Saturday, November 10, 2007

A little bit of history taken from SARFLY

On 09 Nov 2007, at 12:12 AM, Christo van der Merwe wrote:

Here is a very interesting Wiki about "the first flying machine".

Apparently, a South African - a Zulu from Natal by the name of Goodman Household, flew his glider in 1871 for over 100m. Interestingly, this took place 20 years before Otto Lilienthal's hang gliding experiments in 1891. Although a lot of controversial claims are being listed, it's still an interesting read.

On 09 Nov 2007, at 9:08 AM, Neil wrote:

He was not the first in the world to fly - George Cayley's coachman probably was. However they had no controls (steering)

Household had the first CONTROLLED flight in the world. He steered the hanglider in a turn, and flew over gum trees 100 feet high and landed.

It is actually incredible. In Durban there lives today Harold Strachan, who writes for the newspapers (he is about 80)
When he was a boy of 12 he cycled out to see Karkloof where the flight happened.
There he met an ancient Zulu man, who remembered the flight very well - he saw it happen, and described it! Thus we have a unique chain of evidence, and really someone should make a documentary. We can interview Harold live, who can describe what the witness to the flight saw. There is no closer "chain of evidence" for other early flights. For example Cayley's flight is only vaguely referred to in books - there is no handed down verbal evidence.

Any film makers interested?


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