Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-air craft of substantial size.

    1 of 10

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-air craft of substantial size.

    2 of 10

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-aircraft of substantial size. Highlighted in this image is the tail of the Langley Aerodrome Number 5.

    3 of 10

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-aircraft of substantial size. Highlighted in this image is a wing of the Langley Aerodrome Number 5.

    4 of 10

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-aircraft of substantial size.

    5 of 10

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-aircraft of substantial size. Highlighted in this image is a propeller of the Langley Aerodrome Number 5.

    6 of 10

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-air craft of substantial size.

    7 of 10

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-air craft of substantial size.

    8 of 10

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    Langley Aerodrome Number 5

    Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-air craft of substantial size.

    9 of 10

    Langley Aerodrome No. 5 In Flight

    Samuel P. Langley's large steam-powered model Aerodrome No. 5 making a successful flight, 1896.

    10 of 10

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Samuel Pierpont Langley became the third Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1887. In 1891, he began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896, with his Aerodrome Number 5. It made the world's first successful flight of an unpiloted, engine-driven, heavier-than-air craft of substantial size. It was launched from a spring-actuated catapult mounted on top of a houseboat on the Potomac River near Quantico, Virginia. Two flights were made on May 6, one of 1,005 m (3,300 ft) and a second of 700 m (2,300 ft), at a speed of approximately 40 kph (25 mph). On both occasions, the Aerodrome Number 5 landed in the water, as planned, because, in order to save weight, it was not equipped with landing gear.