Aircraft Engine Historical Society Members Only

Why Internal Combustion?
by Paul Dempsey©
Published 12 Dec 2010

A Travel Air 2000 biplane made the world's first piloted flight under steam power over Oakland, California, on 12 April 1933. (Video)
Why, I sometimes wonder, did those dreamers who risked their lives, fortunes and reputations to achieve heavier-than-air flight put so much trust in internal combustion? Or, asking the question another way, what made Hiram Maxim, Langley and the others lose faith in steam?


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