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Godwin Meade Swifte Flying Machine Rothe House
This is the prop and gear from an airplane built in 1857 , when the inventor Godwin Meade Swifte claimed to have flown a powered airplane some 50 years before the Wright Brothers in America. Swifte built the flyer in his home and had to have doors enlarged to take it outside. He couldn’t find a motor both light enough and powerful enough to power the plane, so he used a pedaling system. He took the contraption to Foulksrath Castle where a small summit provided a good launching point. Not fully confident in his flying machine, he had one of his butlers try out the “Aerial Chariot.” The chariot fell to the ground, resulting in a broken leg. For the servant, not the inventor. The project was abandoned.