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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, January 08, 1911, Image 11

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1911-01-08/ed-1/seq-11/

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The San Francisco Sunday Call
Heard Around the
The Wife of Lieutenant % / Paul Beck, Manager
of the Aviation Field, GiveaNks^/Timely Tips on Flying
and First Lessons in the Strange Lingo, Of the Man-Birds
Ruth Everett Beck
WITH hand that still trembles
w and heart that palpitates,. I
pace the corridor as I recall
that second reader, story with
Us dramatic climax that threatened
to give all of us nervous prostration.
It was a-taie of two children who had
climbed Into a balloon, "which then
broke loose from Its moorings and
carried them .on a long Journey
through the air. It kept the poor little
wretches up there for two whole pages,
our souls'meanwhile racked'with un
certainty, till finally providence guided
the little girl's hand to a "string." Oh,
t*~ink heaven.'how. relieving It was to
g^-t them to their, mother again! ..
After Johnnie Jones had read the
last paragraph and hands had been
raised to inform the teacher-ithat /'he
called 'the' 'a' and miscalled .'aero
naut,'" even Jhe 'daring' boys of the
'lass drew long breaths and resolved
never, never to invade that apparently
providence forbidden kingdom, the air,
while the girls, why they were not
permitted to soar as high as the. tup
of a fence even in fancy in those days;
so if any of them had ambitions in
that direction they were promptly rel
egated to a state of innocuous desue
tude, both girls and ambitions. *
Rut the human mind is active and
progressive and the nfemory of Darius
Green lias never been permitted to
grow brown, so erelong some of those
second reader students .were- experi
menting with the next step,,the dirig- .'
ible, "de guy wld de sausage," as tho-
Bowery boy puts it, while at the pres
ent time most up,to date aviators have;
relegated the 'dirigible to the attic
aeronautics and " are devoting - most ' of',
their time to experiments;with one. or »
more of the' heavier than air machines.
Now there are floods of books and»
pamphlets extant which -if consclen- ;
Jlously pursued by an understanding, [
/■comprehending mind, will enable one
/ thoroughly to enjoy an, aviation meet
f but most women are not popularly sup- .
posed to enjoy the blessing of consci
entious and understanding minds, so a
little made over explanation produced
from .the crumbs that ''have, from time
to time fallen from the great bakeries
of Information may prove, viable
to -feminine readers,
In*"the first place, do not say "air-y
---place" and follow this already dam
aging pronunciation by the admission
that you do not know the difference
between it and an airship. It is, not
done In. the best families. Put the
Word airship in your list Of obsolete
words and pronounce aeroplane as, if
it were spelled air-o-plane. Try it
that -way, and even Glenn Curtiss or
the Wrights will never be able to tell
that you are a novice. They have no
time 7 to ask the fatal questions that
will put-you to the test. ■
All the air craft worth mentioning
for purposes of understanding an avia
tion meet sufficiently to enjoy it. par
ticularly the one to be held in San
"r-'rahcisco. are.the monoplanes and bi
planes." " Y6"u may commit to memory
the names ornithopters, helicopters,
feathering paddlers, multiplanes and
so forth, just to seem to be well
informed, though you must always
promptly add, "But, so' far. ■ none
of these types has proved a success."
Next get some of the various enthu
siasts to take you through the hangars.
(Not hangers, but owng-ars). Note,
that the word is not used in its exact
sense, but serves to overawe one's less
well' informed .neighbors, somewhat
after the fashion of "Do you'play to
the heart. convention? "Do; you employ
the echo?- or "Do' you use the English
discard?" : ' . .
These enthusiasts will show; you
various awe Inspiring, multiplanes ann
crosses between dirigibles and mono
planes, but most of these creations will
never cause any havoc in the heavens."
Bicycles and play automobiles can soar
equally as* high. It is pathetic to see
a misguided aviator attempting to get
his ; pet failure off the ground. 'He
trundles his machine along'a la peram
bulator; at the t psychological moment
he grunts and stretches, so that If mind
had the control over matter it Is popu
larly -aupposed- to,have, many :of these
would be sky,' pilots '..would 'by. now be
half way to th* moon. *. 6ne does * not
have to ask the aviator how It hap
pened.that, he failed to frrake the ex
pected flight. . He■ will tell .you without*'
being -urged... ...-■.. ,\ • .
