A Transatlantic Flying Yacht
In the early twentieth century, an avant-garde designer built a huge airplane to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. A short article, titled “An Aero Yacht,” in the December 13, 1913 edition of Scientific American provides us with these interesting details:
“An enormous flying machine has recently been completed at Dutch Island, near Savannah, Georgia, by Capt. Matthew A. Batson, United States Army, retired. The construction of the machine occupied seven months, and it cost $50,000. It weighs 5,000 pounds, and the inventor of it claims an additional lifting capacity of two tons.
“The machine is equipped with twelve large wing planes, one pair having a spread of 39½ feet, and four pair with a spread of 37½ feet, while a sixth pair has a spread of 30 feet. The wings are peculiarly designed with the purpose of guiding the air currents inwardly toward the body of the machine and there banking them under the base portion of the wings, which are concaved underneath and carried back along the chassis, so that the currents of air are conducted along the parts nearest the chassis. Any wing, or set of four wings or all twelve may have their angle of incidence changed at the will of the pilot by the turn of a wheel while the machine is in full flight.
“The machine is equipped with three Emerson aeroplane engines, of six cylinder type, installed in the floor of the pilot house. Combined, these engines will supply 250 horse-power, driving the propellers at 1,000 revolutions per minute. Any one of the engines may be thrown out of or into action by the operation of a clutch.
“The cabin of the machine is 27 feet long, and is constructed of cypress paneling 3/8 of an inch thick, over which is a covering of canvas.
“The lifeboat is made of three ply cypress and ash with inter-layers of canvas. The length of the machine is 74 feet and the boat 33 feet.
“It is by far the most elaborate hydro-aeroplane ever attempted. The inventor expects to fly across the Atlantic in this machine. We have yet to learn what it will do in flight.”
This page was last modified on Tuesday, January 19, 2016