Now, it’s true that we have dreamed of flying through the air ever since we managed to learn how to walk. History is absolutely filled with people and legends who have attempted to conquer the skies. Chinese people were flying kites around the 5th Century BCE. However, the fist successful human attempt was accomplished back in 875 CE by Abbas ibn Firnas in the city of Cordoba, Spain.
About Abbas Ibn Firnas
Abbas ibn Firnas (810–887 A.D.), also known as Abbas Abu al-Qasim ibn Firnas ibn Wirdas al-Takurini (Arabic: عباس بن فرناس), was born in the city of Ronda in Spain but lived his entire life in Cordoba. It used to be an Emirate back in the days and one of the major learning centers in the entire Muslim World. He was an Arabic poet, physician, inventor, engineer and, of course, an aviator.
Now, as far as the stories go, it’s said that Ibn Firnas was actually influenced by a person named Armen Firman back in 852. He had been famous for doing a range of different stunts. He was no scientist, but he managed to draw the proper conclusions based on basic understandings of the mechanics and laws of physics. He constructed a machine of flight made out of reinforced roads and a suit made out of silk. When he attempted to fly with this invention, he fell down – he didn’t die, but he got injured. Hence, that’s likely to be the first jump with a parachute
This was what Ibn Firnas observed and got inspired. 23 years later, he had constructed a flying machine which actually worked. He flew for more than 10 minutes but realized that he hadn’t spent much time on the landing mechanism, hence injuring himself gravely as he landed. In any case, he would go on living for another 12 years, contemplating at what went wrong – he was missing a mechanism to reduce the speed.
March 28, 2016