Thursday, December 6, 2012

Old and new flying machines

By Helge Nome

The two photos above have one thing in common: The undercarriage of each flying machine is a tricycle. The top photo depicts a small clay chariot from prehistoric Yugoslavia. It bears a goddess with a bird's head, attended by three aquatic birds . From Duplyaya near Vrsac, c. 1500-1200 BC. (Information source: Mythology An Illustrated Encyclopedia edited by Richard Cavendish, Orbis Publishing London, ISBN 0 85613 447 3). The photo underneath shows an airborne ultralight tricycle, 2012 AD.

Now, it so happens that the tricycle is the ideal wheel configuration for the landing of aircraft of all sizes and shapes, because of the stability it confers on the airborne vehicle when it makes contact with the ground during a landing approach. So the question that comes to mind is this: Does the top photo depict a real flying machine, "mythologized" by human observers on the ground in awe of what they saw?


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