THE NEW FLYING
Mastery of the Aeroplane
The French airman Adolphe Pégoud duly repeated
yesterday afternoon the astonishing feats in the shape of flying upside
down which he has been performing in France during the last three weeks.
With sublime confidence and consummate mastery of his machine, he described
not only an S in the air, but a spiral vol plané [ie
glide], hanging head downwards, and a complete and almost vertical
circle. So great an artist is the airman, that these extraordinary performances,
which he himself describes as "quite easy" gave the impression - a false
one, of course - of being altogether free from danger.
The weather in the afternoon was perfect for flying.
A very considerable crowd was present, and no doubt to-day and to-morrow
it will be greater still. The height, however, at which Pégoud's
feats are performed is such that the innumerable bicyclists who encamped
on the neighbouring roads probably had as good a view as the motorists
who lined the track in the enclosure.
At 4 o' clock precisely Pégoud started
amid cheers. He was wearing a white sweater, and his demeanour was, as
usual, entirely reserved and calm. He began by climbing in a great circle
from north to west, and then, turning east, made a succession of sharp
rolls to an angle of about 80 degrees either way, as one who endeavours
to capsize a canoe.
The wind aloft was evidently strong, for the machine
made but slow progress against it and drifted considerably when flying
across it. After climbing further, until he was at a height of about 3,000
ft., Pégoud suddenly descended in a steep spiral, continuing the
dive until his machine was travelling on its back. For 22 seconds he proceeded
in this fashion, dropping slightly all the while, and then quickly completed
the S by another dive which brought him right side up again. At 4.25 he
landed, as calm as ever, and was driven past the spectators amid scenes
of great enthusiasm.
"LOOPING THE LOOP"
At 4.45 Pégoud was off again, this time
to "loop the loop". He now climbed to about 4,500 ft., and at 5.5, amid
a great silence, dived until he was again inverted, and in this attitude
performed a spiral vol plané, concluding with an S as before.
On this occasion he must have been hanging downwards for nearly three quarters
of a minute. Resuming his flight, he climbed again for a few moments. Then
the machine dived, carried on, stood up on its tail, carried on upside
down, and dived again, completing a full circle. A quick descent bought
Pégoud's performance to a close. Another scene of enthusiasm followed,
while his compatriots kissed him.
Apparently Pégoud turns off his
petrol when he leaves the normal attitude, and trusts to his momentum and
the force of gravity to maintain his flying speed. His control over his
machine is marvellous and the spectator quickly comes to share his confidence
that nothing untoward will happen.
27th Sept. 1913
Adolphe Pégoud, the French airman, gave
a second demonstration of flying upside down at Brooklands yesterday afternoon.
His feats were even more remarkable than those of the previous day. Most
daring and astonishing of all was the "double loop", in which he made his
Blériot monoplane describe two complete vertical circles
in the air.
The weather was again favourable, though the wind
in the upper air was rather stronger than on Thursday. The enclosure near
the sheds was thronged with spectators, the racing track was lined with
motor-cars and the hill on the Weybridge side of the enclosure was black
Pégoud made his first flight shortly
before 4 o' clock. Verrier followed him on a Henry Farman machine with
the intention of photographing him inverted. Starting from the enclosure,
Pégoud rose in a wide circle to an altitude of about 3,000 ft. and
then flew across the ground to the Weybridge side. Diving headlong a thousand
feet or more, Pégoud made his machine resume a horizontal position,
he himself being below and the wheels above. In this position he travelled
for about 45 seconds, in the course of which he made a half spiral turn.
Then, with another dive, which brought him well within 1,000 ft. of the
ground, he again brought the machine right side up. The half spiral turn
while flying head down was a new element in this part of the demonstration.
Continuing his flight, Pégoud climbed again to an even greater height.
When over the centre of the ground, his machine dived a short distance,
rose abruptly until it was standing on its tail, and turned over backwards.
Then describing a complete vertical circle, it resumed its normal position.
Almost immediately, the evolution was repeated: Pégoud had twice
"looped the loop" in a few hundred yards. When he came to earth in
front of the enclosure the crowd broke through the barriers and greeted
him with extraordinary enthusiasm.
Later in the afternoon Pégoud gave
a second exhibition. This time he flew upside down on the enclosure side,
and the duration of his flight head down was timed at 47 sec. He afterwards
combined a "loop" with a "bank" and spiral movement, and before coming
to earth he made an almost vertical spiral descent.
At a reception held afterwards, Pégoud
explained that all he had done could be done by other pilots. His was not
trick flying. He had only carried out the instructions of M. Blériot,
who had carefully though out the evolutions which he had performed.
Mr Hamel is anxious to experiment
in flying upside down, and if he can persuade M. Blériot to lend
him Pégoud's machine he may attempt the achievement privately this
evening or to-morrow. In any case, he will make an experiment soon and
he has placed with M. Blériot an order to convert one of his machines
to a pattern similar to that flown by Pégoud.*