21 апреля 2009 | Автор: Admin | Рубрика: Художественные книги » Мемуары. Биографии | Комментариев: 0
Realizing the Dream of Flight, 1903-2003
NASA | 2005 | ISBN: 2005000795 | English | 326 pages | PDF | 2.5 MB
WHILE GROWING UP IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA, MILTON WRIGHT, THE WRIGHT BROTHERS’ FATHER, LIKED TO PURCHASE TOYS FOR HIS SONS THAT HE HOPED WOULD STIMULATE THEIR IMAGINATION.
One of the most memorable gifts was a toy helicopter that was designed by the French aeronautical experimenter Alphonse Pnaud. Milton gave his sons this gift in 1878, and, though it was a simple device with a stick bound to a four-blade rotor set in a spindle, it had the intended effect—it caused them to dream.
Twenty-five years separated the gift of this toy and their invention of the airplane, yet the Wright brothers were convinced it had exerted an important influence. Tom Crouch argued in The Bishop’s Boys that toys like these perfectly illustrated the significance of play for technological innovation. He wrote, “rotary-wing toys were to intrigue and inspire generations of children, a few of whom would, as adults, attempt to realize the dream of flight for themselves.”
If the first powered flight on 17 December 1903 represented a childhood dream realized, it was only the first step in the rapid evolution of the airplane from their flimsy kite-like contraption of wood and cloth to jet airliners and rockets in space. And, as extraordinary as the achievement of powered flight seemed in 1903, before the end of the century, space travel also would become a dream realized. Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin first circumnavigated Earth in April 1961, and, eight years later, American astronauts took the first steps for humankind on the Moon.