Talk:History of aviation

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Unsupported text[edit]

I deleted text about the "stability" of GW's craft. I previously deleted identical text from the main GW article, and it was not reverted or restored, which was proper.

There is a single mention in the Bridgeport newspaper article of a soft landing by the Number 21. The claim by User:Roger491127 in this article that the stability of the craft was "told by many witnesses" and his claim on this Discussion page that the craft's steadiness "was also supported by affidavits by Harworth and others" is pure fantasy, wishful thinking and unvarnished POV-pushing. As can be seen in Harworth's affidavit, Harworth makes absolutely no mention of the craft's stability or steering.

Sources for such a sweeping claim have never been shown in this or the main GW article.

The tag on this article requests editors to "Please improve the article or discuss the issue on the talk page."

I am doing both. DonFB (talk) 07:25, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

I did not base my text about stability on that affidavit. I based it on several sources, Howell's article, Harworth's description of how Whitehead started from one avenue, flew along a street in Bridgeport, a and landed on the next avenue, then turned the plane around, started again and flew back and landed on the place he started from. I also based it on Whitehead's and Pruckner's descriptions of how he first flew 3 miles along the shore of Long Island Sound and landed in the water, so close to the shore that his helpers could pull him out of the water. He then started again and made a 7 miles circle and landed, again very close to the shore at the place were his helpers were standing, so they could pull his airplane out of the water again. I also based it on the fact that he made four flights August 14 1901 with no damages to the airplane, which shows that the airplane must have been very stable in the air and could be landed with precision because it landed undamaged, so Whitehead must have found flat surfaces to land on and managed to avoid all stones and irregular terrain in that field which was undeveloped land full of small hills and valleys, basically an area suitable for cows grazing.

Based on affidavits it is obvious that Whitehead's airplane was aerodynamically very stable in the air, as he could take his hands off the controls and the airplane continued to keep its attitude and direction on its own. And when he wanted to land he aimed the airplane at a suitable place and turned off the motor, and the airplane landed itself. When it comes to controllability the affidavits also show that Whitehead could control his airplanes 21 and 22 very well. He landed exactly where he wanted to land, he could fly along a street in a town and back again without crashing into houses, telephone poles, people, horses, trees,etc.. and he could land twice on two places on avenues which were free of hinders and long enough. According to affidavits he needed around 60m long start and land stretches, and it is not easy to find 60m long stretches of flat surfaces in a town.

According to a source dug up by Carroll he could also make a small course correction during a landing which otherwise was handled by the airplane after the motor had been turned off.

So the only conclusion we can come to, based on the sources, is that Whitehead had excellent control of his airplanes 21 and 22 and that those airplanes were very stable during flight. Roger491127 (talk) 16:08, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

As I'm sure you've been told before, you need sources meeting the criteria at WP:RS that comment on the stability, you cannot make edits on stability based on your conclusions. That's simply the way we work, and if you don't like that you'll be happier elsewhere. Dougweller (talk) 20:01, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

You can find sources to all I said here in the Gustave Whitehead article and its discussion page, I just didn't have time to look them up, and several of the sources are referenced in my version of the Whitehead section in Aviation history, look it up in the article history and check the references. Roger491127 (talk) 20:07, 6 October 2010 (UTC)


Reply DonFB (talk) 20:56, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Manned kites[edit]

There seems to be a lack of Man-lifting kite information outside of the intro section. There should be some mention in the body of the article. 76.66.200.95 (talk) 06:51, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

A general note on 'firsts', from Gibbs-Smith[edit]

I have to return to the university library the 1960 Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith book The aeroplane: an historical survey of its origins and development in two days, but before it goes away I wanted to share a view of Gibbs-Smith's that I found to be extremely relevant to this article, and to others on tangential topics:

Claims to the First Powered Flights

In the history of flying, as in other activities, there is often a temptation to put forward or support claims for this, that, or the other 'first', regardless of whether the achievement in question has any true value or significance. Whatever tributes can be paid to certain experimenters on the score of ingenuity, persistence, or personal courage, it is essential to decide whether their contribution was important historically, and to what degree.

