1902 Encyclopedia > Aeronautics > Aeronautical Society of Great Britain

(Part 42)

Aeronautical Society of Great Britain

In 1865 the Aeromautical Society of Great Britain was founded, the officers being-President, the Duke of Argyle Treasurer, Mr. J. Glaisher; and Secretary, Mr. Brearey. It has published an annual report every year since [1873], containing selections from the papers read to the society, and abstracts of the discussions that took place thereon at the meetings. The numerous papers submitted to this society bear witness to the great number of minds that are engaged on the solution of the problem of aerial navigation. Of course, not a few of the methods proposed are the fanciful projects of ignorant men, but some show the careful though and elaborate experiment of trained engineers and other qualified persons. In 1868 the society held an exhibition of flying machines, &c., at the Crystal Palace, which was visited by many persons. A fire-balloon of a M. de la Marne, which should have ascended during his exhibition, caught fire and was burnt. In 1871 a series of experiments was made at Penn's factory (Greenwich) on the resistance of different shaped planes placed at different angles, in a current of air produced by a rotary fan. Investigations of this kind not only form the first step towards obtaining data for a true knowledge of the exact nature of flying, but are also independently of high scientific interest. The chief object of the society is to bring together those persons who are interested in the subject of aeronautics (except balloonists by trade, who are ineligible), and to encourage those who, possessing suitabl acquirements, are devoting their time to the investigation of the question.

Aerostatic societies have also been founded in other countries; but although they have been inaugurated with considerable éclat, more than one have already terminated a short-lived career. The Vienna society seems, however, to have been unusually active during the recent exhibition of 1873.

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