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Samuel Franklin Cody (1867-1913), American aviation pioneer. Cody started life as a gold prospector and Wild West showman. In 1890 he took his show to England, where he settled. An interest in kites lead to the development of large manned kites that were used by the British military as artillery spotters. The Army were so impressed he was charged with the formation of two kite sections of the Royal Engineers. Cody's attention moved to motorised kites and then on to man- carrying aeroplanes. In 1908 after less than a year of construction Cody completed the first powered flight in British Army Aeroplane No. Cody went on to build the 'Flying Cathedral', the largest aircraft in the world at the time. He died when his latest design, the floatplane, broke up in flight.
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