Phallic symbol envy

Review of Reviews for Australasia, May 1913, 248

Source: Review of Reviews for Australasia, May 1913, 248 (link; presumably originally from a British publication).

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17 thoughts on “Phallic symbol envy

  1. Lester

    Oh, it’s just amusing :-) but given the embarrassment it causes me now, had I been there at the time it would have been very effective propaganda on me.

    Of course, with hindsight, our not having wasted huge amounts of resources on not-terribly-useful lighter-than-air craft was probably a good thing when it came to developing an effective air force just a few years later.

    Without that hindsight I might have been writing to my MP immediately!

    Jacob: Nulli Secundus – second to none at being overdue, over budget, under specified, under powered and, finally and catastrophically, under built. Nice to know nothing changes in good old Blighty! (Or am I confusing it with a later ‘ship?)

  2. One consequence of course is that we have never ever seen these behemoths of the air fight each other. Can you imagine a Trafalgar of the skies?

    I suppose I am imagining a world in which the aeroplane turned out not to be practical.

    If I don’t go to work, the Mekon will torment me yet again….

  3. Jakob

    Chris: A fair point, and even geekier than mine – I salute you sir!

    Lester: I don’t know about the underpowered I’m afraid – didn’t Nulli use the engine that Cody wanted for his aeroplane? I should really know this, as my next project is looking at the origins of the RAE…

  4. Post author

    I think it’s Delta, actually, based on (i) the arrangement of the fins at the back (ii) the stated capacity of the envelope (Delta’s was 175000 cubic feet, Eta was only 100000, Gamma about the same, Beta II 50,000) and (iii) Eta didn’t come into service until July 1913; Nulli Secundus was scrapped in 1908. But that last point makes me realise that the artist has understated Britain’s aerial might — Gamma and Beta II were both still in service at that time (and both lasted into WWI), so why weren’t they included? Presumably because the artist wanted to understate Britain’s aerial might. Not that it was much anyway — the total gasbag capacity would only have been about 325000 cubic feet.

    Some pictures of Delta here: http://www.earlyaviator.com/archive/airships01/1912.Delta.British.Army.airship.jpg

  5. Chris Williams

    Dang. I wasn’t sure either, but I could think of no really bad puns with ‘Delta’, which swung it. Now I’ve looked it up [Mowthorpe 'Battlebags'] I’m sure it’s Delta. Eta’s first flight was August 1913.
    By 1913 the _Morning Post_ Lebaudy (yet another example of pre-1914 public subscription airpower) had already been wrecked. On the other hand, the first Astra-Torres had been purchased and arrived in June 1913. Number 4, the Parseval airship, had been brought from Germany also in 1912 and ‘delivered in 1913′. More had been ordered, which Parsevals dutifully worked on until, come August 1914, they were finished and duly impressed into the German service. Meanwhile, Vickers were getting a license from Parseval, which they put into action.

    So – although this kind of ‘small cock’ photo might have made sense in 1911, by 1913, the UK was moving ahead on a number of fronts (A-T, Parsevals, and the home-grown airships), and there were a lot more waiting in the wings. A classic bit of ‘airship gap’ scaremongering, then.

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