Saturday, May 3, 2008

Professor Pickering's experimental hélikoptère supporting rabbit in basket -- May 3, 2008

From Navigating the Air: A Scientific Statement of the Progress of Aëronautical Science Up To the Present Time, Aero Club of America, 1907:
"In 1903, in order to test the applicability of fans to flying-machine construction, two fans were mounted side by side on a light steel framework, power being transmitted to them through long steel rods, furnished at both ends with universal joints. The power was generated by two small electric motors and transmitted to the rods by balanced pulleys. On starting the fans, the machine rose rapidly in the air through a height of 3 feet, which was as far as the cord holding it to the floor would permit it to go. A basket of steel wire was next attached to the middle of the frame, and this was also carried up, the machine and basket together weighing 3 Ibs. A small white rabbit, weighing 1 Ib., was next placed in the basket and sent aloft. In this position he was photographed... The fans are revolving so rapidly that they are not well shown. The total lift of the machine with this power was found to be 4.5 Ibs. It is believed that this is the first time that a living animal was ever carried up and maintained in the air by a purely mechanical flying machine."

I keep forgetting to mention that all the furniture stores along Ninth Street are going out of business.

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