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The
Big Aviation Book
for

Boys
DEDICATED
to the spirit
t r

and enthusiasm

the guide

and

of youth

inspiration

of the leaders of to-

morrow.

»i
TIMES WIDE WORLD PHOTO

Commander Byrd

in his

Antarctic Costume. Original printed

for the first time.
^

THE

^®™®B%
FOR BOYS

Introduction^
by

COMMANDER.
RICHARD
&X—

JOSEPH LEWIS FRENCH

M?LOUGHLIN

BR.OS.iSc

SPRINGFIELD...
Copyright 1929

By McLoughlin

Bros., Inc.

Springfield, Mass.

Printed in U.

S.

A.
FOREWORD
New York,
August
I

was glad when

going

may

still

be flying

Another

years.

in five

thing,

is

it

today
...
CONTENTS
PAGE

The Story of the Airship .... Capt. T. J. C. Martyn
The First Attempt at the North Pole Captain

—

1

9
An...
THE STORY OF THE AIRSHIP
ft

BY

N

the recent

Ocean

T. J. C.

MARTYN

voyage of the Graf Zeppelin across the Atlantic

...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

2

Tarentum who invented the kite, the forerunner of the
plane, and Archimedes who first discovered...
THE AIRSHIP
and

at Versailles where, in the midst of an admiring throng
in

the presence

liberated

of

XVI and Marie

L...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

4

from actual experience
a balloon to travel

any

in

The problem was

in the air.

direction,

t...
THE AIRSHIP

5

was, nevertheless, to recognize that an egg shape would be the
best for a dirigible balloon,

a host of ae...
.

THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

6

ends, and the suggestion of Francis Hopkinson of Philadelphia
propeller oe used

that a

sugg...
THE AIRSHIP
was powered with an

It

successful flights at

an hour, and

in five

electric

motor and made a number of

a...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

8

prototype of Colonel Lindbergh, for his zest and enthusiasm and
his love of flying for

popular ...
THE FIRST ATTEMPT AT THE NORTH POLE
ANDREE AND HIS BALLOON

E come now

achievements of recent and living

to the

among

...
:

THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

10
fly off to

the regions of storms and tempests, and

to follow thee.

I

shall

shall be forc...
FIRST ATTEMPT AT THE POLE
with some ballast

danger of

collision

supposed

I

it

was

then three lights;
lost

I

my
I
...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

12

as possible for the night, though the prospects were anything but

pleasant.
I

I

was wet thro...
FIRST ATTEMPT AT THE POLE

13

what the strange apparition could have been. He then saw my
signals and put off to my rescu...
THE BALLOON
O

WAR

IN

sooner had a means of ascending into the

covered by the two Montgolfiers than
the art of
of ballo...
—

THE BALLOON
making hydrogen,

set to

work

WAR

IN

to turn

15

to practical account.

it

"With the help of a physic...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

16

noted warehouse), the new Montgolfier airship launches itself.
Ducks and poultry have been born...
THE BALLOON
tary balloon messages were sent

IN

now used

for drawings

the

same method

Speaking-tubes and

and photogr...
PHOTO BY TIMES WIDE WORLD

The Qraf Zeppelin being Draum Out
lis Flight Here

of Its

Shed ft
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

18

and advanced thus

about to

far, is just

swept, hangs there not

in

the Heaven's Vault,

by ...
THE BALLOON
to
it

have been launched upon them.

was intended

poleon and his

to

IN

WAR

was

It

19

fitted

with win...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

20

The

siege of Paris brought the balloon into service under

romantic conditions.
besieged

city...
THE BALLOON
By

hand.

in the

IN

WAR

21

throwing ballast the balloonists escaped before

worse could befall them.

The...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

22

the messages were taken from the bird, and the sheets, enlarged,

were thrown on

to a screen

...
THE BALLOON
and he also adapted an aeroplane

WAR

IN

23

ascend from and alight upon

to

water.

"The aeroplane has pro...
WELLMAN
THE PROBLEM OF ESCAPE
Note. These short
N. Y. 191 1, describe
British steamship in
attempt ever made to

from the ...
THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT
that of Louis
there,

Loud

to

be

let

down

in a

25

boatswain's chair, and

dangling between sea ...
—

THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

26
thousand cubic

feet

the America shot

were thus

upward— up

set free.

Relieved of this lo...
THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT

27

ing the night, or rain, and thus drag the airship

we should

ocean,

what the

mean

to the

be ...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

28

many

tight corners,

and always getting out of them with an

approximately whole skin, that no...
THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT
I

my

called to

mates; told Vaniman

or signal; roused Irwin and

all

waste with gasoline, lighted
...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

30

Navigator Simon, with the

instinct of the brave sailor,

blurted out that we'd better stick to...
THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT
The

end.

with

one end had not been completely

air ballonet at

the supply pipe having

air,

31

T...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

32

saw
in

that

all

the boat tackle

was

we

took our places

the boat, ready for the plunge.

...
THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT
riding the

waves

in

a

33

staunch, well-provisioned and watered,

fully-equipped lifeboat, prepare...
-

An

Early Design for a Dirigible Balloon with
Sails
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

34
realize

before

it,

what clumsy
prow, rising

we had

craft
it

time to unship oars and get ou...
THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT
But

was not

this

ing.

We

that

we were

quite

35

was

Just behind us the sea

all.

boil-

were...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

3d

375 nautical miles
in all probability,

valve

was

tied

east of

A

Cape Hatteras.

later,

s...
THE BIRTH AND GROWTH OF THE
AEROPLANE
NE

of the

first

principles of the biplane

was proposed and

explained by a Briti...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

38

Maxim

once remarked that

it

was almost considered

It

was thought

great

They
Sir

But

mi...
GROWTH OF THE AEROPLANE
Following the professor's

efforts, further

39

progress was

made

by Mr. Octava Chanute, who in...
!

THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

40

while the Wrights were feeling their way.

In the motor-driven

aeroplanes the navigator and...
GROWTH OF THE AEROPLANE
The

earliest

were, as

experiments

we have

the construction of aeroplanes

seen, to a consider...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

42
petrol tank,

and behind

of the frame and beneath

The

elevating tips.

wards actuated the
chi...
GROWTH OF THE AEROPLANE

Latham, the inventor, performed some remarkable

purposes.
feats,

43

and must be accounted an h...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

44

esting feature of these machines

is

the fact that they are

all

double seated with the excep...
WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT
Note:

—This

describes their

first

experiments

BY CHARLES

Y

C.

among

the hills of North ...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

46
it

is

possible to encounter safely with such machines

reached regardless of the
Since soaring...
WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT
the last six days of experiment

we made more

than 375, but

these included our very best days....
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

48

"Irregularities

wind

is

wind are most

of the

high, on account of the greater

when

notice...
WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT
when

it

was absolutely necessary, while the eagles and hawks

the

Two methods

the weather

W...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

50
evidently cast.

As

it

seemed apparent

earth only a short distance away,
get

But

it.

no lo...
—
WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT
a long time.

At

last

51

they started to glide towards the ocean,

but were compelled to be...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

52

a descent of nearly nine degrees.

The

birds

would

start near

down along the slope very muc...
WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT
"The

first flights

with the power-machine were

17th of December 1903.

were willing

see, as
...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

54

the problem of equilibrium had not as yet been entirely solved.

Sometimes

making

in

a circl...
WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT

55

Europe they were regarded as newspaper sensationalism, and
Bennet Burleigh, the war corresp...
THE BIG AVIATION BOOK

56

years after Santos-Dumont's

autumn

among

first

aeroplane ascent.

the

1908 Wilbur Wright t...
WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT
existed

between

the

57

The Wrights won

two brothers.

the

Michelin prize of £800 in 1908, ...
THE

AEROPLANE FLIGHT

FIRST

JESSIE E. HORSFALL

HE

flights of their glider in

Orville

Wright of the

1902 convinced W...
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Big aviation book_for_boys

