fabric bag over a fire to collect warm air inside and let the bag fly up. In both demonstrations, one indoor and the other outdoors, the "hot air balloon" caused fires when it struck combustible objects. In one case it reached a height of 4.5 meters. In spite of the court's jokes about the events and the drawings of a "passarola" (a bird-like flying ship) it is unlikely that Gusmao went any further in this field he instead devoted himself to other inventions, like a device to remove water from flooded ships.

Airships and dirigibles came to Portugal through the army, after their use in France, at the end of the 19th century. The first airplanes flew in Portugal in 1909, again with French influence. The Portuguese contribution of an expeditionary force in France during World War I marked the beginning of military aviation in Portugal.

In the period between the wars there were many notable flights. From 30 March to 17 June 1921, Gago Coutinho and Sacadura Cabral flew a Fairey hydroplane from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in the first crossing of the South Atlantic. The longest leg, between Guinea, Africa, and Recife, Brazil, was longer than the aircraft's range, requiring fueling from a ship in the mid-South Atlantic near a group of cliffs called Fernando de Noronha. The critical task of navigating to this precise point was performed using the Aeronautical Sextant," which Coutinho developed from the naval sextant used by Portuguese navigators more than 300 years before.

The first night crossing of the South Atlantic took place from 2 March to 18 April 1927 in a Dornier-Wall seaplane. Other Portuguese aviators had flown from Lisbon to Macau from 7 April to 20 June 1924. Other flights connecting Portugal to its colonies scattered around the world were made, all at about the same time by aviation pioneers from several nations.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The history of aviation in Romania began very early, with the work of Conrad Hass (1551-1579), an artillery engineer and chief of arsenal of the town of Sibiu. Hass wrote about the construction and the flight tests of multistage rockets, apparently the earliest writings in existence about the science of rocket engineering.

One of the first suggestions for equipping a dirigible with a jet engine dates back as far as 1886, when Romanian inventor Alexandro Ciurcu (1884-1922), together with Frenchman Just Buisson, suggested that an aerostat built and exhibited with an electric engine at the Paris Exhibition of Electricity in 1881 be provided instead with their jet cylinder. Ciurcu built and tested their original first jet engine on a small ship running on the Seine River in Paris in 1886 and on a rail car in 1888.

In February 1903, the work of Traian Vuia (1872-1950), "Projet d'Aeroplane-automobile," was published. On this original aircraft, designed and built by Vuia and containing only the third aircraft engine made to that date, Vuia performed the first flight of a heavier-than-air aircraft in the history of aviation. It took off at Montesson, near Paris, on 18 March 1906, flying by the power of its engine with no auxiliary equipment.

Henri Coanda (1886-1972) constructed the first jet aircraft in the world, named the Coanda-1910, in 1910. The aircraft was exhibited at the International Aeronautical Show (Paris, 1910) and Coanda tested the engine near Paris. He performed the first reactive flight, but it ended in an accident: the aircraft side-slipped, fell, and burned. Coanda also was the constructor of the first twin-engine aircraft in the history of aeronautics (1911). He used two Gnome engines with seven rotating cylinders each, connected on the same shaft and driving a single four-blade airscrew.

Rodrig Golieseu built and flew his "Avioplan" in 1909. It was the first airplane to have a full cylindrical fuselage. Between 1932 and 1936 he flight tested his "Aviocoleopter," the first aircraft to have a toroidal wing.

Between 1918 and 1923, Vuia built and tested near Paris two helicopters, with mechanical drive from the engine to the lifting rotor (in the case of the second aircraft), practically proving that the rotating wing can ensure lift and propulsion. In 1920 his helicopter was patented in France and England.

In 1923 Hermann Oberth (1894-1989) published a study, "The Rocket in the Interplanetary Space," in which he put forward the theoretic basis of the operating possibility of the liquid-fueled rocket (later tested in a laboratory). Most of Oberth's work was done in the Romanian cities of Sighisoara and Medias between 1924 and 1938. Romanian aerospace history got a boost in 1981, when astronaut Dorin Prunariu made a space-flight on board the Soyuz T4- Saliut 6- Soyuz 40 orbital complex.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

Russia's huge territory, devoid of the usual transportation systems, inspired its scientists and engineers to dream about new transportation systems, especially air systems, in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Russian Academy of Science, established in 1725 in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, began by studying aero- and hydrodynamics. Russian and foreign scientists participated.

L. Euler, member of Russian Academy from 1726, published his famous equations, the base for calculation parameters of arbitrary flow, in 1755. In 1738 D. Bernoulli, honored member of Russian Academy, issued a paper (in Strasbourg, France, with the well known equation of Bernoulli.

The achievements of 18th-century scientists served as a basis for the 19th century flying machines, but also for calculations of characteristics (lift, drag, strength).

In 1880 naval officer Alexander Mozhayski began to design an aircraft and in 1883 he constructed it. His design had good flying characteristics, but three steam engines with 30 horsepower did not permit it to achieve take off velocity. Mozhayski didn't get beyond ground testing. He tried to get more powerful engines, but was unsuccessful as piston engines were not available.

Around that time many other Russians were involved in studying flight. N.E. Zhukovsky (1847-1921), called "the father of Russian aviation," wrote about stability of motion, hydraulic shock in water pipe, the flight of birds, and optimal angel of attack of airplanes. In a 1905-1906 report about attached vortexes, he established a concrete function between circulation of flow and lift and later added boundary condition. Between 1900 and 1910, as a professor at Moscow University, his research laboratory installed wind tunnels and he lectured on aerodynamics, mechanics of flight, and others topics.

Russia also had the first aviation research center in the world, the Kouchinsky Institute. Other leaders in the Russian aviation industry were: C.A. Chaplygin, who developed the theory of lift for wing of limited span V.P. Vetchinkin, the author of the theory of stability in flight and B.C. Stechkin, the author of the theory of the jet-engine. Another Russian, Sikorsky, developed the helicopter in 1909. The first flight on the Sikorsky biplane occurred one year later.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The first recorded Spanish attempt to fly a heavier-than-air machine occurred on 16 May 1793, when Dieto Martín Aguilera, a shepherd from Coruña del Conde, Burgos, apparently made a flight of about 360 meters with his flapping-wing creation. It is impossible to determine how much truth there is to the story of Marin, but it seems that he did achieve some gliding flight, surviving after structural failure and a crash landing. Marín, who had no formal scientific education, was endowed with a special technical ingenuity and is a good example of the ageless human aspiration toward flight.

The first balloons were seen over Spain soon after 1783. At first they were usually unmanned, but in the last decade of the 18th century, experimenters or showmen occupied the balloon car. In 1792, a Spanish-built balloon, intended to serve as a military observation post, was demonstrated before King Carlos IV at El Escorial. The balloon had been designed by the French chemist Joseph Louis Proust, who was professor of the Royal Artillery College of Segovia and held the rank of captain. Officers and cadets of the college had helped in the construction.

Leonardo Torres Quevedo, a Spanish engineer and inventor, devised the funicular suspension, a fully flexible system that permitted the use of short cars in rigid Zeppelin airships. The Torres airship has a trilobed envelope when inflated. The prototype was built in the Spanish military's Aerostatic Service facility and tested in 1908. The French Astra company acquired the rights of the Torres Quevedo system and built the airships under the name Astra-Torres. During the First World War, the Allied navies successfully used a large quantity of Torres airships (about 20 of the French and more than fifth of the British were used mainly for anti-submarine patrol.)

When Wilbur Wright came to Europe with his Flyer biplane, the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, was one of his visitors at Pau in February 1909. That same year, Antonio Fernández, who lived in France, built the first aeroplane of Spanish design to be exhibited in the Paris Salon de l'Aéronautique, where he sold the manufacturing license to Pierre Levasseur. Fernández flew his machine successfully on 5 November, but he was killed due to an elevator control failure.

Several pioneer constructors built their airplanes with varied success in Spain in the years prior to World War I. The first two Spanish civil pilots obtained their brevets in France in 1910, and in 1911 a military flying school was established in Cuatro Vientos near Madrid. In Febuary 1913, the Servicio de Aeronautica Militar was created, and before the end of the year a squadron was reconnoitering and bombing in Morocco.

Although the construction of wood and fabric airframes was relatively easy, the engines had to be imported. When the war began, Aeronautica Militar asked two Barcelona automobile manufacturers, La Hispano-Suiza and Elizalde, to build engines to cover the needs of the service, which was no longer fulfilled by foreign manufacturers.

After a timid start during World War I, from which only La Hispano of Guadalajara survived, the Spanish aircraft industry had a second birth in 1923, when military contracts permitted the foundation of Construcciones Aeronáuticas (CASA) and Loring (later named AISA).

