Cody Flyer Project - Project to build a full size replica of British Army Aeroplane No 1A (The ‘Cody Flyer’)

Welcome to the archived pages of the original Cody Flyer Project website tracing the efforts of the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) back in 2007/2008 to build a full size replica of British Army Aeroplane No 1A the ‘Cody Flyer’.

This project was conceived to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Samuel Franklin Cody’s historic achievement of being recognised for the first heavier than air, powered, controlled and sustained flight in the UK which took place at Farnborough, in Hampshire, on the 16th October 1908.

Prior to the project it was felt by many associated with FAST that Cody’s achievement had been under recognised, particularly in the UK, and the decision was taken by the FAST trustees to build a full size replica of Cody’s historic aeroplane. In response the trustees appointed a project leader (David Wilson) and construction team, largely consisting of FAST volunteers, to research, design and build a full size non-flying replica of Cody’s aircraft in the exact configuration used for the historic flight and constructed using contemporary materials. The target for the team was to complete the replica by the 100th anniversary of the event on 16th October 2008.

The project was also supported by local historian Jean Roberts who having dedicated much of her life to researching the life and works of Samuel Cody provided much advice and factual information to the project team concerning the configuration, build and materials used in the construction of the original aircraft. Also her husband John Roberts provided drawings of the aircraft which were used as the design starting point for the team.

From start to completion, the project took about twenty months and the team successfully achieved the objective of building the replica in time for the centenary celebrations. In fact progress had been so good that the replica build was advanced enough to be displayed at the Farnborough Air show in July 2008 alongside other pioneering aircraft replicas, a Wright ‘B’ Flyer, an A V Roe 1 biplane and partially completed tri-plane in a special ‘Pioneers of Flight Pavilion’ featured at the show. During the show unique photo opportunities were provided for visitors and visits made by actual living decedents of all three aviation pioneers.

The ’official’ culmination of the project was a grand opening and commemoration event held at the FAST museum in Farnborough on 16th October 2008 (exactly 100 years after the first flight) attended by numerous celebrities (including ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher), local dignitaries, aviation historians, enthusiasts, local press, TV and national media.

The information contained in the following pages are an accurate record of how the project was conducted and reflect what was published at the time. These pages have been retained for archiving purposes and moved to the main FAST website for continued public access to facilitate research and provide information about how this very successful project was achieved.

The replica can still be seen at the FAST museum, 85A Farnborough Road, Farnborough GU14 6TF, UK on public opening days at weekends.

Earlier NEWS articles are available on our ARCHIVE page

The FAST Cody Flyer Project


To build a (non-flying) full size replica of British Army Aircraft Number 1A in which Samuel Franklin Cody, on 16 October, 1908  made the first powered, controlled flight in the UK of a heavier than air machine.


The replica, to be completed in time for the 100th Anniversary of that historic flight in October, 2008, is to be built to the drawings prepared by John Roberts based on research over many years by Mrs. Jean Roberts.

Samuel Franklin Cody

The fundamental mandates of the project were authenticity & meeting the October 2008 deadline.

FAST Media contact:
Richard Gardner Tel 01252 515562

Project Leader:
David Wilson Tel 01420 23644

Project Deputy:
Maurice Shakespeare

Information on Samual Franklin Cody:
Jean Roberts Tel 01252 543740

Samuel Franklin Cody