  1. 1. A
  2. 2. . '. <U . )*#** & x y c-w« >Q" (ffift K bs
  3. 3. I t * li € ~ 1 '
  4. 4. The Big Aviation Book for Boys
  5. 5. DEDICATED to the spirit t r and enthusiasm the guide and of youth inspiration of the leaders of to- morrow. »i
  6. 6. TIMES WIDE WORLD PHOTO Commander Byrd in his Antarctic Costume. Original printed for the first time.
  7. 7. ^ THE ^®™®B% FOR BOYS Introduction^ by COMMANDER. RICHARD &X— JOSEPH LEWIS FRENCH M?LOUGHLIN BR.OS.iSc SPRINGFIELD MASS
  8. 8. Copyright 1929 By McLoughlin Bros., Inc. Springfield, Mass. Printed in U. S. A.
  9. 9. FOREWORD New York, August I was glad when going may still be flying Another years. in five thing, is it today to preserve in those who come for the sea. I adventures; especially because belongs essentially to youth. progress of flying in the 1928 prepare a recital of them for boy readers. to Aviation 13, heard that Joseph Lewis French was I to turn his attention to air he planned N. Y. He if only as a regular passenger. the duty of those of us With me who are here accurate detail the history of flying for Mr. French has done now done it this before equally well for the word on the eve of write this brief of today Certainly in ten he will be a factor after us. has The boy sailing south air. toward the Boy Scout and three other young men who are still undergraduates. One reason why I am taking these lads is that the spirit and enthusiasm of a man antarctic. is greatest before he stimulant for And my will is go a twenty-five. I feel they will be a tonic whole party. America, as well as T. Hp.np.nrk nn h^r u^r*
  10. 10. CONTENTS PAGE The Story of the Airship .... Capt. T. J. C. Martyn The First Attempt at the North Pole Captain — 1 9 Andree and his Balloon 14 The Balloon in War The Wellman Attempt at the Pole Walter Wellman 24 37 The Birth and Growth of the Aeroplane Wilbur and Orville Wright .... Charles C. Turner 45 The First Aeroplane Flight .... Jessie E. Horsfall 58 Sensations of Flight Learning to Fly 70 The Army of Youth 88 Fighting the Flying Circus Eddie Rickenbacker 96 The Gauntlet of Fire By a British Airman 138 Stunt Flying Capt. T. J. C. Martyn 154 How Tubby Slocum Broke his Leg . — . . . James Warner Bellah Lindbergh's Start for Paris Jessie E. Horsfall Lindbergh Tells of his Trip Charles A. Lindbergh Chamberlin's Flight to Germany Jessie E. Horsfall Byrd's Flight over the North Pole Floyd Bennett Columbus of the Air Augustus Post "The Kid" Victor A. Smith Down to the Earth in 'Chutes Lieut. G. A. Shoemaker Sir Hubert Wilkins— His Arctic Expeditions A, M. Smith The "Bremen's" Flight to America Jessie E. Horsfall The Byrd Antarctic Expedition .... Russell Owen Adventuring into the Antarctic . . . . . . . Commander Richard Riding the Night Skies E. Byrd Capt. T. J* 163 168 181 185 194 208 231 239 247 256 263 C. Martyn 275
  11. 11. THE STORY OF THE AIRSHIP ft BY N the recent Ocean T. J. C. MARTYN voyage of the Graf Zeppelin across the Atlantic to these shores there is more to be read and under- stood than the lessons of successful dirigible navigation and construction; it opens a new chapter in the annals of lighter-thanair craft, which one that has skill Zeppelin, in latest background of human endeavor in and courage have played equal parts. The Graf its construction and in its performance, marks the advances in its a rich own sphere advance that most certainly will the development of the airship. success is to be measured of aeronautical science, an have important influences upon At the same time its triumphant in large part by the labors and researches of those pioneer aeronauts who by their perseverance made lighter-than-air craft possible. Just as the history of the airplane cannot be divorced from the story of the glider, the history of the dirigible is inseparably bound up in the story of the balloon. In theory both types of aircraft have been studied since ancient times. Flight through the air has lured man all through the ages as perhaps few other things have, and it continues to weave its spell over millions of people today. According to tradition it was Archytas 1
  12. 12. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 2 Tarentum who invented the kite, the forerunner of the plane, and Archimedes who first discovered the theory of body a will rise in the air if its total that of the air But the which it history of the lighter-than-air craft culmination such as airplane at Kitty Hawk success of the is less that than displaces. that of heavier-than-air craft first dead weight air- and attended the shorter than marked by no dramatic is it is flight first of a powered twenty-five years ago, although the balloon had a more immediate public response than had the successful demonstrations of the Wright which received no more than a paragraph politan newspaper several days after the event. brothers, America metro- home of the airplane, but it was France balloon. To Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier, is fathered the in a the that sons of a prosperous paper manufacturer of Annonay, goes the honor of constructing the agency of hot the British first successful balloon, lifted through the who was deputed by Sir Walter Raleigh, air. Air Ministry to write the history of the Royal Air Force, described their success as due to a ''happy chance," although their achievement was tion clouds of floating scientific deductions. the first balloon. It inflated with hot air to a height it lost its It due in reality to the observa- through the air and was based on was on June 5, 1783, that they flew was a spheroid from a fire of 1 10 feet in circumference, wood shavings, and it flew estimated at 6,000 feet and traveled a mile before buoyancy and The event aroused fell. the wildest enthusiasm in Paris and the Mountgolfiers were at once summoned to the French Court
  13. 13. THE AIRSHIP and at Versailles where, in the midst of an admiring throng in the presence liberated of XVI and Marie Louis another hot-air balloon, basket holding a live sheep, physicist to Antoinette, which was attached a cockerel and a they a The duck. Charles at once perceived the advantage of using hydrogen and for a brief spell ballooning was the craze of Success had come to the balloon almost over night the age. in contrast to the decades —one might by only — experimentation a slight stretch of the imagination say centuries of patient that preceded the advent of a glider big to carry a When and strong enough man. the Englishman, Cayley, and the German, Lilienthal, indicated and proved the possibilities of the glider, attention was immediately centered upon the invention of a powered airplane. So with the balloon half a century earlier. Flight had been in a lighter-than-air craft man soon onstrated and and effectually dem- effective turned to the problem of transform- ing the balloon into a dirigible ship, that aircraft capable of being driven in history of the balloon After many successful was not flights success, the craze struggled with their for say, to any desired after it an into direction. a long nor a and military uses in the revolutionary is glorious The one. had been put to wars with but inconspicuous ballooning theories until waned and the arrival the pioneers of the steam and the internal combustion engines. Here the history real replete history of the dirigible begins, with human and patience and courage, it is a fantastic notions and later with mechanical and engineering skill wrested
  14. 14. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 4 from actual experience a balloon to travel any in The problem was in the air. direction, to get even against the wind, instead of remaining exclusively at the mercy of the air currents —and even today the problem has only been partly solved, tremendous resistance offered by the frame- owing chiefly to the work of a dirigible to light engine had been invented the problem became one of its passage through the air. Once a constructing an aerostat strong enough to resist the strain of flying through the and capable of control air in the required direction. Before the test. however, this, The many was idea first grotesque theories were put to place a sail to one side of to the balloon, a theory put forward by land, despite the would have no fact, sail, in comprehended, that a then there effect, since can be attached, and the at precisely the not Thomas Martyn is no fixed point to Engsail which it therefore, travels through the air rate as everything forming part of the same Oars were then thought of and tried, and although the idea was theoretically correct, it was practically unsound; for the oars had to be very strong and very large, and, moreballoon. over, to be effective they surpassed had to be rowed at a speed that human endurance. Nevertheless, the Robert brothers of France successfully navigated a balloon with oars, hiring six sailors to do the rowing, and another aspiring inventor drafted plans for a mammoth plying huge silken the name was to have a galley of eighty oarsmen The inventor, a French General by oars. balloon that of Meusnier, later killed in the revolutionary wars,
  15. 15. THE AIRSHIP 5 was, nevertheless, to recognize that an egg shape would be the best for a dirigible balloon, a host of aeronauts after great problem and since the model he him of propulsion summed up by an anonymous name his still is built inspired The important. remained and was neatly poet: To Montgolfier the Invention's due, Unfinished as But it his will be the lies, Glory who Direction's art supplies. The was not supplied until about 1850, although one earlier attempt came near to success. This was the theory of the Abbes Miollan and Janinet, who, utilizing of direction art quite correctly Newton's theory that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction, thought of supplying the propulsive energy by allowing hot air to escape from a hole at one end of the bag with enough force, as they hoped, to drive the balloon forward. Their experiments were delayed, for one reason and another, and an infuriated public, evidently fearing that •a not it was being imposed upon, destroyed uncommon their balloon experience for inventors. 1850 Henri Giffard came on the scene and earned for himself the title (though some dispute it) of father of the In dirigible. He to build a model had assisted moderate winds. he in that year a Swiss watchmaker made Borrowing a sum dirigible that successful flights against of money from friends, next year, a full-sized ship, utilizing Meusnier's principle of a long cigar-shaped gas bag, sharply pointed at the built,
  16. 16. . THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 6 ends, and the suggestion of Francis Hopkinson of Philadelphia propeller oe used that a suggestion (a made when screws were the eighteenth century, at the end of not even used for ships) Giffard's airship had in gas bag, 143 feet long by 39 feet its diameter, covered with a network of cords drawn neath the balloon and attached was was In the rear fixed. as the rudder. The craft a to a huge triangular was powered by was taken and on semi-successful flight an to fly at the air — that a designed to act fin steam engine develop- Every precau- were to that he actually a be achieved. an enormous airship, much more powerful Accordingly he which was to a an hour, but went backward. engine set to made to get the ship to five miles several other small dirigibles and soon would need that he 1852, he he managed speed of about four wind being stronger than He made Sept. 23, to say, is be- long pole, to which the car ing one horsepower per 110 pounds of weight. tion against fire down came if to realize a high speed work and designed be 2,000 feet long and which expected would have a speed of some forty-four miles an he health intervened, however, and he died in 1S82 withhour. Ill out attempting his ambitious project. The next occurred in important 1885, when experiment the in airship construction Frenchman, Captain Charles Renard, with Captain Krebs, built the celebrated La France, working having received a grant of money from Gambetta for that pur- was 165 feet long and 2V/ feet wide at 2 pose. The France the first It was cigar-shaped, but it was maximum width. use a streamlined bow, that is, its to a blunt instead of a sharp nose.
  17. 17. THE AIRSHIP was powered with an It successful flights at an hour, and in five electric motor and made a number of an average speed of about fourteen miles out of seven flights over a period of two years returned obedient to controls to its they did not use a gas engine man 7 is its Why starting point. hard to understand, as the Ger- Harlein had built and flown a small dirigible equipped with Wolfert, another German, such motive power as early as 1872. powered with a benzine motor, but uncaught fire in the air and he was killed. A flew a dirigible in 1897 happily his craft light, highly powered engine was, nevertheless, a vital necessity. Hitherto dirigibles were either non-rigid or semi-rigid, that is, they had either no internal bracing within the gas bag, which retained its shape as the result of the internal pressure, or they were partially braced by means of a longitudinal girder and perhaps few a lateral Schwartz was the the two ships was spars first to he who -that is fairly to Austrian named build a rigid dirigible, but neither of successful. Ferdinand von Zeppelin An and hoops. It was left to the genius of to perfect the rigid airship Count and it is be considered the father of this type of craft type that millions of New Yorkers have recently seen fly- ing gracefully over the city. Not that non-rigid and semi-rigid airships died a natural death; they were developed continuously in both France and Britain, and even Russia favored them. young Brazilian who thrilled Santos-Dumont, the wealthy France tury with his daring exploits and who gible with a rare prodigality, is but to perfect the semi-rigid airship. at the beginning of the cen- built dirigible after diri- who labored some ways Dumont is the one of the men In
