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...