« PreviousContinue »
points its nose upward, and Knabenshue tips his hat to the wildly yelling crowd as the ship lightly clears the Stadium wall and continues its flight onward and upward. Higher and higher it sails— easily, majestically. All the Fair grounds are in a wild turmoil of hurrying, applauding people. They rush from the main buildings and the Pike and the State buildings, out into the plazas and avenues. They run to follow the flight of the ship, which wheels and turns in air as gracefully as a sea gull. Knabenshue waves his hat at the throngs below; and they in response send up to greet him a mighty din of cheers, such as the World's Fair has never heard before. Still higher and higher he soars, the people's cheers becoming fainter and fainter, until at length he is beyond the hearing of them, and he sails in the quiet and peaceful ethereal regions between earth and sky which it has been the happiness of few men to invade. Two thousand feet above earth he soars. The people below look to him like moping insects, while his ship to them resembles a huge bird without wings. The report has reached the city, and people rush to their porches and into the streets, and climb to the roofs of their homes and to the top of the sky-scrapers to see.
Knabenshue sails first to the northeast
THOMAS S. BALDWIN, OF SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
Designer and Constructor of the "Arrow."
restless and anxious to begin its upward flight. In the meantime, Baldwin, as his own navigator, had attempted to sail the machine and had failed. Knabenshue now seats himself on the narrow wooden seat. He tests the engine and tries the steering apparatus.
"Let her go!" he shouts. Baldwin orders the guy ropes cut. Like a racehorse when the line is lowered, the airship plunges forward. It rises above the heads of the crowd, its prow toward the west. Knabenshue turns the rudder; and the craft, answering to its helm, turns toward the south. It is going fast, and is flying too low to clear the fence which it is rapidly nearing. The people hold their breath. "It will be dashed to pieces !" they exclaim. Knabenshue again adjusts the propeller. The balloon now
Capt. PERCY HUDSON. In Charge of Aeronautics at Louisiana Purchase
and then to the south-
KNABENSHUE ON THE "ARROW" JUST AFTER IT the downward shift. It sails toward the grounds without diminishing its speed. It is now but 200 feet above the crowd, The daring little aëronaut had now and the aëronaut again comes into the turned his partial failure of a week atmosphere vibrating with the cheers of previous into an unqualified success. The the multitude. Knabenshue slows the engine this time worked without misArrow's speed, and sends the craft direct- hap. From its first lunge into the air, ly over the wooden trestles that had sup- the ship behaved splendidly; and it was ported it before its flight. He misses the only for an instant, at the time of turntrestles, and the airship settles gracefullying into the wind, that she showed any to the ground within 100 feet from where appearance of hesitation in response to it had started. The crowds press around, the coaxing of her rudder. and lifting Knabenshue to their should The newspapers that were apathetic as ers, carry him about in triumph. to Baldwin's claims before the flight of
Knabenshue's trip covered 372 miles, the Arrow, now rang with praises of his not including short circles, in twenty- and Knabenshue's achievement. eight minutes; and for nearly half the second successful flight of the airtime the machine had advanced steadily ship was made the next day. Knabenagainst the eight-mile breeze, at a height shue maneuvered the Arrow at will of 2,000 feet.
above the western part of the Exposition
WAS CUT Loose.
ing flights in all directions, the navigator performed a series of short manæuvers, shooting in one direction for a short distance, turning quickly, and then shooting off in the opposite direction; traversing a letter S course, dipping, and descending several hundred feet; tilting the prow, and ascending again to the original altitude. He completed the series by turning the airship in so short a space that it seemed as if the vessel swung round on a pivot.
Since this success, the Baldwin ship and others have figured in many sensational escapades at the World's Fair, with all of which the newspaper reading public is familiar. While Captain Baldwin has experienced
considerable i 11 luck, SEVEN-HORSE-Power GASOLINE ENGINE USED IN Baldwin AIRSHIP. The engine is of a type originally designed for an automobile, and is supplied with gasoline from the tank shown near top of picture. There are two speed
motor, nothing has hapreductions by means of chain and sprocket wheels, as shown.
