“They’ve gone away across London,” he said. “I guess they’ve got a bigger camp there. Of a night, all over there, Hampstead way, the sky is alive with their lights. It’s like a great city, and in the glare you can just see them moving. By daylight you can’t. But nearer–I haven’t seen them–” (he counted on his fingers) “five days. Then I saw a couple across Hammersmith way carrying something big. And the night before last”–he stopped and spoke impressively–“it was just a matter of lights, but it was something up in the air. I believe they’ve built a flying-machine, and are learning to fly.”
I stopped, on hands and knees, for we had come to the bushes.
“Yes,” he said, “fly.”
I went on into a little bower, and sat down.
“It is all over with humanity,” I said. “If they can do that they will simply go round the world.”
As if their Heat Ray and Fighting machines were not enough, the Martians have a deep understanding of science and in the weeks post-invasion were able to analyse our environment and create flying machines. Our most seasoned scouts were able to describe this process as they experimented with their machines, sometimes resulting in disaster for the Martian who sat in the hood but with every setback, the hammering within the pit would resume and soon enough a new machine would be created. The Flying Machine crumples easily, possibly due to the lightness of it’s manufacture and most resembles a “flying wing” style craft.
“Across the pit on its farther lip, flat and vast and strange, lay the great flying-machine with which they had been experimenting upon our denser atmosphere when decay and death arrested them.”
The Martian Flying Machine uses compressed air to launch itself into the air with a loud popping sound and further air jets and aerodynamic surfaces to provide forward motion and lift. They cannot hover effectively and are currently limited to strafing runs for deploying Black Smoke and attacking with the Heat Ray, a tactic which has proved thus far to be utterly devastating.
Forward observers have noted the craft are simply too swift to be targetted by normal artillery and even our best riflemen have expressed doubt at whether they could provide an effective hit. Scouts describe the screaming roar of the engines to be as terrifying as the howls of the machines themselves.
Thankfully the range of these terrible air-borne scourges seems to be approximately 50 miles. It would not have delayed their eventual defeat even by a day but should their range have been much greater, we can only imagine the destruction they would have wrought upon us.