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Man-Carrying Kites… in 1904.
In the story of Early Aviation it’s been good to learn that brave men of the air, and the ideas of bold and visionary pioneers were not just a product of war and of wings. A decade before – obviously with military potential in mind, the American Samuel Cody came up with the idea of man-carrying kites!

Here we see a photo of the very first time his Man-Carrying Kites were demonstrated to the British Army – at Aldershot, in June 1904. He’s there, on the far left, in the big hat in the background. It’s a Balloon Section assembling his kites, as Cody had spotted a potential problem with balloon surveillance – no good in windy conditions! Kites, in contrast, could be great!

I bought this postcard years ago – for 20 years it remained my most expensive card! Never regretted getting it. Fascinatingly, the message on the back describes this first ascent, for the man was there. He excitedly described it to his father. Such ascents in the next few weeks would be made up to a 1000 feet… Orders were placed, and for eight years the Army experimented with his kites, as well as dabbling also with his repeated claims for payment! Yet aircraft had by then appeared in numbers, and the way forward was set. Such perspectives on the development of Military Aviation are so interesting.


Man-Carrying Kites… in 1904.
In the story of Early Aviation it’s been good to learn that brave men of the air, and the ideas of bold and visionary pioneers were not just a product of war and of wings. A decade before – obviously with military potential in mind, the American Samuel Cody came up with the idea of man-carrying kites!

Here we see a photo of the very first time his Man-Carrying Kites were demonstrated to the British Army – at Aldershot, in June 1904. He’s there, on the far left, in the big hat in the background. It’s a Balloon Section assembling his kites, as Cody had spotted a potential problem with balloon surveillance – no good in windy conditions! Kites, in contrast, could be great!

I bought this postcard years ago – for 20 years it remained my most expensive card! Never regretted getting it. Fascinatingly, the message on the back describes this first ascent, for the man was there. He excitedly described it to his father. Such ascents in the next few weeks would be made up to a 1000 feet… Orders were placed, and for eight years the Army experimented with his kites, as well as dabbling also with his repeated claims for payment! Yet aircraft had by then appeared in numbers, and the way forward was set. Such perspectives on the development of Military Aviation are so interesting.

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