|Born||3 December 1877|
|Died||29 July 1953 (aged 75)|
Christchurch, New Zealand
|Known for||Pioneering flights in heavier-than-air aircraft|
Richard William Pearse (3 December 1877 — 29 July 1953), a New Zealand farmer and inventor, performed pioneering experiments in aviation. Events 1800 - War of the Second Coalition: Battle of Hohenlinden, French Year 1877 ( MDCCCLXXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Events 1014 - Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars: Battle of Kleidion: Byzantine emperor Basil II inflicts a decisive defeat Year 1953 ( MCMLIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Christchurch (Ōtautahi The largest City in the South Island, it is also the second largest city and third largest urban area of New Zealand New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Events 1800 - War of the Second Coalition: Battle of Hohenlinden, French Year 1877 ( MDCCCLXXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 1014 - Byzantine-Bulgarian Wars: Battle of Kleidion: Byzantine emperor Basil II inflicts a decisive defeat Year 1953 ( MCMLIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island A farmer is a person who raises living organisms for food or raw materials An inventor is a person who creates or discovers a new method form device or other useful means Aviation refers to activities involving man-made flying devices ( Aircraft) including the people organizations and regulatory bodies involved with them
Pearse appears to have successfully flown and landed in a gorse bush a powered heavier-than-air machine on 31 March 1903, some nine months before the Wright brothers. Events 307 - After divorcing his wife Minervina, Constantine marries Fausta, the daughter of the retired Roman Emperor Year 1903 ( MCMIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar or a Common year starting WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout The documentary evidence to support such a claim remains open to interpretation, however, and he does not appear to have developed his aircraft to match the Wrights' achievement of sustained, controlled flight. There are conflicting views as to what was the first flying machine. Flight is the process by which an object achieves sustained movement either through the Air (or movement beyond Earth's atmosphere, in the case of Pearse himself made contradictory statements which for many years led the few who knew of his feats to accept 1904 as the date of his first flight. The lack of any chance of industrial development, such as spurred the Wrights to develop their machine, seems to have suppressed any recognition of Pearse's achievements.
Pearse's father, Digory Pearse, originally came from Cornwall, United Kingdom and his mother Sarah from Ireland (then also part of the United Kingdom). Cornwall ( Kernow ˈkɛɹnɔʊ is the most southwesterly county of England, on the Peninsula that lies to the west of the River Tamar The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world  They had nine children: Richard William Pearse came fourth.
Pearse demonstrated skill and inventiveness from an early age and had wanted to study engineering at an advanced level, but the family did not have the money, having already sent his older brother Tom to medical school. Medical education A medical school or faculty of medicine is a Tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches Medicine Instead, in 1898 when he turned 21 he received the use of a nearby 100 acre (40. 5 hectares) farm block. He farmed this intermittently for the next 13 years, but never became a keen farmer and devoted himself to engineering and inventions.
In 1902 Pearse built and patented a bicycle with vertical crank gears and self-inflating tyres. The bicycle, cycle, or bike is a pedal-driven, human-powered vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, one behind This article is about tires used on road Vehicles including pneumatic tires and solid tires. He then designed and built a two-cylinder "oil engine" which he mounted on a tricycle undercarriage surmounted by a linen-covered bamboo wing-structure and rudimentary controls. A tricycle (often abbreviated to trike) is a three-wheeled vehicle In Aviation, the undercarriage or landing gear is the structure (usually wheels that supports an Aircraft on the ground and allows it to taxi Linen is a Textile made from the Fibers of the Flax plant Linum usitatissimum. Bamboo is a group of Woody perennial Evergreen Plants in the True grass family Poaceae, subfamily Although it lacked an aerofoil section wing, his flying machine resembled modern aircraft design much more than did the Wright brothers' machine: monoplane rather than biplane; tractor rather than pusher propeller; stabiliser and elevators at the back rather than the front; and ailerons rather than wing-warping for controlling banking. An airfoil (in American English) or aerofoil (in British English) is the shape of a Wing or blade (of a Propeller, rotor For Félix du Temple 's invention see ''Monoplane'' (1874 Types of monoplane The main distinction in types of monoplane is A biplane is a Fixed-wing aircraft with two main Wings The first powered heavier-than-air Aircraft, the Wright brothers' Wright Flyer An Aircraft constructed with a tractor configuration has the engine mounted with the Propeller facing forwards such that the aircraft is "pulled" An Aircraft constructed with a pusher configuration has the engine mounted forward of the Propeller - which faces in a rearwards direction - giving an appearance For the band with a similar name see The Ailerons Ailerons are hinged control surfaces attached to the Trailing edge of the Wing of a Fixed-wing It bore a remarkable resemblance to modern microlight aircraft.
