Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Transatlantic Race -- May 19, 2019

New York Tribune, 19-May-1919
Australian Harry Hawker, who had been chief test pilot and designer at Sopwith, along with navigator Kenneth Mackenzie Grieve, took off from Newfoundland in a Sopwith Atlantic on 18-May-1919 and promptly disappeared. Tune in later to find out what happened. Meanwhile, the US Navy's NC-4 had reached the Azores. NC-1 had to land on the ocean and a ship rescued its crew. NC-3, the flagship, was missing. The other British team, flying a Martinsyde airplane, crashed on takeoff.  

New York Tribune, 19-May-1919

British Fliers Call Own Trip More Perilous
Express Admiration for the American Triumph, but Say Element of Danger Virtually Was Lacking
New York Tribune Spcial Cable Service
(Copyright. 1919, New York Tribune Inc.)

ST. JOHN'S, N. F., May 18. -- Before they took the air this afternoon Harry G. Hawker, of the Sopwith biplane, and Captain Frederick P. Raynham, of the Martinsyde machine, discussed the successful flight of the American NC 'planes to the Azores. Their remarks embodied admiration for the American enterprise, but conveyed the idea that they regarded their own venture as far more hazardous.

The two British fliers have followed with interest the reports of the progress of the United States seaplanes and spoke warmly of the spirit of the crews manning them. At the same time, however, they contended that no comparison could fairly be drawn between the American venture and their own attempt at a direct flight to Ireland in singled-engined machines.

Only Covered Half Distance

They said, first, the American seaplane crews have to make only half the distance at a jump which the trip to the British Isles involves, and the generous distribution of American naval ships along the route robs the flight of any substantial element of personal danger. They argued that this greatly helped the morale of the airmen and also assured them facilities for repairing their machines, which enjoy the further advantage of being able to land on the face of the ocean to rest and refit.

They contended that three machines flying in concert are able to assist each other in event of mishap and this contributes much toward maintaining the spirit among the airmen which is a large factor in insuring success. They said also that in event of any sudden change of weather the seaplane crews could descend to the nearest guardship and await cessation of the storm or abandon the voyage entirely if they thought it necessary, and also could call to their aid in event of any mishap these or other ships which might be in the vicinity.

British Have No Safeguards

On the other hand, the British airmen said, their own venture was something entirely different. They said this without egotism, arguing merely that facts justify this contention. They held that their attempt at a 2,000-mile flight over the ocean, with no safeguards whatever, defies comparison. They argued that flying across the Atlantic without facilities for landing on the ocean or ships for making repairs involves a strain on the fibre and physical stamina of the airmen from which the Americans were virtually free.

They emphasized the fact that if any mishap befalls them they are powerless to save themselves, and that they lack wireless to summon aid, so unless some ship happens to be in their immediate vicinity they are lost beyond recall. They cheerfully agreed that the American fliers showed splendid qualities in their undertaking, and the fact of their getting through without requiring to descend to either the ocean surface or to any guardship is evidence that the machines were in splendid condition and well handled. They are probably equal to a longer flight, and even to a flight from St. John's to the Irish coast, the British airmen said.

They contended they are proposing a flight through an area much further north and far more stormy than the route the Americans took; that ships along the route are fewer and the chances of rescue less, and that, whereas the American machines can make certain forms of repairs while in flight, the least accident to the British 'planes means ruin.

Martinsyde Plane Wrecked in "Take Off"; Crew Hurt, but Not Seriously
Start Watched As Death Trip
Spectators in Fear That Daring Flier Goes to His Doom

ST. JOHN'S, N. F., May 19. -- Up to 4 o'clock this morning no word had been received from Harry G. Hawker, the Australian flier, since he started on his transatlantic flight. Weather reports from the Atlantic were favorable and indicated improvement in some of the storm areas.

If Hawker's estimated speed of 100 miles an hour were maintained, he would have been more than 1,400 miles out at 4 o'clock this morning, or about three-fourths of the way to Ireland.

ST. JOHN'S. N. F., May 18. -- Into the jaws of almost certain death, Harry G. Hawker, the famous Australian aviator, drove his slender Sopwith biplane over the eastern horizon at 1:45 o'clock, New York time, this afternoon, in an effort to win for the British glory of the first transatlantic flight. He hopes to reach Ireland before the American NC planes can effect a crossing at Lisbon.

