Stringfellow's triplane, 1868.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model. John Stringfellow was a founder member of the aeronautical Society (now the Royal aeronautical Society) in 1866. When the Society held its first exhibition at the Crystal Palace outside London, the triplane was the most important exhibit. Although in tests the machine failed to sustain itself, it was to have far reaching influence on future inventors especially those - including Chanute and the Wright brothers - who chose a superimposed wing structure.