Gibbs-Smith continues by talking about the question of "What is to fly?", by posing the question of how much horizontal deflection from vertical plummeting would have qualified a tower jumper with a bedsheet as a flier, and how much horizontal travel by a parachutist qualifies as flying. Regarding powered flight, Gibbs-Smith says:

There are three broad categories of achievement wherein the 'firsts' have been contested; (a) powered take-offs, leaps and glides; (b) powered and sustained flights; and (c) practical flying. Only recently has much interest been shown in simple powered take-offs etc, chiefly because there is a natural tendency to confuse them with proper flights. As once was said, 'You can get even a barn-door into the air if you put enough power behind it; the problem is, how to keep it up there'...

In order to qualify for having made a powered and sustained flight, a conventional aeroplane should have sustained itself freely in a horizontal or upward flight-path—without loss of airspeed—beyond a point where it could be influenced by any momentum built up before it left the ground: otherwise its performance can only be rated as a powered leap ... Furthermore, it must be shown that the machine can be kept in satisfactory equilibrium...

Gibbs-Smith notes that any supposed flying machine, and even non-flying machines, can be made to leap into the air. He next moves to psychological concerns, where wishful thinking and lapses of integrity under stress of pride or jealousy may influence claims, especially "those claims advanced long after the alleged events." He tries to cut through the dross, saying that it really is not so hard to determine a fair historical assessment; "the performance of an aeroplane—whose main function is after all to fly—must be clear and manifest..." He says the problems of history

...only become formidable if we allow ourselves to become involved in hair-splitting and fruitless arguments about events which were relatively unimportant. Such arguments are, of course, indulged in at times, but I would suggest the reason for this is often the historically somewhat disreputable one of giving pre-dated acclaim to those who came to deserve it by their subsequent achievements. In such cases, a man's thoughts, ambitions, and efforts may become confused with his concrete achievements.

It was to help clarify the historical perspective on claims to powered flying that I recently suggested—and the Director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment agreed—that a minimum distance of about a quarter of a mile (1,320 feet) through the air should stand as a modest criterion of a simple powered and sustained flight. There is nothing 'mystical' about this proposed distance; it is of course arbitrary, but it effectively rules out any merely tentative effort, makes reasonably sure that a performance was clear of the possible effects of previously gained momentum, and shows that the machine had 'well and truly' flown: it also rules out a 'flight' in which the aeroplane cannot be held in adequate equilibrium (by the pilot operating the controls and/or by features built into the machine), as it is possible for an aircraft which is incapable of having its equilibrium maintained in sustained flight to survive in the air fortuitously for a short space of time. History cannot be at the mercy of pedantic bickering about a few uncertainly traversed feet on the part of aircraft which can do no better.

This arbitrary distance of ~1,320 feet (400 m) is an interesting one which puts the Wright brothers' first flight trials on the borderline: the distance traveled through air must be taken into consideration, and only their fourth trial on December 17, 1903, qualifies—it was a 59-second flight over 852 feet (260 m) of ground but through a half mile (800 m) of the equivalent of still air. Gibbs-Smith sets this as the first powered, sustained, successful flight in the world.

I especially like Gibbs-Smith's decision to quote Griffith Brewer who said "The meaning of the first flight is the first successful flight; otherwise it would include the first unsuccessful flight." Simple common sense worthy of note. Binksternet (talk) 17:13, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Please read WP:NOTDEMOCRACY An issue is not decided by a majority or through polling, an issue should be resolved through discussion, and I see no valid counter-arguments against my arguments here on the discussion page. Reply to Nimbus above who sees himself as impartial because he is from Britain: You do not know enough about the issue, for example you think Whitehead flew at night, if you had studied the issue you should have known that he made the first manned flight at early dawn, after the time when the journalist thought that "the light was good". ('By the time the light was good,' Howell wrote, 'the bags of sand were taken out of the machine….An early morning milkman stopped in the road to see what was going on.) Also to Nimbus, do you think all the people who signed sworn affidavits about witnessing Whitehead flights were involved in a strange kind of conspiration in which half the witnesses waited for 35 years to give their statements and half of them waited 65 years to give their statements and then only because they were found and interviewed? And what do you know about Whitehead's ability as a maker of very lightweight and very powerful motors? Gibbs-Smith has obviously decided on his own that a flight should have a historical impact to be recognized. Others could argue that to decide who made the first successful, motorized, controlled and sustained flight it is enough to show enough sources which support the flight or flights beyond reasonable doubt. If 20 people gave sworn witness statements that they saw person A stab person B in the chest and that person B died from that every jury in the world would say that person A is guilty of murder, beyond reasonable doubt. Roger491127 (talk) 01:34, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Roger, it's not majority we're looking at here, it's unanimity. Give it up, please. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 03:43, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Whitehead's nr 21 had a very large wing area, the wings alone were 450 square feet. When we add the large tail, at least 150 square feet, we get 600 square feet, which explains why he could lift off at very low speeds. (SarekOfVulcan, face the facts, and all witnesses, and give it up yourself. Why don't you? Don't you understand the basics of aerodynamics? and do you believe in such a strange conspiration with so many people involved?) Roger491127 (talk) 04:01, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Whitehead's flight is mentioned in the article, and it's given the appropriate weight for the affect it had on later aviation development.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 04:04, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

