A Brief History Of Kites. Part 3
It is interesting to note that Mrs Cody, following Martha Pocock's example, made a few ascents with her husband's kites. In 1903, Cody made a Channel crossing from France to England. This he accomplished in a specially made boat which was harnessed to a kite - hence the name, kite-boat. He also fitted an engine to a modified kite, called a power-kite, and in it he made what is called the first short aeroplane flight in England. The link between the kite and the aeroplane is stressed in a statement made by O. L. Owen, a writer on aviation. He says: 'All the successful gliders and power-driven planes of the experimental period were based to a large extent upon the principles of the box-kite.' We may also note what another authority on the subject, C. H. Gibbs-Smith, says: 'The first successful biplanes in Europe (1905-10) were not only based on these kites, but were colloquially referred to as "box-kites".'
Space is too limited to allow more than a brief mention of that daring and resourceful aviator, Octave Chanute. He was an American who designed and experimented with many machines and made over 1,000 flights. One illustration depicts him as literally hanging on in the air to a craft which had box-kite type wings and a kite-like tail. His fellow-countrymen, Wilbur and Orville Wright, won never-dying fame in the world of flight. They were the sons of a bishop and lived at Dayton, Ohio. An early interest in kites was the starting point on the road which led to great achievements. In September 1900, they took their first glider to the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, on the coast of North Carolina. The machine was mostly flown as a kite, being controlled by cords reaching to the ground. On one or two occasions it was flown as a glider, and some successful flights were made. These were the signs and promises of greater things to come.