Winter and Spring
— Leon Levavasseur develops lightweight 25 hp and 50
hp engines that will become the mainstay of pioneer aviation
in Europe. He calls them Antoinette engines after
Antoinette Gastambide, the daughter of his friend and chief
of the manufacturing firm.
January The Aéro-Club de France meeting
is rocked by the news of the Wrights accomplishments in September and
October 1905. Ferber accepts the Wrights claims; Archdeacon refuses to believe them. Archdeacon sends a taunting letter to the Wrights,
challenging them to come to France and claim the Grand Prix dAviation. The Wrights
do not respond.
— Alberto Santos Dumont announces his ambition to try
for the Grand Prix dAviation and turns from
building dirigibles to building airplanes.
— The newly formed Aero Club of America
organizes the first "Exhibition of Aeronautical Apparatus"
in America at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City. The
Wright brothers send the crankshaft and flywheel from their
1903 Wright Flyer engine, as well as photographs of their
glider experiments. During the show, Scientific
American magazine publishes an article casting
aspersions on reports of their 1904 and 1905 powered
Late January — LAerophile
publishes the details of the Wrights' French patent, including complete
information about their methods of three-axis control. Members of the Aéro-Club de France either ignore it or do
not understand its importance.
— William J. Hammer, one of the founders of
the Aero Club of America, travels to Dayton, Ohio to
ascertain for himself whether reports of the Wrights'
powered flights are true. He comes away convinced that the
Wright brothers have flown successfully and convinces the
Aero Club to issue a statement supporting the brothers.
Albert F. Zahm, another founding member of the Aero
Club, contacts the Wrights and asks for a statement that can
be published along with the club's letter of support.
— Samuel Langley dies in South Carolina.
March 3 -- Romanian inventor
Trajan Vuia makes a brief hop (39 feet or 12 meters) in the first
tractor monoplane. The aircraft is not wildly successful, but it starts an important design trend.
— The Aero Club of America issues a statement
supporting the Wright brothers and stating that the
reports of their success are indeed true. It is accompanied
by a summary of their test flights, signed by both brothers.
This is the first public announcement giving details of the
Wrights' 1904 and 1905 powered flights.
— The Wright brothers are granted U.S. Patent No.
821393 for a "Flying-Machine," describing their three-axis
control system. Because this system will prove fundamental
to navigating an aircraft, the patent will come to be
considered the "grandfather" patent of the airplane.
July 23 Alberto Santos-Dumont, France,
tests the control of a powered biplane, the 14-Bis, tethered underneath a dirigible.
August 12 and 19
Trajan Vuia tries to fly twice more in his tractor monoplane. The
last flight ends with a crash.
September 13 Alberto Santos-Dumont,
France, makes several short hops in his 14-Bis.
October Octave Chanute writes the Wrights
that the Europeans are catching up to them. Wilbur writes back that he believes the
Europeans wont have a flyable airplane for 5 years.
October 23 Alberto Santos-Dumont,
France, flies 197 feet (60 meters) in his 14-Bis, landing quickly
when the aircraft goes into an uncontrolled roll. His flight wins the
Coupe Ernest Archdeacon trophy for the first flight of over 25 meters (82
November Gabriel Voisin
and his brother Charles form the Voisin
Fréres Company to manufacture airplanes.
November 12 Alberto Santos-Dumont,
France, flies 722 feet (220 meters) in his 14-Bis, winning the
Coupe Ernest Archdeacon cash award for making a flight over 100 meters