National Geographic : 1940 Dec
Aviation in Commerce and Defense 719 Official Photograph, U. S. Army Air Corps This Death-dealing Pursuit Plane Might be Called a "Flying Cannon" Muzzle of the 37-millimeter (1~-inch) cannon carried by the Bell "Airacobra" can be seen projecting from the nose, through the propeller hub. Four machine guns, synchronized to fire between the propeller blades, also are mounted in the nose. The Allison engine is behind the pilot, and geared to the propeller by a drive shaft extending forward. This plane has a speed of approximately 400 miles per hour. Photograph courtesy Dr. Orville Wright When Airplane Flying Was Born-the Wrights' First Flight, Only 37 Years Ago This historic photograph shows the pioneer flight of a man-carrying, power-driven, heavier-than-air machine at Kill Devil Hill, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, December 17, 1903. Orville Wright, lying prone to reduce wind resistance, is at the controls, and his brother, Wilbur, is running alongside. The plane was launched from a monorail (left) and was powered by a 12-horsepower engine driving two pusher propellers. The flight, made in a 24-mile-per-hour wind, lasted twelve seconds and covered about 120 feet.