The first thought of flight started with Nostradamus , who in fifteen-0-three to fifteen-sixty-six, drew plans to the first helicopter known to man. His inovation sparked the world's thought of flight to be witch craft and just another sourcerer trying to conquer the world. In ninteen-0-one the Wright Brothers invented and flew the first airplane at Kittyhawk. The historic flight was the first ever plane to be flown in the world changing history today.
Thier concept of a airfoiled wing, a curved leading edge that tapered to to the trailing edge, was the first proven airfoiled wing in history. Airfoil means, the bending of air passing over the leading edge causing turbulance under the bottom of the wing to cause lift. Like small tornadoes of air rotating under the bottom of the wing at an angle to cause the air to lift the bottom suface of the wing, this allowing the wing to lift the plane and support the aircraft in flight.
Wing loading also helps a aircraft stay aloft. Wing loading is the weight of aircraft the wing can lift per sqare foot of wing surface. As an example, a plane that weights thirty-five pounds has a wing loading rate of twenty four ounces per square foot. The lighter the wing loading the better and less power that plane will have to have to stay aloft.
Changes in the designs of aircraft has lead to the airfoiles of today. Much better and efficient at the air passing over the wing causing lift making wing loading much lighter, thus making thrust issues of the past. In the past huge Pratt and Whitney engines had to be used to keep aircraft aloft for short distances. With lighter wing loading designs of today the use of Continental fifty horse power engines can do the same as the five thousand horse power engines of the past.
The airfoil changes of today, allows a glider with the wing span of twenty eight feet, and a wing loading of a hundred per square foot to be towed over a ridge by a powered plane to fly more the four hundred miles with the right conditions. The only thrust needed is to provide the power to reach thermals usually over a hill ridge or small mountain side.
Thrust in the key to any plane reaching the airspeed to cause lift. Not all planes have wings to perform the act of flying. The military has designed and have flown aircraft with no wings at all. The design was called the Flying Fuselage, a long fuselage with no wings, only a elevator, Stabilizer and rudder for control. The design flew well but the concept of a plane wioth no wings did not take off well at all with the public.
The flying fusealge was the first ever design that allowed a aircraft with no wings to actually fly and be successful at doing so. You dont need alot of thrust to make a plane fly, only a light wing loading and the right airfoil to make enough lift to make flight possible.