Skip to comments.Confederate Flying Machine Will Rise Again at Auction
Posted on 09/14/2011 11:54:56 PM PDT by Colonel Kangaroo
While Rebel and Union soldiers still fought it out with bayonets and cannons, a Confederate designer had the foresight to imagine flying machines attacking Northern armies. He couldn't implement his vision during the war, and the plans disappeared into history, until resurfacing at a rare book dealer's shop 150 years later. Now those rediscovered designs have found their way to the auction block, providing a glimpse at how Victorian-era technology could have beat the Wright Brothers to the punch. The papers of R. Finley Hunt, a dentist with a passion for flight, describe scenarios where flying machines bombed Federal troops across Civil War battlefields. Hunt's papers are set to go up for sale at the Space and Aviation Artifacts auction during the week of Sept. 15-22...
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
Somebody should try building one of these machines to see how they fly.
A little late there Finley...
“”What if planes had appeared above the wilderness when [Union general Ulysses S.] Grant began his campaign in the Shenandoah Valley?”
He would have bombed those damn yankee bluecoats back to the stone age?
Holy crap ! This guy was brilliant. That would've taken out the entire Yankee military in a matter of minutes.
The hot-air balloon existed at that time but was not used. I know the Confederates attempted to use submarines. Kind of gives a new twist to “the South shall rise again” doesn’t it?
It was used, tethered, to observe for artillery and to keep track of troop movements.
I know the Confederates attempted to use submarines.
Not only attempted, but sank the first enemy vessel sunk in battle with one. That the Hunley sank on the way home only kept them from doing it again.
Kind of gives a new twist to the South shall rise again doesnt it?
That would’ve taken out the entire Yankee military in a matter of minutes.
True, but it would have meant the extermination of the
whales. It was a tough call but someone had to make it.
Grapeshot and elevated cannons?
Mythbusters should see if they can get one of these to fly...
I heartily agree. Some of Leonardo's machines have been built although, to my knowledge, not a flying machine. This Confederate flying machine might look like the time machine in the movie by the same name.
Balloons were used and aerial imagery was recorded.
They doubled as barrage baloons as well. In fact, they were so effective that no strafing aircraft were used for the next 45 years. ;-)
The US maintained air superiority in Vietnam, but still lost thanks to the media and politicians.
I have a friend that was there during tet. Thanks for your service.
My grandfather was in the 7th ID during WWI and my dad was in the Navy during the Korean War.
One of my favorite books is “The Mysterious Island” by Jules Verne. It all started with a bunch of prisoners of war escaping in a balloon during the seige of Richmond. A storm blows them all the way to the pacific.
If there is a Red X above go to http://www.fisaviation.com/images/pa/bbp10.jpg
With the industrial superiority of the North over the South the introduction of flying machines would have turned out much the same as the introduction of ironclads during the war. The South had the first, but it didn’t do them any good, and they were overwhelmed in short order.
Myth busters are a bunch o knuckleheads. They take someone’s good idea, apply their lousy engineering skills,fail,and claim it is busted
I mean... not used as a mobile airborne platform for attacking troops.
I think the Union used balloons, during the Peninsula campaign.
Hot air balloons were used for reconnaissance, little more, and weren’t very effective because they were at the mercy of the winds. This discovery (even if it had been within the capabilities of the CSA, or some part of it likely) sounds like literal pie in the sky, a lost-causer dream. The response to the Merrimac was the Monitor, and the response to these things would have been the first anti-aircraft guns. :’)
The Hunley killed far more confederates than it did yankees.
Yep, it did.
It sank repeatedly, killing 13 crewmembers total in two events before it was raised yet again and sortied to sink the Housatonic. One of those killed in those early mishaps was the inventor.
On the sortie which sank the Housatonic, only 5 yankees were killed, but the crew of eight in the Hunley was lost when the sub sank, as well as the submarine.
Considering, though this was the first time a submarine had sunk an opposting naval vessel in warfare, that was an accomplishment. Any fledgling technology will have its mishaps.
I always thought it was a grave tactical error not to pursue sinking the blockading ships in spite of the presence of the Monitor, putting that mission first and foremost, forcing the Monitor to come to those ships' defence.
The Virginia had enough guns to engage both a blockading ship and the Monitor at the same time.
It looks like some sort of radial engine, with a lighter boiler, would it have been powerful enough to get the plane off the ground? Or would it have been employed in a lighter-than-air craft?