Tower jumping EditEventually some tried to build real flying devices, typically birdlike wings, and attempted to fly by jumping off a tower, hill, or cliff. During this early period physical issues of lift, stability, and control were not understood, and most attempts ended in serious injury or death when the apparatus lacked an effective horizontal tail, or the wings were simply too small.In the 1st century AD Chinese Emperor Wang Mang recruited a specialist scout to be bound with bird feathers; he is claimed to have glided about 100 meters. In 559 AD, Yuan Huangtou is said to have landed safely following an enforced tower jump. In medieval Europe the earliest recorded tower jump dates from 852 AD, when Armen Firman made a jump in Cordoba, Spain, reportedly covering his body with vulture feathers and attaching two wings to his arms; on landing he is said to have crashed and sustained a back injury which some critics attributed to a lack of a tail. In 1010 AD English monk Eilmer of Malmesbury flew from the tower of Malmesbury Abbey in a primitive glider. Eilmer was said to have flown over 200 yards (180 m) before landing, breaking both his legs. Eilmer later remarked that the only reason he did not fly further was that he forgot to give his machine a tail. This burst of activity was followed by a lull of several centuries. Jumping revived in 1496 with Seccio breaking both arms in Nuremberg. In 1507 John Damian strapped on wings covered with chicken feathers and jumped from the walls of Stirling Castle in Scotland, breaking his thigh, later blaming it on not using eagle feathers. This kind of thing continued unabated at least until the early 19th century, with never more than partial success. Francis Willughby's suggestion, published in 1676, that human legs were more comparable to birds' wings in strength than arms, had only occasional influence. As late as 1811, Albrecht Berblinger constructed an ornithopter and jumped into the Danube at Ulm.