Communications, 1910s; Means, James; General Aviation, Advertising and Sky Writing. [photograph]

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Collection Item Summary:

Close-up view from below of a smoke signaling device invented by James Means installed on the upper wing of a Burgess-Wright aircraft for testing at the US Army Aviation School, College Park, Maryland, October 9, 1911. The device, seen here attached to the wing with C-clamps, consisted of a tank (a) containing powdered lampblack connected by a tube to a tank containing compressed air (out of frame); pulling a string attached to a lever (D) operated a valve (C) which release compressed air causing the device to emit a puff of black smoke. In flight, an operator could release a sky writing sequence of short and long puffs to represent the dots and dashes of Morse code. An airscoop (b) provided a down-blast assist to the lampblack powder gravity feed.

Collection Item Long Description:

Topic

Aeronautics

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Restrictions & Rights

Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm

photographer

G. V. Buck

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Date

10/9/1911

Repository Loc.

National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division, MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560

Type

Photographs

Local number

NASM-9A13866