Toward the end of the 19th century, some leading engineers and scientists were recognizing the possibilities for powered flight by machines that were heavier than air. It could be the next frontier. These visionaries included Octave Chanute, Robert Thurston, and Samuel Pierpont Langley. Chanute had achieved fame as a designer of railroads and bridges, and had used bridge construction principles to design a hang glider. When he heard about the glider flight, Chanute invited John James Montgomery, America's only successful glider pilot, to visit his Chicago home, where an assortment of models of flying machines hung from the ceiling. Montgomery explained to Chanute that he had built three gliders. After his next two gliders were less successful, Montgomery concluded that more basic research was needed. Gliding 600 feet isn't considered remarkable at all today. But it was a memorable achievement when Montgomery first got off the ground, 125 years ago this month.