/maybe I can fly

/maybe I can fly

For many centuries, humans have tried to fly just like the birds. Wings made of feathers or lightweight wood have been attached to arms to test their ability to fly. The results were often disastrous as the muscles of the human arms are not like birds and can not move with the strength of a bird. Remember Daedalus? An engineer who was imprisoned by King Minos. With his son, Icarus, he made wings of wax and feathers. Sadly, Icarus flew too close to the sun. But that’s not the point here.

Do you remember the good old kites? The discovery of the kite that could fly in the air by the Chinese started humans thinking about flying. Kites were used by the Chinese in religious ceremonies. They built many colorful kites for fun, also. More sophisticated kites were used to test weather conditions. Kites have been important to the invention of flight as they were the forerunner to balloons and gliders.

The brothers, Joseph Michel and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier, were inventors of the first hot air balloon. German engineer, Otto Lilienthal, studied aerodynamics and worked to design a glider that would fly. He was the first person to design a glider that could fly a person and was able to fly long distances. Finally, on October 5, 1905, Wilbur piloted the Flyer III for 39 minutes and about 24 miles of circles around Huffman Prairie. He flew the first practical airplane until it ran out of gas.

Maybe one of the motivations behind enabling us to fly was that we wanted to observe and marvel at what we have created as a species. But if you are flying, you are constantly moving. How do you pause and watch? Well, the architects have got us covered. You’ve got paragons of structural innovation like the Eiffel Tower which allows you to climb to just over a thousand feet so that you can slow down time and breathe in the breathtaking views of the city. Standing on top of what feels like the world, you ask yourself, maybe I can fly? Maybe I am? It’s all relative from your point of view.

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