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Thread: Centenary Of Powered Flight

  1. #1
    uNz[i]'s Avatar Out of order
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    THE WRIGHTS TAKE FLIGHT, Dec. 17, 1903

    Since the late 1800s, the prospect of powered flight infatuated the country's top scientists and engineers. And then a couple of bike shop owners beat them to the punch. Three days after Wilbur Wright failed to get the Flyer off the ground, brother Orville took controls and flew for 12 seconds at a makeshift hangar at Kill Devil Hills in Kitty Hawk, N.C. The brothers made three more flights that day — the longest by Wilbur was 59 seconds for a distance of 852 feet — before a gust of wind rolled the Flyer over as they were taking it back to camp. The plane was a wreck, but history was already made.
    TIME.com Feature

    Since then we've had many aviation milestones, from long distance flights all the way up to the International Space Station and Martian exploration.

    I thought a good news story would make a nice change...

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Originally posted by uNz[i
    ,16 December 2003 - 23:04]
    THE WRIGHTS TAKE FLIGHT, Dec. 17, 1903

    Since the late 1800s, the prospect of powered flight infatuated the country's top scientists and engineers. And then a couple of bike shop owners beat them to the punch. Three days after Wilbur Wright failed to get the Flyer off the ground, brother Orville took controls and flew for 12 seconds at a makeshift hangar at Kill Devil Hills in Kitty Hawk, N.C. The brothers made three more flights that day — the longest by Wilbur was 59 seconds for a distance of 852 feet — before a gust of wind rolled the Flyer over as they were taking it back to camp. The plane was a wreck, but history was already made.
    TIME.com Feature

    Since then we've had many aviation milestones, from long distance flights all the way up to the International Space Station and Martian exploration.

    I thought a good news story would make a nice change...

    Another good one, uNz.

    Sad how the two greatest bicycle mechanics who ever lived, whose status as the originators of flight will be remembered in such low-key ways, just because they are "Old Dead White Guys".

    Soon they will disappear from the history books, and by the time the 200th anniversary rolls around, you won't even be able to discover who was first.

    Sorry to be negative-I know this wasn't what you were looking for.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    uNz[i]'s Avatar Out of order
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    When you first posted your reply J2,
    Sad how the two greatest bicycle mechanics who ever lived, whose status as the originators of flight will be remembered in such low-key ways, just because they are "Old Dead White Guys".

    Soon they will disappear from the history books, and by the time the 200th anniversary rolls around, you won't even be able to discover who was first.
    I thought "This is one of humanities greatest achievments. How on earth do you figure it will be forgotten?"
    But judging by the amazing lack of responses to this topic from the other board members, I fear you may be right.

    It seems that if theres no opportunity for any disagreement, then it's just not worthy of discussion.

    Rather a shame, really.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    It's a pity the progression from flight to space travel has really slowed down, too busy spending money on wars

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    uNz[i]'s Avatar Out of order
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    Perhaps, but some would argue that military spending is what's made aviation as reliable and safe as it is today.

    Truth be told, the US military funded further development of the Wright Flyer by placing an order for 50 planes. I believe the French government purchased some too.

    So if it wasn't for military spending, things would be very different....

    Sad but true.

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    Originally posted by junkyardking@18 December 2003 - 00:33
    It's a pity the progression from flight to space travel has really slowed down, too busy spending money on wars
    I think you're underestimating how fundamentally difficult and dangerous space-flight really is...

    It also has alot to do with economics, the benefits of space travel are such long term entities that nobody is prepared to invest the huge sums of money that are required in the short term to make it happen.

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
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    [i]Originally posted by uNz@18 December 2003 - 04:12
    ...So if it wasn't for military spending, things would be very different....
    Certainly, as many many things we now take for granted are the result of humans warring upon themselves.

    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    uNz[i]'s Avatar Out of order
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    Just found a relevant item on News.com.au... in the offbeat news section.
    Wright Bros Re-enactment.

    Sadly, the replica Wright flyer turned out to be a fizzer, but George W and John "moon man" Travolta add comic relief.


    Edit: Typo

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    http://www.destination.co.nz/temuka/pearse.htm.

    it's possible that a new zealander beat the wright brothers to it

    even earlier than that

    it’s an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    uNz[i]'s Avatar Out of order
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    Yeah, I've heard of the New Zealand Farmer, Richard Pearse.
    Apparently he made his plane in his barn using bits of fencing wire and an old bedstead
    Never heard about the other guy though, thanks for the link

    Maybe the Wright bros should just go down in history as the first men ever to successfully patent a powered airoplane?

    Since the 17th Dec, I've seen a bunch of documentaries covering the centenary of powered flight, and most of them have been produced in the US, unsurprisingly.

    I couldn't help noticing the way the producers of many of these shows want to portray the Wright bros (and therefore America) as the first to ever fly, period.

    It's like they have a total blind spot when it comes to folks like Montgolfier or Zeppelin.


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