(LITERASI KELAS X) History of aviation
The history of aviation extends for more than two thousand years, from the earliest forms of aviation such as kites and attempts at tower jumping to supersonic and hypersonic flight by powered, heavier-than-air jets. Kite flying in China dates back to several hundred years BC and slowly spread around the world. It is thought to be the earliest example of man-made flight. Leonardo da Vinci's 15th-century dream of flight found expression in several rational but unscientific designs, though he did not attempt to construct any of them.
The discovery of hydrogen gas in the 18th century led to the invention of the hydrogen balloon, at almost exactly the same time that the Montgolfier brothers rediscovered the hot-air balloon and began manned flights. Various theories in mechanics by physicists during the same period of time, notably fluid dynamics and Newton's laws of motion, led to the foundation of modern aerodynamics, most notably by Sir George Cayley.
Balloons, both free-flying and tethered, began to be used for military purposes from the end of the 18th century, with the French government establishing Balloon Companies during the Revolution.
The term aviation, noun of action from stem of Latin avis "bird" with suffix -ation meaning action or progress, was coined in 1863 by French pioneer Guillaume Joseph Gabriel de La Landelle (1812–1886) in "Aviation ou Navigation aérienne sans ballons". Experiments with gliders provided the groundwork for heavier-than-air craft, and by the early-20th century, advances in engine technology and aerodynamics made controlled, powered flight possible for the first time. The modern aeroplane with its characteristic tail was established by 1909 and from then on the history of the aeroplane became tied to the development of more and more powerful engines.
The first great ships of the air were the rigid dirigible balloons pioneered by Ferdinand von Zeppelin, which soon became synonymous with airships and dominated long-distance flight until the 1930s, when large flying boats became popular. After World War II, the flying boats were in their turn replaced by land planes, and the new and immensely powerful jet engine revolutionised both air travel and military aviation.
In the latter part of the 20th century the advent of digital electronics produced great advances in flight instrumentation and "fly-by-wire" systems. The 21st century saw the large-
scale use of pilotless drones for military, civilian and leisure use. With digital controls, inherently unstable aircraft such as flying wings became possible.
The Pioneer Era (1903–1914)
This period saw the development of practical aeroplanes and airships and their early application, alongside balloons and kites, for private, sport and military use.
Although full details of the Wright Brothers' system of flight control had been published in l'Aerophile in January 1906, the importance of this advance was not recognised, and European experimenters generally concentrated on attempting to produce inherently stable machines. Short powered flights were performed in France by Romanian engineer Traian Vuia on March 18 and August 19, 1906 when he flew 12 and 24 meters, respectively, in a self-designed, fully self- propelled, fixed-wing aircraft, that possessed a fully wheeled undercarriage. He was followed by Jacob Ellehammer who built a monoplane which he tested with a tether in Denmark on September 12, 1906, flying 42 meters.
On September 13, 1906, a day after Ellehammer's tethered flight and three years after the Wright Brothers' flight, the Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont made a public flight in Paris with the 14-bis, also known as Oiseau de proie (French for "bird of prey"). This was of canard configuration with pronounced wing dihedral, and covered a distance of 60 m (200 ft) on the grounds of the Chateau de Bagatelle in Paris' Bois de Boulogne before a large crowd of witnesses. This well-documented event was the first flight verified by the Aéro-Club de France of a powered heavier-than-air machine in Europe and won the Deutsch-Archdeacon Prize for the first officially observed flight greater than 25 m (82 ft). On November 12, 1906, Santos-Dumont set the first world record recognized by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale by flying
220 m (720 ft) in 21.5 seconds. Only one more brief flight was made by the 14bis in March
1907, after which it was abandoned.