Samuel Franklin Cody with manlifting kites, Crystal Palace, London, 1908.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph taken inside the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, South London. American-born Samuel Franklin Cody (1862-1913) obtained British nationality in 1896. He pioneered the manlifting kite as a means of military observation - the kite holds the observer while the cable is supported by several smaller kites. On 16th October 1908, Cody made the first powered flight in Britain in his British Army aeroplane No 1 using a 50-hp Antoinette engine. He also took part in the planning and construction of the first British dirigible airship. He was killed in a flying accident at Farnborough, Hampshire, in 1913.