An orginal box kite made by Lawrence Hargrave, late 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915), an English-born Australian aeronautical pioneer, developed the box kite to produce a wing form for early aircraft. in 1894 he showed that a stable flying machine capable of carrying a man was possible. By linking four of his box kites together to carry a sling seat, he was able to make a flying machine which, on 12 November 1894, flew 16 feet. In the first decade of the 20th century, he went on to produce a number of successful power-driven aeroplanes, 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 $20 Australian note.