A flying bicycle


Cromwell Dixon’s first airship was powered with a bicycle. Pedaling the bicycle transferred power to turn the propeller.

The complexity of building a controlled airship was considerable. Cromwell used sand bags to balance the Sky-Cycle and adjust the altitude.

A photo of Cromwell testing a new propeller.

A photo of Cromwell testing a new propeller.

The first decade of the 20th century was an amazing time. Electricity, skyscrapers and automobiles were all new inventions. But the most dramatic new inventions were machines that could fly. In 1907 the automobile was still a new invention. The horse and buggy was still a common sight on the streets of America.


Aeronauts were famous all around the world for their daring flights. Newspapers would routinely publish accounts of every ascent made by the daring new breed of adventurers known as ‘aeronauts’.


Photo from the Dick Stettler Photo Collection

Cromwell Dixon wasn’t the first aeronaut to fly… but he was certainly the youngest.

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