The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 1888. NAVIGATING THE AIR.
arrangement that, when not m .use, lies I up flat against the swelling Bides of the } balloon, but which can m an instant be j spread so aB to moderate descent m case I of accident. The weight of the entire ship ii only 3501 b, of which but 751 b are m the power-producing machinery. Keeping it down so low permits the carrying of 3501 bto 8801 bof passengers and ballast, 'ihe car, with all its wings, propellors, and other attachments, except the power, has beeu completed. The balloon is being made bj Carl Myers, husband of the aeronaut Oarlotta, at Mohawk, Herkimer County, New York, and ho writes that that it will be finished m two or three weeks. The balloon used by Carlotta is one of Mr. Myers' make, and is said to be the lightest of equal efficiency m the world. It weighs but 551 b, and carries up 2451 b easily, Carlotta has been engaged to make the first ttip m Mr Campbell's air ship. A stock' company has been formed to build and expoit the Campbell air ships. Jbe first ship will only have cost about 'iSQOdoI, and her builders 1 say that they can duplicate her for one-jhalf of tbat." It is not ex pected of the new^ air-ship tbat it will be available for travelling m stormy weather but it is believed that it can be used as a means of transit from place to place to pace uuder favorable atmospheric conditions. 'I he inventor Mr Campbell soys ; —".I don't propose to cross the Atlantic, jQr go to the North Pole, or to conquer any cyclones, or to ride any blizzards.; What Ido intend is simply to sail easily and gracefully, not too high,, but just high enough m ' the upper air, m calm weather, from one city to another, and that . much I certainly will do, probably within a month " Meantime another inventor — this time m France — claims to have discovered a method of (steering balloons and is having a balloon 1 constructed at Meudon which is expected to provd the reality of the discovery. It is to carry a motor of 50hor«e-pbwer. and is expected to be capable 6f travelling at the rate of 100 miles an hour, while the inventor, Commandant JRenard is sanguine that it will be navigable m any weather " except when it is actually blowing a gale." As gales are of frequent occurrenco it is evident that even if all these anticipations provo correct leng voyages cannot be undertaken by way of balloon through the air, but if it prove, possible to travel distances of even a hundred miles m calm weather at the rate of ' speed indicated a great stride will have boen made m the history of aerostation and the prospect will be opened up of ballooning being turned to something more than merely scientific !or military account.
Whether or not the lines which predicted the time when men " through the air should fly " be a part of the celebrated prophecy of Mother bhipton, or whether they are apart of the apocryphal addition theretoknown to have been mado by some subsequent writer,the fact remains that the time has long been looked forward to when man shall become a " Prince of the power of the air," and anytime during a century or more the ingenuity of inventors has been taxed to the uttermost to Bolve the difficult problem of aerial navigation. Only very partial success has, however, rewarded these efforts, for while the modern balloon is capable of utilisation for short oscents for military purposes, it has hitherto bc«n found impossible to devise an air-ship which can bo steered m any direction m which it is desired to go, or whioh is capable of accommodating more than a very limited number of passengers. Whether or not tbo difficulties which have hitherto proved insuperable will eventually be surmounted time only will show, but if not it will oertainly not be for lack of patient effort and persistent experiment. The latest of the inventors who have directed their attention to the problem is a Mr Peter C. Campbell who is constructing an airship of which the following description appears m the New York "bun." "The balloon, above the car is an ovoid of silk 42ft long and 24ft m its greatest diameter, with a capacity of 18,000 cubic feet, and will be charged with hydrogen gas. Connecting the balloon with the arrowlike rod beneath is a keel of tho same material as that composing tho body of the balloon. Suspended below that pole is a boat-shaped ear, containing the machinery for propulsion and direction, with a central well like basket for passengers. This car is 36ft long and 7ft wide m the middle, with a depth of 4ft m tho basket. The basket is made of wicker work, with a bottom of red cedar, very light, but strong. The rest of the car is constructed almost wholly of rattan, spruce, and silk. To avoid unnecssary weight, the putting together of its parts has been done with boatbuilder's glue and waxed linen thread, instead of nails and screws. On the side are wings, 17ft long and 7ft m the extremest width, made of silk stretched to rattan frames, which it is not intended shall be flapped, but set at such variablo angles as may bo required by tho direction of the wind, to give an effect similar to that produced by the out-spread wings of some great birds, like the albatross, that seem to fly without motion. This effect will be further enhanced by two great pairs of wings, fore and aft of tho basket, that may bo closed, opened, and set at will, as requisite to aid m elevating, depressing, or directing the structure. It is not proposed by Mr Campbell that the balloon shall have very much more lifting capacity than sufficient to neutralise the weight of tho machine, its occupants, and the necessary ballast. To ascend it will ]be necessary to employ tho force of a propeller wheel Bft m diameter, that lies horizontally beneath tho basket. Professor Uitchel demonstrated that a 22in wheel so employed, I moving with great velocity, would j overcome a dead weight of 141 b put i upon an exactly balanced balloon. An application of bicycle treadles and multiplying gears rotate! tho propeller. The same power can also bo applied to the rotation of anothor Bft propeller at the stern, or to one or more of threo other propellers which are to steer with. There is also a rudder made like the wings at tho bow instead of tho stern I of the car, and work«d by lines from tho basket. The rear propeller, instead of having blades, will bo made of steel rods and silk, curiously put together, so that when m motion it will throw itself into the form of a two-twin screw. This is jan invention of Carl Myers. Another , 'attachment js a port 01 piraohute.