Francis Herbert Wenham was the first person to suggest that
lift could be improved using multiple stacked wings
(“superposed aeroplanes”). The Wright brothers
benefited from this and other ideas from Wenham.
We know from the work of Wilber and Orville Wright that John
Smeaton’s tables were essentially correct, although the
coefficient of air pressure that he calculated was 53% higher than
the correct value.
See also in The book of science:
Readings on wikipedia: