Episode 3 of 5
Tony Hill, Director of Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry honours the scientists who revolutionised microscopic technology, electrical power, air navigation, gyroscopic travel and digital sound. In their day they were dismissed as blue-sky time-wasters but now we recognise their genius.
George Cayley (1773-1857)
More than a century before the Wright brothers took off at Kitty Hawk, George Cayley designed a heavier-than-air flying machine. It incorporated all the essential discoveries that make aeroplanes possible, including separate systems for lift, propulsion and control.
Alas, the internal combustion engine hadn't yet been invented, but Cayley built the first successful glider to carry a human being. A full-size replica of this aircraft is on display at the Yorkshire Air Museum.
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