|The Aeronautic Society of New York|
The Aeronautic Society of New York was the first aeronautical society in the world
to possess a machine that would fly. It was the first in the world to give a public demon-
stration of successful human flight, showing that man had at last devised an apparatus
enabling him to make a turn in the air as easily as a bird, as surely, and as safely.
It was the first club in the world to send a flying machine out into the country,
that the men, women, and children, in the villages and on the farms, might see what this
wonderful thing was like, and that interest might be created thereby.
It was not only ths first, but still the only aeronautical organization in the world
that has produced such activity among its members that nearly one-fourth of its entire
membership are patentees or actual builders of machines.
Many of the members have constructed their machines at private workplaces. But at
the wrokshops of the Society, at Morris Park, no fewer than 24 full-sized, heavier-than-air
machines have been built since the shops were opened twelve months ago. The workshops
have also turned out several gliders and many models. There has, likewise, been built there
the latgest successful airship yet made in the United States. Hardly a week has passed
since the early part of the year without some machine or another being tried out.
As every man was carrying out his own ideas, threshing out some new principle or
device, it was hardly to be expected that all the machines would fly. In many cases unfor-
tunate accidents caused delay just as success appeared to be within grasp. Some of the
machines, too, are not yet completed, or are held up by the delays of the manufacturers of
Withal, the success attained was at once remarkable and gratifying. One year earlier
it would have been incredible. Three macines built at Morris Park showed excellent
performances in the air from their very first trials, and before their constructors had
even themselves fully learned the art of navigating them.
One was so successful it carried not only one passenger in addition to the operator,
but even two passengers; and this machine was notable as being the first ever made to be
driven not by a special aeronautical motor, but by an ordinary stock automobile motor.
Another machine built at the Park although it did not fly, and its inventor, without
waiting to correct its defects, cast it aside for a better model, was awarded a prize of $500
for excellence of contstruction; and that was the first money prize ever won in America by
a flying machine.
Other machines of members, but not built at Morris Park, won success by getting
into the air, and have made their mark in various parts of the country.
Other members have devoted themselves to details. Some have, as the result, evolved
aerial propellers that are of superior design. Others have worked on engines. Others have
invented devices of great utility as building aids. Other have spread knowledge by building
and exhibiting models and by giving lectures.
By its contests for models the Society has led to the evolution of much appartaus and
many new ideas, some of which show the utmost promise, and will certainly be heard of
before the new year is through. Among them is an aeroplane of entirely new design
which has properties of stability and slowness of flight speed such as have hitherto been
By its example the Society has led to the formation of practical classes of instruction
in New York City, and the formation of several societies and clubs in different parts of the
country. No place was visited by the Society's machine but, if a club or society were
not already in existence there, one was formed as the immediate result of the visit of
the machine and the interest it aroused.
This is a summary of results of which any young society may justifiable be proud as a
statement of the outcome of its eneregies in its first eighteen months of existence. But it by
no means tells all. It says nothing of the difficulties overcome. It discloses nothing of the
romances, ay, end even tragedies, that, throughout, have been entwined with the work.