Last week i was visiting the UK so i didn't take part in I Friday.
The Illustration Friday topic this week is Imagine.
This week, I immediately thought about how people began to imagine themselves flying through the air and how they set about creating the flying machines that have had such an impact on the modern world.
It probably started because I have just flown over the Alps and back again on my way to Britain. So i started thinking about the origins of flight - the legendary planners such as Daedalus [Father of Icarus] who was supposed to have created wings in order to escape captivity only to lose his son Icarus when the sun melted the wax holding the feathers in place.
In the 9th century, in Moorish Spain , Ibn Firnas, a mathematician and inventor built a glider which apparently flew a fair distance but crashed on landing. He had been inspired by watching another man called Armen Firman who flew from a tower in Cordoba about 20 years earlier using a cloak that had been stiffened to catch the wind. Armen Firman was also injured on landing but his 'flight' is considered an early parachute jump.
Oliver of Malmesbury in the 11th century is reputed to have tried to make wings of the kind built by Daedalus -though he flew about 200 feet and broke his leg on landing.
Leonardo Da Vinci is well known as an inventor of early flying machines - he drew plans for a parachute, helicopter and a flying machine that had flapping wings. His servant attempted to fly a prototype bird machine but was injured. Recently some gliders have been built to da Vincis design and these have been successfully flown.
John Damian is someone i grew up hearing about - he is the first flying Scotsman. He had a reputation as a magician and alchemist and was a doctor in the court of King James IV.
In 1510 he attempted to fly from the battlements of Stirling castle on wings made of chicken feathers. He landed in a midden [rubbish pile] which broke his fall and survived the attempt with only a bruised pride.
Many people seemed to have similar ideas about bird type wings but the first real and successful flight was in a balloon created by the Mongolfier brothers in 1783.
However the first real powered flight in a type of plane didn't happen until December the 17th 1903 when Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew their plane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
The Wright brothers are flanking the plane that made the first flight - a 12 second flight of only 120ft , though later that day the plane flew further and longer.
When i realised that the anniversary was this week, I decided that this would fit both the Illustration Friday topic and as a new banner for the blog.
leonardo da vinci
Oliver of malmesbury