With him as navigator went Lieutenant Commander Mackenzie Grieve of the British navy, whose task it will be to guide the tiny plane in a true line over the 1,900-mile course that separates Newfoundland from the shores of Ireland. They expect to make the flight in nineteen hours.

Just as the Sopwith machine flashed across the Martinsyde hangar in a terrific burst of speed, Captain Frederick P. Raynham and his one-legged hero navigator, Major C. W. F. Morgan, rivals of the Sopwith team, started up their machine to race across the ocean.

Martinsyde Plane Wrecked

As the Martinsyde biplane, even tinier than the Sopwith, started across the ground the axle of the landing carriage snapped, wrecking the machine and injuring both men, but apparently not seriously. Captain Raynham collapsed immediately after the crash, but later recovered.

Hawker had his machine in readiness shortly after 1 o'clock at the Mount Pearl aerodrome. The weather conditions were ideal, with a clear sky and a slight northwest wind, which will greatly favor the machine.

The biplane took the air after a short run across the field exactly at 17:45 Greenwich mean time (1:45 p.m. New York time). Hawker maneuvered in circles until he attained the desired altitude, and then, opening the throttle of his engine, he headed at tremendous speed for this city, five miles away.

The machine passed directly over St. John's and over the Quidividi aerodrome, where the Martinsyde biplane was being prepared, across the hills in the distance and quickly disappeared from view. Ten minutes later the signal station on top of the hill reported the machine had passed from view.

Landing Carriage Dropped

Just after passing the Quidividi field, Hawker released the landing gear of his machine, which dropped into the sea, in full sight of the thousands of people at the Martinsyde aerodrome watching Captain Raynham. Hawker hoped by doing this to lighten and accelerate the natural speed of his machine from 100 to 106 miles an hour.

Hawker's start was made in face of weather conditions which he characterized as "not yet favorable, but possible." He and his navigator considered the hazards of the attempt and decided to stake everything on an effort to "beat the Americans."

Overnight reports to the meteorological station had showed increased atmospheric pressures, smoother seas and fair barometer conditions. Although winds and pressures were not all they hoped for. Hawker and Grieve ordered their hand satchels packed and made ready for the start.

Hawker considered weight as of utmost importance. Lifting Mackenzie Grieve's bag, he found it heavy, and inquired solicitously if he couldn't "dispense with pajamas" on the trip. When asked if he thought he would have a chance to sleep during the voyage Hawker replied:

"We'll have a long sleep coming at the end of it."

Hawker and Grieve, in their eleventh-hour effort to wrest transatlantic flight honors ?rom the United States naval 'planes, are flying over a course all their own, figured out last night and this morning with the one object in mind of "how to head off the Americans."

As soon as they had finished breakfast this morning, Hawker and Grieve hurried to the offices of the Royal Air Force meteorologists. Finding conditions improved a little, though not as favorable as they would have demanded had not the Americans been well started on their passage, they went direct to the Mount Pearl plateau, where the Sopwith was waiting in the airdrome, and began preparation for the flight.

They were wholly calm at the start. Methodically, and without the slightest trace of nervousness, they climbed aboard their craft and set to work dispassionately- Hawker's confidence in his navigator and in his engine were absolute, he said quietly.

Opens Throttle to Full

After a preliminary spin of the motor Hawker opened his throttle to the full and the ground crew were forced to call for help to hold the 'plane in place. Hawker throttled "down" again, said a few final words, and then gave the word to knock out the supporting blocks from beneath the craft as he opened wide the throttle.

Hawker followed his announced intention when he dropped the undercarriage of his 'plane. Some persons thought the act was intended as a challenge to his rival, Raynham, and quoted almost the last word of Hawker before he started.

"How about old 'Tinsides?' Tell Raynham I'll greet him at Brooklands, England."

The wireless sent word of Raynham's mishap to Hawker and Mackenzie Grieve after they had put to sea. Opinion here is that one result of the message will be the cutting down of Hawker's speed, as the Sopwith will not be forced to racing speed now that its rival has been eliminated from the overseas contest.