On 17 January 1923, the first successful flight of a rotary wing aircraft took place at Getafe. The Autogiro C.4, a creation of Juan de la Cierva, was piloted by Lt. Alejandro Gómez Spencer. The Autogiro concept was a revolutionary one. The idea of the helicopter, although not practically developed until much later, was well understood. However, the phenomenon of autorotation of a rotor with positive blade pitch was a discovery of la Cierva that exceeded the foresight of the aeronautical experts of the time. The inventor continued to improve his designs until his death. The experience gained with the Autogiro was invaluable for the development of the helicopter.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

In 1714, at the age of 26, Emanuel Swedenborg of Sweden developed an interest in building a flying machine, which was documented in an article, "Sketch of a Machine for Flying in the Air," published two years later. Swedenborg's design looked like a classical flying saucer with flapping wings. Additional efforts to build an aircraft in the country were made between 1899 and 1911 near Stockholm by Carl Rickard Nyberg. He experimented with a steam-engine driven aircraft, but none of his designs proved flight-worthy. Other Swedish pioneers included Bror Berger, Oscar Gustavsson, and Tor Ångström. The experimental aircraft produced by these men during the early 20th century also were unsuccessful.

The first successful flight in Sweden didn't occur until 19 July 1909, and it was achieved by a French aviator. Then, in 1910, Carl Cederström became the first licensed pilot in Sweden (and the 74th in the world) when he completed training at the Blériot flying school in France. Also in 1910, the first Swedish-built aircraft, the Grasshopper, took flight. The plane was a modified Blériot XI built in Landskrona in southern Sweden by Hjalmar Nyrop and Oscar Ask.

In 1912, Carl Cederström started a flying school with four military pupils at Malmen, near Linköping, Sweden. The following summer, he left Malmen, and his hangers were taken over by the Swedish army. The former school became the first permanent base for army aviators.

Before World War I, aviation development within the Swedish Army and Navy progressed slowly. At the outbreak of the war in 1914, Sweden had just eight military aircraft that were used primarily for reconnaissance. In 1925 the parliament established the Royal Swedish Air Force through a merger of the Army and Navy aviation.

Between the wars, the Swedish Air Force developed slowly because of both weak leadership and lack of support from the old branches of the Army and Navy. However, with Hitler in power in 1936, it became easier to obtain funding for military purposes and the Swedish military aviation industry came under increased pressure to become more effective. In 1937, the government decided to reorganize the military aviation industry by merging ASJA in Linköping and Saab in Trollhättan. The new company retained the Saab name and produced Junkers Ju 86 and Northrop 8 A-1 on license. On 18 May 1940 the reconnaissance aircraft L 10 (later redesignated as B-17) flew for the first time. The S 17 would later to become the first original aircraft produced by Saab.

With the outbreak of World War II, the Swedish Air Force was in urgent need of aircraft to equip all of its squadrons. Purchasing from abroad was nearly impossible, though Italian fighters filled some gaps. Saab began production of the B 18, a twin-engined bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, and also began design of the J 21 fighter. The Swedish Air Force also formed a workshop at Bromma airport in Stockholm to produce a small fighter plane called the J 22. Designed by Bo Lundberg, this excellent fighter was made of steel and wood, with an engine copied from the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp.

Commercial air operations began in Sweden in March 1924, when former army pilot Capt. Carl Florman started the national airline Aktiebolaget Aerotransport (ABA). During World War II, flights from Stockholm to London had to pass through German air defense, as Denmark and Norway were both occupied by Hitler's troops. The Luftwaffe shot down two Swedish DC-3s during this period.

After the war, ABA merged with SILA (Svensk Intercontinental Lufttrafik) and began transatlantic flights with the Boeing B-17, acquired from the U.S. Air Force and modified by Saab to carry 14 passengers. Then, in 1946, ABA merged with the Norwegian and Danish national carriers to form SAS (Scandinavian Airline Systems).

The "Flying Barrel," or Saab J 29, was the first swept-wing jet fighter built by Saab and the first of its kind in Europe. The Swedish Air Force purchased 661 of the planes, while the Austrian Air Force purchased an additional 30 during the 1960s. The Saab 35 Draken (interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft) later replaced the J 29. Production of the Saab 35 Draken was quite significant, as this was the first double delta aircraft and the first combat aircraft sold by Sweden to other air forces. Denmark purchased the Draken for ground attack and reconnaissance, Finland as an interceptor, and the Austrian Air Force purchased a refurbished Draken for air surveillance and interceptor roles. Saab continued to design and build military aircraft and commercial aircraft until 1999.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

It is generally accepted that the airplane was invented by Sir George Cayley in 1799 at Brompton, near Scarborough in Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. In 1909 Wilbur Wright himself paid Cayley the following tribute:

"About 100 years ago, an Englishman … carried the science of flight to a point which it had never reached before and which it scarcely reached again during the last century."

