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Brit Army Officer Invented This Plane But Need His Name!

Early Glider

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#1 ulrichburke



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Posted 19 September 2015 - 01:27 AM

Dear Anyone.


Just joined to ask this question, then I'll leave you all in peace...


There was a British Army Officer, years before the Wright Bros., who used to invent gliders which his butler used to pilot.  But they all worked about as well as the ones that fall off the end of piers in 'Flying Man' contests! Apart from one.  This one got pulled along by a horse (team of horses? Nolt sure.) and it actually took off and flew a few yards!


And the butler was so shocked that he'd actually been airborne that he gave his notice in on the spot. 


I remember the above little story.  I know the guy had his own farm and that's where he tested everything.  But I can't remember his name and I want to prove to an uppity Yank that we did invent aeroplanes before the Wright Brothers!


Can anybody help me out?  I actually read about him online once, think it was in WIKI, but I knew his name back then...


Yours hopefully



#2 flying kiwi

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 04:29 AM

I'm guessing George Cayley, although I wasn't aware that he was an Army officer.



#3 flying kiwi

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Posted 19 September 2015 - 04:30 AM

Oops. Maybe this will work better.



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#4 Armand


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Posted 20 September 2015 - 01:57 AM

However, the achievement of the Wright's is powered(!) flight as many had made extensive experiments of glided flight after Cayley, even in th US.
Another thing is that the Wright's mostly seems to have won the publicity-battle as the German born american citizen Whitehead might have been flying earlier than 1903!
The first motorised flight in Europe was as late as in 1906 and in 1909 did the Danish pioneer Ellehammer win the trophy at a aeronautical meeting in Kiel, Germany, primarely whilst he was the only to get in the air, but was honoured for making a returning course wich incoperated an at that time unseen banked turning. The story shows how little powered flight in common had evolved in 1909!

Ellehammer was a great inventor and the drive of his flight experiments was defiance to the public meaning that powered flight was nonsense. Ellehammer had grown up at a windmill and already at childhood he had made kites of worn out mill-wing cloth wich was big enough to lift him or his freinds. Later when getting into developing motorcycles he realised that the petrol engines might be forcefull enough to replace the pull of the kites rope. His first designs was not without reason much kite-like.

Edited by Armand, 20 September 2015 - 03:10 PM.

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