Weekly Fact Sheet Week 13-Flight
Number of successful heavier than air flights: 0
Number of official programs or groups developing a flying machine: 18
Deaths directly related to failed flying machines: Hundreds or more.
Types of non-powered/lighter than air flying machines: Balloons, rigid gliders, and pendulums.
Longest flight in each type of non-powered/lighter than air machine: 507 miles by Walter C. Peabody in 221 EM, seven miles by Emilie Shaucoup, and 500 feet by numerous thrill seekers at the Golden Carnival.
Highest elevation achieved by each type of non-powered/lighter than air machine: 6,200 feet by Walter C. Peabody in 219 EM, 4,800 feet from takeoff location and roughly 8,000 feet above sea level (from the Cliffs of Gent) by Johannas Hecksburg, and 800 feet by numerous thrill seekers at the Golden Carnival.
Estimated date by which humans will be able to fly: According to most, 260 EM. According some more daring individuals a successful flying machine will be available before the end of the decade.
Though project Deep Blue is capturing the hearts and attention of the nation, many people believe the best way to pierce the Half World Effect is not underwater but above the clouds. Because of this, and humanity’s inborn desire to soar like a bird, there has been a recent push to develop a working heavier than air flying machine.
Gliders, lighter than air vehicles, and other creations have allowed humans to rise into the air and soar, albeit for short periods of time and at the mercy of the winds. While these brief forays into the unknown have revolutionized science and extreme rides alike, they are nowhere near what one would consider continued and controlled flight.
The major problems preventing humans from flight are twofold. First, studying and understanding the nature of bird and insect wings is incredibly difficult. Though image capture devices are more advanced and easier to use than ever, employing them to document and record the subtle and quick movements of a bird’s wings is almost impossible. Insect wings, which are typically much quicker than bird wings, are even more difficult to understand. Second, while electric and magi powered engines work well in motorcarts as the electrical power can easily turn gears which in turn rotate shafts connected to tires, it is unclear how, if at all, that rotational energy can be used to power flight. And though many motor companies are working on engines that can provide power to wings, those advances are largely handicapped by the slow progress of understanding animal wings to begin with.
Despite the two major hurdles, millions of mig are spent each year on developing technologies that will allow humans to freely soar through the skies. And though the flight industry is nowhere near as large as the motorcart industry or the ever-expanding rail industry, enough people are focusing on the goal that it is very likely some form of flying machine will take to the skies within the next decade.
It should be noted that none of the teams associated with project Deep Blue are working on flying machines. While some are using wing or floating technology to assist their designs, none are actually working on a dedicated flying machine itself.