A side-stick or sidestick controller is an aircraft control column, located on the side console of the pilot on the righthand side, or outboard on a two-seat flightdeck. This is found in aircraft that are equipped with fly-by-wire control systems; the throttle controls are located to the left of the pilot. Only one hand may thus be used for the stick, both-hands operation is neither possible nor required; the side-stick is used in many modern military fighter aircraft, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mitsubishi F-2, Dassault Rafale, F-22 Raptor, on civil aircraft, such as the Sukhoi Superjet 100, Airbus A320 and Airbus aircraft, including the largest passenger jet in service, the Airbus A380. It is used in new helicopter models like the 525 by Bell; this arrangement contrasts with the more conventional design where the stick is located in the centre of the cockpit between the pilot's legs, called a "centre stick". In the centre stick design, both the pilot's and co-pilot's controls are mechanically connected together so each pilot has a sense of the control inputs of the other.
In typical Airbus side-stick implementations, the sticks are independent. The plane's computer either aggregates multiple inputs or a pilot can press a "priority button" to lock out inputs from the other side-stick. However, if both side sticks are moved in different directions both inputs are cancelled out. Examples of this occurrence include the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447, the 2015 crash of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501. Centre stick Yoke Formation stick from Popular Science 1945
Flaps are a kind of high-lift device used to increase the lift of an aircraft wing at a given airspeed. Flaps are mounted on the wing trailing edges of a fixed-wing aircraft. Flaps are used for extra lift on takeoff. Flaps cause an increase in drag in mid-flight, so they are retracted when not needed. Extending the wing flaps increases the camber or curvature of the wing, raising the maximum lift coefficient or the upper limit to the lift a wing can generate; this allows the aircraft to generate the required lift at a lower speed, reducing the stalling speed of the aircraft, therefore the minimum speed at which the aircraft will safely maintain flight. The increase in camber increases the wing drag, which can be beneficial during approach and landing, because it slows the aircraft. In some aircraft configurations, a useful side effect of flap deployment is a decrease in aircraft pitch angle, which lowers the nose thereby improving the pilot's view of the runway over the nose of the aircraft during landing.
In other configurations, depending on the type of flap and the location of the wing, flaps can cause the nose to rise, obscuring the pilot's view of the runway. There are many different designs of flaps used, with the specific choice depending on the size and complexity of the aircraft on which they are to be used, as well as the era in which the aircraft was designed. Plain flaps, slotted flaps, Fowler flaps are the most common. Krueger flaps are used on many jet airliners; the Fowler, Fairey-Youngman and Gouge types of flap increase the wing area in addition to changing the camber. The larger lifting surface reduces wing loading, hence further reducing the stalling speed; some flaps are fitted elsewhere. Leading-edge flaps form the wing leading edge and when deployed they rotate down to increase the wing camber; the de Havilland DH.88 Comet racer had flaps running beneath the fuselage and forward of the wing trailing edge. Many of the Waco Custom Cabin series biplanes have the flaps at mid-chord on the underside of the top wing.
The general airplane lift equation demonstrates these relationships: L = 1 2 ρ V 2 S C L where: L is the amount of Lift produced, ρ is the air density, V is the true airspeed of the airplane or the Velocity of the airplane, relative to the air S is the area of the wing C L is the lift coefficient, determined by the shape of the airfoil used and the angle at which the wing meets the air. Here, it can be seen that increasing the area and lift coefficient allow a similar amount of lift to be generated at a lower airspeed. Extending the flaps increases the drag coefficient of the aircraft. Therefore, for any given weight and airspeed, flaps increase the drag force. Flaps increase the drag coefficient of an aircraft due to higher induced drag caused by the distorted spanwise lift distribution on the wing with flaps extended; some flaps increase the wing area and, for any given speed, this increases the parasitic drag component of total drag. Depending on the aircraft type, flaps may be extended for takeoff.
