The 30’s was the era of Amy Johnson and Amelia Earhart, of Schneider trophies and burgeoning world travel reaching beyond the wealthy. The man-in-the-street could, for the cost of a cinema seat, experience the adventure and luxury of air travel to exotic destinations and was enthralled by the whole idea.
The 30’s saw the birth of great aircraft manufacturers such as Douglas and Boeing, the demise of the airship as a means of transport and there was a brief interest in flying boats. The outstanding male personality was Howard Hughes that record-breaking millionaire enigma. The era closed to a darkening international scene and an all engulfing world conflict preceded by a bloody civil war in Spain where the techniques of aerial warfare were put to devastating effect.
WHITTLE SEEKS PATENT FOR NEW “TURBOJET”
LONDON JANUARY 16, 1930)
NEW ‘HOSTESSES’ TEND TO THE AIR TRAVELLERS NEEDS
(SAN FRANCISCO, MAY 17, 1930)
United Airlines has become the first airline to introduce female attendants on its passenger flights. The first travellers to benefit from this exclusive service are those on the San Francisco/Cheyenne route. Ellen Church, a registered nurse persuaded Boeing to adopt the idea. She has become the first of eight attendants to be taken on by the company. The rules are that no attendant should be taller than 5ft 2ins, no heavier than 115 pounds and no older than 25. They should also be “positive and reassuring”. The role of the new ‘air hostesses’ is mixed; they have to check that seats are fixed firmly to the floor, make sure passengers do not throw rubbish out of the windows and generally look after them.
EVENTS AND ADVANCES IN CIVIL AVIATION
AUTOGYRO GREETS LA CIERVA IN NEW YORK
(NEW YORK NOV. 11 1930)
Looking like four giant dragonfly's, four autogiros today startled New Yorkers as they flew above the streets on the west side of Manhattan. The machines were airborne to welcome Spaniard Juan de La Cierva, their inventor, who arrived here today aboard the liner Bremen.
Two of the autogiros, which are built in the USA by Pitcairn Aircraft in Pennsylvania, had a message painted on their sides for de La Cierva. One had the word ‘WELCOME’ and another ‘CIERVA’ clearly visible to passengers on deck when the autogiros circled above the ship as it made its way up the Hudson.
AIRSHIP DUBBED ‘QUEEN OF THE SKIES’
(AKRON, OHIO, SEPTEMBER 23, 1931)
The US Navy’s latest airship, the Akron is a craft of awesome proportions, already dubbed by the admiring public ‘Queen of the Skies’. The behemoth, which flew for the first time today, is 785 feet long and powered by eight engines with propellers that can be swivelled up or down to help launch and recovery. It is borne aloft by 6.5 million cubic feet of helium and has a crew of 113 sailors and civilians.
The airship officially the ZRS-4, is named after the city where it was built by the Goodyear-Zeppelin Company. It was christened by President Hoover’s wife last month in front of 25,000 people, who learned that the Akron is not so much an airship, more of a flying aircraft carrier. Five F9C fighters are stored in a hanger amidships, and they can be launched and recovered in flight. The role of the Akron will be long-range maritime reconnaissance Observation can be carried out by its lookouts, or its fighters can be launched to search for enemy battleships..
THE BOEING 247, A NEW TYPE OF AIRLINER
(SEATTLE, MARCH 30, 1933)
United Airlines today began operating what can only be considered as the world’s first truly modern airliner.
Based on the B-9 bomber and Monomail mailplane, Boeing’s model 247 is a remarkable aircraft which flew for the first time on February 8. The 247, is way ahead of all contemporary designs. It is the first all metal streamlined monoplane.
The single aisle, low-wing, stressed skin aircraft has fully retractable landing gear. It introduces control surface trim tabs, automatic pilot and wing and tail de-icing. Powered by Pratt and Witney Wasp 550-hp radials, the 247 is the first twin-engine airplane able to climb on one engine with a full load of 10 passengers and three crew.
AIR FRANCE, FRENCH NATIONAL AIRLINE, IS LAUNCHED (FRANCE OCTOBER 31, 1933)
France now has a single, national airline. The country’s air minister, Pierre Cot, today formally inaugurated the airline, Air France.
