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New Methods of Research: Details of the New R.A.E. 24 ft. and Vertical Tunnels and Seaplane Tank

H.E. Wimperis C.B.E., M.A., F.R.Ae.S. (Director of Scientific Research, Air Ministry, and Vice‐President, Royal Aeronautical Society.)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 June 1932



IT is twenty years ago almost to the clay since the world was saddened by the news of the death of one of its heroes—Wilbur Wright. The inspiring story of the successful attack made by the two brothers, Wilbur and Orville, on the age‐long problem of human flight is too well known to be told at length here. But it is remarkable that the first flight by a motor‐driven aircraft on December 17th, 1903, was made only two years after Chanute, in a speech before the Western Society of Engineers, had felt compelled to use such cautious words as these: “There is some hope that, for some limited purposes at least, man will eventually be able to fly through the air.” Chanute made that speech when introducing a lecturer none other than Wilbur Wright himself. One wonders what the lecturer thought. What he said is on record and I quote a passage which tells us what it was that turned his and his brother's attention to the problem of flight: “My own active interest in aeronautical problems dates back to the death of Lilienthal in 1896. The brief notice of his death which appeared in the telegraphic news at that time aroused a passive interest which had existed from my childhood, and led me to take down from the shelves of our home library a book on ‘Animal Mechanism,’ by Professor Marey, which I had already read several times. From this I was led to read more modern works, and, as my brother soon became equally interested with myself, we soon passed from the reading to the thinking, and finally to the working stage.”


Wimperis, H.E. (1932), "New Methods of Research: Details of the New R.A.E. 24 ft. and Vertical Tunnels and Seaplane Tank", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 4 No. 6, pp. 151-156.




Copyright © 1932, MCB UP Limited

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