Chuhachi Ninomiya researched airplane development on his own. At the military training ground in Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture, on April 29, 1891, Chuhachi produced an aircraft resembling a crow using rubber to drive the propeller. The craft flew a distance of about 9 meters at an altitude of about a meter after sliding on the ground and falled. With this success, Chuhachi, who worked for the hygiene corps of the army at that time, took blueprints for a manned aircraft to his superiors 3 times, but his proposal for manufacture was flatly denied. In 1903, when 12 years had passed after Chuhachi's successful flight, the Wright brothers succeeded in a manned, powered flight for the first time in the world.
Reference: Akira Yoshimura, "Wing of a Rainbow [= Niji-no-Tsubasa (in Japanese)]", Bungeishunju Ltd., 1980.
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