Man's physical universe

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AIRPLANE A TRIUMPH OF MODERN SCIENCE 363

3. They can be easily repaired in the same way that automobile-tire

inner tubes are patched.

4. They permit easy removal and replacement.

5. They are self-sealing after puncturing by bullets.

The "Caterpillar Club" Is a Very Exclusive Organization.

In the spring of 1918 a German flier was saved by a parachute — he

was the first man to be saved by the use of a parachute.

In 1924, ten

men joined the newly formed Caterpillar Club, the only membership

requirement being that one's life had been saved by a parachute. By

1929 there were two hundred members, Charles Lindbergh having

established the record of four successful emergency parachute jumps.

In

1927 parachutes became standard equipment for civilian pilots

engaged in commercial aviation.

The United States Government requires that every parachute be

inspected and repacked every sixty days by certificated parachute

riggers.

The improvements in modern planes have made them so safe that

the Caterpillar Club is becoming more and more exclusive.

The rate of descent with a parachute is 16 to 20 feet per second, giving

an impact equivalent to that experienced when jumping from a

height of 8 feet. A normal parachute landing requires a height above

the ground of not less than 123 feet.

Parachutes are used regularly to lower cargo from nonstop express

planes and to lower supplies to fire-fighters.

Airplane Transportation May Soon Be the Cheapest Form of Transportation.

In 1939 the total cost of an airplane round trip from Atlanta to New

York was only $81.24, while the same round trip by train was $58.75

for fare and about $11 .00 for meals and tips. The airplane trip required

12 hours and the train trip required 45 hours.

STUDY QUESTIONS

1. What is the possible result of racing a cold airplane engine to warm it up?

2. Why are cylinder clearances larger in aircraft engines than in automobile

engines?

3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of airplane transportation?

4. What problems has the development of the airplane brought about or

accentuated?

5. Prepare a brief outline of the history of aviation, selecting ten of the most

important events listed in this Section and pointing out in each case why you

considered this event to be important enough to be selected.

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