2018年12月01日 22:24 来源:石家庄新闻网

This machine ran on three wheels before leaving the ground, a central undercarriage wheel being fitted in front, with two more in line with a right angle line drawn through the centre of the engine crank at the rear end of the crank-case. The engine was a 35 horse-power Vee design, water-cooled, with overhead inlet and exhaust valves, and Bosch high-tension magneto ignition. The total weight of the plane in flying order was about 700 lbs.

The applications did not materialise, as was only to be expected in view of the vagueness of the proposals. Colombine did some advertising, and Mr Roebuck expressed himself as unwilling to proceed further in the venture. Henson experimented with models to a certain extent, while Stringfellow looked for funds for the construction of a full-sized monoplane. In November of 1843 he suggested that he and Henson should construct a large model out of their own funds. On Henson’s suggestion Colombine and Marriott were bought out as regards the original patent, and Stringfellow and Henson entered into an agreement and set to work.

Having made their conquest, the brothers took the machine back to camp, and, as they thought, placed it in safety. Talking with the little group of spectators about the flights, they forgot about the machine, and then a sudden gust of wind struck it. Seeing that it was being overturned, all made a rush toward it to save it, and Mr Daniels, a man of large proportions, was in some way lifted off his feet, falling between the planes. The machine overturned fully, and Daniels was shaken like a die in a cup as the wind rolled the machine over and over—he came out at the end of his experience with a series of bad bruises, and no more, but the damage done to the machine by the accident was sufficient to render it useless for further experiment that season.

Whatever the sceptics may say, there is reason for belief in the accomplishment of actual flight by Ader with his first machine in the fact that, after the inevitable official delay of some months, the French War Ministry granted funds for further experiment. Ader named his second machine, which he began to build in May, 1892, the ‘Avion,’ and—an honour which he well deserves—that name remains in French aeronautics as descriptive of the power-driven aeroplane up to this day.

We have, during the seventeen years since aeroplanes first took the air, seen them grow from tentative experimental structures of unknown and unknowable performance to highly scientific products, of which not only the performances (in speed, load-carrying capacity,313 and climb) are known, but of which the precise strength and degree of stability can be forecast with some accuracy on the drawing board. For the rest, with the future lies—apart from some revolutionary change in fundamental design—the steady development of a now well-tried and well-found engineering structure.It is no derogation of the work accomplished by the Wright Brothers to say that they won the honour of the first power-propelled flights in a heavier-than-air machine only by a short period. In Europe, and especially in France, independent experiment was being conducted by Ferber, by Santos-Dumont, and others, while in England Cody was not far behind the other giants of those days. The history of the early years of controlled power flights is a tangle of half-records; there were no chroniclers, only workers, and much of what was done goes unrecorded perforce, since it was not set down at the time.

‘4. That with similar conditions large surfaces may be controlled with not much greater difficulty than small ones, if the control is effected by manipulation of the surfaces themselves, rather than by a movement of the body of the operator.

It is perfectly needless to state that no risk or responsibility of any kind can arise beyond the payment of the sum to be subscribed under any circumstances whatever.

‘2. That the ratio of drift to lift in well-shaped165 surfaces is less at angles of incidence of 5 degrees to 12 degrees than at an angle of 3 degrees.

Henry Farman, to whom reference has already been made, was engaged with his two brothers, Maurice and Richard, in the motor-car business, and turned to active interest in flying in 1907, when the Voisin firm built his first biplane on the box-kite principle. In July of 1908 he won a prize of £400 for a flight of thirteen miles, previously having completed the first kilometre flown in Europe with a passenger, the said passenger being Ernest Archdeacon. In September of 1908 Farman put up a speed record of forty miles an hour in a flight lasting forty minutes.

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The early history of flying, like that of most sciences, is replete with tragedies; in addition to these it contains one mystery concerning Clement Ader, who was well known among European pioneers in the development of the telephone, and first turned his attention to the problems of mechanical flight in 1872. At the outset he favoured the ornithopter principle, constructing a machine in the form of a bird with a wing-spread of twenty-six feet; this, according to Ader’s conception, was to fly through the efforts of the operator. The result of such an attempt was past question and naturally the machine never left the ground.

‘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.

Other notable designs of these early days were the ‘R.E.P.’, Esnault Pelterie’s machine, and the Curtiss-Herring biplane. Of these Esnault Pelterie’s was a monoplane, designed in that form since Esnault Pelterie had found by experiment that the wire used in bracing offers far more resistance to the air than its dimensions would seem to warrant. He built the wings of sufficient strength to stand the strain of flight without bracing wires, and dependent only for their support on the points of attachment to the body of the machine; for the rest, it carried its propeller in front of the planes, and both horizontal and vertical rudders at the stern—a distinct departure from the Wright and similar types. One wheel only was fixed under the body where the undercarriage exists on a normal design, but light wheels were fixed, one at the extremity of each wing, and there was also a wheel under the tail portion of the machine. A single lever actuated all the controls for steering. With a supporting surface of 150 square feet the machine weighed 946 lbs., about 6.4 lbs. per square foot of lifting surface.

