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A Century of Flight

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Hi,I might be wrong but didn't celebration of the Century of Flight already take place more than a decade ago. ;-)Of course, it wasn't an American who did this, so it is easy for Microsoft to forget.Best regards,HenriBTW, I am getting tired of all this: "proud to be ... you name it". Does it really matter from what country you are? I have friends all over the world and friendship is what counts! :)

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Of course they are refering to the first ever heavier than air powered flight, which occured on 17th December 1903.

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Of course I know that. Being a hang glider pilot, however, I know that flight means more than engine-driven flight.Best regards,Henri

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You can point out different things about when, where, and who did what in aviation, but the fact is that the first "controlled and sustained" flight was on December 17th, 1903, period! There is now evidence that hot air balloons may have been flown as long as 4,000 years ago and there is increasing possibilities that man flew gliders as early as 1,500 BC, but the first time anyone ever took to the air with a powered aircraft that was controllable were the two Wright Bros., 100 years ago this year.There had been several individuals that had flown powered aircraft, up to a year before the Wright Brothers, but the Wright Bros. were the first to have an aircraft that not only could stay in the air under its own power, but they had flight controls so that you could turn around and land where you took off from. No one else had ever done that!Bear!

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Hello Steve,You are right, of course. The Wright flyer was the first motorized aeroplane the took off under its own power, flew (although it was not really controlled, now was it?) and, most importantly, launched the age of the airplane.However, this does seem like a lot of qualification - "controlled and sustained", motorized, under its own power.Nobody disputes the Wright brothers' great achievement, but the first time that man flew (with no qualifications of any sort) was in 1783. In a Montgolfier balloon. The first man to fly was a Frenchman (as you know.) To fly. To raise himself above the level of the ground and travel in the air. To finally fulfill that ages-old dream of so many and float freely in the heavens like a bird. 1783, 220 years ago. Period!As you know, very quickly many more men were flying, in all parts of the world. George Cayley made and flew (or, at least his coachman did) a glider, in 1823, I believe, 80 years before Orville. This was flight, just as valid as the Wright brothers. Motorized flight was created for the first time in 1853, 50 years before Wilbur, when a Frenchman (yes, another one, drat it), built a dirigeable and put a steam engine in it. He flew anywhere he wanted, controlled flight.In fact, for a hundred years before the Wright brothers, tens of thousands of people flew. In all sorts of contraptions. Lighter and heavier than air. For all sorts of reasons: fun and leisure, travel, carrying the mail and freight, scientific flights, military flights (the darn French pioneered, once again, the use of balloons for military purposes, but we quickly followed up and copied them during the Civil War.) The skies were full of aircraft of all sorts, long before the Wright brothers were born.There is no shame for us as Americans in admitting that we were not the first. We did not invent the boat, the train, or the automobile, either. We can, with pride, celebrate the first flight of man 220 years ago, because it was not a French achievement (although they were the first). It was a human achievement, soemthing that has advanced the cause of all men, like the landing on the moon was an achievement for all men, although we were the ones to do it.The Wright brothers were an important part of aviation, and, most likely, the true reason why airplanes are so important. But, they were not the first to fly by any stretch. Period.Best regards to you, and nice to see you around here from time to time.Luis

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"You can point out different things about when, where, and who did what in aviation, but the fact is that the first "controlled and sustained" flight was on December 17th, 1903, period!"I haven't been here since quite a long time, but untrue sentences like that one keep me out of my bed...As Henri said, for American people it is so easy to forget..... Even easier since there are some celebrations for an undeserving "First flight" this year. But with a great amount of media propaganda, you can so easily make the world think what you want to!!!BUT Clement Ader (1841-1925) , a french engineer DID the first flight controlled and sustained with a heavier than air airplane powered with a steam motor. This first flight occured on a plane called "Eole" in 1890, more than 10 years BEFORE the Wright Brother, period!(When I say airplane, I mean things that fly the way today's aircrafts fly (lift produced by the change of path of the air around the wings), otherway there are also other "first flying men", some of them are well known such as Pilatre de Rozier, Les freres Montgolfier...who are by the way french too as Luis mentionned)"There had been several individuals that had flown powered aircraft, up to a year before the Wright Brothers, but the Wright Bros. were the first to have an aircraft that not only could stay in the air under its own power, but they had flight controls so that you could turn around and land where you took off from. No one else had ever done that!"An other obstruse sentence: whether you wanted it or not, this sentence is quite confusing.If ever they managed to do this pattern, this was CERTAINLY NOT in the flight we are talking about. They may have achieved this but a long time after, in 1908 I believe.The december 17th of 1903 flights were straight forward flights no longer than 260 meters (59 sec). Luis, your thread is a cup of fresh air to me: humility still exists... So much egocentric people (and nations) on the Earth... Minos sad to hear that some deserving pioneers are so (too) easily forgotten...

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>"As Henri said, for American people it is so easy to forget..... Even easier since there are some celebrations for an undeserving "First flight" this year. But with a great amount of media propaganda, you can so easily make the world think what you want to!!!"Seems we have another thread now where people feel the need to discredit the Wright Brothers accomplishments. I feel it's quite futile to argue with such individuals as obviously, emotions are involved. The simple fact is the Wright Brothers have been, are, and will continue to be INTERNATIONALLY (not just in the USA) recognized as the first to successfully achieve "manned, powered, sustained, and controlled flight!"Your arguement would have more merit (as it doesn't have any merit at all now) if you were able to convince the Smithsonian and other historical institutions that others had achieved it before the Wright Brothers. However, I think you would have a tough time, as it's been tried time and time again over the years without success.>"So much egocentric people (and nations) on the Earth..."PS; Might I ask what nationality you are (though I already know the answer)? I assume your comment is directed at a specific Country? I find it interesting that such a comment would be made by someone from a Country with a very rich egocentric history.PPS; I wonder if in '2069', a Frenchman will argue that America wasn't the first to land a man on the moon? ;-)Regards,

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>PPS; I wonder if in '2069', a Frenchman will argue that >America wasn't the first to land a man on the moon? ;-) A man really landed on the moon? I thought it was all done with smoke and mirrors.

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Hi Dave,I really did not want to discredit the Wright Brothers accomplishments. I guess other people do not want to either. Of course, it was a major achievement that probably none of the people in this forum could do. I only wanted to point out that flight did not start with the Wright brothers and this is what the statement Century of Flight suggests. Or did it say Century of motorized sustained Flight? Being a hang glider pilot (no engine, but sustained) I might be more sensitive to the subtle difference than others. Anyway, no need to take this all too serious. All the great men and women in aviation deserve their credits. No need for a fight over that. There is enough international fighting going on already.Take care,Henri

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This isn't the USA or France who first flew, but smart and daring individuals being in Kitty Hawk or Armainvilliers. Caley, a true genius, was the first to glide maybe and a great precursor but aeronautics truly begun when somebody built up an engine able to sustain in flight its own weight and a person. It seems (there's a lot of hearsay in the very early aviation history) that Cl

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I am not sure I like where this thread is going. If this turns into a nationalistic chest thumping slam fest, you can be sure that it will be locked (we should probably set up a forum for chest thumping - seems there is a real need for it these days)... So, let's play nice folks.

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I'm sure that the first man/women who leapt off a cliff with feathers tied to their back......... felt like they were flying also; at least for a few seconds! Whether this took place B.C. or A.D., I can't say..But then my preference is motorized flight over gliding (which I also took courses), and hence, the difference in opinion regarding a "Century of Flight", which I agree with. L.Adamson

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Hi Henri,I know you're intent was to point out the GREAT accomplishments of those who came before the Wrights with gliders. I too recognize the accomplishments by ALL nationalities involved in the early days of flight. I honestly feel flying has always been trans-national and should remain politically neutral. One thing that drew me into aviation was the mutual respect flyers of all nationalities have for each other. However, I cannot sit idly by when individuals insinuate that America, through propaganda, changed history by declaring the Wright Bros. as the first (so it seems, they can claim it for their own nation - be it France or whatever Country). The simple fact is (I've now said it numerous times in the past couple of days), the Wright Bros. ARE Internationally recognized as the first to fly a manned, powered craft for a sustained period of time (vs. a short hop) whilst controlling it. I don't fault you for your original post as it is historically accurate. I will though, challenge those who want to re-write history for their own social/political goals.Thanks,

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I'm am constantly amazed at how [expletive deleted] stupid people can get. The title is "A Century of Flight" _not_ "THE Century of Flight".If the difference between the two escapes anyone, then I suggest that you gripe more about the English language than "American Ego-centrism" or whatever other baloney you can conjure (excrete).I guess we forget how much can get lost in the translation between languages still (even among those that supposedly speak the same language). Maybe this lack of communication still plays a major role in messing up international relations...I don't know.-hoo"The year 2003 marks the centennial of the Wright brothers' first powered flights at Kitty Hawk, and Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight celebrates the event with a collection of important historical aircraft and exciting new features..."-- 'Microsoft Flight Simulator: A Century of Flight' promo site.

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