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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/538

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��Popular Scieiice Hloiitlily

��In the surplus-powered aeroplane,

"steeriiitj down to keep up" is not a praiseworlliy inaiieu\'er. A i)ilol cannot possibly know how far the "hole" or local descending current extends and whether he will not plunge into the ground before he gets out of it. But with the reserve-powered machine, it is othersvise. When it steers up, it goes up — always; and what is still more im[)ortant, it goes up instantly. The words "goes up" do not apply literally. They should read, "keeps up." A heavy machine cannot go up instantly on account of its inertia, but it can as instantly increase its lift as it can turn on full power and put its surfaces at a ■steeper angle. To steer down in order to keep up was relatively a slow proceed- ing, because even with the aid of gravity inertia cannot instantly be overcome. But with reserve power there is no need to overcome inertia, and the remedy can be applied at once.

��With these explanations in mind, we understand why Europeans speak as they do of some dead (jfticer who "lost his life because he attempted to imitate champions on high-powered machines with a weak machine."

The Germans had drawn somewhat too hasty conclusions as to the best type of a military aerojjlane and had standard- ized it. The French sinijily enlisted all their current sporting types for army use, types which were inferior in long- range scouting, demanding, as it does, only reliability and sturdiness in normal flight, for which the Germans had provided at the war's beginning. But the French machines were better for aerial fighting, which has about as much to do with steady, normal flying as a free-for-all fight with walking in a procession. The new art of flying had to be learned in aerial duels, just as a boy is taught to swim by the simple process of throwing him overboard.

���Maximum strength, minimum wtiglit and least luad resist, huh au lust attained by the aeroplane that has its propeller in front of a boat-body. But the propeller in front impedes observation. It also interferes with the operation of a machine pun. Biplanes, such as this one, have been deiiigned with the object of overcoming these military objections

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