Volume 3 - No. 3 - 1908 September
|Table of Contents|
The American Magazine of Aeronautics was the first commercial magazine in the United States of America about national and international aviation. There were reports on patents and flight contests. The journal was published from July 1907 to July 1915. All pages from the years 1907 to 1915 are available with photos and illustrations as full text, for free.
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Ernest LaRue Jones, Editor, Owner and Publisher Thoroughfare Building, 1777 Broadway, New York. 304 No. Fourth St., St. Louis.
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Vol. Ill September, 1908 No 3
Akronautics is issued on the 20th of each month. It furnishes the latest and most authoriialive information on all matters relating to Aeronautics.
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WHAT WE STAND ON.
Do you feel you'd like to quit? Don't! Get to feeling you don't fit? Don't! Do you want to yell "all-in'' 'Cause your wind's a little thin And you think you'll never win?
There's a kick you want to make, Don't! There's a head you want to break? Don't! Do you feel you want to whine Like a genuine canine And send blue streaks down the line? well don't.
When yon see a chance to duck. Don't! When yon want to chuck your luck, Don't! Keep right on without a stop And you'll sure show up on top, If, just when you want to flop, you don't.
c. l. armstrong.
MILITARY AERONAUTICAL APPROPRIATION.
THE Signal Corps of the U. S. Army will ask Congress for a suitable appropriation next year to enable it to start at once to procure at least two large dirigibles with the necessary plant for housing and operating; also to go on with the development of other branches of military aeronautics, such as the field captive balloon park and the aeroplane.
The Baldwin dirigible. Wright and Herring aeroplanes will give a start and their performances furnish a foundation on which to ask for an appropriation which will enable the Corps to overtake European nations which are now so far ahead of us in military aeronautics.
hi 1008 the bill for a $200,000 aeronautical appropriation was summaril}- "killed" by Congress. Appeals were made by the Aero Club of America and by this journal urging the writing of letters to Congressmen asking them to vote for the appropriation —but all without avail.
Those interested in the advancement of the art and in seeing that this country takes an equal or superior place with foreign countries in military aeronautics, should do all in their power to impress upon their representatives in Washington the need for favoring such an appropriation.
The procedure is that the Secretary of War will place among the other estimates the estimate for the aeronautical work. All the estimates go from the Secretary of War to the' Secretary of the Treasury and then to Congress. For 1908 the estimate for balloons was referred to the Fortification Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Appropriations Committee, and will probably follow the same road this year. In due time, when Congress meets, we will give the names of those gentlemen and then our readers should do their part.
It is interesting to note the figures given by the Automotor Journal as representing the money spent by England for military aeronautics in various years: 1903-4, ¿14,600; 1904-5, £19,000; 1905-6, ¿23,000; 1906-7, ¿20,750; 1907-8, £16,500; 1908-9, £13,750.
ORVILLE WRIGHT BREAKS ALL RECORDS—62 MINUTES IN THE AIR.
On September 9 Orville Wright in Washington broke all existing records for dynamic flight, which, of course, included the Wright Brothers' 1905 flight of 24 miles.
In the morning he flew over the Fort Myer parade ground for 57 minutes, >f~sec-onds. He came down because his motor worked a little loose, filled up with gasoline and started again in the afternoon. In the 57-minute flight 57 circles of the field were made and the distance made is computed at about 40 miles. No accurate measurements were taken; the measuring anemometer was not in order.
2 men in machine fly 6 minutes.
Later in the day he remained in the air for i hour, 2 minutes and seconds. A third flight was made with Lieutenant Lahm with him in the machine lasting 6 minutes an(L*6 seconds.
tThese trials were all unofficial practice flights, but the time condition of the Government test has been exceeded in the 62-minute flight and there certainly can be no doubt now but that the Government's conditions, given fully in previous issues, will be met. We doubted at the time that the art had reached the stage where these conditions could apply but it seems the Wright Brothers made a mark higher up than we could reach.
The practice flights of Orville Wright began on September 3 with a flight of 1 minute 11 seconds. On the following day his second ascent was made, which lasted 4 minutes 15 seconds. On September 7 a short flight of 5J^"seconds was made. On the 8th two flights were made. One lasted 11 minutes 10 seconds.^ This was ended in order to make an adjustment. The second flight of the day lasted*^ minutes 34 seconds. A height of 60 feet was held during part of the flight. Mr. Wright gave the speed as' 35 to 36 miles an hour.
A writer describes the long flight as follows:
"The aeroplane swept down the stretch until just above the aerodrome it turned and in an abrupt curve headed east. With the speed of an express train it sailed toward the grove that shelters the graves in Arlington National Cemetery, and when almost within the shadows of the trees it effected another spectacular turn and rushed north. Thus the first round was completed.
"As he increased his number of circuits, Wright seemed to enter the wild spirit of the test. The aeroplane, time and again, swooped from an altitude of between 75 and 100 feet toward earth until it was a scant 10 feet above the tops of the waving grass. Then in response to the turn of its forward planes it soared aloft for long stretches and skimmed as true as any arrow.
"Early in his flight Wright began to climb higher and higher, until he was sailing (
at a height of more than 150 feet. At that altitude the big white aeroplane showed not the slightest effect of counter air currents. There was no rocking nor diving perceptible, and it maintained its course as steadily as a ship on a summer sea.
"Once well up above the ground, Wright increased the radius of his flight. He drove his ship down the field far past the aerodrome and into the broken country beyond. Over the roofs of the post buildings he sailed, and he looked down on the graves in Arlington through the tree tops ninety feet beneath.
"When he alighted Mr. Wright acknowledged that the temptation to leave the open ground and venture over the wooded and hilly country beyond was almost irresistible. On several occasions he did dash out of bonds and maneuvered over small forests of maple and oak, but although these excursions were frequent, they were brief, for the danger from the motor stopping was uppermost in the aviator's mind. The machine would probably have been ruined if it had landed in the thickets.
"While he maintained a speed estimated variously at from thirty-eight to fifty miles an hour, Wright did not put his motor to the test. The compact little machine that drives the two big rear propellers was running only at three-quarters speed, no change having been made since the flights of yesterday. There is no doubt that the contract speed of forty miJes an hour will be met easily, and what the aeroplane could do on a straight-away dash with its motor working to the limit is a matter of conjecture. Under favorable conditions it is probable it could reach and maintain a velocity of from sixty-five to seventy-five miles."
WILBUR WRIGHT'S FLIGHTS IN FRANCE.
While Orville Wright has been getting the aeroplane ready for the Government trials in this country, his brother Wilbur has been showing Frenchmen that they can actually fly—"some."
The machine in France has been put together at the factory of Leon Bollee, the well known automobile builder, at Le Mans.
wilbur wright, in france.
The first flight was made on August 8 and below is a summary of all the flights made during August.
Aug. 8, i minute 45 seconds.
Aug. 10, false start; one flight of 42 seconds and one of 1 minute 41 seconds. Aug. 11, 3 minutes 43 seconds.
Aug. 12, 40 seconds, one minute 45 seconds, 6 minutes 56 seconds at a height of 20 meters in a wind blowing 15 kilometers an hour.
Aug. 13. 8 minutes 13 seconds; 1 minute, record height of 90 feet, broke wing in descending.
Aug. 21, 1 minute 49 seconds; 2 minutes 14 seconds.
These flights were made at a speed which appears to be 55 kilometers an hour and at a height of about 10 meters average.
The flights abroad are being made to fulfill conditions imposed by the Lazare Weiller Syndicate, which is said to intend to purchase the right of constructing and selling the Wright aeroplane in France and the French colonies for $100,000. By his contract Wilbur Wright must make two flights, each of them over a course of 50 kilometers in an average breeze and at a few days interval. The aeroplane must carry two persons and enough fuel for a journey of 200 kilometers.
The flights above mentioned have been made at Hunaudieres race course, some miles from Le Mans. The course has a length of 800 meters by a width of 350 meters. Since the last flight. Mr. Wright has removed to Auvours, eight miles from Hunaudieres, where longer flights will be made. Two starting appliances are being erected on the Auvours ground at a distance of three miles.
On the sixth day the engine was missing fire. Nevertheless, the aviator mounted to a height of 30 meters, and describing a huge circle, the machine was brought to about 10 meters, the engine cut out, and a gentle downward gliding begun. Suddenly the machine heeled, one wing touched the ground and broke. The reason was that seeing he was about to land on a mound of earth he tried to change the direction of the machine and pulled the wrong lever. Since going to France the controlling mechanism has been charged to two levers only, four having been previously used.
three-quarter front view.
The doubt so long expressed by even the most advanced in the art abroad, that the Wright Brothers ever flew the distances claimed, has now been effectually dispelled, to the renown of America. During the flights. Frenchmen seem to vie with each other in giving the praise and credit so long overdue and all hasten to say they "never had any doubt."
Trials commenced at Auvours on August 21. Two flights were made of 1 minute 49 seconds and 2 minutes 14 seconds respectively.
Postscript—On September 5 Wilbur Wright remained in the air for 19 minutes 48 seconds, covering a distance estimated at 14 to 15 miles. A second flight was attempted in a strong wind and in avoiding a clump of trees the right wing was lifted and the left wing struck the ground and broke.
Description of the Machine.
The aeroplane is, of course, a biplane; of a spread of 12.5 meters. The distance between the planes is 1.8 meter and arc about 2.5 meters front to rear. The total supporting surface is about 50 sq. meters. The main planes, or wings, instead of being rigid as those of the aeroplanes made in France, are flexible, increasing in flexibility toward the extremities. The flexing of the wings has made it possible to fly in winds impossible for French machines.
In front of the machine about 3 meters from the wings is placed the two superimposed horizontal planes forming the rudder for vertical direction. At the rear, 2.5 meters distant from the wings, is the two-parallel-vertical planes for lateral steering.
Between the two horizontal planes forming -the front rudder is a vertical surface, connected with the rear vertical rudder, designed to act exclusively as a telltale. The total dimension front to rear of the whole machine is 10 meters.
The engine, designed by the Wright Brothers themselves, of 25 h.p.. 4 cylinders, is located midway rn the lower wing. The weight is 3.6 kilos to the h.p. The cylinders are separate, surrounded by copper water jackets. A camshaft within the crank case operates overhead valves by means of rocker arms. The bore and stroke is 108 by 100 mm. The gasoline is fed directly into the cylinders by a pump and distributor mechanism. Ignition is effected by means of a high tension magneto driven off the camshaft through gears outside the crankcase. On the rear end of the engine shaft are two pinions, each one connecting up, by means of a chain, with propeller shafts a couple of feet above the engine base and to the left and right of it. One of the chains crosses in order to turn the propellers in opposite directions. The chains are guided for a short distance by steel tubes. At one side of the motor is the radiator, consisting of flat brass tubes, five feet high and fcur inches wide. Each cylinder has a small
auxiliary port just below the head. Two gear pumps actuated by a cross shaft from the two-to-one shaft are provided for forcing gasoline into the explosion chamber and for forcing oil from a reservoir in the base to the proper places. The oil returns to the tank. The operator sits to one side of the radiator. The gasoline supply is contained in a tall vertical copper cylinder attached to one of the struts. On the opposite side of the engine is the radiator, also attached to one of the struts. The given h.p. is obtained at 1200 r.p.m.
There are two propellers, in the rear, are of two blades each, wooden, 25 meters diameter, geared down in the ratio of 33 to 9; running 400 r.p.m. to the engirre-'s 1000.
Two long skids support the whole at about 40 cm. from the ground, like the runners of a sleigh.
The total weight of the machine is, with one man, about 450 kilos. Outside of the motor, the machine is entirely constructed of American pine and spruce.
The start is made from a short wooden rail, grooved, on which the machine is placed and set in motion by a falling weight in calm weather. On windy days the aeroplane is balanced in the groove and set in motion by the propellers. The skids are put 011 a chariot with two wheels tandem running in the groove in the rail to which the rope is attached.
The falling weight apparatus is as follows: A pyramid of braced posts about 30 feet high, ropes, block and tackle, and weights. The rope, to the end of which the weight of 900 kg. is attached, is passed through the apex of the pyramid, underneath the monorail track to a point near its extremity, where it runs back again over a pulley and above the track. At this end of the rope there is a ring which is slipped over a hook, placed upon the center of a cross brace near the front of the skids. When it is desired to start the machine, it is drawn back to the beginning of the track, which is some 10 feet from the pyramid; the weights are hoisted to the desired height by block and tackle; and when all is ready and the propellers revolving rapidly the weights are allowed to drop. This gives a pull to the rope which drags the machine along the track at a tremendous rate. The hook for the ring is so constructed that the rope slips off at the proper time and the machine sails into the air at the angle controlled by the manipulation of the forward rudder.
ARMY AERONAUTICS FOR AUGUST
The parts of Captain Baldwin's airship arrived at Fort Myer during the week of July 20th. It was assembled and inflated at the balloon house and towed up to the tent on the drill ground on August 3d. Unofficial flights were made by Captain Baldwin for the purpose of testing out his machine daily, beginning August 4th and continuing through August nth. These flights were most of them short, a flight being-made "every day except on August 9th. Captain Baldwin was the pilot, and Mr. G. H. Curtiss, manufacturer of the motor, was at the engine, and also operated the movable horizontal planes, during all the unofficial and official trials.
The first official trial was held on August 12th. A course 2 1 '16 miles long, running northwest to Cherrydale, was carefully laid out. The balloon left the tent at 6.28 P. M., passed the cuter end of the course about 7.20 P. M. On return, when about one-half mile from Fort Myer, a secondary wire on the motor came loose, necessitating stopping the motor and making a landing. This was done in an open field, the wiring repaired, and after a delay of twenty-seven minutes, the balloon returned to the drill ground at Fort Myer under its own power. No official time was taken for this trial, as it was not completed. The maximum height of the first official trial was five hundred feet; wind velocity five miles an hour; direction of wind, south and southeast.
The second official test was made on August 14th over the same course from Fort Myer to Cherrydale; wind west by south; velocity five miles an hour; maximum height seven hundred feet.
The third official trial was made immediately after the completion of the second trial. At this trial an average speed, going and coming over the measured course of 2 and 1 -16 miles, was 19.61 miles per hour. Direction of wind, west by south; velocity of wind, five miles per hour; maximum height, five hundred feet. The engine was running 18 minutes during this flight. The balloon was in the air 17 minutes.
The fourth official trial was for the purpose of fulfilling the condition of the contract which called for a flight of two hours, during which the machine was required to make 70 per cent, of the maximum speed. This trial took place on August 15th, over the two mile course which had been used for the speed trial. Eight round trips were made over the course, and a speed of 13.75 miles per hour was attained. The maximum height was 800 feet. The flight started at 5.30 P. M. and ended at 7.40 P. M., when it was almost dark.
The Board of Officers appointed by General Allen to conduct these experiments as well as those with the Wright and Herring aeroplanes, is. composed of Major Geo. O. Squier, Signal Corps; Major C. McK. Saltznian, Signal Corps; Captain Chas. W. Wallace, Signal Corps; 1st Lieut. Frank P. Lahm, Signal Corps; 1st Lieut. Benj. D. Foulois, Signal Corps; and 1st Lieut. T. E. Selfridge, 1st Field Artillery. These officers are all on duty in the office of the Chief Signal Officer. The Board is divided into two parts; one observing the time at the start of the course, the other at the turning point. The last paragraph in the specification requiring the instruction of two men in the handling and operation of the airship was fulfilled by Captain Baldwin between August 18th and 24th. The airship was operated four days during this time byr Lieuts. Lahm, Foulois and Selfridge. In all twenty flights were made. These officers, all on duty in the Aeronautical Division of the office of the Chief Signal Officer, are now operating the airship at Fort Myer every day weather conditions permit. The balloon was accepted by General Allen on August 22d.
Details of the airship are given elsewhere in this issue. The plans given on page 29 of the April issue for the experimental ship have been faithfully carried out in the Government dirigible, of course the size being increased. A change has been made to a single propeller instead of a double one, and the engine used is water cooled instead of air is cooled. It is a Curtiss 4 cylinder 4 cycle weighing 120 lbs., 25 h.p. Only^ two-thirds of the power is used during flight. It has been found impossible to advantageously use all the power the engine is capable of developing. This weight of 120 pounds is that of the nal-ed engine. To this is added 60 pounds for batteries, sparking coils, radiator and transmission. The weight of the envelope is 253 pounds and the frame weighs \ VZ pounds to the running foot. The total length of the bag is 96 feet with a maximum diameter of 19 feet. The capacity is 19,000 cubic feet.
The tent for housing this dirigible balloon wa.s._purchased from Boyle & Company of New York, and was erected on July 29th. It is 134 feet long, 36 feet high, amply large enough to house the dirigible balloon inflated.
The hydrogen plant used for inflating the balloon has been purchased from Captain Baldwin by the Signal Corps.
The Wright aeroplane arrived on August 20th. Mr. Wright and two mechanics arrived the same dayr and began assembling the machine on the 21st. This was completed, the engine installed, and the motor tested at the ballorn house on August 28th.
(Continued en rage 23)
THE EVOLUTION OF THE "TWO-SURFACE" FLYING MACHINE.
By O. Chanute.
I am asked to set forth the" development of the "Two-surface" type of flying machine which is now used with modifications by Wright Brothers, Farman, Delagrange, Herring and others.
This type originated with (No. 1571), taking out provis-Mr. F. H. Wenham, who patented it in England in 1S66 ional papers only. In the abridgment of British patent Aeronautical Specifications (1893) it is described as follows :
"Two or more aeroplanes are arranged one above the other, and support a framework or car containing the motive power. The aeroplanes are made of silk or canvas stretched in a frame by wooden rods or steel ribs. When manual power is employed the body is placed horizontally, and oars or propellers arc actuated by the arms or legs.
"A start may be obtained by lowering the legs and run ning down hill, or the machine "may be started from a moving carriage. One or more screw propellers may be applied for propelling when steam power is emploved."
On June 27, 1866, Mr. Wen-ham read before the "Aeronautical Society of Great Britain," then recently organized, the ablest paper ever presented to that Society, and thereby breathed into it a spirit which has continued to this day. In this paper he described his observations of birds, discussed the laws governing flight as to the surfaces and power required both with wings and screws, and he then gave an account of his own
experiments with models and with aeroplanes of sufficient size to carry the weight of a man.
His second aeroplane was sixteen feet from tip to tip. A trussed spar at the bottom carried six superposed bands of thin holland fabric fifteen inches wide, connected with vertical webs of holland two feet apart, thus virtually giving a length of wing of ninety-six feet and one hundred and twenty square feet of supporting surface. The man was placed horizontally on a base board beneath the spar. This apparatus when tried in the wind was found to be unmanageable by reason of the fluttering motions of the fabric, which was insufficiently stiffened with crinoline steel, but Air. Wenham pointed out that this in no way invalidated the principle of the apparatus, which was
Consulting Engineer; President Chicago Tie Preserving Co.; born in France, February 18, 1832, educated in common schools in New York ; engaged in construction of railroads from 1S4S—iSSS: Honorary Degree in Engineering, Illinois 1905; Fellow Association for the Advancement of Science, Vice President 1S86 ; Past President Society of Civil Engineers; President Western Society of Engineers 1901 ; Member Canadian Society of Civil Engineers ; Honorary Member British Institute Civil Engineers ; Honorary Member The Aeronautic Society; Author "Kansas City Bridge," ''Progress in Flying Machines," and numerous papers and articles upon engineering subjects, wood preserving, physics, wood preserving by chemicals, equilibrium in flying machine experiments, recent experiments in gliding flight, etc.
to obtain large supporting surfaces without increasing unduly the leverage and consequent weight of spar required, by simply superposing the surfaces.
This principle is entirely sound and it is surprising that it is, to this day, not realized by those aviators who are hankering for monoplanes.
It is gratifying to know that Mr. F. H. Wenham is still in the flesh, at 85 years of age, to witness the realization of his principle, that he still preserves his interest in Aeronautics and that he contributed a paper to the last meeting of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain, May 27, 190S. *
The next man to test an apparatus with superposed surfaces was Mr. Stringfellow, who, becoming much impressed with Mr. Wenham's proposal, produced a largish model at the Exhibition of the Aeronautical Society in 1868. It consisted of three superposed surfaces aggregating 28 square feet and a tail of 8 square feet more. The weight was under 12 pounds and it was driven by a central propeller actuated by a steam engine overestimated at one-third of a horsepower. It ran suspended to a wire on its trials but failed of free flight, in consequence of defective equilibrium. This apparatus has since been rebuilt and is now in the National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution at Washington.
In 1878 Mr. Linfield tested an apparatus in England consisting of a cigar-shaped car, to which was attached on each side frames five feet square, containing each twenty-five superposed planes of stretched and varnished linen eighteen inches wide, and only two inches apart, thus reminding one of a Spanish donkey with panniers. The whole weighed two hundred and forty pounds. This was tested by being mounted on a flat car behind a locomotive going 40 miles an hour. When towed by a line fifteen feet long the apparatus rose only a little from the car and exhibited such unstable equilibrium that the experiment was not renewed. The lift was only about one-third of what it would have been had the planes been properly spaced, say, their full width apart, instead of one-ninth as erroneously devised.
In 1S89, Commandant Renard, the eminent Superintendent of the French Aeronautical Department, exhibited at the Paris Exposition of that year, an apparatus experimented with some years before, which he termed a "dirigible parachute." It consisted of an oviform body to which were pivoted two upright slats carrying above the body nine long superposed flat blades spaced about one-third of their width apart. When this apparatus was properly set at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the body and dropped from a balloon, it travelled back against the wind for a considerable distance before alighting. The course could be varied by a rudder. No practical application seems to have been made of tnis device by the French War Department, but Mr. J. P. Holland, the inventor of the submarine boat which bears his name, proposed in 1893 an arrangement of pivoted framework attached to the body of a flying machine which combines the principle of Commandant Renard with the curved blades experimented with by Mr. Phillips, now to be noticed, with the addition of lifting screws inserted among the blades.
In 1893 Mr. Horatio Phillips, of England, after some very interesting experiments with various wing sections, from which he deduced conclusions as to the shape of maximum lift, tested an apparatus resembling a Venetian blind which consisted of fifty wooden slats of peculiar shape, 22 feet long, one and a half inches wide, and two inches apart, set in ten vertical upright boards. All this was carried upon a body provided with three wheels. It weighed 420 pounds and was driven at 40 miles an hour on a wooden sidewalk by a steam engine of nine horsepower which actuated a two-bladed screw. The lift was satisfactory, being perhaps 70 pounds per horsepower, but the equilibrium was quite bad and the experiments were discontinued. They were taken up again in 1904 with a similar apparatus large enough to carry a passenger, but the longitudinal equilibrium was found to be defective. Then in 1907 a new machine was tested, in which four sets of frames, carrying similar sets of slat "sustainers"- were inserted, and with this arrangement the longitudinal stability was found to be very satisfactory. The whole apparatus, with the operator, weighed 650 pounds. It flew about 200 yards when driven by a motor of 20 to 22 h.p. at 30 miles an hour, thus exhibiting a lift of about 32 pounds per h.p., while it will be remembered that the aeroplane of Wright Brothers exhibits a lifting capacity of 50 pounds to the h.p.
* Since these lines were written, Mr. Wenham died suddenly in England, August, 11, 1908.
(Continued in the October number)
36 H. P.
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• An interesting record of the personal ideas and experiences of twenty-four distinguished men. This book is intended to be a summary of the present state of the art.
■ Among the contributors : Wright Brothers, 0. Chanute, Prof. Wm. H. Pickering, Prof. A. Lawrence Rotch, Prof. T. S. C. Lowe, William J. Hammer, Chas. M. Manly, Prof. David Todd, Dr. Oliver L. Fassig, Dr. A. F. Zahm, A. Leo Stevens, A. M. Herring.
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THE FIRST GOVERNMENT AIRSHIP. By Jerome S. Fanciulli.
No event has aided the advancement of aeronautics in this country as have the Fort Alyer tests of the Baldwin airship built for the Signal Corps of the Army. Not cnly have these tests aroused the latent interest of the American people in the possi bilities of aerial navigation, but they have given American inventors greater incentive for aeronautical endeavor. They have also attracted the attention of the entire world.
These tests have illustrated the various fields of usefulness to which the future airship will be put: as an instrument of warfare; in commerce; for recreation and sport; and for exploring. The serious consideration given by various capitalists to the establishment of aerial transportation lines can be largely attributed to the success of the first Government airship.
The motor-balloon is going through an evolution similar to that which characterized the perfection of the motor car. and having now received the serious consideration of the Government of the United States, its commercial value is becoming rapidly recognized.
To the aeronaut, however, it is the lessons which are to be gained from a study of the Fort Alyer tests which give them added importance. New conditions and new requirements were imposed by the Signal Corps on the bidders for a military dirigible balloon. The specifications represented the ideas of the leading authorities in the science of aerial navigation. The opinions of scientists and practical aeronauts were brought together, making the final draft of the specifications as nearly perfect as the present knowledge of the art of Hying permits.
On February 24th, Captain Thomas S. Baldwin, of "California Arrow" fame, was awarded the contract to build a dirigible balloon for the Army, under the terms of these specifications. The success of his motor-balloon is well known, although it is not generally understood that the Baldwin airship, or the Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1, as it has been designated, differs from all other dirigible balloons. Furthermore, the speed and endurance trials which it successfully withstood brought out many new ideas.
From this motor-balloon will develop the aerial navy of the United States. It is also possible that from this airship, from the ideas which its constructor has carried out, will develop the successful aerial craft of all nations. Prominent aeronauts, including Captain Baldwin, have long been of the opinion that the conqueror of the air will embody the practical features of the dirigible balloon and of the aeroplane. It is the incorporation of several of the heavier-than-air machine principles that is one of the most striking features of the Baldwin airship.
This aerial craft, when the two operators are in their places on the frame, is, in fact, slightly heavier captain Thomas scott Baldwin.
than air. The propeller therefor plays an important part in the control of the craft. For this reason, also, the effect of the planes or horizontal rudders is greatly enhanced.
The Baldwin airship is operated by two men; one in the forward end, who runs the motor and handles the planes; the other in the rear, who guides the ship on its course by means of the rudder. The frame, which is of Oregon spruce, is seventy feet in length and is suspended from the gas bag by means of a square mesh netting made of extra strong linen rope. A 25-horse-power, water-cooled, four-cylinder Curtiss motor is used to drive a twenty-two-foot shaft, to which the propeller is attached. The latter is made of laminated wood from the design of Lieutenant Thomas E. Self-ridge, of the Signal Corps, who is also Secretary of the Aerial Experiment Association.
The motor is capable of making 1,800 revolutions per minute, but this has been geared down to 450 revolutions of the propeller, which pulls the airship. The two blades of the propeller give it a diameter of eleven feet, which is also the pitch. A pulling power of 280 pounds was developed in a test of the propeller at Hammonds-port, and this should give the airship a speed of 22 miles an hour in still air.
The planes, one on each side of the frame, about 20 feet from the front end, are a revelation in their efficiency, brth for keeping the ship on an even ked and for changing the altitude of the craft. The air rushing back from the propel! has a velocity of 15 miles an hour, and when this current strikes the planes it either s the ship or pulls it downward, according as the planes are turned. The best illusi -ation of the efficiency of these horizontal rudders is the fact that Lieutenant Foulois, cf the Signal Corps, without having been previously in any aerial craft, controlled the planes with comparative ease on his first flight in the Baldwin airship.
An important feature of Captain Baldwin's airship, which is lacking in the small dirigibles of France and England, is the nearness of the frame to the gas envelope. In the French and English types, the car is suspended so far from the gas bag that the ship is not as easily controlled as is the Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1.
The British Army, which is taking up this feature of Captain Baldwin's balloon, is also adopting a form of gas bag resembling Captain Baldwin's in shape. The gas envelope of Captain Baldwin's airship is unique in many respects. It is as nearly perfect in shape, from the standpoint of resistance, as can be made. The aeronaut has put into practice the theories advanced by Prof. Albert Zahm, of the Catholic University, and one of the leading authorities on fluid movement.
The forward end of the bag is rather blunt, but is nearly conical. This shape offers about one-third the resistance to the air that is offered by a flat surface. Its widest part is 19 feet in diameter and is 19 feet from the forward point of the bag. From the broadest section the bag tapers slightly towards the rear end, which is also conical in shape.
Within the gas envelope ?nd about midway between the ends is a ballonet. twenty-five feet in length. Air is pumped into this inner balloon by means of a centrifugal blower and in this way the rigidity of the envelope can be maintained.
The material of which the bag is made is similar to that used by the Germans in balloon manufacture. It consists of two layers of Japan silk, between which are several layers of rubber, all of the layers being sewed together and the entire fabric vulcanized. It is gas tight and withstands a pressure of 95 pounds to the inch width. The balloon itself is 96 feet long and has a gas capacity of about 19,000 cubic feet, one-twentieth of that of the ruined Zeppelin airship.
There is a rip strip and a valve on the top of the gas bag, and two valves on the under side. The manometer which Captain Baldwin has installed for registering the pressure of the gas within the bag is said to be one of the finest ever made. The entire balloon, with all its fittings, withstood the most rigid inspection of the army officers.
Though the speed of the Baldwin airship has been exceeded by foreign motor balloons, which have also remained in flight for a longer period, it must be remembered that the Baldwin dirigible is the smallest airship ever built for any government. It is, nevertheless, the most promising in point of development and perfection.
That the Zeppelin airship is far ahead of its day and that its unwieldiness was due to the lack of experience, which only comes with slow development, is -the opinion expressed on all sides by practical aeronauts. Just as the pilot who brought the first steamship across the Atlantic would not have been able to bring the Ltisitania safely to its dock, so the aeronaut of the present day cannot handle the airship which is beyond his experience or practical knowledge.
In the speed and endurance tests of the Baldwin dirigible at Fort Myer many new difficulties were encountered, and varying conditions will bring to light new problems to be solved. It is in this particular that a small craft is advantageous. When Germany is yet struggling with a monster aerial ship, the United States will have a smaller craft, but one which will be far more effective in time of war, because it will be under perfect control.
The British army officers have already found that the larger types of dirigibles are unwieldly and difficult to control. Several times they have had cause to remember the
ill-fated Patrie of the French army. Germany has also had several mishaps with its motor balloons. The result is that the officers of the aeronautical division of the British Army are building an airship on the lines of the Baldwin dirigible, and it is only a matter of time before the other nations that are vieing with each other for supremacy in the air will follow the example of the United States.
Twenty miles an hour was made by the Baldwin airship in one of its first flights. When compared with the speed of the first steamboat this would indicate that there is an incredible opportunity to develop the speed of this type of aerial craft. In fact, after the army officers have experimented for several months with their first airship it will probably have developed a speed of 22 to 25 miles an hour. An airship, like any other mechanical construction, can be made more efficient through use and familiarity.