  18. 18. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 8 prototype of Colonel Lindbergh, for his zest and enthusiasm and his love of flying for popular interest in its in aeronautics, Europe, especially brothers, too, were and semi-rigids; where near its own sake Patrie, Bayard, fates, but won him active in designing in fact, much to stimulate a golden reputation France and England. in The Lebaudy and building non-rigids they brought the latter type to some- present state of efficiency, building for the French Government such famous La not only did airships as the Jaune, the Lebaudy, La Republique, La built for the Russians. however. Ville de Paris and the Clement- Several of these ships met tragic
  19. 19. THE FIRST ATTEMPT AT THE NORTH POLE ANDREE AND HIS BALLOON E come now achievements of recent and living to the among aeronauts, and these the names of Camille Flammarion, the celebrated French astronomer, Gas- was thought to have partially solved the problem of steering a balloon, and W. de Fonvielle are most distinguished. As with Glaisher, the impulse of the three famous Frenchmen just named was mainly scientific, but they have all ton Tissandier, who, in 1883, come under the most romantic left to which is perhaps the feelings in this impassioned fascination of a pursuit man. M. Flammarion expresses address to his balloon as his lay formless in it its shed before inflation: "Inert and formless thing, that feet, that I the ground, can tear with my perfect slave, thou mayest become ity I shall make less thing! of my own into thy I my my I can hands, here stretched dead upon am I about to give thee sovereign. In the height of my life that generos- O vile and powermajesty, O creature thee even greater than myself. shall abandon myself to thy hands! and thou shalt carry own now trample under my element, which From The Conquest I me beyond my kingdom have created for thee; thou shalt of the Air. 9 British copyright.
  20. 20. : THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 10 fly off to the regions of storms and tempests, and to follow thee. I shall shall be forced I become thy plaything; thou thou wilt with me, and forget that I gave thee life. thou wilt deprive me of my existence and leave do what shalt . .Perchance . my corpse ing in the hurricane above, until thy perfidy, fatigued by its float- own exertions, shall fall like a blind monster in some desert place, or into the foaming waves, which shall swallow us up together!" he name of S. A. Andree, the Swedish engineer, is famous for his attempt to reach the North Pole by means of a balloon. But had he never gone to seek death or glory in the frozen north, he would have been entitled to our notice for his wonderful aerial voyage across the Baltic Sea in October of 1893. He had ascended for purely scientific purposes on the 19th of that month, and in making his descent found to his horror that he had drifted out to sea, where his fate was certain unless he could reach Finland or fall in with a vessel. He did sight a steamer, but the captain, afraid of an explosion funnels, put out if the balloon came near and so could not move all fires, to his fiery Andree's assis- tance. In this critical condition the aeronaut maintained perfect possession of himself, and now determined on reaching Finland. The wind greatly increased, the balloon sailing on at eighteen miles an hour, often dipping towards the water, but never touching it. To prevent that danger, Andree cut away the anchor which he had been unable dusk he was ing, — a desperate expedient. flying over the cliffs of Finland, but the blew him along the ary voyage to raise is best told in "For ninety minutes I wind chang- The remainder of his his own words was standing on the edge coast. At extraordin- of the car,
  21. 21. FIRST ATTEMPT AT THE POLE with some ballast danger of collision supposed I it was then three lights; lost I my I way hands, ready to throw with a Suddenly cliff. was evidently it out in case of saw I a lighthouse; but there and hang on to it with had passed the island, was lying in the the water. rushed it my a sharp light now two, For one moment appeared a building. presence of mind and failed to grapple the rope to the ventilator late. in 11 I to the next island I my Now powers. it was too and the balloon came down bottom of the with such force that in all car, and the water Most of the could not move. I into was under water. "But this could not continue. At length, after much turning and twisting, I succeeded in getting my legs over the edge of the car, just a wonder I when the balloon swept over the next escaped without having them broken. positions, but the car but could not endure I was so unsteady that it much longer. I I felt would have been an impossibility for me balloon. I had only one course now to pursue that it up in the air "I cliff, I jumped down. It was tried several I was never safe; myself so feeble to try to hold the — Passing over the next cliff. to save The my life. balloon shot and disappeared. was saved; what condition and for how long a time! I had hurt my leg in falling, and could not stand, so I crept round the cliff in search of shelter; but none was to be found. It was now between seven and eight o'clock. For a couple of hours but, alas! in I shouted aloud, in the hope that I might be heard by some passing boat; but the raging storm took away the sound of my "I then turned voice. my attention to making myself as comfortable
  22. 22. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 12 as possible for the night, though the prospects were anything but pleasant. I I was wet through, had nothing anxious, because my my I head down on clear. my up my put on to if made not glasses, which I draw and waved them specially my keep So passed the long night. temperature. I was now able to stand, and, with my had fortunately round the to shivering, trying to keep hungry and attention to in me This made head. the distance the island over which In order to had blown away, and cap of some handkerchiefs and lay a "At length day dawned. my fur cap only chance of being rescued was the cold ground, courage my my I neck, saw in had passed the night before. position, I took off Shortly afterwards air. I I my trousers was glad to see a boat sail out from the island and steer straight for the place where "I the I lay. soon saw they had not men never once boat passed me, I looked set out in response to could make in vain. a raft out of the to look about to see if there were; but as had neither axe nor I signal, for in the direction of the cliff, shouted myself hoarse; but I my knife, I and the I began few trees was obliged to give up the idea. "When returned to my sleeping-place, by. A man on the island had seen a big I enormous sail, come sailing I found a boat close square boat, with an from the sea with a terrific sweep, and go flying over the ground, and again disappear This was my balloon, or, rather, his description of in the sea. it, for the had never seen anything of the kind before. was aroused, and early in the morning he went "His curiosity islanders down to the beach with his glasses to see if he could find out
  23. 23. FIRST ATTEMPT AT THE POLE 13 what the strange apparition could have been. He then saw my signals and put off to my rescue. I was quickly taken over to home and well cared for." But, as we have said, it is his attempt his make an has rendered his name a North Pole that to the throughout the world. to made voyage familiar one His balloon was called the "Eagle," and resembled the ordinary aerostat, save that and the aerial it also carried a sail; accommodate three persons, had a comfortable sleeping apartment, the roof of which served as a deck. Danskoe, in Spitzbergen, was the place selected to start from. The balloon was inflated there on July 23rd, 1896, but two months car, to passed, the winter came, and the adventurers for a favorable wind. On July 1 1th, 1897, had waited in vain An dree and one com- panion, Strindberg, returned to Danskoe, and soon were favored by a south wind, borne by which the "Eagle" sailed away into the unknown. It was a strange, bold scheme, and by no means so mad as some people thought. But nearly five years have passed and the voyagers have never returned, though countless reports about them, never quite authenticated, have been circulated from time to time, the latest it was stated, coming from Kankakee, two citizens had returned Illinois, to which town, late in the autumn of 1901, from a tour in the to a report alleged to Hudson Bay territory, and according have been made by these gentlemen, cer- tain Indians in the spring of the previous of two white north of the year found the bodies men and the basket of a balloon at a spot 900 miles Moose River. The description of one of the bodies given to the Illinois tourists by the Indians tallied with that of Andree.
  24. 24. THE BALLOON O WAR IN sooner had a means of ascending into the covered by the two Montgolfiers than the art of of ballooning war was was in the perceived. year 1783. The its first air been dis- importance to public exhibition Europe was about to be turned by French revolutions and by the boundless ambition of Napoleon into an armed camp. It might be said that war period was the principal industry of the civilised world. surprising, therefore, that in the year that stration of ballooning, Girond de Villette saw the pointed out the advantages which must result from It is first made an at that not demon- ascent and its use in war. Five years later the Committee of Public Safety considered ballooning as an aid to the defence of the country. And at this time Meusnier and Guyton de Morebeau were of the dirigible balloon. which however proved at work on At the siege of Conde futile, the besieged by means of were made unmanned to the problem in 1794, attempts, communicate with balloons. In those days, as now, the urgent needs of the military spurred the inventiveness which would ultimately be for the benefit as much Voisier, Urged on by de Morebeau, who had discovered a new method of From War in the Air. as for the destruction of the chemist La men. 14 British copyright.
  25. 25. — THE BALLOON making hydrogen, set to work WAR IN to turn 15 to practical account. it "With the help of a physicist named Coutelle," writes Hildebrandt in his Airships Past and Present, "they proceeded to construct an oven which was to be used for preparing hydrogen by passing steam over red-hot iron. balloon, 30 feet in diameter, was sent on a mission the armies on the make use arrived in filled with the gas The experiment succeeded of the Tuileries. to was This was soon ready, and the of a to General Jourdan, the gardens so well that Coutelle who was commanding Sambre and Maas, with a view to induce him captive balloon. It so happened that when he Belgium he was received by To him Assembly. in member a of the National the idea of a military balloon appeared so ridiculous that he threatened to shoot Coutelle. on the other hand, was much General Jourdan, struck by the plan, and instructed Coutelle to return to Paris and procure the necessary materials." But before we relate for the first time, let humanity by world. in a this how aerial vessels were employed us try to picture the impression wonderful new element Carlyle, in his in battle made upon in the affairs of French Revolution, refers the to this episode passage of singular interest: "What will not mortals attempt? From remote Annonay the Vivarais, the brothers Montgolfier send filled with the smoke of burnt wool. Assembly is to up their in paperdome The Vivarais Provincial be prorogued this same day: Vivarais Assembly members applaud, and the shouts of congregated men. torious Analysis scale the very Will vic- Heavens then? "Paris hears with eager wonder; Paris shall ere long see. Reveillon's paper warehouse there, in the Rue From Saint Antoine (a
  26. 26. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 16 noted warehouse), the new Montgolfier airship launches itself. Ducks and poultry have been borne skyward: but now shall men be borne. Nay, Chemist Charles thinks of hydrogen and glazed Chemist Charles will himself ascend, from the Tuileries silk. Garden Montgolfier solemnly cutting ; the cord. Charles does also mount, he and another! sand hearts go palpitating; fear; all By Heaven, Ten times ten thou- tongues are mute with wonder and a shout, like the voice of seas, rolls after him, till wild way. He gleaming circlet soars, he dwindles — like this upwards; has become some Turgotine snuff-box, on his mere a what we call some new daylight Moon Finally he descends; welcomed by the universe. Duchess Polignac, with Turgotine-Platitude' a party, is in < ( like ! the Bois de Boulogne, waiting; though winter, the 1st of Duke ; December 1783. The whole it is drizzly chivalry of France, de Chartres foremost, gallops to receive him. Beautiful invention; mounting heavenward, so beautifully so unguidably which ! Emblem of much, and of our Age of Hope mount, specifically shall manner; and hover and demount So, riding on wind-bags, will first men at Meudon. the balloons, by the way, In the was will. the Well, more if same it lost, just as do tragically! Empyrean." established towards the making of the envelopes was employed whose composition has been all scale the military balloon factory end of 1793 majestically in this —tumbling whither Fate not, Pilatre-like, explode; The light, itself; for a varnish the secret of has the secret of some of the unfading blues used by the Old Masters been forgotten. Whether this varnish was superior to all those is unknown, but it had a very high reputation. at present in use In the early mili-
