Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/475

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
471
THE LANGLEY AERODROME

the city, was incurred, and this was a part of the continuous drain on the pecuniary resources, which proved ultimately more fatal than any mishap to the apparatus itself.

Following the 3d of September, and after procuring new batteries, short preliminary tests inside the boat were made in order to make sure that there would be no difficulty in the running of the engine the next time a fair opportunity arrived for making a test of the machine in free flight. Something of the same troubles which had

PSM V73 D475 Launch of experimental flyer at langley aerodrome.png

Fig. 1. Instantaneous Photograph of the Launch of October 7, 1903.

been met with in the disarrangement of the adjustments of the small engine was experienced in the large one, although they occurred in such a different way that they were not detected until they had caused damage in the tests, and these disarrangements were responsible for broken propellers, twisted shafts, crushed bearings, distorted framework, etc., which were not finally overcome until the first of October. After again getting everything in apparent readiness, there then ensued a period of waiting on the weather until the seventh of October (1903), when it became sufficiently quiet for a test, which I was now beginning to fear could not be made before the following season. In this, the first test, the engineer took his seat, the engine started with ease and was working without vibration at its full power of over fifty horse, and the word being given to launch the machine, the car was released and the aerodrome sped along the track. Just as the machine left the track, those who were watching it, among whom