On the first official trial for endurance, a run of over two hours, at an average speed of nearly 17 miles an hour, was made by the Baldwin motor-balloon. This was no new record. Twelve-hour flights have been made by nearly all of the dirigibles of France and Germany, but the ease with which the Baldwin airship was controlled has probably never been surpassed.
part of frame, and motor.
The serious efforts of the various European powers to build up aerial navies, the enthusiasm of the people throughout Germany, France and England, and the fact that the greater nations have failed to sign that convention of The Hague Peace Conference which provides against the use of the airship for war purposes, make it evident that the warship of the air is looked upon as the future machine of destruction. On the other hand, it may become the means of bringing about universal peace, so terrible will be its powers of destruction of life and property.
The value of the airship for war purposes was well illustrated during the Fort Myer tests of Captain Baldwin's motor-balloon. On the first official speed trial the motor stopped because of the breaking of the wires connecting the commutator with the coil. The balloon was brought down and safely landed in a corn field, repaired within 20 minutes, and continued on its course.
In all the flights Glenn Curtiss, who operated the motor and controlled the planes, made sketches of the country over which the airship passed. That the busiest man on the ship could find time to make detailed drawings in which the important landmarks were clearly defined, is strong evidence of the ease with which the airship is controlled while in flight.
With this toy, as Captain Baldwin's airship is called in comparison with the large aerial ships of Europe, an enemy would have no chance to escape, and its movements and fortifications would be open to the view of those in the airship. For over a cen-
tury the spherical balloon has been invaluable in warfare and has in each case more than repaid its cost yet the Congress of the United States hesitates to appropriate funds for a motor-balloon which so far surpasses anything yet invented for detecting the movements of an enemy.
Foreign governments are watching closely the progress of aeronautics in the United States and elsewhere. Col. James Templer, the leading aeronaut of the. British army and the former commander of the aeronautical division, has submitted a report on the Baldwin dirigible to his government, in which he recommended that many of the features of the Signal Corps Dirigible No. i should be incorporated in the next motor balloon built for the British Army.
Col. Baron de Bode, the Russian Military Attache at Washington, was in constant attendance at the Fort Myer trials, as were the representatives of other countries. A most interesting feature was the number of Japanese who gathered daily about the tent where the dirigible was housed and who sat for hours taking in everything in connection with the big gray airship.
In the Fort Myer tests of Baldwin's balloon the opportunities for improving the airship were clearly brought out. The planes should have a greater surface area and the addition of another set of planes in the rear, probably with a greater resisting surface, would add effectively in the control. Among the features lacking are the immovable rudders or fins on the rear end of the gas bag, such as are to be found on the Zeppelin type of balloon. A shifting weight, controlled by hand or automatically, would be valuable in overcoming the effect of increasing the power of the propeller.
During these tests it was made plain that power is not the means by which the problem of aerial navigation will be solved. Many of the dirigibles now in use in various countries lose much of their value because of too much power. It is the control which will be the means of perfecting the airship. The advanced experimenters are giving this feature their earnest attention. At no time during the flights at Fort Myer did Mr. Curtiss advance the engine to its full speed capacity. Beyond a certain number of revolutions, the propeller would send the forward end of the gas bag upwards and speed would therefore be lost rather than gained.
This difficulty could be overcome by means of a shifting weight, preferably automatic. It is very likely that the army officers themselves will devise some means for overcoming this shifting of the point of balance in the experiments which they will conduct. Had not Captain Baldwin had certain specifications to fulfill to the letter it is not at all unlikely that he would have himself added som.e feature to make it possible to utilize the maximum speed of the propeller.
The specifications under which the Baldwin airship was built will be used in the future as a model on which the requirements for other dirigibles for the government will be based. The Signal Corps has made a good beginning in building up an aeronautical division; yet it is, if course, far behind the armies of Europe. With an appropriation of one million dollars, within a few years the United States could have an aerial navy, while much smaller, one that would be more effective in time of war than that of any other country.
The aeronautical branch of the Signal Corps consists of several officers and ten enlisted men, while Great Britain has three aeronautic corps, each of which has a peace strength of 150 men. Germany has nearly 500 men of its aeronautic corps stationed in Berlin alone.
Every large nation of Europe has several aero parks and gas plants, but the United Sta.tes has one only. This is the aeronautical station at Fort Omaha, which has just been completed and which is the first pretentious balloon park and gas-making plant that the United States Government has ever constructed. To-day, when the eyes of the world are watching with intense interest the progress of aerial navigation, there should be at least two or three such aero stations on every coast.
The army should secure Capt. Thomas S. Baldwin to conduct further experiments with military motor-balloons and secure the benefit of his years of training and experience. It should not build a Zeppelin at once, but gradually increase, the size of its airships as the men who will handle them become familiar with the smaller ones and as the perfection of these smaller aerial war ships is attained.
Congress has undoubtedly been impressed with the importance of aerial flight in its present stage of development. The days of skepticism are past and the American people, as well as those of other nations, realize that aerial flight is a thing of the present generation.
The United States Government lost one opportunity to surpass other nations in aerial navigation when it failed to provide funds for the further experiments of Professor S. P. Langley. Another such opportunity is now at hand and Congress should not let it pass. The Signal Corps should be enlarged and sufficient money appropriated with which to carry on experiments in aerial navigation and to build up an aerial navy that will compare favorably with that of any other nation.
THE BREGUET GYROPLANE.
The "Bregnet II" gyroplane, whose flight of 20 meters was recorded in the August issue, may be described as follows:
A chassis carrying an Antoinette 8-cyliuder, 40-horse-power motor, with sustention obtained by the reaction of the air on two systems of mobile biplane surfaces or screws turning around axles attached to the chassis, shaft driven, which screws both lift and propel. In case of stopping of the motor the screws act as aeroplanes, and in soaring the speed would be about 17 m. per second, with an inclination in coming down of 15 to 20 per cent. Under these conditions the vertical component of the speed is the maximum of 3.5 m. per sec, which can be reduced considerably, provided the apparatus retains its equilibrium before landing. There is also a fixed surface of 50 sq. m. surface. The total surface of the screws is 11 sq. m., and each is 7 m. in diameter. The surface of the body of the apparatus is also 11 sq. m. In case of a vertical descent the surface which wdl act as a parachute will be 72 sq. m. The weight of the apparatus ready to run, with one man, is 600 kilos. The systems of gyrating planes give at a fixed point a thrust of about 480 kilos, according to the axis, for a power used of 37-38 horse power. At the start of a flight the vertical pulling component is about 455 kilos. The horizontal tractive component is 145 kilos. The minimum speed necessary to make flight is about 7 m. a second, or 25 km. per hour. In full flight the maximum speed will approach 20 m. per second, or 72 km. per hour. The screws give only about 65 kilos of tractive force and about 250 kilos of lifting force. The fixed surfaces give under these conditions a vertical thrust of 350 kilos. At the time of ascending, the machine is almost a true helicopter; in full flight it is much more of an aeroplane and travels more economically. For a speed of 15 m. per second, the power necessary will be only about 25 horse power.
The engine has a carbureter, radiator, circulation pump and flywheel.
In the sketch, reproduced from Aerophile, in the lateral elevation view, SS is the principal fixed surface, HH the vertical cross section of the screws, and AA small planes. In the plan view, SS is the upper fixed surface, HH the screws and NX the car, P the pilot, G the vertical rudder, G' the horizontal rudder. In the longitudinal elevation SS is the upper fixed surface—AA the small planes, HH the screws, G the vertical rudder and G' the horizontal rudder. The diameter of the screws is 7.85 m. The speed of rotation is 1.8 r. p. s., which corresponds for the motor to a speed of 1080 r. p. m. and a developed horse power of 37-38. The normal speed of the motor is 1250-1350 a minute. These are the figures given by Louis Breguet in Aerophile.
H. Andre gives in La France Automobile et Aérienne the following: The inclination of the propellers is at the start 25 per cent., which gives a horizontal traction of 130 to 140 kilos, while the vertical component is in the neighborhood of 500 kilos. The total weight mounted is 600 kilos. Thus the machine actually weighs no more than 100 kilos. We therefore have an aeroplane weighing 100 kilos, having 40 sq. m. of active surface, and with a propeller giving a pull of 130 kilos.
Admitting that the surfaces have a coefficient of sustention (S) speed necessary to raise the machine in the air will be given by 0.005 S V"- _
Speed = l/-
equal to 0.005, the the equation: P —
•0.005 x 4°
— about 7 m. = 25 km. per hour. (Continued on page 23)
THE KIMBALL HELICOPTER.
The helicopter completed by Wilbur R. Kimball, of New York, Vice-President of The Aeronautic Society, is the first one to have more than two propellers, there being no less than 20. No one has heretofore attempted the multiplication of screws on account, evidently, of the immediate difficulty of transmission of power throughout the system.
The construction of the machine was undertaken as the result of experiments made with a small model having but two propellers or screws. The solution of the various problems of starting, flying, lauding and equilibrium in the model gave the inventor confidence to design a full sized machine without further experiments.
There are a number of new principles incorporated in the machine, the most important of which may be the effort to obtain large propeller-blade area with a minimum of weight. The 20 propellers represent an area of practically 320 square feet, and these propellers with their inclosing frames weigh only about 112 pounds. It is evident that no two propellers of the same area could be made with a frame that would weigh so little.
looking from above.
The second feature which seems to have been overlooked by other builders of helicopters is the fact that by having the axes of the propellers at a slight angle from the vertical a forward component of thrust is obtained as well as lifting power; the result being that both sustaining force and driving power are obtained.
Another striking feature in connection with the apparatus is that the fore and aft regulation or equilibrium is obtained by the shifting of the weight of the operator's body, although an ingenious arrangement of plans on the rear edge tends to greatly increase the automatic longitudinal stability of the apparatus and lessen the vigilance of the aviator—helicopterist?
A general description of the machine would be:
Chassis—Steel, tubing, 24 gauge, 1% inch diameter, 8 feet long by 4 feet wide, held together by "McAdamite" castings. There are three wheels, two in front and one in the rear, upon which the chassis rests. The rear wheel is on a movable axis and is used for steering. From this chassis rise seven tubes of ^-inch steel, from 4 feet high at the front to 6 feet at the rear, approximately.
Framework—On the last-referred-to tubes is placed a framework at an angle of about 20 degrees with the horizontal, in-which are located the screws.
Propellers—4 blades, 4 feet diameter, of a very low pitch, to be run at 1.000 r. p. m. There is a steel-grooved rim or pulley 20 inches in diameter on each propeller.
Engine—50 horse power, made by the Aero & Marine Motor Co., of Boston; Xew York office, 45 West 34th St. Water-cooled: weight. 130 pounds, net, including Bosch magneto. To this weight should be added the weight of the water-cooling system and two heavy flywheels, which will bring the weight of the power plant up to about 200 pounds, including gasolene and water supi ly. The engine is a 2-cycle one, which is rather uncommon, has 4 cylinders of 4-inch bore by 4-inch stroke. It has a special patented device for increasing the compression before ignition. This engine has developed 50 horse power at 2000 r. p. m., and is expected to run at from 1400 to 1600 revolutions, developing at those speeds 40 to 45 horsepower, which it has developed under brake test. The engine is located at the extreme front end of the chassis to counterbalance the weight of the operator at the rear end on the platform.
the uxder side-left hand c0xtr0ls individual cylinders.
Transmission—From the engine run four stanchions upon which are fastened two grooved drums. A ^-inch steel cable is taken three times around the drums and passes up over the first steel pulley-rim, and then runs around through the ten propellers on one side, back to the engine. A similar system is operated on the other side of the engine. The whole transmission system is so delicately arranged that it can be moved or turned, engine and all, with one finger on the starting crank with relief valve open.
Operation—By turning a wheel is moved the seat on which the operator sits backward and forward for up and down motion. The right and left turning is by opening or closing a number of small blades.
The inventor found by experimenting with a model thatVthere was an extraordinary increase in the lifting capacity as soon as the apparatus Anmenced to move off the floor, and the idea is not to obtain a lift directly into the aiBbut to get a running start and always work on undisturbed air, the same as with ah,aeroplane. However, it is believed that a rise can be made at a much steeper angle tran with an aeroplane, and leave the ground almost as soon as the apparatus is put into motion. It is also expected by the inventor that the machine will turn a much sharper angle antl make it available for flights within a comparatively confined space. The weight with operator is about 600 lbs. Trials are expected any day at the Society's grounds at Morris Park racetrack.
THE NEW BRITISH ARMY AIRSHIP.
By Our London Correspondent.
As told in the August issue, on July 24th, the new army airship. "Dirigible Xo. II," made its first ascent. In the presence of a large crowd the tall iron doors of the balloon shed slid open at 5.15 p.m. to give passage to the dirigible, dragged forth by a squad of men from the Balloon Company. A slight easterly breeze was blowing as the airship, with Capt. King, Capt. Canlen, and Lieut. Westland in the car, was released. It was immediately seen that one of the trail-ropes had caught in the forward plane, so that another start had to be made. For the second time, however, a trail-rope caught, fouling one of the propellers. At the third attempt the airship got clear, and, rising to about 800 ft., described a wide circle over the canal and the Farnham Road. When the shed was almost reached on the return journey the motor was suddenly stopped, one of the belt-wheels having broken. Drifting before the wind, the airship was speedily brought down within half-a-mile of the shed, to which it was dragged back by the sappers. The ascent lasted just under 20 minutes, and may be said to have proved satisfactory from many points of view.
England's dirigible ii.
Slightly larger in volume than "Dirigible No. I"—its capacity must be about 70,000 cubic ft.—it radically differs from the latter in many important particulars, and differs for the better. The goldbeater's skin envelope is entirely covered with a light canvas casing, which gradually merges underneath to a sharp, rigid keel formed of aluminum tubes with canvas covering. The car is suspended from steel wires attached to four canvas bands passing over the hull, while at each end of the envelope a cross-band prevents the bands from slipping when the airship is tilted.. The car—a simple wooden framework covered with rope mesh—is supported when on the ground on a pivot, 6 ft. high, after the model of the "Patrie." A large horizontal steering plane is pivoted immediately below the front end of the keel. The rudder, hinged in the centre, is situated aft of the keel and on the same level. A broad tail-plane, or "empennage," extends horizontally over the rear part of the keel. The motor, an 8-cyliuder, 50-horse-power Antoinette, drives through pulleys and belts two two-bladed propellers, both of right-hand pitch, about 9 ft. in diameter, one on each side of the car. Both propellers revolve in the same direction, are slightly larger than last year's and more spoon-shaped.
The motor gave a lot of difficulty, especially in starting, and was fitted with a flywheel, which is unusual with this type of engine; but this was an improvement, as the running, once begun, was very smooth indeed. The aerostat was fitted with four
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trailropes on each side, eight in all, fixed to the centre-line, the equator, of the aerostat. Once in the air these hung free, but were apt to get entangled in the propellers and the steering planes, and did in fact do so more than once; but they should be extremely useful for controlling the balloon on the ground, not an unimportant point, as recent events have shown. Otherwise the balloon went very well and undoubtedly much more efficiently than last year. The pitching and tossing, both very bad last year, were noticeably absent, though there was a stiffish breeze up aloft.
It should be especially noted that the present dirigible is not intended to be a perfect vessel. The whole idea is to build a ship experimentally, with the main object of training the men to handle it, and accustom them to the manoeuvering. No doubt many valuable data will be gradually obtained in this way which will eventually allow the perfect ship to be evolved in due course, but the main idea for the present is to get a corps of men who will be able to handle that perfect ship when it comes along. For this reason no flights to London or similar ambitious projects are entertained this year. You may compare the whole idea to the Wright Brothers, who practised gliding for some years before attempting to fly.
As soon as the airship emerged from the shed it was obvious that the car, situated approximately in the centre, was slung too far forward, imparting a distinct downward tilt to the envelope, which it never really lost while in the air. In consequence, the forward steering plane had to be kept at a considerable angle, which added immensely to the resistance from the air. This defect can, however, be remedied.
On the whole, Colonel Capper is to be congratulated most heartily on his new craft. In almost every respect it forms a great advance on its predecessor, but especially in its greatly inferior resistance to the air it is immeasurably superior. The network of wires for suspension has been reduced to a minimum—in this particular it surpasses every rival except the "Zeppelin"—and the vessel should be far more stable; the pitching and rolling observable in the old ship should be entirely absent. But its chief merit is its extreme simplicity of construction, and in this respect "Dirigible No. II" is probably of greater practical use for military purposes than any one of its rivals.
(Continued from page 8)
A. M. Herring has obtained an extension of time and will probably make bis trials succeeding the trials of the Wright machine.
On August 28 further trips were made with the Dirigible No. 1. In all six ascensions were made on this day.
On August 31 the first night ascension was made at Fort Myer in one of the new spherical balloons furnished by Captain T. S. Baldwin. The balloon was inflated with the hydrogen from the dirigible which is being deflated for possible shipment to the military demonstration at St. Joseph, Mo. The balloon left the ground at 9.30 o'clock and sailed over the Potomac River into Maryland. Lieutenants Lahm, Foulois and Sel fridge were the passengers.
Brigadier General James Allen, Chief Signal Officer of the Army, sailed on September 5th for Europe. He will attend the International Electrical Congress at Marseilles on Sept. 14 as the representative of the United States Army. Later he will go to Berlin to view the Gorden Bennett on the nth of October.
(Continued from page 17)
With 130 kilos of traction of the propeller and the little weight to carry up. this speed is rapidly acquired even in spite of the condition of the ground. The trials confirm this explanation.
M. Andre gives the diameter of the screws as 7.80 m. and 11.9 m., the total surface of same; the fixed aeroplane surface as 40 sq. m.
The Aero Club of New England is certainly "live." Ascensions cannot be made fast enough. Trips are now scheduled for the 9th, nth, 15th, 19th and 21st of September.
Mr. Glidden is arranging to complete his tour of the world in February, there remaining only 4000 miles in Algeria, etc., to finish.
THE AERIAL EXPERIMENT ASSOCIATION.
In the August Issue we recorded the flights of the June Bug up to July ioth.
On July 26th four short flights were made: One by G. H. Curtiss, three by Lieut. Thos. Selfridge. Landings were all safely made.
On the 27th several trials were made. J. A. D. McCurdy, after a trial flight covering half the field, made over 2000 yards in 1 minute, 45 seconds landing about at the spot where Curtiss landed in winning the Scientific American Cup. Lieutenant Selfridge tried to fly back and made two attempts, but without success. Various devices were resorted to in order to reduce weight at the moment, but still without effect. Mr. McCurdy also tried, with his reduced weight of 30 pounds. The machine was pushed across three fields and then Mr. McCurdy accomplished a short flight. The failure of the machine to fly well was ascribed to porosity or bad batteries.
The following day McCurdy tried the machine with new batteries. The full length of the field (over 2000 yards) was easily made. Curves were executed in order to test the rudder and the time of the flight was 1 minute 50 seconds._ As the wind was increasing, further trials were postponed until evening, when a trip was made down the field, a complete turn, and a good portion of the way back before the power gave out. Several other flights were made, each shorter than the preceding one. The flights were at a height of 60 feet.
On the 29th, after a larger feed pipe had been arranged to the carbureter, the complete turn was made three times. The machine was taken quite high in the air to avoid striking the ground with the down wing in making the turns.
The flights made by Mr. McCurdy on the 27th were the first made by him since his flight in the White Wing.
Perfect control of the machine has now been attained by the members of the Association. It can be steered around quickly or slowly, and the "secret" of success in turning seems to be to fly comparatively high. Now for the further development of the machine! The object thus far has been to train the members in flying, with the crude and roughly built machine at hand.
Since the July flights, alteration in the engine has been made for a forced feeding of oil, and experiments have commenced with a view of discarding the tail. There has been no provision heretofore for continued lubrication.
On August 27 two flights were made by J. A. D. McCurdy; one with the top surface off the tail and another with both surfaces off. There was no noticeable difference with one surface off, but with both off the machine was faster and very sensitive to the front control. This means more practice now to obtain skill in handling. A new propeller was also used which developed a push of 212 pounds. With the tail off there is nothing behind the propeller but the rudder, supported by bamboo braces from the main planes.
On August 28 both McCurdy and Curtiss made flights. On the 29th McCurdy made a complete turn and returned to the starting point.
On the 31st Curtiss made another complete circle, and was in the air 2 minutes 28 seconds.
The Aerial Experiment Association began on July 13 the issuance of a series of bulletins for the information of the members and as a matter of record anu study. Up to August 31st eight of these bulletins have been compiled. Besides the records of trials and experiments made by the Association with its aeroplanes, kites and hydroplanes, some very valuable papers have been prepared. Some of these are as follows: A Query Concerning the Nature of the Torque Produced by Twin Propellers Rotating in the Same Direction, Plans for an Improved Motor for Flying Machines, The Construction of Light Motors for Use in Flying Machines, Sketch of the Progress of the Art of Aviation, Gyroscopic Action of Propellers, Aerodrome Trussing, Report on French Motors, Device for Raising and Depressing an Aerodrome While Keeping the Machine on an Even Keel, Torque, Dufaux Engine, Experiments with Kites, Hydroplane Experiments, Experiences in the Air. These contributions have been made by Dr. Bell, Mr. McCurdy, Mr. Curtiss, Mr. Baldwin, Mr. Turnbull, Lieut Selfridge, Mr. Williams, Mr. Bedwin.
AERO PATENTS ISSUED.
In the August number we gave a list of the patents issued from July 1, 1907, to June 9, 1908.
Since then seven patents have been issued, as follows: No. 892,380, Mumford,. June 30; 892,608, Moore & Barrow, July 7; 893,887, Warner, July 21; 893,647, Pennington, July 21; 894,318, De Forest, July 28; 895,672, Olsen, August 11; 897,000, Malccot,. August 25.
THE MONTH ABROAD. Belgium.
A new airship, constructed along the lines of the Zeppelin IV, will shortly begin its trials at Spa.
It has a capacity of about 4000 cu. m.. two motors developing 200 horse power. The speed figured is 60 km. per hour. The manufacturers of the Pipe automobile have offered the War Department the free use of its motors.
The Spa aviation contests have been abandoned, as no entries were made. The Aero Club de Belgique has decided to offer a prize of $5,000 to be awarded to the constructor of an aeroplane which shall fly over a course of 25 kilometers. The machine must be designed, constructed and manipulated by a Belgian. Rules will shortly be issued.
On August 14th, Dirigible II made its second flight, with three on board. Manoeu-vers were executed at a speed of 10 to 20 miles an hour for about half an hour. On the following afternoon another trial was made for a half hour. In landing the pointed frame struck the ground and damaged one of the propellers.
Bellamy, whose aeroplane trials have not yet been successful, met again with failure during August.
The feature of the month has been the trials of the Wright Brothers' aeroplane at Hunaudieres race course, near Le Mans. The details are given elsewhere in this issue.
On July 22 Captain Ferber accomplished flights of 10, 50 and 120 meters in his latest aeroplane, No. 9. During the last flight the aviator tried to come closer to the ground, but failed to operate the apparatus properly and struck the ground severely, and the frame and propellers were broken. On July 25 Ferber covered 300 meters. After being ordered back into service, Captain Ferber gave his aeroplane to M. Legagneux, a mechanic of the Antoinette factory, who, on August 19, won the third prize of the Aero Club de France for a flight of 200 meters. M. Legagneux actually covered 256 meters in 2 minutes 23 seconds.
The Ferber IX will now be called the Antoinette III. It is of the biplane type, with a framework of bamboo. A 50-horse-power Antoinette motor is used. The single 2-bladed propeller has a diameter of 2.2. meters and a pitch of 1.1, placed in front of the machine. The whole apparatus is supported on two rubber-tired-wheel tandems. The total weight is 400 kilos, surface 40 square meters, spread 10.5 meters, speed 40 kilometers per hour. The first trial was on July 14. Good stability has been maintained.
On August 20 the Gastambide-Mengin monoplane accomplished a flight of 100 meters with two men aboard, M. Welfringer and M. Gastambide. This_ is the first time that a monoplane has carried two people. On the 21st a flight of 1 minute 36 seconds was made during which a complete circle was made, in addition to returning to the starting point. (See p. 27, March.)
The manufacturers of the Astra motors have rented for a period of five years the large grounds of Beauval. A shed 150 meters long will be erected immediately.
M. Delagrange has announced that the Compagne d'Aviation will offer to aviators the use of its aerodrome (course), to be secured in the vicinity of St. Germain. This aerodrome measures 900 by 1200 meters and contains 108 hectares.
The Antoinette Company has secured a training ground on an island in the Seine, some distance above Rouen. Here they have a length of about one mile by three-quarters of a mile, where no restrictions whatever are in force and which cannot be reached by inquisitive sightseers.
On August 1st Pelterie resumed his trials. The Pelterie monoplane has been somewhat modified and now the following apply: _ 17 square meters surface, Rep 25-30-horse-power motor, weight of apparatus 375 kilos. This weight will attain 410 kilos when it has a new reservoir of gasoline holding 55 litres. The single propeller has four blades, for which is claimed an efficiency of 84 per cent. All the mechanism for steering is inside of the wings or in the cylindric bod}'. In the rear arc two rudders for vertical and lateral direction. The whole apparatus is placed on one wheel, besides two small wheels attached to the tips of the wings. (See p. 14, December.)
Bleriot IX—Bleriot will try very soon a new monoplane, of which the following are the principal points: body 10 meters long, triangular at the rear and quadrangular at the front, movable wings at each extremity, Antoinette 75-horse-power, 16-cycle motor; 4-flexible-bladed propeller 2.10 meters diameter, 1.30 meters pitch. The total
weight mounted 450 kilos, surface 25 sq. meters. The radiator consists of a zinc sheet supporting a great number of small reservoirs, weighing 2 kilos per square meter of surface, or a total of 20 or 25 kilos including the water. There are no small wings as in the last machine. The mobility of the large wings take the place of the small ones used in the VIII. * '----"s----—'
The field of Issy has been returned to the use of aviators between 4 and 6 in the morning, providing they pay the cost of policing, 18^2 francs.
Paul and ErnesJ^J2jm^__commenced, on August 1st, trials with their biplane at Gonesse. The two surfaces are set at a dihedral angle. The frame is of wood, as are also the elliptical-cross section struts, which are stayed by steel wires. The upper surface has a total length laterally of 8.2 meters by 1.2 meters front to rear. The actual spread is 8 meters. The dihedral angle is of 156 degrees. The lower surface measures 8.3 by 2.3, and the dihedral angle of the lower surface is sharper than that of the upper. The lateral extremities of the lower surface and the rear edges are flexible. The covering of all plane surfaces is Japanese paper, varnished. The surfaces are concave from the rear to the front. The angle presented to the wind is 9 degrees. The total surface of the wings and tail is about 29 sq. meters. In the rear is a rectangular horizontal plane 5 meters spread by 1 meter front to rear. In the front of the apparatus at the summit of a pyramidal body having four faces, is placed a movable horizontal plane or rudder used for both lateral and vertical direction, with a spread of 2.1 meters by a .9 meter. The total area of this plane is 1.89 sq. m. The diverse movements of this plane are caused by a steering wheel. The aviator sits between the two surfaces, in front of the 50-horse-power Antoinette motor, fitted with a Fiat carbureter. The motor is cooled by a radiator especially made of a series of brass tubes grouped on each side of the pyramidal body. The water supply is 24 litres. The gasolene reservoir contains 6 litres. The propeller is an Antoinette, aluminum, 2 m. diameter, 2 blades, placed in the rear of the machine. The whole apparatus is placed on a 4-wheeled chassis. Mounted, the apparatus weighs 320 kilos, about. The wood employed in the frame is American pine. The framework is put together with aluminum castings, without any screws. The machine has made several short flights and has proved its excellent qualities. In the last trial a slight accident to one of the wings occurred in hitting a haystack.
At the end of July the Republique was taken from Moisson to the new quarters at Chalais-Meudou—its sixth ascent. The journey occupied 1 hour 22 minutes. This period included short intervals of evolutions. The distance is 58 kilometers, and the wind was 8 meters per second. Four passengers were carried. Of the 570 kilos of ballast carried, 50 kilos were used. Nine ascents were made during August.
The fourth French dirigible has been ordered and will be called the '"Liberté." The length will be 67 m., volume 4200 eu. m., the motor a Panhard 90.
The Malecot combination aeroplane-dirigible has been having trials at Issy. It consists of a cigar-shaped gas bag inflated with hydrogen and having a lifting capacity of 600 pounds, or sufficient to raise its machinery, two passengers and a small amount of ballast. But, unlike the ordinary dirigible, the Malecot machine does not depend entirely on the lifting power of its gas.
Immediately below the gas bag is the aeroplane portion, consisting of a couple of parallel planes running the full length of the lower part of the balloon and terminated by a vertical rudder. Below this again is an open wooden cage on the floor of which is installed a four-cylinder water cooled automobile engine, the installation and fitting of which is exactly similar to that of a car, with the exception that instead of driving a rear axle the propeller shaft bears a two-bladed propeller at its extremity. The pilot and mechanic occupy basket-work chairs just to the rear of the dashboard and still further to the rear is the gasoline tank on raised brackets.
Five balloons were in the landing contest of the Aéronautique Club de France on Aug. 9. The winner descended within 2 kilometers from the spot designated. The preparatory aeronautic school of the Aéronautique Club, since its foundation, has sent to the aeronautical department more than 300 young men. Seven balloons were in the Aéronautique Club race on July 21. The winner made a journey of 564 km. in 42 hours 35 minutes. This is very near the second made in the Gordon Bennett last year.
September 5 saw several machines out. Leon Delagrangc circled Issy five times, covering a little over seven miles. Ferbcr remained in the air for two minutes. Blcriot broke both wheels in a run and did not leave the ground. The Republique manocuvercd for six hours over Paris and suburbs, covering a distance of 200 miles.
29 minutes in the air-delagrange.
Dclagrange makes a new record for him.—On September 6 Delagrange made a flight lasting 29 minutes 54 seconds, covering a distance of 24.747 meters, a little over
15 miles. The flight was cut short at this point on account of exhaustion of gasolene. On the following day he beat this by a flight of 31 minutes, but this was not allowed to stand, as three minutes were deducted on account of the machine touching the ground for an instant during the first round of the field.
Major Parseval has finished the new dirigible. It is a great deal like its predecessor, except that the rear is more pointed. Its length is 58 meters, volume 3200 cu. m. It can carry 4750 kilos. The motor is a 100-110-horse-power Daimler. To be accepted, it must make a flight of 10 hours, ascending, descending and landing at specified places; and also make a flight of 10 hours without interruption.