  27. 27. THE BALLOON tary balloon messages were sent IN now used for drawings the same method Speaking-tubes and and photographs. was formed on the 2nd of included a drummer-boy! The uni- military balloon division first The April 1794. form of Much of were also used. flag-signals The 17 down on paper by means a small sand-bag along one of the ropes. is WAR this division branch of the service consisted of a blue coat with black collar and facings and red braid. The buttons bore the aeronauts were armed with word "Aerostiers." These soldier swords and Within two months of pistols. were employed in the first in the battle they their formation against the Austrians at and one of the most dashing exploits Maubeuge in military ballooning. The incident is a curious one. These soldier aeronauts, it appears, because they were artisans, were regarded with con- tempt by the swashbuckling, fire-eating warriors that in those days made battles, with the result that their commander, Coutelle, begged for an opportunity to distinguish themselves. This was given to them. An ascent was made under fire, way and, one and another, a sub-lieutenant was killed and two of the men were badly wounded. But the work done was invaluable. Never had been such accurate reports of an enemy's movements. The' Austrians objected strongly, and not only objected, but had a • superstitious dread of the aerial monster. self, made made near several ascents. Charleroi, and In the General Jourdan, him- same month ascents were also at the battle of Fleurus, describing which Carlyle wrote: "Or see, over Fleurus in the Netherlands, where General Jourdan, having now swept the soil of Liberty,
  28. 28. PHOTO BY TIMES WIDE WORLD The Qraf Zeppelin being Draum Out lis Flight Here of Its Shed ft
  29. 29. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 18 and advanced thus about to far, is just swept, hangs there not in the Heaven's Vault, by Austrian eyes and spy-glasses: mous Wind-bag, with from it? A or be some Prodigy, seen the similitude of an enor- and enormous Saucer depending netting Jove's Balance, in and sweep fight, O ye Austrian spy-glasses? One saucer-scale of a Jove's Balance; your poor Austrian scale having kicked itself spy-glasses, it harmless as dog its a Montgolfier, a Balloon, is at the Moon: the Montgolfier what Austrian ambuscade ease. What there the and they are making Austrian cannon-battery barks at signals! detects By Heaven, answer quite aloft, out of sight? may this Montgolfier; makes be, its signals; and descends at will not these devils incarnate contrive?" The battle was won, and the victory was attributed largely to the work of the balloonists. The Austrians announced that all balloonists who fell into their hands would be treated as spies. From time to time balloons were used in wars in Europe, and in 1798 the First Company were ordered to Egypt. On the way thither the vessel containing them was sunk by a British manof-war. A second company was captured. Then, in 1799, Napoleon disbanded the balloon division. Some of their material The story was sold and some was sent to Metz for storage. goes that Napoleon disliked the balloon after the day on which one sent up in his honour descended on the tomb of Nero. But the French army had not had their last experience of balloons, apart from the revival in military aeronautics which took place about the year 1840. Napoleon's legions found bearing many thousands in the of On camp entering Moscow in 1812, of Voronzoff a large balloon pounds of gunpowder which was
  30. 30. THE BALLOON to it have been launched upon them. was intended poleon and his to IN WAR was It 19 fitted with wings, and hover over the French army and destroy Na- The French made attempts staff. to raise it, but without success. In their at bombardment of Venice the suggestion of Uchatius, balloon torpedoes. batteries was was found It in an 1849 the Austrian army, artillery officer, employed that the range of the besieging Uchatius devised paper balloons, insufficient, so each capable of carrying bombs weighing 30 lbs. for thirty-three These were sent up from the windward side of the minutes. town with a time-fused contrivance. By dropped little and although in the streets, done the moral The next effect was this means bombs were material damage was great. big occasion for the use of military balloons provided by the American civil was war, General MacClellan making them with the co-operation of Professor Lowe. As an instance of what can sometimes be done by a balloon, it excellent use of may be mentioned that a man named Le Mountain passed right over the enemy's camp, took very complete observations, and then, ascending higher, straight back found a current of to his friends. air which took him Ascents and descents under heavy were made on several occasions, and on May 24, 1862, General Stoneman from his position in a balloon directed artillery fire the fire loons of the artillery with great effect. was done mond, where from place at Chikahoming, and a balloon to place. James River of the loonist. was attached On August fleet Important work by bal- Oaks and Richlocomotive and moved later at Fair to a 16, 1862, the position in the under Wilkes was exposed by a bal-
  31. 31. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 20 The siege of Paris brought the balloon into service under romantic conditions. besieged city, some No fewer than sixty-six balloons to fall into the most left enemy's hands, others the to con- vey important personages from isolated Paris, others to convey letters, and two to be lost at sea. In the same war the Germans formed two balloon detachments under the direction of the Engglish aeronaut Coxwell, but very force service to the invading little was done. The balloon service in besieged Paris was under the control of the brothers Eugene and Julius Godard and The Godards had charge Yon and Dartois. of the Orleans railway station depot, the other firm had the northern station. Godard's balloons were coloured red and yellow or blue and yellow, the balloons of and Dartois were white. During the siege Yon 66 aeronauts, 102 passengers, over 400 carrier pigeons, 6 dogs, and 9 tons of letters and telegrams were carried out of Paris through the Of air. the carrier pigeons, 57 returned to the city with messages. Five of the dogs were sent back, but nothing more was heard of them. Five balloons were captured by the enemy. Some remarkable loons. On things were done with the aid of these bal- one occasion Tissandier threw down 10,000 copies of a proclamation addressed to the German soldiers. peace, but asserted that nevertheless France to the end. On October 7th, Gambetta "Armand Barbes" with The German balloon outposts, demanded was prepared left Paris in came march to the relief of the to fight the balloon the object of organising a fresh the country districts to city. It army in beleaguered perilously near the earth close to the and shots were fired, one striking Gambetta
  32. 32. THE BALLOON By hand. in the IN WAR 21 throwing ballast the balloonists escaped before worse could befall them. The first duel in the air occurred in connection with the siege The French balloon "Intrepide" was seen floating near at Charenton and a second balloon was in the air at the of Paris. the fort same time. On account of the vagaries of the air-currents these Both flew the balloons were slowly approaching each other. French colours. When very close together rapid shots were heard below, and one aeronaut work was seen to fling himself into the net- of his balloon and to cling to descended rapidly, and suddenly the French balloon It is was removed and related that the The its side. "Intrepide" flag of the a Prussian flag flaunted in second place. its French balloonist on reaching ground re- paired a hole in his balloon and ascended again, continuing the fight with such effect that the Prussian balloon now wounded, was rescued Uhlans. Not much credence is fell, and its occu- pant, with great difficulty by a troop of given to this story, which, how- ever, was believed in Paris at the time. The Pigeon Post was conducted that it is well worth describing. in It such an interesting manner was organised by the Paris Pigeon Fanciers' Society. After one successful experiment a regular service was be very small and photography. The instituted. By light, this despatches, of course, and recourse was had means sixteen pages of to had to microscope print containing 32,000 words could be reduced to a small packet measuring 2 inches by 1 and weighing less than a grain. These messages % were sent from all over France into Paris. carry twenty of them. On One pigeon could arrival at the pigeon-cote in Paris
  33. 33. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 22 the messages were taken from the bird, and the sheets, enlarged, were thrown on to a screen a halfpenny per word. this post and thence copied. The charge was The Prussians endeavoured by sending up hawks, but without very good Great Britain has used balloons in war as much as to harass results. any country.. In the Egyptian campaign of 1882 and in the South African trouble in 1885 balloons were employed with good results. the War Boer of 1900 they were In employed by General Buller on the Tugela and during the battles of Vaalkrantz, Spion Kop, and Springfontein. down by On the 10th of February a balloon the Boer artillery. When was shot Roberts and Kitchener rounded up Cronje, the position of the Boer army was located by means of balloons and the artillery fire was directed by signals. Italy employed balloons Dutch used them in its Abyssinian campaigns and the in Atschin. Kite balloons were used by both sides in the Russo-Japanese war; and in manoeuvres gible balloons first France, Germany, and England diri- and aeroplanes are now regularly employed, and with steadily increasing The in effect. aeroplane used in actual war was employed by the February 1911 to observe the Mexican frontier near Juarez during some revolutionary fighting in Mexico. The was Charles Hamilton, and the machine a Wright biplane. aviator United States in Aeroplanes were during the also used by the military authorities "Champagne in France Riots" in 1911. Curtiss demonstrated the possibility of alighting upon and from a cruiser's deck, which had, however, to be ascending adapted to the purpose by means of a large temporary platform;
  34. 34. THE BALLOON and he also adapted an aeroplane WAR IN 23 ascend from and alight upon to water. "The aeroplane has proved that it is a marvellous instrument of war," wrote Clementel in presenting the French budget for 1911. manoeuvres dom a Aeroplanes weic extensively used Picardy in War Minister's in the autumn cf 1910. Taking in the at ran- the report of one aerial reconnaissance, one finds that after voyage of sixty-five minutes, during which the scout followed an appointed route of sixty kilometres, he was able to disclose four important positions occupied by the enemy. was kept at an altitude of about 1500 the journey planes. The feet, The aeroplane and during part of followed the flight of one of the enemy's aero- it altitude, although not out of range, was a fairly safe one for an aeroplane moving at about forty miles per hour.
  35. 35. WELLMAN THE PROBLEM OF ESCAPE Note. These short N. Y. 191 1, describe British steamship in attempt ever made to from the book of Walter Wellman— The Aerial Age, in graphic fashion that daring American journalist's rescue by a the Atlantic Ocean when he was obliged to give up the second reach the North Pole by the air route. Wellman made the venture starting from New York in 1910 in a balloon largely of his own devising. He had for a quarter century been in the employ of the Chicago Daily News who backed the enterprise. chapters —Editor. get ourselves out of the airship in the lifeboat was anything but and safely upon the sea a simple problem. studied that problem carefully, you America was running an average of from 15 with the wind. She was which meant that too, may to be sure. We The 18 knots per hour drifting broadside on to the course, as the lifeboat must take the water headside was launched on. What we into the sea, it, asked ourselves, over and over, was this: Will not the craft be instantly capsized and foundered? how about Will it And if she be lucky enough to escape that the equilibrator, tearing along a few feet in the rear? not strike the struggling boat with the force of moving rapidly through smash us fate, to its two-tons the water, act as a battering ram, and pieces? These were pretty serious problems, indeed, and we considered them long and earnestly, though without the slightest trace of One proposal which found favor for a time was excitement. From The Aerial Age by Walter Wellman, 24
