Chanute, Octave

▪ American engineer
born Feb. 18, 1832, Paris, France
died Nov. 23, 1910, Chicago, Ill., U.S.
 leading American civil engineer and aeronautical pioneer.

      Immigrating to the United States with his father in 1838, Chanute attended private schools in New York City. His first job was as a member of a surveying crew with the Hudson River Railroad. He then worked his way up through a series of increasingly responsible engineering positions on western railroads. In addition, he served as chief engineer on a variety of important projects, notably the construction of the first bridge across the Missouri River. Chanute became a leader of major American engineering societies and capped his career by serving as chief engineer of the Erie Railroad Company from 1873 to 1883.

      Fascinated by flight, Chanute was determined to interest other technical professionals in the problems of aeronautics. He corresponded with aeronautical experimenters around the world, gathering trustworthy information on the history of flight research that he published as Progress in Flying Machines (1894). Chanute also organized sessions on aeronautics at the meetings of major engineering societies, arranged conferences on flight technology at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893) and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis (1904), and offered assistance to promising young aviation enthusiasts.

 Chanute and a handful of assistants tested a series of gliders in the Indiana Dunes at the southern end of Lake Michigan during the summer of 1896. A braced multiplane design successfully flown at this time was the most significant aeronautical structure developed to date. Chanute had applied a trussing system drawn from bridge architecture that enabled an engineer to calculate the strength of the aircraft structure. The Chanute glider (Chanute glider of 1896) provided Wilbur and Orville Wright (Wright, Wilbur and Orville) with a starting point for their own structural designs. Chanute befriended the Wright brothers, pursued an extensive correspondence with them, and visited their camp on the Outer Banks of North Carolina between 1901 and 1903. “No one was too humble to receive a share of his time,” Wilbur Wright noted in 1910. “In patience and goodness of heart he has rarely been surpassed. Few men were more universally respected or loved.”

Tom D. Crouch

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chanute, Octave Alexandre — SUBJECT AREA: Aerospace [br] b. 18 February 1832 Paris, France d. 24 November 1910 Chicago, USA [br] American engineer, developer of successful hang gliders in the 1890s and disseminator of aeronautical information. [br] Chanute was born in Paris …   Biographical history of technology

  • Octave Chanute — (February 18, 1832, Paris – November 23, 1910, Chicago, Illinois) was a French born American railway engineer and aviation pioneer. He provided the Wright brothers with help and advice, and helped to publicize their flying experiments. At his… …   Wikipedia

  • Octave Alexandre Chanut — Octave Chanute, eigentl. Octave Alexandre Chanut, (* 18. Februar 1832 in Paris; † 23. November 1910 in Chicago, Illinois) war ein amerikanischer Eisenbahningenieur und ein wichtiger Luftfahrt Pionier. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Octave Chanute — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Octave et Chanute. Octave Chanute Octave Chanute, né le 18 février 1832 à Paris et décédé à Chicago en 1910, est un in …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chanute glider of 1896 — ▪ American aircraft  biplane hang glider designed and built by American aviation pioneers Octave Chanute (Chanute, Octave), Augustus M. Herring, and William Avery in Chicago during the early summer of 1896. Along with the standard glider flown by …   Universalium

  • Octave Chanute — Octave Chanute, eigentl. Octave Alexandre Chanut, (* 18. Februar 1832 in Paris; † 23. November 1910 in Chicago, Illinois) war ein amerikanischer Eisenbahningenieur und ein wichtiger Luftfahrt Pionier. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chanute, Kansas —   City   Location of Chanute, Kansas …   Wikipedia

  • Chanute Air Force Base — Part of Air Training Command (ATC) Located in Rantoul, Illinois …   Wikipedia

  • Chanute —   [französisch ʃa nyt; englisch (t)ʃə nuːt], Octave, amerikanischer Ingenieur und Flugpionier französischer Herkunft, * Paris 18. 2. 1832, ✝ Chicago (Illinois) 23. 11. 1910; war 1853 83 in den USA als Eisenbahningenieur tätig und baute v. a.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum — LGM 30A Minuteman I The Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum, the largest aviation museum in Illinois, occupies part of the grounds of the decommissioned Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois. It and the base were named for Octave Chanute,… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.