The gasolene reservoir holds 400 litres, sufficient for a voyage of 10 to 12 hours. The ascensional force is about 3600 kilos.
On August 13th simultaneous ascents were made by the German military airship, the Gross II, and the one owned by the Motorluftstudiengesellschaft at Reinickendorf, the Parseval II. The military airship stayed up for 35 minutes and the other for 45 minutes. The following day the latter manoeuvered successfully for 2^4 hours in the rain and fairly high wind. A distance of 55 miles was covered. Fifteen other ascents were made by the Parseval II during August, carrying as many as five people; 88 kilometers were covered on one trip.
The military airship Gross II has had a new envelope. Nine ascensions were made during August, in one of which 140 kilometers were covered.
The municipal consul of Spandau has asked all the municipal consuls of the German empire to vote a national subscription of 10 pfennig for each inhabitant, which would make over 7.000,000 marks to be placed at the disposal of Count Zeppelin for constructing a new airship.
The aeronautical corps attached to the German army has had consigned to them for the purpose of instructing the men, one of the older of the German military dirigibles.
Work is proceeding rapidly on the construction of the gas containers for the Zeppelin V, mentioned elsewhere in this issue.
On August 22 the new Italian dirigible, which we have mentioned before, is about ready for trials. Great secrecy is being maintained, but its length is said to be 63 m., and the engine an 80-horse-power Bayard. The volume is about 2500 cu. m. The cost is put at $100,000.
The Russian government has offered prizes amounting to $32,600 for flying machines and models in a contest to be held in 1909, at St. Petersburg.
Spain's military dirigible is finished and has had a trial ascent, on August 8. The ship is called "Torres Quevado." In the trial the steering gear was damaged and the envelope torn in the high wind.
The Swiss dirigible is in course of construction at Vernier. The Geneva—that is its name—approaches the type of Patrie, with a capacity of 3500 cu. m., 125-horse-power motor, an expected speed of 60 km. per hour, and a duration capacity of 72 hours.
Dr. T. Chalmers Fulton, Vice President Aero Club of Philadelphia and President Ben Franklin Aeronautical Society of the U. S., is arranging to build a 50.000 cubic foot balloon, to be finished in the early Fall.
On August 14th the airship of Captain T. T. Lovelace took fire at the Franco-British Exhibition in London, causing the death of two persons. Miss Blanche Hill, his secretary, was killed directly by the explosion and an electrician, Edward Fitzgibbon, died from his injuries.
Captain Lovelace was assistant to Israel Ludlow at the aeronautical division of the Jamestown Exposition and later came to New York to take charge of the Aero Club Show. After the show he went to Panama. From there he evidently went to England.
On September 2, Charles O. Jones, a member of the Aero Club of America, met his death by the burning of his dirigible "Boomerang" while in the air at Waterville, Maine.
Without any experience whatever in balloon work, it is remarkable that Mr. Jones did so well. He constructed the ship entirely on his own lines, did all the work himself, planned, cut and built. He had plenty of pluck and determination, was cool-headed in danger, his ideas were original and he had a pleasing personality.
GORDON BENNETT AND OTHER BALLOON RACES—OCT. io-ii.
The following rules have been adopted for the three contests to be held at Berlin October ioth and nth.
The racing will be conducted under the F. A. I. rules. There are no money prizes for the two races on October 10. One prize is offered for every three balloons entered for each competition. A memorial plate will be presented to each participator.
As we have mentioned in previous issues, one contest will be for a pre-determined goal and one for distance.
This race is conducted under F. A. I. rules and the special set of rules under which the two previous contests for this cup and cash prize have been held.
the conqueror, entered in gordon bennett a. h. forres (right) ; a. leo stevens,
by a. h. forbes. builder, on mr. forbes' right.
The special regulations formulated by the Berliner Verein are briefly as follows: The entire balloon material must have been examined and placed at the disposal of the Organizing Committee by 6 o'clock p. m. on Oct. 8. Each entrant must bring with him sail cloth, 6o sand bags and pipe io meters long. The prescribed log books will be handed to the aeronauts at the start. Requisite maps and charts will be procured for foreign contestants and charged at cost, if application is made for same. The pilot will be furnished with telegraph blanks to drop at intervals. Place, time and manner of landing must be telegraphed at once to Berlin. An automobile will be placed at the disposal of the representatives of each foreign nation. Trial trips may be made at any time from the starting place. Gas and assistance furnished by the Association at cost. Cost of gas is 13 pfennigs per cubic meter. Filling takes a half to one hour.
The list of competitors has just been announced. They are as follows, in order of start, country represented, name of the balloon, capacity, pilot and alternates: America, "America II," 2200 cu. m., J. C. McCoy, alternate Capt. Chas. De F. Chandler; Germany, "Buslcy," 2200 cu. m.. Dr. Nienieyer, alternate Hans Hiedemann; England, "Banshee," 2200 cu. m., John Dunville, alternate C. F. Pollock; Spain, "Valencia," 2200 cu. m., Captain Kindelan, alternate Sr. Horga; Belgium, "Belgica," 16S0 cu. m., M. de Moor, alternate M. Geerts; Switzerland, "Cognac," 2200 cu. m., Victor de Beauclair, alternate Dr. de Quervain; Italy, "Aetos," 2200 cu. m., Frince Scipione Borghese. alternate Ettore Gianetti, companion Major Moris; France, name not given yet, 2200 cu. m., Jacques Faure, alternate Louis Capazza; America, "Conqueror," 2200 cu. m.. A. Holland Forbes, alternate Maj. If. B. Hersey; Germany, "Berlin," 2200 cu. m., Oscar Erbsloh, alternate unnamed; England, "Britannia," 2200 cu. m.. Hon. C. S. Rolls, alternate Maj. F. Cruikshank; Spain, "Norte," 2200 cu. m., Kinilio Hen-era, alternate unnamed; Belgium, "L'Utopie," 2200 cu. m., de Bronferc, alternate Vandensbussche; Switzerland, "Helvetia," 2200 cu. m., Lieut. Schaeck, alternate E. Messner;
Italy, "Ruwenzori," 2200 cn. m., Celestino Usuelli. alternate Mario Borsalino; France, balloon not given, 2200 cn. m., Emile Carton, alternate not named; America, "St. Louis," 2200 cu. m., N. IT. Arnold;
Germany, "Dusseldorf," 2200 cu. m.. Captain von Abercron. alternate Dr. Bamler; England, "Zephyr," 2200 cu. m.. Prof. A. K. Huntington, alternate Hon. C. Brabazon; Spain, "Montanes," 2200 cu. m., Salamanca, alternate Montojo; Belgium, '"Ville de Brussels,'' 2200 cu. m., Everarts, alternate Jacobs;
Italy, "Basiliola," 2200 cu. m., Capt. Romeo Frassinetti, alternate Com. Joseh Cobi-
anchi, companion Cesar Longhi; France, balloon not named, 2200 cu. m.. Alfred LeBlanc, alternate Ernest Barbotte.
Eight countries are represented—America by three, Germany by three, England three, Spain three, Belgium three, Switzerland two, Italy three, France three—23 balloons in all.
The first prize is the silver Gordon Bennett Cup. won on the first offering by America, on the second by German}' at St. Louis last year and now competed for for the third time. In addition to the cup, Air. Bennett adds $2500 in cash to the winner. The entry fees and fines are divided among the three contestants making the greatest distances. Supplementary prizes are also offered by the German clubs.
The Aero Club of St. Louis is to provide a French built balloon for entry in the Gordon Bennett and J. C. McCoy is also having a French balloon built to use in this race. The only American-built balloon will be that of A. Holland Forbes, constructed by Leo Stevens.
Postscript—N. H. Arnold, secretary and one of the organizers of the North Adams Aero Club, will pilot the balloon now being built for the St. Louis club in the Gordon Bennett in place of Lieutenant Lahm. who has been unable to get away from his army duties. Mr. Arnold's first flight in a balloon was made on September 1, 1907, with Oscar Handler, which so impressed him that he became one of two or three to start the North Adams club. This year he has made 15 trips, piloting in ten of the trips. Mr. Arnold is on the North Adams Herald and is correspondent for the Springfield Republican and the New York Herald.
Columbus Balloon Race.
Three balloons started from Columbus on August 29 in a distance race under the auspices of the Columbus Aero Club. A shortage of gas prevented the inflation of the fourth balloon, C. A. Coey's "Chicago," before dark and the start of that balloon took place the following day.
The balloons, occupants, landings, etc., are as follows:
"Iroquois," entered by Henry Pirrung, of Columbus; piloted by Horace B. Wild, with Clyde Tuttle companion; landed 13 miles away after a trip of 2 hours. Shortness of trip due to lack of sufficient ballast.
"Ville de Dieppe," entered by Paul Lucier, of Dieppe, France; piloted by A. E. Mueller, Paul Mason, city editor of the Columbus Journal, as companion; landed at 10.30 p. m. about 4 miles south of Columbus.
"Queen Louise," entered by Lewis Strang; piloted by Lieut. J. J. Bennett, Thos. L. Sample companion; started at 5.05 and landed in Lake Erie. 150 miles west of Buffalo, at 11 A. M. the following day. The balloon landed without ballast, all having been disposed of during the trip. The aeronauts were rescued by a passing steamer. The approximate distance is 1S0 miles. Official figures have not yet been compiled by the Club.
J. A. Morrcll. of the National Airship Company, which built the enormous gas bag which burst in the air at its first trial on May 23rd. has been acquitted of the charge of issuing a false prospectus in connection with his project. Considerable stock was sold in San Francisco, Portland, and nearby cities and all the investors are still waiting for the promoter to make good on his extravagant promises. There certain!}' should be a law preventing the risking of lives in such foolish ventures as Morrell's nightmare was.
The balloon Initial which burst during the process of inflation at Point Breeze, Philadelphia, on July 17th. has been repaired by Prof. Samuel A. King. All the defective spots near the neck have been cut out and new cloth inserted. This balloon is now the property of the Aero Club of Philadelphia (recently purchased from Henry S. Gratz) and will be used shortly by Dr. T. Chalmers Fulton, Vice President of Aero Club of Philadelphia and President Ben Franklin Aeronautical Society of the U. S. Dr. Fulton will take up with him as his guest Conyers B. Graham, of Germantown.
CLUB NOTES. Aero Club of America.
Everyone is now looking forward to the great Gordon Bennett at Berlin on October ii. Alan R. Hawley will accompany J. C. McCoy in one of the two new balloons now being built in France to represent America. The details of the race and entries are given fully elsewhere in this issue. A. Holland Forbes will sail on the 29th.
Arrangements have been completed with the G. H. Curtiss Mfg. Co. for the free use by members experimenting, of either air or water cooled 25 or 50 horsepower Curtiss motors at the experimental grounds at Hammondsport. This privilege will be of great benefit to the inventor. It will save him the expense of purchasing a motor until he has found from his experiments just what power he needs for his machine. The use of grounds is another boon, and the proximity of the Curtiss plant makes repairs and entire construction work a matter of little difficulty.
There are now twelve balloon pilots holding licenses from the Aero Club of America. They are as follows, in the order of granting: J. C. McCoy, A. Leo Stevens, Frank S. Lahm. Lieut. Frank P. Lahm, Carl E. Myers, Alan R. Hawley, Major Henry B. Hersey, Captain Chas. De F. Chandler, T. S. Baldwin. Albert C. Triaca, A. Holland Forbes and Charles J. Glidden.
Mo entries were made for the Scientific American trophy for the second competition up to September 1, the date of the closing of entries. September 7 had been set for the contest.
The Club presented Captain Baldwin with a letter of congratulation upon the success of the dirigible which the Government has acquired. He was also presented with the flag of the Aero Club which he flew on his ship during all the trials.
In reply to a letter to Count Zeppelin expressing sympathy at the loss of his great project, the Club received the following acknowledgment from the Count Zeppelin: "I desire to express to the Aero Club of America my sincere thanks for the letter of congratulation sent me on my success and also for the heartfelt letter of sympathy at the loss of my airship. It is a great pleasure to me to know in spite of the destruction of my ship the Aero Club of America has confidence in my work."
Israel Ludlow has presented the Club with motion pictures of the dirigible Patrie and of the Santos-Dumont aeroplane.
Mrs. Charles Oliver Jones, wife of the aeronaut, who lost his life by the explosion of his airship, received a telegram expressing the sympathy of the Club.
N. H. Arnold, of North Adams, has been granted pilot license No. 14 of the Aero Club of America on August 31 at the Directors' meeting held on that date.
Mr. Arnold is to pilot the Aero Club of St. Louis's balloon in the Gordon Bennett in place of Lieutenant Lahm, who is unable to leave his post.
Aero Club of New England.
The Aero Club of New England (100 members) is one of the most active organizations in the country. The headquarters of the club is in Boston with ascension parks at Pittsfield, North Adams, Springfield, Fitchburg, Lowell and Nashua. The club is composed of leading business and professional men of New England all deeply interested in aerial navigation. Its members are making ascensions as rapidly as conditions will permit and the club's balloon has already made eight flights, and engaged for as many more in September.
The annual banquet of the club will be held in Boston, Nov. 21st, the 125th anniversary of the first ascension of man in a balloon.
Philadelphia Aero Club.
Three ascensions have been made during the past month. An effort is being made to amalgamate the Ben Franklin Aeronautical Association with the Philadelphia Aero Club, as it is believed in that way the interest in aeronautics in Philadelphia can best be furthered and those who have not yet made ascensions may be encouraged to try.
The scheme of crossing the Atlantic in a balloon, which has lain dormant for years, is again being agitated and by many the plan is thought feasible for an aerostat of 500,000 cubic feet capacity, using hydrogen gas, conveyed by one or two swift yachts. It is claimed the St. Louis race last year shows it possible.
The Philadelphia Aero Club would like very much to arrange a balloon race with the Aero Club of America for Founders Week. There are three balloons which could take part: the Initial, 35,000 cu. ft.; the Philadelphia, 50,000 cu. ft.; and the Ben Franklin 92,000 cu. ft.
The Aeronautic Society.
The persistent work of the committee 'on grounds has at last brought results. Two months or more have been spent in the search for proper grounds.
Morris Park race track was unanimously decided upon as the most advantageous grounds available. A lease of the track and some of the buildings has been signed, good until December 31, 1909.
The two large field betting rings will be used for construction and storage, while in one por.tion of one of these buildings will be installed the machine shop. The auction building and the large club stables are also to be used for housing machines.
The track itself is the largest in the vicinity of New York. The fences have been removed tin the turns and an unobstructed straight flight can be made of at least a kilometer. The width of the grounds easily permits the turning with aeroplanes. Outside the track itself the grounds extend for a considerable distance to the fence which bounds the entire park.
All meetings of the Society are now being held in the magnificent club house on the grounds. The regular Wednesday evening assemblies, which have been so well attended during the past, are continued without interruption.
Morris Park is reached by the subway and surface car lines, by the elevated, steam railroad and beautiful roads lead direct for automobiles. Woodmansten Inn immediately adjoins the track on the east. The best way to reach the track is by Lenox Avenue subway to 177th Street, thence by Williamsbridge or Morris Park electric surface cars.
On Saturday and Sunday, August 29th and 30th. nearly all the members were on hand for their first view of the grounds and buildings.
Wilbur R. Kimball has offered members of the Society the use of his Aero & Marine 50 h.p. motor until the motors of the Society are arranged for.
Three flying mach ines are now on the grounds: the helicopter of Wilbur R. Kimball, the aeroplane of C. J. Hendrickson and the aeroplane of C. W. Williams. On Labor Day the Kimball machine was practically completed and the engine run for a few moments. Trials will be begun at once. Five or six other members will soon start work on machines at the racetrack.
The membership is being augmented daily.
At the regular Wednesday night meeting on August 19th, A. Leo Stevens gave his views on the subject of ballooning and his experiences in aeronautics.
Mr. Stevens stated that he had given up for the present the building of dirigibles for the reason that people who buy them have little experience and the dirigible does not come up to expectations owing to the lack of knowledge. At the first show of the Aero Club of America he sold four of these dirigibles for $15,000. People should gain experience in ordinary spherical balloons before attempting to operate dirigibles and for this reason he has for the past year or so been active in encouraging ballooning.
Experience, he said, had shown the need for some means of changing the course of a balloon and he has devised and patented a scheme by which a 10 h.p. motor is attached to the basket of a spherical balloon, capable of being quickly unmounted and packed inside the basket for shipment home after the flight. Cloth cones will be fastened to the side of the bag, to be inflated with air when it is desired to use the engine. These cones will make the bag of elongated shape and aid dirigibility. The cones to be easily attachable and detachable. When the motor is not used, the air is let out of the cones and the balloon left free again to float with the breeze.
He has also finished work on a device for conserving the gas usually lost through the neck of a balloon by expansion. Under his plan, as the gas expands and is forced out through the neck it will pass into a refrigerator which will save it for use when the gas in the envelope contracts through condensation and all the gas available is desired. By this method the bag would always be kept tight. The arrangement would
be in the nature of the well-known Thermos bottle. As the expanding gas cools in this arrangement it would pass back into the bag. A. Holland Forbes will make a trial of this plan in the new balloon which Mr. Stevens is building for him to be used in the Gordon Bennett at Berlin on October n.
Mr. Stevens also told of his trip to Chicago and St. Paul to see the balloon races held there in July. He said many of the passengers had never been in the air before and that the Chicago club had purchased four or five balloons entered in order to make the affair a success in point of numbers.
At St. Paul the gas was extremely poor and it was impossible to make long flights. The gas had a lifting power of only 24 pounds per thousand cubic feet.
He suggested a committee to pass upon the conditions of balloons before being allowed to take part in a contest and that all those in charge of a balloon should hold pilot licenses, for should anything happen the sport of ballooning would receive a great setback.
In closing, Mr. Stevens prophesied that in five or ten years we would see enormous dirigibles crossing the ocean, landing in New York harbor and being_ towed by tugboats to their various hangers as the ocean liners are now towed to their docks.
On the occasion of Wilbur Wright's first flights in France, the Society sent a telegram of congratulation to Orville Wright at Dayton and a cablegram to Wilbur Wright at Le Mans, France.
As will be remembered, the Society cabled Count Zeppelin condolences and encouragement, which was received with much pleasure by the indefatigable Zeppelin. He has expressed his pleasure in the newspapers at the interest of Americans in his work.
The Society is anxious that all interested in the advancement of the art join, for the mutual benefit of the members and the art. There is at present no initiation fee and the dues are but $10 a year. The club book has not yet been issued but it is planned to have it ready within a short time.
An exhibition and series of contests will be held at the grounds in October. Correspondence is asked with regard to exhibits of full sized machines, gliders, "wind-wagons," power driven and other models, etcetera. Entries are requested of all kinds of apparatus relating to aerial locomotion, with descriptions of same, weight, size, and all particulars relating to shipment.
Aero Club of North Adams.
The feature of the month was the point-to-point race mentioned in the August issue, in which a photograph of the Forbes Cup was shown. Three balloons started, as follows:
North Adams No. 1 with A. Holland Forbes, donor of the cup. and his 12-year old daughter, Natalie, and Arthur D. Potter as pilot. They left the ground at 1 o'clock with Haydenville picked as the objective point. The landing was made at West Whateley at 2:50 o'clock, 4% miles distant from the objective point. Distance made, 29^ miles.
Greylock left at 1:2s p.m. with Dr. R. M. Randall pilot and Clarence Wildman after picking Leeds as his destination. The descent was at Ashfield at 2:30 o'clock, 12 miles from the point designated. Distance made igy2 miles.
Heart of the Berkshires with Alan R. Hawley pilot and William Van Sleet ascended 1:42 p.m. to reach Whateley Station but landed at 3:30 at Laurel Park, Northampton, 6*4 miles of the point picked. The distance was 31*, 2 miles.
By landing the nearest to the point designated by the pilot before starting, A. D. Potter won the cup offered by Mr. Forbes and with Mr. Forbes and his daughter in the basket. It is not often that the donor of a cup can be with the winning pilot.
Six months must now elapse before a challenge can be made. See rules printed in August issue.
Mr. Glidden also made an ascension from North Adams later in the afternoon with Mrs. Clayton, landing at East Charleniont. a mile and a half from Shelburne Falls.
North Adams has evidently become the ballooning center of the East. Thirty-four ascensions have been made there within the year and over 1700 miles have been covered by 32 people. The average flight was 52 miles, the longest 135 and the shortest 6 miles.
The formation of the North Adams Aero Club was the result of the work of three enthusiasts: N. H. Arnold, Superintendent E. C. Peebles of the gas company and President F. S. Richardson of that company. They succeeded in getting together a sufficient number of men to take shares of stock in a corporation to effect the purchase of a balloon and necessary instruments and the organization was effected March 9 of this year. The club was incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts, the members being A. Holland Forbes, Roswell L. Gardner, A. W. Chippendale, E. C. Peebles, F. S. Richardson, N. H. Arnold, R. F. Stratton, H. P. Drysdale, W. IT. Pritchard, John Waterhouse, R. M. Randall, Irving D. Curtiss, James D. Hunter, George A. MacDonald, Archer H. Barber, Arthur D. Potter of Greenfield. Others have since joined until the present membership is about 75. Frank S.
Richardson is president. Arthur \V. Chippendale, treasurer and N. H. Arnold, secretary.
The club purchased of Leo Stevens his 35,000 cubic feet balloon, the Stevens 21, and christened it the North Adams No. 1, March 20, the christening ceremony being performed by Miss Elizabeth Chippendale, daughter of Treasurer A. Wl Chippendale of the club. On that day, the initial flight of the balloon under its new ownership was made by A. Holland Forbes and N. H. Arnold who was to qualify as the pilot of the local club.
Since that time Mr. Arnold has completed all of the conditions imposed by the Aero Club of America for licensed pilots and not only has received the license of that organization, of which he is a member, but has been named by them as alternate for Lieutenant F. S. Lahm for the international race at Berlin this fall and will pilot the St. Louis balloon.
The next balloon christening in North Adams city was that of the Conqueror May 5, by Miss Natalie Forbes. A reception was given to Mr. Forbes at which a loving cup was presented him.
As our readers will remember, Dr. R. M. Randall, a member of the club, also bought a balloon from Stevens,
The North Adams No. 1, the Greylock, and the Boston arc kept at North Adams all the time. The perfect gas obtainable at North Adams has made it the starting point of nearly all the ascensions of the East. Formerly we heard only of Pittsfield, now it is all North Adams. Knowing the friendly rivalry between the two pearls of the Berkshires, Pittsfield is certain to spring something when the time is suitable.
The Philadelphia Aeronautical Recreation Society was organized at the home of Dr. Thomas Eldridge, 1639 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, on June fifth, by Dr. Eldridge and Dr. George H. Simmerman. Its purpose was, from the beginning, to seek the pleasure to be derived from ballooning and not for scientific research. The founders also wished to give to women an opportunity to enter into ballooning and membership was thrown open to the_ gentler sex. The list of members now includes far more women than men. The following are the officers: President, Dr. Thomas E. Eldridge; first Vice-president, Dr. George H. Simmerman; second Vice-president, Miss Nevill; third Vice-president, Dr. Eli S. Beary; Secretary, Mrs. M. E. Lockington; and Treasurer, Thomas Rose.
On June 27th the first ascension was made in the new 50,000 cubic foot balloon, "Philadelphia." Unfortunately the ascension ended disastrously, for after the balloon had reached a height of 3000 or 3500 feet, three large rents appeared in the muslin bag and the occupants of the car were dropped swiftly toward the earth. Luckily for the aeronauts the car struck a mud bank on the Schuylkill River and a landing was safely made after a flight of twenty minutes. Those who made the trip were: Mrs. Carrie Burnham Kilgore, of Swarthmore, Pa.; Mrs. M. Eleanor Lockington, Professor Samuel A. King, and Drs. Eldridge and Simmerman.
Some weeks later the founders of the club determined to open a prize competition for women balloonists, offering a large loving cup to any woman in the United States, not a professional, making the best record for distance in any air craft on one ascension for the next two years, the contest to open on August 1, 1908. The cup is known as the Eldridge-Simmerman Ladies' Aeronautical Cup and the contestant who wins it is to have her name engraved upon it and is to hold it until her record is broken. If the record of the custodian of the cup remains unbroken for two years the prize remains in her possession subject to no further challenge. If a party of two or more ladies break a record each of them shall have her name engraved upon the cup and lots will be drawn for its possession. Contestants claiming a record should accompany their claim with an affidavit stating the date of flight, the distance traveled (air line) and the names of the starting and finishing points with the signatures of two witnesses.
The next ascension was made in the "Philadelphia" on the night of August 15th. The party included Drs. Eldridge and Simmerman, Mrs. M. E. Lockington and Miss Minnie Appelbach. The balloon arose from the athletic grounds of the United Gas Improvement Co. at Point Breeze, Philadelphia, at 10.34 P- a"d landed the next morning on the farm of J. P. Kline, about four miles from Elkton, Maryland, at 9.15.
The two women aeronauts, having contested for the cup. drew lots for it and the luck fell to Mrs. Lockington, in whose possession it now remains until her record is broken.
Colonial Yacht Club.
At a meeting of the Colonial Yacht Club on August 31st, it was decided to form an aeronautical department and purchase a club balloon, for which a subscription was started. The members also voted to install a hydrogen generating plant at the grounds of the club, West 138th Street, New York. An ascension will take place in a couple of weeks. About twenty members have already signified their intention of making trips and two or three will purchase hydrogen balloons. If this occurs, it will be the
first occasion on which any club has promoted ballooning with hydrogen gas balloons. The advantages are obvious. A much smaller balloon can be used, which means less trouble in handling, less expense in transportation, with a large carrying capacity. True, the gas will cost more but the advantages otherwise should discount this item.
A. Leo Stevens lectured on ballooning and was made a member of the club. The leaders in the movement are Commodore Cahill, Vice Commodore Totten and Fleet Captain David Crowe.
An Aero Club for Washington.
Washington is soon to have an aero club. At a dinner tendered in honor of Captain Thomas S. Baldwin by a group of newspaper men in the National capital on August 22, a committee was named to select a date for a meeting at which the organization will be effected. The banquet was a fitting finale to the tests of Capt. Baldwin's airship at Fort Myer and the guests included the members of the Signal Corps Board and men prominent in aeronautics.
Augustus Post, Secretary of the Aero Club of America, was called upon by Jerome S. Fanciulli, the toastmaster. to give the Washington enthusiasts some points on the organization of an aero club. He told of the benefits which would accrue from such an organization and offered his assistance in its formation. Mr. Post, Gen. Allen, Chief Signal Officer of the Army; Prof. Albert Zahm. of the Catholic University; and Russell M. McLennan were appointed a committee to make the preliminary arrangements for the formation of the club.
Among those who spoke at the banquet were Capt. Baldwin, Prof. Zahm, Gen. Allen, Orville Wright, Lincoln Beachey, Major Squier, Capt. Wallace, and Lieutenants Frank P. Lahm, Benjamin D. Foulois, and Thomas E. Selfridge, of the Signal Corps. The latter responded to a toast to Glenn H. Curtiss, of Hammondsport, who was unable to be present at the banquet.
July 28. James F. Lord, with Hon. C. S. Rolls as pilot, and Mrs. Assheton Har-bord left Short's balloon factory, Battersea, England, at 3.50, in the Aero Club No. 4, 50,000 cu. ft. After going 30 miles the aeronauts came down at Tilgate and had tea. After leaving the anchor and two bags of ballast the trip was continued at 7 o'clock. The final landing was made after 3 miles at 7.30, using all but one bag. Two hours were spent in the air and they made 32 miles. The greatest elevation was 4000 feet. The landing was made right near a house without any of the occupants seeing them, as they were all at tea dinner. Someone in the house at last smelled gas and all started to hunt for the leak. It was not until Mr. Rolls went up to the house did they know that a balloon was the guilty cause.
July 30. James F. Lord, Hon. C. S. Rolls pilot, Hon. Mrs. Harbord and A. A. Van-derpool left Short's in the Aero Club No. 4, with 10 bags of ballast, landing with 1^2 bags 3 hours 50 minutes later, five miles from Stanford-le-Hope, covering a distance of 29 miles. The party touched the ground four times in making the landing.
Aug. 2. James F. Lord and Air. Short left Battersea in the A. C. No. 4 with 15^ bags of ballast at 1 P. M., landing at 3.20 at Arundel, 3 miles from the sea. As the> aeronauts found they were likely to go out to sea if they continued, they pulled the valve and kept it open until the bag had been half deflated. On ncaring the ground the wind blew in the opposite direction and took them inland again. It was intended to make the Isle of Wight, but the wind was not propitious. Sixty miles were made. The landing was adjacent to the camp of the newly formed London Balloon Company, whose members packed up the balloon. The highest ascent was 6700 feet.
Aug. 8. Ernest Barbotte, Wm. F. Whitehouse, G. C. Baldwin, L. Oakley and Miss Morgan left St. Cloud in the Aero Club II, landing at Anneau.
Aug. 8. A. H. Morgan and J. H. Wade, Jr., left Canton. O., on their second trip in the Sky Pilot at 12:30 p. m., landing at 6 o'clock two miles east of Stillwater, a distance of about 52 miles.
Aug. 12. Charles J. Glidden and Charles T. Shean left Springfield, Mass., in the Boston at 6:20 p. m., landing at North Amherst, Mass., 40 minutes later. Distance miles.
Aug. 14. Charles J. Glidden and Mrs H. Helen Clayton left North Adams in the Boston at 5:40 p. m., landing at East Charlemont, Mass., 1 hour and 20 minutes later. Distance made miles. Mr. Glidden has now spent 29 hours and 15 minutes in the air..
Aug. 14. The three ascents from North Adams in the point to point race are given elsewhere in this issue.
Aug. 15. Dr. George H. Simmerman, Dr. Thomas E. Eldridge, Miss Minnie Applebach and Mrs. M. K. Lockington left Philadelphia at 10.34 P- M. i" the balloon
Philadelphia, descending at 9:15 a. m. the following morning four miles from Elkton, Md. Duration, 22 hours 41 minutes. Distance, 37.6 miles. Four pigeons were released: one at 3 a. m., one at 4 a. m. and one at 5 a. m. The third bird alighted on the balloon where it stayed for about three quarters of an hour. The forth bird was let go on landing. All returned to their cote.
Aug. 16. John Berry and Ft. E. Honeywell, of St. Louis, ascended from the Rutger street gas works, at 10:15 a. m., in the former's 35,000 cubic foot aerostat, built by Honeywell, and landed at 1:30 p. m., the same day, after a flight of twenty-one miles to Troy, Ills.
