Civilian Airplanes, 1914 [Slide Show]

Civilian Flight in 1914 was still a new business, riding hard on the heels of the latest innovations by inventors and tinkerers
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A Close Shave:

At an aviation meet in Heliopolis, Egypt, Maurice Guillaux’s monoplane narrowly missed smashing into Maurice Chevillard’s biplane. “With only a few flying machines in the world and the whole ocean of air to fly in, one would think a collision of aeroplanes to be next to impossible.”....[ More ]

Paris Air Show:

The report in Scientific American, published January 10, 1914, on the "Fifth International Exhibition of Aerial Locomotion” noted the mix of civilian and military aircraft, mostly of French manufacture and one display from the Bristol Aeroplane Company.....[ More ]

Sperry Gyroscopes:

The father-and-son Sperry team (Elmer and Lawrence), already famous for inventions such as the gyroscopic compass used on ships, built and demonstrated a device designed to stabilize airplanes while in flight.....[ More ]

First Airliner:

The giant “Ilya Muromets” designed by Igor Sikorsky of Russia (he moved to the U.S. in 1919) was originally designed to carry passengers in comfort (there was a sleeping compartment and a lavatory onboard).....[ More ]

Aeronautical Tests:

Aircraft nowadays are first tested by computer simulation or in giant wind tunnels. Our photograph shows one experiment from 1914, set up on the one-mile test track at the Institut Aerotechnique of the Paris University at Saint Cyr in France.....[ More ]

Propeller Test:

At the Lindenberg Aerodynamical Laboratory, Germany, in 1914 counter-rotating (they revolve in opposite directions) helicopter-type propellers on a test motor yield data about lift.....[ More ]

Curtiss-Langley "Aerodrome":

Samuel P. Langley's 1903 airplane was extensively modified in 1914 by Glenn Curtiss and flown, very briefly, several times. These flights were used by the Smithsonian Institution to claim, until 1928, that Langley’s original full-size 1903 airplane had been airworthy.....[ More ]

"Aerodrome” Reconstruction:

In 1903 Samuel P. Langley’s airplane had crashed on takeoff, twice. In 1914 Glenn Curtiss restored and modified the original aircraft in an attempt to fly it. The June 1914 article says this version of the airplane was 40 percent heavier than the original.....[ More ]

Lighthouses for Aviators:

As more airplanes took off on travels in all weather, day and night, here was a proposal to provide them with beacons to guide them into airfields. The beacons were to be powered by either gas or electricity.....[ More ]

Transatlantic Contender:

The English entry for Lord Northcliffe’s 10,000-pound prize for the first transatlantic flight was a Martinsyde monoplane. The pilot was to have been Gustav Hamel, who perished in an accident before he could attempt the flight.....[ More ]

Transatlantic Airplane:

Mr. Rodman Wanamaker of Philadelphia, a “patron of aviation,” commissioned Glenn Curtiss to build a flying machine that could cross the Atlantic Ocean. Our illustration shows a drawing of the flying boat that was to be used.....[ More ]

Transatlantic Flight:

In 1913 Lord Northcliffe, owner of London’s Daily Mail, offered a prize of 10,000 pounds for the first airplane flight across the Atlantic. Our illustration presents an educated guess as to what one such airplane might look like.....[ More ]

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