THE WAY OF AN EAGLE
First up, we go on a whirlwind exploration through time to listen in on a bit of the history of man's quest to fly like the birds. Along the way, we encounter ancient myths and legends… oddball experiments with egg shells and morning dew… "negative magnetism"… homebuilt wings… and other crazy ideas before eventually scientists eventually began sharing information and make some true scientific progress toward solving the puzzle of flight.
A PIECE OF SILK
Next, the fascinating and harrowing story of a man who in 1797 decided to try out his new, untested invention — a silken parachute! He tested it by falling 8,000 feet to the ground below! This is the story of Andre Garnerin, the man who (fortunately for him) perfected the first parachute. A great program!
THE BIRTH OF THE BALLOON
Our next episode of Adventures in Research travels back to the French countryside in 1782 where brothers Joseph & Jacques Montgolfier lie on the grass studying the clouds that drift lazily by above their heads. Their subsequent experiments lead them to the discovery of the hot air balloon… and man's first ascent into the skies! Another fascinating story!
FREE AS A BIRD
This final episode of Adventures in Research shows us how the study of birds led men further toward the actual goal of flight… from the wings of an Albatross to Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), an engineer from Anklam, Germany, who was one of the first humans to glide through the air. He became a pioneer of unpowered human flight by building and flying the world's first hang gliders.