Have Aid of Sun

At the start the sun was only a little over two hours beyond the meridian. The flying adventurers had its aid in navigating for four or five hours as they sped eastward. After that they plunged into darkness over the ocean, with the prospect of starlight and moonlight to break the monotony of sky and sea at night, and to serve as navigation guides.

Mackenzie Grieve declared before the start that the Sopwith would head straight for Ireland.

"If we strike Ireland anywhere we will have found our mark." he said, "but If we hit England we will be nearer home."

Indications to-night were that westerly winds would favor the fliers for the first 1,000 miles of their course. The remainder of the way will be "ticklish" sailing, and it is thought possible that Grieve will have to "bend" his course somewhat south to avoid wind and weather dangers.

A large part of Grieves's work will be in noting observations of air currents encountered.

'Although Atlantic air currents can never be marked," he said, "I hope to compile observations that will make the transatlantic passage possible with fewer uncertainties for later fliers than those which confront pioneers on the trackless way.

"We are relying chiefly on astronomical positions which we plan to obtain by use of the sextant, getting an hourly sun altitude in the daytime and working with the North Star at night. Should thick weather obscure the sky we are prepared to use the clouds for calculating purposes, although we admit the results would be only approximate."

Not more than sixty people were present to witness the departure of the intrepid airmen and these were chiefly competitors, aviators and newspapermen. Among them were Rear Admiral Mark Kerr, of the British navy, who is to navigate the giant Handley-Page machine in its transatlantic attempt, and his pilot, Major Brackley of the British Air Force.

Captain Alcock and Lieutenant Brown, who are to pilot the Vickers Vimy bomber now on its way here aboard the steamship Glendevon, also witnessed the start. All loudly praised the manner in which Hawker handled the Sopwith in his take off. Concentrated rations are being carried on the Sopwith for food. The fuel supply was 340 gallons of gasolene.

Wind Blamed for Wreck

A big factor in the accident to Raynham's Martinsyde 'plane was said to a lack of full wind opposition. He was trying to "take off" on his east and west field with a wind exactly north east. Full head wind is declared to be essential for a rise with a 'plane as heavily laden as Raynham's.

The weight of the plane was near three tons, and the great "heft" of is believed to have brought it down after a rise of a few feet had been gained. The undercarriage was admittedly weak, and collapsed under the strain. Had Raynham been able to fly directly into the wind he probably would have attained flying speed before the axle buckled.

Missed by Twenty-five Yards

Raynham would not add to the statement he made to friends immediately after he had recovered from the temporary collapse he suffered when his craft broke down. This statement was:

"I was just beginning to get a lift. I felt the under carriage weaken, and pulled back on the control stick in an attempt to assist the machine clear of the ground. But the propeller struck and we spilled. Another twenty-five yards and we would have been away."

Hawker had provided against such a mishap by installing an all-steel under-carriage on the Sopwith for safety in "taking off" and a device for dropping it when well off the ground. Hawker also had installed a detachable primer and band starting magneto, both of which were left behind when he dropped his under-carriage.

After Hawker dropped his under-carriage his machine was left without any landing gear at all, and should he be successful in crossing the Atlantic, he must risk crashing his machine when landing.

Small steel rails or skids had been provided to help lessen the danger, with which it is hoped the machine may glide along the ground and come to a stop.

There is believed to be but one chance in a thousand that the speedy Sopwith biplane may make the flight successfully, but to insure that once chance every mechanical and meteorological detail must be in favor of the airmen and their machine.

Small Lifeboat Attached

When Hawker and his aide took their places in the small fuselage of the plane they were incased in full-length, non-sinkable suits. This, together with the ingeniously constructed lifeboat which forms part of the cowling of the fuselage, is their only means of immediate safety should they be compelled to alight on the ocean in the course of their flight.

This boat is said to possess a considerable degree of seaworthiness and is fitted with provisions and signaling devices. In case he alights on land, Hawker had early arranged to release and drop the boat by means of an automatic device controlled by a button near the pilot's seat.

Unlike the huge seaplanes of the American Navy which flew from Trepassey to the Azores on Friday last the Sopwith machine is a purely land type of airplane. It has no pontoon to keep it afloat or permit of its being towed in case it is compelled to alight on the ocean. It is a small biplane of the scout type with a wing spread of only forty-six feet, and an overall length of thirty-one feet. It is driven forward by a Twelve-cylinder Rolls Royce 375-horsepower engine, fitted with a quadruple ignition system.

