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The Dream of Wings Gallery

Marconi Kite

Marconi Kite (replica)

A pioneer of the heavy-lift kite was Baden Baden-Powell, pre-WWI aviation pioneer and guiding force behind the Royal Aeronautical Society. In the 1890s he developed large hexagonal-shaped "Levitor" kites which were intended to be used by the army in order to lift a man for aerial observation. In 1901, radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi made the first successful transatlantic wireless (radio) tests by raising the antenna 400 feet by means of the Baden-Powell Levitor Kite. Marconi also experimented in shore-to-ship radio communication from Babylon in 1901, possibly using these kites to raise the antenna.