Restricted to gliders for lack of a light-weight engine, Cayley employed his own whirling arm experiments, which explored the improved lifting effect of increasing wing incidence. Because of his choice of low wing aspect ratio on structural grounds, such gliders achieved lift-to-drag ratios as low as three and perhaps as high as seven. Initially, Cayley saw his gliders' cruciform tail units as supplying merely steering and re-trimming (for different flight speeds), but in his later designs-notably the governable parachute of 1852 with its duplicated tail-there began to emerge an appreciation of the stabilizing function of the tail. Cayley introduced many innovations-wing dihedral and the tension wheel undercarriage for example. As early as 1809, he brought forth the suggestion that the shape of the rear of a body is as important as the front in determining resistance, so that a streamlined tail is beneficial. Two men who benefited from Cayley's teaching were William Henson and John Stringfellow, whose designs and steam-powered models of the 1840s extended Cayley's concept by the inclusion of propeller propulsion and externally braced high aspect ratio wings.

The next major advance in the understanding of resistance came in 1845 from George Gabriel Stokes, whose re-working of the Newtonian viscosity concept supplemented the earlier work of Navier and others in France by introducing the idea that internal stresses within a flow are proportional to the fluid's rate of strain. In 1851 Stokes used the resulting Navier-Stokes equations, coupled to the no-slip condition imposed at the surface of a slow moving sphere, to produce the first finite drag prediction to overcome the earlier inviscid flow zero drag paradox of Euler and d'Alembert. Stokes must also be credited with first stating publicly the theorem, obtained from William Thomson (later, Lord Kelvin) that gives the vital connection between vorticity and circulation, and with providing in 1843 the beginnings of the method of singularities later exploited in 1864 and 1871 by William John Macquorn Rankine in the calculation of the inviscid flow about bodies.

In 1866 the Aeronautical Society (now the Royal Aeronautical Society) was founded in London and in 1871 the first wind tunnel was built for the society's use by Francis Herbert Wenham, who had earlier lectured to the society on the advantages of high aspect ratio wings with multiplane layout and propeller propulsion. This tunnel was used solely to explore the lift and drag characteristics of flat surfaces.

However, in 1884 a second wind tunnel, using steam ejection, was used by Horatio Phillips so as to demonstrate the improved lifting qualities of mildly cambered surfaces. The understanding of lift itself took a further step forward with the analysis of Lord Rayleigh. He combined the inviscid flow field about a circular cylinder with that of a vortex centered at the cylinder, thereby producing a side, or lifting, force. This effect had been noted as early as 1672 by Isaac Newton in discussing the swerving flight of spinning tennis balls, had been demonstrated by Robins in 1747 by the imposition of a spinning motion on an oscillating pendulum bob, and had become more widely recognized through the work of Magnus in Berlin in 1852 in which a spinning cylinder was exposed to an air jet.

Lord Rayleigh also introduced the crucial correction to the common rule in a series of analyses between 1892 and 1910, which established an additional dependence on the Reynolds and Mach numbers. The importance of the Reynolds number itself had already begun to emerge from observations published in 1883 dealing with transition in pipe flows carried out by Osborne Reynolds at the University of Manchester. Many of these ideas began to come together in the work of Frederick William Lanchester between 1892 and 1907. In the early 1900s Lanchester not only recognized the crucial role of viscosity in the explanation of drag but independently of Prandtl discovered the presence of the boundary layer. From his crude model of this "inert layer," as he called it, he was nonetheless able to predict correctly the dependence of laminar flow skin friction on Reynolds number. Lanchester is more widely recognized as the first to grasp the role of the trailing vortices behind lifting wings and as the initiator of the circulation theory of lift although, prior to about 1900, he had believed that the upflow/downflow exhibited by a cambered wing was caused by a wing-generated wave upon which the wing rode. His definitive work emerged in 1907, predicting lift, induced, and form drags with reasonable accuracy, from which he was able to deduce that airplanes would experience both minimum drag and minimum power conditions.

