"Briefly, the terms of the contest are as follows: any type of machine or engine can be employed, and as many descents as are necessary to replenish fuel and stores. A start can be made from any place chosen by the competitor, but the machine must finish at the same spot within twenty days. Again, any route can be chosen, so that full advantage can be taken of existing air stations, but--and this is a vital point--in order to fairly circumnavigate the globe, competitors must pass within one degree of a position immediately opposite the starting-point. Do you follow me?"
"What is known in navigation as Great Circle Sailing," replied Bramsdean. "If a start is made somewhere on the 50th parallel North, the halfway time will be somewhere 50 degrees South, with a difference of 180 degrees of longitude."
"That's it," agreed Sir Reginald. "Now the difficulty arises where to find two suitable places answering to these conditions. With the exception of a small part of Cornwall the whole of Great Brita
Percy F. Westerman (1876 - 1959) was a prolific author of what was called "children's literature and in his lifetime he wrote 178 novels. Airship (more correctly titled, The Airship "Golden Hind") was his 41st novel and tells the story of Kenneth Kenyon and his buddy, Peter Bramsdean getting itchy after World War I from a life of inactivity. Receiving a summons from their former wing-commander, Sir Reginald Fosterdyke to undertake a race around the world in a dirigible of Fosterdyke's invention, the three men with their intrepid crew sail the Golden Hind to Gibraltar and set off to make history.
However, there is a bad guy waiting in the wings,--pun unintended--Count von Sinzig who will not pause to commit any evil to win the race in his own zeppelin.
The book is filled with period slang that can make for difficult reading, but the action, though predictable, makes the book an interesting quick read and the introduction of "brodium," a non-explosive gas lighter than helium gives the book a steampunk flavor.
This book would go well with role playing game masters looking for a quick steampunk/pulp scenario as well as steampunk authors looking for a period feel for their own work.
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