Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Replica Flyer Foiled By Weather

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the first-one-took-a-few-tries-too dept.

Science 238

An anonymous reader submits: "A replica of the Wright Brothers' 1903 flyer failed to fly yesterday afternoon at a demonstration in Chicago. Organizers blamed the measly 5 MPH winds. Kitty Hawk had 25 MPH back on December 17, 1903. IIRC, isn't Chicago the 'Windy City?'" Here's an earlier story about the various groups attempting to re-enact the Wright brothers' pioneer flight.

cancel ×

238 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Aah! My replica flyer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019494)

I'm not supposed to get jigs in it!

Well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019500)

The reason the Wright brothers chose Kitty Hawk is that after asking the government what the windiest parts of the country are, that was the best choice. Chicago is a Windy City in much the same way as New York is a Big Apple.

aQazaQa

Re:Well, duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019740)

I thought they chose Kitty Hawk because it was far away from SCO.

For the record (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019503)

The Wright Brothers were not the first.

Re:For the record (-1, Flamebait)

CausticWindow (632215) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019525)

Oh, please.

Yeah, yeah, some kiwi were probably the first to fly in an aeroplane like contraption, but do we care? No.

For all practical purposes, the aeroplane was invented in the US.

Re:For the record (-1)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019542)

Oh, please.
Yeah, yeah, some kiwi were probably the first to fly in an aeroplane like contraption, but do we care? No.
For all practical purposes, the aeroplane was invented in the US.

The words of an American Historian.

Re:For the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019566)

Does it really matter who landed in America first, or who started the massive emigration to it? Sure, the Vikings landed in America, and sure, some Asians crossed over a bridge, and it's possible other Asians actually sailed to the Pacific coast, and it's even possible the Phoenicians managed to make it a couple times. But in the end, it's Christopher Columbus' voyage that opened up "The New World."

Re:For the record (-1)

Sir Haxalot (693401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019613)

Does it really matter who landed in America first, or who started the massive emigration to it?
The words of an American historian.

Re:For the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019792)

Okay, brilliant genius, please tell us why it does matter.

And this is why Americans are called arrogant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019556)

You keep rewriting history and succeed at it through propaganda and misinformation.

Americans are responsible for many great inventions, but the airplane isn't one of them. I'm not sure what those "practical purposes" are anyway.

Re:And this is why Americans are called arrogant (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019589)

As an american, I say credit where credit is due.

For the first, this indeed goes to the chap from down under.

However, this doesn't diminish the work of the Wright's in the least, because their plane was not a derivitive work copied from down under.

They built their plane themselves, from their own research and work.

The Wrights should not be given credit for being first, they weren't. But they should be given credit for starting the airplane revolution in the U.S., because they did, or at least were a big part.

Re:For the record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019650)

so what? theirs is still a monumental achievement whether you like it or not.

Sure it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019674)

Just don't call them the first because they weren't.

Re:Sure it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019682)

why does that matter so much, though?

Minor details like the truth and accuracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019758)

You seem to have such little regard for such ideals but, you will come to realize that they are of the utmost importance.

Re:Minor details like the truth and accuracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019778)

kiss my ass-- you don't know a damn thing about me so don't be so quick to judge.

my point is that the wright brother's importance in the history of aviation has always gone beyond whether they were first or not.

out of curiosity, which of the plethora of other "first in flight" candidates do you have such a burr up your ass about defending their place in history?

Re:For the record (2, Informative)

RapaNui (242132) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019756)

Gustav Weisskopf [weisskopf.de]

Re:For the record (0)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019829)

yeah but he's not American, duh.

Imagine if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019509)

When the Wright Brothers went to fly, they only had 5 mph hour winds. It would've failed, and they might have given up!

Windy (5, Informative)

youaredan (668702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019510)

Actually... Chicago is called the windy city because of the politians, not the wind. It's a "hot air" sort of wind :) But it is usually 'blustery' as well...

Re:Windy (1)

UnassumingLocalGuy (660007) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019563)

Wrong again. The Windy City is called such because of the 1893 World's Fair [virginia.edu] . Chicago had to do quite a bit of bragging to bring the fair to their city.

