Joseph & Etienne Montgolfier: 1783 hot-air balloon;
US Civil War - balloons as observation posts.
George Cayley (British) early 1800s - model glider.
Otto Lilienthal - pioneering German glider pilot.
1891 on, over 2000 glider flights - killed 1896.
Hiram Maxim - 1880s British "Leviathan" steam-powered aircraft 104 foot wingspan, 3.5 tons, two 180-hp engines. "first kite of war".
Octave Chanute – US experiments gliders;
Samuel Pierpont Langley - Smithsonian sec.
1898 $60,000 US army & navy;
Washington Post: "Smithsonian staff, the stuffers of birds & rabbits.”
Dec 17, 1903 Wright Bros Kitty Hawk NC – “Wright Flyer”;
bike mechanics, Dayton, OH.
Experiments kite, gliders;
homemade wind tunnel.
Systematic approach to problem of control.
Technique of warping wings, movable rudder, forward elevators. 1902 make own engine - 150 lbs, 13 horsepower.
Orville, "It is our intention to furnish machines for military use first, before entering the commercial field."
1908 Fort Myer, VA
1909, plane for army;
Glenn Curtiss - first after Wrights to build & fly.
1907 Aerial Experiment Association (AEA).
1908 "June Bug", first official public flight over one mile.
French lead - 1909 Louis Bleriot across English Channel.
1909 air meet at Reims;
1910 Los Angeles – Europeans win;
1911, first long-distance air race France to London & back.
WWI - Germans 450 planes, French 600, British 160.
WWI construction push - vital raw materials (wood, steel, rubber, linen, lubrication oil).
Germans Anthony Fokker.
1917 "Bloody April".
British Sopwith Camel.
reconnaissance, artillery spotting, strategic bombing, supplying ground troops, air-to-air combat. German Manfred von Richthofen "Red Baron", US ace Eddie Rickenbacker;
one month, 1917, 330 British airmen killed;
British Royal Air Force (RAF).
US $640 million for WWI building planes,
12,000 planes per year by 1918.
1914, aircraft industry worth less than a million dollars - 1919 31 companies, $14 million.
1920s, enthusiasm for aviation.
1915 Nat'l Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA)
1920, lab facilities Langley Field, VA.
"to supervise & direct the scientific study of the problems of flight, with a view to their practical solution".
1918 airmail service.
1920, NY-SF route.
1920 night flying.
dozens manufacturers - Boeing, Lockheed, McDonnell-Douglas. airlines - United, American, Pan Am & TWA.
1929, US 61 passenger lines, 47 mail lines, 32 express lines. Air mail 8 million lbs, 1929.
Commerce Dept 1920s, Herbert Hoover.