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How did humans conquer the air?

  1. The dream of flying
  2. The first experiments
  3. Man in the air!
  4. The age of aircraft

These are the topics this project deals with.

The dream of flying

Discuss the following questions:

Have you ever dreamed of flying?
How did you fly in your dream?
Have you ever taken a plane?
What did you feel when the plane took off?
What kind of 'flying machines' have you seen?

Humans have long dreamed about flying.

Find stories and works of art about flying.

One of the best-known stories about flying is the Ancient Greek legend of Daedalus and Icarus.
Check what it is about. The picture will help you.

Daidalosz és Ikarosz

The first experiments

Many courageous people experimented with flying. They usually tried to imitate bird wings. Unfortunately, many were killed by their own inventions.

Mobirise

The well-known medieval artist and polymath, Leonardo da Vinci also designed some flying structures.
Take a look at Leonardo's workshop.
(Even with your VR glasses on.)

Mobirise

The structure built by a medieval Arab inventor, Abbas ibn Firnas, was suitable for gliding.
Open the following interactive 3D scene to learn more about it.

Man in the air!

Perform an experiment.

Hold a plastic bag with its opening facing downwards.
Hold it carefully above a tea light to heat the air inside.

After a while, the bag lifts off because the density of the heated air is smaller than that of the surrounding air.

Mobirise

Several people experimented with such lighter-than air structures. It was finally the French Montgolfier brothers who succeeded. In November 1783, their balloon rose into the air near Paris, with two people on board.

Mobirise

Open the 3D scene about the Montgolfier brother's hot air balloon
Can you make the connection between your experiment and the hot air balloon?

From the mid-19th century, more and more rigid airships, capable of controlled flight, appeared. Ferdinand von Zeppelin's German airliners even transported passengers between America and Europe.

Mobirise

Besides the Hindenburg disaster in 1937, the appearance of heavier-than-air structures was another factor in the decline of airships.

Open the 3D scene.
Which gas is responsible for the disaster?

The age of aircraft

Mobirise

In the second half of the 19th century, huge progress was made in designing gliders that imitated the flight of birds. The biggest achievement was that of the German engineer Otto Lilienthal.

Using these results, as well as the development of internal combustion engines, the American Wright brothers started developing their own aircraft.

Mobirise

After lots of experiments, the Wright Flyer I took off for the first time on December 17, 1903; first with Orville, then with Wilbur on board. This was the first heavier-than-air aircraft to successfully take off.

A few important milestones in the history of aviation

1903

The first flight of the Wright brothers.


Wright Flyer I took off.

1909

Louis Blériot crosses the English Channel.

It took 31 minutes to cover a distance of 33 km.

1914

The first scheduled passenger airline

Tampa – St. Petersburg, Florida, USA. It was only in service for 3 months and carried only one passenger at a time.

1919

John Alcock and Arthur Brown made the first non-stop transatlantic flight.

The pilot and the navigator flew across the ocean in 16 hours and 52 minutes.

1927

Charles Lindbergh crosses the Atlantic Ocean unaccompanied.

He flew over the Atlantic in 33.5 hours with a Ryan NYP aicraft

1939

The appearance of the first jet aircraft.

First flight of the German Heinkel HE 178.

1939

First helicopter take-off.

First flight of the American VS–300.

1947

Exceeding the speed of sound

The American Bell X–1 aircraft crosses the speed of sound for the first time.

Discuss how the appearance of aircraft changed our lives.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Form two groups and collect arguments for and against aviation.
Which group's arguments sound more convincing?
Look at the following pictures for ideas.

A lebombázott Drezda városa
Repülőtér

Test your knowledge.

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