Weird flying events and attempts - Moments that defined the history of Aviation

Article by Roberto Fuzzy

Man has always had a fascination with flying. Today flying machines are everywhere, well, almost everywhere. In the past the only creatures that were floating in the air were birds. One design or a particular chain of events can alter history. Human evolution through aviation is filled with curious and weird events. Weird flying events are moments that define the history of aviation.

The Bat that gave us the Word
Clément Adler was born in 1841 in Mure, France. He accomplished a 50 metres flight in 1890. Although he was not among the first to try and succeed, his invention is weird. His most famous invention was a flying bat-inspired machine of 14 metres. It has been said that Adler's design inspired a whole range of one-winged artefacts. His lines can still be seen today in modern jet fighters. He named his plane "Avion III". The word Avion was translated and used as base for most languages, giving us the word Aeroplane.




Strange descent
Just a few years after Adler had lifted off the ground, Franz Reichelt died in what most describe as "victim of his own inventions". He descended from the Eiffel Tower equipped with a "parachute". History shows that he had tried the parachute on a "dummy", but it was unable to open his arms. The fall instantly killed Franz Reichelt. His designs are said to have been inspired by Leornado's drawings.




Vertical Ascent science fiction
Helium balloons were not effective. Leornado's design made the helicopter possible, but in 1950s vertical ascent was seeking new territory. The Flying BedStead as unusual as it may look, was taken to many fields of air designs. From combat to outer space, the Vertical Take off and Landing began to fly. Below is an image of the British Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig. It flew in 1953. In 1957 a test pilot died in a fatal accident. It is said that Neil Armstrong almost died as well in later test flights when BedStead lost control.




Pack it up
Jet pack, rocket belt, rocket pack or iron man. Call them what you want, these strange one-man flying machines surprised society. Appearing in 1920 in science fiction, by 1960s they became "common". Germany experimented with them in World War II. Most say they are unstable as they use jet propulsion. Powerhouse Productions Rocketbelt manufactures a 30-second flying jet pack. The design works perfectly in outer space and is used in space exploration on regular basis.




Dornier Do X
Dornier Do X was a flying super-boat. It was specially made to avoid a treaty that restricted Germany from producing certain type of aircrafts after World War I. In 1929 the Dornier Do X became the biggest and most powerful aircraft to fly. It carried 170 passengers breaking the world record of passengers on one flight. Finance put an end to the Dornier X. After that it was delivered to Lufthansa. It is said to have been taken to the air several times after that. Then a piece of the tail broke off. The Dornier Do X at first appeared to be just a boat with wings. However, the concept became the inspiration for bigger planes. More space and more passengers. Flying and sailing seem to have more than one thing in common.




Supersonic Passenger Aviation
British Aircraft Corporation used a Supersonic Airplane in commercial ways to transport passengers. It was the Concorde. The Concorde was the second Supersonic Passenger plane. The Tu-144 was the first supersonic airplane to be used for passenger flights. The Tu-144 did not fly much. The Concorde stopped flying in the centenary of the Wright Brothers in October 2003. Wonder where we will be in the next centenary?








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