Samuel Langley (right) with pilot and chief mechanic and volunteer pilot Charles Manly aboard the houseboat used to launch his aerodromes, near Quantico Virginia, 1904.
Close Window

Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) and Charles M. Manly (left), chief mechanic and pilot on board the houseboat that served to
launch Langley's Aerodrome aircraft over the Potomac River

Credit: Courtesy of NASA

In 1867, Samuel Langley left the position as chair of mathematics at the United States Naval Academy to become director of the Allegheny Observatory and a professor of astronomy at the Western University of Pennsylvania, There, Langley guided the observatory towards scientific study and began pathbreaking studies of flight. In 1891, Langley moved to Washington D.C. to serve full time as the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

Back to Top