George Augustine Taylor

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George Augustine Taylor (August 1, 1872 – January 20, 1928) was an Australian artist, journalist, and inventor.[1][2][3] He was the first person in Australia to fly a heavier-than-air craft.[4]

Early life[change | edit source]

Taylor was born at Sydney in 1872. He first became known as an artist, and was a member of the Sydney Bohemian set in the 1890s. He wrote about this part of his life in his book, Those Were the Days, published in 1918. He drew for The Bulletin, Worker, Sunday Times, Referee, and London Punch. Later he became interested in aviation and radio.Taylor was a member of the Dawn and Dusk Club, an group of bohemians and intellectuals that included the writer Henry Lawson. Taylor married his wife, Florence Mary Parsons in 1907.

First flight[change | edit source]

On December 5, 1909, Taylor flew a glider for 100 m (109 yd) along Narrabeen beach. This was Australia's first manned flight. He had made the glider himself based on drawings by Lawrence Hargreave. The wooden framed glider had two wings, covered in calico, and a box kite tail. After his first flight, his wife Florence, flew the glider, and became the first Australian woman to fly an aircraft. During the day he became more confident and flew out over the sea, where the glider finally crashed.[4]

References[change | edit source]

  1. By Wireless - how we got the signals through by G A Taylor
  2. The Air Age and its Military Significance by G A Taylor
  3. Some Chapters in the Life of George Augustine Taylor, a biography by J M Giles
  4. 4.0 4.1 Heasley, Andrew (December 7, 2009). "Aviation marks centenary since first manned flight" (in English). The Age. pp. 6.