Objects | Inventions and Firsts


Aeroplane joystick, 1909

Discovery Museum, Tyne and Wear


1900 – 1945

It is perhaps a little known fact that the joystick was invented in the North East.

This is the original control column from Arthur George’s biplane of 1910. George was a North East pioneer aviator and aircraft designer. He taught himself to fly in 1909 and then built his own aeroplane in Newcastle in 1910. He was only the second Englishman to fly in England.

This craft incorporated George’s invention of the tri-axis control column (‘joystick’) which for the first time brought all three critical flight dynamics parameters (roll, pitch and yaw) under the control of a single device. He built this joystick from spare parts from his motor works.

By George & Jobling

On display at Discovery Museum, first floor Tyneside Challenge Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

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