The voyage was the occasion of the initial inflation of the balloon, which had not been tested with air beforehand. The inflation of the bag with coal gas of third-hour quality was accomplished in the quick time of 28 minutes. On account of a propeller attachment, manipulated by hand which was being tried out, the balloon was dubbed the "Berry Dirigible."
After weighing, there remained about 200 pounds of ballast in the car. The envelope was smoothly filled and presented an attractive appearance of symmetry. The sun was very hot and the temperature of the day extremely high; as a result there was much gas lost by expansion and the journey accordingly curtailed. The propeller attachment appeared to have the effect of rotating the balloon, but the inventor claims that this difficulty will be easily overcome and he has ordered an 80,000 foot balloon from Honeywell, in the basket of which he will carry his balloon attachment, propelled by gasoline motor.
Aug. 19. William Van Sleet and Dr. S. S. Stowed left Pittsfield in the Heart of the Berkshires. It was Mr. Van Sleet's fifth trip and the first for Dr. Stowell. The valve cord was found entangled before the start and Mr. Van Sleet climbed to the top of the balloon, opened the valve and dropped the cord down through. The breathing of the gas which, of course, rushed out of the valve nearly asphyxiated him. On his climbing to the ground he was examined by our friend, Dr. Maxwell, of Brooklyn, and his pulse was found at 155, then 144, dropping further to 120 and then jumping back-to 138. The start was made, however, at 12.15, landing at Nashua, N. H., at 4 o'clock.
Aug. 22. A. H. Morgan, Dr. H. W. Thompson and Dr. W. D. Sigler left Canton in the Sky Pilot at 12.45, landing at 2.45 near Newport, O., a distance of about 50 miles. This makes six ascents for Mr. Morgan.
Aug. 25. C. A. Coey, G. L. Bumbaugh, Miss Virginia Calvert, of the ''Top of the World" company, and Miss Anne Schatz made an ascent from the Wheaton, 111., county fair grounds. The landing was made at Sugar Grove after a trip of 19 miles.
Aug. 27. A. E. Mueller, E. G. Burkam, F. S. Raper, and Charles Dowerman left Columbus in the Ville de Dieppe on a trial flight previous to the Columbus race.1 After a trip of two hours landing was made near Derby, O., 22 miles. The bag was christened by Elsie Janis before the start.
Aug. 29. William Van Sleet left Pittsfield in the Heart of the Berkshires at 10.56, landing between Huntington, and Montgomery, Hampden county, at 5 o'clock. Mr. Van Sleet is qualifying for a pilot license. At the start the balloon traveled westward as far as Chatham, N. Y., then turned and passed within half a mile of the start, going east at a good rate. The balloon was followed by President Minahan, of the Pittsfield club, and party in an automobile part of the way. The distance is given as 120 miles.
Aug. 30. C. A. Coey and G. L. Bumbaugh left Columbus in the Chicago and landed about 64 miles west of Columbus the following morning, at Fletcher, O.
Aug. 31. A. E. Mueller. Perry and Gerald Gregory left Columbus, O., on a long distance trip, in the Ville de Dieppe at 8.40 P. M. The landing was made on September 1 near Niagara Falls, N. Y. The anchor caught on the very brink of the bluff of the Gorge, after spending two hours directly over the whirlpool rapids. The occupants were severely cut and bruised in landing at Devil's Hole, less than 200 feet from the Gorge. The distance is about 310 miles. The duration was about 12 hours.
Louis Wagner. A. C. Pike and M. B. Meacham of Portland, Ore., have incorporated the Wagner Aeroplane Co. with a capital stock of $100,000. It is formed for the purpose of constructing, hiring or purchasing aeroplanes and other machines for navigation of the air, and to carry passengers, mail, goods, and merchandise.
Certificate of Incorporation has been filed for the "Eastern Transit Company," of Hartford. Under its charter the company may equip, buy, sell, license and operate in Massachusetts and other states and countries, aerodromes, balloons and airships of everj' description. The incorporators are: James L. Loomis, James W. Knox and Mary E. Kellogg.
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President: Professor Willis L. Moore.
Secretary: Dr. Albert Francis Zahm. Chairman Gen'l Committee: "Wm. J. Hammer. Chairman Executive Com.: Augustus Post. Sec'y Committees: Ernest La Rue Jones.
The addresses, papers and discussions presented to the Congress will be published serially in this magazine, and at the earliest date possible, bound volumes will be distributed without charge to those holding membership cards in the Congress. Others may purchase the volume at a consistent price when ready or may take advantage of immediate publication by subscribing to this magazine at the regular rate.
In accordance with the program as published in the November number, the informal addresses of the Gordon Bennett contestants and others were concluded before entering upon the printing of the formal papers and discussions.
The fifteenth paper is presented in this issue: "Observations and Tests of Marvelous Soaring Power of Birds in Calm and Storm," by Israel Lancaster.
The President: I will ask Professor Zahm to give us a few words with regard to the paper "Observations and Tests of Marvelous Soaring Power of Birds in Calm and Storm," by Israel Lancaster.
Dr. Zahm: Mr. Lancaster is now living in Alabama and some time ago reported to the American Association for the Advancement of Science some very extraordinary observations of the soaring power of birds. Professor Langley was set to thinking about the possibility not only of soaring but flying through the air by this paper. Professor Langley began the work at that time and never after left it oft. I will ask Dr. Humphreys to give us an abstract of this paper.
OBSERVATIONS AND TESTS OF MARVELOUS SOARING POWER OF BIRDS IN CALM AND STORM.
In presenting this study of the flight of birds, I will omit those methods which are attended with wing motion, and confine the subject to fixed wing flight, or soaring, where the pinions are stretched in static tension without vibration. The object is to get before the reader the relation which this method of translation bears to the problem of artificial air navigation, since we go for instruction to the masters of an art that we desire to learn.
I first became interested in the soaring birds in my twelfth year. Finding myself in a new 'home on a wide prairie of Illinois, I wandered about and came upon a score of sand-hill cranes that went into the air at my approach. They belonged to the waders, with long legs and necks, often reaching a weight of fifteen pounds. Their windpipe makes a turn around the gullet, causing that peculiar cry that distinguishes this bird from all others.
Two of this flock separated from their companions and began a circling flight, gradually rising as they went around. I looked at them until tired, when throwing myself on the ground, face upward, they were viewed at leisure. This slow flapping continued until a height of about half a mile was reached, when one, and soon the other suddenly stopped wing motion and
assumed a soaring attitude, continuing their spiral flight upwards for an hour, at length passing completely beyond the limits of vision.
While looking intently upward, two other cranes appeared crossing the zenith towards the south at the altitude of about a mile, their long legs stretched behind, and their necks in front, issuing their characteristic honk at intervals of a few minutes. These birds were in sight for about two miles during which time no wing motion was observable. I was full of astonishment at this new method of travel going on before my eyes. I was absolutely ignorant of mechanics, and had never heard of Newton, so that the wonder must have been caused by seeing a new thing for the first time.
This was in the year 1843 about the beginning of November. From that time until 1876 the ordinary business of life occupied my attention, always observing every soaring bird that came in my way, but in the latter year I went to the lower Florida peninsula, on the Gulf Coast, where I remained for five years, studying the birds, and they have had my attention even since. I obtained a cat-rigged boat, decked entirely over, and found myself on the lee shore of one of the Sanibel islands, about the first of November. At that time the country had few inhabitants, and it swarmed with bird life, and the waters were full of fish. Buzzards, pelicans, cormorants, a dozen different kinds of cranes, herons and gannets, were on ever)'- hand. I had arrived after dark, spread a blanket on the deck of the boat and slept with my face towards the stars. Before sunrise I was awakened by a surprising turmoil going on behind the screen of bushes which fringed the shore, and looking upwards a dozen sand-hill cranes were circling around so high as to be indistinct. I had seen them going up thirty-four years ago; it was now my good fortune to see them coming down, with neck and legs stretched and wings rigid, their ascending methods being reversed. When they had descended to the height of half a mile they began to flap, and this flapping continued until they joined their comrades on the Gulf side of the Island one quarter of a mile away. Forcing a way through the bushes I saw a sight. Not less than one thousand cranes were jumping, trumpeting and turning somersaults in a paroxysm of ecstacy over the new arrivals. The new comers joined in the mad carousal with an energy that banished all idea of fatigue. They fairly outdid those on shore in their ridiculous antics, which were kept up for an hour, when the whole body of birds took to wing and dispersed inland.
I remained in that vicinity through December, busy with these birds.
Previous to 1876 I had made journeys in Georgia and Tennessee along the route of these migrating birds, and at about a dozen different times obtained a view of them passing overhead in October and November, on their way South, and have never seen a wing motion after the migration had begun until the arrival at their southern terminus.
I had now two items of bird flight that were valuable. The cranes travelled a thousand miles on rigid wings, with no muscular exertion excepting wing stretching, and they accomplished this journey without fatigue.
THE FRIGATE BIRDS.
1 had moved to Boca-Grande Pass, at the entrance to Charlotte Harbor, and was anchored in a charming cove near that inlet when my attention was arrested by the screaming of a fish-hawk. The bird was making frantic efforts to reach the land with a two pound mullet in its talons. With a scream that seemed inspired'by despair, it dropped the fish, and on the instant, a creature that seemed all wings came slanting downward from somewhere aloft with incredible velocity. T at first thought the hawk was attacked, but the fish, whirling downwards, was the object of the aerial visitor. The intruder must have moved five feet, where the falling fish moved one foot. It seized the
food in its beak, and swooping- upwards a quarter of a mile, biting off a mouth-full as it went, which it finally detached by a shaking' motion, when once more the carcass of the fish fell towards the water. After swallowing, by an effort, the bird turned downwards again, and by similar tactics got another bite. It lequired three rounds to get this dinner.
This was my first introduction to the frigate-bird, or man-of-war hawk, doubtless the most interesting bird that inhabits the air. For dominion of the atmosphere that sand-hill crane sinks into insignificance when compared with this creature. It seldom weighs more than two pounds when hungry, and it will eat its own weight of food at a single meal. The largest specimen found had an eight foot spread of wings and weighed three pounds net, after deducting foods found in it. Their claws are weak, no stronger than a chicken's, but their beak is powerful. They stay in the air weeks at a time, and I have seen them cross the full moon at all hours of the night, and they only visit the earth in the breeding season, and in storms.
They never move their wings while in the air at their habitual elevation, but go round and round interminably, in a circle about 500 feet in diameter, and steal their food from fish hawks.
After the scared victim had escaped to the woods, the frigate-bird slowly flapped itself to the company of its circling companions about a mile above the water, stopped flapping, And I at once noticed that the circle it made was of greater diameter that the others. About 30 feet greater. This was another mystery. This bird, with, say. two pounds of fish in it, travelled farther, and made about four rounds where the others made three. It seemed to be true that the heavier the bird the easier it stayed in the air.
I remained in th-s locality and studied these birds for several months, having observed about a hundred of them in ihe act of dining-.
In the month of May the buzzards get very hungry, owing to the absence of wind that blows dead fish to shore. I erected a platform in a lone tree in a sandy flat and barrelled up the carcass of a large wild-cat with which to experiment upon these birds. The object was to discover whether they could move at low elevations on rigid wings. The cranes only used fixed wing flight at high elevations, and the frigate-birds closely followed this precedent. It became important to know if this peculiarity grew out of the life habits of the birds or was dependent on some mechanical feature not found near the earth.
Digging the barrel out of the sand, and knocking it to pieces, I mounted the platform, and in fifteen minutes there were a hundred birds pulling at. the fragrant carcass and at each other. There was not a wing movement in the entire crowd until just before alighting, when they flapped to stop motion.
The speed of these buzzards was about 40 miles per hour. That of the migrating cranes 75 miles per hour, while the frigate-birds could use velocities that varied from one mile an hour, to 100 miles an hour. 1 have observed them make flaps that required two seconds for the down, and the same for the up stroke, their path through the air being a wavy line.
The air was a dead calm in the buzzard experiment, and the sea-breeze did not reach so high as the frigate-bird circles, excepting in storms that banished the birds from the sky. Still air is the best for fixed wing flight. In high winds the birds leave the air.
I sent up hot-air tissue paper balloons which after ascending half a mile, returned to within one hundred feet of their starting point, showing that the air was without motion, as calm in reality as it seemed to be to the senses. In time of storm these birds took refuge on the lee side of ,<ome lone tree. I have observed them during the make-up of a south-wester in October. The
wind increased in violence for several hours before the downpour came on. A dozen birds would gather behind a tree top and curve down their long wings until their tips crossed under them, when they looked more like the section of a barrel than a bird. When the rain came they flashed out their wings rigidly to their utmost extent and whirled into the storm, slanting upwards with faster speed that I ever saw them make on other occasions, and were out of sight in a few seconds. I think they lifted themselves above the clouds. At ail events there they were, high in the air, serenely going round and round when the storm had passed.
As I was wandering in the month of April among the bushes and bogs of Aliacca creek in a region filled with alligators and snakes, I came upon a pond of water about two acres in extent. The middle part was filled with a growth of buttonwood bushes that put down their branches like a banyan * tree, making a dense growth that one could walk upon, of half an acre, an island in the middle of the pond. The bark of the bushes was filled with tannic acid, coloring the water a dark red, and bestowing a pungent taste and disagreeable odor upon it. No oppossum, nor raccoon, fox, or alligator, would venture into this water, and I never saw a frog or tortoise in it. Over the tops r,f these bushes projected about 200 heads with red eyes and a beak, that I at first took to be snakes. They were female gannets on their nests. lThe birds had discovered a safe breeding place in this protected pond, and had utilized it. I backed out as quickly as possible and skirted the water's edge to the pine woods that surrounded it, to think over the matter. These birds are edible, about five pounds in weight, with wings much like those of a guinea-fowl, though twice as large. I waited all night and early in the morning, about daylight, the males began to arrive. They came flapping at high speed, but after circling about a while the}- stopped all wing motion and began to soar over that open space in the most delightful way for an hour, for the entertainment of their females. Back and forth, up and down in the most graceful curves, about 50 of them, making a beautiful spectacle. As the sea breeze came up, they, one after another ranged themselves over the trees and open space, fronting the wind, and resting on it, like the buzzards over the beaches at the margin of the shores. After an hour of this kind of work they disappeared inland, and the brooding process continued with no spectator.
1 procured some yards of muslin fabric, and some green paint, and after a couple of nights' work had fashioned a platform in a tree-top and covering myself with the painted cloth in imitation of the green tree, awaited developments. The gannets are not judges of arf, for they seemed to see no difference between the real and artificial foliage. After the sea breeze came up I have
(Continued 011 page 43.)
Wills money for airships—last month we had the first airship law. Here is the first airship will. A short time ago one Jeremiah Carrihanne, of Jersey City, died leaving no relatives and an insurance policy for $500. Out of this comes the expenses of putting the old man under Jersey sod, and the rest goes to the art. His will reads: "Kn-.wing from bitter experience what it means to be crippled from rheumatism and bo forced to flee from the path of automobiles and such, I hereby bestow what is left of the insurance money on someone who is trying to perfect an airship, so that there will be ultimately less running about the streets and more flying through the air. T hereby appoint my evecutor as the man who will decide who is to get the money." Don't all speak at mice'
J. Rruce Mac Duff, 1367 Broadway, Brooklyn, X. Y., has just issued a circular of a new propeller. This was shown some time ago propelling an automobile over the ice of Prospect Park.
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Address. P. 0. Box 84,1, Buffalo, N. Y.
