Aircraft designer Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) with chief mechanic and pilot, Charles M Manly. In 1901 Langley made a model of the first flying machine powered by a petrol engine. Trials went well and Langley built a full-size version called 'The aerodrome'. The project was funded by the US Government. The aerodrome's wingspan was 14.63 m (48 feet), and it weighed 331 kg (730 lbs). Charles Manly developed the engine. However, both trials failed, creating bad publicity, and Langley abandoned the project.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society