"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
In this forgotten novel of the late nineteenth century, the author imagines world war fought with great ships of the air. These great vessels were seen to be capable of speeds up to two hundred miles per hour.
This is the earliest description that I know about for what is now called a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft. Note the description of how the output of a power plant is first applied to propellers that provide upward thrust, and then is transferred to propellers giving forward motion.
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Pay the artists!
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