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Swedenborg’s 1714 Airplane: A Machine to Fly in the Air

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A model of Emanuel Swedenborg’s airplane is the first sight which greets visitors to the Smithsonian’s Early Flight Room. Based on the gliding power of the eagle, Swedenborg’s invention is acknowledged to contain the features essential for flight and is called the “first rational design for heavier-than-air flight.”

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) is widely recognized as an eminent scientist, statesman, and theologian of the Age of Reason; lesser known is his role as the youthful inventor of a craft which anticipated the modern airplane by more than 150 years. With its oval fixed “sail,” Swedenborg’s contribution soars above its predecessors with its simplicity of design.

Henry Soderberg encountered this remarkable invention while researching for a book on the history of flight. In this account Soderberg offers and overview on the dream of flight through the centuries and places Swedenborg at the pivotal point in aviation history. His thorough and authoritative account disperses the clouds surrounding a Northern Daedalus and his prophetic invention.

Book Details

Author/Translator : Soderberg, Henry

Publisher : Swedenborg Foundation

Publication Date : 1988 Swedenborg Foundation

Dimensions : 6.25 x 0.5 x 9.25

Language : English

ISBN-10 : 0-87785-138-7

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