What influence it had on the further development of aviation doesn't matter in this article. Pro-Wrights devotees have made that clear by refusing to allow quotes about how the patent wars the Wright brothers engaged in resulted in a delay of around 16 years of the development of the American aviation industry. So we can talk about which inventor made motorized, controlled and sustained airplane flights first instead. What is your conclusion from this quote?:

Members of the CAHA and the 9315th Squadron went door-to-door in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Stratford, and Milford to track down Whitehead's long-ago neighbors and helpers. They also traced some who had moved to other parts of Connecticut and the United States. Of an estimated 30 persons interviewed for affidavits or on tape, 20 said they had seen flights, eight indicated they had heard of the flights, and two felt that Whitehead did not fly.

'Look, I never knew Whitehead personally or anything about his aircraft. All I did was watch him fly.' So spoke Frank Lanye, 92, on June 15, 1968, at his home in Waterbury, Conn. He was describing an autumn flight near Fairfield Beach in 1901, a year he remembered because it was a year after his 1900 discharge from the Navy. Present at the taped interview were the Smithsonian's Garber, the CAHA's Lippincott, O'Dwyer, and Don Richardson, the latter a Sikorsky Aircraft engineer.

John Ciglar, a Pine Street neighbor of Whitehead in 1901, told a Bridgeport Sunday Post reporter in 1940: 'I was nine years old when I and a group of other boys saw Whitehead fly in July or August 1901. I vividly recall the flight in a vacant lot at the corner of Cherry Street and Hancock Avenue in the West End of Bridgeport….Whitehead put every nickel he earned into flying machines, but as far as patents and recognition were concerned he didn't seem to care.' from http://www.historynet.com/gustave-whitehead-and-the-first-flight-controversy.htm/1 Roger491127 (talk) 04:13, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

My conclusion from that quote is that you are not currently able to edit collegially on this topic, so I have blocked you for 1 week for disruptive editing. There has been a wikiquette alert on your behavior, which was bumped up to AN/I, both of which you seriously disrupted trying to push your Whitehead information. It's not like you haven't been warned. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 04:26, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Sarek. I think it a good call. Binksternet (talk) 04:32, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I hope so. After all, saying "What influence it had on the further development of aviation doesn't matter in this article" with a straight face on Talk:Aviation history would seem to be indicative that he's seriously missing the point somewhere. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 04:36, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Do you have problems with reading and understanding what you read, Binksternet and Sarek? I did not talk about my view, I think an inventor's influence on the development of aviation should be considered when writing about his (their) contributions to the history of aviation. But other editors here have told me that an inventor's influence on the development of aviation should NOT be considered, when I wrote about the very detrimental effect the Wright brothers caused through their constant patent wars and litigations, and it is their view I refer to. I was acting like a lawyer in a court-room in front of a jury. I was referring to evidence in the spirit of reason and rationality, I was not using foul words or referring to the authority of higher powers. Roger491127 (talk) 12:47, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

What argument are you making? This thread is about Gibbs-Smith who decries trivial hair splitting in historical 'firsts'. He gives no importance to the Whitehead claim because
  • it involves "claims advanced long after the alleged events"
  • it involves likely "lapses of integrity"
  • it was "relatively unimportant" to history
  • and Whitehead never achieved practical, repeatable flight.
These are nails in Whitehead's coffin, hammered down by one of the great aviation historians. Binksternet (talk) 13:16, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Bridgeport Sunday Herald was a weekly newspaper, so what happened August 14 could not be published until the Sunday August 18 1901. Is four days "long after the alleged events"?

