George Cayley and
George Cayley first created a model glider in 1804. It incorporated
an English arch top kite mounted on a rod acting as a wing. The
glider could be steered by an adjustable tail unit. This tail
also kept the kite stable.Cayley placed weights on the kite. It
carried weights up to 80 or 90 lbs.
Fourteen years later Cayley developed a modern glider, which consisted
of two kites. The large one for the wing unit and the small one
for the tail. The wing was set in a form of a dihedral angle,
which he discovered gave the glider greater stability.
A dihedral angle is an angle formed by two flat plane surfaces.
This is how aircraft wings are made.
Below is an image of the glider Cayley developed in 1804
courtesy of the Science Museum, London.