Aviation and aeroplane motors

Henri Petit
1910 Journal of the Franklin Institute  
The development of .aerial navigation, almost unknown but five years ago, has with the adequate demonstration of its possibility and ultimate practicability proceeded with most rapid strides. In the account here presented, originally contributed to La Nature, of the requirements of the gn de siecIe heavier-than-air fnachine, the author analyzes in detail the essential features of the power plant equipment and suggests a probable solution of th e problems of future development.] IT has been
more » ... .] IT has been said, and with reason, that the automobile alone made aviation possible; in fact it .is the ligh t and :powerful petroleum motor employed in this vehicle that has given wings to mechanical birds. One is tempted to assume that a very light motor is still indispensable to aviation. Progress made in the past two. years is such that designs have, or at least should have, reached permanent types. The light motor is no longer a necessity. The recent exploit of Sommer who carried three passengers, that is, a useful load in the neighborhood of 45 ° lbs., is sufficient proof o.f this. The motor could evidently have weighed considerably more and the apparatus grill have been capable of carrying the operator and one passenger. Does this mean that light motors are to be discarded and all efforts toward securing lightness abandoned? We entertain no such thought. The light motor which made possible the flights with early apparatus will now make flight more certain and nearly free from danger. It is only too well known that all failures of the motor result in an immediate and often rapid descent which at times may be exceedingly dangerous. Notice also that the prominent aviators who undertake a cross-country flight select their course with care and mantain a very high altitude. Lambert, who ordinarily does not seekhigh altitudes, in soaring o.ver Paris, was obliged to ascend to a height of more than 16oo feet. 29z
doi:10.1016/s0016-0032(10)91151-4 fatcat:z2mzp6hvdbdxbfdytsnhcdlnkm