Military Aviation: Fascinating Preview of Aviation Concepts by an Early Visionary Before the Wright Brothers First Flight - Ideas from Birds, War Fighting Strategy, Naval Airplanes, Runways and Bases
Ader explains his ideas about the development of airplanes based on creatures in nature. He studied the bat and the bird, especially the vulture. Chapters detail the design of bases for aircraft, runway construction, naval airplanes, vertical artillery, air lanes, schools of aviation, and strategy for waging war in the air. Ader envisioned all of this a decade before the Wright brothers. More
This book — the first English translation of Clément Ader's L'Aviation militaire — contains Ader's ideas about flight formed in the last decade of the nineteenth century, arranged in manuscript form by Ader in 1907, and published in 1909 in Paris by Berger-Levrault. The text is reproduced in its entirety, including notes added by Ader and explanatory notes and a bibliographical note by the editor and translator, Lee Kennett. Ader explains his ideas about the development of airplanes based on creatures in nature. He studied the bat and the bird, especially the vulture. Chapters detail the design of bases for aircraft, runway construction, naval airplanes, vertical artillery, air lanes, schools of aviation, and strategy for waging war in the air. Ader envisioned all of this a decade before the Wright brothers first flew.
Contents * Bibliographical Note * Foreword * About Clement Ader, 1841-1925 * The Original Book * Introduction * Letters Cited in the Introduction * Note No. 1, Airplanes * Note No. 2, Bases * Note No. 3, Naval Airplanes * Note No. 4, Vertical Artillery * Note No. 5, Air Lanes * Note No. 6, Schools of Aviation and Airplane Design and Construction * Note No. 7, Air Strategy
When the names of pioneers of human flight are evoked, that of Clement Ader does not spring immediately to mind. The reasons are various: he was reticent, even secretive, about his work; what he wrote and what was written about him were rarely translated into English; then like his contemporary and fellow countryman Louis Mouillard, he believed nature held the key to human flight: a flying machine should take as its model a flying creature. If pursued too far, effort in this direction generally led to failure, and ultimately to ridicule for those who persisted in it. Even today it is hard to resist a smile when reading a description of Ader's "glider" of the 1870s, with its birdlike silhouette and its wings covered with thousands of goose feathers.
But Ader also followed another path, one where he was virtually alone in the last decade of the nineteenth century: even before the first warplane took to the air, he composed a remarkable treatise on military aircraft and their use, and on that broader concept we have come to call airpower. Like his aircraft designs, his L'Aviation militaire may provoke smiles from time to time, but it also stirs admiration for the remarkable gift of prescience its author often displayed.
The book appeared in successive editions, growing larger and more technical as its author incorporated various developments in aviation. But the first edition remains the most remarkable and the most evocative. That slim volume, offered here in English translation, contains ideas formed for the most part in the last decade of the nineteenth century, arranged in final form by the author in 1907, and published in 1909 by the Paris publisher Berger-Levrault. Since there is no biography of Ader in English, a brief outline of his life is offered here by way of introduction.