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Who invented the aeroplane?

Who invented the aeroplane?


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The world knows the Wright Brothers as the inventors of the aeroplane, but there is a man in India named Shivkar Bapuji Talpade who had already invented the aeroplane before the Wright brother's first flight. What kind of evidence does this have?


The question of who invented the aeroplane is a contentious one.

The first manned flight occurred at some point before 1849 in an aeroplane designed and built by Sir George Cayley. The plane was based on principles from his landmark three-part treatise "On Aerial Navigation" (1809-1810), which was published in Nicholson's Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the Arts (generally known as "Nicholson's Journal" some 4 decades earlier [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3].

Cayley's aeroplane was a glider (or "convertiplane" as he termed it). The pilot was a 10 year-old child (whose name has been lost to history).


The Wright brothers carried out the first "sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight" in 1903, and they were happy to acknowledge that they had built on Cayley's work. In fact, in a speech to the Royal Aero Club in London in 1909, Wilbur Wright is reported to have said:

“About 100 years ago an Englishman, Sir George Cayley, carried the science of flying to a point which it had never reached before and which it scarcely reached again during the last century.”

  • [Gibbs-Smith, 1962, page ix]

The question of whether Shivkar Bapuji Talpade invented an aeroplane is contentious, to say the least. Many sources that are quoted in support of the idea, for example International Journal of Yoga and Allied Sciences, make fairly wild claims without much in the way of supporting evidence (the article cited here even claims that the aeroplane was powered by an ion engine!). Perhaps Lhendup G Bhutia, writing in Open Magazine, put it best:

Much of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade's life and how he went about inventing his flying machine is cloaked in mystery. He is a much-discussed subject on some websites, much of the conversation soaked in faux nationalism and less in research.

Sadly, unlike George Cayley's flying machine, we have no published research by Shivkar Bapuji Talpade to support these claims. He may have invented an unmanned flying machine in the late 19th century. It may even have successfully flown. But without evidence the claims cannot stand.


Source

  • Gibbs-Smith, Charles Harvard: Sir George Cayley's Aeronautics 1796-1855. HMSO, London, 1962.

Airplane

An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from a jet engine, propeller, or rocket engine. Airplanes come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and wing configurations. The broad spectrum of uses for airplanes includes recreation, transportation of goods and people, military, and research. Worldwide, commercial aviation transports more than four billion passengers annually on airliners [1] and transports more than 200 billion tonne-kilometers [2] of cargo annually, which is less than 1% of the world's cargo movement. [3] Most airplanes are flown by a pilot on board the aircraft, but some are designed to be remotely or computer-controlled such as drones.

The Wright brothers invented and flew the first airplane in 1903, recognized as "the first sustained and controlled heavier-than-air powered flight". [4] They built on the works of George Cayley dating from 1799, when he set forth the concept of the modern airplane (and later built and flew models and successful passenger-carrying gliders). [5] Between 1867 and 1896, the German pioneer of human aviation Otto Lilienthal also studied heavier-than-air flight. Following its limited use in World War I, aircraft technology continued to develop. Airplanes had a presence in all the major battles of World War II. The first jet aircraft was the German Heinkel He 178 in 1939. The first jet airliner, the de Havilland Comet, was introduced in 1952. The Boeing 707, the first widely successful commercial jet, was in commercial service for more than 50 years, from 1958 to at least 2013.


History

The origin of the aerospace industry dates to 1903 when Wilbur and Orville Wright demonstrated an airplane capable of powered, sustained flight (see Wright flyer of 1903). The Wright brothers’ success was due to detailed research and an excellent engineering-and-development approach. Their breakthrough innovation was a pilot-operated warping (twisting) of the wings to provide attitude control and to make turns. Patents with broad claims for their wing-warping technology were granted in Europe in 1904 and in the United States in 1906. The French government was the first to negotiate with the Wright brothers for the sale of their patents for 1,000,000 francs, with a deposit of 25,000 francs for the option, which was later forfeited. The first recorded business transaction of the aerospace industry occurred in May 1906 when J.P. Morgan and Company in New York City paid the Wright brothers the forfeited deposit. The first sale of a military aircraft was made on February 8, 1908, when the Wright brothers contracted to provide one Model A flyer (see Wright military flyer of 1909) to the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army for $25,000, with a $5,000 bonus should it exceed the speed requirement of 40 miles (65 km) per hour. The following year the aircraft successfully completed qualifying trials for completion of the sale, which included the bonus.

