Hargrave model flying machines, 1890.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph showing model flying machines designed by the English-born Australian aeronautical pioneer, Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915). Hargrave was primarily interested in the posibility of powered flight. He experimented using stretched rubber bands and compresed air, and later, lightweight steam engines to power model flying machines. The top model used compresed air to drive a propeller, and flew over 300 feet. Hargrave also developed box kites, which formed the basis of a number of succesful power driven aeroplanes developed in the first decade of the 20th century, including the 'No 14 bis' plane flown in France by Alberto Santos-Dumont in September 1906. In honour of his achievements, a portrait of Hargrave appeared on the Australian $20 note.