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old man emu

Were the Wright Brothers in Newton's camp?

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Isn't the application of "Scientific Method" begun in infancy?

  1. Do I want a bicky?
  2. Where does Mummy keep the bickies?
  3. If I can open the bicky tin, I can get one for me.
  4. I just have to open the cupboard, grab the bicky tin and open it.
  5. I can open the cupboard, but the bicky tin is too high to reach. No bicky.
  6. If I climb up the shelves I can reach the bicky tin.
  7. Climbing up the shelves gets me to the bicky tin.
  8. If I want to get a bicky, I just have to open the cupboard and climb up the shelves to reach it.
  9. I won't tell Mummy that I can reach the bicky tin. She'll only go and hide it.

That's how I look at risk assessment. We've been it doing since we were mobile. Weigh up the reward against the risk.

Now they tell us you can assess all risk with a 5 x 5 matrix and then we'll be safe, but only if we get approval from from mummy or daddy if the risk is high.

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Oct 15, 2018

New #48

"Geoff_H, were you referring to the Navier-Stokes equations? They have been around for years longer than you said. And incomprehensible to us poor mortals."

The way I understand it the first solution of the Napier stoke equations for ships hulls was done in 1896. I think that it was a mathematical solution to the differential equations. I think, but not sure, that it was using a froude number maybe in three dimensions

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I hate that people think the Wright Brothers were ‘simple’ mechanics who just tinkered in a shed. Not only were they true scientists, Orville was accepted to Yale (for those that aren’t aware, Yale was and is one of the most prestigious universities in the world) and the only reason he didn’t go was his mother became really ill (the good old days when that sort of thing really turned your life on its head) so he helped her convalescence instead. 

 

Perhaps they themselves didn’t know which way to lean on the theory of lift so just went with newton for the purposes of their patents

Edited by danny_galaga
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I didn't know about Orville nearly going to Yale. But they were certainly good scientists and maybe they were better off as things worked out.

One of the great atrocities of the ancient world was the burning of the library of Alexandria. Yet it can be argued that most of the stuff in that library was superstitious rubbish and upcoming scientists were better off without it.  Now I'm sure that Yale in 1900 did not teach rubbish, but Orville might well have wasted some years and I don't see what he could have learned there which would have helped him.

Just look at propellors... the usual was crude paddles, while the Wrights built a test rig to measure thrust.  They had the first modern props in history and could not have flown without them.

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One has to remember that most advances in mechanisation in the 19th Century were the products of the Practical Man (Homo sapiens var. knucklii barkant). The Wright Brothers' method was empirical. They theorised; tested their theories by experimentation and utilised the best results of those experiments. The Brothers were no doubt fully conversant with the works of Sir George Cayley who identified much of the basics of aeronautics and published them in his work "On Aerial Navigation" (around 1809/10).

 

The thing to keep in mind about the Wright Brothers was that their contribution to flight was the development of a means to control the rolling motion of an aeroplane. Cayley had already worked out pitch and yaw control nearly one hundred years before. It would be interesting to discover why they adopted wing warping for roll control when the function of the aileron had been known for many decades before they started building aeroplanes.

 

As for the value of attending a University, I is unlikely that what later came to be called aeronautical science would have been part of a formal engineering degree in the 1890s. Academics might have considered flight by Man more of a mythical topic than a practical one. Also, anyone who is engaged in a new field of Science knows that what is delivered in a course dealing with the field lags behind the most recent knowledge by several years. If Orville had gone to Yale, December 3, 1903 would have been a Thursday like any other previous December 3.

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Why this constant endorsement of the Wright bros claim to be first to fly a powered aircraft?  It was Gustave Whitehead (nee Weisskopf) who was first, predating the Wrights by 2 years.  

 

"History is the propaganda of the victors"

 

Bruce :peep wall:

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So lets see.... it wasn't a military secret or classified by the government, various experimenters around the world were working on the problem and a bloke in the USA succeeds and NOTHING more comes of it even though he didn't kill himself. No Whitehead Aircraft Company, no passing on of how he did it, no plans sold, etc etc. Yeah, right.

As for " The Wright Brothers' method was empirical. They theorised; tested their theories by experimentation and utilised the best results of those experiments" is a good description of the scientific method. Not only that the Wrights tested the older theories from other people and concluded that they were wrong, hence their own experimentation and theorising.

Engineering education is interesting. It helps to know enough to figure out what you need to learn to do the job at hand. Some of the better engineers didn't have a formal engineering education. Irv Culver of Lockheed was one (he gave the Skunk Works its name). It was reckoned he simply figured out what he needed to learn and did so to solve the problem. I met him once.

One thing is for sure and that is that our aeronautical pioneers were very fortunate indeed that they didn't have CASA, RAAus, GFA etc "helping" them. Imagine the Internet if CASA had been in charge of its oversight.

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The choice of wing warping must have been to gain more control than they expected from aeilrons. A reasonable decision at the time.

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5 minutes ago, pmccarthy said:

The choice of wing warping must have been to gain more control than they expected from aeilrons. A reasonable decision at the time.

I think you are correct. I would imagine that for ailerons to operate effectively, you would need a higher airspeed than the Wrights thought that they would be able to reach.

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15 minutes ago, pmccarthy said:

The choice of wing warping must have been to gain more control than they expected from aeilrons. A reasonable decision at the time.

They had to brace the wings with the steel cables anyway why not have them pilot adjustable,  no extra weight or drag, brilliant engineering. 

Edited by Thruster88
Added words to make it understandable
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I don't think the Wright Bros would have got off the ground if it were not for the generously unpatented work of a lot of other aerial experimenters - including in particular, the austere bearded gent who graces our $20 note.

