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Now that the war is over, a great effort is be- seven forced landings and but two failures ing made both in America and Europe to find from bad weather. The best, time made bework for the great fleets of air-craft. Instead tween Washington and New York has been a of carrying deadly guns and bombs, they are little over eighty minutes, which is about one being freighted with the mails, passengers, or
'fourth the time made by the fastest expressmerchandise, and sent on errands of peace to trains. many parts of the world. The United States At the end of the first year's work it was was quick to reorganize its air-craft on a peace found that the air-service had actually paid all basis by sending its flying boats over sea, by expenses and made money besides. Mail-bags crossing the continent in record time, and by have also been carried out to sea and dropped putting them to scores of useful purposes. It on ocean liners outward bound, thus saving is only a matter of a few years at most when several hours time in the journey between we shall see the sky dotted with air-craft busy America and Europe. Within a few years we on a hundred peaceful errands. We can catch shall doubtless see the mail-aëroplanes wingan interesting glimpse of the future, mean- ing their way from the Atlantic to the Pacific while, by observing the latest achievements of Ocean. air-craft.
The air-mails and parcel delivery will probThe mails are regularly carried by aëroplane ably soon be followed by regular passengerto-day in eleven different countries on thirty- carrying service. One is already in successful one air-routes. The United States has two operation between London and Paris. The such air-services, those between Washington distance of about 250 miles is covered in less
than three hours. The fare of a shilling a mile, or $62.50 for the trip, does not seem high, considering the circumstances. The car of the aëroplane is furnished with upholstered chairs and is decorated with mirrors and lighted by electricity.
The United States will profit more by air travel than European countries because of its greater distances.
The larger number of the European states can each be crossed by rail in
five or ten hours, and the aeroplane, by reducLATEST TYPE OF MAIL-CARRYING ACROPLANE
ing the time to one third or less, does not make and New York, with a stop at Philadelphia, possible a vital economy. But in America it and New York and Cleveland and Chicago. will be a tremendous advantage to reduce the Some thirty more air-routes have been planned time for crossing the continent from four or for the future. The Washington-New York five days, as at present, to one or two. The route, which has been in regular operation for distance already has been flown in fifty-two more than one year, holds the world's record hours. for efficiency. The mail 'planes flew one hun- There will soon be great rivalry between the dred times between the cities, making only dirigible balloon and the aëroplane in compet
ing for passenger air-travel. The aëroplane rate system of air-ports in thirty-two cities may be faster, but its passengers are more throughout the United States. The large cities crowded than aboard an airship, and are more will be assisted in preparing municipal landlikely to be air-sick. The dirigibles now fly over seventy-five miles an hour and can travel for ten thousand miles,
over eight days, without coming down. The largest of these airships are upward of
thousand feet in length. Regular course dinners are served on board, and the passengers enjoy all the luxuries of a Pullman car.
There are still many people who are afraid
THE AËROPLANE THAT DROPPED MAIL ON THE ADRIATIO to fly. Not many years ago some had the same fear of a sea voyage. ing-fields, so that regular air-routes may be esDuring the war many men were killed in the tablished and maintained in all directions. It air-service, but this was largely because they will soon be possible for an aviator to start on were fired upon, and not because the air-craft an air-tour of the continent and find landingthemselves were dangerous. The official re- fields, with supplies, at convenient distances. ports show that the United States trained The landing-fields will be of four classes. 8600 fliers at home. In learning, these men The smallest of these will provide runways six flew 880,000 hours, or about 66,000,000 miles. hundred yards long in every direction. The
Wide World Photos
It was found that there was but one fatality for every 3200 hours spent aloft, or for nearly 240,000 miles flown. In other words, flying is almost, if not quite, as safe as motoring or railroad travel.
To encourage passenger and express service by air, the Government has planned an elabo
fields will be located on good highways convenient to the city limits. If the city does not care to go to the expense of preparing such a field, the Government will assist it and provide steel hangars for the purpose. The fields will have electric lights, water supply and sewerage. In shape they will be square or rectangular.
The first American air-port has been established at Atlantic City, New Jersey, which will serve as the port of entry for the great dirigible balloons which will be flown from England to America, and for transatlantic seaplanes and airplanes as well.
There are no hangars in the United States capable of accommodating the monster dirigibles, but steel
found to overlap. If the aëroplane has fallen into an air pocket or its altitude has varied for any other reason so that the pictures have not been made from the same height, the negative is reduced or enlarged to match the others. The views may also be made with stereoscopic cameras to show the elevation of hills or mountains.
The maps thus constructed show marvelous details and are full of life. Every house of a great city will be shown, while no other map can give so clear an idea of open country. They proved invaluable to generals in the war, and in peace times they serve a great variety of purposes. The Government has already arranged to prepare such maps of the forest
They are valuable in many kinds of engineering projects, such as the building of roads or railroads, bridges, canals, reservoirs or irrigation systems, and many other forms of construction.