When used during takeoff, flaps trade runway distance for climb rate: using flaps reduces ground roll but reduces the climb rate. The amount of flap used on takeoff is specific to each type of aircraft, the manufacturer will suggest limits and may indicate the reduction in climb rate to be expected; the Cessna 172S Pilot Operating Handbook recommends 10° of flaps on takeoff when the ground is rough or soft. Flaps may be extended for landing to give the aircraft a lower stall speed so the approach to landing can be flown more which allows the aircraft to land in a shorter distance; the higher lift and drag associated with extended flaps allows a steeper and slower approach to the landing site, but imposes handling difficulties in aircraft with low wing loading. Winds across the line of flight, known as crosswinds, cause the windward side of the aircraft to generate more lift and drag, causing the aircraft to roll and pitch off its intended flight path, as a result many light aircraft land with reduced flap settings in crosswinds.
Furthermore, once the aircraft is on the ground, the flaps may decrease the effectiveness of the brakes since the wing is still generating lift and preventing the entire weight of the aircraft from resting on the tires, thus increasing stopping distance in wet or icy conditions. The pilot will raise the flaps as soon as possible to prevent this from occurring; some gliders not only use flaps when landing, but in flight to optimize the camber of the wing for the chosen speed. While thermalling, flaps may be extended to reduce the stall speed so that the glider can be flown more and thereby reduce the rate of sink, which lets the glider use the rising air of the thermal more efficiently, to turn in a smaller circle to make best use of the core of the thermal. At higher speeds a negative flap setting is used to reduce the nose-down pitching moment; this reduces the balancing load required on the horizontal stabilizer, which in turn reduces the trim drag associated with keeping the glider in longitudinal trim.
Negative flap may be used during the initial stage of an aerotow launch and at the end of the landing run in order to maintain better control by the ailerons. Like gliders, some fighters such as the
The Etrich Taube known by the names of the various manufacturers who build versions of the type, such as the Rumpler Taube, was a pre-World War I monoplane aircraft. It was the first military aeroplane to be mass-produced in Germany; the Taube was popular prior to the First World War, it was used by the air forces of Italy and Austria-Hungary. The Royal Flying Corps operated at least one Taube in 1912. On November 1, 1911, Giulio Gavotti, an Italian aviator, dropped the world's first aerial bomb from his Taube monoplane over the Ain Zara oasis in Libya. Once the war began, it proved inadequate as a warplane and was soon replaced by other designs; the Taube was designed in 1909 by Igo Etrich of Austria-Hungary, first flew in 1910. It was licensed for serial production by Lohner-Werke in Austria and by Edmund Rumpler in Germany, now called the Etrich-Rumpler-Taube. Rumpler soon changed the name to Rumpler-Taube, stopped paying royalties to Etrich, who subsequently abandoned his patent. Despite its name, the Taube's unique wing form was not modeled after a dove, but was copied from the seeds of Alsomitra macrocarpa, which can fly long distances from their parent tree.
Similar wing shapes were used by Karl Jatho and Frederick Handley Page. Etrich had tried to build a flying wing aircraft based on the Zanonia wing shape, but the more conventional Taube type, with tail surfaces, was much more successful. Etrich adopted the format of crosswind-capable main landing gear that Louis Blériot had used on his Blériot XI cross-channel monoplane for better ground handling; the wing has three spars and was braced by a cable-braced steel tube truss under each wing: at the outer end the uprights of this structure were lengthened to rise above the upper wing surfaces, to form kingposts to carry bracing and warping wires for the enlarged wingtips. A small landing wheel was sometimes mounted on the lower end of this kingpost, to protect it for landings and to help guard against ground loops. Taube-type aircraft from other manufacturers replaced the Bleriot type main gear with a simpler V-strut main gear design, omitted the underwing "bridge" structure to reduce drag. Like many contemporary aircraft monoplanes, the Taube used wing warping rather than ailerons for lateral control, warped the rear half of the stabilizer to function as the elevator.
Only the vertical, twinned triangular rudder surfaces were hinged. The design provided for stable flight, which made it suitable for observation. In addition, the translucent wings made it difficult for ground observers to detect a Taube at an altitude above 400 meters; the first hostile engagement was by an Italian Taube in 1911 in Libya, its pilot using pistols and dropping 2 kg grenades. The Taube was used for bombing in the Balkans in 1912–13, in late 1914 when German 3 kg bomblets and propaganda leaflets were dropped over Paris. Taube spotter planes detected the advancing Imperial Russian Army in East Prussia during the World War I Battle of Tannenberg. In civilian use, the Taube was used by pilots to win the Munich-Berlin Kathreiner prize. On 8 December 1911, Gino Linnekogel and Suvelick Johannisthal achieved a two-man endurance record for flying a Taube 4 hours and 35 minutes over Germany. While there were two Taube aircraft assigned to Imperial German units stationed at Qingdao, only one was available at the start of the war due to an accident.
