Lawrence Hargrave
Overview
 

Lawrence Hargrave was an engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

, explorer, astronomer
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, inventor and aeronautical
Aeronautics
Aeronautics is the science involved with the study, design, and manufacturing of airflight-capable machines, or the techniques of operating aircraft and rocketry within the atmosphere...

 pioneer.
Hargrave was born in Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

, England, the second son of John Fletcher Hargrave (later attorney-general of NSW
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

) and was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale is a small town and civil parish in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, England, on the River Lune. Historically within Westmorland, it is situated south east of Kendal along the A65. The parish had a population of 1,771 recorded in the 2001 census.Notable buildings include St...

, Westmorland
Westmorland
Westmorland is an area of North West England and one of the 39 historic counties of England. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974, after which the entirety of the county was absorbed into the new county of Cumbria.-Early history:...

. He emigrated to Australia with his family, arriving in Sydney on 5 November 1865 on the La Hogue. He circumnavigated Australia on the Ellesmere after being offered a place.
Encyclopedia

Lawrence Hargrave was an engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

, explorer, astronomer
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, inventor and aeronautical
Aeronautics
Aeronautics is the science involved with the study, design, and manufacturing of airflight-capable machines, or the techniques of operating aircraft and rocketry within the atmosphere...

 pioneer.

Early life

Hargrave was born in Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich is a district of south London, England, located in the London Borough of Greenwich.Greenwich is best known for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time...

, England, the second son of John Fletcher Hargrave (later attorney-general of NSW
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

) and was educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale is a small town and civil parish in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, England, on the River Lune. Historically within Westmorland, it is situated south east of Kendal along the A65. The parish had a population of 1,771 recorded in the 2001 census.Notable buildings include St...

, Westmorland
Westmorland
Westmorland is an area of North West England and one of the 39 historic counties of England. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974, after which the entirety of the county was absorbed into the new county of Cumbria.-Early history:...

. He emigrated to Australia with his family, arriving in Sydney on 5 November 1865 on the La Hogue. He circumnavigated Australia on the Ellesmere after being offered a place. Although he had shown ability in mathematics at his English school he failed the matriculation
Matriculation
Matriculation, in the broadest sense, means to be registered or added to a list, from the Latin matricula – little list. In Scottish heraldry, for instance, a matriculation is a registration of armorial bearings...

 examination and in 1867 took on an engineering apprentice
Engineering apprentice
An engineering apprenticeship is an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering or electrical engineering. A typical example is the apprenticeships formerly available at the BTH and EEC at Rugby in England...

ship with the Australasian Steam Navigation Company in Sydney. He later on found the experience of great use in constructing his models.

In 1872, as an engineer, he went on a voyage to New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

 but the Maria was wrecked, and in 1875 he again sailed as an engineer on William John Macleay
William John Macleay
Sir William John Macleay . was an Australian politician, zoologist and naturalist.-Early life:Macleay was born at Wick, Caithness, Scotland, second son of Kenneth Macleay of Keiss and his wife Barbara, née Horne...

's expedition to the Gulf of Papua
Gulf of Papua
The Gulf of Papua is a 400 kilometer wide region on the south shore of New Guinea. Some of New Guinea's largest rivers, such as the Fly River, Turama River, Kikori River and Purari River, flow into the gulf, making it a large delta. While the western coast is characterized by swampy tidal...

. From October 1875 to January 1876 he was exploring the hinterland of Port Moresby
Port Moresby
Port Moresby , or Pot Mosbi in Tok Pisin, is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea . It is located on the shores of the Gulf of Papua, on the southeastern coast of the island of New Guinea, which made it a prime objective for conquest by the Imperial Japanese forces during 1942–43...

 under Octavius Stone, and in April 1876 went on another expedition under Luigi D'Albertis
Luigi D'Albertis
Luigi Maria D'Albertis was a flamboyant Italian naturalist and explorer who, in 1876, became the first person to chart the Fly River in Papua New Guinea. He took eight weeks to steam some 580 miles up the Fly River in an Australian launch, the Neva. On board as engineer was young Lawrence...

 for over 400 miles up the Fly River
Fly River
The Fly at , is the second longest river, after the Sepik, in Papua New Guinea. The Fly is the largest river in Oceania, the largest in the world without a single dam in its catchment, and overall ranks as the twenty-fifth largest river in the world by volume of discharge...

 on the SS Ellengowan
SS Ellengowan
SS Ellengowan was a schooner rigged, single screw steamer built by Akers Mekaniske Værksted in Christiania Norway, under her original name, Nøkken. The vessel was powered by sail and a vertical direct acting steam engine. Ellengowan sank at its moorings, unmanned, during the night of 27 April 1888...

