Undaunted, and still convinced of steam power’s ultimate superiority, Dr Throg turned his fertile mind to the question of powered flight. He assembled his new brainchild, the “Chiropter”, at a secret location and prepared for a historic first flight. At first, the machine seemed to be firmly earthbound; but at a twenty percent steam pressure overboost, the Chiropter finally lurched into the air. Lacking an anti-torque rotor, the machine slowly pinwheeled across the field, at a height of one and a half inches, until it struck a fence. The airsick inventor shut off the machine, fell from the operator’s seat and staggered away.
All was not lost, however. The attending cameraman had noticed the strong downdraught which the rotor had produced; so after some negotiations with a local farmer, the machine ended its days as a combined power plant and ventilating fan, atop a large shearing shed.
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