Keith and Weiss ornithopter, 1908-1912.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Chalk drawing showing the Keith and Weiss ornithopter patented in 1908. The ornithopter was designed by Alexander Keith and Jose Weiss and used foot pedals and levers to make the wings beat . It went on to reach the free flight stage of trials in 1912. From 1909, the English-based artist Jose Weiss had made a series of flying wing gliders and powered aircraft, all based on the same bird-like wing configuration. He also collaborated with Handley Page in his first successful designs.