Make your own free website on

The balloon was but a year old when the brothers Robert, in 1784 attempted propulsion of an aerial vehicle by hand power,and succeeded, to a certain extent, since they were able to make progress when there was only a slight wind to counteract their work. But, as may be easily understood, the manual power provided gave but a very slow speed, and in any wind it all the would be airship became an uncontrolled balloon. 

Henson and Stringfellow, with their light steam engines, were first to attempt conquest of the problem of mechanical propulsion in the air; their work in this direction is so fully linked up with their constructed models that it has been outlined in the section dealing with the development of the aeroplane. But, very shortly after these two began, there came into the field a Monsieur Henri Giffard, who first achieved success in the propulsion by mechanical means of dirigible balloons, for his was the first airship to fly against the wind. He employed a small steam-engine developing about 3 horse power and weighing 350 lbs. with boiler, fitting the whole in a car suspended from the gas-bag of his dirigible. The propeller which this engine worked was 11 feet in diameter, and the inventor, who made several flights, obtained a speed of 6 miles an hour against a slight wind. The power was not sufficient to render the invention practicable, as the dirigible could only be used in calm weather, but Giffard was sufficiently encouraged by his results to get out plans for immense dirigibles, which through lack of funds he was unable to construct. When, later, his invention of the steam-injector gave him the means he desired, he became blind, and in 1882 died, having built but the one famous dirigible. 

This appears to have been the only instance of a steam engine being fitted to a dirigible; the inherent disadvantage of this form of motive power is that a boiler to generate the steam must be carried, and this, together with the weight of water and fuel, renders the steam engine uneconomical in relation to the lift either of plane or gas-bag. Again, even if the weight could be brought down to a reasonable amount, the attention required by steam plant renders it undesirable as a motive power for aircraft when compared with the internal combustion engine. 

Maxim, in Artificial and Natural Flight, details the engine which he constructed for use with his giant experimental flying machine, and his description is worthy of reproduction since it is that of the only steam engine besides Giffard's, and apart from those used for the propulsion of models, designed for driving an aeroplane. 'In 1889,' Maxim says, 'I had my attention drawn to some very thin, strong, and comparatively cheap tubes which were being made in France, and it was only after I had seen these tubes that I seriously considered the question of making a flying machine. I obtained a large quantity of them and found that they were very light, that they would stand enormously high pressures, and generate a very large quantity of steam. Upon going into a mathematical calculation of the whole subject, I found that it would be possible to make a machine on the aeroplane system, driven by a steam engine, which would be sufficiently strong to lift itself into the air. I first made drawings of a steam engine, and a pair of these engines was afterwards made. These engines are constructed, for the most part, of a very high grade of cast steel, the cylinders being only 3/32 of an inch thick, the crank shafts hollow, and every part as strong and light as possible. They are compound, each having a high pressure piston with an area of 20 square inches, a low-pressure piston of 50.26 square inches, and a common stroke of 1 foot. When first finished they were found to weigh 300 lbs. each; but after putting on the oil cups, felting, painting, and making some slight alterations, the weight was brought up to 320 lbs. each, or a total of 640 lbs. for the two engines, which have since developed 362 horsepower with a steam pressure of 320 lbs. per square inch.' The result is remarkable, being less than 2 lbs. weight per Horse power, especially when one considers the state of development to which the steam engine had attained at the time these experiments were made. The fining down of the internal combustion engine, which has done so much to solve the problems of power in relation to weight for use with aircraft, had not then been begun, and Maxim had nothing to guide him, so far as work on the part of his predecessors was concerned, save the experimental engines of Stringfellow, which, being constructed on so small a scale in comparison with his own, afforded little guidance. Concerning the factor of power, he says: 'When first designing this engine, I did not know how much power I might require from it. I thought that in some cases it might be necessary to allow the high pressure steam to enter the low pressure cylinder direct, but as this would involve a considerable loss, I constructed a species of injector. This injector may be so adjusted (hat when the steam in the boiler rises above a certain predetermined point, say 300 lbs., to the square inch, it opens a valve and escapes past the high pressure cylinder instead of blowing off at the safety valve. In escaping through this valve, a fall of about 200 lbs. Pressure per square inch is made to do work on the surrounding steam and drive it forward in the pipe, producing a pressure on the low pressure piston considerably higher than the back pressure on the high pressure piston. In this way a portion of the work which would otherwise be lost is utilised, and it is possible, with an unlimited supply of steam, to cause the engines to develop an enormous amount of power.'

