Introduction To Flying
The Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge provides basic knowledge for the student pilot learning to ﬂy, as well as pilots seeking advanced pilot certiﬁcation. For detailed information on a variety of specialized ﬂight topics, see speciﬁc Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) handbooks and Advisory Circulars (ACs). This chapter offers abrief history of ﬂight, introduces the history and role of the FAA in civil aviation, FAA regulations and standards, government references and publications, eligibility for pilot certiﬁcates, available routes to ﬂight instruction, the role of the Certiﬁcated Flight Instructor (CFI) and Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) in ﬂight training, and Practical Test Standards (PTS).
History of FlightFrom prehistoric times, humans have watched the ﬂight of birds, longed to imitate them, but lacked the power to do so. Logic dictated that if the small muscles of birds can lift them into the air and sustain them, then the larger muscles of humans should be able to duplicate the feat. No one knew about the intricate mesh of muscles, sinew, heart, breathing system, and devices not unlike wing ﬂaps,variable-camber and spoilers of the modern airplane that enabled a bird to ﬂy. Still, thousands of years and countless lives were lost in attempts to ﬂy like birds. The identity of the ﬁrst “bird-men” who ﬁtted themselves with wings and leapt off a cliff in an effort to ﬂy are lost in time, but each failure gave those who wished to ﬂy questions that needed answering. Where had the wing ﬂappersgone wrong? Philosophers, scientists, and inventors offered solutions, but no one could add wings to the human body and soar like a bird. During the 1500s, Leonardo da Vinci ﬁlled pages of his notebooks with sketches of proposed ﬂying machines, but most of his ideas were ﬂawed because he clung to the idea of birdlike wings. [Figure 1-1] By 1655, mathematician, physicist, and inventor Robert Hookeconcluded the human body does not possess the strength to power artiﬁcial wings. He believed human ﬂight would require some form of artiﬁcial propulsion.
Balloons solved the problem of lift, but that was only one of the problems of human ﬂight. The ability to control speed and direction eluded balloonists. The solution to that problem lay in a child’s toy familiar to the East for 2,000 years, butnot introduced to the West until the 13th century. The kite, used by the Chinese manned for aerial observation and to test winds for sailing, and unmanned as a signaling device and as a toy, held many of the answers to lifting a heavier-than-air device into the air. One of the men who believed the study of kites unlocked the secrets of winged ﬂight was Sir George Cayley. Born in England 10 yearsbefore the Mongolﬁer balloon ﬂight, Cayley spent his 84 years seeking to develop a heavier-thanair vehicle supported by kite-shaped wings. [Figure 1-2] The “Father of Aerial Navigation,” Cayley discovered the basic principles on which the modern science of aeronautics is founded, built what is recognized as the ﬁrst successful ﬂying model, and tested the ﬁrst full-size man-carrying airplane. Forthe half-century after Cayley’s death, countless scientists, ﬂying enthusiasts, and inventors worked toward building
Figure 1-1. Leonardo da Vinci’s ornithopter wings.
The quest for human ﬂight led some practitioners in another direction. In 1783, the ﬁrst manned hot air balloon, crafted by Joseph and Etienne Montgolﬁer, ﬂew for 23 minutes. Ten days later, Professor Jacques Charles ﬂew theﬁrst gas balloon. A madness for balloon ﬂight captivated the public’s imagination and for a time ﬂying enthusiasts turned their expertise to the promise of lighter-than-air ﬂight. But for all its majesty in the air, the balloon was little more than a billowing heap of cloth capable of no more than a one-way, downwind journey. 1-2
Figure 1-2. Glider from 1852 by Sir George Cayley, British...
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