Cody Statue Project Planned in Historic Farnborough

Farnborough Air Sciences Trust is working to ensure the proper commemoration of Samuel Franklin Cody – one of the most significant aviation pioneers in our history – with a statue to be unveiled on the centenary anniversary of his death in 2013.

Why we Need to Commemorate Cody

The first flight in an aeroplane in the UK was made by Samuel Franklin Cody at Farnborough on 16 October 1908.

Cody – then an American citizen – was already employed by the British Army as the Chief Kiting Instructor. He had established a UK record height for a kite in 1902 (a record not broken until 2011) and had already been involved in the construction, and record breaking flight, of a military airship. He had devised and developed a man carrying kite system for use by the army in reconnaissance work.

Cody became a British citizen in 1909 and went on to develop – mainly at his own expense – a range of aircraft, including one of the type which won the Military trials of 1912 and which is on display in the Science Museum in South Kensington. Cody was the first aviator to carry a passenger.

All his aeroplane work was done at Farnborough in, or adjacent to, what was then called the Balloon Factory. Farnborough is a place known worldwide for its association with aviation. Although Cody’s main connection is with Farnborough, he first introduced his kites to the Army whilst the Balloon School and Factory were still in Aldershot. At the time if his first flight, he lived in Mytchett and later moved to Ash Vale.

To learn more about Cody visit

The Proposed Memorial

Despite having played such a major role in the development of aviation in the UK, there is no public monument to Cody and he is in danger of being forgotten.

It is planned to commemorate Samuel Franklin Cody (no relation to “Buffalo Bill”) by the erection, in a public place, of a statue. The statue will be flanked by a memorial wall to commemorate the world renowned role of Farnborough in the development of aviation.

The intent is to unveil the statue on Wednesday 7 August 2013 – the centenary of Cody’s death in the centenary of Cody’s death in an aircraft accident at Farnborough.

Supporting the Project

The Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST), assisted by the Rushmoor Rotary Club, is seeking to raise funds to cover the cost of this project. Rushmoor Borough Council has already pledged a substantial contribution to this fund, which will be administered by FAST.

Volunteers Needed

If you would like to help or support this project in any way then please email us [email protected] or phone +44 (0)1252 375050 to discuss more.


We need more financial help to enable this Project to succeed. Donations will be very gratefully received and can be made in person, by cheque or online via Paypal.

Please visit for more information.

Farnborough Air Sciences Trust
Trenchard House
85 Farnborough Road
Hampshire GU14 6TF
Telephone: 01252 375050
E-mail: [email protected]

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