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Sra,—l do not know whether the umbrella sail spoken of in the account of an aquatic: novelty in last night’s Stab is the first appearance of such a sail in Great Britain. 'lt certainly is not the first which has been made. About twelve year s ago I designed and had made a sail on- identically the same principle, the only difference being that my sail wSts triangular, while Mr Pilcher’s is oval. My boat was after the oatermaran style, and waa built by Green and Paterson, of Feiiehot Bay, The officials of the Otago Rowing Club-kindly allowed me to keep it in their abed for a few weeks. For some reason they gave- me noti*e> to quit, and that ended my experfaent ot> water. I then tried the sail on a land carriage. Horses are nervous animals, and I soon bad to> cease experiments in that direction. Of course I should have done better on the country roads. This form of sail ieperfeotly feasible for boats of moderate size, and must give better results than the ordinary sail, because a greater amount of canvas can be carried in a heavy wind without fear of capsizing the boat. Like Mr Pilcher, I have been a student of aerial navigation. The experience I gained has led me to know with certainty the possibility of a flying machine. It is simply a mechanical puzzle. As showing the little force it requires for the flight of birds of the albatross kind, I may tell you that a plane (say of thin steel) may be held horizontally, and an area of one square foot will be lifted with a force of several pounds in a strong wind, the lifting force varying, of course, with the strength of the wind, while the edge resistance is practically 'jail. The explanation is this Air in motion is elastic, the earth practically unyielding; consequently the plane yields in an upward direction. There is another important factor, and it is this: the wind veers vertically as woll-as horizontally. The upward veer has, of course, a great lifting effect, which anyone may see for themselves when small stones are blown in the air. I believe the question of aerial navigation could have been settled years ago had anyone of means having a taste for the study taken a step by step course of proceeding.—l am, etc., T. Foster. Dunedin, October 7.

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THE UMBRELLA SAIL., Issue 10440, 8 October 1897

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THE UMBRELLA SAIL. Issue 10440, 8 October 1897

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