Segments in this Video

Early Attempts to Fly (03:05)


For centuries, humans, including Leonardo da Vinci, tried to imitate birds in their efforts to fly. Animations show why this didn't work. Next, a balloon filled with heated air was tried. Computer animation shows how this works.

Lighter Than Air (04:37)

In the 18th century, two French brothers demonstrated that a paper balloon filled with hot air (and several animals) could "fly." Count Zeppelin's airship was made lighter than air with hydrogen gas--until the Hindenburg disaster.

Gliders (01:53)

Kites, which date back several millennia, were the inspiration for the real possibilities of flight. Sir George Cayley was the first to use a glider to put a human in the air. He identified the four aerodynamic forces of flight.

Fixed-Wing Power (05:14)

German aviator Otto Lilienthal's worked with gliders. The Wright brothers made a stable aircraft. Follow the steps the brothers took to arrive at their final design--with fixed-wing power that made flight possible.

Wright Brothers: First Flight (01:02)

On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers launched their flying machine. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 37 meters. History had been made.

Jet Engine: High-Altitude Flight (02:39)

A predecessor to the jet engine is the aeolipile invented in the 1st century AD. In the 20th century, Frank Whittle saw the possibilities in the aeolipile for a jet engine. His theory led to major aircraft design developments.

Engine Thrust (01:43)

Modern scientists were faced with the problem of thrust. In order to power sufficient thrust, the engine needed a great deal of air. The jet engine provided that air, and thus planes could fly as fast as 800 km/hr.

Flight Speed (03:23)

The Airbus A380 is the largest passenger plane in the world. In the future, airplanes will be able to fly anywhere in the world in under 2 hours. These scramjets use speed itself for greater air compression. NASA made a jet that flew at 9.6 MACH.

Credits: Flight: Quirky Science (00:44)

Credits: Flight: Quirky Science

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Flight: Quirky Science

Part of the Series : Quirky Science
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



As early as the 1500s, we were dreaming of flight—that's when Leonardo da Vinci tried to build his flying machine. Unfortunately, his ornithopter model didn’t work, and indeed, the airplanes of today do not have flapping wings! This program charts the history of manned flight—from the kite made by the now famous Wright brothers, which became the forerunner of the flying machine, to today's commercial planes that can top 800 kmph. What is it that makes our current planes fly 12 times faster? Advances in aviation led to the Airbus A380, the largest passenger plane in the world, as well as to the scramjet built by NASA. So what will be the next quirky discovery for flight? Part of the series Quirky Science. (25 minutes)

Length: 26 minutes

Item#: BVL50324

ISBN: 978-1-62290-682-6

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.