Monday, December 19, 2005

Illustration Friday and new banner

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.



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7 comments:

Paris Set Me Free said...

Hello Alison - I was happy to stumble across your blog - as someone who appreciates art and photography we share a few interests! Your illustrations are marvellous. Can you do characterful pigs around a 'Lazy Pig' theme thinking of a big, fat, lazy rich pig, fat but friendly, not unethical..? I might need a few images like this!

Keep up the good blog!

isay said...

thanks for sharing all this information and your beautiful banner. i truly enjoy going back to your site - actually, almost everyday.

thanks for the link regarding winnie the pooh. i have a 50-50 feeling about them giving him a new friend. i wander what could A. A Milne's comment would be if he's still around. Does the story really need evolution?

Caroline said...

Great new banner!

carla said...

I enjoyed reading our history of flying devices! What a great tie in with the anniversary and this week's topic...and, the ikllustration makes a great banner!

Tony Sarrecchia said...

Love the banner. Great history lesson!

Jilly said...

Merry Christmas to you.

Aravis said...

This was a great idea and illustration. I like your new banner, too. :0)