Flying machine model ‘Experiment H,J,K’

Made by Hargrave, Lawrence in Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, 1887.

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences holds the largest collection of material internationally of the aviation pioneer, Lawrence Hargrave. While no single individual can be attributed to the invention of the aeroplane, Hargrave belonged to an elite body of scientists and researchers (along with Octave Chanute, Otto Lilienthal and Percy Sinclair Pilcher) whose experiments and inventions paved the way for the first powered, controlled flight achieved by the Wright Brothers on December 17, 1903.


Flapping wing flying machine with wooden beam for the fuselage and four cross bars along body to support the main wing. Main wing and flapping wings are covered with brown paper. Strips of rubber are tied to the nose and the other ends have strings tied to them. The strings run around two white plastic wheels and extend back to the body. Strings also run from the fuselage to each wing rod. Curved metal arms connect to each wing rod.


210 mm
1775 mm


This flapping wing machine model, designated as either 'Experiment H,J,K' or the '11th flying machine', was produced by Lawrence Hargrave in Rushcutters Bay, New South Wales, Australia in 1887.

The model is constructed from light wood and paper in the membrane of the plane and it is powered by twenty-four rubber bands. There is no device for steering. The paper used in the plane's membrane replaces a previous experiment using muslin (a type of cotton fabric), which was found to buckle under pressure.

The specifications of this flapping wing model were modified twice during the course of Hargrave's three experiments. Initially, it was built with an area of 1986 sq in, but it was later reduced to 1974 sq in.
Hargrave, Lawrence
Hargrave, Lawrence 1887


Gift of Lawrence Hargrave, 1891
6 April, 1891

Cite this Object

Flying machine model 'Experiment H,J,K' 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Flying machine model 'Experiment H,J,K' |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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