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FOREWORD THIS book is dedicated to those officers and men of the air service who have given up their lives in the development of our national air power. Few people outside of the air fraternity itself know or understand the dangers that these men face, the lives that they lead and how they actually act when in the air, how they find their way across the continent with unerring exactness-over mountains, forests, rivers and deserts; what they actually do in improving the science and art of flying and how they feel when engaged in combat with enemy aircraft. Noone can explain these things except the airmen themselves. The number of these who have had experience and who are capable of expressing themselves, is rapidly growing fewer. Every opportunity should be taken by those that remain to enlighten their fellows on this subject. The interest in the development of our national air power was manifested by the people of the United States during the past winter, and this interest is growing. The history of the development of air power has been very similar in all countries-it has had to struggle hard to get on its feet. Air power has vii viii Foreword brought with it a new doctrine of war which has caused a complete rearrangement of the existing systems of national defense, and a new doctrine of peace which eventually will change the relations of nations with each other due to the universal application and rapidity of aerial transport. This little book has been thrown together hastily. It is compiled from evidence that has been given before the Congress of the United States, articles that have appeared in the public journals and from personal experiences. Its value lies in the ideas and theories that are advanced which it is necessary for our people to consider very seriously in the development of our whole national system. The great countries of Europe have already acted along the lines indicated in this book. We are still backward. The book is intended to serve several purposes. First, that of putting down in words what the air men think about the organization of an air force and what our national defense should be. Next, to give to the people in general a book which will set before them facts about aeronautical development. And third, a book to which our people in the services, in the executive departments and in Congress can refer for data on aviation which is modern and which is the result of actual experience. So many erroneous doctrines have been enunciated about aviation by the older services that see in the development of air power the curtailment of their ancient prerogatives, privileges and authority, that we consider it time to challenge these proceedings and to make our own views known. Foreword IX Aeronautics is such a new and rapidly developing science in the world that those concerned in 1t have not the age, rank or authority which, in the eyes of the older services, entitles them to speak. Most of the data that Congress gets on the subject of aviation comes from officers or agents who are not actual aeronautical officers and who have not come up through the mill of aeronautical experience, both in war and in peace. The airmen have gained their knowledge by actual experience, not by being members of an old well-established service that has gone on in the same rut of existence for decades. As transportation is the essence of civilization, aviation furnishes the quickest and most expeditious means of communication that the world has ever known. Heretofore, we have been confined to either the earth or the water as the medium of transportation . Now, we can utilize the air which covers both the earth and the water, and the north and south poles, as the medium through which to travel. With us air people, the future of our nation is indissolubly bound up in the development of air power. Not only will it insure peace and contentment throughout the nation because, in case of national emergency, air power, properly developed, can hold off any hostile air force which may seek to fly over and attack our country, but it can also hold off any hostile shipping which seeks to cross the oceans and menace our shores. At the same time, our national air power can be used in time of peace for some useful purpose. In this it differs very greatly from the...

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