With regard to boilers, Maxim writes, 

'The first boiler which I made was constructed something on the Herreshof principle, but instead of having one simple pipe in one very long coil, I used a series of very small and light pipes, connected in such a manner that there was a rapid circulation through the whole the tubes increasing in size and number as the steam was generated. I intended that there should be a pressure of about 100 lbs. more on the feed water end of the series than on the steam end, and I believed that this difference in pressure would be sufficient to ensure direct and positive circulation through every tube in the series. The first boiler was exceedingly light, but the workmanship, as far as putting the tubes together was concerned, was very bad, and it was found impossible to so adjust the supply of water as to make dry steam without overheating and destroying the tubes. 

'Before making another boiler I obtained a quantity of copper tubes, about 8 feet long, 3/8 inch external diameter, and 1/50 of an inch thick. I subjected about 100 of these tubes to an internal pressure of 1 ton per square inch of cold kerosene oil, and as none of them leaked I did not test any more, but commenced my experiments by placing some of them in a white hot petroleum fire. I found that I could evaporate as much as 26 1/2 lbs. of water per square foot of heating surface per hour, and that with a forced circulation, although the quantity of water passing was very small but positive, there was no danger of overheating. I conducted many experiments with a pressure of over 400 lbs. per square inch, but none of the tubes failed. I then mounted a single tube in a white hot furnace, also with a water circulation, and found that it only burst under steam at a pressure of 1,650 lbs. per square inch. A large boiler, having about 800 square feet of heating surface, including the feed water heater, was then constructed. This boiler is about 4 1/2 feet wide at the bottom, 8 feet long and 6 feet high. It weighs, with the casing, the dome, and the smoke stack and connections, a little less than 1,000 lbs. The water first passes through a system of small tubes--1/4 inch in diameter and 1/60 inch thick which were placed at the top of the boiler and immediately over the large tubes.... This feed water heater is found to be very effective. It utilises the heat of the products of combustion after they have passed through the boiler proper and greatly reduces their temperature, while the feed-water enters the boiler at a temperature of about 250 F. A forced circulation is maintained in the boiler, the feed water entering through a spring valve, the spring valve being adjusted in such a manner that the pressure on the water is always 30 lbs. per square inch in excess of the boiler pressure. This fall of 30 lbs. in pressure acts upon the surrounding hot water which has already passed through the tubes, and drives it down through a vertical outside tube, thus ensuring a positive and rapid circulation through all the tubes. This apparatus is found to act extremely well.' 

Thus Maxim, who with this engine as power for his large aeroplane achieved free flight once, as a matter of experiment, though for what distance or time the machine was actually off the ground is matter for debate, since it only got free by tearing up the rails which were to have held it down in the experiment. Here, however, was a steam engine which was practicable for use in the air, obviously, and only the rapid

success of the internal combustion engine prevented the steam producing type from being developed toward perfection. 

The first designers of internal combustion engines, knowing nothing of the petrol of these days, constructed their examples with a view to using gas as fuel. As far back as 1872 Herr Paul Haenlein obtained a speed of about 10 miles an hour with a balloon propelled by an internal combustion engine, of which the fuel was gas obtained from the balloon itself. The engine in this case was of the Lenoir type, developing some 6 horse power, and, obviously, Haenlein's flights were purely experimental and of short duration, since he used the gas that sustained him and decreased the lifting power of his balloon with every stroke of the piston of his engine. No further progress appears to have been made with the gas consuming type of internal combustion engine for work with aircraft; this type has the disadvantage of requiring either a gas-producer or a large storage capacity for the gas, either of which makes the total weight of the power plant much greater than that of a petrol engine. The latter type also requires less attention when working, and the fuel is more convenient both for carrying and in the matter of carburation. 

The first airship propelled by the present day type of internal combustion engine was constructed by Baumgarten and Wolfert in 1879 at Leipzig, the engine being made by Daimler with a view to working on benzine petrol as a fuel had not then come to its own. The construction of this engine is interesting since it was one of the first of Daimler's make, and it was the development brought about by the experimental series of which this engine was one that led to the success of the motor-car in very few years, incidentally leading to that fining down of the internal combustion engine which has facilitated the development of the aeroplane with such remarkable rapidity. Owing to the faulty construction of the airship no useful information was obtained from Daimler's pioneer installation, as the vessel got out of control immediately after it was first launched for flight, and was wrecked. Subsequent attempts at mechanically propelled flight by Wolfert ended, in 1897, in the balloon being set on fire by an explosion of benzine vapour, resulting in the death of both the aeronauts. 

