Page:Aircraft in Warfare.pdf/213

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§ 108
ASCENDENCY OF BRITISH AIRCRAFT.

be claimed that so far as the reconnaissance machine is concerned, the British aircraft are hold their own with those of the other European nations.

In the main the "proprietary" machines bnilt by private firms have lacked the all-round qualities of those turned out by the Government factory, to the Royal Aircraft Factory specification. In some they have failed from a constructional standpoint; under the exacting conditions of service the alighting chassis have sometimes proved inadequate; in other cases the weather-proof qualities of the machines have been found deficient. These defects have more than able to or under contract cases proprietary 2 1 not only shown themselves amongst machines, but also some of the best known of the French makes have failed a very sorry figure when submitted to the rigorous test of service c0nditions in real warfare. Possibly it was British-built reported to have cut or at least are anticipated (as it appears is the case) that machines wonld be required to remain permanently in the open night and day, shelter being the exception rather than the rule Aircraft Factory machines have exhibited an robustness of constitution prietary" makes of machine, however, it must be said that some of the most notable of the exploits performed by the Naval Air Service (such as the raids on Düsseldorf and Friedrichshafen) have been performed by such machines, which proves that, from the point of view of

not It is under these conditions that our Own unrivalled On behalf of the "pro-

The execution of these sensational feats of arms by our naval airmen must not be taken to nean that they could not have been performed equally well by menbers of the Royal Flying Corps, but rather that the latter are fully occupied by their regular daily work of military reconnaissance, and are certainly uo more than nnmerically sufficient for the needs af our Army in the field. In he Navy, the Tautine or business employment of aircraft (more especially aeroplanes) is not yet understood; the efficient patrolling by aircraft of the seas in which a state of war exists-mainly the Air Departnient of the Adiniralty to be its most important duty this will require the systenatic enuployment of a considerable fieet of aeroplanes, which should, if possible, be machines of 1á or 18 hours' capacity and at least capable of s0 iles per lour. The large airship, until recently in contemplation for this duty, provides, in the auth0r's opinion, a doubtful solution, without recapitulation of its other

orth Sea, in the present instance-should be considered by the

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