Re:Windy (2, Informative)

rednox (243124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019628)

You could also be wrong.

According to Barry Popik [islandnet.com] , a word-sleuth and consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary, that is a common urban legend. He has found evidence that Chicago was called The Windy City in newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, in the early 1880's.

Re:Windy (5, Informative)

mrtrumbe (412155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019583)

Ahh, but that might not be right either. Here's the full explanation from straightdope.com:

ANOTHER BITE FROM THE APPLE

Back to Barry Popik. Having gotten Big Apple squared away, Barry turned his attention to Chicago's nickname, the Windy City. The average mope believes Chicago was so dubbed because it's windy, meteorologically speaking. The more sophisticated set (including, till recently, your columnist) thinks the term originated in a comment by Charles Dana, editor of the New York Sun in the 1890s. Annoyed by the vocal (and ultimately successful) efforts of Chicago civic leaders to land the world's fair celebrating Columbus's discovery of America, Dana urged his readers to ignore "the nonsensical claims of that windy city"--windy meaning excessively talkative.
But that may not be the true explanation either. Scouring the magazines and newspapers of the day, Popik found that the nickname commonly used for Chicago switched from the Garden City to the Windy City in 1886, several years before Dana's comment. The earliest citation was from the Louisville Courier-Journal in early January, 1886, when it was used in reference to the wind off Lake Michigan. In other words, the average mope was right all along! However, when Popik attempted to notify former Chicagoan but soon-to-be New Yorker Hillary Rodham Clinton of his findings, she blew him off with a form letter--and this from a woman facing a campaign for the Senate. Come on, Hill, quit worrying about the Puerto Ricans and pay attention here. You want to lose the etymologist vote?

Full article here. [straightdope.com] There's also info on the origins of the "Big Apple." Neat.

Taft

Re:Windy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019652)

Actually... Chicago is called the windy city because of the politians, not the wind. It's a "hot air" sort of wind :) But it is usually 'blustery' as well...


And all along I thought it was the sausage...

Re:Windy (1)

Nintendork (411169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019686)

The presentation given at the Sears Tower tour gives that explaination, too. They say its called the windy city because of the windy politicians.

-Lucas

Chicago is called the 'Windy City...' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019737)

...because 'Festering Shithole' was already taken by Detroit.

Re:Windy (1)

pergamon (4359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019750)

That might be part of it, but it was called "windy city" because that was a very good trait for a city to have. The city even helped popularize that title. When you have the pollution and smells that result from having a lot of people (before modern sewers and waste management) and industry (before tall smokestacks) in close proximity, wind to blow that away is most welcome.

At least that's what I heard from the History Channel.

Re:Windy (1)

youaredan (668702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019805)

Thats a great point.

Interesting how all this research into the true meaning of the city's name always references historical ideals or intermittent weather.... im just left wondering....

Shouldn't Chicago be called something more currently relevant soon? I mean, the title is only as good as the understanding it sparks...

Maybe I'm missing something.... (1)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019839)

But I didn't see any reference at all to "Windy City" in the link you provided. Although interesting, it only once mentioned "brisk lake wind" and did not attribute that to being the source of the moniker. Got anything else?

Yes Siree (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019516)

This can only mean one thing boys -- time to get out your SPORKS !!!

The Windy City (-1, Redundant)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019518)

Chicago's nickname comes from the wind histroically blown by its politicians, not the weather.

Windy City ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019519)

The "Windy City" nickname traces its
roots to "windy" politicos, not the
weather ...

Latino heat! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019526)

I am latino heat from El Paso!

Ay! Ay! Ay! Muy caliente!

CHUPAPOLLAS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019580)

A ti lo que te pasa es que eres gilipollas y no te enteras de nada ni dignificas lo que es ser un ESPANOL de verdad, con todas las letras.

Y muerte a los putos catalanes de mierda, a los vascos, a los gallegos ladrones del Prestige, a los andaluces que no saben hablar, y a todos los que conspiran para desunir mi gran nacion.

