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war than would have been possible tion above land, sea, forests, or moununder peace conditions in many years. tains, the question of distance, or The industry is now organized, and of the difficulty of communication stronger financially; and only a year through natural obstacles, will cease or so should elapse after the war to be a barrier between nations. before the first air services are run on
II. a commercial basis between London and the Continent, and also between The first use of commercial aircraft London and the cities of the Midlands should be as mail-carriers; and it is and the North. This is no longer the possible that the first experimental dream of an enthusiast. The recent services will be attempted over localiconstructional progress has been such ties remote from large centers of that passenger services by air could population, where the nature of the be organized even at the present time, country makes it difficult to maintain were the industry not pre-occupied regular communication by land; also with its work in connection with the to link up by air-mail the widely
scattered communities such as exist By means of technical improvements in our dominions over-sea. which have become feasible, and which America, France, and Italy are need only peace conditions to enable concerning themselves already with them to be carried into effect, it the question of establishing air mail should be possible, almost immediately services; and the British Government, after the war, to build passenger air- with foreign possessions in which air craft which will carry twenty-five or mail services might be established with fifty people at an average speed of great convenience to the inhabitants, nearly 100 miles an hour. And this has every reason to do the same. will form a stepping-stone to larger The recent appointment of the Civil craft, fitted with motors developing Aerial Transport Committee is thousands of horse-power, which should indication that the authorities are now attain speeds of 200, 250, and perhaps becoming alive to the importance of even 300 miles an hour. Time and commercial aeronautics. The main money-not forgetting the skill of task of this Committee is to recomdesigners and constructors, and an mend to the Government what steps infinite patience and perseverance- shall be taken, when the war is over, are all that are required to bring about to develop civil flying in all its aspects. this era. We have sufficient knowledge The American Government, it is at the present time to indicate that understood, intends to operate there are no technical difficulties which air-mail, with a service twice weekly, should prove insuperable.
between the Alaskan coast and cerThe demand of the commercial tain of the inaccessible districts which world, for years prior to the war, was lie inland. It is hoped, by means of for greater speed in transit. Time, the air service, to make journeys in representing money, had been growing five or six hours which, by land daily more valuable. After the war, transport, have sometimes taken as huge schemes of reconstruction will long as three weeks. become necessary, and there should be The French Government has estaban immense quickening of trade ac- lished a Committee which is investitivity in all quarters of the globe. gating the whole question of transportWith the employment of commercial ing mails by air; and one of the aims aircraft, able to pass without devia- of this Committee is to determine, if
possible, at what cost per kilometre it for us, on imperial as well as purely would be possible to operate such national grounds, to create and mainservices.
tain a large fleet of commercial airThe Italian Government has, since craft. We know how, in this present the beginning of the war, connected war, with the danger zones created by several of her important commercial hostile submarines, we have had to centers by means of a system of alight- rely on our great mercantile marine. ing-grounds; and along these "air- And it may happen in some war of the ways" already an experimental mail future, with sea-blockades so efficient service is being operated-although, as to hold up traffic altogether, that naturally, the needs of the moment are we shall have to depend upon aircraft almost entirely military.
to bripg us the supplies which cannot It will certainly be unwise, right at be obtained in any other way. Anthe beginning of commercial aviation, other important reason for a Governfor Governments to expect an air ment subsidy of the aircraft industry service to be completely self-support- lies in the fact that the knowledge ing, or to operate at once with such and experience which are gained in profit as might be shown, say, by trans- building and piloting commercial-type port systems on land or sea- a--which, machines will be of extreme value in of course have had years of organiza- time of war; while it should be rememtion and experience. What Govern- bered that commercial craft could, in ments must do, and particularly the war-time, be converted quickly and British Government, is to ensure to without difficulty into cruiser-type the operators of these first air-mail machines, being fitted with bombservices freedom from financial sighting and releasing gear, and also anxiety during the period when their with guns throwing explosive shells. main task will be to gain all the And such converted machines would experience they can to suitable be extremely useful in attacking land types of machine, and to make any positions, or in harassing an enemy's experiments, and incur any reasonable air and sea traffic. expense, which they may consider
