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_Aviation May S?@m E? Mad? JMstT^Saif^'as Aut?mobiling
Holatlng Hydroaeroplane Aboard luli?<; Stales Warship.
"Alr-Doat" Skimming over the Wntrn.
\f? ?? A lr-ltoat" KljrlnR.
FTT.l.v bell?ve that within n|
year, or, tr,o at the mo?t,
aviation will ho practically
he course oi .it, interview whi< It
anted to hie yesterday, thus pre
i Captain Washington Irving
her?, ?. S. N. a long-tried and
ialt->< ,!.. :.. .1 Ofhcei lb whom has
intrusted the Important task of
?jpitiK an efficient hydro-aero
squadron to be operated over the
si i - oi their surrounding coast
is an auxiliary to our Meet ot
A glam at this . xporlenccd officer
will suffice to convince any inter?
viewer that he |g no dreamer. His
ayes twinkle with circumspection and
be weighs his woids with rare and
deliberation. Atter skinning, a herd
of cub reporters win, have misquoted
? him of late, and nailing their hides
to the wall?iiftot expressing giave
doubts as to the ivlsdom of granting
interviews, anyhow, and after event?
ually yielding to the plea that the
pophlat' ii.um yearns for Information
aneht Hie newest phase of aviation,
ho climbs- into the high stool of one or
his clerks, lights a fresh eight and.
us they would say In the classics,
"COlhes across with the goods."
Captain Chambers Is hone of your
revolving-chair aviators. \i< occa?
sionally mounts Hie empyrean in one
of his aefoamphlbioua craft. With a
career in the ski.s he is topping off
a long stretch of service upon the seas,
Including exciting duty with the
Croely relief expedition, in the frozen
north, and In the Philippine wars. He
WSJl engaged In important torpedo
development at our naval torpedo
station during the Spanish war and
had commanded live warships on the
seas before he was placed In charge
of naval aviation last year. He has
always been a progressive, up-to-date
officer. He was practically the first,
v.hile yet an ensign in 188!, to outline
u policy of reconstruction for our then
decadent navy, the principles of which
are still regarded us safe, guides to
(Irentest Perils Described.
"Wherein do the greatest perils of
Aviation now lie." I asked him.
?in a combination of personality
and Inherent mechanical defect*,!' he
replied, ".\n aviators are not en?
dowed with Hi, same bird instincts,
mechanical ability ami temperament.
ji number of them are careless. Some
of the most efllcient arc the most
careless, and the tendency among tiro
rnajorlty for some time has been to
cater to the popular demand fnr sen?
sational performances, it is particu?
larly unfortunate that here In Amer?
ica ooroplanlng has been conducted
principally on an exhibition basis, and
even now Is restricted largely to hlp
? podrome performance;;. The meat
Strides of advance abroad have been
mad>- largely III the course of
practical, cross-country flights, for
Which certain patriotic citizens are
always rendytto put up large prizes.
'?Hut even the heft aviator-one ran
pOSSibly Imagine is unable to antici?
pate the perturbations of the wind in
?Which he Is Using, or the actions of
the machine un lor him. Corrections
for counteracting any upsetting ten?
dency have to l>e made quickly. Time
enters as an important factor in the
I safety, problem, and tho.nvla.tor natu
rally dgi^B not respond to the neces
of dor.ting his flight until he
ees some visible effect ? for example.
3<-?.s Iii? machln? beginning to tip.
Cutouiatlu ?afiiv Device?.
"Now, there are automatic devices
which soon will anticipate these ef?
fects. By their aid the same cause
w h produces stich perturbations as
tipping, for example, will correct the
movement of th*. machine automati?
?'Sui It automatic safety mechanism
may riot be actually necessary In
tinooth, calm weather and under per?
fect (lying conditions, but we have to
i ohsld? r that aviation, if to be of any
practical ifse, will demand flying un?
der very uncertain conditions, and if a
certain dem.-,- of equilibrium can be
attained by automatic mechanism not
weighing too much that mechanism
must be provided and la as much of
a licccsatty as the steam steering en?
gine Is to a large ocean steamer."
Will Eliminate (ireatest Dangers.
'?Have such devices been perfected?'*
"Many have been designed to ac?
complish this object, and some have
lately been tried with brilliant suc?
cess. Many experimenters are now i
actually engaged in improving them.
To my mind, the way in which they I
will eliminate the greatest dangers of
aviation is perfectly clear. Manufac?
turers of aeroplanes at e becoming |
mere open-minded on the subject and
more willing to Install them on their
mach i lies.
