View Full Version : First flight "heavier than air" - a French engineer?

11-09-2007, 05:07 AM
Hi all,

I have just discovered that a French engineer, Clement Adler, did the first documented flight of a plane equipped with light-weight steam engine, on 9th October, 1890. The Eole rose some 8 in. off the ground for some 165 feet lenght.

Further developments of the plane by Adler, financed by the French War Ministry and done in srict secrecy, resulted in a failure because of a bad wing shape and too heavy steam engines.

I don't want to enter the old dispute about "sustained flight" against "single hop"; I believe that the overall concept of the Eole and of his second plane, the "Avion", were just a dead end in the flight history, but Adler himself and this story are really fascinating.



11-09-2007, 08:59 AM
The Wrights big claim to fame is first fully controllable flight.
When they showed up in Europe with their fliers they did have everyone else's kites beat.

It wasn't that much later before Bleriot had the probably better machines.

But I think that Otto L and Octave C were among the first credible heavier than air flight
with their heavier than air gliders. The LTA stuff was all balloons, blimps and zeppelins.
I've got old pics somewhere of racing blimps at an event in St. Louis 1903. Motors and props
under long, pointy balloons mind you that made for the times very good cross country speed.
Yes, hotrod balloons ruled the air for a time.....

11-09-2007, 06:02 PM
I first saw this aircraft in an encyclopedia of flying machines a couple of years ago, I think it's a fascinating machine.
I think it lacked a bit in controlability. If I remember correctly that was the reason it was discounted from the 'controlled flight' category, and why most people don't know of it.


11-09-2007, 10:22 PM
The Wrights had worked out wing warping years before others were still moving themselves side
to side to balance the craft into a bank, hang-glider style.

11-10-2007, 12:21 AM
Another possibility

Richard Pierce (http://www.nzedge.com/heroes/pearse.html)