The Dream of Flying

Page 15




  Bauer and his monoplane (1764)  
  Melchior Bauer (1733 - ?) was the son of a peasant and became of a gardener himself. In 1764 he designed an aircraft. His drawings and handwriting was discovered in 1921 in the Archive of the State of Thüringen at Greiz.

The technical construction of Bauer’s aircraft is described in detail. It had large fixed wings in V-shape and small moveable flap-wings. The wings was constructed of a rectangular frames made of fir wood with spars and ribs. The bottom was covered by silk clothing. The strength of the construction was supported by struts and bracing-wires, very similar to the system that was used in the early years of motor flying.

The flap-wings were manually propelled from a car on which the pilot was standing. The flaps were hinged on to a single large frame extending from both sides of the flying machine. When this frame was rocked, one side of the frame was rising (with its flaps down) and the other side was descending (with its flaps up) and then the procedure was reversed again and again.

Melchior Bauer asked both King George III of England and King Friedrich II of Prussia for financial means to realise his project, but without result. Then he sent his drawings and specifications for the aircraft to Count Heinrich XI of Reuß-Greiz. There they disappeared and was found 1921 in the archive at Oberen Schloss at Greiz.

Melchior Bauer left his hometown Lehnitzsch in 1770. After that we do not know anything more about his fate.
  Bauer's aircraft from 1764. Front view.  
  Bauer's aircraft from 1764.Side view. Top: Front view of Bauer's flying machine. Left: Side view.  
  Cover of "Die Flugzeughandschrift des Melchior Bauer von 1765" Left: Cover of Bauer's manuscript from 1765, published as a book in Germany with the title "Die Flugzeughandschrift des Melchior Bauer von 1765 (Nr. 1 der Serie Aus dem Greifenarchiv). Prisma, 1982. ISBN: 3-570-09017-5.

Image from Wikipedia.



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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2009-05-13