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About The Oregon daily journal. (Portland, Or.) 1902-1972 | View This Issue
the orego:j sunday journal, Portland, Sunday j-ioxinitc, august tviw
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; TTyTONDERFUL water craft, half
ylr - airship and half boat, speeding
: ' -r.ir over the ocean t at " the tremen
. 'do US pace of loo miles an hour -this is the '
spectacle that may soon be . presented to sea
t . SttfA, at any rate, is predicted by eminent
marine architects and engineers, after examin
ing the new gliding craft invented by Peter
Cooper Hewitt father of the Coopef Hewitt
converter and the Cooper Hewitt light.
V This new boat, embodying a principle
'discovered by accident, actually flies over the
surface of ' the water. Going at the rate of
thirty-eight milesan hour, as the experimental
. craft has done, the hull is lifted entirely out of
'the water, diminishing by that much the re
sistance and consequently accelerating speed. .
- " Slightly inclined planes are used to lift
the vessel from the water. It is believed that
large, oCean-going craft may be hoisted thirty
feet above the surf ace- or above the highest
waves and will be enabled to fly along, re
gardless of storm or rolling billow, at a speed
.of ioo miles an hour. :;;,;. ;.; -r( '(
Across the ocean in 30 hours! Even the
'fleetest seagoing greyhounds of 'today will,
seem like canal barges in comparison. Sea sick
ness will be banished and Europe will become
'America's next door neighbor. "
fyfiroxmS fe03o vj WdSer st'&rifci'aa hour
8 YET Mr. Hewitt's experiments nave been con
fined to his first model, a craft 17 feet lone Mid
weighing about 1630 pounds.
' .with two passengers aboard, thla flying vessel .
har made thirty-eight miles an hour on Long Island
Sound And It has not been poshed to the limit of speedl
Mr. Hewitt has no doubt that, even with this model,
- Which Is about 1000 pounds heavier than It might be, he
could speed along at fifty miles aa hour; but thus far he
has not allowed the craft to travel that swiftly. "The
chance of striking a log or by big wave at the rate of "
fifty miles an hour," he says, with a sort of dry humor,
"should be avoided, !f possible, with such a small craft.' ..
For many years marine architects have found that the ,
great obstacle In the way of swift ooean trafflo has been
the fact that, with any great rise In speed, the resistance
of the water to the boat increases enormously. ,
This Is so to such an extent that to double the speed
In an ordinary vessel It has been found that eight times '
the power Is necessary; to triple the apeed, twenty-seven -times
the power. - . , ,
, 'It has been the dream of the marine architect to con
struct a boat which would not have to cut through the
water, but which would glide over It. The only resistance
that would be met In auch a case would be the air and
the suppjrt of the boat. It was found that boats could be
lifted out of the water by means of planea.
The tendency of the Diane to rise In tha direction In
which It ie propelled has been known for centuries by '
Kenyan; and this principle, when applied to boats, was
ssrul to a degree. ....--.,
if ago as 18fi0 the British arovernment carried on
xperlirnesM on this line, and In 1896 Count de Lambert, a
,, rrrncnmKn. actually Duuca do at wnion was mtea out or
the water by means of planes attached to Its keel, and
several gliding crafts appeared on the Seine. A -
' But there were two obstacles in the way of the devel- .
, opment rf gliding crafts for a long time. In the first
, place, the engine, until the Invention of the gasoline en-
glne, could not be easily secured light enough to be lifted
out of the water by means of planes.
In the second place, after the gasoline engine was .
made available, the great obstacle met was thlai When
the boat began to go at great speed, there was nothing
: to prevent The planea from rising to the surface of the' "
water thenselves, it being their tendency to rise In the'
v direction ihey were propelled.-s . v :-
CONQUERED GREAT OBSTACLE v
It is this great obstacle of the rising of tha planea out
ef the water, when they are supposed to support and '
hold the boat on a constant level, that Mr, Hewitt has
met and tonquered In hla little craft And, In doing ao,
experts believe that he haa removed practically the great-
est obstacle to swift wster trafflo.
Instead of eight timea the power being necessary to
double the speed, only approximately double the power '
Nothing more simple in construction and appearance
can be Imagined than this little craft, which haa been
seen frequently thie summer on Long Island Bound. It
ia a ahallow structure, XI feet long, with a H-foot beam.
In appearance It resembles nothing so closely as the body
of a rowing shell, wider, of course, with a gasoline motor
In the bow. . ,.
t The shell Is made of mahogany, and la really the leaat '
- Important part of the boat. Its function almply amounts
to thla: It carries the machlnery-and floats the remainder
of the craft when It Is at reat on tha water. In motion, It
represents only so much dead load, or weight, to be lifted
and carried by the planes. i .
The Important part of the structure la a strong steel -frame,
similar to an automobile frame, which extends
along the aidea of the shell and acrese either end. In
- other words, the frame la placed over the shell, strad
. dllng It . .
. From this steel frame, at each of Its four corner, are
suspended perpendicular fiat ateel arms. - which are
dropped Into the water, extending about eighteen Inches
. btlow the bottom of the hull. - ...
To the arsis are faatened steel planea, each One of ,
them tiaving a alight alant upward, from tha back to the
' front the alant of the bottom ones being one In eight
There are two seta of planea, front and rear, almllar la
Th'igJowest planes are the four main planes, two In
frnTsdd two In the rear. They have a surface of two
fwat. eight equare feet In all, which la aufflclent -
J aupport the total weight of tha boat at a apeed of
hlrty miles an nour.
These four main planes are alwaya submerged. There
gre several other planes above three, both larger and
rmnller, and these at times emerge from the surfnee. al
though they, too, assist In raising and supporting the boat
out of tt.e water at elower speeds.
The alngle-eorew propeller turns Just bsck-of the front
seOf planes and It likewise Is always submerged when
the boat la In motion.
In the fore part of tha boat la the eight-cylinder gaso
line engine of about 100 horsepower. In the rear part
there are aeats for two passengers, in the stern, on each
aide of the shell, is a gasoline tank.
In motion, this apparently simple craft operates In
thla manner: The screw drives the boat forward, and tha
allghtly alanted planea hung from the ends of the ateel
. frame rise In :ne water according to the tendency' of the
plane to rise In the direction In which It la propelled.
'The function of the planea la not to Increase the
apeed, but to lift and maintain the boat out of the water,
. so that the only-resistance to-Its progress shall be the
resistance of the air and that of its support The greater
, the apeed, the greater the friction of the planes with the
water, and tne greater tne lining power, ana, conse
quently, the higher the rise of the boat out of the water.
. When the boat reaches a speed of from twelve to six
teen miles an hour. It la already out of the water. At
' the rate of alxteen miles an hour.- tha topmost planea
' begin to leave the water; the four main planea, however,
remain submerged. When the boat ia going at the high
est rate of apeed almost all of the topmost planea are out
of the water. . v
One might expect that, H the apeed were atlll further
Increased, there would be nothing to prevent all of the
'planes. Including the tower main ones, from lasutng out
of the water, and that the boat would thua lose tha sup
port which holds It suspended In the air. 1
Thla was aa obstacle that waa met before In thla sort
of craft, and waa not overcome. The function of the
filanee being to lift the boat out of the water and maln
aln it there,' the problem amounted to thla: The boat,
should be kept at a constant .level, neither sinking Into
tha water nor rising so far but of It as to carry Ita main
supporting planes to the aurface.
Mr. Hewett'a device haa means, 'not only of support
ing the boat above the level of the water, but of keeping
, the main aupportlng planea below the surface at all times.
In the flrat place, hla four main aupportlng planea.
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ana (S1imb Hill
Loading Itself on Flat Car.
N THE wilds of the Canadian timber lands,
and ebewhere in tha world, a remarkable
boat has come into two on the river and
:l lakes. ''. ' r "". i ; -
, Not only does it run on water, but, liko .
wagon, travels on- land. - By power created
within itself, it can sail the waters, can climb
out on land, crawl over hills and, if necessary,
load itself on freight cars. ; .
It is capable of moving a boom of 60,000
logs. Hen engaged in felling timber in the Ca
nadian forests live and sleep in the vehicle-craft.
Starting on a Land Trip.
y' The boat, which is called the Alligator be
cause of it3 . reptile-like movements, ia manu
factured by a concern at Simcoe, Ontario. The
boat has been used in the Canadian forest since
1899. At present eighty-three are in service in
various parts of the world. - "
PON Ita completion at the shipyard, and after Its
machinery Is started, the boat crawls alowly across
tha yards, and, without other power than that
.furnished by Its own mechanism, rears Its un
gainly bulk, and climbs over suitable scaffolding, ap
parently of Its own volition, upon tha flat car, to be car-
rled to Ita destination. ; i . - -
. There,' after crawling down and Into tha water, It
gteama alowly away to the Canadian wilds.
Here It will glide aa placidly over the surface of tha
waters aa an ordinary boat, and then creep alowly out
upon tha bank, like the uncanny monsters of old-time
allegories, and proceed in the same manner through for.
eet and morass, across apparently inipnaaable swamps.
Up hill and down dale, dragging or carrying an enorraoua
burden of logs, supplies, men, horses, provender and oft
; times a sawmill.
The boat is operated only by four concerns In the
United Plates. Two are In Michigan and two in New .
York. Ita use is confined chiefly to remote and wild ;
places, where ordinary boats are not to be taken.