The birth of Air France is part of the process of merging the small pioneering airlines into a bigger business, which is
Happening on both sides of the Atlantic. Cot acted following the government’s refusal to continue subsidising airlines whose status was often ambiguous. Many had close links with aircraft manufacturers who have in the past demanded that such airlines buy their planes. Cut-throat competition between the airlines also impeded their development. Air France’s first priority will be to rationalise their fleet. It inherits 259 aircraft of 35 differing types.
US AIRMAIL SERVICE ROCKED BY SCANDAL AND TRAGEDY (WASHINGTON DC FEBRUARY 19, 1934)
Members of Congress eye a military airfield
Allegations of collusion and favouritism between the US government and commercial airlines mean that from today the US Army Air Corps (USAAC) will fly the mail across the US. The army has been drafted in to cope with what amounts to a state of national emergency following President Roosevelt’s order of February 9, giving the go-ahead for the US Post Office Department to cancel its air mail contracts.
The order, affecting 26 routes flown by 12 companies, directs the secretary of war to provide the postmaster-general with USAAC aircraft, airfields and pilots to carry the mail, USAAC chief, Major-General Benjamin D. Foulois says his pilots and planes are capable of doing the job.
LEGALISED MURDER ENDS ARMY ROLE. (Washington DC June 1 1934) The US Army Air Corps USAAC stopped flying air mail for the US Post Office Department today, ending what US “Great War” ace Eddie Rickenbacker called a period of “legalised murder”. He and others point to 11 deaths and 66 crashes which have marred the Army’s record since it took over airmail flying from private carriers. When the Army began airmail flights on February 19, it did not have enough aircraft to do the job and initially could fly only 14 of the 26 routes formerly contracted to private carriers. Its aircraft, Curtiss A-12 Shrike attack monoplanes were not designed to carry mail and lacked the instruments needed for night and bad-weather flying. Flights were stopped on March 10, after nine pilots and passengers had died in accidents.
TWA PUTS NEW DOUGLAS DC-2 INTO SERVICE
(LOS ANGELES MAY 11, 1934)
The first Douglas DC-2 bought by Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) took to the air today. It is the first in an initial order for 20 aircraft by the airline, on the strength of which Douglas put it into production. TWA will use the new Douglas transports to make three daily round trips between Los Angeles and New York., With intermediate stops at Kansas City and either St. Louis or Chicago.
WORLD’S WORST AEROPLANE CRASH
CLAIMS 48 (MOSCOW MAY 18, 1935)
The USSR’s flying mammoth, the ANT-20 Maxim Gorkii crashed today at Tushino airbase near Moscow, killing 48 people on board. Two people were also killed on the ground. The tragedy happened when an escort fighter hit the ANT-20’s wing during filming
Intended to promote the aircraft. Built on Stalin’s orders the aircraft had a printing press, a photographic laboratory and movie cinema on board. It could blast out music and inspirational messages through loudspeakers as it flew.
DOUGLAS’S SPACIOUS DAY-OR-NIGHT AIRLINER PUTS AMERICA AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION
NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 18, 1936.
American Airlines today put the new Douglas Sleeper Transport (DST) in to service on the transcontinental route between New York and Los Angeles. The flying time between the two cities is now 16 hours. The spacious new model, both in the DST sleeper format and in its DC-3 day version, offers greater speed and comfort than other airliners, and it looks set to place American ahead of its main rivals TWA, United and Eastern. American has operated DST’s since August 18.
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, DECEMBER 5 1936. United Air Lines, which has ben operating some Douglas DC-2s, has ordered eight DC-3s. The airline however asked Douglas to provide a more powerful version. Douglas will replace the 90-hp engines with 1,100-hp versions. This new model, which got its certification on November 11, will go into service on the Los Angeles/San Francisco route on January 1. Today, stewardesses began using the galley built aboard United airliners to prepare hot meals for their passengers.