Hasta La Taco (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019640)

You geasy wet backs.

Come mierda y muerto.
(Eat shit and die)

Re:Hasta La Taco (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019670)

You suck - taco's cock.

Re:Hasta La Taco (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019736)

Come mierda y muerto. (Eat shit and die)

That's "Eat shit and dead". Stupid fuck.

Come mierda y muerete. That's how it's done, you stupid comemierda!

Thank God for the Wet Backs. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019784)

If it weren't for the Wet BAcks, there would be no one to take the place of the niggers. No work would get done.

"Windy City" (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019527)

"Windy" refers to the politicians, as it was originally used to describe the city. Now we have Daley mark II (he may be windy, but he kepts the city council on a short leash).

Two wrongs don't make a right... (4, Funny)

enos (627034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019531)

... but two Wrights make an airplane.

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019713)

and three orthogonal rights make a left

Re:Two wrongs don't make a right... (0)

00Sovereign (106393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019780)

...but three lefts do.

Too much wind? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019540)

First line of story says "not enough wind."

100 years of aviation and this is what we get? (4, Insightful)

civilengineer (669209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019546)

Anyone saying getting there is half the fun did not fly on modern commercial airlines. -someone's quote I forgot who

Re:100 years of aviation and this is what we get? (1)

civilengineer (669209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019565)

More quotes:
I feel about airplaines the way I feel about diets. It seems to me they are wonderful things for other people to go on. Jean Kerr

Re:100 years of aviation and this is what we get? (4, Insightful)

SheldonYoung (25077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019720)

100 years of aviation and we get air travel very safely at unbelievable speeds, where going through the airport often takes longer than the flight itself. It's become so routine nobody even thinks of how amazing flying is.

100 years of aviation and we get safe, affordable high performance airplanes that you can buy and build yourself.

100 years of aviation and we get piston engine airplanes with greater than 1:1 thurst to weight ratio.

100 years of aviation and we feel confident enough to land airplanes without being able to see the ground.

100 years of aviation and we find the next 100 years is decided by laywers and the insurance industry.

Trouble for the Wrights? (4, Insightful)

YouHaveSnail (202852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019547)

Should we continue to give the Wrights credit for the first powered flight when they had to rely on 25mph winds? Seems the 1903 Wright flyer was more like a glider.

Re:Trouble for the Wrights? (1)

HermesHuang (606596) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019570)

That first flight might not have lasted very long, but in a couple of years they had versions out that stayed aloft for hours at a time. And the wind is probably only required to get the airplane off the ground, although I'm guessing on that point. Would someone with a better aircraft background then me care to elaborate on this?

Re:Trouble for the Wrights? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019611)

Should we continue to give the Wrights credit for the first powered flight when they had to rely on 25mph winds? Seems the 1903 Wright flyer was more like a glider.

In case you were confused, they were flying into the wind. The reason planes go so fast is so they can create an artifical nose wind and thus give themselves the needed lift. The Wright Brothers weren't just gliding along - they used the strong head winds just like modern planes do. Aircraft carriers that need to boost nose wind for the F16s do the exact same thing.

Re:Trouble for the Wrights? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019691)

F16s do not fly off the carriers, jackass.

Re:Trouble for the Wrights? (2, Interesting)

YouHaveSnail (202852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019694)

I wasn't confused. But gliders also fly into the wind, using gravity to provide some forward thrust.

My point was that if the tiny engine can't provide enough thrust to generate the lift needed to lift the plain, then the plane was doing more gliding the flying. It's no coincidence that hang gliding is a hugely popular sport in Kittyhawk.

I thought that the reason planes go so fast is that we prefer get from NY to LA in 5 hours instead of 50.

Re:Trouble for the Wrights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019789)

> I wasn't confused. But gliders also fly into the wind, using gravity to provide some forward thrust.

Unless you're speaking about motorgliders, gravity provides all the forward motion.

