Tomorrow’s Missiles Take Off
TOMORROW’S Navy will be ready to fight with weapons as deadly accurate as William Tell’s arrow. Successors to the carronade and Dahlgren gun are such characters as Little Joe and the Gargoyle. Some are guided missiles, some are planes, some are power-packages. All fly regularly out over the Pacific from the Navy’s Air Missile Test Center at Point Mugu, Calif. Each run is tracked by radar and telemetering devices. Some units are preset, unalterable once flight commences. Others, with their own radar to detect and steer for the target, are fiendishly accurate. Command-system missiles are usually radio-controlled; course-seeking missiles are directed by light beams or radio energy.
Do Wild Radio Waves Cause Air Disasters?
Millions of horsepower of high-frequency electric energy, running “wild” in the air, may be the cause of mysterious disasters to aircraft, such as the loss of the Akron, the dirigible R-101, Knute Rockne’s airplane, and scores of others. How these amazing currents affect not only airplanes but your body, your home, and any objects that fail in tune with them, is explained in this unusual article on the unseen menace from the sky.
by BURTON MANFRED
THE radio experts of the United States Navy have recently completed a series of astounding experiments, experiments that prove far beyond the shadow of human error that there is a new menace in the sky. Hour after hour, day after day countless thousands of horsepower of high-frequency electric energy is being pumped into the air by great radio stations and other high-frequency machinery which has become a part of our civilization.
Only an infinitesimal speck of this prodigious output of energy is consumed by the radio receivers of the world. What happens to the rest? Does it become a wild and roving source of death and destruction or does it rush into the frigid voids of space never to return to the earth?
It’s interesting to read articles like this one, where the revolutionary aspects of one particular piece of technology are considered in near isolation. The author correctly assumes that bombers will get much bigger, fly higher, faster and become much more destructive. But this leads him to the following conclusion:
“In all probability, we shall not see the great numbers of airplanes we had in the last war (WWI).”
Why? Because, “It is so difficult to find aircraft in heavy clouds and in the dark, that the menace of opposing aircraft will be almost negligible.”
People predicting the future often forget that the change they are focusing on is not the only change occurring. In the case of WWII you had radar, acoustic detectors, air patrols, intelligence, radio listening posts and flack among others. All of these combined to require an exponential increase in the number of aircraft, not the great reduction predicted.
The NEXT WAR in the AIR
By GENERAL WILLIAM MITCHELL
Former Commander Air Forces, A.E.F.
AIRCRAFT can now be built that will go around the world at the equator on one charge of fuel.
Lighter-than-air craft now can be made to carry fifty or sixty tons of useful load besides crew and fuel; they can ascend to 30,000 feet or more, and their radius of action is greater than that of any other known means of transportation.
Heavier-than-air craft now can be made to go from 6,000 to 8,000 miles, carrying 4,000 pounds of bombs, to operate at an altitude of 35,000 feet, and at a speed between 300 and 400 miles an hour.
But at present we are in a period of arrested development in air power plants because we cannot easily get away from the internal-combustion engine. We are making these bigger and more powerful continually, at present up to about 4,000 horsepower, while our engine fuel is being made safer and more economical. Steam engines and rocket engines are being experimented with, but our greatest aerial development will come with the development of an entirely new type of engine, lighter, stronger, safer and less complicated. The modern gasoline engine has from 2,000 to 5,000 different parts, one of the most complicated mechanisms ever made, not excepting the mechanical toys of the middle ages.
What could I possibly add to this?
Portable Sound-Detector Units Made for Airplane Spotters
A self-contained sound detector, easily carried and operated by one person, makes it possible for individual aircraft spotters to hear approaching aircraft through a set of earphones. When the low-pitched sound is picked up, the spotter slowly turns his body until the sound is loudest. He is then facing in the direction of the plane and can orient his binoculars. The headpiece of this detector consists of earphones topped by a concentrator. Made of thermoplastic material, this is molded to a parabolic curve and contains crossed perpendicular veins which sharpen the aural focus on a sensitive microphone. Amplification is supplied by a three-tube unit slung over the spotter’s shoulder and housed in a case smaller than the usual gas-mask container. A volume-control knob regulates the sound in the earphones to the watcher’s comfort. Special filters eliminate noises other than those of a plane.
Seems like that would be a pretty slow rescue…
U.S. Navy Blimps Learn New Role for Sea Rescues
With the aid of new airship inventions, U. S. Navy blimps can now “anchor” ” 100 feet above the sea, and pick up ill sailors or victims of shipwreck. A circular disk called a “drogue,” dropped into the sea at the end of a cable, keeps the craft’s nose pointed steadily into the wind.
New Italian Airplane for High Speed is a Flying Tunnel
THIS odd machine, the Stipa-Caproni, which has just been completed in Italy, and has passed severe tests, is expected to be the type of future record-breakers.
The propeller, it will be seen, is located in a cylinder, through which the air-stream is driven. This “Venturi tube,” all of wood, concentrates the pressure.
The span of the model shown is 50 feet; pilot and passenger occupy a stream-lined cabin above the tunnel-shaped body, which the wing bisects.
Wow that’s a lot of deflection on those rotors in the top picture.
I think this is actually only the first U.S. helicopter.
Helicopter Flown Successfully
WHAT is claimed to be the first successfully controlled vertical flight in a heavier-than-air machine was made recently by Ivor Sikorsky, prominent aeronautical engineer, at Bridgeport, Conn., in his new helicopter. Powered by a seventy-horsepower engine and equipped with variable-pitch rotor blades, the craft moved straight up from the ground for thirty feet, circled the field, and then settled vertically to the ground. Small rotor blades mounted on the bare fuselage of the craft act as elevators and rudder. Sikorsky is shown at the controls of the helicopter in the photographs.
Do you think you could get one of these past security now? I mean a balloon with a a nozzle could make a handy flame thrower.
Balloon Ends Discomfort in High-Altitude Flying
To make things more comfortable for passengers and pilots flying at high altitudes, Dr. Ralph Greene, Miami, Fla., physician and medical consultant to Eastern Airlines, developed the balloon device pictured at the left. Costing only a few cents, the small balloon has a nipple fitted to its neck. When high-altitude pressure becomes annoying, the passenger inserts the nipple in one nostril, closes the other with his finger, and inflates the balloon. He then squeezes the balloon slightly and swallows. In this manner, the pressure of the air within the inner ear is equalized with the outside pressure.
These Are the Planes You’ll Fly After the War
We asked the private flyers of tomorrow to write their own ticket. The analysis of 3,345 contest entries shows what they are looking for.
A DRAFTSMAN in the evergreen section of the Pacific Northwest wrote Popular Science Monthly last fall that of all the things he would like to see incorporated in his postwar private airplane, a foot throttle was on the high-priority list. He wanted other items of comfort, too, did Tom Phelan of Seattleâ€”a cigarette lighter on the instrument panel, and arm rests built into seats for his passengers.
Tom Phelan was one of the many entrants in this magazine’s “The Plane You’d Like to Own” contest, concluded September 30, who displayed a flair for merchandising. The automobile never would have sold in the millions if it had not had, first, utility; and second, comfort.
I’m going to hazard a guess that this attempt to defeat gravity did not meet with success.
Yet Another Attempt to Defeat the Law of Gravity
THE recent success of the Cierva Autogiro has brought forth a deluge of attempts to defeat the law of gravity. Harry Cordy, a Los Angeles inventor, is about to introduce into a startled aviation world a model of his idea of just what an airplane should be.
This plane of the helicopter type is characterized by a new form of propeller which is said to produce a superior degree of lift and thus effect a true vertical takeoff or landing.