CAYLEY, George (1773-1857). ''On aerial navigation.'' In: Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the Arts, Vol. 24, pp.164-174; Vol. 25, pp.81-87 and 161-173. London: W. Stratford for W. Nicholson, 1809 (Vol. 24), 1810 (Vol. 25).
CAYLEY, George (1773-1857). "On aerial navigation." In: Journal of Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and the Arts, Vol. 24, pp.164-174; Vol. 25, pp.81-87 and 161-173. London: W. Stratford for W. Nicholson, 1809 (Vol. 24), 1810 (Vol. 25).
2 volumes, 8o (210 x 132 mm). One engraved plate in vol. 24 and 2 engraved plates in vol. 25. Modern half calf, original marbled boards (worn). Provenance: Captain William Henry Smyth (1788-1865, bookplate); John Lee, formerly Fiott (1783-1866), antiquary and astronomer (bookplate, signature on front pastedowns); James Means (bookplate dated 1894).
FIRST EDITION, journal issue, OF THE FIRST AND GREATEST CLASSIC OF AVIATION HISTORY, LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE SCIENCE OF AERODYNAMICS. In 1799 Cayley made an important breakthrough in aerial navigation by separating the system of thrust from the system of lift. Earlier experiments with flight had been preoccupied with using flapping wings to give both thrust and lift, but in his research Cayley successfully experimented with a combination of rigid wings for lift and a paddle mechanism for thrust. In 1804, he flew successfully the first of his fixed-wing gliders. He has been called "the true inventor of the aeroplane and one of the most powerful geniuses in the history of aviation", and was motivated by the thought, as he put it himself, that "an uninterrupted navigable ocean, that comes to the threshold of every man's door, ought not to be neglected as a source of human gratification and advantage" (PMM 263). Norman 423. (2)