Hudson Maxim was a chemist and inventor. In this article, he predicts the use of airplanes as fighters in the “next great war,” writing, “there will be new and strange guns and strange missiles in that conflict.” Sure enough, in just a few years World War I would begin, and airplanes would be used for combat — perhaps most famously by a German fighter pilot named Manfred von Ricthofen, better known as the Red Baron.
But Maxim makes other predictions about air travel, writing enthusiastically about the opportunity for inventions that the airplanes will inspire:
Could we come back in 2010, to banquet some famous Curtiss* of that time, we should think little of a flight to the function to do him honor from Chicago, from the Thousand Islands, from the Summer estate on Mount Katahdin in Maine; and the wide stretches of country rushing under as, as we came, would be a strange commingling of villas, city, and farm; while the chains of carefully prepared alighting areas, stretching in all directions, would give the landscape something of the aspect of an enormous fox-and-goose board…
We shall not have to wait a hundred years for the stanch, wind-defying machine with automatic equilibriation. Very soon, automobiling of the sky will be as safe as automobiling upon the earth is now.
*I believe Curtiss here refers to aviator Glenn Curtiss.
HUDSON MAXIM ON A COMING WAR OF AEROPLANES: The Famous Inventor of High Explosives Predicts a Revolution in Warfare Due to the Use of the Craft of the Air as Fighters (PDF)
From June 12, 1910
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