"These devices relate mostly to the'
automatic control of the stabilizing!
organs nf aeroplanes, now controled
by hapd?principally the elevators'
which guide, machines up and down.j
and the movement of the ailerons or,
wing warping, which ,-ontrol the
I lateral balance When the autOma-|
tic appliance l* not needed to work'
I these parts it can be thrown out of,
?gear. It can be used or not, as the'
aviator, while Hying, sees fit. Its use!
in the control of longitudinal sta-1
blllty, through the elevator, la by farj
the most important element In the en-j
lire problem of stabilisation. But|
such Of those devices as are. eleslgned
tr> automatically correct lateral per-]
turbatldns through the control of the
ailerons are not, to my mind, of equal!
?Win you adopt these for the naval
"We expect to provide our hydro?
aeroplanes with them, so that our men
may test their, out. We already have]
installed some safety instruments
known as speed Indicators, which ?f?
fe rd a great stride toward safety over
progress made up to a year ago. They
show the conditions under which an
aeroplane It working. By following
their Indications the aviator need de?
pend less on his bird instinct than
?>il,,.r stop? Toward Safety
"Greater safety in Hying will result
from other improvements besides
thi so automatic devices Of course,
nfter the first aeroplanes were In-1
vented, amateurs In all parts c>f the
world put sticks together in a more
or lesa haphazard way. and In the. |
machines thus constructed many
would-be aviators came to gt lef. Al?
though the principal ma nufact infers
of carefully constructed machine^ are
still building pretty much according
to ?cri*r3janjl jps?terara^ A*' J
United Mute Xnvy'n Hydroaeroplane Skimming Out lo Sea.
Aviator l.eavlns i, S. Warship.
Captain W. l. Chamber?, t. S. .V. In con'mand i>r Nntj's Hydroaeroplane
parting from those unlesscohvinced of
very good reasons for change,
recent developments show that such
craft can lie greatly Improved and
makers are now adopting the Intest
and host Improvements.
?'Disposition of weight Is a creat
factor In safety. In ah aeroplane a
great deal more depends on weight
and Its distribution than in a ship.
There has been but little, effort so far
to dress down dimensions to suit
actual strains. What is needed In our
held is a genius like Nat Hcrreshoft,
who, in designing racing yachts, could
cut down weights In all possible ways
nnd yet continue to get more and
more power out of his dispositions
Take the matter of weight In the
plnne surfaces of an aeroplane's wings
Nearly all builders continue to put as
much weight in the tip as in the middle
of a wing. As they learn better to
distribute weight sctcnttticaiiy they
will Increase the power as well as the
Snfety of aeroplanes. To save weight
they now look principally to skimming
the weight of engines.
"Disposition or me piano surtaco
with respect to one another is an ad?
ditional factor in the problem of greater
safety, as are Hie camber of planes and
the development of more flexible rear
edges of wings. These are all qucs
ti'tns of Improving the Inherent sta?
bility of the aeroplane. It now appears
to me ns a cerlnnlty that some of the
Blerlot monoplanes which have won?
derful records nre also very unsafe.
Miss t?ulmby's accident at the recent
lloston meet, which revealed Us In?
herent detects, was similar to others
that have- been caused by this ma
cnine. You will remember that botn
she and the passenger with her w. re
Return to Lsngley's idea.
"KOCenl discoveries by M. Eiffel, In
Ms laboratory In I'ranee?the same
genius who designed the famed Elite)
tower?now Indicate that the Lang*
ley aeroplane model of sixteen years
ago would have been a superior aero
plane for safe flying Langley ar?
ranged Ms plants In tandem. But
'si gular to rojatei none of the de?
signers of modern machines have tried
out the Ljtngley Idea. It has remained
'tor St Eiffel, a scientific Investigator,
to prove that the tandem arrangement
is m"re efficient In llttinir than the
monoplane of the same area, and that
it is also safer, provided the rear
I plane Is set a*, a negative angle of
from 3 to 2 1-2 degrees to that In
- - nt."
[>.> you anticipate a revival of the
'?r'< . a long time I have been under
the Impression .that sooner or later we
would find advantage In his scheme
? ror the disposition of the plane sur
fnces, but. of course. It will take some
time to inuueo manufacturers to try
so radical n departure. But I hope
that before long there will be estab?
lished herp a national aerodynamic,
laboratory which can continue Lang
ley's researches. Avltatloji to-day
would t> in an almost helpless state
bul for the work of such laboratories
abroad, notably that of Eiffel. Nearly
all of the information which we now
get on the subject of aerodynamics
come i to us second-hand?a condition
that ought not to exist.
?'iiinl Instinct ' Essential.
"Now after all has been said about
greater safety of aeroplanes, you must
bear in mind that, regardless of how
perfect the Inherent stability of ma?
chines may be made, or how promptly
perturbations may be offset by auto?
matic devices, safety In flying Will stltr
fall short of being absolute. The avi?
ator will always be obliged to fly
even the perfect machine with what
I have referred to as 'bird Instinct.'