pened to disprove his grounds, and descended in the Stadium, claims that his airship is perfectly adjoining the aërial concourse, amid dirigible. This question was settled for cheering thousands, after a flight of thir- all time by Knabenshue in his varied ty-six minutes. He ascended 1,600 feet, evolutions in the air, both with and and after directing the course of the against the wind. aërial vessel in graceful evolutions, de- Once it was reported that the Arrow scended on the exact spot he had chosen was lost in the sky, and there was general
Lightly as a bird, the airship rose regret at the Exposition and throughout above the heads of the cheering specta the country; but the Arrow was found tors and proceeded due north. After the next day in a cornfield sixteen miles reaching an altitude of 300 feet, Knaben- northwest of the World's Fair grounds. shue swept his rudder to veer the Arrow The motor of the ship had failed because to the south. Almost before the rudder of the blowing out of a small metal cap had completed the turn, the Arrow be- while the craft was high in the air. The gan to respond, and slowly swung around crowds could see the silver-colored blades in a circle until its prow pointed to the hanging motionless, while the airship was southwest against the wind. Then Knab- again grasped by the breeze and hurried enshue tilted the prow upward, and as back over the distance it had won in its cended further. He threw out some sand duel with the wind. Two accidents of and stood toward the rear of the frame- this kind happened on that day. After work, tilting the prow at a greater angle. the first, the airship landed safely about Like an arrow the machine sped toward a mile and a-half northeast of the conthe sky until an altitude of 1,600 feet had course; and after the second, it came to been reached. After several long, sweep the ground four miles to the westward.
As it was impossible to repair the motor that a whole fleet of balloons were used. there, an attempt was made to lead the In such an event, no fortress could withballoon back to the concourse by ropes, stand the attack, no army could avoid while it remained suspended about half being totally demoralized, and any city full of gas. In attempting to pass the could be reduced to ruins in a few hours. prow of the craft over a trolley wire, the So impressed was The Hague tribunal men accidentally loosened their hold sim- with the possibilities which Baldwin now ultaneously of the two ropes by which has demonstrated to be probabilities, that it was being hauled, and the ship bounded that body, prior to its adjournment in off into the atmosphere and was gone. July, 1899, entered into an agreement reIt was soon lost to sight in the darkness; stricting for a period of five years the and no attempt was made to recover it employment of balloons in warfare. The until the next morning, when it was lack of precision was then the only obfound and was brought back in a farm 'jection urged against the feasibility of wagon. The drag ropes had caught in the dynamite balloon in warfare, it being a tree during the fight of the airship, feared that their use might expose nonbut the craft had broken loose by wrench- combatants to indiscriminate danger. ing off a limb. This limb proved to be Even at that time, however, it was freely a drag, and probably caused the craft to predicted that this objection would soon bump along the ground until it landed be obviated. The period of inhibition has in a ravine without sufficient buoyancy expired at practically the same time that to rise above the ridge on either side. Baldwin has demonstrated the dirigible
Later tests of the Arrow have further balloon to be a success. It should neverdemonstrated its merits. It is these first theless be borne in mind that improvetriumphs, however, that are especially de- ments in the art of war are always folserving of mention, because of the won- lowed by counter-improvements which derful interest they have aroused prevent them from being decisive. It is throughout the country, and of the great the old story of the walled city for protecsurprise they have afforded as a result tion against the javelin and the dart, the of the earlier repeated failures. They fortress against the battleship, the steel are, however, but an earnest of greater armor-plate against the projectile, and things to come. With American inventive genius exerting itself in this direction, there is reason to hope that a practicable solution of the vexed problem of aërial navigation will soon be reached.
Baldwin's achievement has demonstrated the use to which dirigible balloons might be put in warfare. With the aid of a swinging tube which could be kept perpendicular by force of gravity, an aëronaut could drop explosives with absolute accuracy, on any spot desired. Suppose, then, that the balloon could float several torpedoes — which seems practicable —or
A Narrow SHAVE-CLEARING FENCE SURROUNDING ENCLOSURE.
the torpedo net and the submarine wireless telephone against the submarine torpedo-boat. It is therefore reasonable to expect that if something is not invented to puncture airships threatening an army or city, then opposing airships will be built and there will be a war of airship against airship, and battles will be fought in the clouds.
Knabenshue, after his second great victory, said:
that they were feelings of pure gladness to be away up, scudding like the arrow that the ship is. When the aëronaut reaches the height where the cheers of the crowd beneath are unheard, and all below and around him are the vastness and silence, he feels as he never has felt or could feel on land or sea. There is a realization of the immensity of the universe, and of the littleness of man and his possessions. The pompous person of millions, and the proud leader of men, who walk the earth in their greatness amid the gazes of envy and admiration, look as small as any others from that height at which all men appear like moping ants and their abodes like ant-hills. The feeling that possesses you is one of pure pleasure and contentment. You realize why the birds are happy, and comprehend the appropriateness of picturing angels with wings. I guess, without meaning to pun, that it is a feeling of exaltation, and that is about as near as it can be described to one who has never made the trip.'
"It is great sport-sailing an airship. It is the finest of all sports; and once aboard the aërial craft, riding through the air high above the earth, with the vessel answering perfectly every move of the operator, you feel as if you never want to come down.
"It is difficult to describe the sensations of a person when he is thousands of feet in the air riding such a little racer as the Arrow. The only way I can describe mine is to say