Daimler, from 1882 onward, devoted his attention to the perfecting of the small, high speed petrol engine for motor car work, and owing to his efforts, together with those of other pioneer engine builders, the motorcar was made a success. In a few years the weight of this type of engine was reduced from near on a hundred pounds per horse-power to less than a tenth of that weight, but considerable further improvement had to be made before an engine suitable for use with aircraft was evolved. 

The increase in power of the engines fitted to airships has made steady progress from the outset; Haenlein's engine developed about 6 horse-power; the Santos-Dumont airship of 1898 was propelled by a motor of 4 horse power; in 1902 the Lebaudy airship was fitted with an engine of 40 horse power, while, in 1910, the Lebaudy brothers fitted an engine of nearly 300 horsepower to the airship they were then constructing 1,400 horse power was common in the airships of the War period, and the later British rigids developed yet more. 

Before passing on to consideration of the petrol-driven type of engine, it is necessary to accord brief mention to the dirigible constructed in 1884 by Gaston and Albert Tissandier, who at Grenelle, France, achieved a directed flight in a wind of 8 miles an hour, obtaining their power for the propeller from 1 1/3 horse-power Siemens electric motor, which weighed 121 lbs. And took its current from a bichromate battery weighing 496 lbs. A two-bladed propeller, 9 feet in diameter, was used, and the horse power output was estimated to have run up to 1 1/2 as the dirigible successfully described a semicircle in a wind of 8 miles an hour, subsequently making headway transversely to a wind of 7 miles an hour. The dirigible with which this motor was used was of the conventional pointed-end type, with a length of 92 feet, diameter of 30 feet, and capacity of 37,440 cubic feet of gas. Commandant Renard, of the French army balloon corps, followed up Tissandier's attempt in the next year 1885 making a trip from Chalais-Meudon to Paris and returning to the point of departure quite successfully. In this case the motive power was derived from an electric plant of the type used by the Tissandiers, weighing altogether 1,174 lbs., and developing 9 horsepower. A speed of 14 miles an hour was attained with this dirigible, which had a length of 165 feet, diameter of 27 feet, and capacity of 65,836 cubic feet of gas. 

Reverting to the petrol-fed type again, it is to be noted that Santos Dumont was practically the first to develop the use of the ordinary automobile engine for air work his work is of such importance that it has been considered best to treat of it as one whole, and details of the power plants are included in the account of his experiments. Coming to the Lebaudy brothers and their work, their engine of 1902 was a 40 horse power Daimler, four cylindered; it was virtually a large edition of the Daimler car engine, the arrangement of the various details being on the lines usually adopted for the standard Daimler type of that period. The cylinders were fully water jacketed, and no special attempt toward securing lightness for air work appears to have been made. 

The fining down of detail that brought weight to such limits as would fit the engine for work with heavier than air craft appears to have waited for the brothers Wright. Toward the end of 1903 they fitted to their first practicable flying machine the engine which made the historic first aeroplane flight; this engine developed 30 horse-power, and weighed only about 7 lbs. per horse power developed, its design and workmanship being far ahead of any previous design in this respect, with the exception of the remarkable engine, designed by Manly, installed in Langley's ill fated aeroplane or 'aerodrome,' as he preferred to call it tried in 1903. 

The light weight of the Wright brothers' engine did not necessitate a high number of revolutions per minute to get the requisite power; the speed was only 1,300 revolutions per minute, which, with a piston stroke of 3.94 inches, was quite moderate. Four cylinders were used, the cylinder diameter being 4.42 inches; the engine was of the vertical type, arranged to drive two propellers at a rate of about 350 revolutions per minute, gearing being accomplished by means of chain drive from crank-shaft end to propeller spindle. 

The methods adopted by the Wrights for obtaining a light weight engine were of considerable interest, in view of the fact that the honour of first achieving flight by means of the driven plane belongs to them unless Ader actually flew as he claimed. The cylinders of this first Wright engine were separate castings of steel, and only the barrels were jacketed, this being done by fixing loose, thin aluminium covers round the outside of each cylinder. The combustion head and valve pockets were cast together with the cylinder barrel, and were not water cooled. 

The inlet valves were of the automatic type, arranged on the tops of the cylinders, while the exhaust valves were also overhead, operated by rockers and push-rods. The pistons and piston rings were of the ordinary type, made of cast-iron, and the connecting rods were circular in form, with a hole drilled down the middle of each to reduce the weight. 

Necessity for increasing power and ever lighter weight in relation to the power produced has led to the evolution of a number of different designs of internal combustion engines. It was quickly realised that increasing the number of cylinders on an engine was a better way of getting more power than that of increasing the cylinder diameter, as the greater number of cylinders gives better torque-even turning effect as well as keeping down the weight this latter because the bigger cylinders must be more stoutly constructed than the small sizes; this fact has led to the construction of engines having as many as eighteen cylinders, arranged in three parallel rows in order to keep the length of crankshaft within reasonable limits. The aero engine of to day may, roughly, be divided into four classes: these are the V type, in which two rows of cylinders are set parallel at a certain angle to each other; the radial type, which consists of cylinders arranged radially and remaining stationary while the crankshaft revolves; the rotary, where the cylinders are disposed round a common centre and revolve round a stationary shaft, and the vertical type, of four or six cylinders seldom more than this arranged in one row. A modification of the V type is the eighteen cylindered engine the Sunbeam is one of the best examples in which three rows of cylinders are set parallel to each other, working on a common crankshaft. The development these four types started with that

of the vertical the simplest of all; the V, radial, and rotary types came after the vertical, in the order given. 

The evolution of the motor-car led to the adoption of the vertical type of internal combustion engine in preference to any other, and it followed naturally that vertical engines should be first used for aeroplane propulsion, as by taking an engine that had been developed to some extent, and adapting it to its new work, the problem of mechanical flight was rendered easier than if a totally new type had had to be evolved. It was quickly realized by the Wrights, in fact-that the minimum of weight per horse power was the prime requirement for the successful development of heavier-than-air machines, and at the same time it was equally apparent that the utmost reliability had to be obtained from the engine, while a third requisite was economy, in order to reduce the weight of petrol necessary for flight. 

Daimler, working steadily toward the improvement of the internal combustion engine, had made considerable progress by the end of last century. His two cylinder engine of 1897 was approaching to the present-day type, except as regards the method of ignition; the cylinders had 3.55 inch diameter, with a 4.75 inch piston stroke, and the engine was rated at 4.5 brake horse power, though it probably developed more than this in actual running at its rated speed of 800 revolutions per minute. Power was limited by the inlet and exhaust passages, which, compared with present day practice, were very small. The heavy castings of which the engine was made up are accounted for by the necessity for considering foundry practice of the time, for in 1897 castings were far below the present-day standard. The crank case of this two cylinder vertical Daimler engine was the only part made of aluminium, and even with this no attempt was made to attain lightness, for a circular flange was cast at the bottom to form a stand for the engine during machining and erection. The general design can be followed from the sectional views, and these will show, too, that ignition was by means of a hot tube on the cylinder head, which had to be heated with a blow-lamp before starting the engine. With all its well known and hated troubles, at that time tube ignition had an advantage over the magneto, and the coil and accumulator system, in reliability; sparking plugs, too, were not so reliable then as they are now. Daimler fitted a very simple type of carburettor to this engine, consisting only of a float with a single jet placed in the air passage. It may be said that this twin-cylindered vertical was the first of the series from which has been evolved the Mercedes-Daimler car and airship engines, built in sizes up to and even beyond 240 horse-power. 

In 1901 the development of the petrol engine was still so slight that it did not admit of the construction, by any European maker, of an engine weighing less than 12 lbs. per horse power. Manly, working at the instance of Professor Langley, produced a five-cylindered radial type engine, in which both the design and workmanship showed a remarkable advance in construction. At 950 revolutions per minute it developed 52.4 horse power, weighing only 2.4 pounds per horse-power; it was a very remarkable achievement in engine design, considering the power developed in relation to the total weight, and it was, too, an interruption in the development of the vertical type which showed that there were other equally great possibilities in design.  

In England, the first vertical aero-engine of note was that designed by Green, the cylinder dimensions being 4.15 inch diameter by 4.75 stroke--a fairly complete idea of this engine can be obtained from the accompanying diagrams. At a speed of 1,160 revolutions per minute it developed 35 brake horse-power, and by accelerating up to 1,220 revolutions per minute a maximum of 40 brake horse-power could be obtained the first mentioned was the rated working speed of the engine for continuous runs. 

