View Full Version : (W)Right Brothers

13th Jun 2003, 20:06
Does anyone know....

I was watching some grainy film of people in the 19th century trying to fly with huge powered flapping wings and I just wondered whether it was the Wright Brothers who were the first to realise that it wasn't necessary for the wings to provide thrust, only lift.
I suppose another way to say it, was who invented the propeller?

Iron City
13th Jun 2003, 23:44
Don't believe the Wrights were the first to see fixed wing with propeller vice ornothropter (sp?). Earlier gliding experiments (Lillenthal and lots of others) as well as kites, Cayley's Aerial Steam Carriage, and lots of others had the fixed wing with prop idea.

As to propeller, the Wrights knew that screw propellers had been used on ships for a long time and figured if they found the right marine engineering text it would be a"piece of cake" . Wrong. That was something else they had to work out from first principles. They thought of the prop as a moving wing and used the lift tables they worked out to design the propellers.

14th Jun 2003, 00:11
Here is some information about one of the fathers of the use of propellers in aviation, Alphonse Penaud :


18th Jun 2003, 20:23
Thanks guys - much appreciated