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early powered flight



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 6th 03, 11:41 AM
Kim Dammers
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Default early powered flight

According to an article in the current issue (Nr. 49, 2003) of the
Rheinischer Merkur, Gustav Whitehead (Gustav Weißkopf) flew his plane
(photo shown on p. 22 of the newspaper) on the night of 13 August 1901
in Fairfield, Conn. It seems clear to me that the article is
motivated by both the centennial of the Wright flight and the fact
that GW was (and remained) a German despite changing his name and
living for so long in the States. The article effectively discredits
WW's attacks on GW's legitmacy (at least as they are given in the
article: I haven't seen the original WW argumentation). Basically,
the article accuses WW of playing games with the truth, e.g., that a
successful flight would have produced a newspaper article the next
day, whereas the Bridgeport Herald was a weekly newspaper, which in
fact did report the flight on the 18th of August; a photo was not
made, but night photography of moving objects was not technically
possible; a supposedly non-existent witness and helper mentioned in
the Herald article was allegedly never found, but, the RM writes, the
man's name was given in the paper as Andrew Cellie -- and in fact GW's
neighbor and assistant was the Swiss mechanic Andrew Suelli, probably
the person meant. The article then goes on to quote § 2 d of the
contract between the Smithsonian and the Wright brothers'descendants
("Erben") in which the SI is prohibited from crediting any-one else
with controlled flight etc. before the Wrights, on penalty of loss of
the right to exhibit the Flyer I (which the RM says can't really be
the original original any-way, since that plane was destroyed in a
crash). GW was self-financed, and when, on 17 January 1902, his plane
rose 70 feet high only to land on the water of Bridgeport's Long
Island sound and sink, the man was financially ruined.

There is a Flugpionier-Gustav-Weißkopf-Museum ( Plan 6, 91578
Leutershausen, Germany ) with an internet site:
www.weisskopf.de/museum.htm

It is interesting to note that this German newspaper makes
absolutely no mention of Herring of Michigan, the New Zealand
inventor, the British powered glider inventors, nor of the French
powered flight or any others (other than glider experimenters) -- all
of whom have to be considered seriously in tracing the history of hta
powered flight.
Ads
  #2  
Old December 6th 03, 12:07 PM
noname
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Default

http://www.flyingmachines.org/ader.html


Kim Dammers wrote:
According to an article in the current issue (Nr. 49, 2003) of the
Rheinischer Merkur, Gustav Whitehead (Gustav Weißkopf) flew his plane
(photo shown on p. 22 of the newspaper) on the night of 13 August 1901
in Fairfield, Conn. It seems clear to me that the article is
motivated by both the centennial of the Wright flight and the fact
that GW was (and remained) a German despite changing his name and
living for so long in the States. The article effectively discredits
WW's attacks on GW's legitmacy (at least as they are given in the
article: I haven't seen the original WW argumentation). Basically,
the article accuses WW of playing games with the truth, e.g., that a
successful flight would have produced a newspaper article the next
day, whereas the Bridgeport Herald was a weekly newspaper, which in
fact did report the flight on the 18th of August; a photo was not
made, but night photography of moving objects was not technically
possible; a supposedly non-existent witness and helper mentioned in
the Herald article was allegedly never found, but, the RM writes, the
man's name was given in the paper as Andrew Cellie -- and in fact GW's
neighbor and assistant was the Swiss mechanic Andrew Suelli, probably
the person meant. The article then goes on to quote § 2 d of the
contract between the Smithsonian and the Wright brothers'descendants
("Erben") in which the SI is prohibited from crediting any-one else
with controlled flight etc. before the Wrights, on penalty of loss of
the right to exhibit the Flyer I (which the RM says can't really be
the original original any-way, since that plane was destroyed in a
crash). GW was self-financed, and when, on 17 January 1902, his plane
rose 70 feet high only to land on the water of Bridgeport's Long
Island sound and sink, the man was financially ruined.

There is a Flugpionier-Gustav-Weißkopf-Museum ( Plan 6, 91578
Leutershausen, Germany ) with an internet site:
www.weisskopf.de/museum.htm

It is interesting to note that this German newspaper makes
absolutely no mention of Herring of Michigan, the New Zealand
inventor, the British powered glider inventors, nor of the French
powered flight or any others (other than glider experimenters) -- all
of whom have to be considered seriously in tracing the history of hta
powered flight.


  #3  
Old December 6th 03, 05:30 PM
Vaughn
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Default


"Kim Dammers" wrote in message
om...
According to an article in the current issue (Nr. 49, 2003) of the
Rheinischer Merkur, Gustav Whitehead (Gustav Weißkopf) flew his plane
(photo shown on p. 22 of the newspaper) on the night of 13 August 1901
in Fairfield, Conn.


This is like discussing who REALLY killed Kennedy; mere mental
masturbation actually. There were aircraft sprinkled around the world
before 1903, there may well have been controlled, powered flight before
1903. We would certainly have airplanes today with or without the help of
the Wrights; but the Wrights were the first ones who actually built a
flyable, controllable airplane with a real operating internal combustion
engine that you could really buy and really take out and aviate (if you
survived).

