My Air-ships

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G. Richards, 1904 - Airships - 328 pages

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Page 23 - In the long, sun-bathed Brazilian afternoons, when the hum of insects, punctuated by the far-off cry of some bird, lulled me, I would lie in the shade of the verandah and gaze into the fair sky of Brazil, where the birds fly so high and soar with such ease on their great outstretched wings, where the clouds mount so gaily in the pure light of day, and you have only to raise your eyes to fall in love with space and freedom. So, musing on the exploration of the vast aerial ocean, I, too, devised air-ships...
Page 21 - You were right not to pay the forfeit; it is M. Deutsch who has paid it in your stead. Bravo ! you well deserve the 100,000 franc prize. " They play the old game now more than ever at home, but the name has been changed and the rules modified — since October 19, 1901. They call it now 'Man flies !' and he who does not raise his finger at the word pays his forfeit.
Page 185 - Such accidents I have always taken philosophically," he said, "looking on them as a kind of insurance against more terrible ones. Were I to give a single word of caution to all dirigible balloonists, it would be, 'Keep close to earth!
Page 34 - ... circle of the horizon. Villages and woods, meadows and chateaux pass across the moving scene, out of which the whistling of locomotives throws sharp notes. These faint, piercing sounds, together with the yelping and barking of dogs, are the only noises that reach one through the depths of the upper air. The human voice cannot mount up into these boundless solitudes. Human beings look like ants along the white lines that are highways, and the rows of houses look like children's playthings. While...
Page 194 - Seine, and continued on at full speed over the heads of the Commission and the spectators gathered in the Aero Club's grounds. At that moment it was eleven minutes and thirty seconds past three o'clock, making the time exactly twenty-nine minutes and thirty-one seconds. The airship, carried by the impetus of its great speed, passed on as a racehorse passes the winning-post, as a sailing yacht passes the winning-line, as a road racing automobile continues flying past the judges who have snapped its...
Page 81 - I cried to them to grasp the end of my 100-meter guiderope, which had already touched the ground, and to run as fast as they could with it against the wind! They were bright young fellows, and they grasped the idea and the guide-rope at the same lucky instant. The effect of this help in extremis was immediate, and such as I had expected. By this...
Page 36 - The sun sets the clouds in ebullition, making them throw 35 up rainbow jets of frozen vapour like great sheaves of fireworks all around the table. Lovely white spangles of the most delicate ice formation scatter here and there by magic ; while flakes of snow form, moment by moment, out of nothingness, beneath our very eyes, and in our very drinking-glasses.
Page 58 - Then, for safety, we throw out more ballast and rise through the black solitudes of the clouds into a soul-lifting burst of splendid starlight. There, alone with the constellations, we await the dawn! And when the dawn comes, red and gold and purple in its glory, one is almost loath to seek the earth again, although the novelty of landing in who knows what part of Europe affords still another unique pleasure.
Page 57 - I formed a part of the storm. I felt myself in great danger, yet the danger was not tangible. With it there was a fierce kind of joy. What shall I say ? How shall I describe it ? Up there in the black solitude, amid the lightning flashes and the thunderclaps, I was a part of the storm.
Page 20 - I cannot say at what age I made my first kites; but I remember how my comrades used to tease me at our game of " Pigeon flies "! All the children gather round a table, and the leader calls out: '' Pigeon flies! Hen flies! Crow flies! Bee flies!

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