Category Book of Flight

Aviation Takes Off

Подпись: N the decade after the Wright brothers' success, powered flight captured the world’s imagination. The first international air meet was held in Reims, France in 1909. There, excited crowds watched as fliers competed for fastest speed, highest altitude, sharpest turns, and longest flight. European plane designers now built sleeker, faster machines. Pilots vied for cash prizes offered for spanning great distances. One goal seemed nearly impossible—to cross the English Channel. Then, on July 25, 1909, Frenchman Louis Bleriot took off from France in a plane of his own design. In 37 minutes, he reached England. Me had become the first to cross the Channel and bridge two nations by air. A hero, he won a prize of Подпись:image46"Подпись: ORANDfc OUNZASNE O'AVIATION 3 Alt os SEINt image47"Подпись: LEПодпись:Подпись: DEAUVILLEПодпись:image48"

Louis Bleriot (1872-1936)

A postcard cartoon pictures Louis Bleriot, a Frenchman who was the first to fly across the English Channel in 1909. He became world famous for this feat, a milestone in aviation history. Bleriot was among the first to try monoplanes, or single-wing planes. From Calais, France, he flew 22 miles to England, and crash-landed near the white cliffs of Dover.

> Racing for Prizes

A poster for a French air meet features a racing Antoinette plane. As cash prizes for races grew, pilots sharpened their skills and flew longer distances. Soon, тару more races were organized, spanning whole countries and even all of Europe.

v Bleriot XI

This museum model shows Louis Bleriot in the XI monoplane he flew across the English Channel. Bleriot, who had no compass, wrote:"lt is a strange position to be alone, unguided…over the middle of the Channel…I let the aeroplane take its own course."



* Harriet Quimby

Harriet Quimby was the first licensed woman pilot in the United States. In 1912, she became the first woman to fly across the Encjlish Channel. She was later killed when a gust of wind overturned her plane. With no seatbelt, she fell to her death. Amazingly, the plane landed by itself!


► Flying Cross-Country

This map shows the route of Cal Rodgers, who flew from New York to California in 1911. His Wright plane, named the VinFiz for a grape drink, crashed 19 times. In a crash near the end of the 84-day trip, the pilot broke both legs and { his collarbone.


Glenn Curtiss (1878-1930)

Motorcycle racer Glenn Curtiss also built and flew airplanes. He became a competitor of the Wright brothers. They sued him for using ideas similar to theirs. Curtiss won the 1909 Reims speed race. His best known plane, the "Jenny," became a World War I trainer.


v Curtiss Hydro Plane

Glenn Curtiss taxies his invention, the Hydro plane, on water in 1911.The craft was one of the earliest seaplanes. It used ailerons, moveable wing devices, in place of the Wright brothers’ wing-warping method to bank and turn the plane.


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Подпись: World War I:
image50"image51Подпись: FUN FACT: IDENTIFICATION HARKSПодпись:HEN World War I broke out In 1914, nobody thought airplanes would play an important role. Aircraft had only been Invented about a decade earlier. The Germans and the Allies each had just a few hun­dred planes. Most could fly only about 60 to 70 miles an hour. At first, the planes were used for reconnaissance, or gathering information behind enemy lines. These planes were unarmed. Enemy pilots even waved to each other.

Yet soon, reconnaissance pilots began taking – aerial photographs. These allowed military leaders to see enemy positions and plan attack strategies. Now, to chase away enemy aircrait, pilots carried guns. These early planes were called “scouts." Today, we call them "fighters.”

Fighters quickly developed into weapons of war. They were built for speed and equipped with machine guns. T he planes whirled alter each other in duels called "dogfights.” Pilots who shot down five or more planes became legendary "aces.”

Eddie Rickenbacker(1890-1973)

Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was America’s highest-scoring ace in World War I. He flew only between March and April of 1918. Yet he scored 26 victories.

Before the war, Rickenbacker was a world-famous race car driver. When the United States entered the war in 1917, he trained as a pilot though he was considered old at 27. He joined and later commanded the first American squadron to fight the Germans. Rickenbacker became a famous war hero and later served as president of Eastern Airlines.

