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graph instruments, yet in his reconnaissance of August 13th,
* Scientific American, August 24, 1912. * American Year Book, 1912.
the Michelins of France offered $30,000 to the French Aero Club, to be distributed as prizes among competitors in the dropping of projectiles. The contest, which closed in Aug. ust, 1912, was won by Lieutenant Scott, an American, with a newly invented device for dropping explosives. The accuracy with which the bombs, each weighing 15 pounds, were dropped, is interesting. From a height of 656 feet, 12 out of 15 were placed in a circle approximately 60 feet in dia. meter, and from a height of 2,624 feet, 8 out of 15 were dropped within a rectangle 131 x 394 feet. Of course, these low altitudes in times of war would be extremely hazardous. German regulations place the safety zone above 2,800 feet, and French regulations above 3,000 feet.
Guns will, no doubt, be used by military aircraft to some extent, especially for their own protection. 'ine latest Zeppelins, it is reported, carry a gun above the ballonnets to ward off flying men. The first aeroplane gun, invented by Colonel Isaac N. Lewis, of the United States Coast Artillery, appears in a test made by Lieutenant Milling and Captain Chandler, of the Army Aviation School, at College Park, Maryland, to have demonstrated not only the practi. cability of firing guns from aeroplanes, but that remarkable accuracy can be attained even though the machine is travel. ling at high speed. The gun has a rate of firing of from 300 to 700 shots a minute. While aerodynamical laboratories for studying scientifically those problems of the air necessary for solution before aviation can reach its fullest development have been in operation for a number of years in France, Russia, Germany, and England, so far measures for the eitablishment of one directly by our own government have failed. However, through the Smithsonian Institution, the Langley aerodynamical laboratory has been reopened to work in co-operation with the various departments of the government.
At the Army Aviation School, at College Park, Maryland, which was established in June, 1911, the government has been training its future aviators, as well as conducting numerous experiments, such as dropping of explosives, testing of the Lewis aeroplane gun, and taking of photographs ... from aeroplanes.
With the use of aircraft new legal questions have arisen. The old Roman maxim, Cuju's est solum, ejus est usque d' coelum, will, no doubt, need new modifications. It is as: parent at once that the same freedom cannot be accorded in navigating the air over a nation as in sailing the intervening seas. The traverse of the air above a nation closely resembles in legal aspect the navigation of the marginal seas; and since the freedom of the seas ceases at the 3-mile limit, the point where such freedom might begin to impair the rights of a state, in analogy it would seem that free commerce of the air should be permitted only so far as consistent with the security and privacy of the adjacent state and its citizens. As regards military aviation, it is desirable that the Third Hague Conference in 1915 shall formulate some universal rules, or international complications, already threatened, are likely to arise. The only regulation so far bearing directly upon aerial warfare which can be accepted as a positive rule of international law" is that adopted at The Hague in 1907, providing that “the attack or bombardment, by any means whatever, of towns, villages, habitations, or buildings which are not defended, is forbidden.” However, a “Declaration ” signed by twenty-seven states, including the United States, but excluding four of the great maritime powers, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan, agrees “to prohibit for a period extending to the close of the Third Peace Conference, the discharge of projectiles and explosives from balloons or by other new methods of a similar nature.” One point concerning which it appears some international regulations should be adopted is the treatment to be accorded captured balloonists and others engaged in aerial warfare. Should they be treated as spies or as prisoners of war? Bismarck in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 threatened to treat balloonists crossing the German lines as spies." And in 1904 Admiral Alexieff threatened to shoot as spies correspondents on board neutral vessels “who may communicate news to the enemy by means of improved apparatus not yet provided for by existing conventions,” in case any should be arrested within the zone of operations of the Russian fleet. The last declaration was evoked by the presence of a London Times war correspondent on board a Chinese despatch boat equipped for wireless telegraphy. There seems no good reason, however, why those regularly engaged in aerial warfare should be treated differently than those participating in land or naval warfare.
Of course the future of aerial warfare is yet only in Conjecture. It is possible that the usefulness of aircraft for altack will be inappreciable, and that, with the development of aircraft destroyers, the results obtainable by them for Scouting purposes will be disappointing. On the other hand, it may be that the “aerial navies” of the future will dominate military methods more than any influence since that great. est martial achievement of the centuries, the invention of gunpowder. Probably the principal use of aircraft will be military. For its use in war the armies and navies of the world must adjust themselves—it may be by changes the most radical, or by those only slight. Certainly, indications point to a new era in military annals in which aerial warfare will play an important part.
PASSING OF AIR SHIP OVER PROPERTY AS TRESPASS.
[ED. NOTE.-The following interesting opinion was delivered recently by the appellate division of the moot Court at Rochester, New York. The acting Judges were Messrs. William F. Strang, Paul Folger, and Homer E. A. Dick. Mr. Leo. J. Rice appeared for the plaintiff-respondent and Mr. Alexander G. Davis for the defendant-appellant. The August, 1911, “Law of the Air" number of CASE AND COMMENT, and the cases referred to therein, were copiously cited on the argument.]
This is an appeal by the defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, entered in Monroe county clerk's office on August 20th, 1912, in favour of the plaintiff, entered upon a verdict directed by the Court at a trial held on that day. The verdict directed was for nominal damages in favour of the plaintiff, and defendant excepted to this disposition of the case and asked to go to the jury upon the question of whether or not the defendant had committed a trespass.
It appeared undisputed at the trial that the defendant is the owner of a piece of property situate on Park avenue, in the city of Rochester, New York, having 50 feet frontage on Park avenue and extending back of the same width 100 feet. On the front part of this property is located a twentyroom house, and on the rear part of the lot is a garage. The defendant was the owner of an air ship or aeroplane, and at the time in question was engaged in carrying the mail from the city of Rochester, New York, to the village of Canandaigua, New York, and to traverse this distance in a direct line, it was necessary for the defendant to pass over the plaintiff's property, and he did so, the air ship being at the time at a height of 100 feet above the ground. The plaintiff claims that the defendant operated his air ship negligently, bringing it to a point within 100 feet of the ground, while defendant claims that his airship was driven to that level by currents of air. It is not claimed, however, that the horizontal position of the air ship was affected in any way by the air currents. On account of the manner in which this case was disposed of at the trial, the defendant is entitled to the benefit of all the facts introduced in his favour, and all the facts warranted by the evidence must be assumed as settled in his favour. Bank of Monongahela Valley v. Weston, 159 N. Y. 201, 54 N. E. 40, 45 L. R. A. 547.