The United States was just eight years old when man first ventured in to the air, in a hot air balloon. Three quarters of a century later balloons played a significant role in several battles in the civil war, but thereafter public attention was increasingly focused on the possibility of heavier than airplane flight. Dr Samuel Pierpont Langleybegan build airplanes in 1891 and by 1896 had achieved sustained flights with models up to 13ft span. The Navy and Army naturally show interest. The US government agreed to vote the money (50,000) if Dr Langley would built a full scale airplane. on October 7 1903 Langley`s airplane was all ready, but it had several failures and his test pilot, Charles Manley was almost drowned in the icy water.Just over a week later there came a garbled message from the windswept dunes at Kitty Hawk, claiming that two bicycle makers from Ohio, Wilbur and Orville Wright, had flown in some kind of machine. By 1904 the brothers had made many flights back in Ohio, mastering the art of piloting and reaching the stage where they had practical and useful airplane. On 1 August 1907 the Army established withinthe signal corps and Aeronautical Division. A little later Wilbur Wright called and found a perceptible change in the atmosphere. He was invited to bid on a contract to supply an airplane tenders were invited from others inventor, and there were 41 offers, predictably 40 dropped out and after prolonged negotiations, the Army signed the worlds first contract for a military airplane on February1908.
The Wright’s, who had no yet formed a company, undertook to deliver an airplane that could carry a pilot and passenger for ten miles at 40 mph. The second model A was finally accepted in august 1909, and the wrights began training Army officers. By meanwhile, Glenn Curtiss, A fames racing motorcyclist and builder of powerful engines, had become a successful member of the 1908 aerialexperiment association at Hammondsport, NY. He quickly outstripped the wrights in the performance and diversity of his airplanes.
Despite a 1914-17 campaign against Mexico, the growth of Army and Navy aviation was modest indeed; there was virtually no pressure to create an airplane industry, apart from the natural business interest of Curtis who swiftlybecame leading constructor. By the beginning of world war one the belong commission recommended license manufacture in the US of the British Airco D.H.4 designed by capt de Havilland and the French spad XIII. The D.H.4 was the most important US airplane in World war one, it was also known in the Army as the Havilland 4 or liberty plane.
The DH-4 was made in great numbers, and though it wasregularly criticized because of the tank separating the pilot and observer, being dubbed “The flying Coffin” it had a most
The DH-4 was made in unbeaten career with many other countries. The only valid reason for exchanging the position of the fuel tank and the observer, as was complete in the DH-4B, was to get better communication between the twomen. From time to time the Army had managed to scope together enough money to build a gigantic heavy bomber to put its ideas of Air power into practice. No longer after World War I the Army engineering division had deliberate the “Barling Bomber” (named for the head designer) which was actually complete in August 1923 as the Wittman Lewis NBL-1. It proves unable to climb over the Appalachians toreach Washington, so hardly ever flew. In 1933 the materiel Division at Wright Field conceive project for a bomber to bring a ton of bombs 5,000 miles, the result was Boeing XBLR-1, later redesignated XB-15, flow in October 1937, In 1935 plants were drawn up for a far bigger bomber still, the XBLR, and this flew in June 1941 as the Douglas XB-19. By 1943 the B-29 heavy bomber set new standards in...