Man's physical universe



1939 — Pan-American clippers inaugurated regular passenger service

across the Atlantic Ocean and completed 100 trips on December

20, 1939. The first autogiro air-mail line was established

between Camden airport and the Philadelphia post-office roof.

Airlines carried 2,045,021 passengers 815,000,000 miles without

a fatal accident. A German Messerschmitt attained an

average speed of 469 miles per hour.

1940 — Stratosphere flights in airtight cabins were introduced by

airlines. Land passenger planes of 25 tons and 4 engines were

developed — their capacity is 42 passengers. Air service from

the United States to New Zealand and Australia was inaugurated.

Airplane engines of 2000 horsepower went into

production. A patent was granted for retractable wing

pontoons. Neoprene-rubber gasoline tanks became available.

Airplanes enabled offensive warfare far to outstrip defensive

warfare, in which little progress was made during the period

1918-1940. Airplanes were made which climb a mile per

minute — Curtis Model 21-B.

Fig. 148. A P-38 Lockheed interceptor plane which can leave the ground and

climb a mile aloft in one minute. Recent tests indicated an airspeed of 458 miles

an hour. (Courtesy of the U. S. Army Air Corps.)

Many other noteworthy events in the history of aviation are omitted

because of lack of space. This brief history of great flights is but the

outward evidence of the tremendous advances made by the designers

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