Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 64.djvu/148

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

apparatus? In a word the solution to the whole flying machine problem if to get a machine that will start of itself without being shot off as if from the mouth of a cannon. The successful machine in rising will probably have to imitate the start of a large and heavy bird—that is glide along the ground or surface of a lake for some distance with constantly increasing speed until it rises of its own momentum.

A little kite, such as that shown in Fig. 5, darts up from the hand if there is the least breath stirring. The larger kite, shown in Figs. 6 and 7, is equally nimble, but in a faint breeze, to raise the large White Flier, shown in Figs. 9 and 10 and which is more than twelve feet on a side, the operator has to run a few yards towing the kite behind him.

PSM V64 D148 Model of mabel 2 kite.png

Fig. 13. Model of Mabel II.

Kites larger than the White Flier Dr. Bell sends skyward by tying the rope to the collar of a fast horse and then sending the steed galloping down the field. Of course, when a good wind blows all these kites soar upward as easily as the little fellow.

But to raise the giant kite Mabel II., shown in Fig. 15, Dr. Bell found a more serious problem. It would be difficult for a man or horse to pull the great frame so steadily as to keep her from being dashed against the ground and smashed before she could rise.

The kite has power enough to lift several men, but how was Dr. Bell to get her up into the air? If he could raise Mabel II. naturally, like one of the smaller kites, he could be pretty sure that she would go up when a motor, with propellers, was suspended to her. A pull or a push would be identical in its effect. In a word, if Dr. Bell could get this great man-lifting kite into the air by towing, as he did the