Those Magnificent Men in
their Flying Machines

Henry Farman
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European Aviation History 1900-14

Welcome to Magnificent MenThis site is dedicated to the history of aviation in Europe from the earliest powered flights to the outbreak of the First World War. It is not in any real sense a history of the invention or development of the Aeroplane, but more a celebration of the brave and colourful pre-war pioneers, who to an adoring public really were 'Magnificent Men'. On the left are links to some of the most important pioneers, record breaking flights, competitions, and of course the amazing aeroplanes they flew. [What's new]  [More about this site]  [Search this site]  [The 1965 film]  [Additional pages]  ['Windkiller']  [© Copyright statement]  [translate traduisez übersetzen traduzca]

Samuel F Cody December 1910: British Michelin Cup This Month... in 1910 American-born inventor Samuel Cody (left) won the British Empire Michelin Cup for the greatest distance covered over a closed circuit. Flying his Cathedral biplane he flew through fog, bitter cold and a blustery wind to cover 185 miles, in 4 hr. 47 min, at Farnborough on 31 December. Cody was kept up to date with Tom Sopwith's simultaneous attack on the Cup at Brooklands aerodrome by large blackboards set up on the ground. Towards the end of the attempt both Cody's Green engine and the pilot's extravagant moustache were starting to suffer from icing. Cody received a £500 prize for the flight, which set new British records for duration and distance.
[Previous Months]
What's New 11 February 2006 Additional Pages
Time Flies A timeline of significant aeronautical events in Europe from the death of Otto Lilienthal in 1896 to the outbreak of war in 1914 (via the first man-carrying helicopter and more) has now been added.
[What Was New]
Louis Blériot - A Study in Trial and Error
Hubert Latham - Murder in the Bush?
Adolphe Pégoud - Article from the Graphic
Alberto Santos-Dumont - First to Fly?
Jean Conneau - My Circuit of Britain (.doc)
Machines - Oakington monoplane

Site Search 'Windkiller' by Stephen King
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cover Stephen H. King (a contributer to this website) has written a historical novel centred on Hubert Latham's life. Stephen's wife is a distant cousin of Latham, and this connection has fired his interest and also allowed him unique access to family sources. The book explores Latham's rivalry with Blériot, his success at Rheims, and later disappointments to illuminate his intriguing personality.
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Balloons · Airships · Zeppelins · Santos-Dumont · Farman · Wrights in France · The Channel · Rheims · London - Manchester
Chavez · Round Britain Race · Garros · Aerobatics · Egypt · Men · Machines · Bibliography + Links