Aeronauts Conduct a Successful Test at Millers, Ind.
Four of the Party Take an Involuntary Ride in Space
Flying Apparatus Carries Heavy Weight for Some Distance
Monster Contrivance of Inventor Paul Is to Be Launched Today
Owner Expects to Navigate the Device With Ease and Precision
Airship Test a Success - Huge Machine Flies
Octave Chanute and his party of scientists who are experimenting with
machines intended to overcome the law of gravitation and to support their operators
in the air, conducted gratifying experiments yesterday at their camp a few miles
south of Miller's, Ind. on the lake shore. The flying machine, or, more scientifically,
the aeroplane, which has been invented by Mr. Chanute proved itself perfectly capable
not only of floating in the air, but also of carrying with it a weight several times
as great as it was designed to support. Although the machine has carried men before,
under favorable circumstances, a much greater distance then it passed over yesterday,
the experiment was one of the most satisfactory which has yet been accomplished.
The conditions under which it was made, were most unfavorable and yet
the machine surpassed the most sanguine expectations of its inventor.
For several days the scientists at Miller's have been waiting for strong
wind. It came yesterday, but was exactly opposite the direction to that which was
desired. It was consequently with a feeling of surprise that his assistants heard
Mr. Chanute order them to prepare his seven-winged machine for a test. Profiting
by experts, however, they obeyed his orders implicitly and within a few minutes
of long, the unwieldy appearing machine was hanging on a tree where the wind could
CARRIES HEAVY WEIGHT.
As the breeze was blowing from the wrong direction, Mr. Chanute
did not deem it advisable for any person to risk life or man(?) by becoming entangled
in its meshes and he consequently had provided a huge bag of sand, which acted as
ballast. Although the wind was strong, Mr. Chanute, determined to make the experiment,
ordered rapes with which the flyer was secured, to be loosed. All the ropes were
fastened by running slip knots, which were easily thrown off, but as soon as they
were free of their anchors a most remarkable thing happened.
Mr. Chanute, who was holding one corner of the airship by means of
a long rope, was lifted into the air and Dr. Ricketts, Mr. Herring and Mr. Paul
seemed quite likely to accompany him on a flight through the air. All four were
dragged from the ground and carried a slight distance as the machine rose as majestically
as a huge sea gull. The combined weight of the four scientists, however, soon brought
it again to the ground, when it was speedily passed under control by furling the
wings weighting down the framework and otherwise disabling it.
After they had been rescued from their unexpected and perilous positions
and after the machine which was the cause of the trouble had been safely continued,
they made merry over the ludicrous positions in which they had seen each other.
SHAPED LIKE A BIRD.
All were more than satisfied with the machine and it was with
light hearts that they carried the imitation albatross, which has been constructed
with careful reference to the anatomy of the South American bird, back to comp.
The party then sat down to dinner and concluded to wait until a favorable wind prevails
before trying to elaborate the machine of Mr. Paul. This will probably be given
its first trial today unless the breeze is decidedly unfavorable. All of the party
expect that Mr. Paul's machine will be the most successful of the three and the
greatest interest is attached to its initial trip.
The machine is provided with four corners, which will rest upon a chute
erected on a sand hill. The upper end of the chute is ninety feet from the ground,
while the lower end is seventy-seven feet from the lake level. The entire structure
is 450 feet from the lake and it is confidentially expected that the aeronaut who
rides in it, probably Mr. Paul Himself, will secure a good bath in Lake Michigan
before he comes to the end of his journey. Mr. Paul is confident of success and
his trial today will be witnessed by many who are neither scientists or newspaper
DESCRIPTION OF MACHINES.
Three Models Used.
The three machines which the party at Miller's is now experimenting
with are the result of many years of careful study. Mr. Chanute has been greatly
interested in the subject of air navigation for a considerable part of his life,
and his main work since quitting railroad engineering, to which most of his professional
attention has been given, has been a study of the problem as to whether a contrivance
can be made which shall be supported by wind currents, without any artificial motor
power. Mr. Chanute does not claim that his machine will be of any practical value,
per se, however, that as soon as a device shall be successful in resisting the law
of gravitation a great step toward successful air navigation will have been accomplished.
"Once let a machine be constructed," he says, "which will float in the air and the
adding of the necessary motive power will be an easy matter."
The first, and it may be added, one of the best of the machines which
Mr. Chanute has constructed, is modeled closely upon the famous Lilienthal machine,
by experimenting with which the well-known German aeronaut recently lost his life.
For the first week that the campers have been making their outdoor experiments,
the trials were confined to this machine. It is constructed on the same principle
as a bat, the wings being exact imitations of the propelling instruments used by
the proverbially blind animal. After several trials under more or less favorable
conditions, it was determined that the machine could never be so regulated as to
be safe and the second of the ideas was tried.
TRIAL IS A SUCCESS.