All of these scientific advances proved crucial to the future, post-Wright, development of the airplane and some were beneficial to the British pioneers of the pre-Wright era. For example, the efficacy of mildly cambered surfaces also became evident to the expatriate American inventor Sir Hiram Maxim after his own extensive whirling arm and wind tunnel tests. Armed with further test results from a wide variety of propeller configurations, he constructed a man-carrying machine that would lift itself from the ground and succeeded at Baldwyns Park, Kent, in 1894. However, this massive machine, having a wing span close to that of a Vulcan bomber and powered by two ingenious 130 kW steam engines driving enormous pusher propellers of 5.4 meters in diameter, suffered failure of its height-restraining system on its third run and became significantly damaged. Repairs enabled the continuation of tests until 1895, after which Maxim abandoned the project. He had made virtually no provision for control in the air. The hang-glider of Maxim's one-time assistant, Percy Sinclair Pilcher, benefited considerably from the advice and gliding experience afforded by the German hang-gliding pioneer, Otto Lilienthal, near Berlin in 1895 and 1896. Pilcher progressed with varying success through four gliders of his own design and the fourth, the Hawk of 1896, like its predecessors, incorporated the Lilienthal practice of radiating rods for the wing structure (for ease of ground transit) and the dubious choice of an up-hinging tail unit. Although Pilcher enjoyed some success with this glider, the structural failure of its tail assembly in 1899 caused a crash that killed him. Prior to this, he had been working on a powered development of the Hawk design, using a petrol engine driving a pusher propeller, but there is no indication he intended to attempt aerodynamic control.

Official interest in powered flight in Britain came about through the activities of an American, Samuel Franklin Cody, who had developed an ingenious system of man-lifting kites as an artillery observation and reconnaissance system. Appointed chief kiting instructor to the British Army and based at the Balloon School at Farnborough, Cody had successfully built and tested by 1905 a form of biplane kite-glider that appears to have incorporated aerodynamic control. He went on to develop the powered airplane in which, it is generally conceded, he achieved the first sustained airplane flight in Britain in October 1908. The biplane was powered by a 37kW Antoinette engine and was designed around the Wright-type layout of forward elevator and rear rudder, but it used a single surface mounted centrally over the upper wing for roll control and a tricycle undercarriage with outrigger wheels at the wingtips. In the following year Alliott Verdon Roe was successful at Lea Marshes, near Hackney, with the second of his tri-plane machines powered by a 7kW JAP engine. Meanwhile, John William Dunne had placed his faith in achieving aerodynamic stability with a tailless airplane using swept-back biplane wings. A glider of this configuration was tested on behalf of the Army at Blair Atholl in 1907 and Dunne achieved some success later with a powered machine. Far greater success was achieved through Farnborough's recruitment of Geoffrey de Havilland, who had successfully flown a powered machine of his own design in 1910.

Originally provided to AIAA for its Evolution of Flight Campaign, 2003.

The history of the airplane is rooted in several centuries of European research into the forces operating on a body immersed in a fluid stream, culminating in 100 years of active flight experimentation, from the work of the Englishman Sir George Cayley (1773-1857), to that of the German gliding pioneer, Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896). By 1896, however, leadership in aeronautical research had passed to the United States, where pioneers like Octave Chanute (1832-1910) and Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) were setting the stage for the achievement of powered, heavier-than-air flight.

On 6 May 1896, Langley, the third secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, succeeded in launching the first reasonably large, steam-powered model aircraft on flights of up to three quarters of a mile over the Potomac River. Later that year, Chanute, a prominent American civil engineer and internationally recognized authority on the problems of flight, led a band of experimenters into the sand dunes east of Chicago, where they flew a series of gliders, including a very advanced biplane that pointed the way to the future of aircraft structures.

Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville Wright (1871-1948), the proprietors of a bicycle sales, repair, and manufacturing shop in Dayton, Ohio, wrote to the Smithsonian Institution and to Octave Chanute in 1899-1900, requesting information on aeronautics and announcing their decision to begin their own experiments. The Wrights were superb self-trained engineers who developed an extraordinarily successful research strategy that enabled them to overcome one set of challenging problems after another, the full extent of which few other experimenters had even suspected.

