In 1905 Cody built a very large but
light biplane glider.
The pilot would lie prone, in a hammock contraption in the centre of the lower wing,
the machine was sent up as a kite on a string and then set free to glide
down to the ground. The wing span was 51 feet (16 metres),
the wing area was 807 square feet (75 square metres).
Its weight when empty was 116lbs and, with Cody as pilot 320lbs.
It had two small auxiliary control surfaces, of diamond shape, under the lower wing. These were used as ailerons for stability,
as elevators for rise and descent and were called 'elevons'. Later a supplementary elevator or balancing tail was added to the rear. The pilot moved the 'elevon' cords
with his hands and the rear elevator with his feet. Despite its size
the glider was easily transported, capable of being folded down into a
reasonably small area and quickly erected in twenty minutes.
The glider was built in 1905 at the Crystal Palace,
London when Cody was on leave from his duties as Kite Instructor
at the Balloon School in Aldershot. It was there that Sir Hiram Maxim
watched the machine successfully fly. It was later taken to Jubilee Hill near Aldershot where many more flights were made with both civilian and Army pilots.
The best glide achieved was 740 feet (225 metres) with a drop
of 350 feet (107 metres). That same year the machine crashed
when piloted by Vivian Cody.
There are not many photographs of the glider. The examples here
show one image of the glider in flight and the others of the machine held on the ground (including two where the machine is upside down.)