Glenn Curtiss flying the modified Langley 'aerodrome' .
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Glenn Curtiss flying the modified Langley 'aerodrome' on the lake at Hammondsport, Long Island in the summer of 1914. This set off the 'great squabble' over the Wright Brother's first flight claim which led to their 'flyer' residing in London from 1928-1948. Samuel Pierpoint Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, had conducted gliding experiments through the latter part of the nineteenth century and, with a grant of $50,000 attempted to build a powered, manned aeroplane for military use. On the two launch attempts, piloted by Charles Manly, it plummetted into the Potomac River and discredited his efforts.