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IMPORTANT DATES AND PERSONALITIES

PLANES AND GLIDERS

V. Ryan 2007

 

In our modern world aeroplanes are an essential method of travel for those crossing countries, continents and round the globe. The first powered flight was in December 17th 1903 at Kitty Hawk in Canada. The Wright Brothers had designed and manufactured a small and primitive aeroplane. It stayed in the air for 120 feet and the flight lasted 12 seconds.

 

 

 

However, gliders have been around much longer and are used today for sport and pilot training. Gliders are single or two seater design. They can be made of materials such as wood and fabric with the most hi-tech modern gliders been manufactured from strong, light-weight carbon fibre.

   

A German called Otto Lilienthal (seen below, 1890s) designed and manufactured gliders in the nineteenth century. He was a Professor of Engineering and he was interested in flight and particularly the possibility of gliding. He spent time developing the shape of a wing that would enable a man to glide. His designs were detailed and worked, although they were very dangerous. He died in 1896 when a sudden gust of wind caused him to lose control of his glider.

     
   

QUESTIONS:


1. What was the surname of the first people to achieve powered flight ?
2. What is the main difference between a glider and an aircraft ?
3. Who was Otto Lilienthal ?
4. Using the internet - collect five important historical facts about aircraft and/or gliders.

   
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