The memory,'of little "brownie" Louis
Paulhan" and his Fartitan type of bi
plane Is still, fresh .with San* Francis
cans. You doubtless remember his; two,
superposed planes which, by the, way,
are *■ not planes, :'strictly^speaking,' be-;
ing somewhat curved after the shape <
of a parabola;;but the obstinacy of the
English" speaking public in persisting
to use a misnomer makes the laws' of *
the Medes and Persians resemble stage
scenery' for wabbling in comparison;
soi ' aeroplanes they will 'be *" called,; to"
the end of 'time— perhaps only' to 'the
end of- their .time; for it seems; reason-..',
able to suppose '.'that the ..aircraft^ of
lite future * may' be •• of ; a less '•• unwieldy -
type."* 'HHHi'iW
•'The planes are about eight feet apart '
and are held,so by supporting rods of Cl
spruce or; other light wood. Exactly in j
the' middle of 'the** front 'of* the lower ,
one la "i the: aviator's i seat, one of: his ''■..
machines having a passenger's seat be- ;
hind - it. * In the 'upj to ' date machines
the " passenger ' seats are ' beside ' the •>'
driver's. *-. To « the rear of that is the .*
gasoline tank, while still behind that
la the air cooled," seven'cylinder rotary -
-... . - '. -I- .-,;.- I" - - » .... -./- ,1 ..... ,f .
Gnome ; engine, whose propeller la ;• alt-
still behind It. : -. . : '*'.;-' '*'*.•
But. In ordeiv to i get .the, biplane-to-,
rise from the ground,; it -must.' have ;
some other accessories; and still oth
ers to make It dirigible. In other words) I
manageable.". (The i word:; dirigible has j
been "-cornered by ' the .;manageable >
"- - - ' . . - . -■■■■■:
lighter than air craft.) We find rods
extending, several feet out in front of'
the two main planes. -These meet ami
to them is . attached "a . small-plane
(curved) called the elevator, while'to .
the rear of the machine is the rudder,'
which' resembles a baby "biplane.*; with,
its sides inclosed. The former is guided
by'a. lever in the hands of the avia
■ tor; the rudder' he controls with " his
feet. But there , must be , some, me
-chanical contrivance to keep one.from
tilting from-right .to-left, which, in the
■ Farmaq machine, ; takes the form of
ff'u'r curtain like - appendages., to the
lower-edges" of ; the* back of, each of
the'.main,^planes.".-' And right in the
management-, of ;, thesei ■■. stabilizing
planes seems to :be the most- difficult
part- of the aviator's task, as he uses"
a different motion of his elevator lever
to control the stabilizing j plane also.
After the aviator takes his seat
some "one cranks the engine.by. turning
m^smtmmsmsSmfi rmin ai mi •*» --wnr—■ *wiysss^
the. propeller. That is a task; that out-,
cranks*"l the most obstinate old '; model .
auto, but it does not hurt the specta
...... : • . "~ - •'' '' .'. ,
tor. '.Two or; three assistants hold the
machine, which- for purposes of repose
is on four, bicyclel* wheels; till the driver
gives the word.' when-- they scurry away;
like a flock 'of chickens" before the on- '
slaught of . a-henhawk. After running "
a .few, feet 'or. rods;." as ; the case may-re
quire. Louis * tips:' up ' that elevator, you
hold,you breath, then you stand up, for
there he really flies off Into the air and
you -And" yourself ,so ', excited that all
night long after you have edged -your
P—••—■*^2V«,»**.Vriy ■a*"**'* Wi**|Sm MMM » i » ■
way home from a crowded car. on whose
kindly, strap you* have "hung,f although
you ; have * £3itl* full * fare, >; your ; dream- .
land horizon is filled with your kith"
and kin sailing"gracefully .through the
My in biplanes. Xext time it is an old
story and you want to go "up; yourself.
; After a while the aviator decides to'
v come down, so he," tilts the elevator
downward and comes ■ gracefully „ to
earth, his aeroplane perhaps rolling
along for a few feet on its -wheels after
striking the earth. So -much for*-the
Farman,type that you saw. last year. ...
Glenn Curtiss, - of ; whom, all, Ameri
cans may well feel proud, is here with'
his little aviary. - One of.his leading
men, Charles Wlllard."bids"; fair .to. put
all ', the San Francisco smart ; set "of
young ladies "on the wing." as It were.
