The Plane from Greatest Inventions of All Time

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The Plane greatest inventions of all time. In 1799, Sir George Cayley defined the forces of lift and drag and presented the first scientific design for a fixed-wing aircraft. Building on his pioneering work in aeronautics, scientists and engineers began designing and testing airplanes. A young boy made the first manned flight in a glider designed by Cayley in 1849. In 1874, Felix duTemple made the first attempt at powered flight by hopping off the end of a ramp in a steam-driven monoplane. Other scientists, such as Francis Wenham and Horatio Phillips studied cambered wing designs mounted in wind tunnels and on whirling arms. Finally in 1894, Sir Hiram Maxim made a successful takeoff (but a woefully uncontrolled flight) in a biplane "test rig." At the same time, Otto Lilienthal made the first controlled flights, shifting his body weight to steer a small glider. Inspired by his success, Wilbur and Orville Wright experiment with aerodynamic surfaces to control an airplane in flight. Their work leads them to make the first controlled, sustained, powered flights on December 17, 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.


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