View Full Version : "Pilots don't have the Wright stuff"

2nd Sep 2001, 02:35
September's Aerospace International contains this interesting little piece!

Test pilots from Edwards Air Force base flying a simulator fitted with the flying characteristics of the original 1903 Wright Flyer were all unable to keep the craft airborne for one second without crashing.

The pilots practised on a Learjet 24 simulator adapted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The Institute also ran a series of wind tunnel tests on models and full scale versions of the Flyer, all of which indicated that the aircraft was unstable and very difficult to handle.

I'll bet the Pax River and ETPS graduates would fancy their chances!

2nd Sep 2001, 08:43
Sort of makes you admire the Wright Brothers all the more for their inventiveness, perseverance and courage.

If the aerodynamics were so dodgy (remember, it was "state-of-the-art" for its time) their achievement is all the more noteworthy.

Look what has been built on their beginning in less than a century of powered, manned flight! Truly amazing. Now, if they had just stuck to bicycles.....?

"I told Wilbur and I told Orville that thing'll never fly...it's the wrong colour!"

2nd Sep 2001, 09:14
They should let some bush pilots have a go; they would have it sorted - no problem!

2nd Sep 2001, 11:46
So was this Lear 24 simulator adapted with a body cradle for wing warping, were the pilots lying in a prone position?

All that would show is that a Lear's controls are designed to fly an aircraft with a Lear's handling characteristics, and that today's pilots would experience significant negative transfer in flying a Wright flyer!

Not to discredit the Wright's achievments.

3rd Sep 2001, 17:22
Don't sell the bike shop Orville! ;) ;) ;)

[ 03 September 2001: Message edited by: Knold ]

3rd Sep 2001, 19:42
I believe the Wright brothers had considerable experience with the construction and flying of gliders.

This would surely have been of benefit, as the Wright flyer, was in essence, a powered glider.

3rd Sep 2001, 23:55
So if someone can get hold of some Wright DNA (surely the only 'Wright stuff'), then we're only a big lab experiment away from seeing how they do in the Lear first time out!

4th Sep 2001, 06:58
The question is, how bored are the engineers and pilots at Edwards that they have to spend all this time and money on something like this? Or, was it that the department had to spend their whole budget in order to get the same amount next year? :D

4th Sep 2001, 13:37

Funny that last thing you said...always seem to happened to government funded activities...


4th Sep 2001, 16:56
Wonder how it would work the other way round.

The brothers in a 747 !


4th Sep 2001, 17:30
They'd probly' be runnin' out on the wings to get it to bank... :D :D :D

4th Sep 2001, 18:35
The Wrights had some considerable (at least for the time) experience on biplane gliders and not by chance. They practiced on gliders with the same control setup (cradle, wing warping, etc) as they used on the 03 Flyer on purpose and by the time they flew the powered airplane had maybe an hour or two of total time. None of it was dual, obviosly, so I guess they could log it all as PIC, in 15 second increments.

I believe the last of the brothers last flight at the controls of an aircraft was a super connie in the late 1940s-1950s, but don't quote me, I dont have the books handy.

I wonder if any of the PC based simulator crowd would like to try a Wright Flyer simulator with the cradle on a simulated wing center section, the prop noise behind you, the wind blowing, the whole thing on a 6 DOF motion base and a projected computer generated visual system. The visual wouldn't take much computing power to generate just sand and sky and the odd gull. Consumables would include a bag of sand or two to be blown in the students face.

6th Sep 2001, 12:12
NEW!!! From Microsoft today!!!!

Wright flyer add-on for Sim 2001

Includes "cradle joystick" $2000

Game time: 23 seconds
;) :D :rolleyes:

6th Sep 2001, 16:45
If it is new software from M$#@)*&^$# it probably will crash at 23 seconds, only a few seconds before Windows freezes. But it only took you 17 hours to get it running after getting the right IRQ and finding, downloading and installing the right .dll files. And it only takes a P4 at 2GHz and 1M of available memory!

9th Sep 2001, 13:04
Ouch!! sounds as though your last flight sim game didn't live up to expectation. Apple fan perhaps.
Hats off to the bicycle shop owners, just look at what they started.