  36. 36. THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT that of Louis there, Loud to be let down in a 25 boatswain's chair, and dangling between sea and sky and leaping from wave to wave, with his legs gripping the swaying hawsers, equilibrator away, thus is removing that part of the danger. There my mind not the slightest doubt in have accomplished upon reflection this we daring feat decided equilibrator, for then the it if and that the brave fellow America would to cut loose the and rise to the clouds, the little in way of ballast her and prevent her going plump into the sea, lifeboat all. We had this very day an illustration of the supreme impor- tance of the equilibrator or something else to take principle. The sun came out clear and warm. heat and expanded rapidly. Tank by tank and was At would he had had the chance; but would never do when she came down again we had to lighten cut the to finally the entire device this point a stupid bit of the in the air, place in its The gas absorbed serpent was lifted, and the ship work was done. rising- The only way to prevent a heating balloon or airship rising to a great altitude is r to let out gas the be permitted to moment rise, the aerostat starts upward; for if it every yard of ascent means diminished at- mospheric pressure, and consequently greater and greater expansion of the gas and more and more altitude. On this occasion, notwithstanding my order to the contrary, Mr. Vaniman, who was nearest the valve-cords, opened the air-valves instead of the gas-valves. The result still wider was that instead of letting out of the distending balloon, for every thousand cubic feet of expansion, a weight of about 7 lbs. of hydrogen, there was let out a weight of about 80 lbs. of air. Many
  37. 37. — THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 26 thousand cubic feet the America shot were thus upward— up set free. Relieved of this load, so rapidly that we suffered all pains in our ears, whose membranes are adjusted to normal atmospheric pressure and find it difficult to accommodate themselves quickly to sudden changes, to a rapid ascent or descent. Up we went nearly 3,000 feet as shown upon our barograph. My aneroid dropped 1.8 inches ful indeed was the view at that height, the weed-strewn waters in that needless ascent. Beauti- of the eastern edge of the gulf stream below us, glistening in the sun, but it was a scenic delight obtained at the sacrifice of about one-seventeenth of our whole volume of £as ~« to m 100 j,^^ a lw S price. And when rium in the airship started the lighter air up high again the pains in down —having found her —she acquired a great equilib- momentum; our ears; and but for the two-ton equilibrator dangling below her she would have gone souse into the sea. was, the serpent went it in almost America rebounded and rose 200 or 300 ball. Gradually she settled down. the gas-valves the Lying obeyed. moment the tail was rising feet again like a rubber up out of the water, were compartment of the watching the aneroid and the barograph, the serpent length before the After that, orders to open crept in the water-tight full its As I could tell the lifeboat, moment from the sea without looking over the side of the ship. It we was a serious question this Monday afternoon if could keep the America afloat during the night, as the gas cooled after the sun should as during it was set. —hazardous because We if it decided to try should come on it, to hazardous blow dur-
  38. 38. THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT 27 ing the night, or rain, and thus drag the airship we should ocean, what the mean to the be compelled to launch the lifeboat, no mattei With conditions. a high wind or rough sea that would And it was with most anxious eyes I watched we were approaching the area of the cyclone we disaster. the barometer; had heard by wireless was coming up the strike Florida a glass down few hours and which did coast, with destructive force; had the later shown any marked drop we should have taken to the life- boat at once for fear of running into the edge of the storm. me Irwin told Taking day. my also the course chart, to left Bermuda Mon- reckoning our position and course, and and probable speed of the steamer, was we should have forenoon. day a regular steamer that It is at least a my conclusion chance to pick her up Tuesday always well to be an optimist. And if we had launch the lifeboat, and run the risk of foundering and being smashed by the ship somewhere steel serpent, in the it would be pleasant to have neighborhood. This third night out, a bright, the waters. a steam- Wind from full moon brilliantly illumined the northeast, about 15 to 18 miles per Warmer, and the gas did not contract as much as we had feared. Not so difficult to keep afloat. Only a little lubricant and remaining parts of the motor thrown overboard. Barring hour. the uncertainty as to how we were an agreeable experience. to get out of the dilemma, Most of the crew and heaven knows they needed it. I slept fairly well had had more rest, and stood watch most of the night, eyes alert for signs of a ship which I had a belief we should find. superstitious, nor anything of that sort. I am not a But I fatalist, had been in nor so
  39. 39. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 28 many tight corners, and always getting out of them with an approximately whole skin, that not for a moment did we should get out of doubt I sometime, somehow. this one, That Bermuda steamship would be about her so intently, and at times so drowsily, right. my I looked for eyes began seeing things in the gleaming horizon or the gloomier depths covered by passing clouds. full electric automobiles, myself, and more saw hundred steamers, some of them lighted from stem to stern; trains of cars, rushing tall I a saw nothing at ate at all times, cold and garret spirits was not strange was used on the biscuits, tinned meats, much The trip. We so strange. shook were and smoke. nibble, ham, ship's Horlick's malted milk tablets, drank ounce of I only to drowse again, and have all, optical delusions; then rouse, We Then buildings shining with lights. water, and not an cat ate, too; now down all settling the to the life. But we knew, each one of us, this was our last night; we could keep the America up during the following day, Tuesday, but when night fell again, and the sun set and the gas cooled, down she must come and into the lifeboat tions for launching in the if we is left for the barometer? neighborhood? don't see her, — what they might have not enough ballast How we must Is what is to favorable or fatal. We another night. the Where be the condi- go, is West Indian cyclone anywhere that Bermuda steamer? And become of us? At four-thirty Tuesday morning I thought I saw a ship; but had so often deceived myself that long and carefully, before crying out. I the lights of looked again, This time it was sure.
  40. 40. THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT I my called to mates; told Vaniman or signal; roused Irwin and all waste with gasoline, lighted out to get some suspended the blazing mass from a wire; the steamer changed her course —they had seen Then he Irwin tried his wireless but got no response. the electric "blinker" and with Morse dashes and dots Her of light signaled to the steamer. We fashion. told been looking for! and in them we wanted them was of the ship; she the Trent us. seized in flashes officers replied in the and they said they would do to help us, sort of torch Vaniman soaked some the others. it, 29 to stand by, so. We same prepared asked the name —the Bermuda steamer we had Then Irwin signaled we had wireless aboard, a short time Mr. Ginsberg, the Trent's operator, was got From that on we conversed freely back and forth by The America kept drifting, and the Trent followed us, out of bed. wireless. having about all she could do to keep up at her topmost speed. — Strange chance that brought these two ships together that gave us the pleasure of establishing another record, the first rescue of an airship by a steamship. Europe with the America, make our adventure a Belasco hearsing. or half a it seemed the as thrilling had written it all If we fates and dramatic out for us, and could not reach had conspired as if a to Sardou or we were merely re- America had drifted a few miles faster or slower, point of the compass to the right or left; if the wind If the had not shifted morning; and time visited a if eastward an hour or two earlier in the the Trent had not on this voyage for the first to the Cuban port before starting to New York, thus being out of her regular schedule, the ship of the air and the ship of the sea would not have come together. And in that case what would have become of us? We have not the slightest idea.
  41. 41. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 30 Navigator Simon, with the instinct of the brave sailor, blurted out that we'd better stick to the America and run for But it. that was instinct, not reason. We been forced to leave our ship within twelve hours had we run make a should have at most, and was not improbable, it might The chance for safety at hand, into the cyclone area, as have gone very hard with it soon us. would have been madness to go on, with nothing to be gained by the further hazard. But how was not to get out of the airship as easy as it looked. In fact, and upon the Trent? it was that same lem we had so often and so anxiously considered. the danger that the lifeboat would be launching her. indeed, But we could swamped find no other way. It big prob- There was or crushed in Vaniman dream of having the Trent come up and get did, a line to when we were to be transferred to her deck by life-buoys. An effort was made to attach a line, but it was lucky it was not us, successful, for if it had been probably the straining of the would have pulled the thrown us into the sea. steel car of the Captain America Down came in pieces line and very near us, in- curring the danger of collision or of the ignition of the balloon by sparks from his smokestacks, but he handled his ship with great skill and fine judgment. Other plans were suggested and discussed, the Trent patiently following, her passengers on deck to now all witness the rare spectacle, and, as they afterward told us, so fearful for our fate that many of them were weeping or praying for our escape. While we were hesitating and discussing, the America lost her equilibrium, and was in imminent danger of capsizing, end over
  42. 42. THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT The end. with one end had not been completely air ballonet at the supply pipe having air, 31 Thus that this lighter end become deranged. end of the ship was lighter than the other; as filled rose in the air the hydrogen rushed to the elevated part, greatly None increasing the buoyancy there, and threatening disaster. of us would have been surprised if in the next moment the air- ship had taken a header. At up this crucial juncture was young Fred Aubert who leaped it forward into the car, ran to the disarranged pipe, put in it engine room, started the service motor, and order, rushed kept going until the America was once more upon an even keel — a it brave deed by the youngster of our party, of proud. all to the Had near doing, this is The weight of the the America turned what would have happened, car have had some chance to would there have been To came very in all probability: would have stripped; the car would We five men have been thrown into the sea. is as she are would have been thrown upon one end of the balloon; the suspension That turtle, whom we save ourselves. for the brave the sort of crew I in the lifeboat might But how much chance boy up aloft? had with me —every one of them. bring out these qualities of courage, coolness, resourcefulness, good humor, was worth To end that there was nothing was made ready gas cord the cost of the voyage. the discussion of other plans of escape and take our chances thing all down for it in the but to go back to our I announced first proposal launching of the lifeboat. Every- for the maneuver. Vaniman passed the within reach, and began opening the valve, letting out hydrogen and causing the airship to descend slowly; Simon
  43. 43. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 32 saw in that all the boat tackle was we took our places the boat, ready for the plunge. But stop — now behind, Vaniman, who had wanted the cat! worried lest puss should not have enough fresh for time to had to make an laugh partment to there ; air, opening. at and in his moment was, we com- fresh air in that month! at least a Vaniman's expense, even compartment excitement asked Critical as the must have been enough Kiddo to leave in the water-tight keep kitty going for have our joke it proper trim; in if we were We had to with to die the next minute! THE FATES WERE KIND THIS DAY Down came We the America nearer and nearer the sea. gripped the lashings of the boat, and each of us held fast — and No, Vaniman had none a life-preserver. to the fact; so to called attention Louis Loud and Jack Irwin promptly gave him one of theirs and shared the other between them, though neither is much were Simon and Loud swimmer. to release the When was of a the water given, snap boat at a single pull. was only four or five feet down into the rough sea plumped our She almost capsized, then righted At that instant the dreaded equilibrator Loud, and stove a hole in make In ten seconds and the forward compartment of the boat, sure kitty had from the herself in a twinkling. hit us, bruised Irwin —probably kind —and was enough fortunately above the water-line eager to from us the word went the two release-hooks simultaneously, up shot the lightened airship, craft. held the lines which pull fates the air it were all over. on the release-hooks we were caimiy