Re:Trouble for the Wrights? (1)

Josh Booth (588074) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019811)

The plane undoubtedly flew by itself. It used its 13 horsepower engine to maintain enough airspeed (the speed of air going over the wings -- the speed that counts for keeping the plane in the air) long enough to travel a couple hundred feet. To fly it didn't really need to even be going forewards, it just had to have enough air going over the wings to not stall (stall==fall out of the sky due to lack of lift). The thing about gliders is that they can't maintain a sufficient airspeed without using gravity, while the Wright plane could. Could it take off without the derrick to assist it? No, the engine wasn't powerful enough. Could it fly? Yes, because the engine could maintain enough airspeed to keep it aloft.

>It's no coincidence that hang gliding is a hugely popular sport in Kittyhawk.

And the Wrights had built a couple gliders themselves before they mounted an engine and props on one.

Re:Trouble for the Wrights? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019822)

From the article:

"The Wrights flew into a 25-mile-per-hour wind. I think we could have flown if we had that," said Mike Gillian, pilot of the replica.

The wind in downtown Chicago, where today's three flights were attempted, was barely 5 mph.

The small four-cylinder engine, also an exact replica of the original, did not have the power to lift the craft."

The Wright Flyer was more like a glider with a sustaining engine - not enough to launch, but enough to stay up.

Catapults (4, Insightful)

blitz487 (606553) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019656)

Should we also then assert that navy jets are not really airplanes because they cannot get off the carrier deck under their own power and without the carrier steaming full blast into the wind?

Re:Catapults (3, Informative)

YouHaveSnail (202852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019727)

I don't think that follows. The average F16 doesn't have any trouble at all taking off by itself, even with a tail wind, given a long enough runway.

It would be absolutely accurate, on the other hand, to assert that navy jets don't 'take off' so much as they're thrown in to the air by a giant slingshot. Once aloft, however, they can stay in the air as long as fuel is available.

Re:Catapults (1)

blitz487 (606553) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019748)

And I bet the Wright Flyer, given enough 'runway', would have lifted off, because the original WF, in flight, had a positive ground speed. All the wind did was make it possible for them to not need much of any runway. There's no doubt that the WF was able to maintain flying airspeed. More significant was its rather dangerous pitch instability problem, which took a while for the Wrights to solve.

Engine powered flight dates back from... (4, Informative)

Balinares (316703) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019766)

1890 [arts-et-metiers.net] .

For some reason it was decided that only the Wright brothers' attempt really counted and was worth teaching in schools, however. Go us, we invented the plane, etc.

Not that this one wasn't overly dependant on weather conditions either, of course (the plane exposed in this museum crashed in 1897 after a flight in bad weather conditions).

Windy City (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019551)

Chicago doesn't even make this top average wind speed list. Fargo would be a better choice, especially as flat as it is there.

MT. WASHINGTON, NH 35.3
ST. PAUL ISLAND, AK 17.4
COLD BAY,AK 16.9
JOHNSTON ISLAND, PC 15.8
BLUE HILL, MA 15.4
DODGE CITY, KS 14
WAKE ISLAND, PC 13.8
AMARILLO, TX 13.5
KWAJALEIN, MARSHALL IS., PC 13.3
BARTER IS.,AK 13.2
ROCHESTER, MN 13.1
KOTZEBUE, AK 13
CASPER, WY 12.9
CHEYENNE, WY 12.9
BETHEL, AK 12.8
KAHULUI, HI 12.8
GREAT FALLS, MT 12.7
GOODLAND, KS 12.6
BOSTON, MA 12.5
LUBBOCK, TX 12.4
LIHUE, HI 12.3
WICHITA, KS 12.3
FARGO, ND 12.3
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 12.3
CONCORDIA, KS 12.2
NEW YORK (LAGUARDIA AP), NY 12.2
BRIDGEPORT, CT 12
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 12

Re:Windy City (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019680)

Hey, that's just the funny place names from Krusty's Clown College!

website (2, Informative)

ih8apple (607271) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019561)

The website of the Wright Redux Association [wrightredux.org] , the group mentioned in the article.

This is a dangerous website (1)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019726)

Now terrorists know how to build their own Wright Flyers. None of us are safe.

