Did anybody else think of adding an engine to a glider before the Wright brothers?

A lot of people did think about adding an engine to a glider before the Wright brothers.

For example, in 1843, William Samuel Henson wrote an article in Mechanics Magazine that proposed an “Aerial Steam Carriage” that would use a steam engine to drive a propeller in a fixed-wing aircraft.

The problem wasn’t a lack of imagination, but of the right technology.

Steam engines were too heavy to do the job—it wasn’t until auto builders perfected the smaller, lighter internal combustion engine that powered fixed-wing flight became possible.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

Leave a Comment