Depends on 19-Hour Flight

Hawker expected his machine to make an average speed of 100 miles an hour at the start, which be hoped would be accelerated to 106 miles as soon as he released the under-carriage of the machine. A favorable wind might increase this speed. All his calculations, however, were based on nineteen-hour flight for the 1,900 mile to Ireland.

Hawker and his companion, Grieve, are making their flight as contenders for "The London Daily Mail's" prize of $50,000 to the first successful aviator who flies across the Atlantic while observing the rules of the contest. Under these rules the flight must be completed within seventy-two hours of the start, and if the machine is compelled to alight on the water it may get off again unassisted.

Commander Grieve announced his intention of flying straight out to sea for a distance of 600 miles and then heading the machine into the regular transatlantic steamship lane. The fliers expect to land in the Brooklands aerodrome just outside of London.

Navigate by Sextant

Grieve will depend entirely upon his sextant and compass for navigating the machine for use with which the 'plane carries specially tabulated calculations drawn up before the start.

Heading east into the night they expect to meet the sun on its westward path at a time to give them a good observation for their course to approach the Irish coast, an well as to determine their exact position.

During the night Grieve said he would "shoot the stars" every two hours to obtain the position of the biplane and keep it on its course. Hawker expected to fly at an average altitude of 8,000 feet, although he said the atmospheric conditions during the flight would be the determining factor in this matter.

The romantic aspect of the adventurous flight attracted the people of St. John's to the hangar for the takeoff. While all expressed admiration for the airmen, fear was expressed on all sides that the pair were riding to certain death in defying the ocean in so frail a craft.

The unknown fate which overtook Andre when he set out in a free balloon to float over the North Pole several years ago was present in the minds of all, as was also Major Wood's disastrous start from England in a Short biplane a few weeks ago. While Major Wood was fortunate in being rescued, it was chiefly due to the fact that his machine fell into the sea so close to land. The chances of Hawker in case of engine trouble are not nearly so good.

Many Air Prizes Won by Hawker
Over-Atlantic Dash is Climax of Notable Career of Australian

New York Tribune, 19-May-1919
Harry G. Hawker, chief of the Sopwith team that flew yesterday for Ireland, is an Australian, 27 years old, who has won fame in the development of aviation. He was one of the few mechanics who rose to the rank of flier under the tutelage of Tom Sopwith, the famous British aviator, since turned manufacturer.

Yesterday's attempt to cross the Atlantic, with its probability of disaster and death for the fliers, was but an incident in the checkered career of Hawker.

Hawker is known throughout the British empire as the man who refuses to fly by the rules of others. He is credited with making his own, defying custom, and usually, at least, accomplishing his purpose. Practically every autograph hunter in the British isles, chiefly among the feminine signature hunters, has his name between the covers of an album.

Hawker first attained world fame, when in August, 1913, he attempted to win the $25,000 prize offered by "The Daily Mail" to the first aviator to encircle the British isles in a hydroplane. The flight was to have been made in seventy-two hours.

The daring aviator ascended from Oban at 6:40 o'clock in the morning before as great a crowd of spectators as ever had witnessed a flight there. He traversed 1,043 of the 1,540-mile course, remained in the air for seven hours and then fell into the sea because of engine trouble. But he broke several records and no bones by so doing, and the judges decided he had accomplished almost as much for aviation by his efforts as if he had completed the trip about the islands.

"The London Daily Mail" agreed to give him a consolation prize of $5,000 for his pains and he was awarded a medal by a group of aviators, who complimented him upon his service to the science of flying.

In competition with the greatest aviators in Europe, Hawker won the British Michelin prize for continuous flight. He created what in 1912 was a new record by remaining in the air for eight hours and twenty-three minutes.

He has made scores of long distance flights in Europe. He made two new world records for long distance. Also he won a prize offered by an aviation organization in London in 1916 for hanging up a new world's record for altitude. He reached an altitude of 28,500 feet under an official test.

Martinsyde Mishap Not Unexpected
Experts Always Doubted Whether Small 'Plane Would Cross in Safety

Neither of the Martinsyde fliers whose machine was smashed at the start yesterday, set out on their adventure with eyes closed to the danger that confronted them. That they escaped with as slight injuries as early dispatches indicate came more as a surprise to those who had watched the flight than otherwise.