They moved toward the development of a practical flying machine through an evolutionary chain of seven experimental aircraft: one kite (1899), three gliders (1900, 1901, and 1902) and three powered airplanes (1903, 1904, and 1905). Each of these aircraft was a distillation of the lessons learned and the experience gained with its predecessors. In the fall of 1901, puzzled by the failure of their earliest gliders to match calculated performance, the brothers built their own wind tunnel and designed a pair of brilliantly conceived balances that produced the precise bits of data required to make accurate performance calculations.

The brothers made the first four sustained, powered flights under the control of a pilot near Kitty Hawk, N.C., on the morning of 17 December 1903. Over the next two years they continued their work in a cow pasture near Dayton, Ohio. By the fall of 1905, they had achieved their goal of a practical flying machine capable of remaining in the air for extended periods of time and operating under the full control of the pilot. The air age had begun. Unwilling to unveil their technology without the protection of a patent and a contract for the sale of airplanes, the Wrights did not make public flights until 1908, at which point they emerged as the first great international heroes of the century.

American aeronautical hegemony was short-lived, however. Faced with the threat of war, European leaders invested heavily in the new technology. Government officials and wealthy private citizens encouraged the development of aviation by sponsoring speed, altitude, and distance competitions by purchasing aircraft in considerable numbers by establishing aerial units in their armed forces and by creating aeronautical laboratories and funding research and development efforts. The United States, the birthplace of aviation, did not invest in aeronautics, and fell woefully behind Europe. By 1913, the U.S. Army could boast a grand total of six active pilots, while the entire U.S. aeronautical industry employed fewer than 170, most of whom worked for Glenn Hammond Curtiss.

A motorcycle builder from Hammondsport, N. Y., Curtiss was the most successful of the handful of American aircraft builders who entered the field during the decade following the invention of the airplane. He won the first James Gordon Bennett trophy in 1909 with a speed of just over 47 miles per hour. In spite of the Wright Brothers' legal efforts to curb his activity, he had, by 1914, established himself as a supplier of training aircraft to the U.S. government and flying boats to Allied navies.

Americans flew into combat in World War I aboard aircraft that had been entirely designed, and for the most part manufactured, in Europe. By the Armistice, however, U.S. industry was producing the Liberty engines that would power American aircraft for the next decade, including the Fokker T-2 that made the first non-stop coast-to-coast flight in 1923, and the Douglas World Cruisers that completed the first aerial voyage around the globe the following year. Moreover, the advanced American designs that would have seen combat had the war continued into 1919 were available for record flights in the immediate post-war era, such as the first transatlantic flight by the giant U.S. Navy flying boat, NC-4. From the legendary barnstormers to the earliest airmail operators, the pioneers of American commercial aviation began business with war surplus equipment and help from the federal government.

Postwar congressional investigations underscored the problems of a limited market and high research and development costs faced by American airframe and engine manufacturers. Recognizing the growing importance of the airplane to national defense and international prestige, federal officials took a series of steps to strengthen, support, and regulate the aviation industry between 1915 and 1940.

Established by Congress in 1915, the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) conducted programs of research and development that, by 1925, had demonstrated the value of basic research in flight technology. Technical reports issued by the agency introduced U.S. aircraft designers to a host of improvements, including revolutionary airfoils improved propellers, engines, and instruments and various streamlining techniques. NACA engineers experimented with wing flaps and other high-lift devices and explored innovative construction techniques and new materials.

Congressional leaders also took steps to establish a market for American manufacturers. The Kelly Air Mail Act of 1925 authorized the use of private companies for the delivery of air mail, providing a vitally important government subsidy to the first American air carriers in an era when paying passengers were few and far between. The postal subsidies not only supported the industry, but also provided federal administrators with a means of shaping the development of the domestic airline system. The Air Mail Act of 1934 enabled New Deal officials to force a restructuring of the entire aviation industry. Procurement Acts for the Army Air Corps and the Navy air arm that passed in 1926 sought to provide American manufacturers with fair access to the military market.

In addition to laying a foundation for the new industry, federal officials also exercised regulatory authority, both in an effort to support the growth of commercial aviation and to protect consumers. The Air Commerce Act of 1926 created a Bureau of Aeronautics within the Commerce Department that regulated commercial air carriers, licensed pilots, and certified aircraft, and established aids to aerial navigation. The Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 and the Civil Aeronautics Board and Civil Aeronautics Administration Act (1940) were aimed at improving passenger safety, route markings, and air traffic control systems.

