Tuesday 3 September 2019

Wingless Flight Predicted

CAPE ARGUS – 1918, November 9
“The airplane is to be a deciding factor in this war. Men now fly 20 000 feet in the air, and what I want you to note,” said Prof. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, at a recent meeting, “is that theoretically the machine at that height should be more efficient by flying faster and more economically. Supposing your propeller has the same push at that height where the air is rare, you should get more speed.”
Dr. Bell then gave a scientific explanation of why the airplane should travel faster at a great height. A change of gear, as in a motor car, which would make the propeller travel faster, he pointed out, was the solution of this problem, and he predicted the day when the flying machine would attain such speed that the wings may be unnecessary. 
“Now, if we have machines flying without wings, how about flying without engines? All other things that fly, fly without engines. 
Consider the albatross, which, without the movement of its wings, can overtake a ship even when the bird is travelling against the wind. The flying of these birds is a problem open to science.”

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