Dr. John Provan III John was born in 1956, in Steubenville, Ohio. His father, an Air Force Chief Master-Sergeant that was assigned in Germany for almost 20 years, where he grew up in the Kaiserslautern and Rhein-Main areas. John has collected for more than 35 years and has amassed the largest private library on LTA, with over 1,200 books. He obtained his B.A. from the University of Maryland, he wrote his M.A. thesis on the German Airship during World War One and PhD thesis on the German Airship sheds, both degrees from the University of Darmstadt. Dr. Provan has organized numerous displays and/or written books on various topics, to include: Thomas Edison, 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers, Dornier Do-X, AFN, the Kinderlifts and the Berlin Airlift. He has also worked on several TV documentaries, for the History Channel, A&E, HR and the American Forces Network, AFN. Dr. Provan, lives in Kelkheim /Ts., just outside of Frankfurt, with his wife Helga.
The Wright Brothers- A study of early aviationby John Provan
The following is an attempt to present the development of the Wright aircraft design over the period of history, using drawings for comparison. These drawings do not represent a size contrast, rather strictly the shape, form and design
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“For some years I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man”. Wilbur Wright May 13, 1900.
The following is an attempt to present the development of the Wright aircraft design over the period of history, using drawings for comparison. These drawings do not represent a size contrast, rather strictly the shape, form and design of each model. These drawings demonstrate the various attempts of build Wright “Flyers” to fulfill a special requirement, such as a seaplane, passenger or for racing performances. The lack of technical drawings for Wright aircraft makes this comparison unique. The experimental nature of the Wright brothers, their strong interest in keeping certain aspects of their design secret and the woodworking craftsmanship involved made detail design drawings often not practical. In fact, in some cases, even the most basic information, such as overall length or performance data, can be found no where. The Wright brothers themselves did not provide much information, as to such data, they remained extremely secretive. During these early days of aviation, pamphlets, advertisements, PR or the media in general, often did not yet exist, as it does today, which also explains this lack of information. It is hoped that these drawings will provide a deeper insight into the wide variety of Wright “Flyers” and their development. Since these early aircraft were often altered during their soft life-span, usually by their owners, each drawing can only represent a given period, with the photos and information available. The author would be grateful for any tips, suggesting possible alternative design features.
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