A coastal sea-plane, as now planned, is a craft having, say, two engines, each devolving 120 h.p., with a wing span of some 80 feet, and an accommodation in its hull for three men—the pilot, a combatant with a machine-gun, and an observer with an installation of wireless. But types are changing constantly, and the tendency is to build larger craft. A machine weighing a couple of tons is shown, and a novelty in regard to it is that it has wheels upon either side of its boat-shaped car, upon which it can move on land, and which fold upward when it rests upon the water.
A. Hull upon which the machine floats when in the sea
B.B.B. Wheels upon which it may move when on land, and which fold upward when it is on the water
C. Pilot’s controlling wheel
D.D. Main sustaining planes
E. Four-bladed propeller driven by chain-gearing from engine within the hull.
A. Lower part of aeroplane’s hull
B. Revolving barrel to which bombs are clipped
D. Releasing mechanism operated by marksman in machine.
Airships, like aeroplanes, are being armed with guns and bombs; and their power of raising weights enables them to carry heavy weapons. Large and highly destructive bombs have been tested in the German airships, being released over the sea and aimed at targets in the form of rafts. Latest-type airships also carry guns in their cars; and the Zeppelins have a platform upon the tops of their hulls, reached by a ladder through the middle of the ship, from which a machine-gun can be fired upward. This is a very necessary precaution, and is intended to frustrate the attack of an aeroplane. It would be the aim of the latter, whenever possible, to manœuvre above its big enemy—as suggested in figure —and drop a bomb upon its hull. Hence the construction of the top platform of the airship, from which her gunners can direct a vigorous fire aloft.
Hand Grenade No. 5, known as Mills’ Hand Grenade. Mills’ Hand Grenade No. 5 weighs about one and one-half pounds and is in constant and steady use at the front, being the best known of all grenades. It consists of an oval cast iron case, containing explosives and serrated to provide numerous missiles on detonation. In the center is a spring striking pin, kept back by a lever or handle, which, in its turn, is held in position by a safety pin.
There are three kinds of bombs: (1) percussion; (2) ignition;, and (3) mechanical. It is not possible to describe every bomb in use under these three headings, but the most typical are selected for description, although it does not follow that they are all in use at the present time, but will give a fairly good idea of what is required.
1. Hand Grenade No. 1.
2. Hand Grenade No. 2, formerly known as Mexican Hand Grenade.
3. Rifle grenade No. 3, formerly known as Hale’s Rifle Grenade.
Hand Grenade No. 1 consists of a brass case screwed on to a block of wood, to which is fixed a small cane handle about half way up the case. Outside it is a cast iron ring serrated into 16 parts. The upper end is covered by a moveable cap with a striker pin in the center. On the cap are the words “Remove,” “Travel,” and “Fire” in duplicate. These are marked in red and can be made to correspond with red pointers painted on case. To prepare a bomb, turn cap so that pointer is at “Remove,” take off cap, insert detonator in hole and turn it to the left until the spring on the flange is released and goes into position under the pin; replace cap and turn to “Travel,” which is a safety position. When the bomb is to be thrown, turn cap to “Fire” and then remove safety pin. This bomb explodes on impact, and to insure its falling on the head, streamers are attached. Care should be taken that streamers do not get entangled. The bomb must be thrown well into the air.
Hand Grenade No. 7—Grenade heavy friction pattern.
Hand Grenades Nos. 6 and 7 consist of metal cases filled with T.N.T and a composite explosive and are exactly alike, except that No. 7 contains shrapnel bullets or scrap iron, while No. 6 contains only explosive. At the top of each case is a place to fix the friction igniter, which is supplied separately. When these bombs are to be used, detonator fuse and igniter are put in and firmly fixed. Before throwing the becket on, head of igniter should be pulled smartly off.
Ball Hand Grenade.
The Ball Hand Grenade consists of a cast iron sphere, 3 inches in diameter, filled with ammonal and closed by a screwed steel plug which has attached to it a covered tube to take detonator in the center of grenade. It is also lighted by a Brock lighter.