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Flight

Copyright Š 2010 Top That! Publishing plc Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AP, UK www.topthatpublishing.com Top That! is a trademark of Top That! Publishing plc All rights reserved


CONTENTS The Pioneers Pages 4–6

Early Ways to Fly Pages 7–9

Channel Hoppers Pages 10–12

Around the World Pages 13–15

The Jet Engine Pages 16–18

Take-Off! Pages 19–21

Touchdown! Pages 22–23

Material Magic Pages 24–25

Fighter Planes Pages 26-28

Bombers Pages 29–31

Planes at War Pages 32–34

2


CONTENTS Lighter than Air Pages 35–37

Safety First Pages 38–39

Helping Hands Pages 40–41

The Need for Speed Pages 44–45

Silent and Deadly Pages 46–48

Inside the Cabin Pages 49–51

Showing Off Pages 52–53

Helicopters Pages 54–56

Other Ways to Fly Pages 57–59

3

Atlantic Antics Pages 42–43

The Future of Flight Pages 60–61


THE PIONEERS People have been trying to fly like birds for hundreds of years. However, until 1903 no one knew how to power or control a flying machine.

Who were the Wright brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright were two Americans who really wanted to fly! The brothers built gliders and kites for years – and then, on 17th December, 1903, they became the first people to fly a powered aircraft. Their aeroplane was called The Flyer and it flew for twelve seconds at a height of 36.5 m (120 ft) at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina.

Wilbur and Orville Wright

What did they do next Wilbur and Orville set up the world’s first test flight facilities and perfected a series of aircraft designs. Their next step was to develop a military aircraft that they could sell in both Europe and America. By 1909, they were famous around the world as successful inventors who had changed history forever. The Flyer remained airborne for twelve seconds!

4


Cables were used to move the wings Propellers rotated to produce thrust to move the aircaft forward

A petrol engine was used to power the aircraft

5


Who were the other pioneers The Wright brothers won the race to build a powered aircraft that could fly. Their main rival was Samuel Langley, a professor who built a flying machine called an aerodrome. Aerodromes used steam engines and were much too heavy to fly. By 1903, people had been flying in gliders and balloons for some years. An aerodrome was powered by a 52 hp engine

Who built the first aircraft

How did The Flyer fly

The ancient Chinese were the first people to try to fly, inspired by their love of kites. They used kites in

The Flyer flew because Wilbur and Orville discovered how to make an aircraft roll like a bird does in flight. They used cables to move the wings and the wings steered the aircraft. The brothers used two propellers to produce thrust to make the aircraft go forward and a petrol engine to power their machine.

religious ceremonies and to test the weather – as well as for fun. The Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci, designed a flying machine called an ornithopter, which used levers and pulleys to give more power to the pilot’s arms and legs.

FACT BYTES In 2200BC, the Chinese emperor Shin jumped off a high tower wearing two straw hats – the first recorded attempt to fly – he is said to have landed safely.

An ornithopter mimicked a bird’s winged flight

6


EARLY WAYS TO FLY Early aircraft were difficult to get off the ground and keep in the air. Designers looked at kites and gliders to find out how to improve their aeroplanes.

Why were kites important in the early days of flight

FACT BYTES During re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere, the Space Shuttle, an aircraft for space missions, acts just like a glider, floating all the way down to the runway at Cape Canaveral.

The Wright brothers built and flew a large kite to test their twisty or ‘wingwarping’ flight-control system. The kite showed them that cables could be used to control wings. After the brothers had finished, they gave the kite away to local children. Replicas of the ‘Wright kite’ can be found in museums all over the world.

An early ‘Wright kite’

How do gliders work

Radiated heat from dark surfaces

Gliders are aeroplanes without engines. They must be launched, but take off is easy because their long, narrow wings generate a lot of lift. Lift is the force that lifts an aircraft off the ground. Once in the air, gliders travel on ‘thermals’, (columns of air rising off Earth). To land, the pilot increases the air resistance or ‘drag’ with brakes on the wings.

Ridge lift

Cumulus clouds Glider Wave lift

Dark roof Asphalt road

Gliders travel on columns of air called thermals

7


Why do some planes have extra wings

When was the first glider flight

Aeroplanes with two or three wings on top of each other (known as bi and triplanes) were made famous by the first fighter pilots. At low speeds, these stacked wings increase the lift of an aeroplane. They also improve the aircraft’s ability to change direction or manoeuvre. Biplanes were popular until the 1930s, when speeds increased because of better engines.

In 1849, a servant boy became the first person in history to fly when British designer, George Cayley, strapped him into a glider. Cayley later flew a manned triplane glider and this sort of glider became very popular. Forty years later, brave hang-glider Otto Lilienthal used biplane gliders for many of his recordbreaking 2,500 flights.

Who was the Red Baron The German pilot, Manfred von Richthofen, is probably the most famous fighter ace of all time. He was called the Red Baron because he painted his Fokker triplane red. During World War One, he shot down 80 French and English planes before being shot and killed in 1918 at the age of 25. Manned triplane gliders were once very popular

FACT BYTES Otto Lilienthal inspired all aviators when he said: ‘To invent an aeroplane is nothing. To build one is something. But to fly is everything.’

The Red Baron

8


The Red Baron’s Fokker Triplane

FACT BYTES At low speeds stacked wings help increase lift

It is unknown as to who fired the fatal shot that killed the Red Baron. Experts generally agree that he was killed by someone on the ground. RenĂŠ Fonck was the flying ace for the Allies. The Frenchman had 75 confirmed victories, but his final tally could have been nearer 100 or above.

9


CHANNEL HOPPERS The English Channel may be only 35.4 km (22 miles) across, but it remains one of the great challenges for record-breakers in aircraft of all sorts.

Crossing the Channel was difficult, but not impossible

Channel hopping was started by balloonists

FACT BYTES

Why is it such a challenge to cross the Channel

Harriet Quimby, the first woman to fly across the Channel, wore two overcoats under her flying suit and took a hot-water bottle too!

Flying across the Channel was a tradition started by balloonists. Early aeroplanes often broke down after just twenty minutes’ flight. Pilots hated crossing water because they knew that if they crashed in the sea they would probably die. Pilots saw the English Channel as wide enough to be dangerous without being impossible.

10

Fog kept Blériot’s engine from over-heating


To purchase this book and others in the series, vistit www.topthatpublishing.com.


Who was the Red Baron? What is a dive bomber? How do aircraft stay in the air? Why did the Hindenburg explode? If you want to know about almost everything to do with Flight, then you’ll find the answers to almost all the questions you can think of and many more inside this exciting book. There are 64 pages of bite-size facts, brilliant illustrations and diagrams to tell you loads of things you never knew about the world of aviation. No question is too tough to tackle, and no answer too difficult to explain. Focus On titles are the ultimate in addictive reading! Published by Top That! Publishing plc Copyright Š 2010 Top That! Publishing plc Tide Mill Way, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1AP, UK www.topthatpublishing.com Top That! is a registered trademark of Top That! Publishing plc All rights reserved. 0246897531 Printed and bound in China


Focus On Flight