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A modern Balloon

A modern Balloon.jpg Bomb-releasing mechanismThumbnailsA Flying BoatBomb-releasing mechanismThumbnailsA Flying BoatBomb-releasing mechanismThumbnailsA Flying Boat

Coal-gas superseded hot air in the filling of balloons, the latter being unsatisfactory, seeing that it cooled rapidly and allowed the balloon to descend; the only alternative being to do what some of the first aeronauts did, and burn a fire below the neck of their balloon even when in the air. But the dangers of this were great, seeing that the whole envelope might easily become ignited. With balloons filled with coal-gas long flights were possible, but they had always this disadvantage—the voyagers were at the mercy of the wind, and could not fly in any direction they might choose. If the wind blew from the north then they were driven south, the balloon being a bubble in the air, wafted by every gust. Aeronauts became disgusted with this inability to guide the flight of a balloon, and many quaint controls were tested; such, for example, as the use of a large pair of oars with which the balloonist, sitting in the car of his craft, rowed vigorously in the air.

The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Aeroplane, by Claude Grahame-White and Harry Harper
Published 1914
Flight, Transport