View Full Version : First Airplane Camera: 1909

2nd Mar 2009, 22:45
Just received this from the "internets:"

Amazing quality for a 100+ year old film. Wow.
. . . . . . .__l__

Film clip from the Austrian archives about the Wright Brothers demonstrating their plane in Italy in 1909. What is even more fantastic is there was an on-board camera on the Wright plane and the last part of this film shows it.

Wilbur Wright is at the controls on both of the flights. Its a GREAT video considering it's 100 years old and the quality/weight of the equipment of that day. Note the pitch stability and the yaw string on the canard.
Wilbur Wright und seine Flugmaschine - 1909 - Europa Film Treasures (http://www.europafilmtreasures.eu/PY/322/see-the-film-wilbur_wright_and_his_flyi) ng_machine'

BTW, all early movie cameras you see were hand-cranked. I wonder about this one..


2nd Mar 2009, 23:51
what can one do other than gaze in amazement and ponder the fact that this fearsomely unstable beastie was flying as a newfangled contraption .. just 100 years ago ...

I wonder what the Wrights would make of our current push button aeronautical world ?

Old Smokey
3rd Mar 2009, 05:16
Excellent quality film, thank you for the contribution!:ok:

Can we give credit to the Slip/Skid indicator (the trailing string on the foreplane) as the FIRST Flight Instrument?:ok:

Rumour has it that even more modern pilots have used the same slip/skid indicator during testing of far more modern jets!


Old Smokey

3rd Mar 2009, 10:59
Thanks for finding and sharing that, it's a truly fantastic piece of footage.
Based on the footage at 1.20 (ish) where there is both a pilot and a passenger I would guess that the on board camera is indeed hand cranked by the passenger. Now just imagine you were the camerman who was strapped into this crazy contraption and told to film! I think I would have asked for a pay rise :}

3rd Mar 2009, 13:13
Old smokey, once again you are correct. The "yaw string" is used regularly when testing jet aircraft. A wonderful simple, accurate and effective tool!