German Air Transport
By LESTER D. GARDNER
This series of articles on German Air Transport is the result of a trip
made by Major Gardner over the principal air routes of the Deutsche
L,uft Hansa last year.It has been supplemented by more recent data
from various sources. The. description of German Transport Planes has
been taken almost entirely from an article in the May 7th issue of
"Zeitschrift des Vereines Deutscher Ingenieure".-Ed.
IN CONSIDERING the place of Germany in the world of aeronautics since the war, three developments stand out: the persistent and ever expanding civil air transport; the development of transport types of airplanes; and the dogged determination to continue, even under tic most severe limitations, the building of the Zeppelin types of airships. The particular reason for this unique condition may be found in the limitations placed on Germany after the Armistice. German air transport was hard hit by the London ultimatum of May 1921. The speed of German airplanes was limited to 106 m.p.h., the ceiling to 13,123 ft. and the commercial load to 1,323 lb. The 1000 hp. transport plane designed by Rohrbach and being built in the Zeppelin works had to be destroyed. The super-plane designed by Prof. Junkers could not be built and other limitations were placed on civil air transport that forced Germany to adopt a policy which has placed her far in the lead of all other countries in the air transport field. Deprived as the notion was of any military or naval aircraft, it was natural that the country that had made such valuable contributions to the science of aeronautics should seek an outlet for its genius in this field. Three things could be done. An aircraft industry could be kept alive.
Airports of the most modern type could be created. Types of air transport airplanes could be produced. All of these would keep an aeronautical personnel at work and available until the restrictions could be lifted. This modification occurred in May 1920. due largely to the necessity as well as the advantages of reciprocal arrangements for flying over Germany by airplanes of other countries, which necessarily permitted German aircraft to fly elsewhere than inGermany. Without giving all the details of the original restrictions and the recent modifications, it may be said generally that Germany is now permitted to develop its Civil Avia-tion with only the limitation that the aircraft flown over air transport lines will not be susceptible of use for military purposes. This point was made particularly emphatic during a talk with Ministerilrat Brandenburg, Director of the Air Traffic Department of the Germany Ministry of Communication. Minister Brandenburg had a distinguished war record, having commanded many of the German aircraft squadrons that bombed so successfully England and France. He received the highest honors for his war service. He was wounded many times in action, resulting in the amputation of his left leg. Since 1924 he has been the directing head of the only authority in Germany which deals with aerial matters. (Luftfahrtabteilung des Reichsvenkehnsministeriums). It was Herr Brandenburg who encouraged the placing of orders with remnants of the wartime aircraft industry so that they would not lose connection with aeronautical development. He directed the reorganization of German air transport companies in 1928 and has been a leader in the efforts made by Germany to have the restrictions of 1921 removed. When seen in his office, he enquired if in the writer's travels over the air lines in Germany we had seen any evidence of a military development. As the answer was necessarily in the negative.Minister Brandenburg took occasion to emphasize the sincerity of purpose of those in charge of German Air Transport to develop air traffic along commercial lines exclusively. While other countries of Europe were compelled' to appropriate large sums for military and naval aviation and The first scheduled trips over the Deutsche Luft Hansa air lines were begun in April, 1926. Since then traffic, passenger, mail and freight has grown steadily. This year, new air routes have been added to those operated in 1920, so that it can be said that
after a year's operation, Germany is provided with the most complete aerial traffic service of any country in the world. While the air lines of almost all other countries aim to provide communication between different countries, the German air lines are also operated to serve the cities of Germany itself. Since the restrictions on German commercial air transport were lifted in 1926, the routes have been extended beyond the German frontier and daily service now operates to Paris, London, and more recently, to Venice.
Central Office in Berlin
The central office of the Deutsche Luft Hansa is centrally located in Berlin on Mauerstrasse. On the ground floor is a large ticket office in charge of \V. E. Schmidt-Rex, who is well-acquainted with the United States, having lived in New York for several years. He and his staff not only give information regarding air transport in Germany but can plan trips over every European air line. When a passenger purchases a ticket to any city on the Luft Hansa lines, he is provided with a specially prepared map of the route, which enables him to locate easily places of interest along the way and derive the gratst enjoyment from the trip. A complete time table and labels for all personal baggage are provided each passenger.
The executive offices of the company occupy several floors above the ticket office. The general director, Otto Merkel, is an indefatigable executive who is not only an expert oil air transportation bu: an experienced organizer of business enterprises. His associate, Major -Martin Vronsky, is perhaps the best known expert in Europe on international aircraft relations, having represented Germany at practically all of the aviation meetings which have been held to consider the problems of air traffic between the countries of Europe. Dr. Erhard Milch is in charge of the technical direction. The activities of the company are divided into four separate departments:
business, technical, flying and traffic. The traffic department not only handles the passenger, mail, and freight, but maintains a publicity and statistical bureau. The general direction of the company is centered in Berlin, but at Komigsberg, Hamburg, Essen and Munich
district managers supervise the operation of the airdromes in their districts.
Passengers Pay Only 30 Per Cent
As is the case in all countries of Europe, Germany gives the Deutsche Luft Hansa a subsidy. It may surprise some of the Americans who have enjoyed the luxury of German air travel to know that they paid only 30 per cent of the cost of the trips they flew, the government paying the remaining 70 per cent. This subsidy is shared by the German Government, the states, cities and yarious corporations. Generally speaking, the international lines are subsidized by the national government, while the local services are supported by local interest-. For single engine planes the company receives a subsidy 76cent/mile; for larger multi-engined planes a proportionately larger amount. In connection with the subsidy, the German \ o'mt of view is not only interesting but sound. They remind critics of the fact that all forms of transportation have been subsidized at the start. Railroads and steamship lines even now are receiving large subventions from some governments. Automobiles receive indirect aid through road building. The German idea is to develop trade rather than traffic. If they can bring the cities of the world closer to Germany by airlines, it is believed that trading will be aided and business increased. For this reason it is worth while in their opinion to assist air lines to develop trade regardless of traffic. The pilots of the Luft Hansa are selected only after a most thorough training. An air traffic school is operated at the Staaken airdrome near Berlin. Before a pupil is accepted hemust have what is known as an "A" license which he can get at any flying school. He is given a thorough technical ground course and after having flown over 3,000 miles cross country and passing his examination he receives a "B" license which entitles him to pilot the smaller commercial planes over short routes. To secure experience with larger types the "B" pilots fly as second pilots with a licensed pilot for commercial planes. As experienced is gained and after further examinations pilots secure "C" and "D" licenses. The *'D" pilots are required to have flown 63,000 miles and are rated as aero captains.
Pay of Pilots
The pay of pilots is based on a monthly salary and bonuses. The salaries of pilots range from $66 to $98 a month including extra pay of $12 a month when the pilot is married and $3 to $4 for children. This salary is paid throughout the year whether the pilot is flying or not. When away from his home, a pilot receives a daily allowance of $3.25 a day which increases his base salary about $48 to $60 a month. For each mile flown pilots receive slightly less than from two to three and a half cents per mile, according to the type of plane. For night flying, double the rate for day flying is paid and a bonus of $24 is given for every 2125 miles flown without accident. In 1926 the average income of German air transport pilots amounted to from $1900 to $2400. In the above figures allowance must be made not only for the change from marks to dollars but for the standards of living which are very different from those in the United States. One of the most interesting and notworthy facts about air travel in Germany is thatevery passenger is insured by the Deutsche Luft Hansa for about $6,000. In case the passenger is injured and incapacitated for work, he receives a daily payment of $6 a day. By securing this insurance, the company not only proved to the passengers, but to the insurance companies, the safety of air travel. This rate of premium lias been lowered from time to time and most German insurance companies have cancelled the provision in their policies regarding airplane travel. Extra insurance may be secured at any of the airdromes and baggage and freight may also he insured. The premium for shipping by air is little more than half the corresponding rate for sea on mail. Alter a passenger lias purchased his ticket at the main office he is told at what hour an autobus will take him to Templchof Airdrome. Many go by taxi as it is located near the center of Berlin. The busses are modem and very comfortable and take less than a half hour to reach the central airport of Europe. On arrival, the passenger's ticket ts examined, his passport, if he is not a citizen, looked over and both he and his baggage weighed.
Restaurant on Roof of Main Building
The main building has been erected by a local company and concessions arc leased for various services. There is a roof restaurant where those awaiting the arrival or departure of the planes may secure an excellent meal or refreshments. The control tower is located in front of the main building which is flanked on either side by large hangars. Steel towers for radio, and night lighting, are placed in front of the main building while the whole field is equipped with the usual ground lights for the Berlin-Moscow plane which leaves at 2 A.M. One of the distinctive features nf all Luft Hansa airports is the uniformed page who assists passengers with their baggage, gives them cotton in waxed paper bags for their ears and sees that the doors are closed. On arrival these pages assist passengers, particularly the ladies, to alight an search the plane for any articles that may have been forgotten. The uniform courtey of these boys is favorably commented on by every traveller.On the field, planes of all sizes, types and nationalities may be seen. Monoplanes are to be seen in greater numbers than biplanes. Planes made by Junkers, Dormer, Rohrbach and Albatross are all used by the Luft Hansa. French and English air transport planes may also be occasionally seen. Planes for two to five passengers are used on the shorter routes while planes seating 12 to 16 passengers are used on the main international trunk lines.Planes with sleeping accommodations are now in service and more are on order. The develpment of airports in Germany has become as important as the expansion ofthe air transport system. In act it is generally assumed that both are necessary to accomplish saisfactory air traffic results. While the Tempelhof port in Berlin is much larger and more completely quipped than any other flying field in Germany, other cities have taken great pride in creating airports that will provide or the present and future air traffic.
Cologne, Koenigsberg and Breslau have particularly well equipped facilities for taking care of air travellers. At Koenigsberg the buildings are of permanent construction and have served as models for other more recently constructed fields. At Cologne there has been built a modern type of airport with every facility for the convenience of passengers. A concrete apron has been built on the field with concrete walks to it from the waiting rooms so that when it is rainy, passengers can get to the planes without wetting their feet. At the large German airports no servicing of planes is permitted in view of passengers. This avoids creating the impression in the minds of travellers that adjustments are required. Engines are warmed up at the hangars which are at a considerable distance from the passenger building. When a plane arrives, the passengers alight, baggage, mail and freight are removed and the plane is immediately taxied to the hangars. When departing the plane is brought to the apron ready to fly and can leave as soon as it is filled. This plan not only is a great convenience to passengers but permits many more planes to arrive and depart on schedule time.
When a passenger purchases a ticket, he not only receives a map of the route, but on this folder are also maps of cities along the way showing the general location of the airport with relation to the "bahnhof" or railroad station. Airports are located As near to the center of cities as possible. It has been found that centrally located airdromes are more profitable.
Major Wronsky has stated: "It is statistically proven that aerodromes which are located near the center of a city are showing a better frequency than those in which the aerodrome is situated at a distance of several kilometres. A visit to the aerodrome in the rush hours, the acquaintance with air traffic from one's own inspection, being thereby animated to take the 'risk* of a first short air trip, docs more to make air traffic popular than a hundred articles or lectures. As all airplanes pass over all larger German cities regularly,the population is impressed by this branch of air traffic, and it will be educated to an aviatic nation."
To attempt to give a detailed dieseription of flights over all the lines of the Deutsche Luft Hansa would require a book rather than a few pages. There are, however, certain general conclusions that may be reached by relating some of the experiences of an air traveler who had the good fortune to fly over most of the main air routes of Germany.
When the map of this company's airlines that cross the German Republic is studied with the thought in mind of flying over the important links, certain definite trips suggest themselves. A trip from Berlin to Copenhagen and a return flight from Stockholm to Stettin gives an experience in air travel over water in land planes and of how seaplanes are operated by this efficient German air line.
A trip from Berlin to Amsterdam and from there to Munich, via Cologne and Frankfort, gives a general idea of the uses made of different sizes of air transport planes for different kinds of trafic. From Munich, the soutliern air transport center of Germany, a delightful flight may be made to Zurich, Switzerland, passing over the famous Friedrichshafen Dornier airplane and Zeppelin airship factories. From Munich, the most picturesque flight in Europe starts. It only takes an hour but passengers from Innsbruck are usually flown back to the Bavarian capital by a direct route over the Alps a trip that will ever be remembered. a return trip to Berlin through Central Germany may be made in several ways. One may fly 150 miles east to Vienna and then fly north via Prague and Dresden, or he may fly directly north by way of Leipsie or Halle. On reaching Berlin another round trip to Breslau, Koenigsberg and the Baltic seashore cities may be planned to obtain still another idea of the extent of the great system of German internal air lines.
The following account of an American gentleman's experience can be taken as a fitting illustration of the simplicity, efficiency and enjoyment of air travel in Europe. At a lunch table at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, a New York banker was asking questions about air travel. He wanted to know if it really saved time. It was Thursday noon. He was immediately invited to try an experiment for himself. He was told that at three o'clock a large three-engined Junkers plane left Templehof Field and reached Copenhagen, Denmark, in time for dinner, whereas, the train trip took all day or all night. He was told that he could leave Copenhagen the next morning at nine o'clock and dine with friends in London that evening. And he could leave London Saturday inurning and be in Berlin again early in the evening. To make this round trip by train would require constant day and night travel, changes from train to boat and many frontiercontrols. By air, the journey would be comfortable and demonstrate perfectly the advantages of air travel. The banker was so pleased with the possibilities of the trip that he decided to make the round trip.
Securing the tickets was an easy procedure as the ticket office of the Deutsche Luft Hansa is centrally located in Berlin. The auto bus left the office at two o'clock nnd reached Tempelhof Field before half past two. A few minutes were occupied with ticket examination, passport stamping, weighing and looking over the large numbers of air transport planes in the hangars. Six planes were on the field being unloaded or about to leave. At 2:48 the big Junkers was in the air heading northeast directly over the center of Berlin. It left early as all passongers were at the field. The hanker became enthusiastic as it was his first flight. lie looked down and pointed out the beautiful Tiergarten from which extends Unter den Linden, the main thoroughfare of Berlin. All the important buildings of the city could be seen for a few minutes, but soon the interest of the passenger* was centered on beautiful Charlottenburg on the outskirts of Berlin. Those interested in aeronautics were attracted by a large Zeppelin hangar in the distance. It was at the famous Staaken Airdrom" where Zeppelin type airshins were built during the War. Vow. »hc huge hanear is used n« a moving picture studio. There is also located the technical laboratories and flying school of the Deutsche Luft Hansa. Many more beautiful and interesting sieht« parsed below until at last the hanker was landed on time at his destination well pleased with his new and altogether profitable experience. As is usually the case, the beginnings of flights are the most interesting parts of air journeys. To new air travelers, the scenery below is so fascinating that they do not pay any attention to the details of the plane itself until they get out over the countryside where the views are on a large scale with few objects of interest to attract attention. It is then that the details of the interior of the planes are studied. The large comfortable red leather chairs become more luxurious. The taste shown in draperies and carpets is noted and the eyes of the men soon locate the ash tray conveniently placed under tlie windows and cigars and cigarettes add to the air of complete relaxation.The small wash-room in the rear of the plane is fitted with every convenience for the passengers. Whenever a lid is raised, the opening to the outside of the plane is automatically closed, an improvement which will be noted by experienced air travelers who have, on less carefully designed planes had unfortunate experiences in attempting to have direct contact with a wind stream of a hundred miles an hour.
Flying Instruments for Passengers
The racks for overcoats, hats and handbags are not designed for strength only but add to the attractiveness of the interior by cord interlacing. The forward seat of the plane has a writing table which swings down from the front bulkhead if desired. A typewriter may be used here also. Over the door leading to the cockpit is a clock, an altimeter and a speed indicator so that all the passengers may keep themselves informed as to the three thoughts uppermost in their minds all during the trip.
The pilot and mechanic pilot have a most convenient cockpit. They are located where the operating personnel of a passenger plane should he placed, ahead in the nose. The door to the cockpit is wide and the glass window gives the passengers a feeling of close contact with the men who are responsible for their safety, a point often overlooked in the design of passenger planes. The second pilot on almost all large German planes will give passengers an opportunity to observe the arrangement of the controls aud instruments and have the delightful experience of riding in the open. This is particularly enjoyed by women passengers who appear to be thrilled by the opportunity to ride in the open beside the pilot. The sliding windows of the plane are adjustable and the old travelers all chose the rear scats for two reasons. They know that the opening of windows causes draughts on those in the rear, and when the weather is not warm and clear objections are naturally made by those who receive the full benefit of the wind stream. Therefore, those in the rear seats have a greater freedom of action with regard to ventilation. The other reason that causes them to choose the rear seats is that in case of forced landings or other difficulties the rear seat occupant usually comes through with less inconvenience, to put it mildly.
Receptacles for Airsickness Bags
On the back of each seat is a Hap covering a pouch which holds airsickness bags. These bags are standard on practically every well equipped passenger plane. They are lined with wax paper and several are provided for each passenger
for each trip, for it has been found that when one is required, three or four make their use much more pleasant. Airsickness is one of the gTeat unsolved problems of air transport but, there are many remedies for those who are so afflicted, and so there should be no more objection to air travel for this reason than similar experiences on ocean ships. Ventilation and warmth are the two essentials that are parts noticeable on German air transport planes and they minimize the discomfort during rough weather.
The noise from the engines on the large three-engined Junkers planes is not as deafening as on many other types, due to the carefully worked out tuft.ng on the interior. The entire inside o'f the cabin is lined with a thick stuffing covered with gray whipcord. This deadens the sound which otherwise would be very penetrating owing to the metal frame of the fuselage. But usually all passengers use the cotton which is furnished to place in the ears. Ear defenders, such as are used on battleships for protection against ear shock from gunfire, will be found to be better than cotton, the advantages being that they are cooler and one can hear normal sounds and conversation clearly. They can also be used many times another good point
On the flight from Berlin to Copenhagen a landing is made at Lubeck. Perhaps a few paragraphs from the writer's diary entered while on the plane will give a clearer idea of what a passenger sees, hears and does on these air trips in Germany:
"The sky is almost cloudless. There is practically no wind. Our pilot's name is Wiskandt, one of the best known commercial pilots of the Deutsche Luft Hansa. His mechanic-pilot beside him holds a map of the course, which passes over two rollers. It is being used constantly. The slight hazegives a visibility of about twenty miles. We have been about fifteen minutes in the air. To the right is Spandau the great manufacturing suburb of Berlin where the great electrical works are located. The plane is riding a few bumps, but it: is not rough. My friend and I arc the only passengers this afternoon. He is enjoying a cigar while I smoke my pipe. There are seats for nine in the cabin. We change seats occasionally so that we may get views on cither side of the plane. The altitude averages about 1,500 feet, and the speed is 100 miles an hour. My friend paid about $20.00 for the trip of 3G1 miles or about 6% cents a mile. This cost is about the same as the rate for first-class railway fare and sleeper. We were given attractive stick pins by the Luft Hansa page as we took-off. All passengers receive them. They are reproductions of the conventionalized bird used as a trade- mark by the Deutsche Luft Hansa. The scenery is very monotonous as we are flying over farming country. Lakes and irrigation canals are to he seen frequently. There are few automobiles on the roads as there are only 500,000 cars in all Germany.
The River Elbe is Sighted
"In the distance we can see the large River Elbe. Clouds at about 6,000 feet shield us from the glare of the sun. We have been flying an hour and expect to reach Lubeck in three-quarters of an hour more. The plane is very warm and we are not wearing our hats. There is a rain cloud to be seen to the north. The pilot has changed his course and is fiying around the rain. We fly over Schwerin, a city of about 50.000 people, beautifully located on a very large lake. We can see the cathedral and old castle located on an island, while opposite is a typically beautiful municipal theatre. But we are more interested in a flying field with a hangar that looks large enough to have been used as a Zeppelin shed. A beautiful rainbow is below us. It is the first time we have ever looked down on one. The pilot obligingly comes down to about 400 feet, so that we can get a good view of the city. It has onlv token about fifteen minutes for us to flv near enough to the sea to get our first view of the Baltic. The weather has changed and the Ground below looks very wet in places, indioatinp; recent rain. The pilot by skillful manouvring has avoided the rain. Wo are now flying; over a small bay, and can see Lubeck in the distance. The airport is located on an island to the south of the city. Fine beaches with summer hotels are to the north. We make a three point landing at 4:49, two hours after leaving Berlin. "We take-off at 5:08. While at the* field my friend and I enjoyed excellent beer and cheese of the country. The Caspar aircraft factory is located there, but was closed. Mail for Denmark was put on the plane as a great saving in time is made by using airplanes on the next leg of the trip to Copenhagen. It is now raining hard and we wonder if we are to miss seeing the beautiful crossing of the sea to Denmark. Fortunately we have a good tail wind. We have just flown near the city of Lubeck and had a poou view of it. We read in our guide book about the city. It was one of the free Hanseatic towns. It is from this league that the Deutsche Luft Hansa or German Air League or Association takes its name. No air trip is complete without a good gazeteer to read.
A Thirteen Mile Water Crossing
"We soon reach one of the bays of the Baltic and are following the shore of a peninsula to make the crossing to the Danish Islands shorter. We have again reached 1,500 feet and our speed is about 100 miles an hour. The rain has stopped and clouds float below us. At 5:28 we cross to the Island of Fehman, but in ten minutes wc head out to sea for a water crossing of thirteen miles to the Danish Island of Laaland. We can see across the Straight and as the sky has cleared, we are enjoying a beautiful sight. Several sailing vessels can be seen, making the view very beautiful. The sea is calm. As we near Denmark a shoal may be seen extending for miles. It gives the water a very light blue appearance. Our first view of this prosperous country is very interesting. Large islands are to be seen and all are dotted with lakes, some very large. The character of the country side may be recognized by the large white dairy barns with red roofs. Occasionally we cross a railroad. There is a train going north. "We are now over the mainland of Denmark. We have seen few towns, but everywhere there are dairy farms. At 6:18 we reach the bay on which Copenhagen is located. As it has become quite dark, wc take a short route directly across the bay. All along the shore are summer resort villages. The city is to the north, and we soon reach Kastrup Airdrome which is located several miles from the city on the strait that divides Denmark from Sweden. Across this five mile stretch of water is Malmoe, the terminal of the air line, where a change may be made for the night train to Stockholm or Oslo. We land at 6:36 having flown 361 mi. in 3 hr. and 29 min."
Customs and Passport Inspection
On landing the air traveler finds a very well equipped office building and is quickly passed by customs and passport controls. The assembly plant of the Rohrbach Aeroplane Co. is located at this field. There is a motor bus to take the passengers who fly from London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bremen and Hamburg. When it is too dark to fly to Malmoe, passengers for Stockholm are taken to the ferry. Others were taken to their hotels.
The airdrome at Copenhagen is operated by the Aerotransport A.B., the Swedish air transport company and the Danish Air Transport Co. in cooperation with the Deutsche Luft Hansa. By combinations such as this the air lines of three countries join in maintaining air traffic. It is perhaps the best illustration in Europe of the difficulties that the air transport companies have to overcome in operating over territory near borders.
The following is a description of the continuation of this air tour made by the writer and his guest. The next day. nfU»r a very delightful evening in the interesting capital of Denmark, we flew to London via Amsterdam, dined with Charles Grey, editor of "The Aeroplane", and on Saturday flow back to Berlin, exactly as planned. But as this account is of a round trip, via Stockholm, and as we flew later to Copenhagen from Casablanca in Africa, via Barcelona, Spain, Marseilles, Paris and Cologne, we will cross to Malmoe and take the night train to Stockholm. There is no air service across Sweden, but as the night trains are excellently equipped it is a very pleasant ride.
In the morning, after a pleasant drive about the city, my guest, Col. Henry D. Lindsley, first National Commander of the American Legion, and I drove to the airport of the Deutsche Luft Hansa located on a beautiful bay several miles north of the city. Here Luft Hansa M&planea leave for Stettin, Germany, and those operated by the Swedish Aktie Bolaget Aerotransport and the Aero 0. V. of Finland, fly to Helsingfors. The German line uses Dornier Wal flying boats, while Junkers seaplanes are used for the flight across the Baltic to Finland.
Reach Berlin in Time for Dinner
As we reached the station the large Dornier Wal was being serviced for the 399 mi. over-sea trip to Stettin, where we were to be mot and flown 81 mi. to Berlin, in time for dinner. We were due to leave at 11:30 A.M., but did not take off until 11:55. After a short taxiing wo took the air at 12:01. As we had flown from Genoa to Palermo, Italy, in a Dornier Wal, its comfortable cabin and excellent unobstructed view were not as impressive as they are to passengers who fly in these seaplanes for the first time. Our pilot, C. Ruring, decided to give us a flight that would never be forgotten from both a scenic and speed point of view. He headed directly for the city and flow over this Venice of the North. There is probably no city in the world that Is so beautiful from the air as Stockholm. It is truly called ''The City within the Bridges". As far as the eye can see in all directions are small and large lakes surrounded by forests. As the day was clear this view could he seen for fifty miles. It is not necessary for a seaplane to fly close to the sea in Sweden, as it could land almost anywhere on a lake. In a half hour the sea was reached and here again a unique view was encountered. The shore is dotted with thousands of islands and the combination of forests, lakes, sea and islands makes flying in Sweden an experience not duplicated elsewhere. By 12:30 the plane-was flying over the sea and we treated to t a new experience. As we had left a little late and were flying, against a, head wind, the pilot, who wished to save time, flew at about ten feet above the surface of the water.
As the sea was choppy, at the speed of about 90 m.p.h., we appeared to be going faster than we had ever flown before. It was more exciting than hedge hopping, because of the length of time that the pilot maintained this ten foot altitude. For over two hours he held his plane constantly at this height and the impression of speed is gained even to a degree greater than that of any speed boat. To fly over the sea, out of sight of land, with the spray from the white caps blowing into the -winds, gives passengers a thrill as no other kind of flying does. We flew parallel to the coast about ten miles out, and only occasionally could land be seen. We passed the island of Gothland and could see the beautiful summer villa of the Queen of Sweden.
Fly Over Castle of Kalmar
We landed at Kalmar at 2:42 and enjoyed a very welcomed lunch. At 3:23 we were in the air again and flew over the ancient Castle of Kalmar with its five towers and ramparts which had withstood twenty-three seiges. As we reached open water, the pilot again tried "wave hopping". He told us at Kalmar that he could only do it when he had a good head wind, because if his engines commenced to miss he had plenty of reserve flying speed to climb. Of course, he found the wind easier to buck close to the water.
After leaving Kalmar we took a straight course for Stettin, Germany. This gave us a direct over water flight of about 125 mi. The only land we sighted was the Island of Bornholm which we passed about three miles to the West of our course. Occasionally we would pass steamers and sailing vessels, and would exchange greetings with those on board. It was not until after six o'clock that we landed on the River Oder. As we wished to get to Berlin as quickly as possible, we were taken by automobile from the seaplane station on the river to the flying field where a special plane wn« waiting for us. We did not reach the field until after seven o'clock and left at 7:20. The sky had commenced to get dark and as we knew that the L.F.G. plane in which we were flying could
not make over u'0-70 m.p.h., we surmised that we would probably have to land at Tempelhof field in the dark. It took an hour and twenty minutes to cover the eighty-one mile flight, and we had the interesting sight ot Berlin iu the early evening with thousands of lights twinkling below. The city was more beautiful than when seen on the night flight toward Moscow, as there were many more lights. A dinner had been arranged in honor of Colonel Lindsley and even though we did not land at Tempelhof Field until 8:40 P.M., we reached the dinner at an hour that is not late for Berlin.
Among the guests were Mr. Otto Merkel, Maj. Martin Wronsky and Dr. Erhard Milch, the directors of the Deutsche Luft Hansa; Dr. Knauss who was about to leave for the famous flight from Moscow to Pekin; Dr. P. Fette, director of the Deruluft air line between Berlin and Moscow; Major von Tschudi, secretary of the Aero Club of Germany and host to all visiting aeronautical guests, and Dr. Fritz Hammer, director of the S. C. A. D. T. A. air line in Columbia, South America.
Earlier the round trip flight from Berlin to Copenhagen and Stockholm to Berlin was described . This gave a general idea of flying
conditions to the north of Berlin, but to secure a typical impression of the German airlines, and an impression of Western Germany from the air, the route from Berlin to Cologne, from there to Munich and back to Berlin, offers a loop which covers practically all of the interesting places of the Rhine and Bavarian districts.
From each of the cities at which a landing is made, airlines radiate in practically every direction. An air traveler wishing to reach any part of Western Germany, or adjoining countries north of Italy, may step from his plane on arrival at almost any airdrome and take-olT almost immediately for any selected destination.
In this series of articles descriptions of the country below have been avoided as much as possible. It has not been intended to write a travel article, but in this part more attention will be given to the scenic beauties of Germany, so that the advantages of air travel from this standpoint may be appreciated. When a sight-seeing tourist can cover practically all of the most interesting parts of Germany in a few days hy air travelling, and with the aid of guide l>ooks view with understanding some of the most picturesque places in Europe, what has been thought impossible appears to be attained.
From Berlin to Cologne
The first part of such a journey leads from Berlin to Cologne. This is a part of the direct airline to Paris over which both the Luft llausa and the French Farman Company operate planes daily. The Luft Hansa uses three engine Junkers planes on practically all of their international routes, while the Farman Company uses single engine monoplanes of their own construction. Previous to the international agreement in 1921, German planes could proceed no further than Cologne, but negotiations succeeded in giving permission to German airplanes to fly over France and French airplanes operate to Berlin. Competition of this kind, while dividing the traffic, appears to have an excellent effect, for it naturally creates an incentive to use the most comfortable' planes, employ extremely capable pilots and maintain schedules.
Flying from Berlin to the south does not give passengers a view over the city, as Templehof airport is situated to the south of the center of Berlin. As a compensation for this disadvantage, the plane flies almost immediately over some of the most beautiful suburbs of Berlin. For his favorite residence the ex-Kaiser chose Potsdam, 10 mi. southwest of Berlin, beautifully situated among lakes and wide rolling country. From the air, the group of magnificent palaces, surrounded by most elaborate landscape gardening, is one. of the rare views of Europe. As the planes usually have an altitude of from 1,500 to 2,000 ft., there is sufficient time for a very interesting and leisurely view of this attractive royal city. After leaving Potsdam, with its surrounding lake country, the route to the great manufacturing district along the Rhine passes a few large cities. Madgeburg, the capital of Prussian Saxony, is beautifully situated on both banks of the wide Elbe. It is of importance merely as a manufacturing center. The Elbe river, which flows north to Hamburg,and southwest lo Chechoslovakia, bisect* Germany ami is one of the majestic rivens of the World. After passing over a very hilly country, the river Weser is beween winding through the hills of Western Germany. The route now enters the district that hat become famous as the great industrial center of Germany, as a mailt of its location near the great Westphalian coat fields: It is naturally a district of more imjtortaace to the industrialists than to the ^archer tor beauty. It is the German counterpart of the Pittsburgh coal and iron district The first city that i* Jlown over is Dortmund, the capital of Westphalia, surrounded by mines and iron works. The tall chimneys give the first view of a forest of chimneys that covers the whole of this district. Looking down from several thousand feet, the homes, as well as the factories, apjwor drab gray from the smoke, which before the War covered this busy district like a fog. Of course sincethe War, and with the occupation of the Allies, there are many factories that appear to be idle or working on part time.
The Industrial Center of Germany
But before the plane reaches the airport at Essen, the Krupp steel works and its enormous plant can be seen spreading its varied types of factories, mills and furnaces in all directions. It is perhaps more pleasantly seen from the air than from the ground. It will be recalled that this was the objective of all of the Allied air forces during the War.
Even now, some of the American officers treasure what they call their "Essen packet", which contained, in oiled silk, maps and complete instructions for reaching this pivotal point of the German industrial defence. As we had left Berlin a few minutes before nine o'clock, and had flown three and a half hours, a half hour stop gave a welcome opportunity to have one of the excellent meals that can be found at every German airport.
The airport at Essen is typical of the smaller flying fields that are being constructed throughout Germany by the cities, as their part of the great German aviation air program. New buildings and improvements appear to be in progress of construction at all times. At some fields only the grading had been completed and a small shack was used for offices and rest rooms. Some even did not have hangars. The next stage was the completion of hangars and adequate administrative buildings. Then would come lighting, radio and creation of a parking center where people of the city could come and take pride in their airport, notejs will follow, so that in a few years airports will truly be transportation terminals, having all the facilities now provided by railroads and steam- ships.
Cologne, the Western Air Center of Germany
The short flight from Essen to Cologne passes over Dusseldorf, which has an interest all iU own, because of its modernist art tendencies. The Rhine, with its busy traffic can be seen for miles to the north and south. Ships of all kinds carry the commerce of this district to the sea and probably no river in the World, with the possible exception of the Thames, has the commercial activity of this great German artery. Landing at the Cologne airdrome from the north does not give a near view of the city, but the airport itself, which is one of the most complete in Germany is of sufficient interest to keep the air traveler engaged until he takes off for Southern Germany.
The trip from Berlin to Cologne takes four and a half hours and when the weather is fair gives an excellent idea of the district that has made Germany famous for iron, steel and chemical products. Cologne is the western air center of Germany. Here planes leavo for Paris, London, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hamburg and all cities to the east in Germany. Here may be seen the French planes of the Farman Company, the English Handley-Pages of the Imperial Airways and all types of German planes, from large three-engine Junkers to the small single engine planes.
Of course, any visitor to this district will wish to stop at this interesting city, containing not only the cathedral, but many medieval buildings. It has only recently come under its own control, as it was the chief center of the British occupation under the Versailles Treaty. Four and a half hours flying for the average passenger is sufficient for a day's air journey. In that time, except for the long-distance traveler, the scene can be changed so completely that it can be considered as an established practice that those who use aircraft for touring in Europe usually plan to fly in the morning and use the afternoon for sight-seeing purposes. Or, they reverse the order.
From Cologne to Munich
The morning flight from Cologne to Munich was made in a four-passenger Junkers, single-engine plane, powered with a Junkers engine. As Mrs. Gardner and I had reservations in advance, a delicate situation arose when three German business men wished to make the trip as far as Frankfurt. The difficulty was soon solved by allowing me to sit with the pilot, an opportunity which is always welcomed by seasoned air travelers.
In the smaller passenger planes, the possibility of air sickness is much greater than in the large multi-engined types. Those who are affected by the rolling and pitching of airplanes, either do not fly or have methods of their own to overcome this unpleasant feature that comes to many with air travel. Mrs. Gardner, previous to flying nearly 5,000 mi. in Europe, had never been able to board a boat of any kind without discomfort. On one or two of the earlier flights she had some very unpleasant experiences. But while flying with Heinz Wronsky, the attractive son of Major Wronsky, the well-known director of the Luft Ilansa, and who represents the Luft Hansa at Le Bourget, she was given a remedy for airsickness, which proved to be thoroughly efficacious. A few minutes before an air trip, the remedy is taken in a glass of water. It is tasteless and it contains no harmful narcotics. It
produces a partial paralyzation of the nerves of the stomach and causes drowsiness after a period of fifteen to twenty minutes. It appears to have the effect of numbing those nerve centers that create nausea and produces a complete relaxation, which usually results in sleep, no matter how rough the trip. The first effect seems to work off within an hour, but after that time no further inconvenience from the motion of the plane is felt. At first it was thought that such powerful effects could only be produced by habit-forming drugs or the reactions would be unpleasant. Neither one of these theories was realized, for whenever the prospects of bumpy air were apparent, the remedy was used with most satisfactory results. At the end of such journeys, a meal could be taken and there seemed to be absolutely no resulting effect of any kind. As the sky had a forbidding appearance and the wind was strong from the south, this remarkable remedy provided the stimulus needed to take-off into threatening weather. It was observed that the passenger traffic fell off perceptibly on days when the weather was bad, and if positive results can be secured from an airsickness remedy, another of the obstacles at present in the way of air travel will have been surmounted.
The Rhine Valley From the Air
We took off at the Cologne flying field at nine o'clock in the morning and in a few minutes were over the Dom ofCologne, one of the greatest examples of Gothic architecture in existence. It has taken 700 years for it to reach its present state of perfection and its two magnificent spires rise over 500 ft. from the waterfront of the Rhine. Looking down upon the great vistas of flying buttresses and intricate architectural Iacework, an impression of the architect's vision is scoured as from no other direction. This cathedral is one of the few that can be viewed from above with as much satisfaction as from the ground. Extending back from the Rhine for several miles is this modern city of Germany, which still retains its quaint districts and attractive buildings of early German construction. We also flew over the tallest skyscraper in Germany, which gives a very modern contrast to the beautiful cathedral. After we flew over the center of the city, the splendid bridges that cross the Rhine gave a further impression of the solidity of German engineering construction as well as the architectural attractiveness that surrounds all public structures.
Instead of following the Rhine past the castles and vineyards which line its slopes, the direct route from Frankfurt is taken. It is unfortunate that the former trip is not made by air today, as it wouli* give an unequalled view of perhaps the most famous scenic journey in the World. As we were flying in a land plane, and the district is very hilly, it was advisable to take a direct course. The Rhine for fifty miles below Cologne flows through an agricultural country with flat uninteresting scenery along the banks. Our course paralleled the river at about ten miles and while Bonn, the famous German university town, could be seen in the distance, the trip until the Taunus mountains were reached, was typical rolling German countryside.
Shortly after leaving Cologne, it was observed that the only lady passenger was sleeping soundly as the result of taking the remedy mentioned above. The agreeable pilot who wrote his name, but which later could not be deciphered, loaned me his helmet, but the open cockpit in the front of the small Junkers Multi-engine plane is so well designed that goggles were not needed, nor was it even necessary to wear an overcoat. Before reaching Frankfurt, we flew over Homburg, the well-known Spa, one of the most fashionable of the watering places of Germany. As the mountains here rises to 2,700 ft., we flew about 4,000 ft. and had a magnificent view of several old castles which were built on the peaks of the Taunus.
It took only an hour and a half to fly to Frankfurt, and as the other passengers left us there I lost my seat with the pilot. The city of Frankfurt from the .air has no really outstanding features and is interesting chiefly for its commercial activity and its beautiful location on the river Main. From Frankfurt, two southern air routes are available, one which leads south to Mannheim, Baden Baden and over the Black Forest to Basle, Switzerland, where connections can be made for Marseilles or east over Switzerland to Munich. We took the direct route from Frankfurt to Munich, and, after leaving at 11 o'clock, we flew over rolling, wide country, crossed by many winding roads and smaller rivers. The countryside is so unchanging that it is very difficult to trace the course accurately on the map. Flying at 3,300 ft., we pass over the beautiful fortified city of Nordlingen, The trip has two high spots. One is following of the small river Worms, which wanders in a serpentine course lazily for miles. Its twisting Danks are as cleancut as those of a canal. It appears to be chiseled out of the surface of the ground. The other is the crossing of the world-famous Blue Danube, which on the German map is at first overlooked because of its German name of Donau. This river, so famous in song and story, and which we were to follow in succeeding flights through Austria, Hungary, Roumania, Jugo-Slavia, clear to the Black Sea, was disappointing in its upper stages. Its famous blue is almost green and the patches of sand, which are seen in places, do not give it the majestic appearance it has as it flows through the gorges of the Transylvanian Alps. At one. o'clock we flew over the rare, old historical city of Augsburg,:which in the Middle Ages was the home of the rich and powerful merchants who conducted large international trade. This is the district of Germany where the old picturesque German architecture is to be seen at its best.
Munich can be identified for many miles in any direction by the twin domes of the Frauenkirche, the great brick cathedral built in the Fifteenth Century. The flying field is on the side of the city from which we approach and we land after our 284 mi. trip at the field, which is the southern harbor of air traffic of Europe. Owing to the head wind, it has taken us four hours to make the trip, the speed averaging only 70 m.p.h. As the opportunity presented itself, we continued the journey almost immediately to Vienna, 230 mi. further.
Munich has a dual system of airports, one for passenger accommodation and another, several miles away, containing hangars and shop equipment for the servicing of planes. This permits the German airlines to have a very large field comparatively near the center of the Bavarian capital and also gives them ample facilities for a large service station within a few minutes flight from the city airdrome. Munich will grow in importance as a center of European air traffic, as it is on the direct route of all Southern European airlines. The main traffic line of Southern Europe now extends from Marseilles to Lyons, in France and from there to Geneva, Switzerland, through Switzerland to Zurich. From here air travelers fly to Munich, passing over Lake Constance and seeing the great factories of the Zeppelin and Dormer and Maybach aircraft companies. To the north of Munich, lines radiate to all cities of Germany, while the air route to Vienna gives close connections to Czeehoslavakin. Poland, Hungary and all cities eastward as far as Constantinople.
The Most Scenic Air Trip in Europe
South of Munich rise the Tyrolean Alps. They form the most attractive section of Austria for scenic and picturesque travel. The mountains are an extension of the Swiss Alps to the east and the Dolomites of Northern Italy to the south. The capital of the district is Innsbruck, to which an air line runs from Munich. The plane used is a Fokkcr III, carrying: four passengers and powered with a B. M. W. engine. Two round trips a day are made, one in the morning and one in the afternoon; the return trip, weather permitting, being made directly over the mountains. The distance is about 100 miles and for beauty of scene and interest, gives, in the short period of two hours, the most fascinating air journey that can be imagined.
The morning plane loaves Munich at eight o'clock and takes a course up the valley of the Inn river. Low hanging clouds usually cover the mountains in the early morning and hug the sides of the valley until the warm sun clears the air. It is therefore necessary to fly low, sometimes at two or three hundred feet. The high mountains on either side of the valley can be.occasionally seen through ril'ts in the clouds. On the morning that we made the trip there was a ceiling of only about 1.000 ft., hut as we flew nearer to Innsbruck the skies became clearer. Several small cities are located on the river, but the main interest is centered on the castles and chalets that occupy picturesque locations at commanding points along the valley. One small town surrounded a hill, on the top of which was a fortified castle. Shortly after reaching the valley it was possible to see the snow-clad peaks through the clouds and as the sky cleared, the pilot went up to 5,000 ft. so that we could have a majestic view ofthe range.
Innsbruck, the Mecca of the Tyrol
A beautiful hospice was located up one of the side valleys on a crag, of which something will be said later on. Occasionally a view could be had of small mountain lakes and mountain torrents, forming waterfalls and flowing into the Inn. By nine o'clock we had reached the widening in the valley, over which the city of Innsbruck spreads its picturesque and unspoiled beauty.
A very satisfactory airport has been built, and a landing here surrounded by precipitous, snow-clad mountains, which rise 6,000 ft., gives the air traveler a better view of this world-famed mountain resort than those who arrive in the more prosaic way.
The pilot on this route is Rothier, one of the most famous commeroial pilots in Germany. For several years he has flown this very difficult route without an accident. He is not only skilled as a pilot, but has a most carefree colorful person- ality. He is the type of pilot that the feminine mind idolizes and it is said that he is creating a new expression, which may become as famous as its marine prototype-"A pilot with a girl in every airport". On the morning that we landed at Innsbruck, a letter was received from the nurses at the hospice mentioned above addressed to the unknown but handsome pilot who flew over their grounds every day.
It is customary to make the round trip by air from Munich to Innsbruck on the same !day. As the capital of the Tyrol is reached at nine o'clock in the morning, and, as the second return plane of the day leaves at five o'clock in the afternoon, ample time is given to visit the famous golden gate, the battlefield where Andreas Hofer gained freedom for his people and also the Castle of Ambras, situated in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.
Every air tourist making the trip is, of course, impatient for the return journey and keeps a keen eye on the very changeable weather in the mountains, Rothier assured us on our arrival at the field that, while there were many clouds on the mountains ho would take the short route directly over the peaks. After taking-off, wo followed the valley for a few miles, training altitude continually, until we finally reached 9,000 ft. Within lour minutes we had reached the snow line and the marvelous view of the Tyrolean Alpine range commenced to unfold. While the day was clear in the valleys the tops of the mountains were just tipped by elouds.
About ten miles above Innsbruck, a valley comes down from the north and up this Kothier (low. Looking down wo could see the winding roads and automobiles climbing slowly up the mountain sides to cross the pass. Within a few minutes the valley disappears and we fly over an indescribable mass of jagged mountain tops, with huge glaciers flowing down the slopes, while in all directions, as far as the eye can roach, the snow on the mountains blended with the clouds of the sky to give a mental picture that never can be erased. As Mrs. Gardner had never been at this altitude before. I inquired how she liked it, particularly in view of the fact that the only possible landing field for miles around was in the snow. She replied that the beauty of the scene was so grand that it took away all sense of fear. The crossing of the mountains takes only about twenty minutes, and, as the mountains rise abruptly from a huge, flat plain, we look back before we glide down and can see the Dolomites of Italy to the south and the Engadine range of Switzerland to the west Two mountain lakes of the lightest blue imaginable add to the picturesquoness of the descent and we follow the river which flows from these lakes almost directly to Munich. For the first time in my life I had the opportunity of seeing a complete rainbow. It formed a perfect circle, and was a phenomenon that an artist might have put on canvas for an unbelieving World to enjoy. The trip back to Munich took a little over an hour and, like all other passengers, who had the opportunity of flying over this route, we were more than ordinarily sincere when we thanked Rothior for the fine trip that he had given us.
The last leg of the trip around Germany was from Munich to Berlin, a 324 mile hop with one stop at Halle. Charlett, the pilot on this trip, was so short that he could hardly be seen in the seat of the cockpit, but lie made up in skill what he lacked in size. As the day was bumpy and we flew in a single-engine F-4 Fokker, the pilot was kept busy keeping the plane on even keel so that his lady passenger would not be inconvenienced more than necessary. Usually, air travelers wish to visit Nurnberg, Germany's most famous medieval city and the toy market of Europe. We, however, by taking another course, flew over Bayreuth, the home of the composer. Richard Wagner, where, at the great Wagner Opera IIousc, the musical festivals, featuring his compositions, are given.
This part of Bavaria contains some of the most beautiful locations in Germany for castles and villas, and many medieval ruins and schlosses could be seen. At Halle, on the river Salle, a landing is made and passengers who wished to fly to Leipzig, which is only a few miles away, change planes, while we continued an hour more to Tcmpelhof Field, Berlin. While the above story of a round trip to Western and Southern Germany has necessarily been very sketchy, and only a few of the observations of the air the traveler given, it may perhaps show the great effort being made by Germany to connect its cities by air, thereby increasing the convenience of trading. It can be said without hesitation that the people of Germany are the greatest air travelers in their own coun- try in the World. They have become accustomed to air lines as we would say in this country, they are airminded. They have seen the passenger planes arrive and depart from their local airdromes for several years and they do not have to rely for encouragement on statistics to overcome their fear of air travel. They fly for business, as well as pleasure, and for this reason the government finds great popular support in giving a subsidy to the airlines.