THE KNOWLEDGE MEDIA INSTITUTE

History of Flight

Key events

Flights of fancy

Models

Aerodynamics

How planes fly

Historical development

Aero-engines

Flyers

Cayley

Lilienthal

Phillips

The Wright Brothers

Santos-Dumont

Cody

Links

About FirstFlight

Cayley - planes

The design on the silver disc illustrated Cayley's revolutionary idea for a flying machine, with a curved wing, steering and propulsion systems.


This model represents the first modern configuration airplane in history with a fixed wing, and an adjustable horizontal and vertical tail.


Cayley made drawings of his first compound design, with fixed wings set at a dihedral angle supporting ornithopter style flappers for extra lift.


A double kite glider with adjustable weight for balance. The main wing is bent to form a dihedral angle and thus give directional stability in flight.


The 'Boy Carrier' had three tiers of sails to provide lift, a pilot-operated elevator/rudder and hand worked flappers for forward propulsion.


The Riding Rudder glider had a 'sail' of 16 sq ft and weighed 16lbs. It proved the idea of 'pendulum' stability for longitudinal control.


Cayley's second gunpowder engine was intended to drive flappers, and thus provide forward propulsion, in a flat-winged monoplane.


The first successful man-carrying glider took Cayley's footman across Brompton Dale. It made use of curved wings with dihedral.