Grotesque in the extreme is the latest flying machine on exhibition at the Arts and Crafts exhibition in the Palais du Cinquartenaire, Brussels. In appearance it resembles a huge wasp. There have been many fantastic and weird models of flying machines in the past, but the “orthoptere,” as this one is called, easily takes first place in the ranks of the freaks.
his invention is the joint work of three members of the Aero club of Belgium. They are Baron de la Hault, Captain Marga and M. Jansen. They have spent much money and some years in perfecting their extraordinary ideas. A model of the huge wasp has been successfully flown, but the big machine itself has not yet had a public trial.
This wasp is of sixty horsepower. It depends on its wings to raise it from the surface of the earth. These wings or planes are made of oiled silk. In addition there are gigantic aluminum propellers, which revolve at the terrific speed of 30,000 revolutions a min-ute. The sixty horsepower is supplied by a Buchet motor.
There are two skins to the body—an outer one covered with a heavy, cloth resembling dark brown velveteen, and an inner one of aluminum. There is an air chamber between the two skins. The aeronauts take their places inside the body, which is lighted, hy four windows, two on each side, and an “eye” in front of the head. In the extremity of the tail are three large balls filled with air.