Giant Slingshots of the Navy
by Rear Admiral E. R. Stitt (U.S.N.)
and Lt. Com. J. C. Adams (U.S.N.)
Senior Flight Surgeon, Aircraft Squadrons
Fighting seaplanes of Uncle Sam’s navy are launched into the air by means of powerful catapults which throw them into the air like giant slingshots. This is only one of the unusual stunts which naval flyers are required to perform—which explains why only the most perfect pilots win the title of “naval aviator.”
I wonder how many Japanese spies the internments actually prevented from acts of espionage. My guess would be close to zero. Besides the blatant racism, xenophobia and violation of civil rights, it just seems like a ridiculously inefficient way to stop espionage.
SMOKING OUT JAP SPIES
by Don Eddy
If you are not yet awake to the peril of invasion on our west coast, this article will give you a jolt. For weeks Mr. Eddy has been hot on the trail of enemies in our midst. He has seen U.S. agents uncover nests of spies working with short-wave radio, blinkers, signal flags, and carrier pigeons. And we’ve been handling these deadly snakes with kid gloves! Eighty per cent of them slip from the Army’s grip through legal loopholes. With our shores in imminent danger, this article is a challenging call for action.
JUST before midnight on last December 22, a young California farmer and his girl were sitting in a parked automobile at the brink of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was a clear, crisp night.
Fighting Planes of the World
by H. H. ARNOLD
Experts agree that the next war will be decided in the air. How, then, are the great powers prepared for such a war? H. H. Arnold, who has been actively engaged in military aviation for twenty years, this month compares the world’s fighting forces.
IT IS always hard to get reliable figures concerning the actual numbers and performances of the military planes of the different countries. Accordingly any figures given will probably be more or less out of date. However as all of the data will be about the same amount behind the times, an idea as to the comparative aerial strength of the various countries can be obtained. Accordingly the figures given herewith should not be taken as being absolutely correct for the aerial forces as of 1931.
CORRUGATED PLATING DEFLECTS ARMOR-PIERCING BULLETS
BY FURROWING the surface of metal plate with angular ridges, a Philadelphia inventor has materially increased the strength of armor designed for use on tanks, warships, and aircraft. In recent ballistic experiments conducted before ordnance experts, high-powered bullets fired from a distance of fifty yards pierced a test section of flat armor plate one half inch thick. When a slightly thinner section of corrugated armor was used, however, bullets fired from the same distance failed to penetrate its surface, but ricocheted off the sides. Armor penetration depends on a bullet’s angle of impact. Corrugated armor plate, the inventor explains, presents a surface inclined at an angle of forty-five degrees; bullets strike it a glancing rather than a direct blow.
Air Photos Made by Army Pigeons
TINY aerial photos, snapped by a little camera attached to a carrier pigeon, are being made in Germany, where these birds are trained for military purposes. One of the small cameras, fastened to a pigeon’s body, can take six automatic snapshots while the bird is in flight.
Motor-Driven Car Carries Machine-Gun Crew in Action
Low-slung and fitted with four diminutive wheels, a novel vehicle undergoing tests by U. S. Army officials is designed to serve as a mobile machine-gun carrier to enable gunners to fire continuously during an advance or retreat.
Manned by two soldiers, the curious machine is powered by a gasoline motor geared to the rear wheels. While one man operates the gun, the other controls the speed and direction of the vehicle by means of special pedals operated by his feet. At the same time, the steersman assists the gunner by feeding racks of cartridges into the gun.
Steel Goggles Protect Eyes From Bomb Splinters
Protecting the eyes from splinters and other flying objects during an air raid is the purpose of new-type goggles introduced in Britain. Made of sheet steel, the goggles are held in place by a strap. Holes approximately an inch in diameter cut in the metal permit good vision with moderate protection. In emergencies, circular plates of metal swing down over the eye holes. Cross slits cut in the plates then allow restricted vision, but with maximum protection to the eyes. Rubber padding under the cutout bridge and across the brows permits the goggles to be worn in comfort for a long time if necessary.
Operating Room Goes to Battle in Tank-Towed Armored Trailer
TOWED into battle by a war tank, an armored operating room for front-line casualties has been designed by C. J. Birtcher, a Los Angeles, Calif., manufacturer of surgical instruments. Emplacements cut in a hillside by bulldozers would hide such trailers from enemy view.
NEW EYEGLASSES FIT UNDER GAS MASK
Eyeglasses specially designed for use with gas masks have just been introduced to the public in England, where the entire civilian population is being trained to protect itself in case of wartime gas attacks. Unlike conventional glasses, whose rigid frames do not always fit close to the head and might cause a slight leak when a mask is put on, the new spectacles have flexible frames made of elastic tape, which fit closely over the side of the face. The flexible frames are easily adjusted.
Machine Gun Fires Rocket Bullets
A MACHINE gun hardly heavier than an air rifle, yet capable of firing 700 shots a minute with almost no recoil and no possibility of overheating, was recently ‘announced by its inventor, Clyde Farrell of San Francisco.
Special bullets receive only an initial impetus from the firing pin, and generate their own energy in flight, just as do rockets. All remaining energy is released when contact is made with the target.