Thursday, October 14, 2010

A little bit of Dayton in Paris

Found this in the Musée de l'Orangerie (whose main attraction is the Water Lilies).
Henri-Julien Félix Rousseau - Les Pêcheurs à la ligne
[1908 - 1909]
Looks like an early version of the Wright's glider with the fixed double rudder. The French Aero club at the time was trying to replicate their early gliding results. The brothers made a trip to France in 1908 to show off the Flyer (powered, single steerable rudder), which really cemented their fame (previously the Europeans had been broadly and aggressively dismissive of their claims).
This is another case where the hardware preceded full understanding of the physics. The Wrights found in their bicycle, and subsequent wind tunnel, tests that the published empirical constants in the theoretical lift equations were pretty far off.

Just because the tower is cool (and GIMP is cool as well):

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