JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post Strange Thing in the Sky series
The design of which was based upon by earlier work of George Cayley:
And from the Britannica article:
"FLIGHT, FLYING MACHINES. Of the many scientific problems of modern times, there are few possessing a wider or more enduring interest than that of aerial navigation. To fly has always been an object of ambition with man ; nor will this occasion surprise when we remember the marvellous freedom enjoyed by volant as compared with non-volant animals. The traditions of Daedalus and Icarus illustrate the attempts in the past ; and at the present day societies exist in Britain, France, Austria, and other countries, for the purpose of solving, if possible, the knotty problem. These societies embrace men of the highest scientific attainments, and as they evince great activity, and publish their proceedings at regular intervals, it is not too much to expect that the problem of artificial flight will be actually solved, or at least much simplified. For the first time in the history of the world, the subject of aerial navigation has been taken up in earnest by practical men with the necessary degree of preliminary knowledge and training. Investigators no longer dream about flight : they experiment upon and work towards it. It is, they maintain, a physical problem to be solved by mechanical skill and ingenuity. But while writing thus hopefully, it is necessary to state that as yet no one has succeeded in constructing a fully equipped flying machine. The number of successful flying models, however, is so considerable as to inspire the cultivators of aeronautical science with a very confident hope of success."
"The subject of aerostation is admitted on all hands to be one of extreme difficulty. To tread upon the air (and this is what is really meant) is, at first sight, in the highest degree utopian ; and yet there are thousands of living creatures which actually accomplish this feat. These creatures, however varied in form and structure, all fly according to one and the same principle ; and this is a significant fact, as it tends to show that the air must be attacked in a particular way to ensure flight. The flying machine of the future, there can be no doubt, will be constructed on the type of flying animals, - the insect, bird and bat. It behoves us then at the outset to scrutinise very carefully the general configuration of flying animals, and in particular the size, shape and movements of thei flying organs..."