Skill will always be required, and he
must sense the peculiarities of the nlr,
as well ,is_ know those of his machine.
Il>> must have air senne and the
faculty of responding Instantly/ to any
emergency, it Is therefore very' un?
just to supply him with anything
short of the most up-to-date aeroplane
land stilt, es.oect him to overcome lta
defects by exercising hls ?thletlc
"What Is the extent of the navy's
air squadron at present, and what are
yon doing with ltt"
"We now have three machines?nil
hydroaeroplanes. which can either
rise from or alight upon a ship's deck
or the surface of the water. These
machines can also skim over the sea.
touching the surface We are going
to add more and more of these ma?
chines as the manufacturers turn out
Improvements. I regard this type of
neroplane ns of the greatest value In
case of war.
"Thus far we have been working
our three machines hard, for hoth ex?
perimental and instruction purposes.
We ire now devoting considerable
time to the development of a com?
pact, portable? wireless telegraphic ap?
paratus to he used from the sky, nlso
to the perfection of the hydroplanes
which keep our machines afloat when
they settle upon the water. In the
past year we have established an
aerodrome und practice field at CJroen
bury T'olnt, opposite Annapolis. Md.
Here we will assemble, some of the
most up-to-date hydroaeroplanes that
we can induce manufacturers to build
for us. First we desire to encourage
American builders to do the very best
work possible, to meet our require?
ments Then we will thoroughly test
out their product with the fleet In
service, and I fully antlclpnle that
we will still find sr>me -points in
which they can he greatly Improved.
Future of Vnvy's Sky Fleet.
'?What will be the navy's ultimate
equipment in these machines?"
"Our ultimate aim Is to equip all
of the large ships of the service ?
I the scouts, cruisers and battleships
and several shore stations?with hy?
droaeroplanes, so that Instruction in
the use of these machines may he
continuous T" make effective their
use. wo have got to use them It
Is a question of constant prnctice, tho
same as gunnery."
"Will our warships have to be re?
modeled to accommodate this new
class of auxiliary craft?"
"1 am now endeavoring to work
thst problem out, and so arrange mat?
ters that no changes will be required
In ships" designs, and that no great
amount of superfluous paraphernalia
will have to he carried aboard to ac?
commodate our mivhlnos
"The temporary platforms which
have been used on the decks of ships
for the launching of our machines
msj always be used as a last resort,
but they Would doubtless prove to be
a considerable nuisance, and soon we
shall probably bo nble to substitute
a device upon which we are expert,
mehttng and for which wo have high
hopes of ultimate success. The cranes
may require slight modifications, and
h neat little problem with which we
are now at work is to arrange slings
ijf such simple dimensions as may
he readily carried by the hydroaero?
planes and which will be suitable for
hooking to the tackle very qutckly.
"We have Just Invited all o! the re?
sponsible American manufacturers of
aeroplanes to submit designs for ma?
chines especially adapted for hoisting
on shipboard, from tho water. Intact,
and capable of easy and speedy dls
I sembling as well as ready replacement
I of tmrts.
I The Hydroplane's Advantages,
I ''From the very outset. In this work,
jl have insisted upon the development
of the hydroplane- the lonrr. shallow,
flat-bottomed hoatllkd structure updn
which each of our machines floats
when resting on the water
"It was early apparent to mo that
our navy would he unable to have
enough officers detached from ships
for proper Instruction In flying at
shore aerodromes, and that lessons
would have to be anil could best be
given aboard ship, where all hands
could he kept familiar with the ma?
chines At first my Insistence on the
hydroaeroplane -was rather severely
criticised?notably abroad, where ex?
perimenters have even ye( done but
Utile toward Its development. That
celebrated flyer known to tho aviation
world as ' \ndre Beaumont'- -who is
reallv an officer of the French navy
named t""onneau. who has been the
winner of three big crosscountry
flights* and whoso opinion on avla
? IolMliiR An Aeroplane Prom Ihr Peck of n Mnn of AVnr.
Aviator Leaving Launching Platform ?f I . s. Unnhip.
tlon matters Is highly respected the
world over?gave out a verb positive
statement that he considered the hy?
droaeroplane ns of no value, and I
believe then- arc certain French of?
ficers even to-day who do not look
upon'It with favor. But we have met
with such success in the devol?pnieht.
of the hydroaeroplane In this coun?
try that we ht?ve spread the fever I
utiroad. Foreigners uro everywhere
taking it up with avidity. And It Is
notalde that, quite recently, this same
'Andre Beaumont,' or Conncau, has
made flights over Paris in a hydro?
aeroplane, and he is said to he con?
templating a flight in It across the
'?Incidentally, hydroaeroplane flights
over water are comparatively safe, be?
cause the wind conditions are general?
ly safer than over the land, and 'u
case of a fall 'here Is less danger
to the aviator.