In March 1909 the British entrepreneurs Eustace, Horace, and Oswald Short purchased a license to produce six Wright flyers and set up the company Short Brothers Limited on the Isle of Sheppey, establishing the world’s first assembly line for aircraft. In the same year the American aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss joined the list of airplane producers and made the first commercial sale of an aircraft in the United States. In France, Henri Farman, Louis Blériot, Gabriel and Charles Voisin, and Léon Levavasseur entered the industry, and experimental groups started airplane production in Germany and Russia. When Blériot crossed the English Channel in July 1909 in his Blériot XI monoplane, the ensuing fame resulted in worldwide orders for more than 100 aircraft.

In 1909, when the Wright Company was incorporated with a capitalization of $1,000,000, the Wright brothers received $100,000, 40 percent of the stock, and a 10 percent royalty on every plane sold. The company developed extensive financial interests in aviation during those early years but, counter to the recommendations of its financiers, did not establish a tight monopoly.

By 1911, pilots were flying in competitive races over long distances between European cities, and this provided enormous incentives for companies to produce faster and more reliable aircraft. In 1911–12 the Wright Company earned more than $1,000,000, mostly in exhibition fees and prizes rather than in sales. French aircraft emerged as the most advanced and for a time were superior to those of competing countries. All planes built in this early period were similar in construction—wings and fuselage frames were made of wood (usually spruce or fir) and covered with a coated fabric.


The amazing and sad true story behind an iconic Australian invention

We all know very well what a Hills Hoist is. But chances are many are unaware of the true story behind how it was invented.

An innovative Aussie invention that essentially draws in and catches floating debris in the ocean has been permanently installed in Sydney's Darling Harbour.

An innovative Aussie invention that essentially draws in and catches floating debris in the ocean has been permanently installed in Sydney's Darling Harbour.

The iconic Hills hoist. Pictured: Simon Mitris from Henley SLSC. Source:News Limited

If you Google the history of the Hills Hoist, chances are you’re going to stumble across the wrong story.

The good old rotary clothesline, which is still a backyard staple at suburban homes across Australia, is one of the best inventions to come out of our great nation.

But it’s the story behind how it came about that’s even more remarkable.

Adelaide businessman Lance Hill got credit here and around the world with his clothes hoist company, Hills Hoists, in 1945.

It was said his savvy business brain and clever marketing techniques helped it become a household name.

Lance Hill (to the left) at his Hills hoist factory in Adelaide circa 1946. Source:Supplied

But it was actually another man that invented the humble hoist, decades earlier, who suffered an extremely tragic life and never got the credit for the item he worked so hard to create.

Foxtel’s new show, Aussie Inventions That Changed The World, profiles some of the greatest inventions that were designed Down Under.

Gilbert Toyne, who was born in 1888 in Victoria, was only 14-years-old when he discovered a gap in the market, while he was learning his blacksmith trade.

As one of 13 children, Toyne watched his mother struggle to do the washing every Monday, with the chore often taking her an entire day.

“They would use a homemade straight timber prop, carefully putting it (the washing) all out, it was so much hard work,” historian Peter Cuffley said.

“Gilbert would’ve seen his mum doing endless washing and he would’ve been very conscious of that.”

It was an era of extreme social and scientific development. Previous years had seen the introduction of steam turbine, electricity and the automobile.

Inventor of the Toyne rotary clothes hoist, Gilbert Toyne in soldier uniform. Picture taken from book "Hung Out to Dry" by Cas Middlemis. Source:Supplied

With fellow blacksmith, Lambert Downey, Toyne launched the Aeroplane Clothes Hoist Company in Melbourne the pair marketing their invention at local agricultural shows.

Business was going strong at first, and just as it was beginning to make dividends, Toyne, like so many other men his age, enlisted to serve in the first World War in 1914.

He left the business in the hands of his unnamed wife and his unnamed business manager, where unfortunately it would suffer in his absence.

In 1916, Toyne was on the western front in France when he was gassed. That same year, he was buried by an exploding shell, but somehow managed to survive.

He returned to Australia in 1919 with post traumatic stress disorder, or as they called it back then, shell shock, as well as hearing loss.

On top of dealing with that, he came home to discover the company was collapsing in the hands of his manager and his wife, who engaged in an affair while Toyne was away and gave birth to their own baby girl.

Toyne was forced to leave his wife and start over, and he met another woman named Myrtle, who he would go on to marry. She inspired him to start up his company again, which he did in 1923.