Pearse made several attempts to fly in 1902, but due to insufficient engine-power he achieved no more than brief hops. The following year he redesigned his engine to incorporate double-ended cylinders with two pistons each. Researchers recovered components of his engine (including cylinders made from cast-iron drainpipes) from rubbish dumps in 1963. Replicas of the 1903 engine suggest that it could produce about 15 horsepower (11 kW). The watt (symbol W) is the SI derived unit of power, equal to one Joule of energy per Second.
Verifiable eyewitnesses describe his crashing into a hedge on two separate occasions during 1903. His monoplane must have risen to a height of at least 3 metres on each occasion. Good evidence exists that on 31 March 1903 Pearse achieved a powered, though poorly controlled, flight of several hundred metres. Events 307 - After divorcing his wife Minervina, Constantine marries Fausta, the daughter of the retired Roman Emperor Year 1903 ( MCMIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar or a Common year starting  Pearse himself said that he had made a powered takeoff, "but at too low a speed for [his] controls to work". However, he remained airborne until he crashed into the hedge at the end of the field.
With a 15 horsepower (11 kW) engine, Pearse's design had an adequate power-to-weight ratio to become airborne (even without an aerofoil). An airfoil (in American English) or aerofoil (in British English) is the shape of a Wing or blade (of a Propeller, rotor He continued to develop the ability to achieve fully controlled flight. Pearse incorporated effectively-located (albeit possibly rather small) "ailerons". The design's low centre-of-gravity provided pendulum stability. However, diagrams and eye-witness recollections agree that Pearse placed controls for pitch and yaw at the trailing edge of the low-aspect ratio kite-type permanently stalled wing. Located in turbulent air-flow, and close to the centre of gravity, they would have lacked adequate turning moment to control the pitch or yaw of the aircraft. The principles of his design, however, accord precisely with modern thinking on the subject. The Wright brothers, in comparison, successfully applied the principles of airfoil wing-profile and three-axis control to produce fully controlled flight, although their design, using wing-warping and forward mounted stabilizer, soon became obsolete. Flight dynamics is the science of air and space vehicle orientation and control in three dimensions
Pearse's work remained poorly documented at the time. No contemporary newspaper record exists. Some photographic records survived, but undated, with some images difficult to interpret. Pearse himself made contradictory statements which for many years led the few who knew of his feats to accept 1904 as the date of flying. Unconcerned about posterity and in remote New Zealand, he received no public credit for his work during his lifetime. The Wrights had considerable difficulty in getting their accomplishment recognised, despite better documentation and witnesses; a "Fliers or Liars?" debate continued for quite some time after Kitty Hawk, and it took highly public demonstrations before the Wright brothers gained wide recognition. Although Pearse patented his design, his innovations — such as ailerons and the lightweight air-cooled engine — did not succeed in influencing others.
Pearse moved to Milton in Otago in about 1911 and discontinued his flying experiments due to the hillier country there. Milton is a town of some 2000 people located on State Highway 1, 50 kilometres to the south of Dunedin in Otago. History See also History of Otago The Otago Settlement sponsored by the Free Church of Scotland, materialised in March 1848 with the arrival of the first Much of his experimental equipment got dumped in a farm rubbish-pit. However, he continued experimenting and produced a number of inventions. He subsequently moved to Christchurch in the 1920s, where he built three houses and lived off the rentals. Christchurch (Ōtautahi The largest City in the South Island, it is also the second largest city and third largest urban area of New Zealand
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Pearse continued to work on constructing a tilt-rotor flying-machine for personal use — sometimes described as a cross between a windmill and a rubbish-cart. His design resembled an autogyro or helicopter, but involved a tilting propeller/rotor and monoplane wings, which, along with the tail, could fold to allow storage in a conventional garage. Configuration An autogyro is characterised by a free-spinning rotor that turns due to passage of air upwards through the rotor History Since 400 AD Chinese children have played with bamboo flying toys. Pearse intended the vehicle for driving on the road (like a car) as well for flying. However he became reclusive and paranoid that foreign spies would discover his work. Committed to Sunnyside Mental Hospital in Christchurch in 1951, Pearse died there two years later. Sunnyside Hospital 1863-1999 was the first mental asylum to be built in Christchurch New Zealand. Researchers believe that many of his papers were destroyed at that time.
On his death, the Public Trustee administered Pearse's estate. The public trustee is an office established pursuant to national (and where applicable state or territory statute to act as a Trustee, usually where a sum is required to Fortunately for posterity, the trust officer given the task of disposing of his personal effects recognised the significance of his aeronautical achievements and brought them to wider attention. As a result, aviation pioneer George Bolt saw Pearse's last flying machine. George Bruce Bolt OBE (born 24 May 1893 in Dunedin, died 27 July 1963 in Auckland) was a pioneering New Zealand aviator. In 1958, Bolt excavated the South Canterbury dump site and discovered some components, including a propeller. His research in the 1960s (among eyewitnesses, most of them schoolchildren at the time of Pearse's early achievements) produced strong circumstantial evidence for flight in 1903: people who had left the district by 1904 remembered the events, and recalled a particularly harsh winter with heavy snow. Circumstantial evidence is a collection of Facts that when considered together can be used to infer a conclusion about something unknown
During filming of a television documentary in the 1970s, crew attached a replica of Pearse's 1902 machine by a rope to a team of horses. When the horses bolted, the machine took to the air and flew, indicating that the design could fly. Unfortunately, this did not get filmed, as the crew had packed away their cameras at the end of the day's shooting. Fate seems to have conspired against any of Pearse's machines achieving recognition.
