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FAA - A History of Aircraft Structures Factoid for Soldotna, AK
In the late 1800s, Otto Lilienthal built upon Cayley’s discoveries. He manufactured and flew his own gliders on over 2,000 flights. His willow and cloth aircraft had wings designed from extensive study of the wings of birds. Lilienthal also made standard use of vertical and horizontal fins behind the wings and pilot station. Above all, Lilienthalproved that man could fly.
FAA - A Part of History of Aircraft Structures
The key discovery that “lift” could be created by passing air over the top of a curved surface set the development of fixed and rotary-wing aircraft in motion. George Cayley developed an efficient cambered airfoil in the early 1800s, as well as successful mannedgliders later in that century. He established the principles of flight, including the existence of lift, weight, thrust, and drag. It was Cayley who first stacked wings and created a tri-wing glider that flew a man in 1853.