"likely "lapses of integrity""...? Can you be more diffuse than that?

"it was "relatively unimportant" to history".. Was the delay and hindering of the development of an American airplane industry the Wright brothers caused through their constant patent wars and litigations "relatively unimportant" to history"? When USA entered WWI in 1917 allied pilots had to use French and British airplanes, because the Wright brothers had hindered and delayed the development of an American aviation industry with around 17 years. The Smithsonian was equally guilty, if they had approached Whitehead openly in 1901 instead of sending an incompetent assistant to secretly investigate Whitehead's airplane mass production of airplanes in USA could have started in 1902.

"Whitehead never achieved practical, repeatable flight." According to many witnesses he flew many times in 1901 and January 1902. In one single day, August 14 1901 he flew four times. The longest flight was one and a half miles at a height of 50 feet above ground.

Gibbs-Smith was not a "great aviation historian". He did not do any source investigations himself. He repeated stuff the Smithsonian had said and they repeated what Orville wrote in 1945, which was wrong on every point. Gibbs-Smith did not include investigations done from 1960 to today. Roger491127 (talk) 09:29, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Some of your arguments are effective, Roger, but they are *your* arguments, which, like any editor's, are disqualified as content in an article. If you were a recognized authority, such as a historian, professor or other type of expert who has published work about the subject in a reliable print or online source, your conclusions could be included in a Wikipedia article and referenced. But you're not. Another editor wrote earlier in this Discussion:
"As I'm sure you've been told before, you need sources meeting the criteria at WP:RS that comment on the stability, you cannot make edits on stability based on your conclusions. That's simply the way we work, and if you don't like that you'll be happier elsewhere. Dougweller (talk) 20:01, 6 October 2010 (UTC)"
He refers specifically to "stability," but his comment can be generalized to all your arguments and conclusions. You cannot insert any of your personal conclusions into an article about its subject matter. The most you can hope for is to use reliable sources which state facts or opinions which are relevant. And that must be done in keeping with Wikipedia's editing policies, which means not dumping in overlong or badly translated blocks of text. Source material must be either paraphrased or *briefly* quoted, and copyrights must be respected. DonFB (talk) 19:51, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

So if I had only referred to the verifiable examples which showed that Whitehead's airplane must have been very stable aerodynamically, but avoided to add my own conclusion, and let the reader draw this conclusion by himself from the bunch of examples I referred to, it would have been okay? Yes, I understood that already 6 months or a year ago when this happened. I just don't understand why you find it urgent to go back to this issue now, a long time after it was dealt with. Note that I haven't made any edit to this article for a very long time. Since some editors deleted the whole section about Gustave Whitehead and only mention him in a sentence about other aviation pioneers I have not seen any reason to participate in editing this article. I only keep an eye on this discussion page so I can reply to comments directed at me. Roger491127 (talk) 20:43, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Every time Binksternet quotes Gibbs-Smith, he gives me more material which I can point out the very obvious holes in. This will, hopefully, make other editors more and more aware of the weaknesses of Gibbs-Smith's writings about aviation history. Roger491127 (talk) 21:17, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Maybe you're right, and maybe some day an expert or historian will come along and publish opinions similar to yours based on his research, but I'm glad you seem to have learned that you cannot say so yourself in an article. DonFB (talk) 23:05, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

DonFB, you talk to me now like I am a beginner in wikipedia who needs to be taught the basic rules of wikipedia, based on a single mistake I made a long time ago. Have you forgotten that you and I cooperated on the Gustave Whitehead article for years, a cooperation that went very well until a few other editors who were very anti-Whitehead showed up. If there is somebody you should teach wikipedia rules to I think you should concentrate on Carroll F Gray, who has many times inserted his own opinions and sentences I had to delete with the reasons "unsourced, insinuation, original research". I have been active in editing wikipedia for many years, the first of my edits I have found are from 2006, and I have been active in articles in many different areas, like philosophy, logic, math, history, the theory of relativity, latin American music, issues related to my homeland Sweden etc.. I was at one time accused of being a single-purpose account, which obviously is not true. But if you want to find a single-purpose account take a look at the contributions list of Carroll F Gray. And, by the way, I have also fixed around a thousand spelling errors and other obvious faults in many kinds of articles, because as millions of others I often use wikipedia to look up stuff in, and when a see a fault I can fix I do it.Roger491127 (talk) 08:19, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Alberto Santos Dumont[edit]