A memorial to Pearse's attempts at powered flight stands near Pleasant Point in South Canterbury. Pleasant Point can refer to several different locations Also consult Point Pleasant for other variations
The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) in Auckland displays a replica of Pearse's aircraft. The Museum of Transport and Technology ( MOTAT) is a Museum located in Western Springs, Auckland, New Zealand. The Auckland metropolitan area or Greater Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country For the centenary of Pearse's alleged flight, a replica motor was also made. The two, combined successfully, became airborne, albeit very briefly. Visitors to the museum can also see Pearse's last flying machine and the scant remains of his first aircraft.
In the mid 1980s, a MOTAT staff-member expressed the opinion that Pearse himself, having seen that "history had already been written" stated in his later years that though he had in fact flown in March, 1903, he had said "1904" because the Wright brothers at Kittyhawk had become part of history, and that therefore Pearse declined to appear to posterity as a disputatious claimant to the first controlled powered flight. Certainly the opinion expressed makes sense, though the aircraft itself, admittedly "short-coupled" in terms of control, appears to have had the ability of controlled flight. Adding some confusion to the issue, the tilt-propeller aircraft Pearse later worked on bears a very close resemblance to the original aircraft, and the remains at MOTAT, though presented as parts of a single machine, may very well come from three separate machines:
Despite close examination, a definitive determination may have become impossible.
The South Canterbury Museum in Timaru includes display material relating to Pearse and to his contribution to early aviation.
At the dawn of the 20th century, a number of enthusiasts in several countries advanced towards powered heavier-than-air flight — a fact easily overlooked in the wake of the first practical controlled flights by the Wright brothers, who gained international fame during their public flight demonstrations of 1908. Pearse, as one of several pre-Wright designers, advanced some distance towards controlled flight. However, unlike many of these other pre-Wright aeronauts, Pearse had little influence on his successors, because details of his ideas and experiments went unpublished.
Pearse's designs and achievements remained virtually unknown beyond the few who witnessed them, and they had no impact on his contemporary aviation designers. However, his concepts had much in common with modern aircraft design, and others later implemented these concepts without knowing of Pearse's efforts. As a result some have described Pearse as a man ahead of his time. (So far ahead of his time, in fact, that the second New Zealand flight did not occur until 5 February 1910 when Vivian Walsh flew a plane he had built himself. Events 1576 - Henry of Navarre converts to Roman Catholicism in order to ensure his right to the throne of France. Year 1910 ( MCMX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Vivian Claude Walsh (1888-1950 was an engineer Vivian and his older brother Leo Austin Walsh (1881-1951 were pioneers of New Zealand aviation )
Much controversy persists around the many competing claims of early aviators. See first flying machine for more discussion. There are conflicting views as to what was the first flying machine.
Film and the stage have commemorated Richard Pearse's remarkable achievements over the years. Two plays centred on Pearse: The Pain and the Passion, by Sherry Ede and Too High the Sun by Stephen Bain and France Hervé. In the 1970s, New Zealand's TV One produced a television movie about Pearse and his first flight. For other uses see TV1 disambiguation TV One is a New Zealand national television network owned and operated by state-owned media The film focused on Pearse's reclusive manner and his small town's perception of his eccentric activities.
In 1995, Forgotten Silver, a mockumentary by filmmakers Costa Botes and Peter Jackson, purported to uncover long-lost "evidence" proving that Pearse's flight predated the Wrights'. Forgotten Silver ( 1995) is a New Zealand film Mockumentary that purports to tell the story of a pioneering New Zealand filmmaker Mockumentary (also known as a pseudo-documentary) a Portmanteau of Mock and documentary, is a film and TV Genre, or a single work Costa Botes is a writer, director, and Cinematographer. He is notable in New Zealand where Forgotten Silver, a documentary Peter Robert Jackson, CNZM (born 31 October 1961 is a three-time Academy Award -winning New Zealand director producer and writer best known for directing Forgotten Silver includes supposed film "evidence" for Pearse making a successful flight in early 1903. Forgotten Silver ( 1995) is a New Zealand film Mockumentary that purports to tell the story of a pioneering New Zealand filmmaker
In 2006, New Zealand composer Ross Devereux made Pearse the subject of a two-act rock opera, entitled The Planemaker — A Richard Pearse Story. Rock operas, Concept albums Song cycles and Oratorios all differ from a conventional rock album which usually includes songs that are unrelated to each