Page:Aircraft in Warfare (1916).djvu/250

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§ 125

expressly for long distance raiding, will be essentially a relatively slow machine, since speed means engine weight; it must be, comparatively speaking, a relatively poor climber for the same reason. Again, it cannot afford to carry shield or armour, neither can weight be spared for a defensive gun armament. All these facts mean that as the distance to be raided becomes greater, defence will become more and more easy, and point to the conclusion that in actual warfare the maximum distance which can be effectively raided by aeroplane will be far less than the theoretical maximum aforesaid. Beyond this the opportunities for defensive counter

Fig. 20

measures become greater, and the possibility of taking advantage of favourable weather conditions less, the greater the distance involved in the raid. Taking everything into account, the author thinks it improbable that raids over territory held by an enemy exceeding 300 or 400 miles will be found practicable, and in the face of opposition it would be rare for an attempt of this magnitude to succeed unless conducted by a force of overwhelming numerical strength.

§ 126. The Danger to Aircraft Factories and Production. There is a further point in respect of which the position of aircraft is without exact parallel in the other arms of the Services; in a war of any magnitude or duration the manufacture during the period of hos-