Segments in this Video

Introduction: Man Learns To Fly 1900-14 (05:03)


Aircraft technology has advanced in speed, endurance and altitudes since inception. Sixty years after the first powered flight, man landed on the moon. Leonardo da Vinci designed an ornithopter; many crafted unsuccessful flapping wing flying machines based on his diagrams.

Original Lifts (02:49)

In June 1783, Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier launched a paper lined balloon over Paris. In November, Jean Pilatre and Marquis d’Arlandes took the first manned balloon flight.

Notable Engineers (04:31)

Henri Giffard invented a steam powered airship, flying it 17 miles in September 1852; Otto Lilienthal innovated a fixed wing design glider. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin designed an airship in 1893 utilizing hydrogen gas and Daimler engines.

Aviation Pioneers (06:53)

On December 17th, 1903, Orville Wright took the first powered flight, lasting twelve seconds. In 1905, Wilbur Wright flew for thirty eight minutes. In 1906, Alberto Santos Dumont achieved the first powered flight in Europe.

Aviation Reach (04:00)

In 1910, Walter Wellman attempted crossing the North Pole in an airship. European land plane engineers struggled with flight control; in 1908, Wilbur Wright demonstrated his flyer in France.

Military Aviation (04:05)

In October 1909, United States Army officer Frank Lahm became the first soldier to fly. Samuel Cody designed the Aeroplane No One for the British War Office. Early aircraft were susceptible to weather; the Bristol Boxkite implemented ailerons to control roll.

Original Exhibition (02:13)

In August 1909, 5000 attended the first air show in Rheims. The racing competition for the Gordon Bennett trophy was the biggest attraction; Glenn Curtiss won in a Reims Racer.

London Daily Mail Prize (03:57)

Hubert Latham made the first attempt across the English Channel in an Antoinette IV Monoplane on July 19th, 1909; he tried again on the 27th. On July 25th, 1909, Bleriot successfully made the journey despite blown off course.

Technological Developments (02:47)

The Bleriot XI Monoplane triggered engineering advancements in speed and endurance; controls improved with installation of joystick, foot bar and engine throttle. The Avro Triplane featured a control wheel; Alliot Verdon Roe added a third wing for better lift.

Epic Flights (07:03)

In 1910, DELAG became the first commercial aircraft. In 1913, Maurice Prevost won the Gordan Bennett trophy, attaining 125 mile per hour speeds; in July 1911, 52 planes flew in a 1000 mile competition. In 1911, Calbraith Rodgers flew across the United States, crashing 16 times; Roland Garros traveled from French Riviera to Tunisia non-stop in 1913.

Aviation Eccentrics (02:06)

Maurice Prevost won the first Schneider trophy in a Deperdussin Float Plane; Howard Pixton won in 1914. Land plane aerobatics developed and appeared at shows in 1913; women became pilots despite opposition.

Aviation Expansion (04:27)

Igor Sikorsky designed the first airliner in 1914; the first airline serviced Florida with Benoist flying boats in 1913. During World War I, militaries used aviation for reconnaissance; Captain Piazza flew the first combat mission on October 22nd, 1911 in a Bleriot Monoplane.

Credits: Man Learns To Fly 1900-14 (00:42)

Credits: Man Learns To Fly 1900-14

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Century Of Flight: Man Learns To Fly 1900-14

Part of the Series : Century of Flight
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In this episode of Century of Flight, we follow the early development of flying machines, from Leonardo da Vinci's ornithopter, to the Deperdussin Monoplane. Experience the trials of early engineers and pilots evolve into military craft and air show aerobatics. Watch the Wright Brothers first flight in 1903, and the first combat mission flown by Captain Piazza in 1911.

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL185478

ISBN: 978-1-64623-953-5

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.