The Rumpler Taube piloted by Lieutenant Gunther Plüschow had to face the attacking Japanese, who had with them a total of eight aircraft. On October 2, 1914, Plüschow's Taube attacked the Japanese warships with two small bombs, but failed to score any hits. On November 7, 1914, shortly before the fall of Qingdao, Plüschow was ordered to fly top secret documents to Shanghai, but was forced to make an emergency landing at Lianyungang in Jiangsu, where he was interned by a local Chinese force. Plüschow was rescued by local Chinese civilians under the direction of an American missionary, reached his destination at Shanghai with his top secret documents, after giving the engine to one of the Chinese civilians who rescued him. Poor rudder and lateral control made the Taube slow to turn; the aeroplane proved to be a easy target for the faster and more mobile Allied fighters of World War I, just six months into the war, the Taube had been removed from front line service to be used to train new pilots.
Many future German aces would learn to fly in a Rumpler Taube. Due to the lack of license fees, no less than 14 companies built a large number of variations of the initial design, making it difficult for historians to determine the exact manufacturer based on historical photographs. An incomplete list is shown below; the most common version was the Rumpler Taube with two seats. Albatros Taube Produced by Albatros Flugzeugwerke Albatros Doppeltaube Biplane version produced by Albatros Flugzeugwerke. Aviatik Taube Produced by Automobil und Aviatik AG firm. DFW Stahltaube Version with steel frame produced by Deutsche Flugzeug-Werke. Etrich Taube Produced by inventor Igo Etrich. Etrich-Rumpler-Taube Initial name of the "Rumpler Taube". Gotha Taube Produced by Gothaer Waggonfabrik as LE.1, LE.2 and LE.3 and designated A. I by the Idflieg. Harlan-Pfeil-Taube Halberstadt Taube III Produced by Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke. Jeannin Taube Version with steel tubing fuselage structure. Kondor Taube Produced by Kondor Flugzeugwerke.
RFG Taube Produced by Reise- und Industrieflug GmbH. Roland Taube Rumpler 4C Taube Produced by Edmund Rumpler's Rumpler Flugzeugwerke. Rumpler Delfin-Taube Version wit
The Wright Flyer was the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft. It was built by the Wright brothers, they flew it four times on December 17, 1903, near Kill Devil Hills, about four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Today, the airplane is exhibited in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D. C; the U. S. Smithsonian Institution describes the aircraft as "the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard." The flight of Flyer I marks the beginning of the "pioneer era" of aviation. The Flyer was based on the Wrights' experience testing gliders at Kitty Hawk between 1900 and 1902, their last glider, the 1902 Glider, led directly to the design of the Flyer. The Wrights built the aircraft in 1903 using giant spruce wood as their construction material; the wings were designed with a 1-in-20 camber. Since they could not find a suitable automobile engine for the task, they commissioned their employee Charlie Taylor to build a new design from scratch a crude 12 horsepower gasoline engine.
A sprocket chain drive, borrowing from bicycle technology, powered the twin propellers, which were made by hand. In order to avoid the risk of torque effects from affecting the aircraft handling, one drive chain was crossed over so that the propellers rotated in opposite directions; the Flyer was a bicanard biplane configuration. As with the gliders, the pilot flew lying on his stomach on the lower wing with his head toward the front of the craft in an effort to reduce drag, he steered by moving a cradle attached to his hips. The cradle pulled wires which turned the rudder simultaneously; the Flyer's "runway" was a track of 2x4s stood on their narrow edge, which the brothers nicknamed the "Junction Railroad." Upon returning to Kitty Hawk in 1903, the Wrights completed assembly of the Flyer while practicing on the 1902 Glider from the previous season. On December 14, 1903, they felt ready for their first attempt at powered flight. With the help of men from the nearby government life-saving station, the Wrights moved the Flyer and its launching rail to the incline of a nearby sand dune, Big Kill Devil Hill, intending to make a gravity-assisted takeoff.