A flywheel, weighing 23.5 lbs., was fitted to the engine, and this, together with the ignition system, brought the weight up to 188 lbs., giving 5.4 lbs. per horse power. In comparison with the engine fitted to the Wrights' aeroplane a greater power was obtained from approximately the same cylinder volume, and an appreciable saving in weight had also been effected. The illustration shows the arrangement of the vertical valves at the top of the cylinder and the overhead cam shaft, while the position of the carburettor and inlet pipes can be also seen. The water jackets were formed by thin copper casings, each cylinder being separate and having its independent jacket rigidly fastened to the cylinder at the top only, thus allowing for free expansion of the casing; the joint at the bottom end was formed by sliding the jacket over a rubber ring. Each cylinder was bolted to the crank-case and set out of line with the crankshaft, so that the crank has passed over the upper dead centre by the time that the piston is at the top of its stroke when receiving the full force of fuel explosion. The advantage of this desaxe setting is that the pressure in the cylinder acts on the crank-pin with a more effective leverage during that part of the stroke when that pressure is highest, and in addition the side pressure of the piston on the cylinder wall, due to the thrust of the connecting rod, is reduced. Possibly the charging of the cylinder is also more complete by this arrangement, owing to the slower movement of the piston at the bottom of its stroke allowing time for an increased charge of mixture to enter the cylinder. 

A 60 horse-power engine was also made, having four vertical cylinders, each with a diameter of 5.5 inches and stroke of 5.75 inches, developing its rated power at 1,100 revolutions per minute. By accelerating up to 1,200 revolutions per minute 70 brake horsepower could be obtained, and a maximum of 80 brake horse-power was actually attained with the type. The flywheel, fitted as with the original 35 horse-power engine, weighed 37 lbs.; with this and with the ignition system the total weight of the engine was only 250 lbs., or 4.2 lbs. per horse-power at the normal rating. In this design, however, low weight in relation to power was not the ruling factor, for Green gave more attention to reliability and economy of fuel consumption, which latter was approximately 0.6 pint of petrol per brake horse-power per hour. Both the oil for lubricating the bearings and the water for cooling the cylinders were circulated by pumps, and all parts of the valve gear, etc., were completely enclosed for protection from dust.  

A later development of the Green engine was a six-cylindered vertical, cylinder dimensions being 5.5 inch diameter by 6 inch stroke, developing 120 brake horsepower when running at 1,250 revolutions per minute. The total weight of the engine with ignition system 398 was 440 lbs., or 3.66 lbs. per horse-power. One of these engines was used on the machine which, in 1909, won the prize of L1,000 for the first circular mile flight, and it may be noted, too, that S. F. Cody, making the circuit of England in 1911, used a four-cylinder Green engine. Again, it was a Green engine that in 1914 won the L5,000 prize offered for the best aero engine in the Naval and Military aeroplane engine competition. 

Manufacture of the Green engines, in the period of the War, had standardised to the production of three types. Two of these were six cylinder models, giving respectively 100 and 150 brake horse-power, and the third was a twelve-cylindered model rated at 275 brake horse-power. 

In 1910 J. S. Critchley compiled a list showing the types of engine then being manufactured; twenty-two out of a total of seventy-six were of the four-cylindered vertical type, and in addition to these there were two six-cylindered verticals. The sizes of the four-cylinder types ranged from 26 up to 118 brake horse-power; fourteen of them developed less than 50 horse-power, and only two developed over 100 horse-power. 

It became apparent, even in the early stages of heavier-than-air flying, that four-cylinder engines did not produce the even torque that was required for the rotation of the power shaft, even though a flywheel was fitted to the engine. With this type of engine the breakage of air-screws was of frequent occurrence, and an engine having a more regular rotation was sought, both for this and to avoid the excessive vibration often experienced with the four-cylinder type. Another, point that forced itself on engine builders was that the increased power which was becoming necessary for the propulsion of aircraft made an increase in the number of cylinders essential, in order to obtain a light engine. An instance of the weight reduction obtainable in using six cylinders instead of four is shown in Critchley's list, for one of the four-cylinder engines developed 118.5 brake horse power and weighed 1,100 lbs., whereas a six-cylinder engine by the same manufacturer developed 117.5 brake horse-power with a weight of 880 lbs., the respective cylinder dimensions being 7.48 diameter by 9.06 stroke for the four-cylinder engine, and 6.1 diameter by 7.28 stroke for the six-cylinder type.  

