Manuscripts/Mixed Material Article by Alexander Graham Bell, October 11, 1910
One of the chief causes that have led to disasters in the past has been a lack of stability in the air. Automatic stability under varying conditions is of the very first consequence to safety:— For what would it profit a man were he to gain the whole world and lose his own equilibrium in the air.
It occurred to me that the question of equilibrium could most safely be studied by constructing an aerial vehicle that could be flown as a kite, then it would follow as a matter of course that, if propelled through calm air with the velocity of the wind that supported it as a kite, the machine would also be supported in the air as a free flying-machine.
On two previous occasions I have presented communications to the Academy relating to experiments with kites. The first was on “Kites with Radial Wings” presented April, 1899; and reviewed with illustrations, in the Monthly Weather Review for April, 1899 (Vol. XXVI pp 154–155, Plate XI).