2018年12月01日 22:25 来源:石家庄新闻网

He called on the countries to further advance trilateral cooperation in the face of fresh challenges.

Mr C. M. Manly, working under Professor Langley, had, by the summer of 1903, succeeded in completing an engine-driven machine which under favourable atmospheric conditions was expected to carry a man for any time up to half an hour, and to be capable of having its flight directed and controlled by him.

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How he overcame the various difficulties that faced him and constructed a steam-engine capable of the task allotted to it forms a story in itself, too long for recital here. His first power-driven aerodrome of model size was begun in November of 1891, the scale of construction being decided with the idea that it should be large enough to carry an automatic steering apparatus which would render the machine capable of maintaining a long and steady flight. The actual weight of the136 first model far exceeded the theoretical estimate, and Langley found that a constant increase of weight under the exigencies of construction was a feature which could never be altogether eliminated. The machine was made principally of steel, the sustaining surfaces being composed of silk stretched from a steel tube with wooden attachments. The first engines were the oscillating type, but were found deficient in power. This led to the construction of single-acting inverted oscillating engines with high and low pressure cylinders, and with admission and exhaust ports to avoid the complication and weight of eccentric and valves. Boiler and furnace had to be specially designed; an analysis of sustaining surfaces and the settlement of equilibrium while in flight had to be overcome, and then it was possible to set about the construction of the series of model aerodromes and make test of their ‘lift.’

Before leaving the work of the brothers to consider contemporary events, it may be noted that they claimed—with justice—that they were first to construct wings adjustable to different angles of incidence on the right and left side in order to control the balance of an aeroplane; the first to attain lateral balance by adjusting wing-tips to respectively different angles of incidence on the right and left sides, and the first to use a vertical vane in combination with wing-tips, adjustable to respectively different angles of incidence, in balancing and steering an aeroplane. They were first, too, to use a movable vertical tail, in combination with wings adjustable to different angles of incidence, in controlling the balance and direction of an aeroplane.5

A certain Henry M. Weaver, who went to see the work of the brothers, writing in a letter which was subsequently read before the Aero Club de France, records that he had a talk in 1905 with the farmer who rented the field in which the Wrights made their flights. ‘On October 5th (1905) he was cutting corn in the next field east, which is higher ground. When he noticed the aeroplane had started on its flight he remarked175 to his helper: “Well, the boys are at it again,” and kept on cutting corn, at the same time keeping an eye on the great white form rushing about its course. “I just kept on shocking corn,” he continued, “until I got down to the fence, and the durned thing was still going round. I thought it would never stop.”’

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Sulphuric acid and iron filings were used by Charles325 for filling his balloon, which required three days and three nights for the generation of its 14,000 cubic feet of hydrogen gas. The inflation was completed on December 1st, 1783, and the fittings carried included a barometer and a grapnel form of anchor. In addition to this, Charles provided the first ‘ballon sondé’ in the form of a small pilot balloon which he handed to Mongolfier to launch before his own ascent, in order to determine the direction and velocity of the wind. It was a graceful compliment to his rival, and indicated that, although they were both working to the one end, their rivalry was not a matter of bitterness.

The supporting surface of the wings was ample,141 and experiment showed the engine capable of supplying more than the necessary motive power.

‘We had not been flying long in 1904 before we found that the problem of equilibrium had not as yet been entirely solved. Sometimes, in making a circle, the machine would turn over sidewise despite anything the operator could do, although, under the same conditions in ordinary straight flight it could have been righted in an instant. In one flight, in 1905, while circling round a honey locust-tree at a height of about 50 feet, the machine suddenly began to turn up on one wing, and took a course toward the tree. The operator,173 not relishing the idea of landing in a thorn tree, attempted to reach the ground. The left wing, however, struck the tree at a height of 10 or 12 feet from the ground and carried away several branches; but the flight, which had already covered a distance of six miles, was continued to the starting point.

Meusnier, toward the end of the eighteenth century, was first to conceive the idea of compensating for the loss of gas due to expansion by fitting to the interior of a free balloon a ballonet, or air bag, which could be pumped full of air so as to retain the shape and rigidity of the envelope.

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There is the bald narrative, but it is worthy of some amplification. If Ader actually did what he claimed, then the position which the Wright Brothers hold as first to navigate the air in a power-driven plane is nullified. Although at this time of writing it is not a quarter of a century since Ader’s experiment in the presence of witnesses competent to judge on his accomplishment, there is no proof either way, and whether he was or was not the first man to fly remains a mystery in the story of the conquest of the air.

The Wrights’ first power-driven machine, 1903.

And these five were in at the greatest conquest man had made since James Watt evolved the steam engine—perhaps even a greater conquest than that of Watt. Four flights in all were made; the first lasted only twelve seconds, ‘the first in the history of the world in which a machine carrying a man had raised itself into the air by its own power in free flight, had sailed forward on a level course without reduction of speed,171 and had finally landed without being wrecked,’ said Wilbur Wright concerning the achievement.4 The next two flights were slightly longer, and the fourth and last of the day was one second short of the complete minute; it was made into the teeth of a 20 mile an hour wind, and the distance travelled was 852 feet.

John Stringfellow died on December 13th, 1883. His place in the history of aeronautics is at least equal to that of Cayley, and it may be said that he laid the foundation of such work as was subsequently accomplished by Maxim, Langley, and their fellows. It was the coming of the internal combustion engine that rendered flight practicable, and had this prime mover been available in John Stringfellow’s day the Wright brothers’ achievement might have been antedated by half a century.

