2018年12月01日 22:25 来源:石家庄新闻网

Langley had made his last attempt with the ‘aerodrome,’ and his splendid failure but a few days before the brothers made their first attempt at power-driven aeroplane flight. On December 17th, 1903, the machine was taken out; in addition to Wilbur and Orville Wright, there were present five spectators: Mr A. D. Etheridge, of the Kill Devil life-saving station; Mr W. S. Dough, Mr W. C. Brinkley, of Manteo; Mr John Ward, of Naghead, and Mr John T. Daniels.3 A general invitation had been given to practically all the residents in the vicinity, but the Kill Devil district is a cold area in December, and history had recorded so many experiments in which machines had failed to leave the ground that between temperature and scepticism only these five risked a waste of their time.

‘3. That in arched surfaces the centre of pressure at 90 degrees is near the centre of the surface, but moves slowly forward as the angle becomes less, till a critical angle varying with the shape and depth of the curve is reached, after which it moves rapidly toward the rear till the angle of no lift is found.

The history of the years 1899 to 1903 in the Langley series of experiments contains a multitude of detail far beyond the scope of this present study, and of interest mainly to the designer. There were frames, engines, and propellers, to be considered, worked out, and constructed. We are concerned here mainly with the completed machine and its trials. Of these latter it must be remarked that the only two actual field trials which took place resulted in accidents due to the failure140 of the launching apparatus, and not due to any inherent defect in the machine. It was intended that these two trials should be the first of a series, but the unfortunate accidents, and the fact that no further funds were forthcoming for continuance of experiments, prevented Langley’s success, which, had he been free to go through as he intended with his work, would have been certain.

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147 It was not until 1896 that the mechanical genius which characterised the two brothers was turned to the consideration of aeronautics. In that year they took up the problem thoroughly, studying all the aeronautical information then in print. Lilienthal’s writings formed one basis for their studies, and the work of Langley assisted in establishing in them a confidence in the possibility of a solution to the problems of mechanical flight. In 1909, at the banquet given by the Royal Aero Club to the Wright Brothers on their return to America, after the series of demonstration flights carried out by Wilbur Wright on the Continent, Wilbur paid tribute to the great pioneer work of Stringfellow, whose studies and achievements influenced his own and Orville’s early work. He pointed out how Stringfellow devised an aeroplane having two propellers and vertical and horizontal steering, and gave due place to this early pioneer of mechanical flight.

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‘The person who merely watches the flight of a bird gathers the impression that the bird has nothing to think of but the flapping of its wings. As a matter of fact, this is a very small part of its mental labour. Even to mention all the things the bird must constantly keep in mind in order to fly securely through the air would take a considerable time. If I take a piece of paper and, after placing it parallel with the ground, quickly let it fall, it will not settle steadily down as a staid, sensible piece of paper ought to do, but it insists149 on contravening every recognised rule of decorum, turning over and darting hither and thither in the most erratic manner, much after the style of an untrained horse. Yet this is the style of steed that men must learn to manage before flying can become an everyday sport. The bird has learned this art of equilibrium, and learned it so thoroughly that its skill is not apparent to our sight. We only learn to appreciate it when we can imitate it.

The best account of Langley’s work is that diffused throughout a weighty tome issued by the Smithsonian Institution, entitled the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight, of which about one-third was written by Langley himself, the remainder being compiled by Charles M. Manly, the engineer responsible for the construction of the first radial aero engine, and chief assistant to134 Langley in his experiments. To give a twentieth of the contents of this volume in the present short account of the development of mechanical flight would far exceed the amount of space that can be devoted even to so eminent a man in aeronautics as S. P. Langley, who, apart from his achievement in the construction of a power-driven aeroplane really capable of flight, was a scientist of no mean order, and who brought to the study of aeronautics the skill of the trained investigator allied to the inventive resource of the genius.

Joyce Ndalichako, Tanzania's Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, said the library will enable university students from across the country widen their knowledge and skills for the welfare of the country.

‘1. That the lifting power of a large machine, held stationary in a wind at a small distance from the earth, is much less than the Lilienthal table and our own laboratory experiments would lead us to expect. When the machine is moved through the air, as in gliding, the discrepancy seems much less marked.