  44. 44. THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT riding the waves in a 33 staunch, well-provisioned and watered, fully-equipped lifeboat, prepared to sail to land or wait to be picked up by some passing ship. thought that in the we had There was some satisfaction really saved ourselves, as the Trent did not put a boat over into the water; prepared to do, but could not for this which her reason; the officers were moment the Trent should stop her engines and slacken speed sufficiently to permit of the safe launching of one of her boats, the fast-drifting America would have run away from if the steamship would again be able we were running about had foreseen to start was doubtful overtake us. As it was, her, to and it as fast as the Trent could steam. this possibility, and prepaTed in We case of necessity our motor and try to bring the America round under her own power so that the steamship might overhaul us. For, to we were glad enough to have the ship somewhere near by when we resorted to the dangerous experiment of launchtell the truth, ing our lifeboat. Now we were in our boat, the cat and all, and barring accident or hurricane could probably have taken care of ourselves. But was the splendid and now famous Trent, a ship's length away, her passengers and crew waving welcome to us in their joy that we had escaped the perils which beset us. How good she looked— one of our men said she appeared to him there as big as the Waldorf-Astoria. did not have to spend a week And how glad or ten days we were that pounding about we in the sea in a half open boat trying to reach land or meet a ship in a part of the ocean where ships are but rarely seen. Still we were not quite out of danger. Almost before we could
  45. 45. - An Early Design for a Dirigible Balloon with Sails
  46. 46. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 34 realize before it, what clumsy prow, rising we had craft it time to unship oars and get our some- under seemed to was upon control, the Trent us as high as a church, was coming Were we straight for us at a speed of fifteen knots. smashed to smithereens here within ten feet of safety escaping all tell She the story. is We are all are running along her port quarter. But we of us are not yet aboard. must run before safety is in we many minutes our favor. and the ship is fast running on deck, and our fingers. into the rope; the hitch is and is but tighter, I can't. and it sure to happen The flashes —my lifeboat fifteen knots the hour. and burns through our let go, We all grab. six. We all grip it. middle of the group of it round line off, One more chance at least one ours. As we spin along the iron one on our craft swings out to catch But they have made No, Indeed Some- sides of the big ship the sailors on deck throw us a line. to be in the after sheer right. the fates are good to us this day; thrice within as they have resolved dubious chances and going to smash us! her sharp stem hits us a glancing blow on the side, we to be we had passed? these other dangers through which Five seconds will Her us. In my some way right winds round through The I chance the line. heavy, is line sings a hitch has come hand; the others have my fist, draws tighter my mind that one of two things fingers will go with the rope, or I shall; and what chance shall I have to get out of the sea alive, dragging captive at the end of a line trailing at fifteen knots? Of course only a flash; for in two seconds it was all over— and it was neither happened. My fingers were not torn off strange to say, was not dragged into the sea; only a lacerated and that was all Such a day for good luck! hand, I bruised
  47. 47. THE WELLMAN ATTEMPT But was not this ing. We that we were quite 35 was Just behind us the sea all. boil- were nearing the propellers. One of our men cried out Were we going lost. by those to be cut to pieces rapidly revolving blades of the ship the fates had sent to save us? Into the whirlpool we drifted, and for a moment the out- come was rather doubtful; but the motion of the waters sent us The Trent was running away from us. We were rolling in the trough of the sea. "That must have been our ninth escape from Davy Jones' locker/' quoth sailor Simon; "told you it was a good thing to have a cat along cats safely past the propellers. — have nine lives!" At we were last safe on board the Trent, ceived with amazing kindness by Captain crew, and all where we were Down, his officers Soon we were again the passengers. re- and in wireless communication with the shore, and learned of the more than generous interest and sympathy the people of the whole world had my felt for us during our adventurous wandering, and for which comrades and Upon a printed I feel more grateful than words can passenger list tell. of the Trent there soon appeared this postscript: Picked up at sea, from the Airship America, Oct. W. Wellman The Irwin F. Aubert we saw of our good airship, which had own power and drifting, a little more than last under her statute miles over the sea, she 1910: M. Vaniman L. Loud M. Simon J. 18, was floating about carried us, a thousand 800 feet high,
  48. 48. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 3d 375 nautical miles in all probability, valve was tied east of A Cape Hatteras. later, she disappeared beneath the waves; the gas- open when we and the big left her, reservoir, with a capacity of 1,600 gallons, so that the sea water could enter and sink moistening of the eyes Vaniman and craft that day or two I had been cut open With just a little said good-bye to the big had brought us so much trouble ping us once upon a Spitzbe^gen it. steel gasoline glacier, a in this world — drop- second time into the polar sea, and this third and last time into the Atlantic. Good old America, farewell. Thank you for the noble com- rades and rare experiences you have brought me, for the lessons you have taught ress. us. In the years to and you will You played your part in the game of progcome many aircraft will cross the Atlantic; be honored as the ship that showed the way.
  49. 49. THE BIRTH AND GROWTH OF THE AEROPLANE NE of the first principles of the biplane was proposed and explained by a British subject, Mr. F. H. far He back as 1866. of smaller surfaces one above another. built use of his by Wenham on as pointed out that the lifting power of a surface can be economically obtained were Wenham, Indeed, flying-machines this principle, own muscular power. He by placing a number with appliances for the did not, however, accom- plish actual flight, although valuable results were obtained as regards the driving power of superposed surfaces. After various further experiments in the same direction, to H. von Helmholtz to emphasize the improbability that could drive a flying-machine by his But period of stagnation followed. and fresh efforts it fell were made, varying man own muscular power. interest in A was revived later, down to the importance, Maxim and Professor Langley. These two eminent men, who took up the subject of flying experiments of Sir Hiram in the last decade of the last century, great scientific knowledge. minds of the public with came to their task with Hitherto flying was associated in the failure and folly. Indeed, Sir From Heroic Airmen and Their Exploits < 37 Hiram
  50. 50. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 38 Maxim once remarked that it was almost considered It was thought great They Sir But mind were not in to the and a men flying-machine largest had 4,000 It feet of that was of 363 had been then con- supporting surface and weighed feet 11 inches in The wooden and was restrained from premature 300 rails. and rails, This remarkable machine had wheels h.-p. a railway line, But it proved unruly. by flew in a wholly unexpected fashion for feet! 1896 he of a mile. machine that flew built a In this for h.-p. engine, machine there was only 70 square weighing 7 still to build a This he did was being put to the test over water, into the water. caught It had a in machine that would due course, but when the machine carry a man. it lbs. feet of lbs. But Professor Langley had being launched, further. still more than three-quarters supporting surface, and the weight was only 72 1 flight burst through It Professor Langley's experiments carried flying In He a large scale. screw propellers measured 17 lbs.; the in of light and learning.' Hiram Maxim's experiments were on system of wooden the two be turned aside by ridicule. diameter, the width of the blade at the tip being 5 feet. boiler it. rescued aeronautics from a fallen position, and fired structed. 8,000 to think of 'quite out of the practical question.' men now the built any one a disgrace to cause the enthusiasm of its he took up the subject at the time in the and at the very moment of launching ways and was pulled Progress had, however, been made, and it is of note that of recent date an American aviator has well worthy Langley's machine and flown on it, thus giving postunearthed humous honour to the inventor.
  51. 51. GROWTH OF THE AEROPLANE Following the professor's efforts, further 39 progress was made by Mr. Octava Chanute, who introduced the important principle of making moveable surfaces. He also made use of superposed surfaces. But it was reserved for the two famous aviators, the brothers Wright, to bring the desired conquest of the air to a definite point. Their Kitty first practical experiment Hawk, North was with Carolina, in 1900. gliding machines at They endeavoured with comparatively small surfaces to raise their machines like a kite by the wind. But they found that the wind was not always in and often blew too strongly for their method. Consequently, they abandoned the idea, and resorted to flight by their favour gliding. Their machines also introduced now had two superposed surfaces. They two highly important principles, namely, a hori- zontal rudder in front for controlling the vertical movements, the principle of warping or flexing one wing or the other for and steer- ing purposes. Later a vertical rudder was added. Writing of these improvements, Mr. Eric Stuart Bruce, VicePresident of the Aerial League of the British Empire, remarks that their importance cannot be over-estimated: to look at the nature of their raison d'etre, of seagulls over the sea. How varied 'We have only and observe the flight are the flexings of nature's aeroplanes in their wonderful manoeuvrings to maintain and re~ cover equilibrium V A feature of these early experiments was the placing of the operator prone upon the gliding machine, instead of in an upright position, to secure greater safety in alighting and to diminish the resistance. This, however, was only a temporary expedient
  52. 52. ! THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 40 while the Wrights were feeling their way. In the motor-driven aeroplanes the navigator and his companion were comfortably After the experiment of 1901, the Wrights carried on seated. laboratory researches to determine the amount and direction of the pressure produced by wind upon planes and arched surfaces exposed tables of the air pressures As They discovered at various angles of incidence. which had been in that the use were incorrect. the result of these experiments the Wrights produced in 1902 a new and larger machine. This had 28.44 square metres of sustaining surfaces, about twice the area of previous experi- ments. At first the machine was flown with a view of learning whether it in manner the would soar in a wind. of a kite, Experi- ments showed that the machine soared whenever the wind was of sufficient force to keep the angle of incidence between four and eight degrees. and four flights Two hundred Later, in made. 1 903, screw propellers were applied Definite progress favoured the venture. and sixty metres were covered at a height of two metres In the following year, 1904, there ress, many successful flights, some was further 'circular,' marked prog- being made. In next year came an astonishing achievement: The Wrights the This was rightly less than 2414 miles in half an hour. flew no deemed at the time a great flight forward. But a period of silence It was not until 1908 that seeming inactivity followed. and revelations were made. It was then seen that the Wrights further had not been that 'to idle. Indeed, it is said (and with obvious justice) the labours of the Wright brothers the mobile and truly we owe efficient military air scout.' the advent of
  53. 53. GROWTH OF THE AEROPLANE The earliest were, as experiments we have the construction of aeroplanes seen, to a considerable extent made England had not been Farman idle. Biplane, in France. Meanwhile States have also played an active part. The United of the in 41 Mr. Henry Farman, the inventor was the apply the famous first to motor, in which seven or more cylinders revolved. The Gnome influence of this motor in facilitating flight generally has been remarkable. The owing to the great speed demanded. the aeroplanes of the great enemy's line into hostile the had proved early forms of aeroplane engines first European Indeed, War it is unreliable, said that were flying over the with old-fashioned engines they would drop hands as quickly as dying flies if from the down ceiling on winter day. Side by side with the efforts of Mr. Henry Farman in the con- M. Bleriot gave his attention to the con- struction of monoplanes. After attempts, which unfortunately struction of biplanes, brought disaster and disappointment, he produced a machine which astonished by its remarkable performances the whole aero- nautical world. Simplicity machine in was the keynote of the Bleriot monoplane. which M. Bleriot flew over the Channel been described by a well-known member in The 1909 has of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain as 'stretching like the wings of a bird on either side of a tubular wooden frame partly covered with canvas and tapering to the rear, with two supporting planes, roundea at the ends. At the front was placed the motor, geared direct to a 6 feet 6 inch wooden the rear end of the planes. propeller, and on a level with Immediately behind the engine was a