The brothers tossed a coin to decide who would get the first chance at piloting, Wilbur won. The airplane left the rail, but Wilbur pulled up too stalled, came down after 31⁄2 seconds with minor damage. Repairs after the abortive first flight took three days; when they were ready again on December 17, the wind was averaging more than 20 miles per hour, so the brothers laid the launching rail on level ground, pointed into the wind, near their camp. This time the wind, instead of an inclined launch, provided the necessary airspeed for takeoff; because Wilbur had had the first chance, Orville took his turn at the controls. His first flight lasted 12 seconds for a total distance of 120 feet – shorter than the wingspan of a Boeing 747, as noted by observers in the 2003 commemoration of the first flight. Taking turns, the Wrights made four low-altitude flights that day; the flight paths were all straight. Each flight ended in a bumpy and unintended "landing." The last flight, by Wilbur, was 852 feet in 59 seconds, much longer than each of the three previous flights of 120, 175 and 200 feet.
The landing broke the front elevator supports, which the Wrights hoped to repair for a possible four-mile flight to Kitty Hawk village. Soon after, a heavy gust picked up the Flyer and tumbled it end over end, damaging it beyond any hope of quick repair, it was never flown again. In 1904, the Wrights continued refining their designs and piloting techniques in order to obtain controlled flight. Major progress toward this goal was achieved with a new Flyer in 1904 and more decisively in 1905 with a third Flyer, in which Wilbur made a 39-minute, 24-mile nonstop circling flight on October 5. While the 1903 Flyer was a important test vehicle, its hallowed status in the American imagination has obscured the role of its two successors in the continuing development that led to the Wrights' mastery of controlled powered flight in 1905; the Flyer series of aircraft were the first to achieve controlled heavier-than-air flight, but some of the mechanical techniques the Wrights used to accomplish this were not influential for the development of aviation as a whole, although their theoretical achievements were.
The Flyer design depended on wing-warping and a foreplane or "canard" for pitch control, features which would not scale and produced a hard-to-control aircraft. However, the Wrights' pioneering use of "roll control" by twisting the wings to change wingtip angle in relation to the airstream led directly to the more practical use of ailerons by their imitators, such as Curtiss and Farman; the Wrights' original concept of simultaneous coordinated roll and yaw control, which they discovered in 1902, perfected in 1903–1905, patented in 1906, represents the solution to controlled flight and is used today on every fixed-wing aircraft. The Wright patent included the use of hinged rather than warped surfaces for the forward elevator and rear rudder. Other features that made the Flyer a success were efficient wings and propellers, which resulted from the Wrights' exacting wind tunnel tests and made the most of the marginal power delivered by their early "homebuilt" engines; the future of aircraft design, lay with rigid wings and rear control surfaces.
A British patent of 1868 for
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is an American four-seat, single-engine, high wing, fixed-wing aircraft made by the Cessna Aircraft Company. First flown in 1955, more 172s have been built than any other aircraft. Measured by its longevity and popularity, the Cessna 172 is the most successful aircraft in history. Cessna delivered the first production model in 1956 and as of 2015, the company and its partners had built more than 44,000; the aircraft remains in production today. The Skyhawk's main competitors have been the Beechcraft Musketeer and Grumman AA-5 series, the Piper Cherokee, more the Diamond DA40 and Cirrus SR20; the Cessna 172 started life as a tricycle landing gear variant of the taildragger Cessna 170, with a basic level of standard equipment. In January 1955, Cessna flew an improved variant of the Cessna 170, a Continental O-300-A-powered Cessna 170C with larger elevators and a more angular tailfin. Although the variant was tested and certified, Cessna decided to modify it with a tricycle landing gear, the modified Cessna 170C flew again on 12 June 1955.