Toyne moved to Adelaide to capitalise on the manufacturing boom, and in an interesting turn of events, was residing on the same street where the man who would later steal his spotlight — Lance Hill — was living as a younger boy.

A few years later Toyne moved to Sydney with his family to grow the business further.

But this would be where it all ended.

Lance Hill with his Hills hoist. Source:Supplied

The Great Depression hit Australia hard in 1929. By 1932, a whopping one in three men were unemployed.

Toyne’s sales hit record lows. He was also suffering unimaginable heartbreak after his three children all died in unexplained circumstances.

He was then enlisted to fight in the second World War in 1939, and his competitor Lance Hill would go on to capitalise on the post war economic boom.

There were 17 hoists on the market after the second war but Hill launched several clever marketing campaigns to capture the attention of Aussies and become the leading Hills hoist business on the market.

At the end of 2017 it was announced that his company, Hills Limited, which became a technology solutions company with a share market value of $100 million, had sold to overseas manufacturing giant, Griffon Corporation.

Hills hoist was named Australia's most iconic brand according to a survey commissioned by Australian Reader's Digest in 2014. Source:News Corp Australia

While Toyne’s efforts were nailed by events out of his control, there is no doubt he established the first ever Hills hoist and pioneered an invention that is synonymous with Australia a century later.

Toyne died at the age of 94 in 1983. He lived to see his invention dominate backyards across the country — just unfortunately to someone else’s credit.

His great granddaughter Kylie Baetz said: “He wasn’t a man that talked a lot. He had a lot of ideas and great skill, he just wasn’t a businessman first.

“Gilbert was onto a really good idea, and you see today things fall apart quite quickly, but his products were built to last”.

Aussie Inventions That Changed The World is available to stream on Foxtel from tomorrow.


The amazing and sad true story behind an iconic Australian invention

We all know very well what a Hills Hoist is. But chances are many are unaware of the true story behind how it was invented.

An innovative Aussie invention that essentially draws in and catches floating debris in the ocean has been permanently installed in Sydney's Darling Harbour.

An innovative Aussie invention that essentially draws in and catches floating debris in the ocean has been permanently installed in Sydney's Darling Harbour.

The iconic Hills hoist. Pictured: Simon Mitris from Henley SLSC. Source:News Limited

If you Google the history of the Hills Hoist, chances are you’re going to stumble across the wrong story.

The good old rotary clothesline, which is still a backyard staple at suburban homes across Australia, is one of the best inventions to come out of our great nation.

But it’s the story behind how it came about that’s even more remarkable.

Adelaide businessman Lance Hill got credit here and around the world with his clothes hoist company, Hills Hoists, in 1945.

It was said his savvy business brain and clever marketing techniques helped it become a household name.

Lance Hill (to the left) at his Hills hoist factory in Adelaide circa 1946. Source:Supplied

But it was actually another man that invented the humble hoist, decades earlier, who suffered an extremely tragic life and never got the credit for the item he worked so hard to create.

Foxtel’s new show, Aussie Inventions That Changed The World, profiles some of the greatest inventions that were designed Down Under.

Gilbert Toyne, who was born in 1888 in Victoria, was only 14-years-old when he discovered a gap in the market, while he was learning his blacksmith trade.

As one of 13 children, Toyne watched his mother struggle to do the washing every Monday, with the chore often taking her an entire day.

“They would use a homemade straight timber prop, carefully putting it (the washing) all out, it was so much hard work,” historian Peter Cuffley said.

“Gilbert would’ve seen his mum doing endless washing and he would’ve been very conscious of that.”

It was an era of extreme social and scientific development. Previous years had seen the introduction of steam turbine, electricity and the automobile.

Inventor of the Toyne rotary clothes hoist, Gilbert Toyne in soldier uniform. Picture taken from book "Hung Out to Dry" by Cas Middlemis. Source:Supplied

With fellow blacksmith, Lambert Downey, Toyne launched the Aeroplane Clothes Hoist Company in Melbourne the pair marketing their invention at local agricultural shows.

Business was going strong at first, and just as it was beginning to make dividends, Toyne, like so many other men his age, enlisted to serve in the first World War in 1914.

He left the business in the hands of his unnamed wife and his unnamed business manager, where unfortunately it would suffer in his absence.

In 1916, Toyne was on the western front in France when he was gassed. That same year, he was buried by an exploding shell, but somehow managed to survive.