MAIL PILOT PICKS UP LETTERS WITHOUT LANDING
(COATESVILLE, PA. MARCH 1939)
Before a crowd of more than 2500 spectators, a bright red Stinson Reliant SR-10 aircraft of All American Aviation today proved the theory of Dr. Lytle S Adams of Chicago by swooping from the sky to drop and, at the same time, pick up a sack of mail.
All American Aviation founder, Richard C Dupont had first observed the system of cables and hooks and winches at the Chicago Exposition, “A Century of Progress”, which opened in May 1933. Dupont is today convincing US postal officials of its potential. He believes that this area of remote mountainous territory can at last have its own efficient air mail service.
Although the first dropped sack landed inn the middle of an automobile graveyard, the next two trials were right on target.
EVENTS AND ADVANCES IN MILITARY AVIATION
NORTHROP CHANGES THE SHAPE OF AIRCRAFT
(BURBANK, CALIFORNIA, MAY 1, 1930)
American aircraft designer J.K. Northrop believes that future aeroplanes will have no tails and no fuselages; they will be composed of just a ‘flying wing’.
Northrop who heads the Northrop Aircraft Corporation, division of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, has designed, built and flown an experimental plane with a 30-foot wingspan, which is a first step in turning his concept into reality.
A single engine and the cockpit are completely enclosed in the wing of the craft. But it is not a pure flying wing. Two slender booms extend from the trailing edge of the wing. At their ends are a horizontal stabiliser and twin rudders. Northrop says that these control surfaces prevent handling problems, and that as the fuselage has been eliminated, they too will disappear as the aircraft’s design evolves.
NAZIS UNVEIL AIR SECRETS
(BERLIN, MARCH 9, 1935)
Less than five years after the last Allied troops left Germany, Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler has admitted that his country has an air force: the Luftwaffe. Aviation experts have long suspected that such a force existed in secret, despite the Treaty of Versailles. Luftwaffe commander, Herman Goering has 11,000 men and 1800 planes, which have been forged into an instrument of war under the guise of belonging to flying clubs. Military aircraft production, including bombers able to reach the Ural mountains, is engaging Germany’s foremost designers; Heinkel, Dornier, Messerschmitt and Junkers. Goering has said that the Luftwaffe will only “defend the Fatherland”, but it is difficult to see how long-range bombers can be used defensively.
SUPERMARINE UNVEILS ITS HIGH-PERFORMANCE MONOPLANE PROTOTYPE
(SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND MARCH 5, 1936)
Chief test pilot “Mutt” Summers expressed delight today at Southampton’s Eastleigh aerodrome when he landed the prototype of Supermarine’s latest fighter, to be known as the Spitfire. “Don’t touch anything”, he said after a highly successful first flight. The aircraft is not just a joy to fly, but also a joy to behold: small and powerful with superb clean lines; it looks like a thoroughbred fighting machine.
Stressed-skin construction has been used throughout; the aircraft has beautiful elliptical wings and landing gear that is retracted by hand pump. The radiator is under the left wing, the oil cooler under the right. Its armament will consist of a battery of up to eight machine guns mounted inside the wing but well clear of the propeller arc. The Rolls-Royce PV.12 engines with which it is fitted is at present rated at 990-hp but has the potential to give well over 1,000 hp with further development.
As Spain slides towards civil war, air power has already been a decisive factor. At first the Nationalist uprising against the elected government lacked both firm leadership and an experienced army. Now the aircraft has provided them.
On July 19 ,General Francisco Franco flew in from the Canary Islands (where he had effectively been exiled by the government) to take charge. Among his first acts was to ask Adolf Hitler for transport aircraft. Yesterday the world’s first large-scale military airlift of troops began as thousands of Spanish Moroccan soldiers and Spanish foreign legionnaires began crowding into Junkers JU52/3m transports in batches of between 30 and 40 to make the short journey across the Straits of Gibraltar.
NAZI BOMBER FLEETS POUND GUERNICA WITHOUT MERCY
(SPAIN APRIL 26, 1937)
This morning Guernica was a bustling country town, its streets crowded for market day. This evening the Sun has set on a smouldering skeleton of smashed streets, strewn with broken corpses of its defenceless citizens.
