ACCESS: Top Secret
- Feb 21, 2007
- Reaction score
Is it an impression or the iconic photo of the "first flight" presented on the NASM website has been "photoshoped" to show an horizontal background (but a tilted personnage)?The joke falls a bit flat when you realise it is factually wrong, a classic fake news item. You are describing the acknowledged abortive attempts of 14 December, see for example https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/first-flight where the Smithsonisan's bulldog Tom Crouch roars forth on his home turf. He adds (my bold):
"On December 17, on the other hand, Orville took off from the sand flats near their camp and flew into a headwind gusting from 24 to 27 miles per hour. The speed of the machine over the ground was perhaps eight miles per hour, so low that Wilbur, as seen in the famous photograph, had no trouble keeping up. This time, while the distance over the ground was only 120 feet, the true distance flown through the air into that headwind was calculated at 540 feet, well beyond the 300 feet the brothers had decided would constitute a sustained flight. Each of the four flights that the brothers made that morning was longer than the one before, culminating in Wilbur’s final effort just before noon, in which he flew 852 feet over the sand in 59 seconds"
There, I hope I have both attacked and defended that venerable institution enough in this thread to demonstrate impartiality - something I would like to see more of in discussions of Ader and early flights.