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engine and the vanes it actuated simply to repair the loss of velocity; it was made therefore only of the power and weight necessary for that small effect" (fig. 109). The editor of Newton's Journal of Arts and Science speaks of it thus :-“ The apparatus consists of a car containing the goods, passengers, engines, fuel, etc., to which a rectangular frame, made of wood or bamboo cane, and covered with canvas or oiled silk, is attached. This frame extends on either side of the car in a similar manner to the outstretched wings of a bird ; but with this difference, that the frame is immovable. Behind the wings are two vertical fan wheels, furnished with oblique
Fig. 109. -— Mr. Henson's Flying Machine. vanes, which are intended to propel the apparatus through the air. The rainbow-like circular wheels are the propellers, answering to the wheels of a steam-boat, and acting upon the air after the manner of a windmill. These wheels receive motion from bands and pulleys from a steam or other engine contained in the car. To an axis at the stern of the car a triangular frame is attached, resembling the tail of a bird, which is also covered with canvas or oiled silk. This may be expanded or contracted at pleasure, and is moved up and down for the purpose of causing the machine to ascend or descend. Beneath the tail is a rudder for directing the course of the machine to the right or to the left; and to facilitate the steering a sail is stretched between two masts which rise from the car. The amount of canvas or oiled silk necessary for buoying up the machine is stated to be equal to one square foot for each half pound of weight.”
Wenham? has advocated the employment of superimposed planes, with a view to augmenting the support furnished while it diminishes the horizontal space occupied by the planes. These planes Wenham designates Aëroplanes. They are inclined at a very slight angle to the horizon, and are wedged forward either by the weight to be elevated or by the employment of vertical screws. Wenham's plan was adopted by Stringfellow in a model which he exhibited at the Aëronautical Society's Exhibition, held at the Crystal Palace in the summer of 1868.
The subjoined woodcut (fig. 110), taken from a photograph
Fig. 110.—Mr. Stringfellow's Flying Machine. of Mr. Stringfellow's model, gives a very good idea of the arrangement; abc representing the superimposed planes, d the tail, and e f the vertical screw propellers.
The superimposed planes (a b c) in this machine contained a sustaining area of twenty-eight square feet in addition to the tail (d).
Its engine represented a third of a horse power, and the weight of the whole (engine, boiler, water, fuel, superimposed planes, and propellers) was under 12 lbs. Its sustaining area, if that of the tail (d) be included, was something like thirty-six square feet, i.e. three square feet for every pound
—the sustaining area of the gannet, it will be remembered (p. 134), being less than one square foot of wing for every two pounds of body. 1" Aërial Locomotion,” by F. H. Wenham.-- World of Science, June 1867. The model was forced by its propellers along a wire at a great speed. but so far as I saldi determine from observation, failed to lift itself notwithstanding its extreme lightness and the oomparatively very great power employed.
The idea embodied by Henson. Wenham, and Stringfellow is plainly that of a bog's kite sailing upon the wind. The kite, however, is a more perfect flying apparatus than that furnished by Henson, Wenham, and Stringfellow, inasmuch as the inclined plane formed by its body strikes the air at various angles—the angles varying according to the length of string, strength of breeze, length and weight of tail, etc. Henson's, Wenham's, and Stringfellow's methods, although carefully tried, have hitherto failed. The objections are numerous. In the first place, the supporting planes (aëroplanes or otherwise) are not flexible and elastic as wings are, but rigid. This is a point to which I wish particularly to direct attention. Second, They strike the air at a giren angle. Here, again, there is a departure from nature. Third, A machine so constructed must be precipitated from a height or driven along the surface of the land or water at a high speed to supply it with initial velocity. Fourth, It is unfitted for flying with the wind unless its speed greatly exceeds that of the wind. Fifth, It is unfitted for flying across the wind because of the surface exposed. Sixth, The sustaining surfaces are comparatively very large. They are, moreover, passive or dead surfaces, i.e. they have no power of moving or accommodating themselves to altered circumstances. Natural wings, on the contrary, present small flying surfaces, the great speed at which wings are propelled converting the space through which they are driven into what is practically a solid basis of support, as explained at pp. 118, 119, 151, and 152 (vide figs. 64, 65, 66, 82, and 83, pp. 139 and 158). This arrangement enables natural wings to seize and utilize the air, and renders them superior to adventitious currents. Natural wings work up the air in which they move, but unless the flying animal desires it, they are scarcely, if at all, influenced by winds or currents which are not of their own forming. In this respect they entirely differ from the
1 Mr. Stringfellow stated that his machine occasionally left the wire, and was sustained by its superimposed planes alone.
balloon and all forms of fixed aëroplanes. In nature, small wings driven at a high speed produce the same result as large wings driven at a slow speed (compare fig. 58, p. 125, with fig. 57, p. 124). In flight a certain space must be covered either by large wings spread out as a solid (fig. 57, p. 124), or by small wings vibrating rapidly (figs. 64, 65, and 66, p. 139).
The Aërial Screw.–Our countryman, Sir George Cayley, gave the first practical illustration of the efficacy of the screw as applied to the air in 1796. In that year he constructed a small machine, consisting of two screws made of quill feathers (fig. 111). Sir George writes as under :
“ As it may be an amusement to some of your readers to see a machine rise in the air by mechanical means, I will conclude my present communication by describing an instrument of this kind, which any one can construct at the expense of ten minutes' labour.
“a and 6 (fig. 111, p. 215) are two corks, into each of which are inserted four wing feathers from any bird, so as to be slightly inclined like the sails of a windmill, but in opposite directions in each set. A round shaft is fixed in the cork a, which ends in a sharp point. At the upper part of the cork b is fixed a whalebone bow, having a small pivot hole in its centre to receive the point of the shaft. The bow is then to be strung equally on each side to the upper portion of the shaft, and the little machine is completed. Wind up the string by turning the flyers different ways, so that the spring of the bow may unwind them with their anterior edges ascending ; then place the cork with the bow attached to it upon a table, and with a finger on the upper cork press strong enough to prevent the string from unwinding, and, taking it away suddenly, the instrument will rise to the ceiling."
Cayley's screws were peculiar, inasmuch as they were superimposed and rotated in opposite directions. He estimated that if the area of the screws was increased to 200 square feet, and moved by a man, they would elevate him. Cayley's interesting experiment is described at length, and the apparatus figured in Nicholson's Journal for 1809, p. 172. In 1842 Mr. Phillips also succeeded in elevating a model by means of revolving fans. Mr. Phillips's model was made entirely of metal, and when complete and charged weighed 2 lbs. It consisted of a boiler or steam generator and four fans supported between eight arms. The fans were inclined to the horizon at an angle of 20°, and through the arms the steam rushed on the principle discovered by Hero of Alexandria. By the escape of steam from the arms, the fans were made to revolve with immense energy, so much so that the model rose to a great altitude, and flew across two fields before it alighted. The motive power employed in the present instance was obtained from the combustion of charcoal, nitre, and gypsum, as used in the original fire annihilator; the products of combustion mixing with water in the boiler, and forming gas charged steam, which was delivered at a high pressure from the extremities of the eight arms. This