Pilcher's quadriplane, c 1890s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Plan drawing of Pilcher's quadriplane. Percy Pilcher (1866-1899) was an English flying pioneer who developed a number of gliders, notable the Bat (1895) and the Hawk (1899), and was probably the first person to fly a heavier-than-air aircraft in the United Kingdom. He was killed tragically in October 1899 when the Hawk broke up as he was demonstrating it, and he fell between 30 and 60 feet to the ground.