Even If they are not permitted to fly;
with him. there will be migrations'in
his direction, for aside from being one
ot the most dependable of the Curtiss
group of aviators, 'he".ls ■ exceedingly
good, to look upon and has a most,at
tractive personality. _; But all-this is a
little aside.from describing the features
wherein a Curtiss machine differs from
the previously described aeroplane. >
The Curtiss engine is of Curtiss* own
Invention and is water cooled. :He
uses' eight cylinders.'- If milady -is of
a mechanical turn of -mind she . may
notice the difference in the shape of the
engine :as' a ' first point in trying "to
-orient'herself among the different types
of aeroplanes,; which will :greet; her
eyes.. But to .me the most, striking
point ;in regard to the;Curtiss biplane
is the automatic device for the control
of.*: those stabilizing planes, or lateral
balancers.- These are also known as
ailerons. . These two balancing planes
are.' placed about midway between* the
main planes at either end, and con
nect' by means of wires with a semi
circle of Iron upon which the*; aviator
leans' as if it were a chairback,' thus
naturally balancing his machine with
out 1 effort. -The. superiority of this lat
eral control over that of the French
machine was very apparent at the Los
■ i.v'* 1:':'-
If ''„ ''' 1 ;•- , .
Angeles -meet.■*■ ..The Wfight,brothers
seem .to do fmost of their 'controlling
by a system of : warping the two main
planes.;; One of these machines; is used,
by the United States signal corps. The;
representatives of the .Wrights' at';'* the
meet • are ; Walter - Brooking - and *, Philip
Parmalee, so there will be ample op
portunity for comparing the two 'great
American machines. * '
' Next turn -your; attention-., to : *the
graceful.monoplane, which has its pro
pelling device In front and Is a "puller."
while the ' biplane jls a "pusher." It ,is
a much more graceful looking Inven
tion than the other' type, > but rlt never
seems yaaf c , to; me, tas y the ; drive* . has
so little opportunity to see. except
straight ahead, he being situated in a.
....... . , . ....... •
boxlike. seat between the two wings
and immediately , behind 'his engine.
Curtiss*has;a new one 'which he will
fly here and which may be a:; great im
provement over any .- previous model.
The Antoinette, which is said to be
the most graceful type of aircraft'ex
tant,' is driven'-by:the' French aviator,
Hubert Latham. Do not show your
ignorance by pronouncing his name
according to English rules. One of the
Antoinette'models is equipped with a
100 horsepower motor . and will run
on the land, in the water and in the
air, thus going the amphibians one bet
ter. The Valighting gear consists of
two large center; wheels with spring
mounted" spherical wooden rollers, one
extending from underneath each wing
near the tip. The monoplane looks so
frail " that ,it is ,an awe inspiring sight
when 'one soars, into the ether, but it
will afford more sustension per unit
of surface:than can a biplane, because
—but that would take too long to tell
here. It would appear that is im
possible to stay the frail wing surfaces
properly, i butt.such staying has never
theless been accomplished.
The Bieriot, which is another mono
plane, will be driven here by our na
tional cousin,-James Radley—we should
call him ."Cousin* Jim for/short.' lie
will.fly the,Bieriot XI, built similar to
the one that crossed:the English chan
nel, making the hit of the season at
the, time. There are other Bieriot mod
els, of course,, one of them a regular
aerial touring car, carrying three pas
sengers. That third seat was evidently
Intended for the chaperon, as one has
to observe heavenly . etiquette even
while slumming in star dust. The
' Bleriot i has a record for altitude of
6ver 10,000 feet'
-The rear .control' of . these mono
planes consists of a vertical fin run
ning from "the front to the. rear to
stabilize -the* machine,' while two hori
zontally pivoted surfaces are> used: to
do the up and down steering. ; Fastened
to the rear end of the. upright fin in
the Antoinette'monoplane" Is a pivoted
surface that works to the right or
left/for sldewlse steering, .while the
lateral balance of the two wings is
maintained by a device similar to that
described for the Farman biplane.
• Astonishing. as it may sound, this is
not quite all there is to be said about
aeroplanes. In fact," if I wish to put
Mr. -Morgan—l mean" J. Pierpont—
of commission, .'the safest way wouhj
be to get" a contract to; write articles
at:even the lowest paid, rates on "What
I do not know about aeroplane^*'
One word to timid relatives of fe-
male aspirants - for , aerial joy '■ rides:
With - a ' careful aviator, a (machine
.whose engine -and • other parts have
been C carefully". tested and inspected
just. before the; ascent, given suitable
l weather "conditions. ; and-barring 'thun
derbolts . and other.', manifestations of
providential interference, the aero
plane passenger •Is> in no more danger
than she Is In the average auto, pro
vided, further, ■ that", she promises not
to get into the latest form of flirtation
so; that "the papers .next , day ■ will be
i - I *)*"'" J Ijj iii*> ~'^*>i' t*y*mmwrTta *V'*ar*tmmtis**
filled with headlines on;, the order. of
"Daughter of Millionaire—Elopes With
Her Father's -Aviator— Racer
in Pursuit*

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