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By H.F. King

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It appears that it used to be a custom in Rye on some particular day of the year to burn a boat. Usually, we understand, the boat was selected quite indiscriminately from its moorings, taken into the town and converted into a bonfire. On one occasion the townspeople took it into their heads to honour the Rev. C. M. Ramus with their attentions. ' A hardly less remarkable aspect of the Ramus story, and one of which the writer I have quoted seems to have been unaware, is that this man steadfastly advocated the construction of awesome weapons which he called rocketrams.

In place of a pump a fan may be employed'; and he also used the phrase ' ... the frictional contact of the water with the wings and the resulting resistance to forward motion are done away with'. Early in 1906 semi-confidential demonstrations were given of a model boat, broad-beamed and flat-bottomed for most of her length. It was implied in one report that the craft was 'suspended' pneumatically and that a sizeable craft designed along the lines ofthe model was nearing completion at 'a certain ThSlmes-side yard'.

One passage ran: 'We have received a copy of the paper by W. R. Turnbull. I think the 79 paper quite interesting, though his different measurements do not agree very closely with ours. On page 301, he speaks of an increase [in] lift when the sustaining surface is brought in close proximity to an under plane. ' Yet twenty years later ground effect was to aid the Wright's compatriot Lindberg in making his solo Atlantic crossing. Although there is no air-cushion vehicle in nature, a tangible cushioning effect is produced over water by natural means - yet another echo of our airand-water theme.

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Aeromarine Origins by H.F. King

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