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THE SUNDAY OREGOXIAy. PORTIANI), 3IABCH 11, 1906.
What America's Aero Club is Doing to
Win for Uncle Sam the Honor of Tiirn
ing Out the First Practical Airship.
f T i
:'' - ': HBPf
r aiERICAN inventors arc not wait
L ingr for foreigners to solve the. great
problem of aerial navigation. They
are going ahead, and doing it themselves,
and who would like to speculate that
they won't win?
No mere desiro to boast the American
as against his European rival prompts
the claim, but it is true that more Is
now being done in this country than any
where In the world to provide man a
medium of flying through the air with.
mc same comtort and speed, in factJ
greater speed, than he now is carried
across the continent on fast-flying trains".
AH over the r-nitert States skilled in
ventors are directing their attention to
this most important of modem, up-to-date
transportation problems, and work
ing along differcn lines there are a dozen
models of airships that promise success.
Some of these have already made good
to some extent. A number have made
flights that show their essential prin
ciples to be mechanically correct, and
when certain details are worked out the
airship of the future ought"to be close
Not only are inventors working as in
dividuals, but they are also urged to
greater effort and encouragement by the
Aero Club of America, a new but in
tensely alive organization.
Wliat the Aero Club Is Doliiff.
This interesting club has for its object
the perfection of a dirigible balloon, and
the encouragement of all inventors who
are working to that end. It was founded
abodt one year ago. and includes many
prominent Americana of wealth and nulv.
.11c spirit. Its headquarters are at th i
Automobile Club of America 753 Fifth I
avenue. New York. j
In its ranks arc men in all walks of
life, professional, artistic, sporting, social, I
scientific and business. ' j
Its officers are: President. Homer W. j
Hedge; first vice-president. John .
O'Rourko; second vice-president. Charles
J. Glldden; treasurer, Augustus Post; sec
rotary, S. m. Butler: foreign representa
tives. Cortland Field Bishop and A. Law
rence Rotch, director of Blue Bell Observa
tory. The club recently held its first public
balloon ascension at Tuxedo. These
ascensions are intended to create public
interest. in aerial navigation, and they
will be given as often as possible. The
next js scheduled to take place at West
Point, and this meet will shortiv h fal
lowed by another at Pittsfleld, Mass.,
which ds generally regarded as an ideal
spot for the purpose. '
Dr. Alexander GrahamBelI, the inven- j
lor of the telephone, is among the most '
prominent and enthusiastic memhprs of
the club. He has made extended study
of the problem of aerial, navigation. "Well
remembering the hard fight he had before
the telephone won Its way, he is always
ready to give a helping hand to the
needy but able young American who is
scoking.to win for Uncle Sam the con
quest of the air.
Evidence or Progress.
The recent exhibit of the .Aero Club at
the Automobile Show in New York gives
an excellent Idea of the progress that is
being made. There were three airships,
the California "Arrow," winner of the
?10.000 prize at the St. Louis Exposition.
and an airship built by Leo Stevens, of j
New York. Besides these were the Lang- j
Icy power model flying machines, which i
flew successfully over the Potomac an
save promise that some day a full-sized
aerodrome on the same lines would win
all the measures of success predicted
Striking as this showing- was, it
merely represents an outline of what
is being: done by Americans. To recite
them all, to give a description of each
in detail -would be to attempt a work
so monumental that it would take a
In every Instance there has been
Independence of action. The Nation
that produced the inventor of the
steamboat has inventors who eta re
tkiik for themselves, and the airship j
exporimontcrs are no exception. Their
devices are as widely apart as the
Roy Knabenshue has taken great
risks with dirlgblc balloon. In fact he
has exposed himself oftener than any
other prominent American aeronaut
but he is still on terra firms, and. has
progressed perhaps nearer a working
airship than the majority of his Amer
Knabenshue is absolutely fearless.
He first came into prominence at the
sx. jxuis Exposition In 1804. He was
at that time standing in the crowd
when some one was needed to operate
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all these daring young- American invep
tors. They thrive on failure. The com
plete collapse of a machine on which they
have spent time and money. leaves them
entirely undaunted, and ready for a fresh
A. S. Herring did not get much en
couragement out of his first efforts, but
he kppt sturdily at it until he perfected
a gashlinc motor aeroplane. The model
has flown la miles in a circle when
tethered to a tall pole, and only stopped
when the supply of gas gave out. It has
, a motor that weighs only two pounds.
, but gains a speed of more than SO miles
, an hour.
Charles Hamilton takes a chapter from
Benjamin Franklin, and pins his faith to
a man-carrying: kite. Tethered to a stout
rope his huge kite of bamboo and duck
has carried the aeronaut high in the air.
Israel Ludlow has a-' kite on similar
lines. Drawn by a tug- it gave good re
sults in tests made on the Hudson.
Captain James M. Clinton is hopeful
of a dirigible balloon run by turbines. The
final test has not yet been made.
Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of
the telephone, pins his faith to a tetra
hedral kite. When released In air It de
scribes a series of descending spirals.
Bell is one of the veterans in the ranks
of airship inventors. From him they
range- in ago all the way down to Lincoln
Becchey, "The Boy Aeronaut." who, at
the age of IS, has made many daring
flights in the Baldwin airship. Lately
he has been working on a machine of his
own modeling. His remarkably success
ful flights in the airship "City of Port
land'' durifig the Lewis and Clark Expo
sition last Summer gave him world-wide
It is a wide list, and a varied one. all
Americans working differently for the
same end, but with a vigor and intelli
gence that warrants the hope that Uncle
Sam will invent the first practical airship.
the "Arrow." Professor Baldwin's
j prize-winning- machine.
