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By D. N. Mavris, D. A. DeLaurentis

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He foresaw a time 'which will ultimately end in great battles in the air, in which hundreds, and possibly thousands, of men may be engaged at heights varying from 1 0,000 to 20,000 feet: As early as September 1 9 1 4, Henderson sent a telegram to the British authorities: There are no aeroplanes with the Royal Flying Corps really suitable for carrying machine-guns; grenades and bombs are therefore at present most suitable. If suitable aeroplanes are available, machine­ guns are better undoubtedly.

Fleet reconnaissance foundered on a lack of suitable aircraft and ships. Other priorities also intervened. The first, and most obvious one, was to patrol the seas in an attempt to deter the U-boats while the second was the defence of Great Britain against air attack. Despite these demands, the Navy plugged away at the problem, and in October 1 914, the Admiralty bought the Cunard transatlantic liner Campania to fit out as a seaplane carrier. At 20,000 tons, with a full speed better than 20 knots, she offered pace and space and, altered by Cammell Laird, she entered service in April 1915.

He became widely known for his 'maxims': some were general, others dealt specif­ ically with flying. 'Waiting about on an aerodrome; Burke opined, 'has spoilt more pilots than everything else put together: With a mixture of aircraft, the squadron established its reputation with a series of headline-catching llights. They flew about 1,000 miles a week. Their BE2 aircraft came from a design created by the Royal Aircraft Factory. Lieutenant Dunne's philosophy lived on for the BE2, soon to be universally known as the 'QUirk', was stable and generally well tempered.

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A probabilistic approach for examining aircraft concept feasibility and viability by D. N. Mavris, D. A. DeLaurentis


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