Mr Weaver also notes briefly the construction of the 1905 Wright flier. ‘The frame was made of larch wood—from tip to tip of the wings the dimension was 40 feet. The gasoline motor—a special construction made by them—much the same, though, as the motor on the Pope-Toledo automobile—was of from 12 to 15 horse-power. The motor weighed 240 lbs. The frame was covered with ordinary muslin of good quality. No attempt was made to lighten the machine; they simply built it strong enough to stand the shocks. The structure stood on skids or runners, like a sleigh. These held the frame high enough from the ground in alighting to protect the blades of the propeller. Complete with motor, the machine weighed 925 lbs.’


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‘6. That tails, both vertical and horizontal, may with safety be eliminated in gliding and other flying experiments.

All applications to be made to D. E. Colombine, Esquire, 8 Carlton Chambers, Regent Street.

It has triggered a heated debate in the scientific community and the general public.

One of the most remarkable results attained was the production of a gasoline engine furnishing over fifty continuous horse-power for a weight of 120 lbs.

Langley was an old man when he began the study of aeronautics, or, as he himself might have expressed it, the study of aerodromics, since he persisted in calling the series of machines he built ‘Aerodromes,’ a word now used only to denote areas devoted to use as landing spaces for flying machines; the Wright Brothers, on the other hand, had the great gift of youth to aid them in their work. Even so it was a great race between Langley, aided by Charles Manly, and Wilbur and Orville Wright, and only the persistent ill-luck which dogged Langley from the start to the finish of his experiments gave victory to his rivals. It has been proved conclusively in these later years of accomplished flight that the machine which Langley launched on the Potomac River in October of 1903 was fully capable of sustained flight, and only the accidents incurred in launching prevented its pilot from being the first man to navigate the air successfully in a power-driven machine.

Now, the first part of my invention consists of an apparatus so constructed as to offer a very extended surface or plane of a light yet strong construction, which will have the same relation to the general machine which the extended wings of a bird have to the body when a bird is skimming in the air; but in place of the movement or power for onward progress being obtained by movement of the extended surface or plane, as is the case with the wings of birds, I apply suitable paddle-wheels or other proper mechanical propellers worked by a steam or other sufficiently light engine, and thus obtain the requisite power for onward movement to the plane or extended surface; and in order to give control as to the upward and downward direction of such a machine I apply a tail to the extended surface which is capable of being inclined or raised, so that when the power is acting to propel the machine, by59 inclining the tail upwards, the resistance offered by the air will cause the machine to rise on the air; and, on the contrary, when the inclination of the tail is reversed, the machine will immediately be propelled downwards, and pass through a plane more or less inclined to the horizon as the inclination of the tail is greater or less; and in order to guide the machine as to the lateral direction which it shall take, I apply a vertical rudder or second tail, and, according as the same is inclined in one direction or the other, so will be the direction of the machine.’

On this occasion General Randolph and myself represented the Board of Ordnance and Fortification. The launching car was released at 4.45 p.m. being pointed up the Anacostia towards the Navy Yard. My position was on the tug Bartholdi, about 150 feet from and at right angles to the direction of proposed flight. The car was set in motion and the propellers revolved rapidly, the engine working perfectly, but there was something wrong with the launching. The rear guy-post seemed to drag, bringing the rudder down on the launching ways, and a crashing, rending sound, followed by the collapse of the rear wings, showed that the machine had been wrecked in the launching, just how, it was impossible for me to see. The fact remains that the rear wings and rudder were wrecked before the machine was free of the ways. Their collapse deprived the machine of its support in the rear, and it consequently reared up in front under the action of the motor, assumed a vertical position, and then toppled over to the rear, falling into the water a few feet in front of the boat.

This second machine, however, was not a success, and it was not until 1897 that the second ‘Avion,’ which was the third power-driven aeroplane of Ader’s construction, was ready for trial. This was fitted with124 two steam motors of twenty horse-power each, driving two four-bladed propellers; the wings warped automatically: that is to say, if it were necessary to raise the trailing edge of one wing on the turn, the trailing edge of the opposite wing was also lowered by the same movement; an undercarriage was also fitted, the machine running on three small wheels, and levers controlled by the feet of the aviator actuated the movement of the tail planes.

‘In September and October, 1902, nearly 1,000 gliding flights were made, several of which covered distances of over 600 feet. Some, made against a wind of 36 miles an hour, gave proof of the effectiveness of the devices for control. With this machine, in the autumn of 1903, we made a number of flights in which we remained in the air for over a minute, often soaring for a considerable time in one spot, without any descent at all. Little wonder that our unscientific assistant should think the only thing needed to keep it indefinitely in the air would be a coat of feathers to make it light!’

‘In order that the description hereafter given may58 be rendered clear, I will first shortly explain the principle on which the machine is constructed. If any light and flat or nearly flat article be projected or thrown edgewise in a slightly inclined position, the same will rise on the air till the force exerted is expended, when the article so thrown or projected will descend; and it will readily be conceived that, if the article so projected or thrown possessed in itself a continuous power or force equal to that used in throwing or projecting it, the article would continue to ascend so long as the forward part of the surface was upwards in respect to the hinder part, and that such article, when the power was stopped, or when the inclination was reversed, would descend by gravity aided by the force of the power contained in the article, if the power be continued, thus imitating the flight of a bird.

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.