AERONAUTICS: Jersey Icarus

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Whether or not Farmer W. Parker Perry of Somerset, N. J. ever read of Icarus * is not a matter of record. But it is recorded that seven years ago Farmer Perry, then 26, fashioned himself a pair of wings of wood & cotton, climbed to the top of his barn, jumped. Not badly hurt, he tried another "flight," was not badly hurt. Picking himself up the second time, Farmer Perry announced with evident satisfaction: "I didn't hit as hard as if I hadn't had the wings." But he turned to less violent experiments. From hangar to hangar at Roosevelt Field, L. I. last week trudged Farmer Perry, a spare, spectacled figure in grey cap and overcoat, with a bulky bundle under his arm. He was looking for someone to try his latest invention—"a resistance eliminator, or anti-drag fan." Inventor Perry showed it: a 12-in. steel disc equipped with four scoop-like blades to be affixed to the spinner (hub) of an airplane propeller. "It makes a partial vacuum in front of the propeller," he explained. "It bores through the air. I got the idea five years ago from a posthole borer on my farm." Most pilots snickered, but good-natured Pilot Frank Steinman attached the device to the prop of his OX-Waco. went aloft. Few minutes later he landed, told skeptics that his plane had flown 10 m.p.h. faster than normally; that his engine had to turn only 1,260 r.p.m. instead of 1,320 to maintain altitude. On the advice of friendly airmen Inventor Perry planned to reduce the weight (30 Ib.) of his anti-drag fan, ask the Army Air Corps to conduct experiments with it.

* Icarus, according to Greek myth, flew with a pair of wax-affixed wings made by his father, Daedalus. He ignored his father's warning to stay clear of the sun, crashed when the heat melted his wing-wax.