History Fact: New Guns

image52Подпись:Подпись:A major help to pilots was the invention of forward-firing machine guns. They allowed pilots to aim and shoot directly through the propellers. A device called an interrupter timed the guns to fire through the spinning blades without harming them.


lo tike з pli. tr graph, a re о na evince pilot ha і to lean out of the side rif his plane *n a /0 mile per hoi/ wind and snap the picture. He hdd to’1 en change the plate before taking another shot.

Подпись: * FL¥SHG OlJSERVFR‘The Englishman attempted to gel behind me

while I attempted to get behind him. So it went, both of us flying like madmen in a circle… ”

Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron"describing a 1916 dogfight in his book, The Red Baron


4 Baron Manfred von Richthofen (1882-1918)

German Manfred von Richthofen was the highest-scoring ace of the war and one of the most famous pilots of all time. He commanded his own squadron, called the "Flying Circus" because the planes had bright colors. Richthofen’s planes were brilliant red, earning him the nickname "Red Baron."

The Red Baron relished the hunt of dogfights. He had silver cups made with descriptions of each of his victims. He shot down 80 Allied planes before he himself was shot down in 1918.

1 Aerial Spy

A French reconnaissance plane flies over enemy territory. From his vantage point, a pilot could photograph trench lines, troop locations, and arms supplies. Accurate maps were then drawn. By 1915, planes had replaced observers on horseback.

Fun Fact: Cartoon Hero

Snoopy, the world-famous "flying ace"of cartoonist Charles Schulz, continues his ongoing battle with the Red Baron. The cartoon illustrates the enduring popularity of the World War I ace legend e ven today.



Aviation Takes Off

* Flight Dress

Pilots in open cockpits needeo warm clothing at high altitudes. American pilot Edmund Genet stands beside his plane in France. He wears a fur-lined suit, warm boots, and leather helmet. Goggles protect his eyes from icy winds and sprayed out by the engine.

> Sopwith Camel

The British Sopwith Camel was one most successful fighters of World W; Quick and highly maneuverable, it w supreme performer in dogfights. Car shot down over 1,290 German aircrt more than any other A 1 ed Diane.


▼ Controlling the Plane

Unlike driving a car, flying a plane requires control in three dimensions, or axes: they are called pitch, yaw, and roll. To control the plane’s roll, or rotating motion, the pilot moves wing devices called ailerons in opposite directions. The pilot moves an elevator stick to control pitch, the up-and-down movement of the airplane’s nose. Moving the rudder in the plane’s tail controls the right and left turning motion, called yaw.


Fun Fact: Flying Scarf


The silk scarf many pilots wore became a famous symbol of brave flying aces. However, it was not originally worn for style, but to keep warm in the freezing air aloft. It was also a handy "windshield wiper"for the pilot’s goggles.







Aviation Takes Off

► A Flying Brick

The French SPAD XIII was one of the best Allied fighters. More rugged than most, the plane flew, said American pilot Ray Brooks,"like a brick."The shooting star insignia is that of the 22nd Aero Squadron.



Double Wings, Single Wings, and Triple Wings

Most early airplanes up through World War I were biplanes (aircraft with two sets of wings, one on top of the other). Some pilots favored triplanes (three sets of wings). More wings gave a craft extra lift and stability, but created air resistance, or drag. This slowed the planes down. lriplanes had short wings and were highly maneuverable. They could zigzag after an opponent, but were slow. Monoplanes (one-wingers) had the least drag and were the fastest racers.

Yet they were more unstable.

u This flying job is rotten far one’s nerves and although one is о apposed to last six months… quite a lot of peoples nerves nk out after four and a half. ” British World War I Pilot

A Sopwith Camel

1. Upper wing

2. Roundel

3. Lower wing

4. Aileron

5. tracing wires

6. Wooden frame

7. Canvas "skin"

8. Wooden propeller

9. Two machine guns fired between propeller blades

10. Rotary engine

11. Control panel

12. Open cockpit

13. Pilot’s seat of wicker to absorb shock

14. Fuel tank

15. Undercarriage

16. Wing strut

17. Elevator

18. Rudder

19. Подпись: FUN FACT: HUMP POWERПодпись:Tail skid

World War I: Bombers

IN the early days of the war, there were no specialized bombers. Pilots simply dropped small bombs and grenades from their cockpits. But by 1915, Germany was sending a new fleet of 30 giant airships, called Zeppelins, to bomb England. Named for their designer, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, these enormous airships filled with hydrogen stretched over 640 feet long. They could stay up several days and carry many tons of bombs.

