Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/873

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Popular Science Monlhly

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���Two British airplanes in Mesopotamia. They are covered with matting woven by the natives to protect them from the rays of the sun. The matting also acts as camouflage

��The Sun Is an Enemy of Airplanes in Mesopotamia

AIRPLANES are being used in Meso- t potamia just as they are in other theaters of war. The British find that the eyes of the army are as much needed to see over the sun-baked desert where they are fighting the Turks as they are in France. The natural conditions in Mesopotamia are very hard on the military airplane.

There is no moisture in that country. The air is very dry. This would be an ideal condition for airplanes if it were not for the in- tense heat of the sun. Long rainy spells make gieat trouble for aviators in Europe because the mois- ture causes the wood used in the machines to warp. In Mesopotamia this dif- ficulty does not exist ; but the large expanse of hori- zontal surface offered by the planes absorbs the sun's heat as a sponge absorbs water. The planes become so hot that you could literally cook an egg on them. This naturally has a bad effect on both the wood and the canvas used in the planes.

While the planes are in flight the coolness of the upper air and the gale uiat sweeps across the desert keep them com- paratively cool. It is when they are at rest on the ground where the temperature is so very

��high that the damage is done by the sun. The natives of Mesopotamia weave a pliable, fine matting. The British use this matting as a covering for their military air- planes. It not only acts as an ideal protec- tion from the rays of the sun but makes the planes invisible to the enemy.

���Turn the key and just the right amount of polish drops out of the tube. Then slide the tube back in its groove and polish with bristles and lamb's wool

��A Perfect Shoe-Blacking Kit— It's All in the Brush

THE Army and Navy boys are not the only ones who will appreciate this novel shoe-blacking kit.

It contains a tube of paste which is securely capped and held on top of the brush in a slidinggroove. You slide the brush forward, take off the cap, twist a key to deposit a small amount of the paste directly on the shoe, then put the cap back on the tube and slide the tube back in place. Then you turn the brush over and polish the shoe with the bristles until the paste is well spread. At the end op- posite the bristles there is a piece of lamb's wool for polishing. A light rub with this produces a mir- ror-like polish. After the operation you slip the whole thing into a little bag, pull the drawstring and put it away any- where you choose to keep it until the next time. It will not soil anything with which it comes in contact.

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