Knabenshue stepped from the crowd
and volunteered. His complete success
on that occasion drove him into decn-
er experiments with a machine of his
own invented several years before.
He went to New York with it. and
made a flight that still lingers in the
public mind as a genuine sensation.
Seated in his machine which In gen
eral design Is somewhat similar to that
of Santos Dumont." and looks equally,
like a cucumber or sausage with a
triangular framed truss of bamboo for
a car, Knabenshue rose over Central
Park, and for an hqur sailed over
Father Knickerbocker, in full view of
that Hudson River, on which another
American had navigated the first
Knabenshue showed that he could
go against the wind, and could turn
his air craft at will. This daring aero
naut is 2S years old, and halls from
Clear across the continent. In Port
land. Or., another airship startled the
public by an experiment somewhat
similar to that of Knabenshue.
Dr. August Grcth. though an Alsa
tian by birth, can fairly be classed
as an American, for he has horn in
this country for 3ears, and it was not
until after hj had taken a degree
from the University of California and
established business interests in San
I Francisco, that he first began to study
j aeronautics. Ills Greth machine eel's
Its power frotn a motor. It has float
ed successfully over San FrannU
and showed itsolf to be able to so InJ
uhtchuiu m me wm or the in
ventor. Ico Stevens, of New York, has had
a number of successes. He too uses
the design of a dirigible balloon.
F. M. Mahan has a machine that
tenas strongly to eccentricity in ap
pearance. It resembles more than
anything else the wild goose that we
used to see pictured in the fairy books.
It Is provided with a lifting power
balloon of sufficient capacity to over
came S3 per cent of the- earth's grav
ity Its two great wings. ocratP kv
t.a smau xasounc engine, are designed"
J to bae sufliclerit power to BroBel the
ship. 3Jr. Mahan claims great things
lor hla Invention.
J?ar less outre have been the ex
periments of the late Professor Lang-
iey. He was generally rated as the
deepest thinker of American ulrshlp
Inventors, and though his devices
have not met with full triumnh. the
principles that Langley has promul
gated are given deepest consideration
by the world's specialists on the sub
ject. Iiangley's Hope and Failure.
Langley pinned his faith to the gas
oline aerodrome. The Government
thought so well of this invention that
the Board, of Ordnance and Fortifica
tions of the War Department appro
priated $70,000 to enable the professor
to carry out his experiment with it.
The machine made its first appear-,
ancc in 1895, and was given a public
test in 1395. It sailed three-quarters
of a mile over the Potomac, establish
ing a distance record of this kind of
airship. It was built on the plan of
a four-winged Insect, but of model
siztr. weighing 30 pounds, and carry
ing a one-horse power boiler.
The Langley "No. 2" was still a bet
ter machine, but it was damaged In
launching, so that no one knows Just
what potentialities it may have had.
It seems a pity, in view of. the unfin
ished nature of his experiments, that
Professor Langlcy's career should
have been cut short by death at the
moment He never lost faith in his
machine, and It Is said that he had
just brought It to the point of mak
ing a further experiment during- the
next few months.
Langley'g machine at least proved
that one of the most Important things
to be learned before the aerodrome
could be made a success was balancing.
Various Successful Feats.
AVith this idea in mind, two young
American brothers Wilbur and Or
vllle. Wright, experimented with a
two-decked soaring apparatus. Their
tests were made -at KIttyhawk, North
Carolina. Tney built a number of
machines and were encouraged by re
sviiU. BotU retain their enthusiasm,
and arc eagerly pressing forward to
a better model.
In fact, this seema to be the spirit ef
Unmscribed Tomb of
Tray tell me," I said to an old man who
Drooping o'er the rraves which his own
hand had made.
"Tray tell mc the name oC tho tenant who
Beneath yonder lone stone, where the sad
Every stone la engraved with the name of
But yon black slab declares not whose spirit
In silence he bowed, then he beckoned ma
Till we stood o'er the grave then he said
with a sigh:
"Yes", they dared not to trace e'en a word
on this stone. .
To the memory of him who sleeps coldly
He told them commanded the lines o'er
his gravo "
Should never be traced' by the hands of a
"He bade them to shade e'en his name la
Till the morning of freedom should dawn
on his tomb;
When the flag of my country for liberty
Then let my name and my monument rlset
You see they obeyed him tls sixty-eight
And they come still to moisten his grave
with their tears.
"He was young, like yourself, and aspired,
The tyrants who filled his loved island with
They crushed his bold spirit this earth wai
Too scant for the range of his lumlnoui
He paused, and the old man went slowlj
And I felt as he left me an Impulse to pray.
Grant Heaven I may see. ere my own day
.V monument rise o'er my country's beat
And. Oh! proudest task, be It mine to Indite
The long delayed tribute a freeman must
Till then .shall Its theme In my heart deeply
So Joy to thy soul, dear R. E.. fare thee welk
Barric Viewed in Verse.
(Theater-goers who arc fonrf of T?arri
have been amused at Captain Graham's tilts
against him In "More MHrepreaentatlva
Men." As Miss Ethel Barrrmore. Cantain
Graham's fiancee. Is not appearing In "Bar-
rie;s play. "Alice-Sit-by-the-Flre." aad
Maude Adams In "Peter Pan." the following
stanzas are especially to the point:)
O tiniest of tiny men!
So wise, so whimsical, so witty!
"Whose magic little fairy-pen
Is steeped In human pity:
Whos? humor plays so quaint a tuae.
From Peter Pan to Pantaloon!
And modern matrons who caa find
So Uttle leisure for the Nurs'rjT4
Whose Interest la feabyklnd .
Is eminently curs'ry. " . ,
New views on Motherhood acquire.
Fro Allce-Slttiae-by-the-yira! "