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Besnier and his wings

Besnier and his wings.jpg ThumbnailsYoung Gentleman Louis XIII period - 1625 - 1640ThumbnailsYoung Gentleman Louis XIII period - 1625 - 1640ThumbnailsYoung Gentleman Louis XIII period - 1625 - 1640

In 1678, Besnier, a French locksmith, constructed a curious flying machine consisting of two wooden bars which rested on his shoulders. At the ends of the bars he attached muslin wings, arranged to open on the down stroke and close on the up stroke. The wings were operated by moving the arms and legs. Although Besnier failed to realize that no man had sufficient muscular strength to fly as the bird flies, he did sense part of the truth—that gliding with the air currents was possible. During his experiments he is said to have jumped from a window sill, glided over the roof of a near-by cottage, and landed on a barge in the river.

Author
The Story of American Aviation
By James G. Ray
Published in 1946
Available from gutenberg.org
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