Read e-book online Aircraft carriers PDF

By C J Norman

ISBN-10: 053110088X

ISBN-13: 9780531100882

ISBN-10: 0863133525

ISBN-13: 9780863133527

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As a colonel of cavalry, he had been employed mainly in scouting duty throughout the war. He was impressed now with the conviction that those globes, rising silently into the air, above the enemy's cannon shot and drifting away to safety would be the ideal scouts could they but return with their intelligence. Was there no way of guiding these ships in the air, as a ship in the ocean is guided? The young soldier was hardly home from the war when he began to study the problem. He studied it indeed so much to the exclusion of other military matters that in 1890 the General Staff abruptly dismissed him from his command.

In it, nearing completion, floated the first Zeppelin airship. In the long patient study which the Count had given to his problem he had reached the fixed conclusion that the basis of a practical dirigible balloon must be a rigid frame over which the envelope should be stretched. His experiments were made at the same time as those of SantosDumont, and he could not be ignorant of the measure of success which the younger (p. 063) man was attaining with the non-rigid balloon. But it was a fact that all the serious accidents which befell Santos-Dumont and most of the threatened accidents which he narrowly escaped were fundamentally caused by the lack of rigidity in his balloon.

Outside of Germany, where the public mind had become set in an almost idolatrous confidence in Zeppelin, the great airships were becoming a jest and a byword notwithstanding (p. 074) their unquestioned accomplishments. Indeed when the record was made up just before the declaration of war in 1914 it was found that of twenty-five Zeppelins thus far constructed only twelve were available. Thirteen had been destroyed by accident—two of them modern naval airships only completed in 1913. The record was not one to inspire confidence.

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Aircraft carriers by C J Norman

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