Samuel Pierpont Langley (August 22, 1834 – February 27, 1906) was an American aviation pioneer, astronomer and physicist who invented the bolometer. He was the third secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and a professor of astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was the director of the Allegheny Observatory.
Langley's aerodrome evolved over time as Langley's experiments taught him new lessons. Each aerodrome was an improvement upon the previous one but still, short of his goal. In 1893, he used a houseboat to launch his latest steam-powered aerodrome considered ready for flight. But, this flight failed because it was unmanageable in a breeze.
Samuel Langley's successful flights of his model Aerodromes Number 5 and Number 6 in 1896 led to plans to build a full-sized, human-carrying airplane. Langley's simple approach was merely to scale up the unpiloted Aerodromes to human-carrying proportions.
Dec 11, 2021 · In late 1903, the Wright brothers and Langley, the Smithsonian’s director, were racing to be the first to fly a powered aircraft. The 69-year-old Langley, an astronomer and inventor financed by...
- Ronald G. Shafer
In 1896 Samuel Pierpont Langley, astronomer and secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, flew an unmanned steam-driven airplane model three-fourths of a mile. In 1898 he received a Congressional grant of $51,000 for further development of an airplane capable of carrying a person.
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Feb 27, 2020 · On February 27, 1906, American astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation Samuel Pierpont Langley passed away. Langley attempted to make a working piloted heavier-than-air aircraft. His models flew, but his two attempts at piloted flight were not successful.