To reduce the time and cost of certification, the type was added to the Cessna 170 type certificate as the Model 172. The 172 was given its own type certificate, 3A12; the 172 became an overnight sales success, over 1,400 were built in 1956, its first full year of production. Early 172s were similar in appearance to the 170s, with the same straight aft fuselage and tall landing gear legs, although the 172 had a straight tailfin while the 170 had a rounded fin and rudder. In 1960, the 172A incorporated revised landing gear and the swept-back tailfin, still in use today; the final aesthetic development, found in the 1963 172D and all 172 models, was a lowered rear deck allowing an aft window. Cessna advertised this added rear visibility as "Omni-Vision."Production halted in the mid-1980s, but resumed in 1996 with the 160 hp Cessna 172R Skyhawk. Cessna supplemented this in 1998 with the 180 hp Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP; the Cessna 172 may be modified via a wide array of supplemental type certificates, including increased engine power and higher gross weights.
Available STC engine modifications increase power from 180 to 210 hp, add constant-speed propellers, or allow the use of automobile gasoline. Other modifications include additional fuel tank capacity in the wing tips, added baggage compartment tanks, added wheel pants to reduce drag, or enhanced landing and takeoff performance and safety with a STOL kit; the 172 has been equipped with the 180 hp fuel injected Superior Air Parts Vantage engine. A Cessna 172 was used in 1958 to set the world record for flight endurance. On December 4, 1958, Robert Timm and John Cook took off from McCarran Airfield in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a used Cessna 172, registration number N9172B, they landed back at McCarran Airfield on February 7, 1959, after 64 days, 22 hours, 19 minutes and 5 seconds in flight. The flight was part of a fund-raising effort for the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund. Food and water were transferred by matching speeds with a chase car on a straight stretch of road in the desert and hoisting the supplies aboard with a rope and bucket.
Fuel was taken on by hoisting a hose from a fuel truck up to the aircraft, filling an auxiliary belly tank installed for the flight, pumping that fuel into the aircraft's regular tanks and filling the belly tank again. The drivers steered while a second person matched speeds with the aircraft with his foot on the vehicle's accelerator pedal. Engine oil was added by means of a tube from the cabin, fitted to pass through the firewall. Only the pilot's seat was installed; the remaining space was used for a pad. The right cabin door was replaced with an easy-opening, accordion-type door to allow supplies and fuel to be hoisted aboard. Early in the flight, the engine-driven electric generator failed. A Champion wind-driven generator was hoisted aboard, taped to the wing support strut, plugged into the cigarette lighter socket; the pilots decided to end the marathon flight because with 1,558 hours of continuously running the engine during the record-setting flight, plus several hundred hours on the engine beforehand, the engine's power output had deteriorated to the point at which they were able to climb away after refueling.
The aircraft is on display in the passenger terminal at McCarran International Airport. Photos and details of the record flight can be seen in a small museum on the upper level of the baggage claim area. After the flight, Cook said: Next time I feel in the mood to fly endurance, I'm going to lock myself in our garbage can with the vacuum cleaner running; that is. 172The basic 172 appeared in November 1955 as the 1956 model and remained in production until replaced by the 172A in early 1960. It was equipped with a Continental O-300 145 hp six-cylinder, air-cooled engine and had a maximum gross weight of 2,200 lb. Introductory base price was US$8,995 and a total of 4,195 were constructed over the five years. 172AThe 1960 model 172A introduced a swept-back rudder, as well as float fittings. The price was US$9,450 and 1,015 were built. 172BThe 172B was introduced in late 1960 as the 1961 model and featured a shorter landing gear, engine mounts lengthened three inches, a reshaped cowling, a pointed propeller spinner.
For the first time, the "Skyhawk" name was applied to an available deluxe option package. This added optional equipment included full exteri
Slats are aerodynamic surfaces on the leading edge of the wings of fixed-wing aircraft which, when deployed, allow the wing to operate at a higher angle of attack. A higher coefficient of lift is produced as a result of angle of attack and speed, so by deploying slats an aircraft can fly at slower speeds, or take off and land in shorter distances, they are used while landing or performing maneuvers which take the aircraft close to the stall, but are retracted in normal flight to minimize drag. They decrease stall speed. Slats are one of several high-lift devices used on airliners, such as flap systems running along the trailing edge of the wing. Types include: Automatic The spring-loaded slat lies flush with the wing leading edge, held in place by the force of the air acting on them; as the aircraft slows down, the aerodynamic force is reduced and the springs extend the slats. Sometimes referred to as Handley-Page slats. Fixed The slat is permanently extended; this is sometimes used on specialist low-speed aircraft or when simplicity takes precedence over speed.
