George Cayley

From Inventing aviation
Jump to navigation Jump to search

George Cayley (1773–1857), a baronet from Yorkshire, England, was a pioneer in the field of aeronautics. Historians Charles Dollfus and Henri Bouché called him the true inventor of the airplane.[1]

Cayley became interested in aeronautics studying under Morgan at Southgate. In 1796 he modified a helicopter design of Launoy and Bienvenu, using bird feathers stuck in wine corks as rotors.[2]

Working largely without communication with other researchers, Cayley used a whirling arm to test the aerodynamics of various model vessels including gliders and helicopters. He demonstrated the aerodynamic value of a curved airfoil and starting in 1804 produced stable gliders.[3]

In 1809–1810 Cayley published the influential On Aerial Navigation in three parts.[4]

Publications by or about George Cayley

Letters sent by George Cayley

Letters received by George Cayley



  1. Dollfus & Bouché, Histoire de l'Aéronautique, pp. 55–56, cited in Hallion, 2003, p. 105.
  2. Hallion, 2003, p. 107.
  3. Hallion, 2003, pp. 108–110.
  4. Hallion, 2003, p. 110.

Names George Cayley
Birth date 1773
Death date 1857
Countries GB
Locations Yorkshire
Occupations experimenter, elected official
Tech areas fixed wings
Wikidata id Q319362