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169 They came up against the problem to which Riach has since devoted so much attention, that of propeller design. ‘We had thought of getting the theory of the screw-propeller from the marine engineers, and then, by applying our table of air-pressures to their formul?, of designing air-propellers suitable for our uses. But, so far as we could learn, the marine engineers possessed only empirical formul?, and the exact action of the screw propeller, after a century of use, was still very obscure. As we were not in a position to undertake a long series of practical experiments to discover a propeller suitable for our machine, it seemed necessary to obtain such a thorough understanding of the theory of its reactions as would enable us to design them from calculation alone. What at first seemed a simple problem became more complex the longer we studied it. With the machine moving forward, the air flying backward, the propellers turning sidewise, and nothing standing still, it seemed impossible to find a starting point from which to trace the various simultaneous reactions. Contemplation of it was confusing. After long arguments we often found ourselves in the ludicrous position of each having been converted to the other’s side, with no more agreement than when the discussion began.

‘However, there is another way of flying which requires no artificial motor, and many workers believe that success will come first by this road. I refer to the soaring flight, by which the machine is permanently sustained in the air by the same means that are employed by soaring birds. They spread their wings to the wind, and sail by the hour, with no perceptible exertion beyond that required to balance and steer themselves.163 What sustains them is not definitely known, though it is almost certain that it is a rising current of air. But whether it be a rising current or something else, it is as well able to support a flying machine as a bird, if man once learns the art of utilising it. In gliding experiments it has long been known that the rate of vertical descent is very much retarded, and the duration of the flight greatly prolonged, if a strong wind blows up the face of the hill parallel to its surface. Our machine, when gliding in still air, has a rate of vertical descent of nearly 6 feet per second, while in a wind blowing 26 miles per hour up a steep hill we made glides in which the rate of descent was less than 2 feet per second. And during the larger part of this time, while the machine remained exactly in the rising current, there was no descent at all, but even a slight rise. If the operator had had sufficient skill to keep himself from passing beyond the rising current he would have been sustained indefinitely at a higher point than that from which he started. The illustration shows one of these very slow glides at a time when the machine was practically at a standstill. The failure to advance more rapidly caused the photographer some trouble in aiming, as you will perceive. In looking at this picture you will readily understand that the excitement of gliding experiments does not entirely cease with the breaking up of camp. In the photographic dark-room at home we pass moments of as thrilling interest as any in the field, when the image begins to appear on the plate and it is yet an open question whether we have a picture of a flying machine or merely a patch of open sky. These slow glides in rising current probably hold out greater hope of extensive practice than any other method164 within man’s reach, but they have the disadvantage of requiring rather strong winds or very large supporting surfaces. However, when gliding operators have attained greater skill, they can with comparative safety maintain themselves in the air for hours at a time in this way, and thus by constant practice so increase their knowledge and skill that they can rise into the higher air and search out the currents which enable the soaring birds to transport themselves to any desired point by first rising in a circle and then sailing off at a descending angle. This illustration shows the machine, alone, flying in a wind of 35 miles per hour on the face of a steep hill, 100 feet high. It will be seen that the machine not only pulls upward, but also pulls forward in the direction from which the wind blows, thus overcoming both gravity and the speed of the wind. We tried the same experiment with a man on it, but found danger that the forward pull would become so strong, that the men holding the ropes would be dragged from their insecure foothold on the slope of the hill. So this form of experimenting was discontinued after four or five minutes’ trial.

But the visitors were also guilty of indiscipline, first losing Arly Rodriguez because of a second caution and then Diego Guastavino, who was shown a straight red card four minutes from time.

This bald statement of the day’s doings is as Wilbur Wright himself has given it, and there is in truth nothing more to say; no amount of statement could add to the importance of the achievement, and no more than the bare record is necessary. The faith that had inspired the long roll of pioneers, from da Vinci onward, was justified at last.

‘Some strange results were obtained. One surface, with a heavy roll at the front edge, showed the same lift for all angles from 7? to 45 degrees. This seemed so anomalous that we were almost ready to doubt our own measurements, when a simple test was suggested. A weather vane, with two planes attached to the pointer at an angle of 80 degrees with each other, was made. According to our table, such a vane would be in unstable168 equilibrium when pointing directly into the wind; for if by chance the wind should happen to strike one plane at 39 degrees and the other at 41 degrees, the plane with the smaller angle would have the greater pressure, and the pointer would be turned still farther out of the course of the wind until the two vanes again secured equal pressures, which would be at approximately 30 and 50 degrees. But the vane performed in this very manner. Further corroboration of the tables was obtained in experiments with the new glider at Kill Devil Hill the next season.

That genius exemplified the antique saw regarding the infinite capacity for taking pains, for the Langley Memoir shows that as early as 1891 Langley had completed a set of experiments, lasting through years, which proved it possible to construct machines giving such a velocity to inclined surfaces that bodies indefinitely heavier than air could be sustained upon it and propelled through it at high speed. For full account (very full) of these experiments, and of a later series leading up to the construction of a series of ‘model aerodromes’ capable of flight under power, it is necessary to turn to the bulky memoir of Smithsonian origin.

62 Under these circumstances, it is proposed to raise an immediate sum of £2,000 in furtherance of the Projector’s views, and as some protection to the parties who may embark in the matter, that this is not a visionary plan for objects imperfectly considered, Mr Colombine, to whom the secret has been confided, has allowed his name to be used on the occasion, and who will if referred to corroborate this statement, and convince any inquirer of the reasonable prospects of large pecuniary results following the development of the Invention.