Powered The slat extension can be controlled by the pilot. This is used on airliners; the chord of the slat is only a few percent of the wing chord. The slats may extend over the outer third of the wing. Many early aerodynamicists, including Ludwig Prandtl, believed that slats work by inducing a high energy stream to the flow of the main airfoil, thus re-energizing its boundary layer and delaying stall. In reality, the slat does not give the air in the slot high velocity and it cannot be called high-energy air since all the air outside the actual boundary layers has the same total heat; the actual effects of the slat are: The slat effect The velocities at the leading edge of the downstream element are reduced due to the circulation of the upstream element thus reducing the pressure peaks of the downstream element. The circulation effect The circulation of the downstream element increases the circulation of the upstream element thus improving its aerodynamic performance; the dumping effect The discharge velocity at the trailing edge of the slat is increased due to the circulation of the main airfoil thus alleviating separation problems or increasing lift.
Off the surface pressure recovery The deceleration of the slat wake occurs in an efficient manner, out of contact with a wall. Fresh boundary layer effect Each new element starts out with a fresh boundary layer at its leading edge. Thin boundary layers can withstand stronger adverse gradients than thick ones; the slat has a counterpart found in the wings of some birds, the alula, a feather or group of feathers which the bird can extend under control of its "thumb". Slats were first developed by Gustav Lachmann in 1918; the stall-related crash in August 1917 of a Rumpler C aeroplane prompted Lachmann to develop the idea and a small wooden model was built in 1917 in Cologne. In Germany in 1918 Lachmann presented a patent for leading-edge slats. However, the German patent office at first rejected it as the office did not believe the possibility of postponing the stall by dividing the wing. Independently of Lachmann, Handley Page Ltd in Great Britain developed the slotted wing as a way to postpone the stall by delaying separation of the flow from the upper surface of the wing at high angles of attack, applied for a patent in 1919.
That year a De Havilland DH.9 was fitted with slats and test flown. A D. H.4 was modified as a monoplane with a large wing fitted with full-span leading edge slats and trailing-edge ailerons that could be deployed in conjunction with the leading-edge slats to test improved low-speed performance. Several years having subsequently taken employment at the Handley-Page aircraft company, Lachmann was responsible for a number of aircraft designs, including the Handley Page Hampden. Licensing the design became one of the company's major sources of income in the 1920s; the original designs were in the form of a fixed slot near the leading edge of the wing, a design, used on a number of STOL aircraft. During World War II, German aircraft fitted a more advanced version of the slat that reduced drag by being pushed back flush against the leading edge of the wing by air pressure, popping out when the angle of attack increased to a critical angle. Notable slats of that time belonged to the German Fieseler Fi 156 Storch.
These were fixed and non-retractable. This design feature allowed the aircraft to take-off into a light wind in less than 45 m, land in 18 m. Aircraft designed by the Messerschmitt company employed automatic, spring-loaded leading-edge slats as a general rule, except for the Alexander Lippisch-designed Messerschmitt Me 163B Komet rocket fighter, which instead used fixed slots built integrally with, just behind, the wing panel's outer leading edges. Post-World War II, slats have been used on larger aircraft and operated by hydraulics or electricity. Several technology research and development efforts exist to integrate the functions of flight control systems such as ailerons, elevons and flaperons into wings to perform the aerodynamic purpose with the advantages of less: mass, drag, inertia and radar cross-section for stealth; these may be used in 6th generation fighter aircraft. One promising approach that could rival slats are flexible w
Louis Charles Joseph Blériot was a French aviator and engineer. He developed the first practical headlamp for cars and established a profitable business manufacturing them, using much of the money he made to finance his attempts to build a successful aircraft. Blériot was the first to use a combination of hand/arm-operated joystick and foot-operated rudder control, in use to the present day, for the basic format of aerodynamic aircraft control systems. Blériot was the first to make a working, piloted monoplane. In 1909 he became world-famous for making the first airplane flight across the English Channel, winning the prize of £1,000 offered by the Daily Mail newspaper, he was the founder of a successful aircraft manufacturing company. Born at No.17h rue de l'Arbre à Poires in Cambrai, Louis was the first of five children born to Clémence and Charles Blériot. In 1882, aged 10, Blériot was sent as a boarder to the Institut Notre Dame in Cambrai, where he won class prizes, including one for engineering drawing.
