Wednesday, February 25, 2015

extract from working notes of H. Prometheus (with original illustrations)

Project Icarus
Design no. 5.5 (chest harness, batwing model, steel and copper frame and clockworth, sailcloth wings)
Notes: attempt 205
9 May 2015

Having corrected design flaws from previous attempt, endeavoured once again mechanically to achieve and maintain airborne state long enough to navigate across back field (see notes, 141, for dimensions).

Am pleased to result success in first particular--5th successful liftoff since having embarked on Proj. I. Estimated height ranging from 1 to 2.5m from gr., duration appr 1.5 minutes. I was unable to maintain control of the apparatus--either in re. ascent or navigation--due to recurrence of those painful sensations which have plagued the course of the Project since model 1.0 (simple shoulder based model--see diagram, prev.). Additional padding added to 5.4 obviously insufficient to counter my perception of extreme compression, abrasion, and cutting expd during flight. (N. physical validity of sensations confirmed by scrapes and bruising upon later examination). Puzzled again by the appearance of feathers, inexplicable, edged this time in the most ludicrous shades of green and gold, but again bent, broken, and smeared with blood. (N. revisit previous notes to compare.)

Attribute failure to a fault in the left, that is sinister, of the frame. revisit schematics to discover imbalance. hypothesize weight of structure too great to support flight. begin to suspect a new material must be found. perhaps a frame made of hollow reeds? or bones of birds, for the purpose. sufficient to bear the weight? If it were not outrageous to the sensibilities of most -- & therefore practically unobtainable -- would try instead the bones of men -- the ears and digits of which might yield pieces peculiarly suited to the constr of clockwork--
(Ed. This last heavily struck through in the original)

How to correct the as yet inescapable inclination earthwards--to escape the tyranny of gravity?

i do not understand why there should be--from where--again--these damaged pens--

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