This is worthwhile–the boys from Ohio compared to the wunderkind from South Africa.
A bit of a long read, but interesting and well done… The difference between the Wright brothers ( serious, dedicated ) and Elon Musk ( Carnival Barker ? ) seems immense, but Musk ends up looking like a 21st century viersion of the Wrights..
I can only wish him success in his endeavours, at least when it comes to Space X and Mars.. Because if I had the money, that’s what I would be doing with it..
Two things about the Wright design:
They figured out how to make an efficient propeller (they were, from what I read, within a few percent of the best designs we have to date). I have no idea how they did it–propeller design, to me, is a lot like parachute design, where there is not one design but many designs based on the weight/speed/air flow/air density/etc. This efficiency had a lot to do with the success of their “strange” exterior design.
They figured out how to make a light enough engine that produced the power needed. I believe that their engine design was well ahead of that used by other “airplane” designers of the day.
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