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232 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERIN G September, 1935 Ascents into the Stratosphere A n Examination of the Objects and Importance of the Experiment s made in Russia By G. Prokofiev * H E successful flight of the stratospheric So-called radio interference is also universally be practically impossible. Study of the strato balloon USSR-1-bis marks the beginning sphere has the same aims everywhere. These known, although its nature has not been of sjstematic flights into the strato are : adequately revealed. sphere with definite scientific aims. To determine the meteorological elements of the upper layers of the atmosphere—changes The.Engine Problem The Aim in View in temperature with the increase in altitude, The composition of the air in the upper The programme of this flight was based on air pressure at various altitudes, the speeds layers of the atmosphere now greatly interests th e decisions of the All-Union conference for and direction of the wind in the stratosphere. builders of aero-engines as this question th e study of the stratosphere, which outlined the Study of the electric conditions of the directly affects the design. A knowledge of steps to be taken in the final conquest of the stratosphere. the composition of the air at great altitudes upper layers of the atmosphere. Study of the conditions of the magnetic is required also by designers of reactive flying The stratosphere presents a problem the field at great altitudes and of its effect on machines. solution of which is possible only by persistent various instruments. work. During the past few years nine flights Th e Cosmic Rays Study of the conditions of aerial photographic of balloons and several flights of aeroplanes The method of orientation is of exceptional surveys from great altitudes. have been made (the most interesting of these importance (particularly for night flights and ...... ....................................... ............. being the flights of Donati and Post), but flights into the stratosphere). It is possible neither the flights of the balloons, the object of tha t this method can be used in the strato which is to collect material on the physical sphere also during da y flights. Many physicists i A number of balloon ascents have ■ properties of the upper layers of the atmosphere are already measuring the energy of cosmic and on the phenomena taking place there, rays and studying their nature. The American i been made into the Stratosphere j nor the flights of the aeroplanes, the object of physicist, Robert Millikan, believes that this ! from Russia and the United : which is to conquer the stratosphere, have work can produce results only through flights yielded any important material for the solution States . A prominent official in i into the stratosphere. of the problem as a whole. the U.S.S.R. aeronautical organ- i Pilot Balloons Inadequate Groun d Observations isation here explains the scientific • I n his opinion, the material on cosmic There are other methods, in addition to objects of these experiments. | rays collected by pilot balloons is un flights, for the studying of the stratosphere : reliable, owing to the brief stay of these from the ground, by means of cstronomy; The article conies appropriately in j balloons in the air. Pilot balloons have by sending sound and radio waves ; by obser relation to the article on Rocket i never remained in the air longer than vation of meteorites ; by optical observations, 3 | hours, while a stratostat is capable of a Propulsion , experiments in which : and so on. It has been established, for instance, sustained flight of twelve hours and more. A tha t at altitudes of from 25 to 90 kilometres have the same object in view, on i stratospheric balloon, can, moreover, take into there are so-called phosphorescent clouds th e air complex instruments of precision that another page : which move at from 75 to 308 metres per ballons sondes and radio balloons cannot carry. second. To this day, however, the causes of these speeds' and the composition of these ........ . ..............................—.........—..........j Results Obtained clouds have not been discovered. The flight of the stratostat USSR-1-bis Study of the composition of the air under Problems of Sound yielded new material on the physical properties different conditions. I t has been found that there is an uneven of the upper layers of the atmosphere and Working out methods of orientation in flights distribution of sound in the atmosphere; zones made it possible to check up the data of into the stratosphere. of silence which sound does not penetrate . The preceding flights. Investigation of cosmic rays Investigation of cosmic rays by various causes are unknown, yet, from a technical point was given special attention and their nature methods. of view, knowledge of this phenomenon is of was studied in stratosphere flights for the Of what importance to aviation is the study tremendous importance. A vigorous study of first time. The question of aerology was given of each of these questions ? the stratosphere is being made by military considerable space in the programme of the Familiarity with the meteorological elements specialists. Every year flying machines rise flight. of the stratosphere is a necessary part of aerial higher and higher. navigation. Our information on the distribu Temperature Measurements tion of the temperature in the upper layers of Th e Military Viewpoint th e air so far is not precise enough. Engineer Prilutski, with the aid of An aeroplane with a ceiling of from 4,000 m. special thermometers, made temperature t o 5,000 m. no longer satisfies anybody. Avia Electric Phenomena measurements throughout the flight at various tion tends upwards. The fact is dictated among We still have a poor idea of the nature of high altitudes and during their stay at the other things by the development of anti-air such electric phenomena in the atmosphere as ceiling. In the course of the flight an aerial craft artillery, which has attained a remark interfere with flights and of the methods of survey was made with the aid of a camera ably high percentage of accuracy. From the combating these phenomena. Instances of supplied with special infra-red filter. military point of view, therefore, high altitude aeroplanes being damaged and aeronautical Thus, the third flight of a Soviet stratostat— flying is essential. instruments destroyed by electric phenomena this time equipped with more modern apparatus The ultimate aim in the conquest of the arc well known. In some cases when aero —was a scientific flight with a definite purpose. upper layers of the atmosphere is the strato planes are struck by lightning the compass is I t will be followed by a series of other ascents spheric aeroplane. But the solution of this so crippled as to produce errors up to 100 deg. to the stratosphere. problem without first solving the problem of An investigation carried out by Dr. G. C. During .the two years which have passed th e stratosphere as a whole is impossible. Simpson, the Director of the British Meteoro since the first flight of a Soviet stratostat, logical Office, has shown that these errors are highly complex instruments and highly trained Regular Flights not caused by damage to the compass, but by aeronauts have been created. So long as the nature of the stratosphere and atmospheric electricity, which magnetizes the Even in descending the aeronauts did not its phenomena remain unknown, systematic metal parts of the aeroplane. Dr. Simpson forget to make a number of experiments to flights and the creation of flying machines will names eleven instances of engine trouble in define surface conditions, to verify the correct ness of previous observations. aeroplanes struck by lightning. • Commander of the Aeronautical Division, U.S.S.K.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 1935
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