Never has aerial bombing of such intensity been sen anywhere in the world. The attack was ostensibly to destroy a bridge of alleged military significance. In reality, it was scientifically calculated as a bombing experiment by Germany’s Kondor Legion, allies of General Franco. Guernica’s church bells rang out a warning at 4.30pm.
Before anyone could dive for cover, the streets were raked by machine gun fire from low-flying Heinkel He 51 fighters. Heavy bombing by Heinkel He111s and Junkers JU52s was followed by a wave of incendiaries which set fire to what was left.
Shaken observers argue that the merciless four-hour onslaught required several squadrons. No ground or air defence was evident. The bridge is undamaged.
(April 27). The world has a new name for the horror of war. Guernica. Yesterday’s unleashing of all the force of modern aerial warfare on defenceless citizens has shocked international opinion. As one reporter at the scene wrote: !The raid on Guernica is unparalleled.” Protests pouring in are said to have alarmed Franco. Reports say he is angered by the carnage. German propaganda boss Joseph Goebbels claims that “no German aircraft took part in this bombing”. This might surprise Chief of Staff Wolfram von Richthofen head of the Kondor Legion, who is said to have reported his “success” to Berlin.
LOCKHEED LAUNCHES HIGH-SPEED FIGHTER
(MARCH FIELD, CALIF. JAN.27, 1939)
Lockheed’s new high-speed XP-38 fighter made its first flight today. However the 24-minute test nearly ended badly.
As Lieutenant Benjamin Kelsey was bringing the aircraft into land here, he pulled on a lever in the cockpit to deploy the Fowler flaps, but the cable snapped. The fighter came in much too fast and Kelsey was only able to bring the XP-38 to a halt by resorting to emergency braking. The pilot was nonetheless enthusiastic about the aircraft, which is powered by two V-12 liquid- cooled , 1,000hp Allison V-1710 engines which give a maximum speed of 420mph. Designed by “Kelly” Johnson, the sleek new fighters engines are mounted inside twin booms which house the cooling radiators and also support the twin-fin tail. The cockpit is in the central section. The XP-38 features tricycle landing gear. Production models will have turbo-superchargers for high-altitude performance and will carry heavy armament.
TOP GERMAN SQUADRON RETURNS FROM SPAIN
(BERLIN JUNE 6, 1939)
Men of Germany’s Kondor Legion, which helped General Franco to victory in the Spanish Civil War, have returned home to find tacticians and designers eager to apply the lessons of that campaign. Spain has been a test-bed for the Luftwaffe’s best men and machines. The Messerschmitt Bf109 fighter was very successful against Soviet Polikarpov I-15 and I-16s, and German designers are increasing its fire-power. The Heinkel He111 bomber out-flew enemy interceptors. The Junkers JU87 dive-bomber hits its targets with pin-point accuracy and was used as a form of aerial artillery, coordinating with advancing ground forces.
BREGUET-DORAND HELICOPTER TAKES OFF
(VILLACOUBLAY, FRANCE. JUNE 26, 1935)
TWO-IN-ONE AIRCRAFT HAS TRIAL SEPARATION
(KENT, ENGLAND, FEBRUARY 6, 1938)
Witnessed by only a few people on the ground near the river Medway, Britain’s unique Short-Mayo composite aircraft separated in flight for the first time today. The combination consists of a heavily loaded seaplane riding on top of a much larger flying boat. The idea, by Major Robert Mayo, is that the bigger aircraft will be able to lift a seaplane so heavily loaded that it could not take off by itself. The lower, or parent, aircraft Maia is a four engined Short S.21, similar to the S.23 “C” class Empire flying boats but broader, to give greater buoyancy. The upper plane Mercury is an S.20 floatplane powered by four 340-hp Napier engines. Cruising at 180mph, it is expected to carry sufficient fuel for 6,000 miles. Both pilots take part in the separation.
