Kibalchich, Nikolai Ivanovitch (1854–1881)
I am writing this project in prison, a few days before my death. I believe in the practicability of my idea and this faith supports me in my desperate plight.He was a close contemporary of two other rocket pioneers, his compatriot Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and the German Hermann Ganswindt. The great American rocketeer Robert Goddard was born a year after Kibalchich's execution.
Kibalchich's flying platformThe device that Kibalchich described consisted of a platform with a hole in the center, above which was mounted a breech-loaded rocket motor. The motor was fed, machine-gun fashion, with charges of compressed powder, the thrust being varied either by altering the size of the cartridges or the speed at which they were fed into the chamber. Take-off was vertical, with the chamber firing through the hole. As soon as sufficient altitude was reached the chamber would be rotated through 90 degrees for horizontal flight. The propulsion arrangement of this unusual craft foreshadowed some of the vertical take-off aircraft which began to be developed in the second half of the 20th century.
Related categories HISTORY OF ROCKETRY
ROCKET ENGINEERS AND SPACE SCIENTISTS
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