An ornithopter (from Greek ornis, ornith-"bird" and pteron "wing") is an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings. Designers sought to imitate the flapping-wing flight of birds, bats, and insects. Though machines may differ in form, they are usually built on the same scale as flying animals. Larger, crewed ornithopters have also been built and ...
S.P. Langley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1887 until his death in 1906, experimented for years with model flying machines and successfully flew unmanned powered fixed-wing model aircraft in 1896 and 1903. Two tests of his manned full-size motor-driven Aerodrome in October and December 1903, however, were complete failures.
The Frenchman Alphonse Pénaud filed the first patent for a flying machine with a boat hull and retractable landing gear in 1876, but Austrian Wilhelm Kress is credited with building the first seaplane, Drachenflieger, in 1898, although its two 30 hp (22 kW) Daimler engines were inadequate for take-off, and it later sank when one of its two floats collapsed.
According to Aulus Gellius, the Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and strategist Archytas (428–347 BC) was reputed to have designed and built the first artificial, self-propelled flying device, a bird-shaped model propelled by a jet of what was probably steam, said to have actually flown some 200 metres around 400 BC.
The history of aviation extends for more than two thousand years, from the earliest forms of aviation such as kites and attempts at tower jumping to supersonic and hypersonic flight by powered, heavier-than-air jets. Kite flying in China dates back to several hundred years BC and slowly spread around the world. It is thought to be the earliest ...
Static model aircraft cannot fly, and are used for display, education and are used in wind tunnels to collect data for the design of full scale aircraft. They may be built using any suitable material, which often includes plastic, wood, metal, paper and fiberglass and may be built to a specific scale, so that the size of the original may be compared to that of other aircraft.
Os Irmãos Wright, Wilbur (Millville, 16 de abril de 1867; Dayton, 30 de maio de 1912) e Orville (Dayton, 19 de agosto de 1871; Dayton, 30 de janeiro de 1948), foram dois irmãos norte americanos, inventores e pioneiros da aviação aos quais foi concedido o crédito pelo desenvolvimento da primeira máquina voadora mais pesada que o ar, que efetuou um voo controlado, em 17 de dezembro de 1903.