Aviation pioneer: Abbas Ibn Firnas, the first man to fly.

Abu al-Qasim Abbas ibn Firnas ibn Wirdas al-Takurini, in short Abbas ibn Firnas (810-887), is a multi-talented genius of Berber origin born in Izn-Rand Onda, in al-Andalus (present Ronda, in Spain) who lived in the Emirate of Cordoba.

Inventor, engineer, doctor, astrologer, poet, musician, he is recognized in the field of aviation as the first man to fly.

When he was 70 years old (in 875) he materialized one of his inventions: wooden wings covered with a silk suit and equipped with birds of prey feathers. He tries it by throwing himself from a tower overlooking a valley, under the eyes of a crowd he had invited.

According to wikipedia, some seven centuries after the death of Firnas, the Algerian historian Ahmed Mohammed al-Maggari (died 1632) wrote a description of Firnas which included the following:
Among other very curious experiments he has done, one is his attempt to fly. And he covered himself with feathers, and fastened two wings to his body, and lifted himself up, and threw himself into the air, when, according to the testimony of many trusted writers that stood by the representation, he flew a considerable distance, as though he had been a bird; But when he landed where he had started, his back was badly damaged, not knowing that the birds were landing on their tails, he forgot to get one.”

His name was given to:

A statue that represent him on the road to Baghdad International Airport

-A bridge over the Guadalquivir River, near Cordoba, inaugurated in 2011

An airport in the north of Baghdad and A crater of the moon


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *