Commercial Aviation in Germany
Bv Erik Hildesheim, Aviation August 1 1921
Commercial aviation in Germany may be considered as being:in a condition similar to commercial aviation
in the rest of Europe. When an endeavor is made to distinguish between companies in actual operation, and
those merely telling: what they intend to do consideration usually reverts to the subsidized concerns. So a brief
review of German commercial aviation nust include a description of the form and aim of government aid to the
Conditions of Subsidy
Late in the spring the German Traffic Office published a
memorandum of negotiations with the aerial transport concerns. As a result of these negotiations the concerns
have received, from May 1, 1021, a payment of 10 marks for each of the first 1500 km. (200 miles) flown, and
11 marks for each additional kilometer flown. The concerns agreed to maintain services open to the public and
to transport 220 lb. of mail free of charge. In event of excess mail the companies agreed either to put into
service a second machine, which must then carry 220 lb. free in return for the stipulated subsidy; or to accept
payment for the excess at the rate of 10 marks per kilognun of letters and parcels and 2 marks per kilogram of
newspapers. The payment for the normal load of mail is by net weight, while that for excess load is by gross
weight; the reason for the difference being a standard 10 per cent reduction as, in the normal load, letters
have preference to parcels and the latter to newspapers. The companies received the mail payment monthly,
and are responsible to the postal authorities tor the safety of the cargo in the same way as these authorities
are responsible to the sender. When the mail is carried over two or more lines only the company operating the
first one is paid irrespective of whether different companies operate the lines. Exceptions
to this are made where connections are made with foreign airlines. In figuring milage the
mail authorities work out the distance in a straight line between two cities and then add
an allowance of 20 km. Intermediate landings on schedule are payed for at the rate of 10
marks each. Both parties to the agreement arc required to give a fortnight's notice in the
event of suspension of service. The aerial transport companies cannot be held respon-
sible for delays due to force majeure, and the mail au- thorities need not notify of suspen-
sion during the winter months. An enterprise is not subsidized until it can prove that is has
flown 20,000 km. regularly during the twelve months preceed- ing its application for
subsidy. Payment, however, is made for mail carried during this qualifling distance.
Eighty per cent regularity of performance must be maintained to secure payment of
subsidy, which is reduced 10 per cent tor each 5 percent failure of regularity. Qualification
for the subsidy involves also the operation of at least one machine, built with a direct view
to commercial uses,, for every three converted war machines. In this way the German
government is creating a market for commercial airplanes. However, even though
Germany possesses a well developed system of airlines the number of people actively
engaged in aviation is hardly worth the subsidy expended on the lines.
The Berlin to Augsburg service maintained by the Rumpler Co. shows the effects of the
same lack of public interest which was prevelant in the London-Paris services until the
rates were reduced. These effects are clearly indicated by the monthly performance
sheet of the company, which announces that unless business increases operation of the
air lines will be suspended from Nov. 1 to March 31. Under the ruling of the Inter-Allied
Control Commission the Germans have been compelled to surrender the commercial airships Bodensee and Nordstem to France and Italy, respectively and to build, or to pay for the building of, other airships to replace those destroyed. In addition the Germans are prevented from building commercial aircraft until three months after the surrender of the military aircraft yet to be delivered to the Allies. On this basis the German government may announce, when the aerial transport companies apply for further support, that grounds for a subsidy do no longer exist. This would place the aircraft companies in the position ot having to seek a customer with ready cash for their products. The number of companies now producing aircraft is small as the former large concerns such as Aviatik, D.F.W, and L.V.G., have turned to activities other than the production of aircraft. The Hawa, L. F. G. and Albatross companies also have turned to other activities although they still build a few aircraft. The Hawa Co. has produced a biplane and a triplane adaptation of their tractor machine with the rear cockpit converted into n passenger eabin. This machine is used on the Lloyd air service. The L.F.G. Co. has completed some converted aluninum seaplanes of both the boat and float type at their Stralsund works.
The Albatross Co. has under construction a six-seater cantilever cabin monoplane with the pilot's cockpit located over the engine. The machines of this firm have been employed on the Lloyd Ostflug air line in conjunction with Junkers machines. Incidentally the latter firm is the only aircraft company which does not belong to the German Aircraft Association. This firm leads in the production of post-war machines, the type now manufactured being the six seatcr all metal monoplane of which some fifty have been turned out. Twenty-live of these are as yet unsold. The company is using three, and the remainder have been disposed of by export. The Sablanig Co. ranks next to the Junkers Co. in the post war production of aircraft, producing a cabin monoplane, and for their former night bombers with the front cockpit converted into a cabin for four passengers. This company uses its own machines on its own air lines.
The Rumpler Co. also employs machines of its own manufacture on its air lines from Leipzig to Nuremburg to Munich between the terminals of Berlin and Augsburg. At Berlin the Johannisthal airdrome has been closed since the revolution in November 1918, and the Rumpier factory which was located there has been transferred to the Bavarian branch of the firm. The machines used on the airlines are the 100 hp. Benz engined school machines with the rear cockpit converted to seat two passengers. The air line to the Swiss frontier also uses this
type of machine, but with a 120 hp. Mercedes engine. The Constance-Stuttgart branch of this line uses former Halberstadt two-seaters. However, the tendency to use cheap converted war aircraft on commercial lines is not so great in Germany as in other countries because of the ban put on such machines by the Allies and the resulting seizures. Carl Caspar has given up the large factory of the Hanseatic Airplane Works in Hamburg and has purchased the Fokker branch works at Lübeck- Trawemünde, which belonged at one time to the D. F.W. Co. He has resumed the construction of Friedrickshafen type seaplanes for Norway. The Hanseatic works which he has given up are now engaged in furniture manufacture.
Domier has the greatest number of post war types to his credit. They are all of metal and each one embodies new features. The land and boat seaplane monoplanes have been demonstrated in Holland and Switzerland, and in the latter country, on Lake Constance, a short airline is planned. Dornier developments are principally along experimental lines, the specimen machines bring manufactured at the Seemoos plant.
The Air Transport Services
The German air transport services in regular operation are shown on the accompanying map. For the most part they may be divided into large groups: first, the Deutsche Luftreederei, by far the greatest aerial transport concern, formed by the well known A. E. G. concern with the Hamburg America Line as agents; and second, the Lloyd Luft-Dienst, which unites most of the other companies. The Norddeutsclier Lloyd is the chief backer of this group. Both these leading German shipping companies are taking an active interest in commercial aviation, the explanation being that the war has left them with out their marine fleets, and also that the Hamburg America Line was the agent for the German Airship Transport Co. (Delag)-now defunct, for the time being at least.
The Deutsche Luftreederei operates four lines, viz. Berlin to Dresden, Berlin to Dortmund, Danzig to Memel, and Hamburg to Bremen which connects with the Amsterdam to London service. The Danzig to Memel route connects with the Lloyd Ostllug line to Konigsberg. The Lloyd Air Line Sablatnig connects at Bremen with the line to London operated by the Royal Dutch Navigation Co. (known by its Dutch initials as K. L. M.) Connections are made by this line as German air- planes are prohibited from leaving the country. From Bremen the Lloyd Sablatnig line continues to Dortmund, and a ser- vice from the former city to the north sea resort of Wangerooge has been inaugurated.
The Lloyd Air Service announces the opening of the Baltic Coastal Air Line: Travemiinde to Warnemunde, to Sassnitz, to Swinemünde. The last named city is within easy reach of Stettin and thus in direct air communication with the German capital. The Bavarian Lloyd air line and the Paul Strehle airline are operating in the south of Germany. The newest airline to commence operations is the German Air Lloyd with its line from Hamburg to Magdeburg where connections are made for Berlin. In the future machines will go from Leipzig to
Dresden, omitting Breslau als a terminal. Among the companies of the Lloyd organization yet to be mentioned are the Badische Luftfahrt A. G., which has discontinued flying for the present; and the foreign concerns: the Danish Air Express, the Vienna Air Traflic Co. and the Danzig Air Mail Co. The first of these has been financed and provided with airplanes by the Sablatnig Co. and so has failed to get registered for operations in Denmark. The Austrian company was to have co-operated with the Rumpier Co. but the first three airplanes despatched from Munich to Vienna were seized bv the Inter-Allied Control Commission and there resulted the order prohibiting German aircraft from flying abroad. The Danzig Air Mail Co. works in conjunction with the Danzig to Memel Service of the Deutsche Luftreederei. Passenger Rates
The passenger rates are given below, those in brackets being for a round trip.
1. Berlin-Braunsehweig: .300 Mark (500 M)-Dortmund : 500 M (800 M). Berlin-Dresden: 300 M (500 M). Danzig-Konigsberg: 240 M-Memel : 400 M. Hamburg-Bremen: 275 M (400 M) Amsterdam: 75 Florins (130 Fl)-Rotterdam: 100 FI (180 Fl) Bremen-Amsterdam: 50 Fl (75 Fl).
2. Berlin-Bremen: 450 M-Munster 650 M...
3. Berlin-Liepzig: 450 M-Nuremberg: 1125 M.-Munich:: Augsburg: 1725 M.
4. Berlin-Stettin: 225 M.-Danzig: 900 M.-K6nigsberg: 975 M. Danzig-Konigsberg; 250 M.
5. Munich-Konstanz: 400 M (650 M).
6. Berlin-Magdeburg: 1225 M. Hamburg-Magdeburg: 300 M Breslau: 700 M
7. Stuttgart-Konstanz: 450 M (700 M)
The ticket price of the Deutsche Luft-Reederei includes auto- mobile transport to and from the Johannisthal airdrome ..to Berlin; the Rumplcr Co. includes passenger insurance. The
mail rates are given in the following table:
Post cards 0.60 Mark.
Parcels below 1 kg. weight 11.10 M maximum dimensions: 60 cm. length.
Urgent delivery of heavier parcels 10 mark per kilogram and fraction thereof.
Newspapers at special rates in inland to Denmark and Sweden.
Foreign 0.40 mark for postcards, 0.40 mark per 20 g of letters and 1 mark per 50 g. prints. Registry 1 mark.