American-born kite developer and aviator Samuel Franklin Cody, built the British Army Aeroplane No.1 in 1908 and with it, on this day (16 October) 100 years ago Cody performed the first powered flight in Britain. The flight lasted only 27 seconds and it crashed on landing.
Unfortunately Flight’s archives began in 1909 but Flight is marking this centenary by picking out some notable entries of the great man in our 210,000 page pdf archive. And we have a picture of the man himself on our Image of the Day Blog.
The Cody Flyer otherwise known as the British Army Flyer machine was the result of a commission from the government.
Cody was on the front cover of Flight on 4 September 1909 in his Flyer. Happy up in the air, the caption reads: “In order to demonstrate the easy control of his flyer, Mr. Cody at times throws his hands up over his head,” presumably saying: ”look Mum, no hands”.
Mr. Cody opened the proceedings on the second day of Doncaster Flying Week, but as flight reported, he was unfortunate.
We wrote: “After flying down the course, he was returning along the ground when the front wheel sank in a hole which had been filled in with soft sand–described by Cody as a veritable “deathtrap”–and the sudden stop caused the machine to tip over on to its elevating gear.
“With good luck, Mr. Cody was thrown clear of his machine, and so he sustained nothing worse than the re-opening of the old wound on his forehead, the result of his sudden descent on Laffan’s Plain a week or so ago.”
Take a look at the fantastic picture of the upturned aircraft.
In 1910 he won the Michelin Cup for the first completed flight of over 4.5hrs hours.
He was killed in an air crash in August 1913. Here’s his obituary.
Cody’s legacy is remembered with a working replica of the British Army Aircraft Number 1A, which was assembled by a team of more than 50 from the Farnborough Air Science Trust Museum.