A Brief Account of Lighter Than Air Flight

By | March 2, 2019

If there is a single word that is constantly being proved incorrect throughout history, it is the word ‘impossible’. Everytime a human mind hears of something that has never been done before, there is always a number of people present to say thatit is not possible. Yet, from every now and then, human ingeniunity has proved its superiority over human reasoning. Man hasbeen able to achieve nearly everything that a mindis able to imagine. The best example in this aspect is aviation. From the earliestendeavor of flying via huge feathers to the unrevealed secret flying machinein military bases, there is anumber of moments which added a new wing in the flight of scientificadvancements. Moreover, the love of flying was not only restricted to a specific class. Today, all of us can revel in the flight as well as flying. Affeciandos can choose to be air force aviators or commercial aviators. Many training centers and schools are offering training such as Floatplane training and float endorsement for leisure flyers.

Aviation perhaps is one of the most amazing marvels, yet it is also a very common mean of conveyance. It is quiteinteresting to see how this unbelievableaccomplishment turned into the business that it is today.

Supposedly, the very initial fruitful attempt of making an object fly was the kite which was invented in China during 200BC. However, a very old Greek myth ofDeadlus is also thought to be taken from a factual incident. It is said that Deadlus tried to mimic the flight of bird by means wax to stick huge wings to his back. The truth of this story is doubtful, yet it clearly does defineman’s wish to fly from the oldest of civilization.

Even after such unsuccessful attempts, an almost fruitful attempt of flying is said to be of around the ninth century. A Berber man took a short glide on his gliding machine and landed back to that point. This can possibly be the first glider, but the landing was like a crash. The first recorded and credible event of such flight is found in year 1010th when an English monk Eilmer of Malmesbury flew about 200 meters in his glider.

In the 18th century, it was Leonardo da Vinci who created designs and illustrations that are said to be the major inspiration for what we see as modern aviation. Da Vinci himself was a great believer in man’s ability to fly in flying machines. He designed many machines which considerably look like the planes and helicopters that we see today.

Jean-Francois and Francois Laurent made the first balloon flight in a hot air balloon. The idea of lighter than air flight was nearly a century old, but it was in 1783 when these two gentlemen took the flight. The balloon later was enhanced as a controlable airship by Henri Giffard in 1852.

Not long ago in 1884, the French army made the first ever electric powered airship. The Airships were based on the “lighter than air” theory, which proposed that anything lighter than air can float on the air like a boat on water. This was actually achieved by heating the air, however the airships were short lived and fragile. The twentieth century came with a newer idea that was heavier than air flight, but that is a completely new chapter in history of flight.

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