The text about Alberto Santos Dumont could be less opinative and derogative. He is a very important part of the history aviation, with many contributions. There is no reason for cite almost only the Wright brothers all over his topic, Doesn't matters if you agree with the first official flight by the Fédération or don't. He is known for much more than this controversy. Alcartur (talk) 12:22, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Charles Harvard Gibbs-Smith thought that Santos Dumont was lucky in achieving flight, that his engineering skill was very poor. Per Gibbs-Smith, Santos Dumont should not be accorded very much honor in aviation. Binksternet (talk) 14:48, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, more honorable than this guy, at least. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:59, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
I LOLed. :)
Binksternet (talk) 16:24, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
If you guys believe in such things, why don't to write a proper text, including useful informations and add to the main body of the article? It could be far more interesting than the ridiculous actual text "Dumont was overrated"... Alcartur (talk) 03:10, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

The Wright brothers' flights were of course "public". (It is very difficult to fly "privately" once you have taken off properly and are making flights of several kilometres, returning to your point of take-off). The local press were apparently just too sceptical to give the accounts that were coming in any credence, and couldn't be bothered to look for themselves. The "secretive" nature of the Wright's has been greatly exaggerated - they were in fact pretty open about what they were doing - at least until the famous patent dispute with Curtiss and others arose.

Santos Dumont was a great pioneer, even Gibbs-Smith makes that clear - but to claim (as some chauvinistic French and Brazilian people are prone to do) that the 14-bis flew properly (it didn't) and that this was the first real flight because the Wrights used assisted takeoffs (!) is plain silly. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 00:21, 25 June 2011 (UTC)


"This event (unlike various other early attempts at manned powered flight) received considerable press notice, so that its historical effect, especially on other experimenters, was out of proportion to the technical merits of the machine itself". In my edition, i was trying to fix this. There is no information in the topic, only an opinative text. The text as it is, it's not helpful, It's a fact, not another fight/flame about the primacy of the first flight, doesn't matter if you agree or not with the Fédération.

"Debate as to whether the Wright Flyer or the 14-bis was the more practical (and thus the "first") heavier-than-air flying machine are heavily influenced by nationalistic prejudice. No one could seriously contest that the Wrights flew first, or that the Flyer was capable of three-dimensional control in a way that the 14-bis was not, and that as a result it was able to make controlled sustained flights, while the 14bis made only a few faltering hops. In running on its own wheels to its take-off the Santos machine was of course more "modern" in the sense that most fixed-wing aircraft since have followed this procedure, but it is impossible to find any other way in which it was more "advanced" than the earlier machine."

It's fine when someone wanna give some opinions, but certainly Wikipedia it's not the proper place for this. Maybe here in the discussion section. You guys are acting far worst than those "some chauvinistic French and Brazilian people are prone to do" Alcartur (talk) 04:24, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

I've changed the controversy text about Dumont x Wright to the next topic, including the word 'controversy" at the title. Now we have exclusive topics about WB, and Dumont and another one about the controversy and other claims. I hope we can keep it balanced enough. Alcartur (talk) 05:09, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Other claims of first flights[edit]

This section is expanding more than any other - it really is not notable to an overview article on aviation history and should be deleted and possibly moved to another article, any thoughts. MilborneOne (talk) 18:47, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

No mention of Richard Pearse?[edit]

A bit of an omission there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 180.75.187.197 (talk) 08:40, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Not really he is mentioned in Early flying machines but not really notable enough for a mention in what is an overview article on 100 years of aviation. MilborneOne (talk) 12:52, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Religious views on humans flying[edit]

