John Joseph Montgomery (February 15, 1858 – October 31, 1911) was an American inventor, physicist, engineer, and professor at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California who is best known for his invention of controlled heavier-than-air flying machines. Montgomery devised different control methods for his gliders, including weight shifting for roll and an elevator for pitch (1884). Subsequent designs used hinged, pilot-operated trailing edge flaps on the wings (1885-1886) for roll control, and later, full wing warping systems for roll (1903-1905) and for both pitch and roll (1911).

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  • John Joseph Montgomery (February 15, 1858 – October 31, 1911) was an American inventor, physicist, engineer, and professor at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California who is best known for his invention of controlled heavier-than-air flying machines. In the 1880s Montgomery, a native of Yuba City, California made manned flight experiments in a series of gliders in the United States in Otay Mesa near San Diego, California. Although not publicized in the 1880s, these early flights were first described by Montgomery as part of a lecture delivered at the International Conference on Aerial Navigation at Chicago, 1893. These independent advances came after gliding flights by European pioneers such as George Cayley's coachman in England (1853) and Jean-Marie Le Bris in France (1856). Although Montgomery never claimed firsts, his gliding experiments of the 1880s are considered by some historians and organizations to have been the first controlled flights of a heavier-than-air flying machine in America or in the Western Hemisphere, depending on source. Montgomery devised different control methods for his gliders, including weight shifting for roll and an elevator for pitch (1884). Subsequent designs used hinged, pilot-operated trailing edge flaps on the wings (1885-1886) for roll control, and later, full wing warping systems for roll (1903-1905) and for both pitch and roll (1911). (en)
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  • John Joseph Montgomery (February 15, 1858 – October 31, 1911) was an American inventor, physicist, engineer, and professor at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California who is best known for his invention of controlled heavier-than-air flying machines. Montgomery devised different control methods for his gliders, including weight shifting for roll and an elevator for pitch (1884). Subsequent designs used hinged, pilot-operated trailing edge flaps on the wings (1885-1886) for roll control, and later, full wing warping systems for roll (1903-1905) and for both pitch and roll (1911). (en)
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  • John Joseph Montgomery (en)
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