This, although quite elaborate in construction, is simple
in action and longer glides have been made with it than with any other air ship
which modern times have produced. It may be possible that the ship would prove practical
is a motor were attached to it, but Mr. Chanute is still unsatisfied.
No person inexperienced in aeronautics would take the second airship
for what it is. It is nearly, if not quite, six feet high, as many wide, and is
perhaps four feet from back to front. In all it is provided with seven pairs of
wings. Five of these pair are ranged above the other in perpendicular tiers at the
front of the machine. The frame work upon which they are stretched is made of spruce
and bamboo, is two and one-half feet long and a little more than fifteen inches
Behind the wings is an elaborately contrived frame work in which the
person operating the machine is supposed to stand erect. Still farther back and
a little lower than the center of the machine are the two sets of wings which act
as rudders, and which may be used by cords attached to arms or legs. The entire
structure weighs less than sixty pounds.
While operating this airship, as indeed is the case with all of Mr.
Chanute's inventions, the operator is expected to stand. This machine is so balanced
that any considerable inclination toward the rear or front will pitch the person
inside of it headlong to the front. It is this fault which Mr. Chanute is now developing
his scientific resources to overcome. While no serious accidents has occurred in
his experiments he is fearful that a sudden puff of wind or abatement of the breeze
may cause a serious mishap, and for that reason he has been most careful about the
experiments which he has so far made. Although he is too modest and cautious to
say as much , it is evident that he regards this machine as the most perfect which
he has invented since that of the Perugian Dante, and that he hopes in a short time
to perfect it so that it will be practical to use with a motor.
INVENTOR PAUL'S DEVICE.
The third and by far the most elaborate machine of them all
is not the invention of Mr. Chanute, but was devised by a young civil engineer who
has been acting as an assistant to the older aeronaut. Like the other members of
the party, he is a Chicagoan, and although a much younger man than his companions,
has been experimenting with aerial navigation almost as long. He is William Paul
and is regarded as an expert engineer by those who have had occasion to notice his
work. Mr. Paul has some reason to be confident of success as his model has soared
successfully with ballast for several minutes.
In appearance his machine resembles the common idea of an airship much
more closely than do either of Mr. Chanute's inventions. The machine looks like
a huge canvas boat with an immense rudder and a flat roof. The framework, as in
other airships, is spruce, although bamboo will probably be used in case the ship
justifies the opinion formed from the actions of the model. Bamboo is much stronger
as well as considerably lighter than the other wood and a framework made of it would
require much smaller sails.
Mr. Paul's ship consists of a boat 8 to 10 feet long, 31/2 feet wide
and 4 feet deep. Two immense wings are attached to it by a framework six feet high
and a rudder, which consists of a single sail, four feet long and half as wide,
completes the fixture. The sails, as in the case of Mr. Chanute's machine are immovable,
the rudder being the only part of the contrivance the position of which is not fixed.
Like the other machines, the airship constructed by Mr. Paul is provided
with no motor and will be managed, at least until wind and atmospheric pressure
shall prove sufficient to support the framework and canvas, simply by natural air
currents. If these prove sufficient for the purpose, almost any kind of a motor
may be used, and by slightly enlarging the machine two, three or perhaps even four
people may be carried. The ship, at present constructed for one man, weighs 180
pounds, nearly three times as much as any similar machine ever invented.
CAMP OF THE AERONAUTS.
TALK WITH INVENTOR.
(ed.: 2 paragraphs missing.)
The town consists of a railroad station, twenty-two
houses, a little school building, a general store and two saloons. There is not
a sidewalk in the plAce and the two streets of the village are completely buried
People in Miller have a vague idea
that somebody, somewhere, is preparing a flying machine. Who, they do not know,
where, they do not care, what sort of a machine, they do not know. They have agreed
that the campers are crazy and give them no thought.
HEADS FOR THE LAKE.
(ed.: 2 paragraphs missing.)
The six tents are pitched in a valley
protected on their side by immense sand piles 100 or more feet in height. Two of
the machines, that of Paul's and the seven-winged affair of Chanute's, are exposed
to view, while the third is anchored under a canvass tent.
As the visitor approaches, he is met by an erect
and white haired gentlemen dressed in a suit of blue, with his handsome white locks
covered with a yachting cap of the same shade. His eyes scan his visitor in a doubtful
manner and he says nothing until the intruder breaks the ice.
"Professor Chanute, I presume?" says the visitor.
DISCLAIMS THE TITLE.
"My name is Chanute," replies the man of science, "But I am not a professor.
I am simply a student."
several paragraphs missing.
Besides Mr. Chanute, the scientific party consists of two young civil
engineers, F. O. Paul and H. T. Herring, and of Dr. Howard T. Ricketts of the Chicago
Medical College, who will act as a surgeon to the party. All of them are scientifically
educated, and none is a wild-eyed and one sided crank, such as are usually associated
in the minds of most people with flying machines.
HISTORY OF AERIAL NAVIGATION.