. He returned to Sydney, joined the Royal Society of New South Wales
Royal Society of New South Wales
The Royal Society of New South Wales is a learned society based in Sydney, Australia. It was established as the Philosophical Society of Australasia on 27 June 1821...

 in 1877, and in 1878 became an assistant astronomical observer at Sydney Observatory
Sydney Observatory
Sydney Observatory is located on a hill now known as 'Observatory Hill' in an area in the centre of Sydney. The site evolved from a fort built on 'Windmill Hill' in the early 19th century to an astronomical observatory during the nineteenth century...

. He held this position for about five years, retired in 1883 with a moderate competency, and gave the rest of his life to research work.

Aeronautical career

Hargrave had been interested in experiments of all kinds from an early age, particularly those to do with machines that fly in the air. When his father died in 1885, and Hargrave came into his inheritance, he resigned from the observatory to concentrate on full-time research. and for a time gave particular attention to the flight of birds. He chose to live and experiment with his flying machines in Stanwell Park
Stanwell Park, New South Wales
Stanwell Park is a picturesque coastal village and northern suburb of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. It is the northernmost point of the Illawarra coastal strip and lies south of Sydney's Royal National Park. It is situated in a small valley between Bald Hill to the north, Stanwell Tops...

, a place which offers excellent wind and hang conditions and nowadays is the most famous hang gliding
Hang gliding
Hang gliding is an air sport in which a pilot flies a light and unmotorized foot-launchable aircraft called a hang glider ....

 and paragliding
Paragliding
Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure...

 place in Australia.

In his career, Hargrave invented many devices, but never applied for a patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 on any of them: he needed the money, and he was a passionate believer in scientific communication as a key to furthering progress. As he wrote in 1893:

"Workers must not root out the idea by keeping the results of their labors to themselves a fortune will not be assured to them. Patent fees are not much wasted money. The flying machine of the future will not be born fully fledged and capable of a flight for 1000 miles or so. Like everything else it must be evolved gradually. The first difficulty is to get a thing that will fly at all. When this is made, a full description should be published as an aid to others. Excellence of design and workmanship will always defy competition."

Among many, three of Hargrave's inventions were particularly significant:
  • Study of curved aerofoils
    Airfoil
    An airfoil or aerofoil is the shape of a wing or blade or sail as seen in cross-section....

    , particularly designs with a thicker leading edge.
  • The box kite
    Box kite
    A box kite is a high-performance kite, noted for developing relatively high lift; it is a type within the family of cellular kites. The typical design has four parallel struts. The box is made rigid with diagonal crossed struts. There are two sails, or ribbons, whose width is about a quarter of the...

     (1893), which greatly improved the lift to drag ratio of early gliders.
  • Work on the rotary engine
    Rotary engine
    The rotary engine was an early type of internal-combustion engine, usually designed with an odd number of cylinders per row in a radial configuration, in which the crankshaft remained stationary and the entire cylinder block rotated around it...

    , which powered many early aircraft up until about 1920.


He made endless experiments and numerous models, and communicated his conclusions in a series of papers to the Royal Society of New South Wales. Two papers which will be found in the 1885 volume of its Journal and Proceedings show that he was early on the road to success. Other important papers will be found in the 1893 and 1895 volumes which reported on his experiments with flying-machine motors and cellular kites.

