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Extra resources for A History of Sea-Air Aviation - Wings Over the Ocean
Consequently the initial work in Naval Aviation largely concentrated on developing the airplane as a naval scout. Increased intelligence from an airborne scout and more effective gunnery spotting would produce greater accuracy from naval guns. In the age of the dreadnoughts, the prevailing naval doctrine was that the guns of the capital ship were the decisive weapon of sea warfare. It followed that everything in the fleet must be subordinated to the most effective use of the big gun. Accordingly, doctrine dictated that the airplane should be used to locate the enemy fleet and to report on its size, composition and formation.
Brooks estimates that if helium had replaced hydrogen, lighter-than-air costs Per seat-mile would have been 50 to 100 percent greater than they were with hydrogen. ” Heavier-than-air achieved craft dominance in long-range and transoceanic commercial air transport only very gradually. The dirigible could, of course, compensate for having a slower speed than airplanes with its greater range and bigger payload. In the 1920s and ’30s individua1 airplanes were able make impress,ive transoceanic to flights.
C. Lowe convinced Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Navy, to assign the Navy coal barge George Washington Parke Custis to him in November 1861. Lowe fitted the barge out as a balloon carrier which could be towed or poled along the Potomac or its tributaries. The barge was 122 feet long and covered with a flat deck that provided a large, level area for filling the balloons with hydrogen and for launching them. Beneath the flat deck, the aeronauts stowed all their equipment. This barge saw considerable service in the Peninsular Campaign in 1862.