The World of Flying

The World of Flying

            Most flying takes place in the thick of the weather at levels ranging approximately from 2,000 to 14,000 feet. The reasons for this low altitude flring are the physical discomfort from lack of oxygen experienced at higher levels and the fact that at present most planes and engines perform best within these limits. But the day is coming when non-stop flights of over 3000 miles will be common, and when cruising altitude will be raised to sub stratosphere or even stratosphere levels.

            This increase in flight levels is being made is possible not only through improved airplane design but also through the use of engines, such as the Cyclone engine, which are equipped with more than one speed supercharger. As time goes on, further improvements will be made that will bring about still higher critical altitudes.

            Another improvement that is of tremendous value to you is the development of a carburetor that is immune to icing, heretofore one of the most serious problems confronting the airman on flights through overcast.

            For flights at substratosphere levels, a more thorough investigation of the upper air levels, and long-range weather forecasting are essential. In the preparation of weather maps, upper air surrounding until now have been obtained by sending up a plane equipped with an aerometeorograph. The data the plane brings down serve as a basis for analyzing and forecasting weather. These higher levels, however, provide extremely valuable data for more accurate forecasting of the weather. The more upper air sounding stations we have, within limits, over a given area, the more samples of the atmosphere we can obtain. Hence there will be more data for the meteorologist to work with.

            The commercial plane is the outgrowth of the military plane developed during the World War and of the serve testing which it received. The first time the airplane was used for military purposes was in 1912 during the Balkan war. It did not prove a deadly weapon, but the eyes of the various nations were opened to its warfare possibilities, if and when sufficient improvements could be made to warrant its use.

            It is interesting to see how great n improvement has taken places since those days. There has not been much change in the method of operation but the effectiveness of the modern war plane is no longer limited by weather conditions and the lack of suitable flight instruments. The flying range off military planes has increased many fold, and their speed today is better than double that of their predecessors.

`           While both war and commercial planes have change considerably and man has not, it is surprising to see how this unchanging man has adapted himself to the changes brought about between yesterday and today. Flights that were inconceivable undertakings yesterday are common practice today, and the immense changes that have taken place in the past few years make it all the easier to visualize the possibilities which the air ocean offers mankind of tomorrow.

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