Alexander Graham Bell, Baddeck and Thin Airfoils

Canadian Aeronautics & Space Institute
Ottawa Branch: February 20109 Meeting Notice
Joint Meeting with Carleton CMAS
Alexander Graham Bell, Baddeck and Thin Airfoils
SPEAKER: Paul Penna, NRC IAR Aerodynamics Laboratory
Wednesday Feb. 10, 2010
Meet and greet: 6:30 p.m. Talk start at 7:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Carleton University- Tory Building Room 360
Building TB on the Carleton map at Park in Parking Lot #2 off Campus
Avenue. You must pay your parking fee at a machine on the lot that accepts one- and two-dollar coins as well
as credit cards. It is advisable to pay until 930 pm.
On February 23, 1909, a biplane constructed of wood, light fabric and tensioned wires made the
first heavier-than-air powered flight in Canada from the ice-covered surface of Baddeck Bay in
Nova Scotia. That aircraft was known as the Silver Dart and it was piloted by J. A. D. McCurdy,
a member of Alexander Graham Bell's Aerial Experiment Association, founded in 1907. How is
it that, slightly more than 5 years after the Wright Brothers made their pioneering powered flight
at Kitty Hawk in the USA (December 1903), the first powered flight in Canada took place at
Baddeck, Nova Scotia? This presentation will answer not only the historical "how?" but also the
technical "how?" by providing a short summary of Alexander Graham Bell's research into
aeronautics and by showing how the extremely thin airfoils of the early aviation experimenters
were capable of producing the aerodynamic lift (and relatively low drag) required to achieve
successful heavier-than-air, controlled flight.
Please RSVP to
Tentative next meeting: Late March President’s Visit with CRSS