Mechanical Flying Fluh.
"The very litest development of the
hydroaeroplane?one tn which we aro
now Int- rested?is the new Invention
of Client) Curtlss, which he calls the'
?flying fish.' I
"1 have looked forward to this de- I
Velopmenl for some time expecting '
that sooner or later the navy would
have import a nl use for such a ma?
chine in rough water. In this ma?
chine the hydroplane, the body, and
the tail of the machine arc all in
one. forming a more or less llsh
Bhapcd boat with wings. Besides Its
advantages in rough water, this ma?
chine has the virtue of offering n
body more commodious for Instru?
ments, more comfortable to the avia?
tor and giving less head-resistance.
So, In our tec, nt specifications 1 have
promised special consideration to de?
signs embodying such a boat struc?
"If possible we want to eliminate
gasolene-burning motors from the
navy's hydroaeroplane.-, because the
storage id this fuel aboard a man-of
war is a dangerous proposition. The
small amount of gasolene now carried
op board ship for motor-boats is
stored upon tile upper decks, where it
can be immedlaloly thrown overboard
In case of action or of tire. So I have
notified nil builders that jan e?il n
pr, mltim will be given for an efficient
motor operated by fuel-oil or any
fluid whose storage aboard ship is
h'ucl-OII Motors Coming.
"A great deal of effort Is being
expended both here and abroad to
perfect a fuel-oil motor for aero?
planes and automobiles. Such fuel
oil engines as now exist are out of
the question for aeroplanes on account
1 of their weight, but I know of some]
promising efforts now being made
I which will probably put a new face
on this problem much sooner than is
generally anticipated by aeroplane
I builders. Indeed, from whit i know
Is being done along this line right
hero In America, I am sanguine of hav?
ing a fuel-oil motor for our hydro?
aeroplanes within a year.
"Hut it is not absolutely necessary
to use fuel-oil In order to overcome
the gasolene problem. Steam could
be used 111 small turbines, it being
generated by fuel-oil or alcohol, which
. is less dangerous."
"Are you now aide to send wireless
messages from your hydroaeroplanes
wlille they are hovering over the sea?"
"Yes. but nel.hcr here nor abroad
can this be done from aeroplanes of
any kind with ontire satisfaction as
yet. We can transmit over distances
of from ten to twelve miles, hut the
apparatus still weighs more than we
want to allow. However, improve?
ments along this line aro going for
Ward .-?> fast I anticipate that we will
BOOn have an Instrument transmitting
for sixty miles and weighing not more
than titty or sixty pounds." .
Will lere Eliminate \\?n.hi|if
"Will war aeroplanes render war
Ships useless, or will high-angle guns
operated from ship or shore make
aeroplanes helpless as -war agents?
Which will win in the competition be?
tween Instruments of offene.? and de- 1
ie.ua??ithe Jjatulonhu; ur tiie. aero
piano?" I asked Captain Chambers.
"Don't forget that, if necessary,
aeroplanes will be used for defense
as well as Offense," sail he. "The
problem of offense and defense has
b< en pretty evenly divided since the
days of Adam and Eve, I have no
patience with extremists who, as soon
us a new Instrument of war Is In?
vented, no about predicting that the
battleship must now disappear from
the face of the seas. Greater effec?
tiveness of tho battleship always ac?
companies that of the very auxiliaries
that are devised to sound its death
"Means for keeping aeroplanes at a
safe distance from battleships will
doubtless be perfected by our navy.
But aeroplanes will not be as dan?
gerous to men-of-war as will sub?
marine boats. I have little paticnea
with those geniuses who lay so much,
stress upon the artillery side of avia?
tion. The question of firing guns at
Or from aeroplane* Is easy compared
with that of making aeroplanes more
efllcient in ilylng.'.'
Bydronernpli. fleet In War.
?'What, then, will be tho principal
function of your hydroaeroplane fleet
in ease of war?"
"Principally for scouting and ob
Berving," replied the captain. "They
will be very useful In many ways to
battleships?reconnolsisnnce of harhors,
observation of an enemy's submarines
"nd mine fields. You know, tho aviator
when up above the water has the
ability of the tish hawk lo look deep
down below the surface of the waves.
Lately there was taken frnm an aero?
plane the photograph of la submerged
vessel forty or fifty feet under wa
ter. Tit.' outlines of the hull came
out perfectly clear. This achieve?
ment suggests the hydroaeroplane's
further val.'o as a means of discover?
ing submerged derelicts endangering
(Copyright, 1912, by .lohn Elfroth Wat
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