I'm looking for information on the history of various religious views (positive, nuetral, or negative) expressed about man flying, or human's leaving terra firma and motoring about in the atmosphere. I understand that there was a not inconsiderable objection to the attempt(s) in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, but cannot find any of that history covered on Wikipedia; e.g., there is no Religious views of manned flight, Religious views of human flight, Religious views of aviation, nor Religious views of humans leaving terra firma. Moreover, there is no mention of the topic in this article, History of aviation. This seems to be an oversight. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.106.205.232 (talk) 15:03, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Review of Hot air balloons, glider and kites in China

(The Kongming lantern (proto hot air balloon) was known in China from ancient times. Its invention is usually attributed to the general Zhuge Liang (180–234 AD, honorific title Kongming), who is said to have used them to scare the enemy troops:)

Kongming lantern is not a "hot air balloon"... "hot air balloon" is an english name of an aircraft. This is a flying lantern which many people from india and asia used not just the chinese. To state this is a flying craft from 200AD is so false it is laughtible.


(An oil lamp was installed under a large paper bag, and the bag floated in the air due to the lamp heating the air. ... The enemy was frightened by the light in the air, thinking that some divine force was helping him.[9])

This statement alone proves my point.

(However, the device based on a lamp in a paper shell is documented earlier, and according to Joseph Needham, hot-air balloons in China were known from the 3rd century BC.)

There is not a verifiable source to this statement, there is no artificts from this era of such to back this statement up that people were flying around china at this time, there is no blueprints or art work of such, and content has not been verifide so it should be deleted in full.

(In the 5th century BCE Lu Ban is claimed to have invented a 'wooden bird' which may have been a large kite, or which may have been an early glider.)

This is false... in part but not in whole. The translated part of this "paragraph" of text stated the wooden bird flew around for three days without stopping made from bamboo. We know many claims in history have been made of flying craft from the gods in all cultures.

There is nothing in this book of Lu Ban in the way of art, blueprints, pictures, and no a working artifact of this area. 
The author of this wiki statement claims 'large kite, or which may have been an early glider'. This is a bold statement with zero verifiable facts other then from one paragraph of the Lub Ban book, which states nothing at all of a large kite or glider... it does state a bird of bamboo... which it could be just that. A large toy with a bow string twisted as its source of power. This in it's self is speculation on my part.
Where does this person come up with Hot air balloon craft and gliders in 300bc and 200ad? is there any proof at all other then this one book? 

Is this book even real? This there any other item in Asian history that can prove this? 2nd or a 3rd source in the author's claim of almost 3000 years of historical flight by the Chinese? Did the Chinese even call themselves chinese at this time being how there was many kingoms in this area? or is a product of the Chinese communist government that took hold of the lands of what we now call China in the early part of the 1900's then destroyed all the culture of the past?

Do you even realise there was many cultures and countrys that exsisted in what is now China before world war 1? Tibet and Manchuria are two of such, these are people under the China's Communist rule... did they not burn all of culture works in the communist revolution?

I mean a bamboo bird that flew for three days? the author of this statement claims flight? and glider aircraft in 200ad? I have never seen any of the 2000 year old airforce of the chinese army. It is safe to assume that both the Bamboo Bird and the Monkey God of Asia are both culture Myth. I am sure Lu Ban believe he made a living bird of bamboo and it flew around alive for three days, right after the Monkey God paid him a visit withs some magic hash.

How about some proof on this subject that is worthy of science? anything? Do we believe in flat earth now as well since it is on Wiki?

(In 1st century AD, when Wang Mang tried to recruit specialist as scout to Xiong Nu, a man binding himself with bird feather glided about 100 meters, but finally landed.[10])

References to Wang Mang does not site anything, it gives you the total works of 100's of years works to source though.

When was this book of Lu Ban or Wang Mang Carbon Dated? Never... You think people did not lie in the past? make up things like dragons? and Monkey Gods? Just become some odd little note shows up it is proof? How about real proof like the Bamboo Bird? The gliders the chinese army flew around on? or the hot aircraft they used in war? a piece of art that shows this that has been carbon dated? a blueprint? anything? I mean we know the long history of china... you would think with 2000+ years of claimed Airforce they would have ruled us all with floating pearl cities in the sky.

Maybe it is time to ask for Verifiable Poof and not just beliving in Chinese Dragons, Chinese Monkey Gods.... before there was a country of China or a Chinese people. Would a Celt or a Gual Call himself a Roman?

