Edward Purkis Frost

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Edward Purkis Frost
Born 1842
Died 1922
Nationality English
Employer Aeronautical Society
Known for Aeronautic experiments

Edward Purkis Frost (1842 – 1922) was an English pioneer of aviation. He built ornithopters, and became president of the Aeronautical Society.

E.P. Frost lived at West Wratting Hall in Cambridgeshire and became a Justice of the Peace.[1]

Frost began studying flight in 1868 and built a large steam-powered flying machine with both fixed and flapping wings from 1870 to 1877. Frost had intended to have a 20-25 hp steam engine but the actual engine with 5 hp was not powerful enough to lift the ornithopter from the ground. The experiment cost Frost £1000. In collaboration with several colleagues he started another large similar craft in 1902 with an internal combustion engine. It lifted from the ground in 1904.[1] A wing from this craft is displayed in London's Science Museum.

Frost's 1902 ornithopter

Frost had been a member of the Aeronautical Society since 1875 and became its president from 1908 to 1911.[2]


  1. ^ a b Kelly, Maurice. 2006. Steam in the Air. Pen & Sword Books. Pages 49-55 are about Frost.
  2. ^ Society Worthies.... Flight International, 13 January 1966. At flightglobal.com archive. Includes photos of E.P. Frost.