14,000 Miles Through the Air

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Macmillan, 1922 - Aeronautics - 136 pages
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Page 19 - ... expressed — and expressed to an infinitely fine degree. A flying-machine is something entirely apart from and above all other contrivances of man's ingenuity. The aeroplane is the nearest thing to animate life that man has created. In the air a machine ceases indeed to be a mere piece of mechanism : it becomes animate and is capable not only of primary guidance and control, but actually of expressing a pilot's temperament. The lungs of the machine, its engines, are again the crux of man's wisdom....
Page 126 - ... over us as we paid a silent tribute to those in far-off England for their sterling and honest craftsmanship. The successful issue of the venture in a great degree was due to them, and surely they merited and deserved a large proportion of the praise. Through every possible climatic rigor the Vimy had passed, and practically without any attention. Not once, from the time we took our departure from Hounslow, had she ever been under shelter. And now, as I looked over her, aglow with pride, the Vimy...
Page 17 - IN EARNEST We climbed slowly upward through the cheerless, mist-laden skies, our engines well throttled back and running perfectly. So as to make sure that all was in thorough working order, we circled for ten minutes above Hounslow, then set off. At 2,000 feet we suddenly emerged from the fog belt into brilliant sunshine, but the world below was lost to sight, screened by the dense pall of mist. Accordingly, we set a compass course for Folkestone, and just before reaching the outskirts a rift in...
Page 1 - Major - General Salmond was very proud of this achievement, for it demonstrated that the new arm of the service, the Royal Air Force, had begun to concentrate its efforts on peaceful developments and the establishment of longdistance commercial air routes. This was the longest flight that had ever been made up to this time, and it convinced me that a machine, properly attended and equipped, was capable of flying anywhere, provided suitable landing grounds existed.
Page 18 - It seemed hard to realize that we had at last started otit on the long flight for which we had been planning and working so long, and as I glanced over the machine and the instruments, I wondered what the issue of it all might be — if the fates would be so kind as to smile on us ever so little and allow us to reach the goal of our ambitions. Australia, in thirty days. The machine was flying stately and steady as a rock. All the bracing wires were tuned to a nicety : the dope on the huge planes...
Page 133 - If we had some ham, we would have some ham and eggs if we had some eggs." If anything happened to me right now, I don't know just how much any one would be able to realize out of my so-called estate; but of course with a writer there is always the chance that the continued sale of his books or manuscripts or other royalties may amount to something after his death. At any...
Page 123 - I opened up the engines and just managed to scrape out of the 'drome. Scrape is exactly the word, for the branch-tops of the gumtree rasped along the bottom of the machine as we rose. It was indeed one of the closest shaves of the trip. In front of us rose a chain of high hills, and, as the atmosphere was hot and we climbed very slowly, we made a detour to avoid them. Still flying low, we approached the coast and pulled ourselves together for the final lap — the jump across the sheet of blue Indian...
Page 109 - Hemisphere was welcomed by improved weather, but the landscape below — dense jungle inland, fringed along the seashore by belts of mangrove swamps and the blue tropical sea — often kindled in my mind thoughts of utter helplessness in case of engine trouble. There developed in me a strange admiration — almost reverence — for the super-mechanism that hummed away rhythmically, that had now covered 10,000 miles without an overhaul, and at the opposite side of the globe was still singing a hymn...
Page 106 - EARLY" DANCE We now had, roughly, 2,500 miles to complete, and in all that distance I knew of only five places at which a landing could be made ; the rest of the country was either mountain, jungle, or swamp ; so it behooved us to look well to our machine, for a single engine trouble and a forced landing away from any of these aerodromes would have ended all.
Page 124 - An hour later both of us saw ahead and to port what appeared to be haze, but which we hoped was land, though neither dared express his hopes. They were justified, however, ten minutes later, and hailing Bennett and Shiers, we pointed joyfully to Bathurst Island lighthouse. It was just 2.6 pm when, as our diary prosaically notes, we "observed Australia.

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