Progress in Flying Machines
This volume contains research that originally appeared in The Railroad and Engineering Journal between 1891 and 1893. In it, the distinguished French-born aviation pioneer Octave Chanute analyzed virtually every flight experiment up to that time, explained their flaws and focused attention on the principles that showed most promise. His data on flight control and equilibrium was crucial to the early designs of the Wright Brothers.
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Page 98 - Having remarked how thin a stratum of air is displaced beneath the wings of a bird in rapid flight, it follows that in order to obtain the necessary length of plane for supporting heavy weights, the surfaces may be superposed, or placed in parallel rows, with an interval between them.
Page 100 - ... cross-yoke, sliding on the base-board. .By working this cross-piece with the feet, motion will be communicated to the propellers, and by giving a longer stroke with one foot than the other, a greater extent of motion will be given to the corresponding propeller, thus enabling the machine to turn, just as oars are worked in a rowing boat. The propellers act on the same principle as the wing of a bird or bat : their ends being made of fabric, stretched by elastic ribs, a simple waving motion up...
Page 99 - A sudden gust caught up the experimenter, who was carried some distance from the ground, and the affair falling over sideways, broke up the righthand set of webs. In all new machines we gain experience by repeated failures, which frequently form the stepping-stones to ultimate success. The rude contrivance just described (which was but the work of a few hours) had taught, first, that the webs, or...
Page 100 - ... feet had to be counteracted, instead of the strain arising from the entire length, as in the former experiment. The endpull was sustained by vertical rods, sliding through loops on the transverse ones at the ends of the webs, the whole of which could fall flat on the spar, till raised and distended by a breeze. The top was stretched by a lath, /, and the system kept vertical by staycords, taken from a bowsprit carried out in front, shown in Fig.
Page 100 - This series was for the supporting arrangement, being equivalent to a length of wing of ninety-six feet. Exterior to this, two propellers were to be attached, turning on spindles just above the back. They are kept drawn up by a light spring, and pulled down by cords or chains, running over pulleys in the panels bb, and fastened to the end of a swivelling cross-yoke, sliding on the base-board.
Page 83 - I soon found, before I had time to introduce the spark, a drooping in the wings, a flagging in all the parts. In less than ten minutes the machine was saturated with wet from a deposit of dew, so that anything like a trial was impossible by night. I did not consider we could get the silk tight and rigid enough. Indeed, the framework altogether was too weak.
Page 84 - ... when a party of gentlemen unconnected with the gardens begged to see an experiment, and finding them able to appreciate his endeavours, he got up steam and started the model down the wire.
Page 22 - ... from the floor, then got up steam, and allowed it to accumulate so that there would be a good pressure to start with. When the steam was turned on, the wings worked vigorously, but the machine jerked up and down, whirled round, rushed from side to side, and in fact performed all kinds of gymnastic movements within its limits (except flying), to the great amusement of the particular friends invited to witness the experiment.
Page 98 - ... running with it in a calm it required much force to keep it down. The success of this model led to the construction of one of a sufficient size to carry the weight of a man. Fig. 3 represents the arrangement- aa is a thin plank, tapered at the outer ends, and attached at the base to a triangle, b, made of similar plank, for the insertion of the body. The boards, aa, were trussed with thin bands of iron, cc, and at the ends were vertical rods, d d.