Henson's 'Ariel' above the Pyramids, Egypt, 1843.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph by W Walton, showing Henson's aerial Steam Carriage in a fictitious flight over the Pyramids. William Henson (1812-1888) patented his design for an aerial Steam Carriage in 1842 and, although the 'Ariel' never actually flew, its design conditioned much of the thinking of the early aviation pioneers, and laid the foundations for the modern monoplane. Henson and his partner, John Stringfellow, planned to set up an airfreight company, the aerial Steam Transit Company, to transport goods around the world. The romantic print published here shows the machine as Henson wished to see it - operating in all parts of the world. Published by Ackermann & Company.