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Dale’s Daily Data: Man In Flight

Wright Brothers First Flight (Historical Archive)

There’s always been some dispute whether the Wright brothers were actually the first ones to fly.  They had a fascination with being able to fly from the time they were kids.  They made paper airplanes when they were young and tried to figure out how they could put together a machine that would lift a man off the ground and bring him back safely.They studied the concepts of flight, lift, power, did wind tunnel tests.  They used the help of a friend to build an engine. They figured out how to design a propeller to attach to the engine and finally got a plane put together. 

Wilbur won a toss of the coin to get into the pilot’s seat first but a gust of wind tossed the plane to the ground and damaged it.  After making repairs, four days later they were ready to try it again.  This time Orville was at the controls and he made the first powered flight that lasted all of 12 seconds.  He and the plane made it back to the ground in one piece and the age of flight was underway.  The distance Orville flew that day was about the wingspan of a 747.

By the way, the most people ever to fly on an airplane was aboard a 747 in 1991 during the evacuation of Jews from Ethiopia.

It was called Operation Solomon and 1,086 people began the flight and by the time they reached Jerusalem there were 1,089.  3 babies were born on the flight.


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