Samuel Franklin Cowdery later known as Samuel Franklin Cody



S. Cowdery 1867-1913


Samuel, a wild west showman and an early pioneer in manned flights and most famous for his “Cody war kites” used by the British in WW1.





Balloons vs Kites


Cody war kite, lifting a man in a gondola

In one of the versions of this part is that S. Cowdery bercame intrested in kites because of his friendship with balloonist Auguste Gaudron. Cowedry showed an early intrest in the creation of kites that can reach high altitudes and of carying a man.

The problem that existed with use of balloons formeteorological and military observation is that they could only opperate in light wind conditions. Cowdery realised that kites, that can opperate in stronger winds, would allow these activities to be carried out in a wider range of weather conditions. His kites where soon adaoppted for meteorology purposes.


Kite design

Cowdery further developed the


Recent model double cell box

Lawrence Hargrave’s double-cell box kite to increase its lifting power. The biggest modification he did was adding the wings on either side of the kite.

Then he designed and developed a system to fly multiple kites at a single line. This system was able to ascend many thousands of feet, all this while carrying several men in a gondola.

In 1901 Cowdery patented his design and the cody kite was born


Historical facts about the cody kite

  • 1901
      • Cowdery offerd his design to the war office, made several demonstration flights up to 2.000ft arround London


        1908: HMS Revenge


  • 1903
    • A large exhibiton of the cody kites at Alexandra Palace
    • Cowdery crossed the English channel in a Berthon Boat towed by one of his Cody kites
    • Research and demonstration for military possibilities
  • 1908
    • Demonstration on the deck of the HMS Revenge. The admiralty bought 4 kites.



Other Facts Telled by pictures:



Cody kites today:


my own Treczoks Cody,

Today you can find Cody’s in all sizes and shapes, this one i have is an adaption to the original model. Its called a Treczoks Cody.




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