Manuscripts/Mixed Material Article by Alexander Graham Bell, June 5, 1892
Copied from the Beinn Bhreagh Recorder for April 14, 1910.
THE FLYING-MACHINE OF THE FUTURE;
Aviation - 16
AS CONCEIVED IN 1892
By Alexander Graham Bell
(The following article was dictated by Mr. Bell at Hotel Bellevue, Boston, Mass., June 5, 1892, and was taken down by Mr. Arthur W. McCurdy. It has been found preserved in a little volume of Dictated Notes entitled “Half Hour Evening Talks on Various Subjects”. M. B. McC.)
June 5, 1892: — The day is coming when artificial flight will no longer be a theoretical conception of the thinker but an accomplished fact.
Now I imagine when we come to take a journey from Boston to New York through the air in the flying machine of the future we shall take our seats in a car, the machine will then rise vertically into the air to some considerable height and then shoot off horizontally in the direction of New York. When we arrive at our destination I imagine the machine will hover over the terminus and gradually sink down to a moderate distance from the earth, a rope will be then thrown down to people below, and the machine by means of this rope will then be pulled down into position upon the terminal station.
In order that there may be safe ascent and descent it seems to me necessary that the machine must have the power of hovering in the air at any desired height, and of ascending or descending slowly without horizontal velocity.
In order that there may be translation from place to place the machine must also be capable of horizontal motion in any desired direction.
Now, what are the essential features of such a machine?
The first essential is that it must be independent of ordinary currents of wind. No machine that is at the mercy of the wind can practically fulfil the purposes of a flying machine.