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A true American pioneer was William M. Meacham, who, on July 29,1897, at Chicago, Illinois, towed a boat, fitted with blades, until the hull rose clear. In 1906 Meacham published particulars of 'a proposed motor boat fitted with automatically adjusted submerged hydroplanes', together with a photograph ofa boat on tow (note that both he and Forlanini used towing, as had Phillips) and being lifted clear of the water by 'submerged hydroplanes at bow and stern'. S. Patent in September 1896. A similar proposal had been advanced, however, by another American citizen, S.

The state of air lubrication in respect of displacement craft was summarized thus during 1911: 'The latest development is that a provisional installation is to be fitted to the Belgian Government's cross-channel mail steamer, La Flandre, which has been placed at the disposal of the inventor - a certain M. Gustave Quannone - by the Belgian Admiralty. The inventor has been working on the scheme for over eight years and has had two full-size installations at work already - one aboard a powerful tug and another on the Belgian Hydrographic Survey steamer, La Belgique.

Sir John Thornycroft, who not only was a friend of Pilcher but at one time contemplated aircraft construction himself, had this to say in 1909 concerning 'skimmers' and the passage of air beneath them: 'Skimmers are near relations to flying machines... ' 'It is often supposed,' he added, 'that air passes under skimmers, but this is only likely to take place when the water surface is broken. It is well known that a jet of water impinging on a surface, even at an acute angle, does not all pass under in the direction ofthe jet.

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Aeromarine Origins by H.F. King


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