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With the French Flying Corps

Nature volume 100, pages 303304 (20 December 1917) | Download Citation



THIS short volume contains the experiences of an American volunteer who joined the French Flying Service, and gives a brief account of the various steps of his training. The book can in no sense be called a scientific work; indeed, the use of technical terms is very loose, as, for instance, the definitions of angle of attack and angle of incidence given on p. 30. Statements such as that on p. 26 to the effect that “when two aeroplanes are too near each other the suction of their propellers pulls them together, and they become uncontrollable,”—would certainly not command scientific justification. This technical inaccuracy does not detract from the interest of the book as a record of the actual experiences of an aviator during” training and in flying over the enemy's lines. The greater part of the volume consists of such experiences and forms interesting reading. It is well that thoge who labour in the aeronautical world at home should have some idea of the actual fighting conditions at the Front, and the volume before us gives a very good account of the impressions of a pilot engaged in this thrilling phase of modern warfare. A detailed knowledge of the principles of flight is by no means necessary to enable a man to become an expert pilot, any more than a detailed knowledge of engineering is necessary to enable a man to ride a bicycle or drive a car.

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