restricted access IV. Civil and Commercial Aviation
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IV CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL AVIATION TRANSPORTATION is the essence of civilization. The more rapid the intercourse between people, the more highly what we call "civilization" will be developed. Commercial nations have always made it a point to establish and control transportation systems so that their means o·f distributing their goods might he controlled by themselves and not be dependent on others. No matter how great a producer or manufacturer a nation may be, if it has no means of transportation it cannot distribute its goods or gain the benefits which come from other nations. Nothing throttles a people's development more than lack of transportation. We have examples of this at our very doors in the Alleghany mountains and on the shores and islets of our Atlantic seaboard. Many of these communities, although composed of the original Anglo-Saxon stock, the first that came to this country, and although they are the purest Americans that we have, not only have made no advance in their cultural state but have retrogressed. Many of these people 77 Winged Defense still speak Elizabethan English and are a prey to the beliefs and superstitions of the Middle Ages. Many other examples of a similar nature, well known to all, can be given. These conditions are entirely due to a lack of transportation. Frequently, I have had forced landings with my airplane in these out of the way communities, among people who were unable to read and write and who did not know who the Governor or Representatives of their state were and who did not know where the nearest postoffice was, although, in one instance, it was only about eight miles off. In this particular community, their only fear was of the United States revenue officers whom they regarded as the only Government that came into contact with them. The evasion of the provisions of law that the revenue officers were detailed to enforce and an occasional feud with a nearby family furnished the causes of the only community organization which they had. The whole means of transportation on the surface of the ground o,r water necessarily is confined to places that are easy of access over these elements; in the case of water: deep harbors, indentations along the coasts, and navigable rivers; in the case of land: where it is possible to build roads and railroads. These, in their turn, follow the lines where the grades are the least abrupt and, consequently, are developed along strearn lines and across passes in the mountains where the erosion of the water on the heads of the rivers has made the going easier. No condition of this kind confronts aircraft as the air is a cornman medium all over the ,vorld. It is therefore possible to develop Civil and Commercial Aviation 79 transportation to any place desired in this medium. In commercial aviation, however, a positive gain in dollars and cents must be shown over the competing carriers on the land and water. There must be regularity of schedule and the transit of passengers and goods must be safe and not subject to too great a percentage of accidents. There are two things in which an airplane excels all other carriers: one is its speed and the other is the fact that it is the only instrument of transportation which is capable of delivering its cargo to a terminal station in the air. The latter has been used to great advantage as a means of advertising commodities, such a5 sky-writing with smoke let out of the airplane in various ways and nlaneuvering the airplane so as to write letters or words that everybody can see. Another means of advertising is to paint the name of the article on the under surface of the airplane, and still another is to distribute pamphlets or sheets of paper describing the article being advertised. Another use of aviation as a means of delivering something at a terminal station in the air is the photographic camera. The use of this instrument has tremendous possibilities. Not only can it portray the topography of the earth but even the elevations and depressions so that it can be used in surveying the whole country and, in our country, scarcely sixty per cent of the whole area has been adequately mapped. It has taken all of the years since we began to do even that much. A complete photographic survey of the whole country could be acconlplished by aerial ph'otography within...