Alexander Mozhaysky


1825 – 1890


Who was Alexander Mozhaysky?

Alexander Fedorovich Mozhaysky, was a Russian naval officer, aviation pioneer, researcher and designer of heavier-than-air craft." In 1884, Mozhaysky's monoplane made a failed attempt to fly.

His design relied upon a ramp rather than engine power to generate sufficient speed for lift. The wing design of his craft lacked the curvature necessary to generate lift. While it is possible that Mozhaysky's wings slowed his monoplane's descent after launch from the ramp, the wings were unlikely ever to have provided sufficient lift for sustained flight unless used at angles of attack that would have been impractical, given the engines available to Mozhaysky. He also experimented with different angles of attack.

In 1909 a Russian newspaper claimed Mozhaysky's hop was the first powered flight. This claim was later repeated many times by the Soviet Union. In 1971-1981 TsAGI researched the topic and disproved the claim. Mozhaysky's original aircraft was found incapable of generating lift because of low engine capacity. It was also shown that with a more powerful engine, which Mozhaysky had planned shortly before his death, the aircraft might have been able to fly.

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Mar 21, 1825
Also known as
  • Можайский, Александр Фёдорович
  • Russian Empire
  • Russia
Apr 1, 1890
Saint Petersburg

on July 23, 2013


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