GERMANS TEST NEW JET-POWERED AIRCRAFT
(MARIENEHE, GERMANY, AUGUST 27, 1939)
Heinkel test pilot Capitan Erich Warsitz today flew a strange and exciting new kind of aircraft at the airfield here, not far form the city of Rostock. The Heinkel He 178, has no propeller; instead it is a turbojet. This revolutionary type of engine, which was first pioneered by Frank Whittle in Britain, consists of a gas turbine burning ordinary kerosene fuel, with turbine driving a compressor which sucks in air through a large inlet located in the aircraft’s nose. . Thrust is generated when a jet of hot gas is expelled from a nozzle at the tail of the craft.
LINDY’S SON TAKEN
(HOPEWELL ,N.J. MARCH 2, 1932)
The 20-month-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh has been kidnapped. Last night his mother Anne and his nursemaid put him to bed in the upstairs nursery of the families isolated Sourland Mountain home. Two hours later the nurse found his crib empty. Lindbergh said a ransom note on the window frame demanded $50,000 for the return of Charles Jnr. The baby was taken while the family dined downstairs: Lindbergh heard a noise like “an orange crate smashing”. Now 100,000 police and volunteers have joined the search. President Hoover said he would “move heaven and earth” to find Charles Jnr.
EARHART FINDS GLORY OVER THE ATLANTIC
(NORTHERN IRELAND, MAY 21, 1932)
Dany McCallion and his cows provided the welcoming committee when Amelia Earhart landed in Gallagher’s pasture at Culmore, near Londonderry today, and became the first woman to fly the Atlantic non-stop.
Earhart’s trip, which began at Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, was not uneventful. Her altimeter, vital to instrument flying at night and in bad weather, failed. She encountered a thunderstorm. Trying to climb above the clouds, her Lockheed Vega became covered in ice and went into a 3000 foot spin.
For the last 2 hours of the flight, she watched flames visible from a split engine manifold, hoping that the fumes from fuel dripping from a leaky gauge into the cockpit would not ignite.
The time for her Atlantic crossing, 14 hours, 54 minutes, beats Alcock and Brown’s record of 16 hours 12 minutes, also establishing the record for the longest female non-stop flight - 2,026 miles
ALBERTO SANTOS-DUMONT TAKES HIS OWN LIFE.
(BRAZIL, JULY 23, 1932)
Alberto Santos-Dumont one of the worlds great aviation pioneers, has been found dead at the age of 59 while suffering from depression.
He committed suicide by hanging,. Santos-Dumont, who had multiple-sclerosis, became famous when he lived in Paris for flying all three types of machine - balloon, airship and aircraft. He was known to be deeply upset by the use of flying machines for military purposes. In Brazil, he was considered the father of aviation, an engineering genius and an ambassador for peaceful air commerce.
BATTEN BEATS AMY JOHNSON BY FOUR
DAYS (DARWIN, AUSTRALIA MAY 23,
New Zealander, Jean Batten has beaten the Britain/Australia record set by Amy Johnson (now Mollison) in May 1930. She flew from Lymphe, Kent, to Darwin in 14 days, 22 hours, 30 minutes, beating Johnson’s time by more than 4 days. Batten intends to turn around straight away and head back for Britain in order to claim a double record.
Both women used the same type of aircraft, one which has proved a favourite with flying clubs around the world as well as with long-distance flyers; the de Havilland DH60 Moth. Johnson's aircraft Jason was the “G” version, Batten’s the later “M” version.
BRITAIN CATCHES UP WITH MONOPLANE TREND
(LONDON NOV. 6, 1935)
Hawker Aircraft Co. Test pilot P.W.S. Bulman today took up Britain’s F.36/34 fighter on its first flight. At present known only as Hawker High-Speed Monoplane, but possibly to be named the”Hurricane”, the aircraft could, if tests are satisfactory, represent the start of a new generation of British monoplanes. It brings Britain up to date with the latest designs followed by the USSR with the Polikarpov I-16, the US with the Boeing P-26 and Curtiss-Wright 75. Germany with the Messerschmitt Bf109 and France with the Moraine-Saulnier MS.405.
