Authors: Ben Ruhe
Date Submitted: February 28, 2002
Article Type: Journal

Samuel F. Cody’s kites and other artifacts of Farnborough England’s 100-year-history as the birthplace of British aviation are expected to find an exhibition home when a huge airship hangar is rebuilt at Farnborough, west of London. Farnborough was the home of the famous old balloon factory of l905 where the British developed their wide-ranging aviation establishment prior to World War 1.

The canvas clad hangar measuring 70 feet high by 200 feet long was dismantled in l914 and its framework used to construct other buildings. This framework will now be used to replicate the hangar as a Farnborough heritage center. Countless aviation treasures are held in storage at Farnborough, including the famous Cody man-lifting war kites that led directly to his invention of the first manned airplane in Britain. The Farnborough Air Sciences Trust is serving as architect for the project.

As is widely known, the Drachen Foundation is currently the owner of the most extensive collection of Cody kite material extant, purchased from his family at auction at Sotheby’s in London several years ago. The holding includes Cody’s journals, glass plate negatives, records, and a number of original kites.

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