A list of aeroplane engines, prepared in 1912 by Graham Clark, showed that, out of the total number of 112 engines then being manufactured, forty-two were of the vertical type, and of this number twenty-four had four-cylinders while sixteen were six-cylindered. The German aeroplane engine trials were held a year later, and sixty-six engines entered the competition, fourteen of these being made with air cooled cylinders. All of the ten engines that were chosen for the final trials were of the water-cooled type, and the first place was won by a Benz four-cylinder vertical engine, which developed 102 brake horse-power at 1,288 revolutions per minute. The cylinder dimensions of this engine were 5.1 inch diameter by 7.1 inch stroke, and the weight of the engine worked out at 3.4 lbs. Per brake horse-power. During the trials the full-load petrol consumption was 0.53 pint per horse-power per hour, and the amount of lubricating oil used was 0.0385 pint per brake horse-power per hour. In general construction this Benz engine was somewhat similar to the Green engine already described; the overhead valves, fitted in the tops of the cylinders, were similarly arranged, as was the cam-shaft; two springs were fitted to each of the valves to guard against the possibility of the engine being put out of action by breakage of one of the springs, and ignition was obtained by two high-tension magnetos giving simultaneous sparks in each cylinder by means of two sparking plugs--this dual ignition reduced the possibility of ignition troubles. The cylinder jackets were made of welded sheet steel so fitted around the cylinder that the head was also water-cooled, and the jackets were corrugated in the middle to admit of independent expansion. Even the lubrication system was duplicated, two sets of pumps being used, one to circulate the main supply of lubricating oil, and the other to give a continuous supply of fresh oil to the bearings, so that if the supply from one pump failed the other could still maintain effective lubrication. 

Development of the early Daimler type brought about the four-cylinder vertical Mercedes-Daimler engine of 85 horse-power, with cylinders of 5.5 diameter with 5.9 inch stroke, the cylinders being cast in two pairs. The overhead arrangement of valves was adopted, and in later designs push-rods were eliminated, the overhead cam-shaft being adopted in their place.  

By 1914 the four-cylinder Mercedes-Daimler had been partially displaced from favour by a six-cylindered model, made in two sizes; the first of these gave a nominal brake horse-power of 80, having cylinders of 4.1 inches diameter by 5.5 inches stroke; the second type developed 100 horse-power with cylinders 4.7 inches in diameter and 5.5 inches stroke, both types being run at 1,200 revolutions per minute. The cylinders of both these types were cast in pairs, and, instead of the water jackets forming part of the casting, as in the design of the original four cylinder Mercedes-Daimler engine, they were made of steel welded to flanges on the cylinders. Steel pistons, fitted with cast iron rings, were used, and the overhead arrangement of valves and cam shaft was adopted. About 0.55 pint per brake horse power per hour was the usual fuel consumption necessary to full load running, and the engine was also economical as regards the consumption of lubricating oil, the lubricating system being 'forced' for all parts, including the cam-shaft. The shape of these engines was very well suited for work with aircraft, being narrow enough to admit of a streamline form being obtained, while all the accessories could be so mounted as to produce little or no wind resistance, and very little obstruction to the pilot's


The eight-cylinder Mercedes-Daimler engine, used for airship propulsion during the War, developed 240 brake horse-power at 1,100 revolutions per minute; the cylinder dimensions were 6.88 diameter by 6.5 stroke--one of the instances in which the short stroke in relation to bore was very noticeable.  

Other instances of successful vertical design-the types already detailed are fully sufficient to give particulars of the type generally are the Panhard, Chenu, Maybach, N.A.G., Argus, Mulag, and the well-known Austro-Daimler, which by 1917 was being copied in every combatant country. There are also the later Wright engines, and in America the Wisconsin six-cylinder vertical, weighing well under 4 lbs. per horse power, is evidence of the progress made with this first type of aero engine to develop. 

Section 1
The Period of Legend | Early Experiments | Sir George-Thomas | The Middle 19 Century | Wenham Bris & Others | The Age of Giants | Lili & Pilcher | American Gliding Experiments | Not Proven | Samuel Langley | The Wright Brothers | First Year of Conquest | First Flier in England | Rhems and After | The Channel Crossing | London to Manchester | Summary to 1911 | Summa to 1914 | The War Period-I | The War Period-II | Reconstruction | 1919-1920



Section 2
The Beginnings | Multiplicity of Ideas | Progress on Standardized Lines | The War Period


Section 3
The Beginning | The First Dirigibles | Santos Dumont | The Military Dirigible | British Airship Design | The Airship Commercially | Kite Balloons


The Vertical Type | The Vee Type | The Radial Type | The Rotatory Type | The Horizontal Opposed Engine | The Two Stroke Cycle Engine | Engines of the War Period

Home | Favorite Links | Links | Award | Guest Book | Suggestions