Sir George Cayley First Manned flown Plane - 1849

29/09/2012 15:15

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The First Manned Flight – England 1849 Britains history is made up of very famous engineers all through their history.  I have decided to write about one of the most famous English Engineers called the "Father of Aviation" Sir George Cayley who flew the first manned flight in Brompton, England in 1849.

Sir George Cayley was a prolific English Engineer, one of the most important people in the history of aeronautics. Many consider him the first true scientific aerial investigator and first person to understand the underlying principles and forces of flight.

In 1799 he set forth concept of the modern aeroplane as a fixed-wing flying machine with separate systems for lift, propulsion, and control. Often known as "the father of Aerodynamics", he was a pioneer of aeronautical engineering. Is called the "Father of Aviation" and designer of the first successful glider to carry a human being aloft, he discovered and identified the four aerodynamic forces of flight — weight, lift, drag and thrust — which are in effect on any flight vehicle. Modern aeroplane design is based on those discoveries including cambered wings. He is credited with the first major breakthrough in heavier-than-air flight and he worked over half a century before the development of powered flight. He designed the first actual model of an aeroplane and also diagrammed the elements of vertical flight.

By 1804 Sir George Cayley had built his first model gliders which appeared similar to modern aircraft: a pair of large monoplane wings towards the front, with a smaller tailplane at the back comprising horizontal stabilisers and a vertical wing.

In 1809 Sir George Cayley was quoted as saying, "I feel perfectly confident that we shall be able to transport ourselves and families, and their goods and chattels, more securely by air than by water, and with a velocity of from 20 to 100 miles per hour."

By 1810 Sir George Cayley had published his now-classic three-part treatise "On Aerial Navigation" which stated that lift, propulsion and control were the three requisite elements to successful flight, apparently the first person to so realize and so state.

By 1816 Sir George Cayley had turned his attention to lighter-than-air machines and designed a streamlined airship with a semi-rigid structure. He also suggested using separate gas bags to limit an airship's lifting gas loss due to damage. In 1837 Cayley designed a streamlined airship to be powered by a steam engine.

1832 to 1835 Sir George Cayley had served for the whig party as member of parliament for Scarborough, and helped found the Royal Polytechnic Institution (now University of Westminster), serving as its chairman for many years. He was a founding member of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and was a distant cousin of the mathematician Arthur Cayley.

Around 1843 Sir George Cayley was the first to suggest the idea for a convertiplane, an idea which was published in a paper written that same year.

During some point prior to 1849 Sir George Cayley designed and built a biplane powered with "flappers" in which an unknown ten-year-old boy flew.

During 1853 Sir George Cayley with the continued assistance of his grandson George John Cayley and his resident engineer Thomas Vick, he developed a larger scale glider (also probably fitted with "flappers") which flew across Brompton Dale.

Later during 1853 the first adult aviator has been claimed to be either Cayley's coachman. One source (Gibbs-Smith) has suggested that it was John Appleby, a Cayley employee — however there is no definitive evidence to fully identify the pilot. The Plane Cayley built was a triplane glider (a glider with three horizontal wing structures) that carried his coachman 900 feet (275 meters) across Brompton Dale in the north of England before crashing. It was the first recorded flight by an adult in an aircraft.

An obscure entry in volume IX of the 8th Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1855 is the most contemporaneous account with any authority regarding the event. A 2007 biography of Cayley (Richard Dee's The Man Who Discovered Flight: George Cayley and the First Airplane) claims the first pilot was Cayley's grandson George John Cayley (1826-1878). Dee's book also reports the re-discovery of a series doodles from Cayley's school exercise book which suggest that Cayley's first designs concerning a lift-generating inclined plane may have been made as early as 1793.

A replica of the 1853 machine was flown at the original site in Brompton Dale in 1974 and in the mid 1980s by Derek Piggott. The glider is currently on display at the Yorkshire Air Museum. Another replica flew there in 2003, first piloted by Allan McWhirter and later by Richard Branson.

In 1857 Sir George Cayley died in Scarborough. There is a memorial to his life at Hull University at the Scarborough Campus.