Boring. I've got a better idea. (-1, Offtopic)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019573)

There are too many quacks loose in the fields of science as well as software industry.

I suggest a mock demonstration of cold fusion experiments. When the actors start talking about how others are doing the experiment wrong, but they can't release information, stop the whole charade and bring in Darl McBride so he can meet his forefathers in the snakeoil trade.

In 60 years... (1)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019695)

I suppose these people are planning a recreation of Kennedy's assasination in 60 years... in Seattle of course.


How is trying to fly a Wright flyer in Chicago of any scientific or historical interest?

Why? (5, Funny)

chrispl (189217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019582)

Why would someone try this? The technology is ancient and there are much better...

Oh wait, wasn't there a story on here a few days ago about how to hook a C64 to your cable modem?

Never mind then.

5 MPH winds? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019593)

Pussies!!!!!

So wait, they blame wind for it failing? (0, Redundant)

piku (161975) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019595)

This makes no sense. The Wright's had the first powered flight, yet if it wasn't for the 25mph wind it would have never worked successfully? Somethings not adding up here...

Republicans control the weather (0, Flamebait)

jstroebele (596628) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019598)

I think we all know the evil republicans control the weather. It's the republicans fault, I blame the republicans. Howard Dean save us

Howard Dean = spammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019617)

He should be arrested.

Re:Republicans control the weather (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019703)

Lyndon LaRouche wants Cheney impeached. Doesn't that make Lyndon LaRouche a better savior than Howard Dean?

Kind of Sad (1)

Kittoa (218844) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019622)

We have the technology to routinely launch stuff into space. Thousands of commerical flights take place daily...

Yet they can't replicate something that was done 100 years ago.

Who is they? (0, Troll)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019662)

Lets be clear about this. Who is they? When you talk about space flight and commercial flight you are talking about Lockheed, Boeing, GE and so forth. When you talk about replicating the Wright Brothers flight, you are talking about some acedemic half-wits whose biggest accomplishment is that they were able to dupe someone into giving them a grant for this waste of time and money.

Re:Kind of Sad (2, Insightful)

catbutt (469582) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019793)

Well, if what you mean by "replicate something done 100 years ago" is "create a heavier than air flying machine", well duh, it's easy.

But if you have to use the same technology they used 100 years ago, I don't see how 100 years of technological advancement really makes it a whole lot easier than it was in the first place. Sure, you could computer model it and all that, but if you end up with a different design than they had, you haven't solved the problem.

Windy City (0, Redundant)

javaaddikt (385701) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019647)

Chicago was named the "Windy City" after the "winds" coming from the mouths of gas bag politicians at city hall, not for meteorological winds.

No kidding? But did you know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019705)

That this little intellectual gem of yours has already been mentioned in the above posts, here [slashdot.org] , here [slashdot.org] , here [slashdot.org] , and here [slashdot.org] .

-2, Redundant Ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019765)

STFU! GET OFF MAH INTARWEB!!1one

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

The failure to fly is not surprising. (4, Informative)

Rojo^ (78973) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019678)

The Wright brothers didn't get the plane into the air on their first attempt either. A google search revealed a website [time.com] containing the following information:

On Dec. 17, 1903, Orville Wright climbed into a 600 pound flying machine and made his historic flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Three days before, with Wilbur as pilot, the Wrights had tried but failed to get off the ground. The 17th turned out to be the fateful day for the Akron, Ohio-born brothers who had tinkered for months before finally unlocking the key to powered flight. They made four flights that day -- Orville's first lasted 12 seconds and spanned 120 feet; Wilbur's best was a 59 seconds, 852 foot leap. It wasn't long before the brothers had formed the Wright Company, which bought and sold airplanes.

The Windy City (1, Funny)

DeadBugs (546475) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019679)

"at a demonstration in Chicago. Organizers blamed the measly 5 MPH winds. Kitty Hawk had 25 MPH back on December 17, 1903. IIRC, isn't Chicago the 'Windy City?'"

Yeah Chicago Blows.