Of great significance to those pioneers working toward powered flight, Hargrave successfully lifted himself off the ground under a train of four of his box kites at Stanwell Park Beach on 12 November 1894. Aided by James Swain, the caretaker at his property, the kite line was moored via a spring balance to two sandbags (see image). Hargrave carried an anemometer
Anemometer
An anemometer is a device for measuring wind speed, and is a common weather station instrument. The term is derived from the Greek word anemos, meaning wind, and is used to describe any airspeed measurement instrument used in meteorology or aerodynamics...

 and clinometer aloft to measure windspeed and the angle of the kite line. He rose 16 feet in a wind speed of 21 mph. This experiment was widely reported and established the box kite as a stable aerial platform (Hudson Shaw and Ruhen, 1977). Hargrave claimed that "The particular steps gained are the demonstration that an extremely simple apparatus can be made, carried about, and flown by one man; and that a safe means of making an ascent with a flying machine, of trying the same without any risk of accident, and descending, is now at the service of any experimenter who wishes to use it." (Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 29, p. 47). This paper was read in June 1895 but part of it had appeared in Engineering, London, on 15 February 1895. This was seen by Abbott Lawrence Rotch
Abbott Lawrence Rotch
Abbott Lawrence Rotch was an American meteorologist and founder of the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, the longest continually operating observation site in the United States and an important site for world climatology....

 of the meteorological observatory at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 who constructed a kite from the particulars in Engineering. A modification was adopted by the weather bureau of the United States and the use of box-kites for meteorological observations became widespread. The principle was applied to gliders, and in October 1906 Santos Dumont in a box-kite aeroplane made the first officially recorded flight. As late as 1909 the box-kite aeroplane was the usual type in Europe.
Hargrave had not confined himself to the problem of constructing a heavier than air machine that would fly, for he had given much time to the means of propulsion. In 1889 he invented a rotary engine
Rotary engine
The rotary engine was an early type of internal-combustion engine, usually designed with an odd number of cylinders per row in a radial configuration, in which the crankshaft remained stationary and the entire cylinder block rotated around it...

 which appears to have attracted so little notice that its principle had to be discovered over again by the brothers Seguin in 1908. This form of engine was much used in early aviation until it was superseded by later inventions. His development of the rotary engine was frustrated by the weight of materials and quality of machining available at the time, and he was unable to get sufficient lift from his engines to build an independent flying machine.

Hargrave's work inspired Alexander Graham Bell to begin his own experiments with a series of tetrahedral kite
Tetrahedral kite
A tetrahedral kite is a multicelled rigid box kite composed of tetrahedrally shaped cells. The cells are usually arranged in such a way that the entire kite is also a regular tetrahedron. The kite can be described as a compound dihedral kite as well....

 designs. However, Hargrave's work, like that of many another pioneer, was not sufficiently appreciated during his lifetime. His models were offered to the premier of New South Wales as a gift to the state, and it is generally stated that the offer was not accepted. That is not correct. It is not clear what really happened, but there appears to have been delay in accepting the models, and in the meantime they were given to some visiting German professors who handed them to the Munich museum. (See the Technical Gazette of New South Wales, 1924, p. 46.) Hargrave also made experiments with a hydroplane, the application of the gyroscopic principle to a "one-wheeled car", and with "wave propelled vessels".

Hargrave's only son Geoffrey was killed at Battle of Gallipoli
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

 (The Great War 1914 - 1918) in May 1915. Hargrave was operated on for appendicitis
Appendicitis
Appendicitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix. It is classified as a medical emergency and many cases require removal of the inflamed appendix, either by laparotomy or laparoscopy. Untreated, mortality is high, mainly because of the risk of rupture leading to...

 but suffered peritonitis
Peritonitis
Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the serous membrane that lines part of the abdominal cavity and viscera. Peritonitis may be localised or generalised, and may result from infection or from a non-infectious process.-Abdominal pain and tenderness:The main manifestations of...

 afterwards and died in July 1915. He was interred in Waverley Cemetery
Waverley Cemetery
The Waverley Cemetery opened in 1877 and is a cemetery located on top of the cliffs at Bronte in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. It is noted for its largely intact Victorian and Edwardian monuments. The cemetery contains the graves of many significant Australians including the poet Henry Lawson and...

 on the cliffs overlooking the open ocean.

