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Thanks to the many friends and collegues who sent me happy birthday messages via text, email and Facebook.

I thank you all with this random inspirational fact:

On this day in 1894 Laurence Hagraves demonstrated that it is possible for man to fly by linking four of his kites together, added a sling seat, and then flying about five metres in the air on a Stanwell Park beach, New South Wales.

Aud20pHis radical design for a wing that could support far more than its own weight opened up opportunities for other inventors to develop the design for commercial purposes.

Hargrave never patented his designs, so did not receive the recognition he deserved. He wrote in 1893:

“Workers must root out the idea that by keeping the results of their labors to themselves a fortune will be assured to them. Patent fees are so much wasted money. The flying machine of the future will not be born fully fledged and capable of a flight for 1000 miles or so. Like everything else it must be evolved gradually. The first difficulty is to get a thing that will fly at all. When this is made, a full description should be published as an aid to others. Excellence of design and workmanship will always defy competition.”

Now I’m off to bed – I have an early start tomorrow.

Onward and Upward – good night all,