Before Captain F. P. Raynham and Captain Morgan took to the clouds or as near to them as they got yesterday, wagers were being made as to their ability to negotiate the trip or any part of it without the loss of life of at least one of the two. The odds always were in favor of death rather than the survival of the fliers.

A dispatch to The Tribune April 1 said:

"Spectators believe the chances of the Martinsyde men escaping death arw very slight, owing to the smallness of their machine, the lack of a boat or other life saving apparatus and the strain on the occupants during the long journey."

But Raynham, who had faced death in many forms so often as to have become contemptuous of it, belittled these pessimistic forecasts of disaster. He said the dangers of flying over water were not as great as those of flying over land, that he had remained in the air longer while flying over land than would be required on this voyage and that he had a feeling that he would make the flight without difficulty.

"If we fall in the water there is not the danger of being dashed to pieces that always confronts one in a fall on the ground," he said. "Besides our rubber suits should serve to save us if we fall into the water any distance from the boats."

Navy Confidence in Safety of Flagship Ebbs as Perilous Gale Sweeps Sea
Lost 40 Hours Without Trace
Huge Screen of Warships Swings in Half Circle to Aid

New York Tribune, 19-May-1919

LONDON. May 18. -- Lloyds reports the steamship Iona with the crcew of the American seaplane NC-1 aboard, arrived at Horta Sunday, and that the NC-1 sank 120 miles off the Island of Flores.

WASHINGTON, May 18. -- Apprehension as to the safety of Commander John H. Towers and his crew of four men, who in the seaplane NC-3 have been lost at sea for more than forty hours, had begun to-night to displace the feeling of confidence among naval officials that the transatlantic fliers would be found by searching vessels. No word had been received from the NC-3 since 5:15 o'clock yesterday morning, when Commander Towers reported that his 'plane, the flagship of the squadron, was off her course some 300 miles from the Island of Fayal, Azores. Dispatches from Rear Admiral Jackson, aboard the U. S. S. Melville at Ponta Delgada, Azores, to-night said a gale was sweeping the seas northwest of the Azores and that high waves were running.

The navy, with its vast force of vessels, concentrated to aid in the transatlantic attempt, was bending all of its energies to the finding of the lost fliers.

Two battleships, the Florida and Texas, and nearly a score of destroyers were scouring the sea over a wide area all day to-day and to-night.

Dangerous Gale Rises

The fog which, it is supposed, forced the NC-1 to the open sea when within a few short miles of Corvo Headland, the objective point of the aerial argonauts, had been dissipated by strong westerly winds this morning which increased to a gale by 9 a. m, and whipped up a nasty, choppy sea, the most dangerous condition possible for a seaplane riding on the surface of the ocean.

Messages received from Rear Admiral Jackson late to-night telling of the damage to the NC-1 caused by the heavy seas running at the time the 'plane was found served to increase the apprehension felt for the safety of the crew of the NC-3. The lower 'planes of the NC-1 were badly damaged, one pontoon was entirely carried away, the right wing was badly broken, the left wing ribs were damaged and the elevators were smashed.

Naval vessels standing by in an effort to salvage the big boat reported that the seas were running so high if was impossible to save it at this time. It was pointed out that only good fortune could possibly save the NC-3 from even more serious damage, since it is handicapped by the extra weight of its crew.

Rescue Work Difficult

Using Corvo Island as an operating base, the screen of battleships and destroyers were sweeping westward in a great semicircle in an effort to catch sight of the NC-3 or pick up radio distress signals. The high winds and heavy seas prevailing made the work of the rescue party most difficult.

The main element of hope in the situation, as viewed by naval officials tonight, was the fact that the weather forecasts predict diminishing winds and abated seas late in the night and Monday morning. It was thought that if Commander Towers's frail craft could ride out the gale successfully until morning the probability of rescue would be greatly increased, since a veritable swarm of destroyers and other naval craft, gathered from wide distances, were being concentrated over the area to the northwest of the Azores.