PIONEER DIES IN ENGLAND
(CROYDON, DECEMBER 9, 1936)
In Britain’s worst-ever aircraft accident, a DC-2 of Dutch airline, KLM crashed on take-off into a row of houses in thick fog today, killing the pilot and all 13 passengers on the flight. The DC-2 and one house were totally destroyed and several neighbouring buildings suffered heavy damage. Among the dead was Juan de La Cierva, Spanish pioneer of the autogiro, whose C.30 had recently reached 110mph. He succeeded in turning the early, crude designs, for gyro planes into sophisticated aircraft that could take off and land on the spot and hover in mid-air. He was also a passionate advocate of air safety.
RECORDS AND SPECTACULAR EVENTS
AMY IS NEW HEROINE AFTER CROSSING THE WORLD SOLO.
(DARWIN,. AUSTRALIA MAY 24, 1930)
Amy Johnson landed in Australia today, the first woman to fly across the world solo, to an enormous welcome: when she saw the crowds from the air . She thought she must have arrived during an air pageant. The joy was mixed with relief. Yesterday “Johnnie” was feared lost over the Java Sea. In fact, in the latest of many adventures, she had landed in a field of 6ft high anthills on Timor, and had to recruit a local aboriginal tribe and a priest to make a runway.
In the excitement that greeted today's arrival at Fanny Bay Aerodrome, nobody worried that she had failed to beat Bert Hinkler’s speed record. It had taken her more than 19 days for the 11,000 mile journey. Her chance of a record ended in Burma when she landed on a college sports field by mistake, buckling a wing. Students helped her to repair the damage, finishing the job with strips of shirts glued on the frame. A fire engine carried Jason to a safe launching site.
What she wants now is a good sleep. Doing most of her own maintenance, often by the moonlight or torchlight, she has averaged 3 or 4 hours rest a night.
WILEY POST SPEEDS HOME
(NEW YORK, JULY 1, 1931)
American endurance flyer Wiley Post landed in triumph here today after a record flight round the northern hemisphere of 8 days, 15 hours and 51 minutes. He and navigator Harold Gatty left Roosevelt Field, New York, on June 23 in Wiley’s much-loved, barrel-shaped high-wing Lockheed Vega monoplane Winnie Mae.
They refuelled at Harbour Grace, Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic and flying across Britain, Germany, the USSR, Alaska and Canada on a trip of 15147 miles, which took 175 days when it was first flown seven years ago.
The personal pilot of Oklahoma oil tycoon, F C Hall, Post who is blind in one eye, specialises in flying the Lockheed Vega, a favourite with pilots for endurance flights. Last year in Winnie Mae he beat four other Vegas to win a non-stop race from Los Angeles to Chicago.
BRITAIN WINS THE SCHNEIDER FOR GOOD
(HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND, SEPT. 13 1931)
The streamlined Supermarine S.6B seaplane proved supreme today, winning the Schneider Trophy outright for Britain. After the failure of US, Italian and French engineers to get aircraft ready in time, the British accepted no delays and produced three machines.
Watched by tens of thousands in fine weather on the beaches of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Flt. Lt. J.N. Boothman took off from Calshot in aircraft S1595. With the throttle fully open, he completed his first circuit at 344-mph, but noticed overheating and slowed down. He knew that at that speed he could expect the 2,350-hp V-12 Rolls-Royce engine to melt on its mounts after 45-90 minutes. Flt. Lt. G H Stainforth then flew a straight 1.8 mile course to set a world record of 379.05 mph. He is confident of exceeding 400mph.
ITALIAN SEAPLANE FLASHES TO SPEED RECORD
(LAKE GARDA, ITALY OCTOBER 23, 1934)
After years of tribulation and fatal crashes the Macchi MC72 racing seaplane has twice pushed up the world speed record. On April 10- last year Warrant Officer Francisco Angello set the new mark at 423.8mph. Today the same pilot and seaplane reached the exceptional average speed of 440.68mph.
This record will be hard to beat and may well stand for many years. The MC.72, designed by Mario Castoldi, is powered by two huge Fiat engines joined end-to-end to form one 3,100hp unit.
