Lagari Hasan Çelebi

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{ship, engine, design}
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{land, century, early}
{service, military, aircraft}
{film, series, show}

Lagari Hasan Çelebi was a legendary Ottoman Turk who, according to an account written by Evliya Çelebi, made a successful manned rocket flight.



Evliya Çelebi proported that in 1663 Lagari Hasan Çelebi launched in a 7 winged rocket using 50 okka (140 lbs) of gunpowder from Sarayburnu, the point below Topkapı Palace. The flight was said to be undertaken at the time of the birth of Sultan Murad IV's daughter. As Evliya Celebi wrote, Lagari proclaimed before launch "O my sultan! Be blessed, I am going to talk to Christ"; after ascending in the rocket, he landed in the sea, swimming ashore and reporting "O my sultan! Christ sends his regards to you!"; he was rewarded by the Sultan with silver and the rank of sipahi in the Ottoman army.[1][2]

Evliya Çelebi also wrote of Lagari's brother, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi, making a flight by glider a year earlier.

Popular culture

İstanbul Kanatlarımın Altında (Istanbul Under My Wings, 1996) is a film about the lives of Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi, his brother Lagari Hasan Çelebi, and Ottoman society in the early 17th century as witnessed and narrated by Evliya Çelebi.

This legend was tested and debunked on the TV show MythBusters, on November 11, 2009, in the episode "Crash and Burn". However, the rocket constructed for the TV show differed significantly from that described by Evliya Çelebi; in addition to drawing on fantastic confabulations when considering design options, the final design did not attempt to utilize period materials or adhere to Çelebi's description.

See also


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