Each of the seaplanes carried sufficient food ant1 water for six days when the squadron left Trepassey Bay. The condition in which the NC-1 was found was described in the following message to the Navy Department from the cruiser Columbia:

"NC-1 right wing badly broken, pontoon carried away, elevators broken, fabric left wing ribs badly damaged. Condition of sea too rough to salvage 'plane. Fairfax standing by awaiting better conditions. Crew of NC-1 in good shape, now on Columbia. NC-4 in good condition and awaiting favorable weather before proceeding to Ponta Delgada. Scouting lines scouting to westward for NC-3. Strong northwesterly wind and rough seas prevailing."

The members of the crew of NC-3 in addition to Commander Towers are:
Commander H. C. Richardson, Lieutenant D. N. McCulloch, Lieutenant Commander R. A. Lavender and Machinist L. R. Moore.

British Ministry Reports Sky Clear

LONDON. May 18. -- Meteorological conditions favorable for a continuation of the transatlantic flight of the American naval seaplane NC-4 from the Azores to Lisbon are reported by the Air Ministry to-day. The statement says:

"Conditions generally are favorable for continuing the flight to Lisbon. The barometric pressure is falling somewhat in the Azores. There is mist at Ponta Delgada, but the winds are light and westerly.

"Conditions on the direct Atlantic route are improving."

PONTA DELGADA, May 18 (By The Associated Press). -- The NC-4, which arrived safely at Horta Saturday morning, reported that, the weather there early to-day was unfavorable for a continuation of the flight to Ponta Delgada.

At 11:15 o'clock this morning nothing had yet been heard from the NC-3, reported lost in the fog off Fayal.

The cruiser Columbia at Horta, Fayal, reported shortly after noon that she had intercepted messages passing between destroyers to the effect that the missing seaplane NC-3 had been forced to alight between Stations 17 and 18, where the seaplane was last heard from at. 9:15 o'clock. Greenwich time, Saturday morning. The Columbia reported that destroyers were searching for the flagship of the seaplane fleet.

A wireless message from the destroyer Harding said the destroyer Fairfax was towing the NC-1 into Horta. The crew of the NC-1, headed by Lieutenant-Commander Bellinger, are expected at Horta to-night on the steamship Ionia, which rescued them ninety-five miles west of Fayal.

The NC-1 was found by the Harding thirty miles from the point where the crew abandoned it at 10 o'clock Sunday morning. The Harding reported the right wing and one pontoon of the NC-1 were damaged and that a propeller had been broken.

The steamship Ionia is probably the Greek ship of that name. It left New York May 4 for Norfolk. Arriving at Norfolk May 6, the Ionia departed the same day for Gibraltar and would have been in the path of the transatlantic flight.

British Bow to U. S. Fliers; Pity Own Men
Grahame - White Says Flight to Azores Is Object Lesson to Admiralty

LONDON, May 18 (By The Associated Press). -- Claude Grahame-White, the aviator, although not unduly surprised that the Americans succeeded in accomplishing the most dangerous part of the transatlantic flight, say he is thoroughly delighted with the great enterprise shown. He says that the flight is an object lesson to the British authorities because, as far as the British machines are concerned, the flight means life or death, as there is no chain of destroyers to pick them up if they meet with an accident.

J. A. Whitehead, managing director of the Whitehead Aircraft Company, says that irrespective of nationality the great feat of crossing nearly 1,100 miles of open sea marks a tremendous era in the progress of aviation. The Americans, he says, had the advantage of a patrolled course and, therefore, the probabilities of life and death did not enter into their calculations as they must with the British aviators.

The American flight was a good one in the opinion of Colonel V. L. Henderson, a pilot and member of the House of Commons for Glasgow, but with a trail of destroyers was comparatively easy and without risk to the airmen. He added:

"It makes one sad to think our men should have so little practical assistance from the Air Ministry. Even the Americans admit our men are as good as theirs. There is no doubt our machines are better."

G. Hold Thomas, an authority on aeronautics and who was identified with several flying feats some years ago, attributes the American success to "organization" and "national effort." He added that criticism of the Admiralty is not helping the British contestants. He said his suggestion that destroyers or even captured German submarines be placed along the route from Newfoundland to Ireland met with the response: "The expense, is too enormous."

Mrs. Hawker, wife of Harry Hawker, the Australian aviator, said: "Our boys have had no help at all. Even the weather reports are unsatisfactory."

