The story of man’s attempt to rival the birds is as old as the human race. From Greek mythology we have the story of Icarus who had wings of feathers sewn on with threads and fastened with wax. He flew too near the sun, and the wax melted. Icarus fell into the sea and was drowned. Oliver of Malmesbury, an English monk, tower-jumped with wings in 1020 and survived – with injuries. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) gave the world plans for a flying machine and a parachute. In 1678 Besnier, a French locksmith, created a glider-type machine, an arrangement of rods and planes worked by his hands and feet, and claimed to have flown over a barn.