The Dream of Flying

Page 4




  Eilmer - the Flying Monk - 1010 AD  
  An early attempt to fly was done by the Benedictine monk Eilmer in England. He belonged to the monastery in Malmesbury. He lived between 981-1069 AD (approx) and made his famous flight around 1010 AD.

Brother Eilmer designed a glider aircraft consisting of a pair of wings without tail part. With this he threw
himself out from the top of the tower of Malmesbury Abbey. However the wings did not met his expectations. He caught the winds around the tower and flew about 200 m from the tower. But at last he fell down, but not so fast that he killed himself.
Certainly he broke his both legs and remained crippled for the rest of his life, but he lived to an old age - not so usual for an aviation pioneer.

Left: Eilmer of Malmesbury shown here, commemorated in an Edwardian stained glass window installed at the west end of the current 14th century Abbey, in Malmesbury England.

Photograph Andrew Dunn, 15 September 2005. This file is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License


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Lars Henriksson

Updated 2009-05-13