Lt. Parsons Doubts Sea Trade in Air
Pranks of Ocean Must Be Tamed First He Says;
Praises NC's Exploits

The feat accomplished by the NC-4 in its successful flight from America to the Azores will go down in history as one of the most daring exploits of the air, but it is extravagant to think it opens new vistas for commercial ocean flying, in the opinion of Lieutenant E. C. Parsons, a noted aviator, who passed three years at the front and has fifteen German machines to his credit.

Lieutenant Parsons joined the Lafayette Escadrille in 1915 and became a member of the Guynemer flying corps when the former organization joined the American flying forces. He wears two French and two Belgian decorations. When seen at the American Flying Club. 297 Madison Avenue, yesterday, he differed with Major Thomas S. Baldwin, who declared in The Tribune yesterday that the achievement of the NC-4 marks the beginning of ocean travel by air on a large scale.

"I regard the feat of the NC-4 as possibly the most remarkable flying exploit in the history of aviation," he said. It was, however, a combination of daring, good luck and careful preparation. Without the lane of American destroyers it is questionable whether I the feat would have been accomplished.

"As far as making airplanes for passenger and freight, carrying is concerned, that is quite without the bounds of probability. I understand that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been expended by the Navy Department in preparation for the flights of the NC machines. The cost is too great to make the use of airplanes across the ocean for commercial purposes profitable."

Sees Future for "Blimps"

Lieutenant Parsons was of the opinion that lighter than air machines stand a much better chance of becoming ocean carriers than heavier than air craft. He believes the "blimp" balloons eventually may be perfected to permit their use in passenger travel across the Atlantic.

Lieutenant Parsons thinks the attempt of Harry Hawker, the British aviator, to cross the Atlantic is "nothing short of suicidal."

"If Hawker succeeds," he said, "he will have accomplished something in the way of daring which no human being ever achieved. But frankly I do not see how he can do it. He has none of the protective and guiding features of our NC 'planes and dropped his wheels when he left Newfoundland.

Even if he should succeed in crossing he will have a pretty tough time of it in landing on the Irish coast. It is the most devilish-daring thing any aviator ever attempted."

Air Route Maps Over Sea Needed

Now that aero flights have been extended over the Atlantic distance and with an ease which seems to assure future flights over seas in all directions, aeronauts are considering two important projects: mapping of aerial routes over the ocean, as they are now being mapped over land, and establishment of landing fields with special reference to convenience of outbound and incoming transoceanic aircraft.

To the average landlubber the sky may seem sufficiently clear of obstacles to need no special road marking. It used to be the feeling of the early aeronaut that once in the sky he needed no guide posts, but could fly in any direction with complete freedom.

Although this remains true in a sense, it has been found convenient and practical to map out air routes which are just as definite as ocean routes for steamships. It was found that if aeroplanes were to travel long distances and land without loss of time well mapped routes would have to be provided and regular supply stations established.

41,058 Miles of Sky Roads

The work of mapping the routes for the United States army was intrusted to Captain Archie Miller, of the Division of Military Aeronautics, whose work comprised the projected laying out of 44,0S8 miles of sky roadways. More than 75 per cent of this work already has been accomplished.

As flying over the ocean, accelerated by the success of the flight to the Azores, is extended, it will be necessary, in the opinion of experts, to map the routes over the ocean just as they are now being mapped over the land.

Landing Places Essential

First consideration will be given to distance; aerial routes will be selected with special reference to the nearness of land points between which the flights are to be made. Then will come the question of providing possible landings in midocean. It would not be practicable to mark each air route with a line of warships, as was done in the case of the United States naval 'planes.

Aeronauts believe ocean flying will develop non-stop flying and that in a short time a flight from New York to any part of Europe will not be considered unusual. But meantime, to protect the fliers and to help develop non- stop flying, some means must be found to extend help to any machine the might have to come to the surface of the water in midocean because of mishap.

It has been proposed that one transoceanic air route be mapped out as an experiment, probably the route from Newfoundland to the Azores. The idea is to mark the route with floating stations where supplies of oil, gas and j airplane parts may be had. Scientific data from the men who are now flying the Atlantic will be awaited to determine whether the weather and air conditions over this route warrant its being selected as a permanent air roadway.

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