Isaac Ludlow, who has four flying machines in the yard adjoining the carpenter shop of A. S. Littlejohn, 300 West End Avenue, means to make an attempt this afternoon at 4 o'clock to navigate the air. He says he will start one of the machines from the foot of West Seventy-ninth Street and the North River.
But Ludlow will not go up in the machine himself. He is not yet sure of his apparatus, and will send up a bag of sand with it before he tries a flight in it himself. There is no balloon attachment, the apparatus relying on its wings for bouyancy.
Mr. Ludlow has a larger machine of similar design. This is to be propelled by twin shafts of steel to which are attached twin screws of bamboo and canvas. It is steered by a bamboo and canvas rudder. Mr Ludlow has been making many changes in his fliers that have been suggested through watching the flight of a flock of carrier pigeons in a barn near his workshop.
Mr. Ludlow has spent many hours watching these birds, gaining many suggestions as to the best way of navigating the air. The bird of particular interest to him is a jet black one, which is raising her young in the tall belfry of the First Baptist Church, a block away. The efforts of the mother bird to teach her young to fly and her races with sparrows which annoy her little ones have been the means of teaching the inventor some of the secrets of aerial navigation.
An assistant, who has helped in the work on the flying machines, said that the alteration made after watching the flight of the birds was chiefly in the angle of the wings. The birds were watched with closest attention, the exact angle of their wings when soaring being observed and imitated in the machine. Another important change was made in the rudder, tilting it down a little as the pigeon does his tail feathers.
Two of the pigeons are tumblers, and now and then make dizzy dives, righting themselves in midair. This performance is of the greatest interest to Ludlow. In the event of trouble it might save his neck or lessen the force of his fall.
The other day one of the boys in the neighborhood broke the wing of one of the pigeons flying quite a distance from the ground. The way it managed to alight without injury gave food for serious reflection on the part of Mr. Ludlow, but he is not so anxious to learn how to fall as how to fly, and if the small machine sails with the bag of sand, he may try the larger one himself.
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Reprinted from The New York Times July 24, 1905. Article rescued from oblivion by Tyler Simpson. Manual conversion by GB. Ludlow's first name, Israel, was mis-spelled in this article.