The Aeroplane, No. 14, Vol. 5, October 2nd 1913

3 he Aeroplane. 68 w /iv u i y j u / i e ,October 2,1913. booms. As an alternative it was suggested that he and his machine should be pressed into the "White” service. Actually the umpires allowed him to depart in peace next morning. There was also a suggestion that he ought to have burnt his machine before surrendering. Probably in future manoeuvres a pilot will, under similar circumstances, have to write on his planes, “This machine is officially burnt,” if it is not to be captured. The strength of the wind was also responsible for rather an anxious time on the Thursday, for one of the Naval pilots returning from the field of battle missed the Lilbourne camp and in a few minutes found himself over Leicester. Ashe was running short of petrol he came down at Lord Denbigh’s place, and was given petrol in standard tins, but when his engine refused to fire properly he discovered that the tins had been filled from barrels containing a different quality of spirit, so that he had to send some miles for the better quality and empty out the first lot, with the result that he was away for several hours. This matter of getting right petrol is really very' important, for inferior spirit may mean an engine gumming up while in the air and causing a serious accident Views on (he Machines. Naturally one of the chief reasons for my visit to the Manoeuvres Area was to find out how the different machines behaved and what was the opinion as to their respective merits. In this respect the views of both observers and pilots had to begot, and the following notes, though the)- do not represent unanimous opinions, are, at any rate, those of men who know what they are talking about. Purely for observation purposes the Henri Farman is the most popular, and I gather that despite its fragile-looking chassis, a capable pilot can land it anywhere, as it “pan­cakes” easily and gently-, but the observer is not too well protected from the weather, and the chassis is not by nature good for ridge-and-furrow landing. Opinions as to the engine position seem to be about equally divided many pilots feel happier if the engine is in front, but they all agree that an“ engine-behind” machine, properly balanced and easily con­trolled is always preferable to an“ engine-in-front” machine, which is not so well designed, consequently most pilots would rather fly a good “pusher” that a “tractor” which has a ten­dency to nose-dives. On the score of facility for observation and its many good flying qualities the Henri Farman is highly esteemed. *The Maurice Farman now seems to be known throughout the Flying Corps as “the mechanical cow,” on account of it> lumbering movements compared with the Henri and other machines. The pilots regard it with the affectionate tolerance one has for the fat horses of one’s aunt’s barouche. Per­sonally, if I could afford to fly I would always keep a Maurice Farman, just as I would keep a Rolls-Royce car if I could afford it, but for military purposes, except solely for training pilots and observers, it is aback number. 1 gather, how- Capt. Courtney, R.M .L.I., starling from Lilhourne Camp an“on S.3S” type Short (SO h.p. Gnome). T*o Hervleu intents the background. others just got across the starting field, and that was about all. Even the Sopwith, the Bleriot, the No. 3 Short and theB.E.s only got along by keeping low, and Mr. de Havilland, who took anew B.E. up to some 5,000 feet, found himself standing still. Nevertheless the work was done, welland done. On Wednesday evening the “White” air scouts found the "Bro w n ”cavalry going into bivouac, and on Thursday morning found the indirection which they were moving off, so that the “White” cavalry were able to hold them up very successfully, and a great deal of other useful scouting was in.got On Thursday, when the big attack by the “Brown” Army on the main “White” position was arranged before the King, there was but little scouting to do, but all the machines went out and made a brave show— for this country—something like thirty machines overflying the battle-field at the same Onetime. of the French military pilots told me afterwards that in the Southern French manoeuvres, of one Army Corps only, they had forty-eight aeroplanes and six dirigibles at work, so we have still along way togo, but we are undoubtedly coming 011. As to the pilots, it is impossible to speak too highly of them. In the last four years I have seen most of the best flying here and in France, but I have never seen anything better than at Lilbourne. There was nothing in the way of trick flying, of course, but the way the machines were handled in the air, the beautiful judgment shown in starting and landing, and the way they were brought into the tiny field at exactly the right height and speed, was a lesson in how the job ought to be done. 1 never saw a single bad landing, nor even a risk taken incoming in. If a pilot was a trifle too high, instead of diving into the field he would take another“ chukkar” round and try again. The wind being as it was the machines had to inland over a road across a smaller field, and drop over aline of trees and the sheds, consequently the flying speed had to be cut down over the trees, and yet a “pancake” had to be avoided. It was a fine test in judging pace, and the pilo'ts showed the result of their excellent train­ing at the Central Flying School, and at the depot at Farn- bOrough. A rather entertaining incident occurred 011 Wednesday night when we were expecting the return of one of the Naval pilots on the No. 3 Short. A machine hove insight, and after taking a turn or two, as if uncertain about the ground, came in and landed excellently but not inexactly the manner of the sailor. As it came in we saw it was a Henri Farman and not a Short, but as it had no stripes under the planes we could not account for it. When the pilot taxied back we found it was one of the“ Browr. ’scouts who had been to fetch a reserve machine from Farnborough and, driven by' the strong wind, had missed his camp at Towcester. As his machine had not the regulation stripes of the “Brown” Army, it was sug­gested that he should be hanged for a spy on his tail-own
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