Flight Timeline

  • Jan 1, 1485

    The Ornithopter (Vinci)

    Leonardo da Vinci made the first real studies of flight during the 1400's. The ornithopter was a design Leonardo da Vinci to show how man could fly. Although it was never really created, the modern day helicopter uses this concept.
  • The Hot Air Balloon (J. and J. Mongolfier)

    In 1783, Joseph M. and Jacques E. Mongolfier invented the first hot air balloon. the very first passengers of this great invention were a sheep, a duck, and a rooster. It went up to about 6,000 feet and traveled over 1 mile. After their success, there was the very first manned flight which happened in November 21, 1783.
  • Period: to

    George Cayley-Father of Aviation

    George Cayley was the first to identify the 4 aerodynamic forces of flight-weight, lift, drag, and thrust. He had a great impact on the history of flight by creating many different types of gliders.
  • Otto Lilienthal's Magnificant Gliders

    O. Lilienthal was a German engineer which was the first to design a glider that could fly both a person and long distances. After over 2500 flights, Lilienthal passed away in 1895 when a sudden strong wind blew and he lost control and fell to the ground.
  • Samuel P. Langley-The Aerodrome

    Langley was an astronomer who thought that power was needed to help man fly. He built a model of a plane he named the aerodrome with was steam-powered. In 1891, his plane flew 3/4's of a mile before running out of fuel. When he got his $50,000 grant, he built an aerodrome but it was too heavy and crashed.
  • Publisher Octave Chanute

    Octave Chanute published the book Progress in Flying Machines in 1894. It gathered as much technical knowledge about aviation accomplishments. The Wright Brothers used this book as a reference to much of their experiments.
  • O. and W. Wright

    Orville and Wilbur Wright's flyer lifted from level ground to the north of North Kill Devil Hill at 10:35 am, December 17, 1903. Orvile flew this 605 pound plane.