UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.
ORVILLE WRIGHT AND WILBUR WRIGHT, OF DAYTON, OHIO.
Application filed March 23, 1903. Serial No. 149,220.
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that we, Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright, citizens of the United States, residing in the city of Dayton, county of Montgomery, and State of Ohio, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Flying-Machines, of which the following is a specification.
Our invention relates to that class of flying-machines in which the weight is sustained by the reactions resulting when one or more aeroplanes are moved through the air edgewise at a small angle of incidence, either by the application of mechanical power or by the utilization of the force of gravity.
The objects of our invention are to provide means for maintaining or restoring the equilibrium, or lateral balance of the apparatus, to provide means for guiding the machine both vertically and horizontally, and to provide a structure combining lightness, strength, convenience of construction, and certain other advantages which will hereinafter appear.
To these ends our invention consists in certain novel features, which we will now proceed to describe and will then particularly point out in the claims.
In the accompanying drawings, Figure 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus embodying our invention in one form. Fig. 2 is a plan view of the same, partly in horizontal section and partly broken away. Fig. 3 is a side elevation, and Figs. 4 and 5 are detail views, of one form of flexible joint for connecting the upright standards with the aeroplanes.
In flying-machines of the character to which this invention relates the apparatus is supported in the air by reason of the contact between the air and the under surface of one or more aeroplanes, the contact-surface being presented at a small angle of incidence to the air. The relative movements of the air and aeroplane may be derived from the motion of the air in the form of wind blowing in the direction opposite to that in which the apparatus is traveling or by a combined downward and forward movement of the machine, as in starting from an elevated position or by combination of these two things, and in either case the operation is that of a soaring-machine, while power applied to the machine to propel it positively forward will cause the air to support the machine in a similar manner. In either case owing to the varying conditions to be met there are a numerous disturbing forces which tend to shift the machine from the position which it should occupy to obtain the desired results. It is the chief object of our invention to provide means for remedying this difficulty, and we will now proceed to describe the construction means of which these results are accomplished.
In the accompanying drawings we have shown an apparatus embodying our invention in one form. In this illustrative embodiment the machine is shown as comprising two parallel superposed aeroplanes 1 and 2, and this construction we prefer, although our invention may be embodied in a structure having a single aeroplane. Each aeroplane is of considerably greater width from side to side than from front to rear. The four corners of the upper aeroplane are indicated by the reference-letters a, b, c, and d, while the corresponding corners of the lower aeroplane 2 are indicated by the reference letters e, f, g, and h. The marginal lines a b and e f indicate the front edges of the aeroplanes, the lateral margins of the upper aeroplane are indicated, respectively, by the lines a d and b c, the lateral margins of the lower aeroplane are indicated, respectively, by the lines e h and f g, while the rear margins of the upper and lower aeroplanes are indicated, respectively, by the lines c d and g h.
Before proceeding to a description of the fundamental theory of operation of the structure we will first describe the preferred mode of constructing the aeroplanes and those portions which serve to connect the two aeroplanes.
Each aeroplane is formed by stretching cloth or other suitable fabric over a frame composed of two parallel transverse spars 3, extending from side to side of the machine; their ends being connected by bows 4, extending from front to rear of the machine. The front and rear spans 3 of each aeroplane are connected by a series of parallel ribs 5 which preferably extend somewhat beyond the rear spar, as shown. These spars, bows and ribs are preferably constructed of wood having the necessary strength, combined with lightness and flexibility. Upon this framework the cloth which forms the supporting-surface of the aeroplane is secured, the frame being inclosed in the cloth. The cloth for each aeroplane previously to its attachment to its frame is cut on the bias and made up into a single piece approximately