(Continued from page 40.)
had a bird float over my face, within two feet of my eyes, and rest there for five minutes at a time with its eyes shut, and seeming- to be asleep. "With a small green rod I pushed up against its heart as it rested in the air, and it was raised so easily that strict attention was needed to feel any resistance. The bird was in a state of perfect equilibrium, as much so as a pound of sugar with a pound weight in the other scale pan. I have pushed them up four feet before they suspected anything wrong, when they merely moved to one side, but did not seem scared. Here was another item that might apply to artificial flight. In the act of. soaring the bird has no weight. I mean that in soaring, weight is in some way cancelled. Certainly one quarter of an ounce would lift a five-pound gannet. What was it that lifted the balance of its weight in a fifteen-mile-an-hour breeze? Why did it not go with the wind? If the air is supposed to be perfectly calm, and a crane is moving through it at the rate of 75 miles an hour on rigid wings from North to South, and a twenty-mile wind would spring up from south to north, the bird would move over the earth at the rate of 55 miles per hour. In a 75-mile wind the bird would not move at all; in a hundred-mile wind, it would be going backwards at the rate of 25 miles per hour, and still in all those cases it would be moving against air at the rate of 75 miles an hour. Motion in air independently of wind, measures the soaring force of the bird just as motion of the steamboat independently of the current measures the force of the engines.
Y\ nat this force was that carried these birds through the air was a profound mystery to me. I had agreed with myself to let that question rest, until I had accumulated all the data to be derived from the birds themselves.
I have now given the facts presented by four species; the cranes, frig'ate-birds, buzzards, and gannets. and the data of flight has not been materially added to by a study of some twenty-five species in addition, though many very interesting" habits were found. The thirty-pound condors of the Andes mountains, the albatross of the South Pacific Ocean, the great vultures of the Himalaya mountains, and of the African Desert, show peculiarities of flight already described. The condors and vultures, above mentioned, like the frigate-birds, spend the greater part of their lives in the air on rigid wings.
Discussion by Dr. A. F. Zahm.
Air. Lancaster's observations are very interesting, both for their pictur-esqueness and for the possibilities they suggest. Prof. Langley was so taken with Air. Lancaster's accounts that he was impelled to give a large part of the last decade and a half of his life to experimental and practical work in mechanical flight.
Some of Air. Lancaster's observations though wonderful at first sight, admit of simple explanation. For example, the steady floating of the gannet above the muslin covered man on a platform in a tree-top. The streams of air flowing around above these objects had an upward slant. It is well known that not only birds, but man too, can soar in a wind that slopes upward a few degrees. Mr. Chanute and others have explained this clearly, and the Wright Brothers have actually soared in a wind sloping gently upward—say, seven to ten degrees.
The assertion that buzzards soared in a dead calm cannot be accepted on the evidence of the balloon going straight up and down, for it would do that if the air had a vertical movement, which llupfaker proved to exist in spots on a very calm day.
Soaring is impossible for birds or men in a level wind of constant velocity and direction, a calm being a particular case of this. Soaring is possible for both birds and men in a wind having sufficient upward speed, or the proper variation of speed and direction.
The remarkable instances of soaring related by Mr. Lancaster, and the circumstances most favorable to such performance, deserve careful attention. In this rush to build flying machines, the science of soaring has been neglected. I would commend this branch of, aeronautics to athletic young amateurs •who live in favorable localities, for example, where a broad field of sand slopes gently to the sea. Here they might soar for hours, and eventually learn the art of the condor and the albatross.
Dr. Humphreys: These observations are very interesting in themselves and interesting too, as they started the great Professor Langley on a very important work. 1 have understood that the bird known as the kite will do just the same as the birds described here are doing, rise into the air and stay there almost fixedly. I have not seen them but have heard it stated. Here is a story that sounds fishy. The box kites were up at Mount Weather and there seemed to be no particular difference between the direction of the wind at different elevations and it was blowing about twenty-four miles an hour. The wind was blowing from the southwest, that is, blowing in a northeasterly direction. From nearly northeast there came along, while we were looking at lite-kites, a flock of eagles, and on counting it was found that there were one hundred of them. There wings were rigidly fixed, as far as we could see, and they moved in circles against the wind.
The President: This is a prohibition county.
Dr. Humphreys: We are just on the line between two prohibition counties. These birds were in beautiful appearance, the wings perfectly straight Cut and never a movement of them. They were going in a southwest direction sailing around in circles from one to two hundred feet in diameter, gaining upon the kites which were up high and never was there a movement of the wings as far as you could see.
WAS THE DESTRUCTION OF BLERIOT'S MONOPLANE AERODROME, JULY 23, 1908, CAUSED BY THE GYROSCOPIC ACTION OF ITS PROPELLER?
By Dr. Alexander Graham Bell.
The New York Herald of Friday, July 24, 1908, describes the destruction of Bleriot's monoplane aerodrome. The following is quoted from the account:
"Bleriot fetched the machine out into the open and had the propeller turning in a second. Within a hundred yards he was well up in the air, travelling 50 kilometers an hour, apparently steady as a train; then he tried to turn. A height of 10 meters, which had been attained, fell to 8 in making the curve, but all seemed well. Then came the shock. A sudden gust of wind across the field caught the tail of the apparatus and threw it skyward. The head naturally tipped to the ground. Before the operator had time to stop the motor, or even think about anything save holding on, Bleriot found himself sitting amid a heap of wreckage," etc., etc.
It is difficult to understand how a gust of wind could have lifted the tail as stated; but as a vertical dive of this kind might have been caused by gyroscopic action.
Considering whether Bleriot used a single propeller, the direction of its rotation, the direction in which Bleriot steered (left or right) when making his turn, was the reported dive consistent with the gyroscopic effects noted in the foregoing paper? (From the Bulletins of the Aerial Experiment Association; by permission of the
New Water Anchor of Leo Stevens.
A trial was made a few days ago, at the Colonial Yacht Club's boathouse, by A. Leo Stevens of his new water anchor. The principal feature of the arrangement is that the cone-shaped bag is prevented from sinking by a wooden frame attached ten feet from the bag. The bag is made of canvas, 36 inches in diameter at the large end, 4l/2 feet long, tapering to a point. The rope is attached to the wooden frame. When thrown over, the bag sinks to the depth permitted by the ropes from the frame. The framework also keeps the bag from spinning around as often occurs. Fastened to the floating frame is a bracket through which runs the rope which goes to the apex of the funnel-shaped bag to upset it and empty the water. The anchor was dropped over from a motor boat and practically held it motionless.
After the Chicago Balloon Race.
Some interesting facts have been brought out in this race which redound to the credit of the builder of the winning balloon. In spite of handicaps a distance was made which came within 86 miles of heating Erbsloh's record in last year's Gordon Bennett. The Fielding balloon "Fielding-San Antonio" covered 786 miles in 23 hours 15 minutes, as mentioned in the August issue.
The Fielding balloon was built by H. E. Honeywell, Director of the French-American Balloon Co., 3958 Cottage Avenue, St. Louis, and holds 70,000 cubic feet of gas.
In drawing for the start of the race Honeywell had the first draw. The feed pipes were newly laid and the gas company refused to blow them out for the benefit of Mr. Honeywell, so that the gas was inferior to that received by the other balloons. . The Fielding balloon was the first to get away, leading the others by from 20 minutes to an hour, which was another handicap; as the others left later in the evening and had the benefit of a more even temperature. Dr. Fielding, who accompanied pilot Honeywell, is a very heavy man—in fact, he weighs 265 pounds (Dr. Fielding does not want this known, so everyone please keep silent). A very large basket was used with other comforts and luxuries for the voyage which still further added to the handicap. Perhaps the most important note is that about one-third qf the distance traveled was over water, crossing four lakes: lakes Michigan, Huron, the full length of Ontario and Champlain. It cost the balloon 50 to 100 pounds of ballast every time it encountered a large body of water. It is safe to say that in this trip the balloon crossed more water, in miles, than covered by any other balloon of record.
The balloon was hurriedly constructed for the race in less than thirty days and was never tested with air, while the other balloons were tried and tested ones.
A qualified observer stated: "Honeywell went about his inflation strictly according to Moedebeck, weighed and got away beautifully."
Leo Stevens has sold the second balloon to the North Adams Aero Club, to be called the "North Adams No. 2." It will be of 38,500 cubic feet capacity.
The Adams Company, of Dubuque, Iowa, have just sold two of their new 5 cylinder aeronautic motors to Fred Schneider, 215 East 13th St., New York, and E. C. Marble, 90 Market St., Chicago, Ills.
The Adams Co., Dubuque. la., have just issued a catalog of the Adams-Farwell aeronautic motors, which they will gladly send to anyone interested.
Charles J. Glidden has received his pilot license from the Aero Club de France.
L. D. Dozier, President of the Aero Club of St. Louis, has sailed for Europe. He will be present at the Gordon Bennett race.
Eight living machines are in course of construction or nearing completion by members of The Aeronautic Society. These machines will all be taken to the grounds of the Society.
George E. Mattice, the President of the American Airship Company, of Chattanooga, dropped dead on the street on August 23. At the time of his death he was Alderman from the First Ward, connected with many business enterprises and one of the city's progressive citizens.
Professor A. Lawrence Rotch. Director of the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, sailed for Europe on August 4th, to remain abroad until about October 1st.
ENGLAND SUPPLIES ZEPPELIN.
Spencer, the London balloon builder, is building and has nearly finished the interior gas bags, 15 in all, which are to be placed within the rigid frame. These are of goldbeater's skin, of which all the British military balloons are made, and in which material the Spencer firm is probably unrivalled throughout the world.
"THE WRIGHT BROTHERS* AEROPLANE" IN SEPTEMBER "CENTURY."
Orville and Wilbur Wright have contributed to September Century a history of their experiments, illustrated bv photographs of the early flights. FOR THE FIRST TIME, A PHOTOGRAPH HAS BEEN SEEN OF THE FIRST FLIGHT OF THEIR FIRST MOTOR MACHINE, AT KILL DEVIL HILL, DECEMBER 17. 1903. From the illustration one can see little difference between that and the present machine. Other photos are of flights made during 1904 and 1905.
Mention is made by Messrs. Wright of the untrustworthiness of nearly all data on pressures, etc.. when they began their work and of the necessity for their compiling their own figures.
One most interesting statement is this: "High efficiency in a screw propeller is not dependent upon any particular or peculiar shape, and there is no such thing as a 'best' screw. A propeller giving a high dynamic efficiency when used upon one machine may be almost worthless when used upon another. The propeller should in every case be designed to meet the particular conditions of the machine to which it is to be applied Our first propellers, built entirely from calculation, gave in useful work 66 per cent, of the power expended."
That there may be no question of the fact of the first motor flight of December T7. T903. the names and addresses of the five persons present besides the Wright Brothers.
Other magazines: the Review of Reviews has an interesting and instructive popular article. "The Airship and Its Record to Date," by George H. Guy; World's Work has "The Airship is Here," by Frederick Todd; H. G. Well's fantastic airship story is still running in Pearson's. For the past few months nearly every magazine has had an aeronautical article. These are the straws which show which way the wind blows.
EFFICIENCY OF CURVED SURFACES.
W. R. Turnbull published an article entitled "Researches of the Forms and Stability of Aeroplanes" in the Physical Review, Vol. XXIV, No. 3, March, 1907. later brought in pamphlet form.
In it he describes a very interesting set of wind tunnel experiments to determine the relative efficiency of various forms of aerodromes. The velocity of the wind was the same in all cases, namely, 10 miles per hour. He finally concludes that an shaped curve at will give much greater efficiency than single curves. His measure of efficiency is the ratio of drift to lift. This reaches a value of 5.48 in this particular curve.
He started to apply this discovery to the construction of a hydroplane but has so far been prevented from making any practical tests of value due to engine troubles.— Lieutenant Selfridge's comments on W- R- Turnbull's researches; from the Bulletins of the Aerial Experiment Association, by permission.
Another Sign of the Times.
Realizing the progress of aviation, the publishers of "Couquete de l'Air" have begun the publication of a monthly journal exclusively devoted to aviation. It is entitled "L'Aero-Mecanique." May success attend.
One notes that all three balloons in the North Adams Aero Club point-to-point '•ace on August 14th. were built by Leo Stevens.
Short Brothers, the English balloon builders, are now making the smallest silk coal gas balloon yet made in England. It is to go to the Hon. C. S. Rolls. The balloon will carry one person and 170 pounds of ballast. The total weight of the balloon is 150 pounds complete. The capacity of the bag will lie 11,900 cubic feet. The cost of a balloon of this size is about $625.
The International School of Aeronautics has removed to Morris Park racetrack, where practical lessons can be given. A large number of photographs have just arrived and the equipment has been materially augmented within the last few weeks.
2 TO 100 H.P. ESPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR AERONAUTICS
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G. H. CURTISS MANUFACTURING CO., .... Hammondsport, N. Y.
IT'S UP TO YOU NOW.
Shall we fly or shall we let some other country fly first? I say, let US launch the first complete airship and work in the lead of all other countries.
With a little help I can do this and if you think that you would like to be interested in airship that is SURE OF SUCCESS, write to me. If you mean business I will answer you—if you don't mean business don't write, for 1 am not giving my discoveries away nor am 1 trying to get something for nothing. I only want financial help from good people to launch a ship that will be a credit to our country and a fortune to its owners, as well as a sight for the eyes of the world.
_ I am prepared to prove that 1 have something to offer in return for help, by showing an airship that is self-explaining to every mechanical eve.
Now for the lack of a little help, for which I am willing to give reasonable interest in in my valuable discoveries of several years' hard study and confining work, shall I be forced to keep still and let some other country get the credit of doing something that we have already done and only needs bringing before the public—that would entitle us to the l>lue Ribbon and give us credit as engineers and mechanics throughout the world?
If we have any capital in this country that would like to get interested in a movement of this kind 1 wotdd like to hear from them; if I cannot interest them there is no harm done.
G. \V. THOMPSON.
70,000 Cu. Ft. Built and Piloted by HONEYWELL
WINNER LONG DISTANCE AND ENDURANCE CUPS
CHICAGO A. C. CONTEST, JULY 4, 1908
AGAINST A FIELD OF EIGHT
Fielding-Sau Antonio Getting Away—Foreground
ILLINOIS, 72,000 cu. ft., J. L. Case, Builder.
UNITED STATES OF MINNEAPOLIS, 70,000 cu. ft., Mai^uET, Builder. CHICAGO, uo,oco cu. ft., Bumbaugh, Builder.
COLUMBIA, 75,000 cu. ft., Bumbaugh, Builder.
AMERICA OF ST. PAUL, 78,000 cu. ft., Leo Stevens, Builder. KING EDWARD, 65,000 cu. ft., Canada.
CINCINNATI, 87,000 cu. ft., Haddock, Builder.
VILLE DE DIEPPE, 65,000 cu. ft., Mai^ueT, Builder.
At a recent gathering of aeronauts in New York, an eastern member of the profession saw fit to condemn the Fielding-San Antonio by calling attention to the fact that the netting was broken before start and at finish. This is true—but he was not sportsman enough to give reasons—mob swarmed over inclosure, interfering with inflation and hanging on netting and sand bags.
Landed in storm, netting torn on fence.
This true sport neglected to explain why his balloon of superior make and capacity did not make at least a decent showing in the contest.
EVERY KNOCK IS A BOOST.
Our material and workmanship speak for themselves. Write for samples and prices.
FRENCH—AMERICAN BALLOON CO.
II. E. HONEYWELL, Director
3958 Cottage Avenue, St. Louis, U. S. A.