Looming over the English landscape, the Zeppelins terrorized the people. They destroyed homes and killed hundreds of civilians. Yet they were vulnerable to British lighter planes, which shot them down wi th incendiary, or explosive, bullets.

By 1917, both sides were building fast, powerful bomber airplanes. The Germans built Gotha bombers, which bombed London day and night, and the gigantic Zeppelin Staaken R. IV.

image59image60Подпись: GERMAN GIANT The Zeppelin Staaken R.IV was the biggest bomber of the war. Its wingspan of 138 feet was just a few feet shorter than a World War II B-29. Its seven-man crew included two pilots, two mechanics, a navigator, a radio operator, and a fuel attendant. Подпись:Подпись:Подпись:Подпись:image61It could carry bombs as big as 2,200 pounds. German planes dropped 280 tons of bombs over England. The bomber had become one of the most destructive of all instruments of war.




Attacking the Monster

|itibti ifigt ter attack a huge Zeppelin dirship (far left; returning afJer a bombing raid on England. Damag’-d and smoking from the fighters’gunfire, the Zeppelin will escape by climbing high


4 Inside a Zeppelin

In the engine gondola of a Zeppel n (above), crew members operate the engines as a machine gunner watches for enemy fighters. In the control gondola (left), an officer gives orders to crew manning control wheels.


< Hand Bombing

A crewman passes small hand bombs to the pilot in the cockpit of a German Halberstadt fighter. The pilot will drop the bombs by hand from the air. A box on the plane’s side holds hand grenades.


History Fact: Zeroing In


Early bombers often missed their targets because the planes had no bombsights to aim bombs. Reconnaissance pilots devised a clock code to pinpoint an enemy. Twelve o’clock was north, six o’clock south, three east, and nine west. This code has been used by fighter pilots ever since.






ЛЬТ ER the war ended in 1918, thousands of military planes were available at cheap prices. The most common plane, the Curtiss JN-4, was called the "Jenny.” It had been used as a pilot trainer. Many L war pilots, now out of work, wanted to keep Щ flying. They bought surplus planes and traveled the countryside as entertainers. Alone or in troupes, they gave shows in farm fields, sleeping in barns or by their planes.

Called barnstormers, these fliers thrilled audi­ences with daring displays. hey performed flying acrobatics with loops, spins, rolls, and dizzying dives. Some did stunt flying. They performed tricks on the wings of a living plane or hung upside-down Irom the plane wheels. Some even hung by their teeth. In one stunt, two pilots flew their planes side by side, locked controls, and scrambled over the wings to change places! Pilots olten gave rides to people lor money or a meal. Many women, as well as men, became lamous barnstormers.

Bessie Coleman (1692-1926)

Подпись:Bessie Coleman was the first African – American woman pilot. She got her pilot’s license in France in 1921, and worked as a barnstormer in the United States. She became famous as"Queen Bess, Daredevil Aviatrix." Bessie dreamed of starting her own flying school and once said,"You have never lived until you have flown." She was killed in an accident during a practice parachute jump.


► Flying Circus

A poster for Гreddie Lurid’s Air Circus announces an upcoming show at a local airport. This traveling troupe featured stunts in a 1910 biplane and parachute jumps from a "looping glider." 4 Winging It

A young wingwalker braces to leap from one plane to another during a 1926 barnstorming show. Above, one daredevil hangs from the plane’s axle while another stands over the plane’s tail. Below left, stunt flier Jersey Ringel performs gymnastics under the wing.

f Travel Fun

In the 1920s, some airplanes were promoted as fast, fun ways to travel. Here, swimsuited bathing beauties pose with the crew of the "Buckeye," a converted World War I Navy flying boat. It ferried summer vacationers across Lake Erie in 1922 and 1923.


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Подпись: As a young man, Charles Lindbergh was a barnstormer. Once after a show, an old lady came up and asked him:"Mister, how much would it cost to fly me up to Heaven and leave me there?"image73image74

► Pilot Pal

Pilot Edmund Poillot and a canine companion get ready for takeoff in a Voisin biplane. Many early fliers took along pet mascots. In the cold air aloft, a warm, furry friend was doggone comforting.

Fun Fact: Ride Request