By Christopher Maynard
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Learning to control the plane once in the air more was just as important it was and probably difficult. This control Penaud's design for an amphibious airplane never built because there was no engine to power it. it could only be learned One actual practice in the sky. of the through first men to carry out this essential practical research was a German, Otto with two propellers mounted in front but here he ran into the old problem there : was no suitable made useless engine available. With his plans He Lilienthal.
Between 1891, when to Lilienthal meet had flown his first glider, and the Reims men had been in 1909, only four killed in heavier-than-air accidents. But this record was not to last for long. In the single year of 1910, thirty-two As men were the fliers became more accomplished, public interest in flying ple grew steadily. Thousands of peo- had bought the Daily Mail count of the its killed. first cross-Channel circulation even more, the of ten thousand from London hundred pounds to follow its ac- flight.
Meanwhile, the Wrights were running into more trouble in America. from a They were facing competition young, adventurous motorcycle racer lean, named Glenn Curtiss. In addition to his racing, Curtiss had built lightweight engines for dirigibles which caught the attention of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Bell joined and others Curtiss and they began to with form a research organization which contained to build airplanes features copied from the Wrights and two French and Charles Voisin.