Give'm a break (4, Informative)

codefungus (463647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019689)

I JUST watched a documentary on this last night. It was really interesting. The wright brothers created the first powered airplane on their own while the goverment wasted thousands funding someone else. It was a fascinating story about these two inseperable brothers who ran a bicycle shop and decided to build their own plane. They were very methodical and:
1) Came up with the idea of what we call "Lift"
2) Created the first propeller as we use it today
3) Invented the wind tunnel for testing

All on their own! They also developed the way modern planes "stear"...as in angle and yaw are connected (i believe that's what they are).

The worked very very hard on this plane and left tons of notes...however...we do not have that plane. That's why the "Wright Experience" set out to build a replica based on the brothers notes...to the T! They knew they could make improvements, fixes...but then they wouldn't be building a replica.

Gives these guys a break...it took years to put this thing together as accuratly as possible...from the fabric to even the damn engine !

Thanks for playing

Re:Give'm a break (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019712)

hehe the engine.. i like how they said it took the wright brothers 4 months to make their engine, but this group took over a year and at a cost of $100,000+.. crazy

Re:Give'm a break (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019769)

The Wright Brothers' big contribution was stability and control. Everybody else had been focusing on lift and power, with the result that there were quite a few machines before (and after) the Wright Brothers that could get off the ground, but were incapable of stable flight.

There's a great movie "Gizmos", which has dozens of film sequences of early flight failures. But the best is at the end, when, in a grainy black and white clip, someone with a wing strapped to their back runs down a hill and leaps over a cliff - and flies perfectly. The scene changes to high-resolution color and you see the hang glider flying around for quite a while, and finally touching down softly.

Wright Achievements (3, Insightful)

blitz487 (606553) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019810)

To find out more about what the Wrights accomplished with the original Wright Flyer, see "The Wright Brothers as Engineers, An Appraisal" by Quentin Wald. He credits their achievements as:

1. Identification of control as the primary unsolved problem.
2. Realization that an airplane must bank in order to turn, and invention of the first method of doing that.
3. Recognition of the problem of "adverse yaw" and the first control system to deal with that.
4. The first practical wind tunnel experimental program for determining the lifts of various shapes.
5. The first efficient propellors designed from theoretical considerations, and the first usable propellor theory.

I'll add to that the first practical rudder, and the first modern engineering development program consisting of breaking down the problem of flight into component parts, solving each part using prototypes, and then incorporating the solved components into a working design.

Discovery channel? (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019692)

Was this the same guy that was on the discovery channel a few days ago? (or was it TLC?)... ok quick search on TVGuide says it was TLC.. And it's called "Wright Stuff" and its on TODAY (Sept 21) at 6PM eastern

It was a disappointment though because at the end they said "To find out if it flies, watch TLC in December" grr

In other news (5, Funny)

bongobongo (608275) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019707)

A recreation of Columbus' first voyage was scheduled to begin today in Spain, but was called off due to the presence of what the organizers of the event described as "a wave in the ocean."

Kitty Hawk never flew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019716)

Isn't that obvious? No one can recreate their experiment so the original data must have been forged/manufactured etc.

No one has the 'balls' to come out and say it... this reminds me of that Bros. Grimm story Emperor Has No Clothes.

Isn't more strong winds found in (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019739)

Isn't more strong winds found in east coast duirng a class 2 tropical depression?

*sigh* (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019744)

I just find this silly. Yeah, they created the wright flyer, yeah, they were influential, but darn, people must really have too much free time to do something redundant like this. Just give the men credit for their accomplishments and move on. Life's about progress, not recreating what was done 100 years hence. Or maybe it's american prdie at its worst, even though they weren't first.

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019825)

it think its quite interesting. no one said it is about advancing engineering and science. it is being done because it is both historically interesting and auspicious, given that the 100 year anniversary is this december. lighten up.

Posters should read the articles they post... (3, Interesting)

Knightmare (12112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019747)

Dear anonymous poster, if you had read the article you would realize they blame the wind NOT being strong ENOUGH... Yes Kitty Hawk had 25 MPH winds thats probably why it did fly.

