The aeroplane flare is a pyrotechnic illuminating device of French origin, having a high candle power. It is released from an aeroplane, its function being the illumination of large areas. It consists of a metal container holding a large silk parachute to which is attached a case of compressed composition that will burn with a white light. The flare is attached to the under side of an aeroplane. Suitable rigging holds it in such a position that when released it falls with the igniting end pointed downward and continues in this position by the help of four fins at the upper end of the flare.

Aeroplane flare.

Fig. 82. - Aeroplane flare.


The flare is released by the aviator, through the simple movement of a lever, usually at a height of about 4,000 feet. Immediately upon its release, the pin wheel in the igniting end of the flare is set in motion, revolving at a high speed, caused by the resulting upward rush of air against the blades. The stem of this pin wheel revolves with the wheel and is guided forward by means of proper threading until a point is reached where the disengagement of the threads allows the stem to be forcibly pushed inward to strike a detonating cap which lights the firing charge. The firing or igniting charge, is a small amount of black powder which is designed to expel the contents of the aeroplane-flare shell. The shell holds a large silk parachute to which is attached the compressed composition charge which is ignited simultaneously with its being expelled from the case.

The parachute opens readily and floats at an altitude of about 2,500 feet over the area to be lighted. Swinging from the cords of the parachute hangs the composition charge which burns with a brilliant light, having an intensity not less than 350,000 candlepower. This light should burn without a diminishing candlepower for at least seven minutes. The illumination is so intense that a large area is lighted suf-ficently to permit of photographing, reconnoitering, and bombing.

Light case being tested for burning time.

Fig. 83. - Light case being tested for burning time.

Sectional drawing of aeroplane flare.

Fig. 84. - Sectional drawing of aeroplane flare.

Aeroplane Flare

A. Shell:

1. Cylinder.

2. Cap.

3. Top suspension band and catch.

4. Bottom suspension band and catch.

5. Name label.1

B. Light:

1. Case.

2. Case top.

3. Case - top rivets and washers.

4. Composition.

5. First-fire composition.

6. Priming.

7. Fuse.

8. Fuse nail.

9. Case bottom.

10. Bottom drumhead.

11. Bottom finishing band.

12. Connecting cable.

13. Wad.

14. Parachute.

15. Tie string.

16. Padding.

C. Firing mechanism:

1. Propeller and shaft.

2. Barrel.

3. Detonating cap.

4. Detonating composition.

5. Detonating-cap cover.

6. Expelling-charge holder.

7. Expelling composition.

8. Wad.

9. Safety pin.

10. Detonating-cap packing tube.1

11. Detonating-cap packing wad.1

12. Detonating-cap wrapper.1

13. Detonating - cap - wrapper string.1

14. Detonating-cap label.1

15. Detonating-cap instruction sheet.1 D. Packing box:1

1. Box.

2. Lining.

3. Cleats.

4. Bolts and washers.

5. Straps and nails.

1 Not shown in cut.