III. necessary for the improvement of their services.
It is difficult for us to realize the And when the experience gained in change in our habits, and in these, and other ways, permits the routine of living, which will follow the running of passenger air services, the coming of the air age. As soon as we Government must be equally ready have daily services by air operating with assistance and must make it on an adequate scale, it will be possible one of its chief aims-undeterred by for city workers to live much farther cries which may be raised for retrench- afield than they can with any existing ment in expenditure-to ensure that form of locomotion. And this will commercial flying in all its aspects mean, in the course of time, that the develops rapidly and successfully, and outskirts of a city like London will that no invention of importance is cease to be dormitories for the workers, lost to us through a lack of financial and will be given over almost excluaid. The rate-payer, when his money sively to factories and workshops. is spent to develop flying, need have The workers of the city, traveling at no fear that it is being wasted, or high speeds by air, will be able to live that such expenditure is inadvisable. along the southern and southeastern It will be a matter of vital necessity seacoasts, or in the heart of the coun
try. And this will be so beneficial to many of its passengers. The air will their health that their efficiency as provide a luxurious form of travel workers will be materially increased; such as the voyager of today has never while the cost of aerial travel, in their known, and can scarcely imagine. daily journeys will be outweighed by There will be no vibration or noise the fact that their rent and living from the machinery, and no sensation expenses will be reduced, and that whatever of an earth. contact. The they will be able to cultivate produce only sound to reach a : passenger's in their own gardens. It will become ears, as the machine sweeps through feasible, in the air age, to populate the air in a smooth, apparently effortevenly the whole of a country, instead less progress,' will be the faint hum of masses of people being congested- of the wind as it rushes past the hull. as they are now, through the slowness When they are on long journeys, airof transit--within areas of only a few craft will' fly high, often above the miles,
clouds; and there will be no sign then City men who are private owners of of the earth below, and nothing to tell aircraft will be able to live a hundred the eye that the machine is driving miles' or more away from town, and its way through the air at high speed. still attend their offices each day. Even in a 100-mile-an-hour airFlying up in the morning to one of craft, immediately 'one reaches the the aerodromes which will be situated normal cross-country altitude of about on the outskirts of London, they will 5,000 feet, the sensations of movehouse their machines there, and then ment or of speed, in relation to the travel on into the heart of the city by earth below, become almost imperone of the high-speed tubes (probably ceptible. The passengers, seated in on the mono-rail system), which will luxuriously-appointed saloons, will be act as "feeders" for the aerodromes, in just as much comfort, so far as any and will run to and fro constantly with sense of movement is concerned, as passengers and goods. In the evening, though they were in their drawingthe last of his letters signed, the busi- room at home. People complain often ness man will take tube to the aero- of train-tiredness after a long journey drome, : ascending again in his air- by rail. This is due to the oscillation, craft, änds reaching his home, some- noise, and the constant flashing past where in the heart of the country, in of objects which are close to the time for dinner:
carriage windows. But there will be The world has, at various times, been no such fatigue after an air journey, promised an ideal form of travel - however long, for the reason that there such as the train, the motor-car, and will be none of the discomforts which the luxurious modern liner. But the are encountered on land: train oscillates; its wheels grind and There are people still who think roar;; it clangs through tunnels and that, because a flying machine passes over bridges;' it lurches when róunding through the air, unsupported by any curves. With the motor-car, even on earth contact, there will always be an the best of roads, there is always the element of risk in aerial travel. But sensation of earth contact and of in the future, when passenger-carrying vibration-to say nothing of the dust machines have been perfected, 'to and inconvenience of the traffic on travel by air will not only be as safe main thoroughfares; while the ocean- as to travel by land or sea, but will going liner, pitching and rolling in a be in certain respects even safer. bad sea, causes scute discomfort to There will, for instance, be less danger
from collision. Craft traveling in machine is traveling, the more control different directions-north, south, east, its pilot has over it; while there is or west—will be required by the rules not the same risk in the air, as there of the air to fly at various altitudes. is on land, of a vehicle oscillating And these lanes of traffic, in which all when at a very high speed, and the machines will be traveling in the threatening to overturn or leave its same direction, will be so arranged track. The faster an aircraft flies the that they are not immediately one steadier is its motion. The momenabove another, but are some little tum of its flight enables it to drive distance apart; and this will mean through. adverse wind-gusts without that should a machine have to glide these' having any effect upon it; down from a high altitude, through whereas a slow machine would pitch some temporary breakdown of its and roll. And there is not the risk machinery, there would be little risk