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Ferber’s experiments in gliding began in 1899 at the Military School at Fountainebleau, with a canvas glider of some 80 square feet supporting surface, and weighing 65 lbs. Two years later he constructed a larger and more satisfactory machine, with which he made numerous excellent glides. Later, he constructed an apparatus which suspended a plane from a long arm which swung on a tower, in order that experiments might be carried out without risk to the experimenter, and it was not until 1905 that he attempted power-driven free flight. He took up the Voisin design of biplane for his power-driven flights, and virtually devoted all his energies to the study of aeronautics. His book, Aviation, its Dawn and Development, is a work of scientific value—unlike many of his contemporaries, Ferber brought to the study of the problems of flight a trained mind, and he was concerned equally178 with the theoretical problems of aeronautics and the practical aspects of the subject.

The library complex covers an area of 4.7 hectares with a floor area of 20,000 square meters. It consists of a library, a Confucius Institute and a Sino-Tanzania Cultural Exchange park. With the capacity of stocking 800,000 books, the library can house 2,100 people at the same time.

Joyce Ndalichako, Tanzania's Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, said the library will enable university students from across the country widen their knowledge and skills for the welfare of the country.

For the gliding experiments of 1901 it was decided to retain the form of the 1900 glider, but to increase155 the area to 308 square feet, which, the brothers calculated, would support itself and its operator in a wind of seventeen miles an hour with an angle of incidence of three degrees. Camp was formed at Kitty Hawk in the middle of July, and on July 27th the machine was completed and tried for the first time in a wind of about fourteen miles an hour. The first attempt resulted in landing after a glide of only a few yards, indicating that the centre of gravity was too far in front of the centre of pressure. By shifting his position farther and farther back the operator finally achieved an undulating flight of a little over 300 feet, but to obtain this success he had to use full power of the rudder to prevent both stalling and nose-diving. With the 1900 machine one-fourth of the rudder action had been necessary for far better control.

First flight of first power-driven machine, 17th December, 1903, near Kill Devil Hill, Kitty Hawk, N.C. Starting rail on left. Orville Wright piloting machine.

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Among the little group of French experimenters in these first years of practical flight, Santos-Dumont takes high rank. He built his ‘No. 14 bis’ aeroplane in biplane form, with two superposed main plane surfaces, and fitted it with an eight-cylinder Antoinette motor driving a two-bladed aluminium propeller, of which the blades were 6 feet only from tip to tip. The total lift surface of 860 square feet was given with a wing-span of a little under 40 feet, and the weight of the complete machine was 353 lbs., of which the engine weighed 158 lbs. In July of 1906 Santos-Dumont flew a distance of a few yards in this machine, but damaged it in striking the ground; on October 23rd of the same year he made a flight of nearly 200 feet—which might have been longer, but that he feared a crowd in front of the aeroplane and cut off his ignition. This may be regarded as the first effective flight in Europe, and by it Santos-Dumont takes his place as one of the chief—if not the chief—of the pioneers of the first years of practical flight, so far as Europe is concerned.

Mr Manly was pulled out of the wreck uninjured143 and the wrecked machine was subsequently placed upon the house-boat, and the whole brought back to Washington.

‘The machine, with its new curvature, never failed to respond promptly to even small movements of the rudder. The operator could cause it to almost skim the ground, following the undulations of its surface, or he could cause it to sail out almost on a level with the starting point, and, passing high above the foot of the hill, gradually settle down to the ground. The wind on this day was blowing eleven to fourteen miles157 per hour. The next day, the conditions being favourable, the machine was again taken out for trial. This time the velocity of the wind was eighteen to twenty-two miles per hour. At first we felt some doubt as to the safety of attempting free flight in so strong a wind, with a machine of over 300 square feet and a practice of less than five minutes spent in actual flight. But after several preliminary experiments we decided to try a glide. The control of the machine seemed so good that we then felt no apprehension in sailing boldly forth. And thereafter we made glide after glide, sometimes following the ground closely and sometimes sailing high in the air. Mr Chanute had his camera with him and took pictures of some of these glides, several of which are among those shown.

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