Many countries have their own candidate for the world's first aviator,
and they are welcome to them, you can even find several viable candidates
within the United States; more power to them all! Much of the argument
centers around the definition of flight and much of the argument is made
forever theoretical by a lack of solid evidence. Continue on if you must.

Vaughn


  #4  
Old December 7th 03, 09:25 AM
John Cook
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Default

On Sat, 6 Dec 2003 14:22:05 +0100, "Emmanuel Gustin"
wrote:

There is no serious evidence, photographic or otherwise,
that Whitehead ever managed to fly his aircraft. The best
that can be produced is a claim by Whitehead himself, and
the man seems to have been more than a little prone to
exaggeration.


Wasn't there a US newspaper report that the 'bat' flew, IIRC (not
firsthand of course I'm not THAT old) no photograph of the event,
but a nice drawing of the flight was included in the article...

Cheers
John Cook

Any spelling mistakes/grammatic errors are there purely to annoy. All
opinions are mine, not TAFE's however much they beg me for them.

Email Address :-
Spam trap - please remove (trousers) to email me
Eurofighter Website :-
http://www.eurofighter-typhoon.co.uk
  #5  
Old December 8th 03, 04:44 PM
Kim Dammers
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Default

There is no serious evidence, photographic or otherwise,
that Whitehead ever managed to fly his aircraft. The best
that can be produced is a claim by Whitehead himself, and
the man seems to have been more than a little prone to
exaggeration.


Contemporary newspaper articles, one of which is from the local paper
and describes the flight constitute serious evidence, albeit not
proof. In addition, at least two alleged eye-witnesses later signed
sworn affidavits.

They have built a "replica" of the No.21
(despite the complete lack of plans), equipped it with a modern
engine, and managed to get it briefly into the air.


The Flugpionier-Gustav-Weißkopf-Museum photos depict what certainly
looks like more than "briefly" being in the air (remember, the Wright
Bros.' craft was catapulted and didn't go very far either).
  #6  
Old December 8th 03, 05:43 PM
Keith Willshaw
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Kim Dammers" wrote in message
om...
There is no serious evidence, photographic or otherwise,
that Whitehead ever managed to fly his aircraft. The best
that can be produced is a claim by Whitehead himself, and
the man seems to have been more than a little prone to
exaggeration.


Contemporary newspaper articles, one of which is from the local paper
and describes the flight constitute serious evidence, albeit not
proof. In addition, at least two alleged eye-witnesses later signed
sworn affidavits.


Unfortunately history tells us that both newspaper stories and
witness testimony given years after the even are of doubtful
value in this regard. Had the aircraft flown on a number of occasions
that wouldof course have been different.

They have built a "replica" of the No.21
(despite the complete lack of plans), equipped it with a modern
engine, and managed to get it briefly into the air.


The Flugpionier-Gustav-Weißkopf-Museum photos depict what certainly
looks like more than "briefly" being in the air (remember, the Wright
Bros.' craft was catapulted and didn't go very far either).


The description of what happened however is that it flew 500 metres
but was equipped with modern 2 stroke counter rotating engines

The difference with regard to the Wrights was they kept on
flying their aircraft and refined it into a useful flying machine

A one off flight of doubtful provenance is no substitute for continued
endeavour.

Keith


  #8  
Old December 9th 03, 01:12 AM
John Cook
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Posts: n/a
Default

"Emmanuel Gustin" wrote in message ...
"Kim Dammers" wrote in message
om...

Contemporary newspaper articles, one of which is from the local paper
and describes the flight constitute serious evidence, albeit not
proof. In addition, at least two alleged eye-witnesses later signed
sworn affidavits.


We are speaking about statements made *many* years later,
probably under fairly strong pressure by enthusiastic
'Whiteheadians', and not always very clear. As for newspaper
articles, to be regarded significant one should require either
photographic evidence or the presence of independent witnesses.
Remember, the 'arrival' of Nungesser and Coli in New York
was enthusiastically celebrated in Paris...


Well recent investigations have dug this up...

http://www.flightjournal.com/articles/wff/wff1.asp

It seems that a wooden print is not a substitute for a photo..
There is some evidence that pictures did exist at one time.
There does seem to be some vested interest in keeping the status quo.

Cheers

There are no pictures of Whitehead's flying machine in flight.
There are only pictures of a modern 'reconstruction', of which
we can at most say that it is outwardly more or less similar,
in brief flights.

  #9  
Old December 9th 03, 07:48 AM
Keith Willshaw
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Posts: n/a
Default


"John Cook" wrote in message
om...
"Emmanuel Gustin" wrote in message

...


http://www.flightjournal.com/articles/wff/wff1.asp

It seems that a wooden print is not a substitute for a photo..
There is some evidence that pictures did exist at one time.
There does seem to be some vested interest in keeping the status quo.

Cheers


The claim is made that the reporter never used photos yet we
see photos galore of the Whitehead machine before the
alleged flight but none taken actually during the flight.

Things that make you go hmmm.

Keith


 




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