Hargrave was an excellent experimenter and his models were always beautifully made. He had the optimism that is essential for an inventor, and the perseverance that will not allow itself to be damped by failures. Modest, unassuming and unselfish, he always refused to patent his inventions, and was only anxious that he might succeed in adding to the sum of human knowledge. Many men smiled at his efforts and few had faith that anything would come of them. An honourable exception was Professor Richard Threlfall
Richard Threlfall
Sir Richard Threlfall FRS was an English chemist and engineer, he established the School of Physics at the University of Sydney and made important contributions to military science during World War I. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1899, and was created K.B.E. in 1917 and G.B.E...

 who, in his presidential address to the Royal Society of New South Wales in May 1895, spoke of his "strong conviction of the importance of the work which Mr Hargrave has done towards solving the problem of artificial flight". (For a discussion on the statement that Threlfall had called Hargrave the "inventor of human flight" and the debt supposed to be owed by the Wright brothers to Hargrave, see article by Cecil W. Salier in the Australian Quarterly
Australian Quarterly
Australian Quarterly is an independent political science journal, published in Australia six times a year and dealing with a wide range of economic, political and social issues...

 for March 1940). The step he made in man's conquest of the air was an important one with far-reaching consequences, and he should always be remembered as a great experimenter and inventor, who "probably did as much to bring about the accomplishment of dynamic flight as any other single individual". (Roughley's The Aeronautical Work of Lawrence Hargrave, p. 5.)

Honors and memorials

An engraving of Lawrence Hargrave alongside a number of his gliders appeared on the reverse of the Australian $20 banknote from 1966 to 1994. There is a memorial to him at Bald Hill overlooking Stanwell Park beach. Lawrence Hargrave Drive
Lawrence Hargrave Drive
Lawrence Hargrave Drive is a scenic coastal road and popular tourist drive connecting the northernmost suburbs of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia to both Wollongong and Sydney....

 is an iconic road which stretches from the Old Princes Highway
Princes Highway
The Princes Highway extends from Sydney to Port Augusta via the coast through the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, a distance of 1941 km or 1898 km via the former alignments of the highway ....

 in Helensburgh
Helensburgh
Helensburgh is a town in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It lies on the north shore of the Firth of Clyde and the eastern shore of the entrance to the Gareloch....

 to the bottom of Bulli Pass
Bulli Pass
Bulli Pass is a mountain pass northwest of Bulli, New South Wales, Australia. It is situated on the Illawarra Escarpment west of the Illawarra coastal plain. It was built during the 19th century for use by loggers and locals transporting goods to and from Sydney...

 in Thirroul. A centenary celebration and reenactment was held to commemorate the manlift in November 1994 at Stanwell Park. The Lawrence Hargrave Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at Sydney University and the Hargrave-Andrew Engineering and Sciences library at Monash University
Monash University
Monash University is a public university based in Melbourne, Victoria. It was founded in 1958 and is the second oldest university in the state. Monash is a member of Australia's Group of Eight and the ASAIHL....

 are named in his honour.
Australia's largest airline Qantas
Qantas
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an initialism for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport...

 named its fifth Airbus A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

 aircraft (VH-OQE) after Lawrence Hargrave.

See also

  • List of early flying machines
  • First flying machine
    First flying machine
    There are conflicting views as to what was the first flying machine.Much of the debate surrounding records of early flying machines depends on the exact definition of what constitutes a "flying machine", "flight", and even "first"....

  • Man-lifting kite
    Man-lifting kite
    A man-lifting kite is a kite designed to lift a person from the ground. Historically, man-lifting kites have been used chiefly for reconnaissance and entertainment. Interest in their development declined with the advent of powered flight at the beginning of the 20th century.-Early history:The first...

  • Lawrence Hargrave Drive
    Lawrence Hargrave Drive
    Lawrence Hargrave Drive is a scenic coastal road and popular tourist drive connecting the northernmost suburbs of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia to both Wollongong and Sydney....

  • Sea Cliff Bridge
    Sea Cliff Bridge
    The Sea Cliff Bridge is a balanced cantilever bridge located in the northern Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. The $52 million bridge links the coastal villages of Coalcliff and Clifton...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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