The more I read this history link the more laughible it is... There is even a claim that a brazillian invented power flight a head of the Right Brothers because he showed up in france (three years after the Right Brothers) and the wind blew his Kite off a rail crashing it into the ground. The Kite an Engineer wrote about in his book from austrial and the Brazillian stole the plans for it directly out of this book.

What about the Eskimos? It is known for 100's of years they would wear winged clothing in a windstorm and get thrown up in the air by their village to glide and spot for deer. They would glide 100's of yards into a snowbank for a crash landing.

Why not creadit the Eskimos for inventing flight and the science of flight? We have living proof of these items. I own an Eskimo's spotting windglider outfit myself. This is more proof then your bamboo bird.

Let's deal with some fine science and the apex of humanity... not some lies and Monkey Gods of a pathic communist government trying to invent and rewrite history.

Or has the Tibet people never exsist and were just part of China as the Red Guard and the Party Leaders claim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.1.19.110 (talk) 02:03, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Clement Ader's plane in flight is an evident fake[edit]

There is no sign of rotation in the propellers of "Ader Avion III (1897)" that can be seen in one picture. They are standing still. In the case of Wright brothers' (claimed) first flight from 1903, it can be seen in one photography, that the propellers rotated.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.22.65.72 (talk) 03:52, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Agree its a misleading photo, but the text makes it clear that it never did more than briefly leave the ground.TheLongTone (talk) 13:52, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Units[edit]

A consensus as to whether metric or imperial units are used would tidy this article up slightly.TheLongTone (talk) 13:56, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Gustav Weißkopf[edit]

Can someone mention Gustav Weißkopf ? See here KVDP (talk) 07:48, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for the Daily Mail link - and good for Jane's. By the time Weißkopf flew in 1901 he was living in America and had changed his name to Whitehead, and in the English-speaking world is generally known by this name. There is a lengthy feature about him in Air enthusiast 35 (1988), pp.19-21 and 74-77. It makes serious but (then) unproven allegations against the Smithsonian, so I have been reluctant to tell it on Wikipedia without further references. The Daily Mail comment about Jane's supporting his claim is a real bombshell to me. It is now at the top of my To-Do list (which sadly, in my case, is not saying much). — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 08:53, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

Current era[edit]

Just as the two World Wars created technology steps which form natural section breaks when telling the story, so too there seems a natural break where modern technologies - all-digital fly-by-wire, glass cockpits, computer-aided modelling and design, and high-strength composite materials - took over from analogue avionics, wind tunnel models and aluminium. For example the F-16 C/D's FBW became all-digital ca. 1985, the Beech Starship first flew in 1986 and the kind of interactive design modelling technology pioneered for example by Burt Rutan was also beginning to show results while the glass cockpit evolved steadily throughout the 'eighties. None of these became dominant for a while, but I wonder if there is yet an accepted turning point for this technology step. 2000 AD somehow seems just too arbitrary. Any thoughts?

Early flying machines and the pioneer era[edit]

How do we treat the transition from early to pioneer? You are invited to join the discussion here. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 17:26, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Confusing / misleading paragraph[edit]

This part of the intro section is difficult to understand:

The first form of man-made flying objects were kites.[1] The earliest known record of kite flying is from around 200 BC in China, when a general flew a kite over enemy territory to calculate the length of tunnel required to enter the region.[2] Yuan Huangtou, a Chinese prince, survived by tying himself to the kite.[3]

The final sentence is missing context. It seems to be related to the previous sentence because the definite article the refers to a specific kite. But the only kite previously mentioned is the kite from the previous sentence, which has nothing to do with Yuan Huangtou. I'd suggest adding more information on Yuan's alleged flight, or removing this sentence entirely. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.69.234.57 (talk) 00:39, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Aero clubs?[edit]

I was about to add the following, but decided to ask here for a consensus. Preferable, however, would be a brief section about the importance of aviation clubs in general, relating to the early history of aviation (perhaps even an article?). ~E:71.20.250.51 (talk) 19:13, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Aviation History navbox[edit]

You might like to comment on the suggestions at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Aviation#History_navboxes. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 11:06, 5 March 2014 (UTC)