Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/459

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Fighting the Big Guns with Wireless

Thrilling adventures of the airmen while signaling the range to the artillery gunners

By Captain A. P. Corcoran, Late of the British Army

���The airman signals to the gunners the range necessary to make a hit, after seeing where a shell has dropped and exploded at or near the enemy's lines. When a hit 'has been made he glides away

��IF you are interested in wireless, you have probably at one time or another tried to operate an instrument of your own. And to do so, you have probably repaired to the seclusion of your own room, well removed from outer disturbances. Even then you have probably found difficulty in getting signals. Perhaps a cat howled, or your sister put her inconsiderate head in at the door, and diverted your attention for a moment. You know how little it takes to upset the accuracy of an operator.

And now, if you are to get an adequate idea of the task of the wireless man in this war you will have to try to put yourself for the moment in his place. You will have to imagine yourself not safely housed, but up six thousand feet in the air, with only a few pounds of wood and a few yards of canvas between you and a very certain death. You will have to imagine that all round you dozens of shrapnel shells are bursting, and that to right and left of you are enemy airplanes, hot on the trail of your car. Through the midst of this sea of

��peril you are piloting your ship, with one eye on the dangers immediately threatening you; another on the ground for the information you are seeking; and still a little attention centered on the tiny wireless set, without which all your work would be in vain.

You have heard the airplane pictur- esquely described as the "eyes of the army." That is a very accurate descrip- tion of the part it plays. It is through the airplane that the artillery gets an effective range on the enemy batteries, or locates the enemy ammunition dumps, or a light field battery, or convoys, etc. It is through the wireless set attached to the airplane that the firing is directed. Without the wireless, the airplane would be of little use.

There are various types of machines used in the war, but the two principal ones are the Hugh battleplane and the small Bristol biplane, the latter being used for scouting work alone. But no matter what the car, the wireless set is the same. It is the Wil- son set.

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