Roger Bacon was an English philosopher and Franciscan friar who believed in studying nature through empirical methods. Thus, he is credited as the inventor of the modern scientific method. In about 1250, he was making future technology predictions in his work “Epistola de Secretis Operibus Artis et Naturæ,” where he accurately predicted planes, automobiles, and mechanical sailing devices:
First, by the figurations of art there be made instruments of navigation without men to row them, as great ships to brooke the sea, only with one man to steer them, and they shall sail far more swiftly than if they were full of men; also chariots that shall move with unspeakable force without any living creature to stir them. Likewise an instrument may be made to fly withall if one sits in the midst of the instrument, and do turn an engine, by which the wings, being artificially composed, may beat the air after the manner of a flying bird.