But the device that really ensured the Wrights got airborne, was the wizard of a little lightweight engine, produced by the equally brilliant Charlie Taylor.

Charlie not only built the Flyer engine from scratch, to the Wright Bros sketches and specifications - he also built the wind tunnel that Orville and Wilbur used extensively to prove up their theories.

Perhaps if Lawrence Hargrave had succeeded in producing a workable lightweight engine, he would be the recognised pioneer of aviation, rather than the Wright Bros.

 

Charlie Taylor - The man aviation almost forgot

 

Biography - Lawrence Hargrave

 

 

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In the late 1890s and early 1900s, progress towards obtaining heavier-than-air controlled and sustained flight was approaching the Winning Post in many countries. Most of the work was being done by lone experimenters in back sheds in isolated villages.  Most successful initial flights were not recorded, but the Wrights were able to get a report of their flights into newspapers the next day. It was a case of the first to announce gets the prize.

 

This story is a bit wrong in that it says that flights on the first day reached 3 miles.

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1903-12-19/ed-1/seq-5/#words=fly+flight+Wilbur+WRIGHT+flying+airship+Wright+Orville+Flight+AIRSHIP+brothers&date1=1900&date2=1905&searchType=advanced&sequence=&proxdistance=5&rows=20&ortext=wilbur+orville+flight+flying+airship&proxtext=&phrasetext=&andtext=wright+brothers&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=1&index=6

 

This one reports the first flight in the Wrights' words.

https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045366/1904-01-06/ed-1/seq-1/#words=fly+flight+Brothers+WRIGHT+flying+Orville+Wright+flights+AIRSHIP+Wilbur&date1=1900&date2=1905&searchType=advanced&sequence=1&proxdistance=5&rows=20&ortext=wilbur+orville+flight+flying+airship&proxtext=&phrasetext=&andtext=wright+brothers&dateFilterType=yearRange&index=0

 

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There is no doubt that flight was going to happen even without the wrights, and there very likely were hops predating the wrights first powered flight. Otto Lilienthal sure predated the wrights, but without power of course and his glider was not very controllable, as his demise showed.

Controlled flight takes pilot skill, stability, control, power and thrust.  All the other claims fall away when you look at their machines. Several of them could clearly make the lift, but only the wrights had all the ingredients together. And they continued, to the point where they could do a demonstration on demand. Who else did that?

I agree its sad that they tried to patent everything.

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21 hours ago, old man emu said:

One has to remember that most advances in mechanisation in the 19th Century were the products of the Practical Man (Homo sapiens var. knucklii barkant). The Wright Brothers' method was empirical. They theorised; tested their theories by experimentation and utilised the best results of those experiments. The Brothers were no doubt fully conversant with the works of Sir George Cayley who identified much of the basics of aeronautics and published them in his work "On Aerial Navigation" (around 1809/10).

 

The thing to keep in mind about the Wright Brothers was that their contribution to flight was the development of a means to control the rolling motion of an aeroplane. Cayley had already worked out pitch and yaw control nearly one hundred years before. It would be interesting to discover why they adopted wing warping for roll control when the function of the aileron had been known for many decades before they started building aeroplanes.

 

As for the value of attending a University, I is unlikely that what later came to be called aeronautical science would have been part of a formal engineering degree in the 1890s. Academics might have considered flight by Man more of a mythical topic than a practical one. Also, anyone who is engaged in a new field of Science knows that what is delivered in a course dealing with the field lags behind the most recent knowledge by several years. If Orville had gone to Yale, December 3, 1903 would have been a Thursday like any other previous December 3.

Clearly Orville wouldn’t go to Yale to study aeronautical engineering! He most likely would have studied physics...

 

and yes yes if he went then maybe he would have discovered something, but not likely anything to do with flying and Dec 17 would be meaningless to us.

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There are several witnesses who claim to have seen Whitehead fly. None other than 'Jane's All the World's Aircraft' credits him as the first to build & fly an operational heavier-than-air flying machine.

 

The Wrights were not just great designers & builders. They also showed considerable business & self-publicising acumen, unfortunately coupled with a (not so great) dollop of greed, which ultimately held back aviation development.

 

Just because Whitehead did not go on to run a successful aircraft company (or even manage his publicity at all well), doesn't mean he wasn't the first. As I know from personal experience, the skills required to design, build & fly an aircraft are very different from those required to run a business.

 

The photo shows what to me looks a viable airframe: note in particular the dihedral, as opposed to the anhedral in the Wright flyer. A couple of replica Whitehead 21 replicas have been built & flown successfully.

 

Bruce

Whitehead 21.jpg

Wright flyer.jpeg

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It's a s simple as this- If a tree falls in the forrest and no one was there to hear it, did it fall? It's the same of all things, if no one witnessed it, how can you say it happened? The Wrights were happy to have people see what they were doing, Maybe Pearse and the others flew, but if no one saw it...

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I was told the other day that Sammy Davis Jnr. was the first to fly The Atlantic, which just goes to prove that you can't always believe what you hear.

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 Wing warping is quite logical , effective and was patented ( requiring others like Curtis to develop the aileron.)  Wing warping has much less drag  in small amounts and the twist of the wing along it's length is more  able to conform to the idea of a helix (ie more angle further out).

    The world had become skeptical about the reality of the  Wright's achievements but when they turned up (eventually) at the world air show at Paris all doubt was removed. Unlike other aircraft it was controlled in roll positively and the French subsequently built them under licence. Other aircraft needed natural stability  to turn Nev

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