  54. 54. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 42 petrol tank, and behind of the frame and beneath The elevating tips. wards actuated the chine, and caused from side planes. to side The act that the aviator's seat. was the fixed tail, with two moveable, of moving a lever backwards and forit tips of the fixed tail at the it Near the end lo rise and warped the act of pushing fall. Moving back of the mathe same lever rear surfaces of the supporting from side to side a bar on which the aviator's feet rested put the rudder into action and steered the machine.' Still fresh in the memory the flight in which the Bleriot is monoplane carried M. Prior from London miles in three hours and fifty-six minutes. to Paris, covering Later, a Bleriot 250 mono- plane carried M. Garros up to a height of 5,000 metres. At this height the engine broke down, but in virtue of wonderful gliding powers the machine was landed safely. It was same type this of machine that flew over the Alpine peaks, and later carried the first aeroplane post, flying from Hendon to Windsor in seventeen minutes. Another monoplane which calls for special reference Latham Antoinette monoplane, which enjoyed invention of this machine, aviators had only dared to It and h.-p. The machine, with gave great impetus fly in favour- At the rear of the machine were vertical fins. were hinged horizontal planes chine. Before the consisted of large, strongly constructed wings. The motor was about 60 fixed horizontal the the great distinc- tion of being the first to fly effectively in a wind. able conditions. is its At the end of the tail there for elevating or lowering the ability to ma- withstand high winds, to the adoption of the aeroplane for military
  55. 55. GROWTH OF THE AEROPLANE Latham, the inventor, performed some remarkable purposes. feats, 43 and must be accounted an heroic pioneer more recent in the history of flying. Progress continued on the lines indicated. ble, for But it is impossi- obvious reasons, to touch upon the modern types of ma- We chines employed by Great Britain and her Allies. however, deal briefly with certain outstanding types of may, enemy machines. One of the most familiar biplane. The with metallic German machines vital parts of this 'fighting 'capot.' The movement the Aviatik dragon* are fortified rest of the fuselage is also In the forepart of the fuselage a space observer free is is armoured. provided allowing the for scouting, photographing, &c. machine can be quickly erected and dismantled. The The supporting surface consists of two planes of unequal dimensions, the upper plane being the larger. Stability is assured by a fixed plane pro- longed by a rudder. Two planes give lateral stability. a vertical rudder placed 'ailerons' at the Steering is back of the upper effected by means of between the two portions of the hori- zontal plane rudder. Another familiar type, the Etrich monoplane, of the German bird-shape design. is on the lines The wing-shaped supporting planes have upturned wing tips at the back, which are flexed up and down for the purpose of lateral stability. The back part of the tail planes The Germans batross biplanes and also many is also moveable, also and can be flexed for elevating. have large numbers of the well-known Al- and various monoplanes of the Taube design, waterplanes of the Albatross type. An inter-
  56. 56. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 44 esting feature of these machines is the fact that they are all double seated with the exception of the Argo type of monoplane. The monoplane did not swiftly dashing scouting favour with the enemy, but the war has brought at first find many sudden and sweeping changes, and, following the much-vaunted Fokker, we learn of a German machine able to attain the astonish- ing speed of 120 miles an hour! The Albatross, a much used type of German machine, was (about 200 of these first made at Johnnisthal, near Berlin Mercedes motors are fitted machines were made in 1913). capable of attaining a high speed. the In Rumpler monoplane, another well-known German type, the wings are again in the shape of a dove's wings, the ends being flexible. The well-known authority, wings and 'is stability of the apparatus,' writes a assured both by the shape of the their flexibility. It is at once a combination of the inherent stability type and the depending on the warping of surfaces.' The Rumpler biplane, as in the case of the Aviatik, markable for the space provided for the this case also the fuselage is pilot it is not made to move in the centre. The upper German machines; There is a short central plane, attached to the fusel?ge by four tubes. able planes are fixed to this central plane. other re- and observer. In strongly protected. plane varies from that of the majority of is move- The
  57. 57. WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT Note: —This describes their first experiments BY CHARLES Y C. among the hills of North Carolina. TURNER long practice the management of a flying machine should become as instinctive as the balancing unconsciously employs with every step the early days, He and it is easy his brother to make movements a man walking; but, in blunders," says Wilbur made most in Wright of their glides quite close to Often a glide of several hundred feet would be made at a height of a few feet or even a few inches sometimes. the ground. Their aim was to avoid unnecessary risk. Fully half of their glides were On miles an hour. gliding in a wind made in winds of over twenty one occasion they found they had been of thirty-seven miles an hour. such high winds require much Of course greater readiness on the part of the operator than the low winds, since everything happens more quickly, but otherwise the difference not so is much very marked. "In those machines which are controlled by the shifting of weight, the disturbing influences increase as the square of the velocity, while the controlling factor remains a constant quantity. For this reason, a limit to the From The Romance of Aeronautics wind velocity London, Seely Service 45 & Co., which 191 2,
  58. 58. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 46 it is possible to encounter safely with such machines reached regardless of the Since soaring is of the operator." skill merely gliding be easy to soar in front of any blew of sufficient were steady. in a rising current, more support is too a wind force to furnish support provided the wind hill at times than is so that a considerable degree of in the rising current. been made on the In a So to keep the machine exactly Little Hill, wind blowing from twenty-five duration with very made little the wind-speed or a slight error in about a landing in a had which has a slope of only seven to thirty-five glides of eight to fifteen forward motion. within five or six feet of the ground, a to bring experience, skill, far their only attempts at soaring miles per hour they frequently seconds' if needed, while at others there and sound judgment are required degrees. of suitable slope would it But, by reason of changes in wind velocity, there is little, soon is Keeping momentary lessening management was of sufficient short time. make soaring easy. The buzzards themselves were baulked when they attempted to soar on this hill, as we observed more than once. It would be 'The wind had well within the too little rising trend to power of the machine which has steeper slopes, but we to soar on the Big Hill, did not feel that our few hours of practice were sufficient to justify ambitious attempts too Before trying hastily. ought to work by know that, in to rise to any dangerous height man a an emergency, his mind and muscles instinct rather than by conscious effort. There will is no time to think. "No complete record was kept of all the glides made. In
  59. 59. WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT the last six days of experiment we made more than 375, but these included our very best days. The season was probably between 700 and 1000. glide was total 47 number for the The longest and the time twenty-six seconds. 622J/? feet, "On two occasions we observed a phenomenon whose nature we were not able to determine with certainty. One day my brother noticed in several glides a peculiar tapping as part of the nation machine were loose and flapping. failed to it. Careful exami- Some weeks later, while same peculiar tapping began again a glide, the a wind-gust. It like little felt some anything about the machine which disclose could possibly cause if was making midst of in the waves striking the bottom of While flat-bottomed row-boat. I was wondering what the I cause could be, the machine suddenly, but without any noticeable change in of nearly ten ground. trend, was I its feet, am dropped a distance inclination to the horizon, and twinkling of an eye was in the certain that the gust went out with which struck the surface on the upper at first more rapid than that apparently rose off the machine touched it. Toward due till side. my downward The descent my hands and feet was slower. It may wind rapidly striking the surfaces alternately on the upper and the lower sides. rule almost universal that gusts a body the end the descent be that the tapping was caused by the and die out with on the a to gravity, for only flat come on with It is a a rising trend descending trend, but on these particular occasions there must have been a most unusual turmoil durin the continuance of the gust interesting spectacle had it which would have exhibited been visible to the eye. a very
  60. 60. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 48 "Irregularities wind is wind are most of the high, on account of the greater when noticeable power then the exhibited, but light winds show almost equal relative variations. aviator must expect velocity, in direction, to encounter and in every in upward or An flight variations downward trend. in And these variations not only give rise to those disturbances of the equilibrium which result from the travel of the centre of pres- sure due to the changed angle of incidence, but also, by reason of the fact that the wind changes do not occur simultaneously or uniformly over the whole machine, give rise to a second series of disturbances of even more troublesome character. Thus, a gust coming on very suddenly will strike the front of the machine and throw Or all. the right it up before the back part wing may encounter a is acted upon at wind of very different velocity and trend from the left wing, and the machine will tend to turn over sideways. disturbances by automatic many The problem of overcoming these means has engaged very ingenious minds, but, to my the attention of brother and myself, it has seemed preferable to depend entirely on intelligent control. In all been of our machines the maintenance of the equilibrium has dependent on the skill and constant vigilance of the aviators. "In addition to the work with the machine we also made many observations on the flight of soaring birds, which were very abundant in the vicinity of our camp. Bald eagles, os- preys, hawks, and buzzards gave us daily exhibitions of their The buzzards were the most numerous, and were the most persistent soarers. They apparently never tapped except powers.
  61. 61. WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT when it was absolutely necessary, while the eagles and hawks the Two methods the weather When of soaring were employed. damp and at leisure. was cold and when they were usually soared only wind strong the buzzards would be seen soaring back and forth along the They were trees. 49 hills evidently taking advantage of the current upward over these of air flowing clump of or at the edge of a obstructions. On such days they were often utterly unable to soar, except in these special But on warm, places. they would be seen high Usually, however, of several became hundred possible. in seemed it feet days when the wind was light clear the air soaring in great circles. to be necessary by flapping before to reach a height this style of soaring Frequently a great number of them would begin circling in one spot, rising together higher and higher they would disperse, each gliding off finally tion it wished to whatever direc- At such times other buzzards only a short to go. away found distance in till it necessary maintain themselves. to flap frequently in order But when they reached a point be- neath the circling flock they began to rise on motionless wings. This seemed to indicate that rising columns of air do not exist everywhere, but that the birds must find them. watch each other, and when one finds quickly of make wind was sailing in their way stirring circling to One it. on the ground, sweeps at a They evidently a rising current the others day, we when scarce a breath noticed two bald eagles height of probably 500 After a time our attention was attracted to the flashing of object considerably lower down. Examination with a glass proved it to feet. some field- be a feather which one of the birds had