In these wilds the gigantic creature, which can psss
over land and water, haa proved of invaluable service
to man. In Bnuth America, where a number are now In
use, it ctrrlee men Into the tnjnnat depths of the forests, ,
aad, after their work is dona, man can lira la the boat.
secure from wild toasts and In homely and comfortable
condition. . . , . " " -i
The Alligator Is a steamboat and steam winch com
bined. The euglne can be thrown In gear to drive the
f addle wheels like an ordinary steamboat If desired.,
he power ma be applied to drive a cable drum located
In tne bow of the -boat holding a mile of H-inch ateel
. wire cable, which la used in warping upon the water and -,
In conveying the boat across portages by land. ' -
The scow-shsped hull measures about 46 by 11 feet
beam, and Is decked with berths for sleeping accommo
dations. The boat la not built for grace and oeauty, but
for strength and durability.
Tho aides are made of pine six Inches thick, while the
'bottom Is. of solid white oak, covered with steel boiler'
plate. Bo great la the power furnished by the 22-horse-.
power boiler and the Jo-horsepower engine that It can
easily oonvey a log-boom of SO, 004 logs under favorable
The manner in which the Alligator la made to travel
on land, climb hills scaling helghta with an elevation of
one foot In three load itself on a flat car and descend Into
i valleys Is an Ingenioua one.
On the bottom of the boat, alx feet apart, are two
runners of steel. Near the bottom and attached to the
bow of the boat la a heavy chain, to which la faatened a
alngle-hlock pulley. Another single-block pulley is taken
to a tree oa tbe aid of, Uta road and maua taab ,
Tha cable la passed round the block at the tree,
brought back round tha block at tha bow chain and faa
tened to tree opposite the first on the roadside. Power
la then applied to 4he ateel cable drum, and, aa the rope
wlnda on the drum, the boat moves forward, keep
lug a straight course between the two anchorages. .
, To guard-agalnst tipping, the boiler la of special de-
sign, hung on an axle in the center. A screw arranged
on the front end enablea the fireman to tip it forward or
, back In going up or down grade! The helm la hung with
a hinge, ao that It will lift up on land, dropping back to
Ita former position of Its own accord when on the water.
No roadway la required for a run on land, logs and
aklds being thrown a few feet apart acroaa the pathway
to keep the shoeing from grinding on the rocks and earth.
The boat can travel from one to two- miles a day. .
With ihe growth of our rapid civilisation baa come an
enormous demand for timber of all klnda. Aa the demand
vbaa increased, the supply has diminished, until lumber
ing operations have been driven northward. Of late
yeara they have penetrated regions Inaccessible to ordl
, narv met noils and conveyances.
fcspecUlly la this tru. In the Canadian forests, where
abound numerous chains of small lakes, connected by
email and uncertain outlets. To reach them the way lice
over hills and hollows.-through narrow winding wnt-..
waya, cut up by riffles and rapids. Where porta g
ofiaa necessary, . , - ;
Pocfcton cPa3ec 6cw? as csf a suspense
with an area of sight square feet, are placed so deep 14
the water that no speed which his present craft could ate
tain would be aufflclent to bring tnem altogether to tha
aurface. But even If apeed sufficient to bring them to tha
surface ordinarily could be attained, ha haa a contrivance)
WWUh U "tor &n&e of maintaining the level of tha
boat that he has two series of planes, the upper and tha
lower, and the boat can neither aink to the aurface noa
riae ao fur out of It a to draw the lower planes out
. i The upper aeries of planea, some small and some large,
are ao placed that they, too, are In the water whey tha
boat suits, and help raise and support It out of tha
W As the speed Increases, however, one at a tlma they;
emerge from the water. When each emerges so much
supporting power la lost, and tha craft remains at that
level until the speed Is changed. ..
If the Tspeed i Increased, he main supporting plane
will drive theboat out of the water a little further, anJ
the boat will skim along at a slightly higher level. IToC
each apeed there is a different level. . . ,
Eaobone of tha surface planes, coming out of tha
' water, one at a time, and then dipping In again, operatea
to maintain a perfect level for the boat at a given dla
tance above tha water. The surface planes might ba
called the maintaining planea. while the four lower mala
planea might be called the aupportlng plane ,
When It reachea the apeed of alxteen miles' an boor,
the boat Is perceptibly out of the water. Its appears noe
- at thla and nigher speeds is peculiar. It gildea over tha
water, a long, narrow Bhell. swifter than any motor boat.
