Invention of the Airplane –
The first successful airplane was invented by the
brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright. The boys grew up
in both Indiana and Ohio. A toy helicopter that used rubber bands to
propel flight inspired an interest in flying, and they began to build their
own toy helicopters.
How Airplanes Fly –
Airplane fly because of two forces called thrust and lift. Thrust
is the force that moves the plane forward through the air,
and is generated by the plane's engine(s).
The Invention of Hot Air Balloons –
The first hot air balloon was invented by the brothers Joseph
and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier. The brothers were paper
manufacturers by profession. In 1782, Joseph observed that
when he held his shirt above a chimney fire, that the hot air
pushing up underneath of the fabric made the shirt float.
Early History of Flight –
Man's love affair with flight began in China around 400 BC.
There, the Chinese used colorful kites to decorate the sky
during religious ceremonies. They also flew the kites for fun, and to investigate
Flight in the 19th and 20th Centuries –
The first person to design a glider which would both carry a
passenger and travel long distances was Otter Lilienthal. His 1889
book about aerodynamics was the basis for the airplanes
designed by the Wright brothers.
Icarus and Daedalus –
According to an ancient Greek myth, Daedalus was an inventor, an artist
and a craftsman in Ancient Greece. He built a Labyrinth for King Minos of
Jet Engines –
Airplanes fly because of two forces called thrust and
lift. Thrust is the force that moves the plane forward
through the air. In modern airplanes, thrust is generated by a jet engine.
War Takes to the Sky –
Man's ability to fly changed many things, including how wars were fought.
At the beginning of World War I, airplanes were a recent invention and
they did not play a major role in battle.
An astronaut is a person who travels on a spacecraft. Like
airplane flight crews who have different responsibilities on
board an aircraft, like pilot, co-pilot, navigator, steward or
stewardess, etc., astronauts can be pilots, flight engineers,
payload commanders, mission specialists, or scientists.
QUESTIONS: Astronauts –
Which of the following would NOT be considered an astronaut while traveling
on a spacecraft?
The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum –
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, on the National Mall in
Washington D.C., shows the history of flight, from man's earliest attempts
at flight all the way through landmark moments in space exploration.