The development of transportation is a curious thing. Every time a new mode of transportation becomes generally accepted, there is a recrudescence of the old difficulties and problems which had been faced and, it was thought, conquered, in the days when such a means of transportation was merely a sport. When the first railroad began to run, voices were heard drawing attention to the great dangers to the public health which would ensue as a result of this new means of transportation. It was thought that such quick transportation would inevitably drive the people who availed themselves of it to the madhouse. Our generation laughs at the fears of our great-grandparents, but forgets that similar fears entered the public consideration when automobiles appeared for the first time. How one scorned those "carts without horses." One compared them to dogs without tails. The old volumes of humorous and satirical magazines of any nation which appeared round the change of the century are an excellent source from which collectors of such curiosities can draw.

Montgolfier, Count Zeppelin, the Wright brothers, these are names which will always stand out in the history of the technical development of mankind. And yet these are the names of persons who were laughed at, jeered at, and for years—until their endeavors were crowned with success—considered fools by the world. Then they were acknowledged. The same thing used to happen when conversations turned to flights across the Ocean. But the conquest of this wide expanse of water, separating two continents which depend on each other in cultural, commercial and industrial respects, was the life task and aim of the young generation.

From time to time it seemed as if those who maintained that such a task could only be solved with the aid of airships would prove to be right. The flight of the Z3, the Los Angeles of to-day, under the command of Dr. Eckener, seemed to open up a new era. The believers in airplanes looked with astonishment, not unmixed with scepticism, upon this achievement of the airship. But they still believed that in the long run leadership in this field would have to be accorded to the airplane. Enormous airships expose too large a surface for wind and weather to attack; they are extremely expensive to construct and to run. Airplanes require much less space, are more easily handled and will consequently take the lead in the long run.

Commander Read and the crew of the U. S. Naval N C-4 flying boat were the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 1919 from West to East, with intermediate stops followed by Alcock and Brown in a non-stop flight. Then came a pause of eight years, during which period the problem was little thought of, because the world was in a state of upheaval due to the cataclysmic events of 1914-1918 and had more complicated tasks to solve, important as this one was. Lindbergh's brilliant and heroic attempt, crowned as it was by success, brought about a change. Everywhere there were discussions of the possibilities of West to East and East to West flights . . . and more than theoretical discussions. Life after life was lost in the attempt to fly across the Ocean from East to West. There was keen competition between land and sea planes, and recently a third type, the flying boat, has also entered the field. Believers in the single motored machine fought with those who confessed their belief in trimotored planes. Practical experience so far could not decide which was the best type.

Strange are the circumstances under which the members of the Bremen crew approached their aim. Independently of each other worked Fitzmaurice in Ireland, Koehl and Huenefeld in Germany. Each one in working towards the solution of the problem, thought that the single motored land plane would have the best chance of success in an East to West flight. Fitzmaurice experimented with the single motored Fokker in 1927. Koehl and Huenefeld, without knowing each other, each endeavored to tackle the transatlantic flight with the type W33 built by the Junkers Works in Dessau, a type to which the Bremen belongs. A happy coincidence brought together first the two Germans, and later on all three. It will be seen from these facts that all three of us considered the same principles correct.

The flight from East to West, under the circumstances which prevailed, was considered a record flight. This may be true. But sport and record flights will gradually bring about organized transportation. The history of the automobile speaks for this.

When we decided that the Bremen type was the most suitable machine for such an attempt, we were by no means reckless. We gave up all devices which would have reduced our fuel supply, and which would have been justified only in an extreme emergency. We decided against carrying rubber boats, as these would be of no assistance on a rough sea in the middle of the ocean, although, as Commander Byrd and his companions proved, such rafts are an enormous help if a forced landing is made in the vicinity of land. We also gave up the thought of using a machine equipped with more engines.

We believe that at the present stage of technical development a plane equipped with three engines does not afford more safety on long distance flights than one equipped with a single motor. If one of the motors stalls, it is hardly possible to cover additional long distances, because a plane built for three engines becomes somewhat unstable after the stalling of one of her engines. Apart from this, a tri-motored plane has three sources of danger. The fuel supply must be trebled. All that makes for greater speed adds to the weight. The cruising radius of the machine does not increase, and the difficulties of the take-off remain the same. The feeding system of three engines is more complicated than the system for one. This also increases the sources of danger.

We are all convinced that within a short time these sources of danger will be overcome; and we are also convinced that in the future trimotored planes will be able to cover long distances, even after one of the motors has stalled. But at the moment of our take-off these difficulties had not been overcome.

The difficulties which present themselves at the take-off are just as great with a flying boat. During the preparations for our flight, and indeed while we are writing these pages, thoroughly seaworthy flying boats have not yet been tested practically. But we knew from the experiences of the summer of 1927, that flying boats of even the very best construction could not take off with a sufficiently large fuel supply. And we had seen that when landing on a rough sea, even flying boats were badly damaged and unable to remain afloat. Junkers effected a compromise to some extent by building cushions and floats into the wings of the Bremen, whereby, after the removal of the gasoline tank (this could be accomplished very easily) , the plane could keep afloat for about twenty hours.

Record attempts under favorable circumstances in 1927 showed that our machine could be kept in the air even with strong head winds for a number of hours sufficient to cross the Ocean from East to West. We did not use balloon tires on the wheels. Thus we were compelled to select our runway very carefully but on the other hand we considerably reduced air resistance. This advantage must not be underestimated.

Apart from wind and weather, there are other dangers which confront the person attempting to undertake the East to West flight, as compared with the dangers faced by him who tries to fly in the opposite direction. Let us look at the map of the world. While Europe runs in a more or less straight line from North to South, the American continent recedes considerably in the South. The dangers of erroneous navigation for the pilot who has drifted South must not be underestimated. Theoretically it is possible that a machine after coming to the end of her cruising radius of sixty hours may sink into the sea somewhere in the neighborhood of Mexico. And another difficulty also arises. Europe consists of thickly populated countries bordering on each other. There are no uninhabited stretches along the coast to make even a successful landing fatal.

On our flight we proved that it is possible to reach the American continent, and in spite of having a reserve of 10 to 16 hours flying time, under certain circumstances to perish in the wide deserts of Labrador, where the summer is so incredibly short. We are all firmly convinced that from the air we saw the graves of our predecessors. We believe that all or most of them reached the American continent, but were forced to land after exhausting their fuel supply, and disappeared in the wilderness of Labrador without leaving a trace behind them. No man, no living creatures, came to their aid in those

mighty forests, overshadowed by towering mountains. The cold and frosty winter kills every human being who is unwary or unlucky enough to approach this wilderness.

The fog which generally prevails in the vicinity of Newfoundland and the banks of Newfoundland naturally induces the aviator who has no exact knowledge of the country, acquired either personally or from accurate descriptions, to fly towards Labrador. Moreover, the magnetic fields of this part of the world cause deviations of the compass and magnetic needle, which under certain circumstances might have fatal results, since every hour lost reduces the fuel supply and thus reduces the chance of reaching inhabited spots of the country. We could not have achieved the success we did in our East to West flight had we not carefully considered these circumstances. They are dangers which flyers in the future will be able to avoid.

One of the dangers first learned of from Lindbergh's notations was the accumulation of ice on the wings in the foggy zone of Newfoundland, so we tried to eliminate this by covering the plane, at Koehl's suggestion, with a thin layer of tallow. This prevents water from settling on the machine and we hoped it would eliminate the formation of ice. Our experience with this coating was most successful.

If one wishes to enumerate briefly the requirements for an East to West flight, one has to say that the following conditions are absolutely essential:

1. Stability of the plane, so that she may outride even heavy storms without her wings being damaged.

2. A reliable engine capable of running 60 to 100 hours at top speed.

3. A plane which over and above her normal load is capable of carrying and taking off with a fuel supply to last her for 40 to 60 hours flight.

I should have mentioned at the beginning of this chapter that the pilot who undertakes to fly over this route should undergo special training. Koehl's instruments for establishing the drift, and at the same time the head winds, and thus the absolute speed of the airplane, are an absolute necessity for every plane attempting such a flight. Astronomical knowledge, which considerably facilitates the establishment of one's position at night, must also be considered necessary. This astronomical knowledge, i. e., its application, is especially of great importance when one takes into account the before mentioned deviation of the magnetic needle. All these requirements must be well considered, especially when the plane in question does not carry a radio. The East to West flights of the future, especially when they become a regular service, will under no conditions be able to dis­pense with the radio. In the fog one will be ableto proceed on the basis of radio bearings. Ex­perience has shown that it is the foggy zones on the East coast of America which constitute the greatest peril for airplanes arriving from Europe.

In our opinion the future of transatlantic air transportation will be largely based upon this most modern aid. It will always be possible to cover the distance between Ireland and New­foundland, if a straight course is kept, even in proportionately bad weather. The distance amounts to approximately 3,000 kilometers. Supposing an airplane possesses an absolute speed of 180 kilometers per hour, and is capable of carrying a fuel supply for 30 hours, then the goal would be reached theoretically even if a head wind of 80 kilometers per hour were blow­ing during the entire crossing. In practical ex­perience these things naturally look somewhat different. It is certainly improbable that such a wind would be encountered along the entire route, but under certain circumstances cyclones and hurricanes might cause greater speed reduc­tion and drift than a regular head wind blowing with a force of 80 km. per hour.

Furthermore, it must be considered that in this estimate no allowance is made for a reserve sup­ply of gasoline. But it is essential that such a reserve supply should be carried in the event of the worst happening. Radio beacons and radio service in general will certainly eliminate a num­ber of undesirable detours and delays. It must be borne in mind, however, that steamship service along the shortest northern route is rather scarce most of the year. In order to establish radio con­nections with ships along the main route the plane would have to be equipped with a long wave set, which again would be too bulky and add to the load. The dead weight of the plane would thus be increased, and the chances of a suc­cessful flight diminished. For this reason the creation of new types of radio sets must be wel­comed; all the countries in the world are to-day engaged in their development. Therein lies the main possibility for the future of a regulated ocean air service.

The natural question which arises every time an East to West flight is considered, after all the difficulties connected with such a flight have been duly pondered, is whether it would not be possible to establish landing points on the sea, which would make a non-stop flight unnecessary. Such possibilities no doubt exist. There are al­ready American and German patents which pro­vide for islands in mid-ocean, where airplanes could safely land and take off. Refueling would thus be made possible, and the dangers of the flight would be considerably reduced. But as I have already emphasized, only practical experience will be able to test these ideas. No matter how tempting these theoretical possibilities may seem, it would be impossible to accept or discard them without having proven their feasibility by practical experience.

A wide field of activity is still left for future exploration. In time East to West flights will become just as much ft matter of course as West to East flights. In our opinion such flights in the beginning will carry mail only, and for some time will remain almost exclusively mail flights. It will be years before passengers will be transported in great numbers across the Ocean, because during the next few years it will remain cheaper and more comfortable to transport the great masses of people by steamers. The transportation of mail and perishable valuable goods is a different matter. One airplane will be able to carry a great quantity of letters for a small extra charge per letter and soon turn such transportation into a profitable undertaking. Of course a limited passenger service will play some part during the next few years. But we will have to wait and see in which directions such progress will proceed. Our task is to keep a watch ful eye on this route in both directions and to develop it in the interests of future world transportation. In the interests of world economics we must not lose sight of it for a single minute.