|. Barnstorming aviatrice Katherine Stinson was the fourth woman in the U.S. to earn a pilot's license, on July 24, 1912, in a Wright Model B. The massive propeller tips are obvious|
"Arm chair quarterbacking, as usual...
The Wrights had decided that they would only use information that they have verified themselves, so crap in a book that they may not have fully read or understood, and in which they don't didn't have the hindsight of knowing to be correct is unfair. Further, you slander them for the crime of successfully building and piloting and airplane while heaping praise on a fellow who only made a prop. What a load of crap.
Reply to Anonymous
You censure me for being what is termed wise after the event. This I refute, having merely drawn attention to the fact that the Wrights were “unwise after the event” — the event in question being Hollands’ design and public announcement of an efficient propeller nearly two decades before the Wright Flyer.
I must assume that the opprobrium directed towards me is because I recognized, and drew attention to the importance of Holland’s previous invention of the modern propeller, whereas the Wrights didn’t. That’s not arm chair quarterbacking; I prefer to call it painstaking research.
The statement that “they would only use information that they [had] verified themselves” reinforces a view of the Wrights as arrogant and negligent. I am not sure you wanted to say that. Good inventors survey their whole field, evaluating all that others have previously done, and putting the best of everything into their new invention. But, like others, the Wrights had a blind spot for Hollands’ work. The point I make is that if Wilbur and Orville were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have (a) diligently read-up on, and tested Hollands’ previously published ideas and (b) realized that he had an excellent design. They failed to do so, even after Chanute gave them Hollands’ findings in great detail.
In actuality – as other entries in this blog make clear – the Wright patent filed in 1903 contains the most gargantuan error it is possible to make on the fundamental subject of how a wing creates lift. They could not conceivably have “verified themselves” that 100 percent of wing lift comes from the underside (and not 67% from above), or proved by experiment that the cambered leading edge is only there to stop it flipping over backwards. This is aerodynamic illiteracy—as demonstrated by Giovanni Battista Venturi in 1797. Clearly, the Wrights aped others while not understanding the elementary science of what they were copying.
“In a book that they may not have fully read or understood.” Is it being suggested, here, that some Englishman, two decades previously, could write an aeronautical treatise on the superiority of pointed-tip propellers which the Wrights (a) could not be bothered to read or (b) did not have the intelligence to understand, even if they had read it? Remember: these were the “geniuses” who “invented the airplane.”
“You slander them for the crime of successfully building and piloting and airplane,” I am told. Firstly, the written word is not slander, it is libel. Secondly, building an airplane is not a crime. Thirdly, stating that someone has performed an entirely legal and morally upright act cannot be libelous. Although somewhat baffled by the accusations, I plead not guilty.
The bottom line is that, even today, most medium/small airplanes employ a propeller invented in London in 1885 and not a propeller invented in Dayton in 1902. It looks like by pointing that out, I have caused (what you refer to as) the “cr*p” to hit the (Hollands’) fan
Retired Senior Editor of Jane's All the World's Aircraft