Ingalls, U.S.A., for approximating to a high angle trajectory in a single arc, which assumes that the mean density of the air may be taken as the density at two-thirds of the estimated height of the vertex; the rule is founded on the fact that in an unresisted parabolic trajectory the average height of the shot is two-thirds the height of the vertex, as illustrated in a jet of water, or in a stream of bullets from a Maxim gun.
The effect is as if there was a mean sidelong thrust w tan S on the shot from left to right in order to deflect the plane of the trajectory at angle 6 to the vertical.
In these cases the curvature of the trajectory becomes considerable, and the formulae employed in direct fire must be modified; the method generally employed is due to Colonel Siacci of the Italian artillery.
Thus, if the time of flight of a shell is 5 sec., the height of the vertex of the trajectory is about loo ft.; and if the fuse is set to burst the shell one-tenth of a second short of its impact at B, the height of the burst is 7.84, say 8 ft.
But, as originally pointed out by Euler, the difficulty can be turned if we notice that in the ordinary trajectory of practice the quantities i, cos i, and sec i vary so slowly that they may be replaced by their mean values,, t, cos 7 7, and sec r t, especially if the trajectory, when considerable, is divided up in the calculation into arcs of small curvature, the curvature of an arc being defined as the angle between the tangents or normals at the ends of the arc.
At the same time the frictional drag damps the nutation and causes the axis of the shot to follow the tangent of the trajectory very closely, the point of the shot being seen to be slightly above and to the right of the tangent, with a right-handed twist.