  62. 62. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 50 evidently cast. As it seemed apparent earth only a short distance away, get But it. no longer finally in a little falling, but, while it some was same rising current in and was carried up 'The days when it would come noticed that the feather It to of our party started to was on the contrary, was rising rapidly. went out of sight upward. into the that It apparently was drawn which the eagles were soaring, like the birds. the wind blew horizontally gave us the most satisfactory observations, as then the birds were compelled to make it use of the currents flowing up the sides of the was wind hills, and possible for us to measure the velocity and trend of the in which the soaring was performed. One day four buz- zards began soaring on the north-east slope of the Big Hill at a height of only ten or twelve feet from the surface. We took windward and about 1200 feet distance. The clinometer showed that they were 4]/ to 5 / degrees above 2 2 our horizon. We could see them distinctly with a field-glass. When facing us the under side of their wings made a broad a position to ] band on the sky, but when, in circling, they faced from us we could no longer see the under side of their wings. Though the wings then made little more than a line on the sky, the glass showed clearly that was evident it was not that the buzzards the under side that were soaring with we saw. their It wings constantly inclined about five degrees above the horizon. They attempting to gain sufficient altitude to enable them to were ocean beach three-fourths of a mile distant, but glide to the height of about 75 feet above the top of the after reaching a be unable to rise higher, though they tried hill, they seemed to
  63. 63. — WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT a long time. At last 51 they started to glide towards the ocean, but were compelled to begin flapping almost immediately. at once y 12 z measured the slope and the wind. degrees; the latter was (about fifteen miles per hour). five The former was six to eight metres per second Since the wings were inclined degrees above the horizon and the wind had a rising trend of fully 12 degrees, the angle of incidence The wind grees. fifteen miles wind We an hour. For the most part the birds faced the the hills they were compelled to circle or and forth vide support. de- did not average more than seven metres steadily, but in glide back was about 17 As in order to obtain speed sufficient to pro- the buzzard weighs about 8 per foot lbs. of wing area, the lifting power of the wind at 17 degrees angle of incidence was apparently as great as it would have been had it been blowing straight upward with equal velocity. The pres- sure was inclined five degrees in front of the normal, and the angle of the descent was 2y degrees. 2 "On behind It another day I stood on top of the West Hill, directly buzzard which was soaring on the steep southern slope. was just on a level with my eye and not more than a 75 For some time distant. it remained almost motionless. though the wings were inclined about horizon it feet five Al- degrees above the was not driven backward by the wind. This bird is specially adapted to soaring at large angles of incidence in strongly rising currents. Its wings are deeply curved. Unless the upward trend amounts be unable to maintain attempting to to at least itself. eight degrees it seems One day we watched a to flock soar on the west slope of the Big Hill, which has
  64. 64. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 52 a descent of nearly nine degrees. The birds would start near down along the slope very much as we did machine, but we noticed that whenever they glided the top and glide with the parallel with the slope their speed diminished, and when their speed was maintained the angle of descent was greater than that of the In every case they found hill. before they had gone 200 always with the same feet. They it necessary to flap tried time and again, but Finally, they resorted to hard results. flapping until a height of about 150 feet above the top of the hill was reached, without "On the after which they were able to soar in circles difficulty. another day they finally succeeded same from which slope, it in rising was concluded on almost that the buzzards' best angle of descent could not be far from eight degrees. There is no question little in my mind that men can build wings having as as or less relative resistance than that of the best soaring birds. "The bird's deed, but it is wings are undoubtedly very well designed not any extraordinary efficiency that strikes with astonishment, but rather the marvellous are used. It in- is true that I skill with which they have seen birds perform soaring feats of almost incredible nature in positions where it was not possible to measure the speed and trend of the wind, but when- ever it was conditions possible to determine under which the soaring was performed easy to account for artificial much one by actual measurement the wings. it it was on the basis of the results obtained with The soaring problem is apparently not so of better wings as of better operators.
  65. 65. WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT "The first flights with the power-machine were 17th of December 1903. were willing see, as The made on or six miles, only five to face the rigours of a cold December wind they no doubt thought, another flying machine not first flight the Although a general invitation had been extended to the people living within five 53 lasted only twelve seconds. The to fly. fourth lasted fifty-nine seconds. "In the spring of 1904 experiments were continued on Huff- man Prairie at Simms Station, eight miles east of Dayton. The new machine was heavier and stronger, but similar to the one flown at Kill Devil hill. When it was ready for its first trial every newspaper in Dayton was notified, and about a dozen representatives of the Press were present. Our only request was that no pictures be taken and that the reports be unsensational so as not to attract crowds to our experiment-grounds. There were probably When persons altogether on the ground. preparations had been completed a wind of only three or four miles was track—but machine difficulty fifty blowing—insufficient since many had come for starting on so short a long way to see the an attempt was made. To add to the other the engine refused to work properly. The in action, machine after running the length of the track slid off the rising into the air at all. Several of the end without newspaper men re- turned the next day, but were again disappointed. The engine performed badly, and after a glide of only sixty feet the machine came to the ground. Further trial was postponed until tie motor could be put in better running condition. "We had not been flying long in 1904 before we found that
  66. 66. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 54 the problem of equilibrium had not as yet been entirely solved. Sometimes making in a circle the machine would turn over sideways despite anything the operator could do, although in ordinary straight flight under the same conditions have been righted an instant. in In one flight, in it could 1905, while round a honey locust-tree at a height of about fifty the machine suddenly began to turn up on one wing and circling feet, took a course toward the tree. The the idea of landing in a thorn-tree, The ground. left operator, not relishing attempted to reach the wing, however, struck the tree at a height of twelve feet from the ground, and carried away several ten or branches but the flight, which had already covered a distance ; of six miles, "The tion was continued to the starting-point. causes of these troubles—too technical for explana- here—were not entirely overcome till the end of September then rapidly increased in length, till experi1905. The flights were discontinued after the 5th of October, on account ments of the number of people attracted to the field. Although made open on every side and bordered on two sides by on a ground thoroughfares, with electric cars passing every much-travelled hour, and seen by all miles around, and by for the people living in the neighborhood several hundred others, yet these flights newspapers the subject of a great have been made by some mystery." attached any credence to the At the time scarcely anybody experiments at Kitty Hawk. They were stories of the flying studiously kept as a secret by the not, as a matter of fact, But in people witnessed them. Many Brothers. Wright
  67. 67. WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT 55 Europe they were regarded as newspaper sensationalism, and Bennet Burleigh, the war correspondent, who witnessed some of them and wrote an account of them in the Daily Telegraph, found that the general public were not prepared the conquest of the It air. They found two brothers. unsympathetic. own own countrymen were that their All the experiments and attempts expense, Americans siasm. welcome not necessary to detail here the later career of the is their to failed. had been conducted secure the aid of rich to In France, however, they Their success on European was at time when Frenchmen were at the soil in met with enthu- summer of 1908 acknowledged by the characteristically warmhearted and imaginative French; and coming, as it did, at the once same problem giving particular attention to the found an enlightened public opinion. The French were ready to acknowledge that the American school it was superior of flight as regards achievement, but they quick to oppose their own theories to French aviators would have nothing principle. They demanded automatic sought to obtain a large in the earlier to it. For instance, do with the stability, and were the tailless this they machines, not only by means of but also with the aid of vertical plane surfaces dividing two main planes into boxlike compartments. All this tail, was before It the triumphant was on August 8, monoplane had made 1908, that its appearance. Wilbur Wright made his Europe, and on various occasions he flew at Houandieres, Auvours, Pau, Chalons, Le Mans, Berlin, and first flight elsewhere. in His first flight in France was almost exactly two
  68. 68. THE BIG AVIATION BOOK 56 years after Santos-Dumont's autumn among first aeroplane ascent. the 1908 Wilbur Wright took up various passengers, of the first wards became being Charles Stewart Rolls, a pupil. Rolls was the who soon after- English martyr first to Bournemouth on the motor-driven aeroplane, being killed at July In 1910, soon after making the double crossing of the 2, English Channel on his Wright machine. It was while Wilbur Wright was making France that his his early flights in brother Orville, and Lieutenant Selfridge, of the United States army, had a terrible accident at Fort Meyer, when the latter was killed and the former severely injured. The accident was due to the transmission gear of the motor breaking. Among up the many into the air 1909. was The two distinguished people Wilbur Wright took the German Crown received brothers Aeronautical Society of Great Britain Orville September the gold 9, medal same in the a flight of over Wright achieved as long ago as Prince, on October 3, the of year. an hour's duration 1908, and on September 12th he stayed up for one hour and fourteen minutes. These created a tremendous impression at the time and did feats much to destroy the callousness and indifference which prevailed, especially in this country. year Wilbur Wright He minutes. also On December made a flight of two hours demonstrated that adept after spending a few hours their turn One became little 31st of that memorable his pupils in the air, and and nineteen could become his pupils in teachers. incident revealed the real partnership which
  69. 69. WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT existed between the 57 The Wrights won two brothers. the Michelin prize of £800 in 1908, and at the presentation Wilbur, having expressed his thanks, calmly divided the notes into two packets, and without a word handed one of them to Orville, while he put the other into his pocket. The devotion work was shown still living with of the in their their two American experimenters manner of father and living. sister in to their In 1909 they were the wooden house when they were all children. The workshop where they make their engines was within a quarter of a mile, and was the same where, six years before, they were turning out Wright bicycles. Even closer to the house was the little printing-works, where, before making they had grown up in from the time bicycles, they expended their unlimited energy and ingenuity, not only in printing a newspaper, but in making the machine, which they constructed out of pieces of of string. signed for This Robinson Crusoe printing-press home use. printing- wood and was only At Le Mans, Wilbur Wright lived bits de- in his aeroplane shed, and was thereby enabled to keep guard over his treasures.
  70. 70. THE AEROPLANE FLIGHT FIRST JESSIE E. HORSFALL HE flights of their glider in Orville Wright of the 1902 convinced Wilbur and efficiency of their system of main- taining equilibrium and the accuracy of the laboratory work upon which then felt the design of their glider they were prepared was based. They advance the per- to calculate in formance of machines with a degree of accuracy that had never been possible with the data and tables used by Before leaving their camp 1902 they were at work on which they proposed Upon at Kitty their predecessors. Hawk, North the general design of a to operate new machine with engine-driven propellers. Dayton they wrote their return to Carolina, in to a number of automobile and engine builders stating the purpose for which they desired an engine, and asking whether one could be furnished that would develop eight brake horsepower, weight complete not exceeding 200 pounds. with a Most of the com- panies answered that they were too busy with their regular business to undertake the building of such an engine, but one company replied that they pounds and rated ratings. It at had but 8 had engines which weighed only 135 h.p., according to the French system of a single cylinder of 4 inch bore From the Aero Digest N. Y. 58 and 5

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