THE KNOWLEDGE MEDIA INSTITUTE

History of Flight

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Santos-Dumont

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About FirstFlight

Santos-Dumont - aircraft - 14 bis

Tail-first planes like the 14-bis were inherently unstable and very difficult to fly. They were chosen by the early aviators because they were safer if the plane stalled and the structure in front of the pilot also offered some protection in the case of a crash landing.The 14-bis, which seems to be flying backwards, gave the nickname canard ('duck') to planes of this type.

The most significant aerodynamic feature of the 14-bis was that it had ailerons mounted between the wings, their first use in a powered aeroplane.

[Thanks to Gary Bradshaw's To Fly is Everything web site for the movie]


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