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Wright Brothers | 172 comments | Create New Account
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Wright Brothers
Authored by: tknarr on Friday, April 26 2013 @ 02:37 PM EDT

That argument undercuts itself, though. Certainly it would've been known at that time that there was theoretically some combination that would allow heavier-than-air flight. The question, though, is whether just knowing that is enough to immediately suggest how to get that combination. The huge number of failed attempts and the widespread conviction among the experts that it just wasn't possible to get that combination argues that what the Wright brothers did wasn't immediately obvious once the problem was stated. And that's the very definition of novel, something where the solution isn't immediately obvious once you know the problem to be solved. The Wright Brothers' invention wasn't the exact combination of weight, power, lift and drag needed to get a plane to fly, it was figuring out how to build an aircraft that provided that combination. Lots of people undoubtedly could calculate what that combination must be, but the Wrights were the ones who figured out the hard part: how to build the sucker.

[ Reply to This | Parent | # ]

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