aircraft, as with a land of its penetrating 'as it descended- vehicle, of a wheel or axle breaking with a consequent risk of collision- under the strains of a high speed, and any of the streams of traffic which thereby causing an accident: might be moving at lower altitudes and In flying, of course, as in any other in different directions. Foggy weather, new form of transport, the purely which presents such dangers for land experimental stage has been marred or sea traffic, would only provide a by accidents. Machines have collapsed risk in aerial travel (one writes, of in flight, or have been driven to earth course in a general sense) when ma- and wrecked by wind-gusts; motors chines are ascending or alighting. At have failed, and caused disaster; pilots higher altitudes, as a rule, it should have been guilty of errors of judgment be possible for them to escape the fog which have cost them their lives. banks. And at the landing grounds, But during all this time, experience when there are fogs, science may find and useful data have been accumulatit possible to dissipate these, at any ing. In learning to fly men have been rate over limited areas; or by some breaking completely new groundsystem of powerful lights, or by signals learning to navigate an entirely new from . captive balloons which ascend element. But in the future we shall above the fog banks, it should be. be bred and born to the air. We shall possible to regulate the flow of traffic take to it just as naturally as, today, in and out of the aerodromes. An we travel by land or sea. With the aircraft pilot under such conditions, aircraft of the future, which will be when approaching an aerodrome at a metal-built, the risk of structural high altitude, well above the fog, breakage will be reduced practically would watch for the signals sent up to a vanishing point. And the infrom the ground, which would inform herent stability of these large machines, him whether all was clear for his and the speeds at which they will fly, descent, in the same way that a ship will enable them to weather 'safely is signaled, telling it whether it is even the heaviest of gales; while the safe to enter a harbor.
multi-engine plants with which they The attaining of high speeds by air will be fitted, enabling any one unit implies a greater safety rather than a to be cut temporarily from the series, greater risk-provided, of course, that and repaired while the machine cona machine is so built that it will with- tinues in flight under the power of stand the air pressures it encounters. its other motors, will eliminate for all The higher the speed at which a practical purposes any need to descend
owing to a mechanical breakdown. and they are certainly not legionAssuming, however, that a machine will find their services almost beyond should descend involuntarily, there will price. Such men will need to have the be chains of landing-grounds on all whole world, and not any one country the main flying routes, and these will or continent, as the field for their opbe so close together that a machine erations; and, when they travel frewhich is flying at a sufficient altitude quently to all parts of the globe, any will be able to reach one or other of saving of time in their journeys will be them, in a glide, from any point at of extreme importance. which its machinery may fail. Craft Here lies the future of aerial transit. which are on ocean journeys, being It will supply a means of communicabuilt so that they can alight on the tion so rapid that the world will be water, will follow certain given routes, able, after the war, to go ahead in the and will be in constant touch with full stride of its reconstructive energy; each other by wireless. Should a though this period of reconstruction machine be obliged to descend on the will, of course, occupy a number of water through a total breakdown of its years. Instead of being restricted to machinery, it will be able to call to its the old, slow methods of travel, the assistance, if necessary, and in a very nations in their expansion will find this short time, any such craft as may be new and high-speed medium open to nearest to it on the flying route.
them—a medium in which rates of But such a total breakdown will be travel will be obtainable without risk no more probable with a perfected air- which would be impossible by land or craft than it would be with an ocean
Five days are required, at norgoing liner. On the liner, should one mal times, to traverse the sea route of her turbines run hot, this only re- between England and America. A duces her speed temporarily, while the business man who has interests in the turbine is stopped and allowed to cool. two countries, and needs to travel The others continue to do their work frequently between them, must set and to propel the ship. With a liner, aside ten days at least of his valuable in fact, having many engines and time in which to be transported across boilers, and several propeller shafts, the ocean and back again. In the the risk of a total breakdown is prac- future, however, by way of the air, he tically eliminated. And in aircraft of will be able to travel from New York the future, which will be fitted with to London and back again, within a multi-engines, driving a number of period of forty-eight hours. propellers, this risk will be equally The influence of high-speed air remote.
transit, facilitating business between
various countries, will be beneficial to IV.
an extent which is almost incalculable. In the air age we shall be able to After the war we shall be establishing take the map of Europe, and also of closer relations with Russia. But the the world, and reduce journeys of traveler by land and sea, coming from weeks to days, and those of days to Petrograd to London, has to face a hours; and what this will mean to long and wearisome journey, crossing business men, who will be extending a number of frontiers and being subtheir interests farther and farther jected to many delays. In the days of afield, one need scarcely emphasize. the Continental air service, however, In the years following the war men a Russian business man, embarking at who have great organizing ability, Petrograd in the morning on one of