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Word Count: 2,031
Mans quest for flight Throught history mankind has tried to imitate the flight of birds Many memorable efforts to achieve flight have been recorded However most early attempts ended in failure The following illustrates the various steps man has taken in his quest for flight starting with Greek mythology and ending with the Wright Brothers famous first flight According to Greek mythology around 1200 BC Daedalus was the first to master the art of flying The legend describes how Daedalus and his son Icarus escaped from an island prison by flying to freedom with bird-like wings covered with feathers and held together by twine and wax Even though stories like this are ficticious they symbolize mans early interest in flight But the fact remained that man had yet to fly In the 15th century the first recorded scientific experiments with flying models were conducted by Leonardo da Vinci The Italian inventor left behind manuscripts containing about one hundred sixty pages of descriptions and scetches of flying machines These included discussions about the center of gravity center of pressure and streamlining The progress of aviation was in all likelihood slowed by the fact that his writing were not published for about three hundred years after his death In the 17th century ideas led to successful experiments A number of significant discoveries were made about the characteristics of our atmosphere This understanding along with the discovery of various gases led to experiments with lighter-than-air flight in balloons The Montgolfier brothers of France are credited with sending the first live passengers aloft in a balloon The Montgolfiers attached a cage to the bottom of a paper and linen bag the bag or balloon contained hot air that was introduced through an opening at the bottom In a demonstration on September 19 1783 the first living passengers-a sheep a rooster and a duck were sent aloft in their invention The head
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