IBN FIRNAS (810 – 887): ‘Father of Aviation’

Abbas Ibn Firnas

Abbas Ibn Firnas

Name : Abbas Qasim Ibn Firnas
Title : Armen Firman, Polymath: an inventor, engineer, aviator, physician, chemist, poet, and musician
Birth : 810 in Izn-Rand Onda, Al-Andalus (today’s Ronda, Spain)
Death : 887
Ethnicity : Andalus (Spanish)
Region : Iberia (Al-Andalus)
Main interests : Physics, chemistry, aviation, engineering, poetry, music
Notable ideas : Designed a water clock called Al-Maqata; devised a means of manufacturing colorless glass; made corrective lenses (“reading stones”); developed a chain of rings that could be used to simulate the motions of the planets and stars, and developed a process for cutting rock crystal that allowed Spain to cease exporting quartz to Egypt to be cut. In his house he built a room in which spectators witnessed stars, louds, thunder, and lightning, which were produced by mechanisms located in his basement laboratory. He also devised some sort of “metronome,” a device that produces a regular sound to help musicians play a piece of music at particular speed. Have made an attempt at flight using a set of wings. His glider flight is considered to be the first attempt at heavier-than-air flight in aviation history. He has been commemorated on stamps from Libya, by a statue near the Baghdad International Airport, and by a namesake airport north of Baghdad. The crater Ibn Firnas on the Moon is named in his honour. — Wikipedia; http://www.fact-index.com

Islamia/The Brunei Times
Friday, 14 May 2010

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