20 March 1921: New airplane has wings like a bird, Spanish dancer famous in Germany commits suicide in front of merrymakers

NEW PLANE HAS WINGS LIKE BIRD

Inventor Perfects Model After Exhaustive Study of Wild Goose and the Eagle.

U.S. EXPERTS APPROVE IT

Ninety-Six Miles an Hour With Eight Revolutions a Minute Claimed for New Machine — No Vacuum Requires and is Nonrigid.

Norfolk, Va. — An airplane with wings that flap like a bird has been patented by Thomas J. Bird, formerly of Johnson City, Tenn., now a resident of Hampton, Va. It can get up from the water as well as it can from land. It is different from the rigid winged airplane, which receives its impetus from a rapidly revolving propeller. In several tests the machine has proven that it can fly, and it is claimed by the inventor and government experts that it will probably prove a much better flyer than the present-day airplane.

Mr. Bird says his machine in the “take off” and flight through the air does not create or require a vacuum, as does the present-day airplane. Mr. Bird, who is a marine engineer, several years ago took a course in aviation at San Diego, Cal., and became a regular licensed aviator. His idea was to do away with the present propeller and construct a machine with moveable wings or planes that would flap like any winged creature of the air.

Studies Bird Flight.

To attain this end he made exhaustive studies of and observed the flights of wild fowls, especially the wild goose and the eagle. His observations of the sustained flight of the wild goose convinced him that fowl is one of the swiftest of all winged creatures.

He then built a machine that he flew successfully at Santa Monica, Cal.
The motive power necessary for the propulsion of the mechanism of this flying machine is a gasoline engine or engines. The most essential mechanism is, first, the universal joint bearing boxes, which connect the wings of the flying machine to the body, and wherewith the wings are caused to swing, flapping like those of a bird in the air; and second, the wing guiding disk that causes the wings to move downward and upward in an oblong circular movement similar to that of an oarsman rowing a boat. This eliminates all jerking motion in the wing.

It is the constant aim of mechanical engineers in the construction of gasoline engines in operation to hold down the speed revolutions to keep the heat produced by gas combustion and friction at a temperature that will prevent distortion of the engines. for the type of airplane now in use the propellers must revolve very rapidly, and consequently, the engines are speeded up very near the danger point, as where as speed of ninety-six miles an hour is maintained continuously for many hours, which speed is that of the wild goose with its wings and by muscular energy alone. In Mr. Bird’s flying machine, with wings likened to those of a wild goose, to attain this speed the wings will be propelled eight revolutions per minute, whereas the propeller airplane will require 1,400 per minute.

The wings or planes in this invention are formed from overlapping slats, and are so constructed as to automatically close on the downward and forward thrust of the wings and open as the wings rise or recover, thereby permitting the air or water, as the case may be, to pass through without retarding the movement of the wings.

The inventor claims that no difficulty will be experienced in developing an engine revolution of 160 to 200 per minute, and a speed of 175 to 200 miles per hour.

The aviation department of the United States government has signified its encouragement of the device by offering aid in the building of a machine this coming summer at its chief construction base at Cleveland, O.

Germany’s Most Daring Woman Commits Suicide in Crowded Cafe.

Meran, Italy. — In the suicide of the Spanish dancer, Malvina Vinian, Germany has lost its most daring woman gambler and Europe loses one of her most notorious and most artistic personalities, whose life was filled with tragic melodrama.

Madame Vivian’s last act was typical of her. Dissolving prussic acid in a glass of champagne, she toasted everyone in the gambling hall of the Casino in Meran, Italy. She drank the poisoned wine and then fell dead across a table, surrounded by merrymakers.

Malvina Vinian was a fisher girl whom a rich German bought for 1,000,000 pesos and took to Paris, where she was trained as a dancer. She later became the sensation of Berlin. Her rich German friends provided her with a palace, and she became the richest, most prosperous and one of the most successful artists in Germany. Gambling caused her downfall. Last spring she became involved in a burglary, having employed a professional thief in order to obtain jewels to pay off her gambling debts. Freed, but still suspected, she went to Meran, where she lost a fortune and all of her friends.

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Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

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