When he was 15, he moved on to the Lycée at Amiens. After passing the exams for his baccalaureate in science and German, he determined to try to enter the prestigious École Centrale in Paris. Entrance was by a demanding exam for which special tuition was necessary: Blériot spent a year at the Collège Sainte-Barbe in Paris, he passed the exam, placing 74th among the 243 successful candidates, doing well in the tests of engineering drawing ability. After three years of demanding study at the École Centrale, Blériot graduated 113th of 203 in his graduating class, he embarked on a term of compulsory military service, spent a year as a sub-lieutenant in the 24th Artillery Regiment, stationed in Tarbes in the Pyrenees. He got a job with an electrical engineering company in Paris, he left the company after developing the world's first practical headlamp for automobiles, using a compact integral acetylene generator. In 1897, Blériot opened a showroom for headlamps at 41 rue de Richlieu in Paris; the business was successful, soon he was supplying his lamps to both Renault and Panhard-Levassor, two of the foremost automobile manufacturers of the day.
In October 1900 Blériot was lunching in his usual restaurant near his showroom when his eye was caught by a young woman lunching with her parents. That evening, he told his mother. I will marry her, or I will marry no one." A bribe to a waiter secured details of her identity. Blériot set about courting her with the same determination that he would bring to his aviation experiments, on 21 February 1901 the couple were married. Blériot had become interested in aviation while at the Ecole Centrale, but his serious experimentation was sparked by seeing Clément Ader's Avion III at the 1900 Exposition Universelle. By his headlamp business was doing well enough for Blériot to be able to devote both time and money to experimentation, his first experiments were with a series of ornithopters. In April 1905, Blériot met Gabriel Voisin employed by Ernest Archdeacon to assist with his experimental gliders. Blériot was a spectator at Voisin's first trials of the floatplane glider he had built on 8 June 1905.
Cine photography was among Blériot's hobbies, the film footage of this flight was shot by him. The success of these trials prompted him to commission a similar machine from Voisin, the Blériot II glider. On 18 July an attempt to fly this aircraft was made, ending in a crash in which Voisin nearly drowned, but this did not deter Blériot. Indeed, he suggested that Voisin should stop working for Archdeacon and enter into partnership with him. Voisin accepted the proposal, the two men established the Ateliers d' Aviation Edouard Surcouf, Blériot et Voisin. Active between 1905 and 1906, the company built two unsuccessful powered aircraft, the Blériot III and the Blériot IV a rebuild of its predecessor. Both these aircraft were powered with the lightweight Antoinette engines being developed by Léon Levavasseur. Blériot became a shareholder in the company, in May 1906, joined the board of directors; the Blériot IV was damaged in a taxiing accident at Bagatelle on 12 November 1906. The disappointment of the failure of his aircraft was compounded by the success of Alberto Santos Dumont that day, when he managed to fly his 14-bis a distance of 220 m, winning the Aéro Club de France prize for the first flight of over 100 metres.
This took place at Bagatelle, was witnessed by Blériot. The partnership with Voisin was dissolved and Blériot established his own business, Recherches Aéronautiques Louis Blériot, where he started creating his own aircraft, experimenting with various configurations and creating the world's first successful powered monoplane; the first of these, the canard configuration Blériot V, was first tried on 21 March 1907, when Blériot limited his experiments to ground runs, which resulted in damage to the undercarriage. Two further ground trials damaging the aircraft, were undertaken, followed by another attempt on 5 April; the flight was only of around 6 m, after which he cut his engine and landed damaging the undercarriage. More trials followed, the last on 19 April when, travelling at a speed of around 50 kph, the aircraft left the ground, Blériot over-responded when the nose began to rise, the machine hit the ground nose–first, somersaulted; the aircraft was destroyed, but Blériot was, by great good fortune, unhurt.
The engine of the aircraft was behind his seat, he was lucky not to have been crushed by it. This