Flying machine, a device for enabling man to navigate the air. The feat of flying has been often attempted; even among the ancients it was tried, and we are informed, succeeded to some slight extent.
The most notable modern experiments with a view to attaining this end have been conducted by Hiram Maxim, of England, and Prof. Samuel P. Langley, of Washington, D.C.; the former constructing his machine on the plane system, and the latter designing his somewhat in the form of a fish. The flying machine proper is heavier than air, depending on the motions of mechanically propelled wings for its support. But the more usual and hitherto most successful type is the manageable balloon. In such a one Santos-Dumont in September, 1901, succeeded in winning the prize of $20,000 offered to the aeronaut who should first (under given conditions) circle the Eiffel tower, in Paris. Other notable and successful experimenters include the Wright Brothers, Dayton, O. See AERONAUTICS: BALLOONS.