Prof. Langley's 12-foot aerodrome was tested on August 8, with results
considered decidedly encouraging by its inventor. The model flew a distance of
600 yards and then sank in 22 feet of water. When it was finally recovered,
all that was left was a tangled wreck of twisted wires. The time consumed in
flight was not more than 45 seconds. The course described was a
semi-circle. According to accounts which have been published, the motor
of the machine and the rudders failed to work properly. The altitude of the
machine at the time of the fall was not greater than 50 feet. From the meager
reports which are thus far available, it seems that the airship was driven by
an 8 horse power hydrocarbon engine connected up with two twobladed propellers
1ocated one on each side of the machine at about its middle point. One
four-bladed wind vane rudder was mounted behind the engine; then came the
rudder proper. On each side the airship was supported by a pair of white silk
wings, 4 1/2 feet long by 2 feet in width. The propellers were located on the
side between the wings and turned toward each other. The wings, rudders,
engine and other running gear were fastened to a central cylindrical tube of'
aluminium 18 inches in length and about 4 inches in diameter and tapering at
both ends. It is said that the test of the small model will be followed at an
early date by a trial by the 60-foot aerodrome which is owned by the
government, and which cost $70,000.
Originally appeared in Scientific American, 89, August 22, 1903, p. 131.