Paper Airplanes

Interesting Article on paper airplanes by Cecil from 1992:

Somehow I missed that one (I hadn’t discovered the Dope in the Boston Phoenix by then), but I’d wondered about tha question.

If I had seen it, I’d have cited it in my Teemings piece First Flight from Teemings #15 in 2003:

The Master says that Cayley didn’t have anyone to follow him in his endeavors at heavier-than-air flight. But there was one follower, and he was somewhat successful. John Stringfellow contacted Cayley back when he and his partner Henson were trying to get an airline off the ground (pun intended, and a true example of chutzpah – they hadn’t built a flying machine – nor had anyone else – but they were trying to sell shares in an airline). Stringfellow’s partner Henson bailed out, but Stringfellow persisted, and built a heavier-than-air flying machine powered by a tiny aluminum steam engine. It looked shockingly modern – it as a monoplane with well-shaped wings and a pair of counter-rotating propellors to drive it. Surprisingly – since it had no lateral stability, and it had to be flown in long buildings or tents – it had no vertical tail. But it flew – the first heavier-than-air airplane to fly that I know of (although not the first heavier-than-air craft. Spring-powered helicopter had already been built). Years later, in The Flight of the Phoenix, they crdir Henso and Stringfellow with building a rubber band-powered airplane, but Henson had nothing to do with it, nor did rubber bands. And Stringfellow admitted to following Cayley’s work in building his plane.
Strinfelow ran out of money, and couldn’t scale up his invention. Many year later he built a completely redesigned airplane for human flight that was exhibited at the CRystal Palace, but as far as I know nobody ever tried to fly it. Stringfellow passed from most people’s memories (although the encyclopedic Jules Verne gave him proper credit as a flying pioneer in Robur the Conqueror).