He returned to Australia in 1919 with post traumatic stress disorder, or as they called it back then, shell shock, as well as hearing loss.

On top of dealing with that, he came home to discover the company was collapsing in the hands of his manager and his wife, who engaged in an affair while Toyne was away and gave birth to their own baby girl.

Toyne was forced to leave his wife and start over, and he met another woman named Myrtle, who he would go on to marry. She inspired him to start up his company again, which he did in 1923.

Toyne moved to Adelaide to capitalise on the manufacturing boom, and in an interesting turn of events, was residing on the same street where the man who would later steal his spotlight — Lance Hill — was living as a younger boy.

A few years later Toyne moved to Sydney with his family to grow the business further.

But this would be where it all ended.

Lance Hill with his Hills hoist. Source:Supplied

The Great Depression hit Australia hard in 1929. By 1932, a whopping one in three men were unemployed.

Toyne’s sales hit record lows. He was also suffering unimaginable heartbreak after his three children all died in unexplained circumstances.

He was then enlisted to fight in the second World War in 1939, and his competitor Lance Hill would go on to capitalise on the post war economic boom.

There were 17 hoists on the market after the second war but Hill launched several clever marketing campaigns to capture the attention of Aussies and become the leading Hills hoist business on the market.

At the end of 2017 it was announced that his company, Hills Limited, which became a technology solutions company with a share market value of $100 million, had sold to overseas manufacturing giant, Griffon Corporation.

Hills hoist was named Australia's most iconic brand according to a survey commissioned by Australian Reader's Digest in 2014. Source:News Corp Australia

While Toyne’s efforts were nailed by events out of his control, there is no doubt he established the first ever Hills hoist and pioneered an invention that is synonymous with Australia a century later.

Toyne died at the age of 94 in 1983. He lived to see his invention dominate backyards across the country — just unfortunately to someone else’s credit.

His great granddaughter Kylie Baetz said: “He wasn’t a man that talked a lot. He had a lot of ideas and great skill, he just wasn’t a businessman first.

“Gilbert was onto a really good idea, and you see today things fall apart quite quickly, but his products were built to last”.

Aussie Inventions That Changed The World is available to stream on Foxtel from tomorrow.


Who invented the aeroplane? - History

The history of airplanes and helicopters in aviation is still a relatively short chapter. However, the amount of progress between the Wright brothers first flight and current aviation is nothing short of amazing.

The leap in aviation technology can be attributed to the advancement in computer technology and the demand for safer and more efficient airplane designs for war, business, and air travel.

No history of aviation is complete without mention of the Wright brothers. While there were numerous prior aircraft designs and flight attempts, the Wright brother’s airplane design would set the standard for the future. Their 12-second flight in 1903 was the first controlled, engine-powered flight with a heavier-than-air aircraft (as opposed to balloons and blimps). It's when the history of airplanes really began.

A New Era

World War One (1914-1918) ushered in a new era of flight.

Pilots began to need a system for communicating with their commanders and ground personnel, and the first communications equipment was invented - the radiotelephone.

The standard materials of wood and fabric were replaced by aluminum, which was lighter, stronger, and safer. As capturing new flight records and performing acrobatics became popular, biplanes were phased out for the development of monoplanes, which were sleeker and more maneuverable.

By the onset of World War Two (1939-1945) flight instruments had been invented, airplanes were equipped with radar, and the first jet engine was already in production.

Following the world wars, the age of jet airliners began, as airline companies like Pan Am and airplane manufacturers like Boeing combined to transport millions of passengers around the world. High cruising altitudes and transoceanic flights were the results of improved aerodynamics, aircraft metal types, and improvements to the engines.

Airplane design has remained relatively consistent since then, with the majority of major changes coming from new electronic systems and composite structures, in response to the increased need for efficiency in communications, navigation and aircraft operating costs.

History of Airplane Design

The single greatest step in the history of airplane design was the introduction of the turbine powered engine. These engines transformed the aviation world, by drastically increasing the speed, rate of climb, maneuverability, and distance traveled. All large transport aircraft are equipped with more than one engine, so if one engine fails there are back-up engines that will provide enough power for a safe landing.

Along with turbine powered engines came the need for cabin pressurization. A cabin pressurization system allows an airplane to safely ascend to a high altitude cruising level while maintaining a low altitude level inside the cabin for passenger comfort.

