Motor- Kite

          The link between Cody's kites and his aeroplanes is the motor kite which he constructed at Farnborough in 1907 (possibly started in 1906).  This was a pilotless biplane which bore a strong resemblance to a Cody kite but incorporated additional control surfaces and a three cylinder 12hp Buchet engine.  The span of the upper wing is estimated to have been 35 feet (10.5 metres)  and was larger than the lower wing.  The undercarriage, utilising bicycle forks and wheels, was fitted beneath the central box section and two long skids were mounted beneath the twin tail rudders.  The machine had a horizontal tail plane and at one stage biplane elevators/balancing planes were fitted on the front.  The single propeller was situated behind the wings.  The motor kite was tested both along the ground and suspended from an overhead cable rigged between two masts.  There is no evidence that it ever made a free flight.  Cody himself said, when presenting slides of the machine to a meeting of the Royal Aeronautical Society :-
          'This is a kite; I am just starting the engine and I am trying to get out of the way to let
  it run.  It was supposed to be let loose, but the authorities were afraid I might do some damage by letting it go up in the sky.'

 Shows Cody (in white coat, kneeling), at Farnborough, making adjustments to the machine and watched by men of the Royal Engineers.


 The motor kite is seen here suspended from the roof of the balloon shed at Farnborough.  The biplane elevators/balancing planes can be seen extending from the front of the machine

 The motor kite, seen from the rear, at the entrance to the Balloon Shed, Farnborough


© by Jean Roberts 

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More Wind for Cody