Flying machines will become possible



Vladimir Odoevsky : Philosopher, writer
The case of flying machines is self-evident. If, in our times, steam engines have been derived from teapots which were accidentally covered by a weight and become ubiquitous, then who can doubt that even before the end of the 19th century flying machines ought to be in general use and they will change society a thousand times more than steamers and railway engines. <...> Now, pay attention and be shocked! I’ve been in a Russian flying machine! When I saw these aircraft, I must confess, I forgot about grandfather Orly’s exhortations and my own safety – and all of our preconceptions about these things. <...>
<...> Russia it’s altogether different. If you could only see how the Russians smiled at my nerves, and my anxious questions. They didn’t understand me at all! They are so confident of the capabilities of science and their own hearty spirits, that they can fly in the air with the same nonchalance that we take a train. Actually the Russians have a right to laugh at us (added. Chyneese). Each galvanic flying machine is managed by a professor, and a complex array of delicate instruments display changes in the various layers of the atmosphere and give warnings about the direction of the wind. Very few of the Russians suffer from air sickness. They have such strong constitutions that even in the upper layers of the atmosphere, they hardly feel any ill effects in the chest or lack of pressure in the blood – perhaps they have just become accustomed to it.


"The Year 4338: Petersburg Letters"


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