High altitude cruising is more efficient and keeps the airplane above most bad weather and turbulence, making the trip more comfortable for passengers and crew, as well as lessening the stress on the airplane.

Current changes in airplane design include the use of technologically advanced communications, radar, global positioning systems (GPS), and autopilot systems.

These help pilots navigate busy airways and fly safely around severe weather. The autopilot and various alert systems are not a replacement for hands-on flying, but aid the pilot by providing flight assistance as needed so other flight management tasks can be accomplished.


Why Was the Airplane Invented?

The airplane was invented due to a new century blooming and man's desire to discover new methods of transportation and discovery. While ground transportation, such as trains and cars, was making headway, a way to travel long distances without the complications of terrain had yet to be discovered.

While many believe that the airplane was invented by the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk, N.C., the first man to fly was New Zealander Richard Pearse in 1902, eight months before the Wright brothers first flew. Pearse, according to witnesses, flew a length of 50 to 400 yards in a heavier-than-air machine. Pearse's aircraft was the first to use proper ailerons, which allowed the wings to warp and turn the aircraft. Though many credit the invention of airplanes to the Wright brothers, Richard Pearse never reported his inventions because he didn't know there was any interest in flying.

Though the Wright brothers tested many gliders in the early 1900s, none of them counted as an actual aircraft, and the brothers didn't achieve flight until late 1903 with their first plane, the Flyer I. The craft weighed over 600 pounds, and Orville Wright was the first pilot. The craft remained airborne for 12 seconds and traveled a little over 120 feet.


Mid-20th Century

In 1938, the Civil Aeronautics Act established the Civil Aeronautics Board. This board served numerous functions, the two most significant being determining airlines' routes of travel and regulating prices for passenger fares. The CAB based airfares on average costs, so because airlines couldn't compete with each other by offering lower fares, they competed by striving to offer the best quality service. If the CAB found an airline's service quality was lacking on a certain route, it would allow other carriers to begin operating on that route. In this environment, established airlines enjoyed an advantage over startups, as new carriers found it difficult to break into existing routes. The Federal Aviation Agency, now known as the Federal Aviation Administration, was created in 1958 to manage safety operations.


Today's Mode-C transponders translate altitude into a 4096 code, starting at -1,200' pressure altitude (0400), all the way up to 126,700' pressure altitude (0042). So no matter what altitude you're flying (almost), your transponder can tell ATC what altitude you're at, within a 100 foot increment.

Your transponder radio signal travels at the speed of light (didn't you wish your airplane did as well. ). A transmission only takes 20.75 microseconds, which means your transponder signal is spread across 3.35 NM.

So the next time ATC tells you to 'squawk' your transponder, you'll know where the term originated from.

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Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at [email protected]


History of the First Airplane

Flight was realized initially with a hot air balloon in 1783, but while this type of travel was amusing, it wasn’t great for getting places with the rider at the mercy of wind direction. Then, Sir George Cayel created the first glider that flew with a man on board, but gliders were difficult to control and weren’t able to travel long distances.

The Wright brothers were employed at a bicycle shop in 1890, when they found an interest in flying. The shop taught them that bicycles were fast and near the ground and they used this knowledge in their experiments. The brothers researched airplanes from books and they began to tinker with gliders. Their first attempt had only half the lift that the brothers had calculated. After many improvements to the glider they invented a kite with two wings in 1899.

Orville and Wilbur created a wind tunnel to measure drag and lift on their wing designs. The brothers were able to fix errors on earlier designs and developed several sophisticated mechanisms that accurately measured how their wings handled the environment.

The brothers continued their work on gliders and finally invented one that could be piloted while it was in the air. This was accomplished when they found out that a rudder in the tail of the plane and flaps on the wings would allow the airplane to be controlled. A pilot would be able to direct where the airplane was going and at what height.

The Wright brothers officially became the first team to fly an airplane with a pilot in December, 1903.

The first flight lasted for 12 seconds and was a distance of 123 feet. This was one of three flights that were successful for the brothers that day. The longest one was piloted by Wilbur and he flew for 892 feet and remained in the air for 59 seconds.

Orville and Wilbur were the first airplane designers that focused on the ability to control and power an aircraft at the same time. They created wing warping to solve the problem of control and added a yaw that included a steerable rudder located at the back of the aircraft. They were also responsible for attaching a low-powered engine to their invention.

The brothers were tenacious in their desire to achieve flight and were instrumental in the advancement of airplanes. They helped create a convenient way for everyone to travel.


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