The dream of flight began with makeshift wings bound to men’s arms which, like Icarus from Green mythology failed, often with deadly results.¬† This is the story of the pioneers who took to the air under their own power.

Zaschka’s Human-Power Aircraft, Berlin 1934.


SUMPAC was the first successful human powered aircraft.


The Gossamer Albatross II is seen here during a test flight at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Centre, Edwards, California.



Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Madrid, Museo del Prado, Popular Science, Nimbus227 and NASA.