The steam engine of Sir Hiram Maxim's flying machine, 1894.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This full size steam engine belonged to the flying machine invented by Sir Hiram Maxim (1840-1916) in 1894. In the 19th century, this was the largest aeroplane to lift off briefly from the ground. It was given to the Science Museum together with several other items in 1896 by Sir Hiram Maxim himself thus helping to form the initial basis of the Science Museum's aeronautical collection.