RAF PILOT SOARS TO NEW ALTITUDE RECORD
(HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND SEPT. 28, 1936)
After being in French and Italian hands for three years, the world altitude record has returned to Britain. In a 2-hour flight from Farnborough today in the new Bristol 138A monoplane,
Squadron Leader S R D Swain reached what he reckoned as 49,944 feet. His instruments indicated well over 50,000 feet..
FLYERS GO OVER EVEREST
(PURNEA, INDIA APRIL 3, 1933)
In a remarkable flight against the elements, two British aircraft today succeeded in flying over the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. Having battled for every foot of altitude they remained near the peak for 15 minutes.
The first over Everest was a Westland PV.3 sponsored by Lady Houston and piloted by the Marquis of Douglas and Clydesdale with observer Lt. Col. Steward Blacker. Britain’s Air Ministry supplied the other plane, a Westland Wallace, crewed by - see over -
Flt. Lt. David McIntyre and cameraman Sidney Bonnett. Both aircraft carried mapping cameras. To combat the thin air and cold, the crews had oxygen masks and heated flying suits.
The Westlands took off at 8.25 am. They broke through the thick haze at 19,000 feet, at last seeing the daunting white reaches of Makalu, Everest and Kanchenjunga. Caught in a plunging downdraft and then an upcurrent, the PV.3 juddered as it pierced Everest’s summit cloud, and flew over the peak with 500 feet to spare. McIntyre had even greater difficulty rising, repeatedly using updrafts to clear the peak.
DOOLITLE SEIZES RECORD IN “TOUCHY” GEE BEE
(CLEVELAND, OHIO, SEPT. 3 1932)
Major James Doolittle set a new world speed record for land planes today, averaging 294 mph over a three-kilometre (1.86mile) course in his Granville Gee-Bee R-1 monoplane. In the Thomson Trophy speed race, Doolitle lapped all the contestants except Jimmy Weddell in his Weddell - Williams Special. His achievement has been hailed as a rare feat of airmanship, as the GeeBee is notoriously dangerous and suffers from directional instability. Built for outright speed, the Gee Bee has a massive engine, a stubby, barrel shaped fuselage, short wings and a tiny vertical fin. Doolittle has called it”the touchiest-plane, I have ever been in”.
“HINDENBURG” BLOWS UP
(LAKEHURST NJ. MAY 6, 1937)
“WRONG-WAY CORRIGAN LANDS IN HOT WATER (N.Y. JULY 18, 1938)
The German airship Hindenburg arrived overhead at 7.25pm. Suddenly the airship became a fireball and sank to the ground. Within a minute it was no more than a skeleton on white-hot metal : 36 people are dead but 61 others were saved.
The airship had been delayed by headwinds and was forced to circle the airfield to wait for a thunderstorm to clear. A witness reported seeing a glow inside the tail. Then, a jet of flame shot through the fabric and the hydrogen blew up. The Hindenburg’s tail sank to the ground. The cause is unknown.
Federal aviation officials here, who believed that Douglas Corrigan was returning to California, were not amused with the explanation that his ‘compass’ must have been wrong. When he landed to day in Dublin. Already dubbed “Wrong-Way Corrigan” the impish aviator may face disciplinary action on both sides of the Atlantic. He has violated US regulations by making an unauthorised ocean crossing
A patent for a new kind of aircraft engine was filed today by a junior officer in Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF). Flying Officer Frank Whittle, a flying instructor and former fighter and test pilot, believes that aircraft can be powered by what he calls a ‘turbojet’, a gas turbine engine which creates a propulsive jet of hot gas. According to Whittle the turbojet could enable aircraft to fly very much higher and faster than they can today. But he lacks the money to build his engine. Nobody appears able to disprove his calculations, but he has been unable to arouse any interest in the RAF, the Air Ministry or the aircraft industry.
More than 20 years after his first helicopter experiments, Louis Breguet appears to have succeeded at last. His Gyroplane made its first flight here today, and appears to be a complete success.
The Gyroplane is officially the Breguet-Dorand 314, and the test pilot assigned to it is Maurice Claisse. The machine has two rotors , mounted one above the other, rotating in opposite directions.
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