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Word Count: 1,169
Mans dream of flying has been apparent almost as long as mankind himself However the concept of an aircraft has only been around for approximately two hundred years Before this time man tried to fulfill this dream by mimicking the birds They first built machines called ornithopters to utilize mans own power to propel himself through the air It did not take long for the inventors to realize that this concept was not practical for human flight It took about twenty more years for technology to catch up Beginning around 1783 a few aeronauts as they were known made daring uncontrolled flights in lighter-than-air balloons but it was soon realized that this was not a practical way to fly either It wasnt until the early nineteenth century that Sir George Cayley designed the first true fixed wing flying machine His design used a kite mounted to a stick with a moveable tail and rows of flappers under the wings for thrust Cayleys craft however still did not utilize the principle of engine propulsion In 1900 a man named of Gustave Whitehead had been building and flying gliders for the Boston Aeronautical Society when he decided to start experimenting with a flying machine of his own His design which had foldable wings and a motor took roughly a year and a half to construct Although highly controversial Whitehead claimed that on August 14 1901 he piloted the worlds first motorized flight which was approximately two years before the Wright Brothers infamous flight in Kitty Hawk On this day Whitehead had a series of four flights the longest was said to cover one and a half miles at an altitude of two hundred feet These notable claims remain in question to this day due to fact that Whitehead failed to record flight attempts and successes throughout his experiments The only data for any of his experiments are estimates of witnesses who were present at
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