بسم اللہ الرمن الرحیم
The Chinese and the Greeks had mythical stories and legends about flying as did the sassanians. Their most popular story is the one recounted by Al-firdawsi in his book of kings written around 1000 CE.
Pre Islamic Arabic legends also have stories about flying ,jins,birds….the first Muslim and perhaps person to make a real attempt to constrict a flying machine and fly was cordoban Abbas ibn Firnas عباس ابن فرنس in the 9th century . He was usual polymath of that time becoming a renowned poet and an engineer but his greatest aim was for constructing a flying machine the first of its kind capable of carrying a human into the air, he flew successfully a number of times over desert regions improving his designs before attempting his two famous flights in Cordoba.
The first flight took place in 852, when he wrapped himself in a loose cloak stiffened with wooden struts and jumped from the minaret of the great mosque of Cordoba. This cloak was unsuccessful, but his fall was slowed enough that he got off with only minor injuries making it at least one of the earliest example of a parachute jumps. Western source deliberately give him wrong Latin name calling him Armen Firman, instead of Abbas ibn Firnas عباس ابن فرنس. This shows hatred of west towards Muslims they changed names of our scientists so that people think that Muslims was back ward. But Allah almighty says in the glories Quran (65:11 مِنَ الظُّلُمٰتِ اِلَى النُّوْرِ) from the layers of darkness into the light. That means Islam leads us from darkness to light in every aspect of life we have economic, social, political, religious, technology, weaponry systems etc.
Ibn ibn Farnis was one to learn from experience and he worked hard to improve his next design accounts from various eye witnesses and medieval manuscripts described it as machine consisted of large wings. So about twelve hundred years ago one nearly seventy year old man Abbas ibn firnas made a flight machine from silk and eagle feathers.
In Cordoba Spain, ibn firnas mounted on [جبل العرس] jabal al-arus. A large crowd of people gathered to witness his flight. Appearing before the crowd in his costume made from silk and eagle feathers. He explained with a piece of paper how he planned to fly using the wings fitted on his arms: “presently I shall take leave of you by guide these wings up and down I should ascend like the bird. If all goes well after soaring for a time I should be able to return safely to your side”
Flew to a significant height and hung in the air for over ten minutes after flight he understood the role played by tail, when birds land , birds land on their root tail which did not happen to him because he didn’t have one.
All modern aero-plans land on their rear wheels first which makes ibn firnas’s comment very relevant and ahead of its time. His back was very much hut. For not knowing that birds when they alight come down upon their tails.
It would be centuries until Leonardo da Vinci’s flight drawings and wright brother’s first flight.
Unfortunately the injury sustained in the flight prevented him from carrying our further experiments to incorporate his belated discovery of the need of a tail. However he was an enterprising man and he must have modified his machine or more probably guided some body perhaps one of his Lerner to create a newer version.
The existence of such machine was mentioned in a manuscript by roger bacon who described it as an ornithpter.Becon claims: “there is an instrument to fly with which I never saw nor know any man that hath seen it bit I full well known by name the learned man who invited the same” it is likely that the description of the Muslim contemporary manuscript in Spain that have since disappeared without a trace.
Ibn firnas died in 886 and none of his original works saved for today. After him Muslims and non-Muslims trying to flight and many attempts were made Al juhari a turkistani teacher launched him but died on impact and English monk also forgot a tail and broke both his legs.
After these aviation history is silent until the works of famous artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci are mentioned. Leonard remains the leading engineer to establish proper scientific thinking on the flight. Although he did not attempt to fly.
In 1633 a truk named Lagari Hassn Celebi invented the first manned rocket which he launched using about three hundred pounds of gun powder as the firing fuel. This event is recorded by an artist’s sketch drawing. William E burrows in his book This New Ocean the story of story of the first space age says that …….there was a Turk named Lagari Hasan Celebi who ……was shot into the sky by fifty-four pounds of gunpowder. The rocket than carried Celebi high into the air where he opened several wings and then glided to a safe landing in front of the royal place. Celebi was rewarded with a pouch of gold made a cavalry officer and is said to have been killed in combat in the Crimea.
Hazarfen Ahmed Celebi a 17th century Turk, used eagle feathers stitched on his wings to fly. After 9 experiments attempts he decided on the shape of wings. His most famous flight took place in 1638 from the tower near the Bosphors in Istanbul.
After the successful flight over the Bosphors, the Montgolfier brothers were the next to publicly air their hopes for flight with a model hot air balloon whose passengers were a sheep a duck and a cockerel. A few weeks later pilatre de Rozier a science teacher and the Marquis d`Arlandes an infantry officer became the first human air travellers when in a hot air balloon they flew for nine kilometers over Paris.
Wilbur wright’s key insight was to study birds a lesson Ibn firnas learned too. Wilbur realized birds keep their balance or control when banking by twisting their wings, he designed a kite that reproduce the same effect mechanically allowing it to roll one way or the other as desired.
By 1908 Wilbur wright could demonstrate his aero plane in France and within the year Henri Farman and Louis Bleriot were making extended flights.
All this history of aviation, and even space travel started with the humble beginning of one man Abas Ibn Firnas who was one of the first to try out his idea when he glided with his eagle feathers and silk.
Source book: - 1001 inventions –Muslim heritage our the world.[changing]