Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Magic Flight-100 Year Anniversary

It was On March 18, 1910, that Harry Houdini flew the record Australian flight, in a
French Voisin Biplane after being invited there by Taylor’s Aerial League, hoping to raise awareness of manned flight in Australia.

Attempts to take off by Houdini on March 17 were not successful, but on March 18, 1910, he made three successful flights . Houdini recorded in his diary “never in any fear and never in any danger; it is a wonderful thing” describing his flights.
Houdini Flight!

Houdini became fascinated with aviation in 1909, he bought a French Voisin biplane for $5000 and hired a full-time mechanic, Antonio Brassac. The aircraft had been built especially for Houdini. It weighed 1,350 pounds and the 8 foot propeller was behind the pilot.

On March 18th his first attempts to take off were unsuccessful due to mechanical problems with the controls. Then, early on the morning of March 18, 1910, Houdini finally succeeded in making three flights. The last of these flights was the longest and covered a distance of two miles and achieving a height of 100 feet in 3 ½ minutes. This was why it was recorded as a "fully controlled flight" as opposed to an earlier attempt by Englishman Colin Defries, who claimed he flew a Wright Model A aircraft about 115 yards at Sydney's Victoria Racecourse on December 9, 1909.
Houdini Flight!
In an interview after his flight, Houdini said, “When I went up for the first time I thought for a minute that I was in a tree, then I knew I was flying. The funny thing was that as soon as I was aloft, all the tension and strain left me. As soon as I was up all my muscles relaxed, and I sat back, feeling a sense of ease. Freedom and exhilaration, that’s what it is.”

After this Australia tour was finished with flight exhibitions at Rosenill racetrack near Sydney, Houdini put the Voisin into storage in England. Although he announced he would use it to fly from city to city during his next tour, Houdini never flew again. Houdini sold the plane in 1913, but exactly what happened to Houdini’s historic Voisin has long been a mystery.
Houdini Flight!

Now that's magic!

Here are some links to Great Information on Houdini and his Flying:


Saturday, July 25, 2009

100 Years of Flying History

Excerpt from "The Mastery of the Air"
If the Wright brothers can lay claim to the title of "Fathers of the Biplane", then it is
certain that M. Bleriot, the gallant French airman, can be styled the "Father of the
For five years--1906 to 1910--Louis Bleriot's name was on everybody's lips in connection
with his wonderful records in flying and skilful feats of airmanship. Perhaps
the flight that brought him greatest renown was that accomplished in July
1909, when he was the first man to cross the English Channel by aeroplane. This
attempt had been forestalled, although unsuccessfully, by Hubert Latham, a daring
aviator who is best known in Lancashire by his flight in 1909 at Blackpool in a wind
which blew at the rate of nearly 40 miles an hour--a performance which struck
everyone with wonder in these early days of aviation.
Latham attempted, on an Antoinette monoplane, to carry off the prize of £1000
offered by the proprietors of the Daily Mail. On the first occasion he fell in mid-
Channel, owing to the failure of his motor, and was rescued by a torpedo boat. His
machine was so badly damaged during the salving operations that another had to
be sent from Paris, and with this he made a second attempt, which was also unsuccessful.
Meanwhile M. Bleriot had arrived on the scene; and on 25th July he crossed
the Channel from Calais to Dover in thirty-seven minutes and was awarded the
£1000 prize.
Bleriot's fame was now firmly established, and on his return to France he received a
magnificent welcome. The monoplane at once leaped into favour, and the famous
"bird man" had henceforth to confine his efforts to the building of machines and
the organization of flying events.

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the First Crossing of the English Channel by an Aircraft and has been reenacted by Frenchman - Edmond Salis and Swiss Pilot -Mikael Carlson flying replicas of the famous Bleriot XIs across the channel and later followed by some 300 other pilots in various other planes.
Here is a video from BBC News Covering the story:

Louis Bleriot; the grandson of the Famous pilot was watching the planes land at around 9:00 a.m. GMT at the Duke of York's Royal Military School, not far from where Mr Bleriot landed after cutting his engine following the 36-minute flight, close to Dover Castle.

Bleriot's plane was made of wood and he used piano wire for the main cabling, he attempted to fly 50 times without success and his 11th attempt caught fire and burned his foot. This did not stop him though and his cross channel feat earned him the £1000 award from Lord Northcliffe, proprietor of the Daily Mail. His plane as well as his business became a worldwide wonder, Selfridges even displayed his aircraft in the new department store in London.

Most of all this kicked off the establishment of many more aircraft and aircraft manufacturers and led to flying being taken seriously for the first time in Europe.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New! Read the Mastery of the Air - Here!

Thanks to the excellent folks at Scribd, you can now read the entire book here on this blog and even download a copy to your computer, I think that is so cool and don't even know why I didn't do it before now, duh!

If you want to find something to read and/or place on your website or blog then you can search through the thousands of books at Scribd and click the "embed" button on the menu bar above each book, copy the code, paste it into a notepad or something similar and save it.

Then just open your web page code view and copy and paste it into the page where you want it to display, save the page and PRESTO! You now have a book embedded into a web page, cool!

You Can Do this!!

Just take a look at the "Mastery of the Air" ebook below...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New! - Read My Books Online and Download

I have had the very good opportunity to find a GREAT online community where it is not just possible, but absolutely essential to upload your books, documents and the like.
This place Scribd is really awesome, there are over 3,000,000 users in this community and they are sharing just about anything you can imagine!
If you have any interest in putting anything to share online, then this is the place to go. You can even make your files private so that only those you specify, can have access or just let the world see your creations.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Finally, I've got the ebook published and hosted

This is the download link to the ebook I published called:
The Mastery Of The Air

Written by William J. Claxton

The book tells the history of early aviation through the eyes of an Englishman who lived at the time. He has made an in-depth study into all of the pioneers of the day and gives you an account that will let you imagine yourself actually being there and watching these events take place.

Please feel free to pass the book along to everyone you know that may be interested in this amazing field, especially the young readers who always are able to identify with the characters of this non-fiction tale.

I've placed the ebook in a zip file for easy downloading, it is approximately 2.3Mb in size so will take a few minutes if you only have 56k dial-up, sorry about the size, but I wanted to get a couple of pictures in there.
The file is in adobe acrobat (PDF) format so that you can read it on virtually all platforms.

Please let me know if you would be interested in more works of this type and of course let me know what you think of this one.

The Mastery Of The Air

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Paper aeroplane

Now, it's not everyday that you find an excellent aircraft design that you are able to work from and create a flying plane without very much effort, especially while sitting at yer desk!
This is one of those times, check it out.

Monday, October 17, 2005

My Editor!

Well, my editor has told me the small niggles that he found with the Mastery of the Air, so I am getting those taken care of before I put the book online to download.
This should only take a few days, time allowing!
All of you that have asked for a copy will bw the first to receive one, some of you asked if I will be able to send it by email, the only problem with that is the size, so if you don't mind downloading 4.5MB file with email it's ok with me.