The real estate man, too, finds that the aëro view shows the position of houses, roads, and bodies of water better than any map.
There are to-day 30,000,000 square miles of the earth's surface of which we know very little and 8,000,000 square miles which have not been surveyed and mapped. It would take two hundred years at the present rate of exploration to complete the work, whereas the aēroplane makes it possible to do the work in a few years with great saving of time and money and of human lives.
The air-police fill a long-felt want. The great speed of the new craft gives it a tremendous advantage in pursuing wrong-doers. From his position aloft, the aëro-patrolman can spy upon his prey, while the use of the wireless telephone keeps him in instant communication with the earth. An interesting demonstration was made recently of the possibilities of this new "hurry-up” vehicle. A man "stole" a fast automobile and was allowed several minutes start of the air police. The alarm was given by telephoning by wireless to an aëroplane, which happened to be aloft a few miles away, while a second aëroplane at once took the air.
The two 'planes at once circled about at an altitude of a mile or more, which enabled them to see over many miles of the surrounding country. The "thief" was soon sighted many miles on his way, speeding at nearly a mile-aminute pace. The aëro-patrol overtook him, at a speed of a hundred miles on hour, passed him, and came to earth at a town several miles further on, through which he must pass. The authorities were notified, and a local constable
masts will be erected to which they may be tethered.
The aëroplane promises to revolutionize map-making. Instead of dragging the surveyor's chain up hill and down dale, the aëroplane accomplishes the same end, while flying at a speed of a hundred miles an hour or even faster. The new method of making maps from the air was developed during the latter part of the great war.
The first photographs taken aloft were made with ordinary hand-cameras, but only half the exposures made turned out well. To-day the pictures are taken with cameras six or eight feet in length, which are often operated automatically and can be counted on to take excellent pictures ninety per cent. of the time.
The map-making cameras are set in the floor of the aëroplane's fuselage, and point straight downward. Before starting a flight, the automatic device is set to take a fixed number of pictures a minute. The air-pilot then steers
his craft back and forth, just as you would mow a lawn, until every part of the city or country below has been photographed. The films are then developed and the prints are matched together. Many of them will be
secured to make the “arrest" when the "thief”. drawn vehicle, the speed at which a patient arrived. The ground police might have been might be rushed to a hospital was doubled. notified by wireless had it been necessary. The aëroplane ambulance more than doubles
The example of New York in establishing a the speed of the automobile. The air-craft regular aëro-police squad will doubtless soon are especially designed for the purpose. The be followed by other cities. In patrolling har- floor of the fuselage swings open, allowing a bors and the long water-fronts of such cities stretcher to be slid inside without disturbing as New York, Chicago, or San Francisco the the patient. The gentle swaying motion of the aëroplane is invaluable. A single policeman aēroplane is much less trying upon a sick or can thus do the work of a score of men in fast wounded passenger than the bumping of a patrol-boats, and do it better. In San Diego, wagon over ordinary roads. Many lives will California, they even have an aërial fire-boat. be saved by carrying an injured man to the In case of riots or disturbances, the air police, hospital in one half or one third the time reby looking down upon the crowds, can tell at quired by the ordinary ambulance. a glance where crowds are congregating or A great variety of patrol work can be better danger is threatened and telephone to the done by aëroplane than afoot, on horseback, or ground without a minute's loss of time. The by automobile. It is important, for instance, aëroplane proved invaluable during the great that thousands of miles of telegraph wires and explosion at Morgan, near New York City, high-power electric transmission lines be regumaking it possible to fly directly over territory larly inspected, and these often extend over which was too dangerous to approach on foot. rough and unsettled country, far from roads.
The first use of an aëroplane as a patrol- An experienced observer, flying rather low and wagon is credited to the police of Dayton, racing along even at high speed, can readily Ohio. In February last a police inspector .
see a broken wire, a fallen pole, or other acciflew from Dayton to Indianapolis, and returned dent to the line. bringing a prisoner charged with embezzle- This method has been put into successful ment. . The distance of upward of one hundred operation in the Canadian Northwest.
miles was flown in less than one hour. It is The aëro cowboy or sheep-herder has come not recorded that the prisoner made any at- to stay. It has been found by experience that tempt to escape while flying.
one man with the aid of an aēroplane can do The aëroplane has been used with great suc- the work of a score or more mounted on cess as an ambulance. The high speed at which horses. The Government was quick to realize an injured man may be carried makes the fly- the possibilities of aēro scouting in the forestry ing craft an ideal vehicle for the purpose. work. These air-scouts look down upon broad When the automobile ambulance was first in- expanses of forest, while keeping in touch with troduced in America, replacing the horse- headquarters by wireless telephone.