Through the efforts of several officers in the Yale Battery, the students in Yale University are going to have an Aerial Corps, which will be organized in connection with the Battery.
The men will be trained by the Connecticut Aircraft Company and will be allowed to use the new dirigible balloon which that company has recently constructed for the United States Navy. It is the first such balloon which has been constructed for the Navy. The balloon itself is 175 feet long, 35 feet, wide and 50 feet high, including the car. It is propelled by a 150 horse-power Sturtivant motor which drives two propellors of the swivel type. It is capable of carrying a crew of eight men and a useful load of two thousand pounds. The balloon can rise either from the water or the land. The dirigible is now being finished in the works of the Connecticut Aircraft Company in Portsmouth, N. H., and on completion will be shipped to Hartford and set up in the Armory. The battery men who take the training will spend a week in Hartford where they will be instructed in the care and use of the balloon, and will become thoroughly familiar with its construction.
The most important part of the training will come next summer during the encampment period at Tobyhanna. The Aircraft Company is building a peculiar type of observation kites which are used by the thousands in the European war today. These kites are about 80 feet long and have a sack or tail which fills with air and keeps the balloon steady. They rise to a height of 2,000 or 3,000 feet and are connected by a cable to an automobile. The cable has a telephone wire inside so that the operators in the balloon can telephone where they observe the shot to strike. The heads of the foreign armies and navies assert that the saving of ammunition from one day's observation will more than take care of the cost of the kite balloon. The balloons which the Aircraft Company is now constructing are for the United States Navy and are made to be towed by a battleship at the rate of 25 miles an hour against a 15-mile wind. These balloons, attached to a warship, are of immense value, as it makes it possible to sight the enemy many miles away and direct the shell-fire of the battleship towards the right point. Every ship and battery abroad is being equipped with similar observation balloons. They take the place of the old spherical type whose continual swaying and bobbing made it impossible to take correct observations, and in addition often made the operator seasick.