Langley Aerodrome Number 6

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. 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 November 28, 1896, another successful flight was made with a similar model, the Aerodrome Number 6. It was flown a distance of approximately 1,460 m (4,790 ft). In appearance, the Number 6 was much like the Number 5, except for having rounded wing tips.