With a long line of spray in Its stern. -
' It goes as smooth as If it were skimming along lea,
but the space between tha bottom of ths hull and the
water la easily discernible. It aoea not roca or piicnj-w
Ita motion, but shoots along straight as a bird. It has
been remarked that one of the results of tha nyentlon. 1 K
utilised for ocean steamships, will be that seaslcknesa
will be unknown. i ' . - m ... ' , J
There la another contrivance for offsetting the ten
dency of the planea to rise out of the water besides that
" it having surface planes to- maintain the level. It can ba
: done by adjusting the elant pf the planes. .
Mr. Hewitt haa found that the alant of the P'nea
should be from about one In seven to one In ten. It is
obvious that the angle of the planes Is great from back
to front the boat will be driven out of tha water sooner
than If the angle Is smaller. -
The story of the construction of Mr. Hewitt s wonder
ful little craft Is as much that of a, diacovery ss M ljmj
tlon. In principle. It might ba called an alrahlp as much
ss a sen vessel" At any rste. It was while studying tha
art of flight that Mr. Hewitt found that he had raaUjI
aolved the problem of swift ocean trafflo. . . '
Before The wished actually to attempt flight, thera
were certain practical problema. be aatd. connected with
aerial travel which he wished to solve and which could
only ba solved by experiment
. : BEGAN WATER EXPERIMENTS
With this object In view. Mr. Hewitt, Instead of ex
perimenting In the air, turned his attention to water aa
a medium for experiment In the problems whlcb. he
wished solved. His reason for this was that he con
aldered water a more advantageous medium, for experix
"'in'the first place, water Is a heavier medium. Ha
weight being approximately 100 tlmee that of air. Mr.
- Hewitt flgurM accordingly that the supporting aurfaoea
of the aeroplane, auch as wings or planea, and almllart
the propeller, would only have to be
in water to have the aame effective lift and power aa
they would have In air. r
The water device being so much smaller, made hla
his problems by mesne of the water device to apply tha
reaulta to the conatruction of an aeroplane, merely mak
ing He appurtenances 800 times larger.
While experimenting, however, the performances andl
promise which his water device gave of high apeed lm
preaaed him, and he became convinced of the future of
Immensely high apeed on water.
In order to have a Urge traneatlantlo steamer built
as a gliding craft, the planea . would have to be con
structed large enough to carry ita monster hull thirty
feet out of the water, that being practically the height o
the waves above the trough of the aea In midocean.
Every experiment haa Indicated that the principle la
better adapted to large vessels than to email vessels. It
Is too early yet to tell what the development, of tha
demonstration may bring forth in tranaoceanlo travel.
This ia aa yet really only a laboratory craft and only aa
Inventor knows what a gap there la between the labora
tory and the commercial product But as for swift ocean
traffic, a hundred miles an hour, the problem will be up
to the engineers. Propellers tor that high speed will bava
to be constructed.
"I have been greatly Impressed, aalde from the peace
aspects of the craft, of its possibilities in war," aaid Mr.
Hewitt "For torpedo boats and messenger boats, a glid
ing craft would be more than available.
Experts say that In naval warfare guna cannot ba
trained accurately on a vessel going swifter than thirty
miles an hour. So a torpedo boat going sixty miles an
fcour could practically do pretty much aa It pleased." -
Mr. Hewitt waa asked whether hla planea, which were
SO delicately constructed, would not be liable to great
injury when going at tremendoua speed through the
water by atrlking derelicts, or evea small objects, liable
" to do more Injury and danger than the hull of a boat.
. "Well," he arswered. "you might consider It ao. But
on a large veaael the planea will be proportionately large.
They will be made of ateel and will brush aside objects In
their way Just like a propeller. They are liable to no mora
Injury than a propeller today. ,
V A PROLIFIC INVENTOR
"As for Iceberge and derelicts, they are fatal to ahlpa
crashing Into them. But note this) In a gliding craft
rou have two chsnces. at least; if your planes sre In
ured, you drop down on your flotation hull; while lit
an ordinary boat If your hull la Injured, you have the
chance of dropping to the bottom."
"Have you ever met with any accident while going at
"Why. yes. About a month ago I hit a log. It ws
about Ave feet ton and eight Inches thick, and Us w'i c
1 estimated at about K0 pounds, because it was prus
"I waa going at the time at about' thirty mii-s
rtonr. The gliding craft etopned dead when It fri. k
, dropped into the water. It was towed In and r.": I
en the davits to see what had happened. The pi 1
driven Into the log ahout two luhea. ami tl"'
Stuck there, and had to be pried off with a l r "
What Is considered Cooper Hewitt's
j tlon. and, by some in Its poliillltis one r
ventlona of the aae, la the ..r Jl-wi
valve, for converting alternating fl,..tr.
direct currents. Whn more fully d-v-said
that this Invention will "
electrical Industries whlh w !l
Mr. Hewitt has alwsve '
was not until of u-- '
ati' l i tk" -
lf wtia an. I I . 1 . ' ' ' '