The tail and wings of trapeze artist Charles Spencer’s Aerial Apparatus. Based on the classic paper dart, the tail, shown here uncovered, was attached to the operator by means of a wickerwork “corset”. The complete apparatus, demonstrated to Dr Abel Hureau de Villeneuve (with unsurprising results), weighed a mere 18lb (8kg).
Spencer also tried - unsuccessfully - to patent this ambitious full-size paper-dart-based “Manumotive Flying Machine” in 1868. It was to be propelled by a “person actuating suitable propeller-fins”. Note the tiny figure with a telescope between the forward fins in this illustration of the machine over the sea, lending a sense of scale.