*sigh*

Re:Posters should read the articles they post... (1)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019812)

Dear anonymous poster, if you had read the article you would realize they blame the wind NOT being strong ENOUGH... Yes Kitty Hawk had 25 MPH winds thats probably why it did fly.

What are you talking about? That's exactly what the poster said. The flyer didn't get off the ground this time around because of "measily 5 mph winds" compared to the 25 mph winds the Wright Brothers had 100 years ago in NC. I don't see the problem with his posting.

Wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7019751)

Well obviously this means the first flight didn't work. Which means the entire field of aerospace is all a hoax! Which means all those vacations I took were hallucinations! Oh no!

Other conditions (2, Insightful)

merlin_jim (302773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019753)

The other condition that most people fail to mention is that the flight occurred off a cliff. The first powered flight, while indeed powered, was more of a glide than a flight. IIRC, they stayed in the air for all of 30 seconds...

Of course data isn't available, but I'd be willing to bet that the only way it stayed in the air was that it was trading forward velocity for lift the whole trip...

Now Brazil had a powered flight the very next year, and based on these facts, are trying to gain recognition for the first "true" flight.

That argument won't "fly" however (excuse the pun), because the Wright brothers were able to improve their design and have a true powered flight within a few months, provably before the first Brazillian powered flight...

Next: 100 Years of Air Show Disasters (3, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019770)

I work at a major aerospace firm, and they're going crazy with enthusiasm about 100 years of flight, of course. One of their brochures highlights a small modern jet banking sharply, composited over an old sepia-toned photograph of an enthusiastic 1900s crowd of spectators.

The first thing that came to mind was the cynical tagline, "100 Years of Air Show Disasters." Unfortunately, given some other crazed wackos before and after the Kitty Hawk, I'm sure that we're already past that milestone. Last week's Air Force Thunderbirds disaster was a sombre reminder of how hard it is to stay in the air even under ideal conditions.

Kitty should have met Isabel (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019774)

Kitty should have met Isabel. But, perhaps not, after all. :)

The "Windy City" (0, Redundant)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019790)

This name has nothing to do with wind.. and everything to do with how long winded it's politicians were.

At last... (1)

rumpledstiltskin (528544) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019814)

We finally see what a shameful wishful thought heavier than air flight is. maybe now we'll stop pouring so much money into this dream of a madman.

First Recorded Flight in New Zealand (2, Informative)

Xybot (707278) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019817)

Man's First Powered Flight Richard Pearse, Waitohi, New Zealand, March 31, 1902.
HERE [monash.edu.au]

NC Reenactment (2, Funny)

00Sovereign (106393) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019830)

I think that Kitty Hawk, North Carolina would have been a much better choice, especially around Thursday morning of this past week. With Isabel and the associated winds, I think that they could have even gotten a mobile home to fly.

Why Chicago is called the "Windy City" (0, Redundant)

toupsie (88295) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019837)

From what I understand, it's not the "wind" in Chicago that caused it's nickname of the "Windy City". It was the "wind" coming out of politicians during early days that caused Chicago to get the nickname.

Why the Wrights needed the 25mph wind. (4, Informative)

Whammy666 (589169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7019838)

It's been suggested in several posts that the Wright's requirement of a 25mph headwind was cheating because this somehow reduced their plane to a noisy glider. This really isn't the case. The reason has to do with drag. Even with a modern paved runway and tires, there is still a noticable amount of rolling drag during a take-off roll. It's not uncommon for a pilot (especially in small planes with limited horsepower) to lift the plane of the runaway a few feet to eliminate the rolling drag and then let the plane gain additional speed from the reduced drag before climbing out. Using a headwind just makes this process easier. Considering that the Wright Bros were using a crude track, wheels, and skids it's amazing they were able to get off the ground at all.

But their biggest contribution was that the Wrights recognized that existing aerodynamic theory was wrong. Using their wind tunnel and full size models, they literally re-wrote the book on aerodynamic theory of the time. Unlike other attempts at flight of the time, the Wright flyer was a product of sound scientific research rather than throw-it-together-and-hope-it-flies which was so common a the time. For that, they deserve to be recognized as the fathers of flight.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>