George Cayley
Felix du Temple
balloons and airships
Clément Ader
Jean-Marie Le Bris
Butler and Edwards
Jules Henri Giffard
Lawrence Hargrave
Etienne-Jules Marey
Thomas William Moy
Alexandr Mozhaisky
Charles Renard
Victor Tatin
Nikolaj Teleshov
Thomas Walker
John Wise
Richard Pearse
Henson and Stringfellow
Alphonse Penaud
Francis Wenham
Otto Lilienthal
Pilcher and Chanute
Samuel Langley
Horatio Phillips
was Herring the first to fly?



Victor Tatin (1843-1913)

Victor Tatin

Frenchman, Victor Tatin became one of early aviation's most authoritative theorists.

He built a model in 1879 with a fuselage that acted as a tank for the compressed air that drove a small engine linked to two tractor propellers.

The model had a 75ins (1.9m) wingspan. It was attached to a pole, and flew in circles around the pole for some 49ft (15m).

Victor Tatin compressed air powered Aeroplane of 1879

He first began with beating wings, and produced, in 1876; an artificial bird

Victor Tatin Ornithopter of 1874

This was driven by twisted rubber; not only did M. Tatin find that the power required was unduly great, but he also found that this power could not be accurately measured, the torsion of indict-rubber being erratic and stretching unequally.

Victor Tatin Ornithopter of 1875

He constructed a large number of mechanical birds of all sizes and various weights; he tried many modifications and entire or partial reconstructions, and finally concluded, after spending a good deal of time and money, to take up the aeroplane type, to be driven by a reservoir of compressed air. With this his efforts were successful almost from the first, and he produced in 1879 the apparatus which was practically the first that had risen into the air by a preliminary run over the ground.

Victor Tatin compressed air powered Aeroplane of 1879

This machine consisted in a silk aeroplane, measuring 7.53 sq. ft. in surface, being 6.23 ft. across and 1.31 ft. wide, mounted in two halves at a very slight dihedral angle, on top of a steel tube with conical ends which contained the compressed air. This reservoir was 4 3/4 in. in diameter and 33 1/2 in. long, was tested to a pressure of 20 atmospheres, and worked generally at 7 atmospheres; its weight was only 1.54 lbs., and its cubical capacity 0.28 cub. ft.

Victor Tatin compressed air powered Aeroplane of 1879