By the 1930s, a new generation of low-wing streamlined, all-metal airplanes were flowing off engineering drawing boards from Buffalo to Long Beach and Seattle. Aircraft like the Boeing 247D, the Douglas DC-3, and the Sikorsky, Martin, and Boeing flying boats marked the United States' return to a position of world aeronautical leadership.

The time between the wars was the golden age of American aviation. The products of companies like Lockheed, Boeing, Douglas, Curtiss, and Northrop were instantly recognizable by children from coast to coast. The pilots who flew higher, faster, and farther-fliers like Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Doolittle, Wiley Post, Richard Byrd, Howard Hughes, and Jacqueline Cochrane-were the heroes of the air age.

The airplane had become an instrument of commerce, but it also gave birth to total war during World War II. Traditional definitions of the battlefield lost their meaning in an age when destruction could be rained from the sky. From the great carrier battles of the Pacific, through years of fierce combat fought four miles up in the sky over Europe, to the dawn of the nuclear age, the products of American aircraft builders carried the day and shaped the course of history. Traditional piston-engine, propeller-driven aircraft technology reached its fullest development during World War II, which also witnessed the first operational use of revolutionary gas turbojet engine technology.

Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union led to increased defense spending and a continued drive for supremacy in aerospace technology. The steady flow of military funding for flight research and development resulted in a string of technological tri-umphs, from the first faster-than-sound flight by the Bell X-1 in 1947 to the launch of the first successful U.S. satellite by a modified army ballistic missile in 1958.

Commercial air transportation came of age in the post-war world. World War II provided a legacy of well-traveled air routes stretching around the globe, experienced aviators, proven equipment, and experience in managing international air traffic. By 1950, the airliner was positioned to replace the railroad and the ocean liner as the primary means of long- distance travel. The entry of the first turbojet airliners into scheduled service in 1952 accelerated the pace of the air transport revolution. The first four decades following the end of World War II were especially good years for the American airframe and engine industry, with the jet-propelled products of Boeing, McDonnell-Douglas, Lockheed, and other U.S. firms dominating the international air routes. The result of the postwar air transport boom was nothing short of a social revolution. Regional and local airlines and air-freight operations joined the giant international air carriers to create an aerial network linking every corner of the globe. The economic, social, and political consequences included the creation of global markets, opportunities for global travel un-dreamed of a generation before, and increasing cultural homogeneity.

The years since 1975 have brought change to the U.S. aerospace industry. The end of the Cold War, the high cost of advanced technology, and reduced defense spending have had an impact on the market for military aerospace systems. The deregulation of air commerce brought both fluidity and uncertainty to the airlines. Pioneering companies such as Pan American World Airways disappeared or were altered beyond recognition. Legendary aircraft manufacturing firms were swallowed up by corporate mergers that drastically reduced the total number of airframe producers. While Boeing continued to dominate the world market for airliners, Airbus emerged as a genuine European rival. The forging of partnerships with foreign manufacturers became an important element in the sale of aircraft to other nations.

Beyond its importance to national defense and the movement of freight and passengers around the globe, the aerospace industry has been one of the most important factors driving technological advance in a wide variety of fields. The great breakthroughs in materials science and technology, electronics, and computer sciences were inextricably linked to the needs of aviation and space flight. In the century since Kitty Hawk, the aerospace enterprise has changed the world in many ways and enormously expanded our vision of the possible.

Provided to the AIAA for the sole purpose of its Evolution of Flight Campaign.


Birdbrain

This is a small library for viewing the songbird/bat brain atlas' (Poirier et al., 2008 De Groof et al., 2016 Vellema et al., 2011 Gunturken et al., 2013 Washington et al., 2018). It currently has examples of European starling, Canary, Zebra finch, Mustached bat, and Pigeon brain atlas'.

The package can do things like:

  • nuclei localization relative to a set stereotaxic reference point (e.g. y-sinus in starlings)
  • 3d printing an STL of the brains
  • Plotting recording locations in 2d and 3d on imaging data.
  • Creating visualizations / movies videos of nuclei of interest

There is an online interactive demo which should take no Python experience to use (just running cells in a Jupyter notebook). The demo uses Binder, which is a allows you to run a Jupyter notebook in a Docker environment online. It can take a bit to load, but has the benefit of not requiring you to install anything. If you want to install this software locally, the package is pip installable however.

Online demo!

Usage Instructions

You can either view the data directly from the binder notebooks via your internet browser (reccomeded at first), or you can install and run this package locally on your own computer.


Watch the video: Un métier chez HSBC Trader (September 2022).


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