View Full Version : Horizon, Thursday 11th at 21:00hrs.

12th Dec 2003, 01:11
Horizon at 21:00hrs.

Percy Pilcher. The first ever plane designer.

Tonight, Thursday 11th December at 21:00 on

BBC2 is a programme on Percy Pilcher

who in 1899 designed a triplane but was never

allowed to fly it.

Tonight's programme shows a replica being built

and put to the test.

12th Dec 2003, 05:01
unlucky p.p. ended up flying with the angels.
at least he's been recognised at last......

12th Dec 2003, 06:06
I've just watched the program and was rather disappointed they stretched their case too far. I've no problem with people trying to do this sort of thing, in fact I would have jumped at the chance to be involved with the building of such a "replica", but overall I felt they changed too much to really prove anything.

If I understood correctly...

No drawings exist of the machine they built for the program. They worked what it might have looked like from drawings of another plane with 4 wings. I wondered why they didn't build the plane with 4 wings that they have drawings for?

They filled in large triangular cut-outs in the trailing edge to increase the area.

They added wing warping and even then control looked marginal (perhaps due to lack of any yaw control?).

They added a seat to make the weight shift control work better.

They used a modern motor and fuel not a copy of his original. (Aside: Do drawings of his motor exist?).

All in all they did what Glenn Curtis tried to do to the Langley machine all those years ago.

Anyone want to build a replica of Penauds amphibian of 1876? Drawings exist (see below). It has elevators, a rudder, contra-rotating props and even retractable undercarriage


Philip Whiteman
13th Dec 2003, 01:50
Spot-on, cwatters!

Barnaby the Bear
13th Dec 2003, 16:34
My thoughts entirely.
Everything was based on, well we spotted the problem, so I am sure Percy would too. Even if we have had 103 years more experience.
But it was still an interesting program. I had no idea the guy existed before. Fair play to the bloke for what he achieved :ok: