PLANE TALK (Feb, 1931)


Edited by MAJOR H. H. ARNOLD

Major Arnold, who conducts this monthly department, discusses aviation from a background of more than twenty years’ experience. This month he takes up some of the most recent developments in the conquest of the air and describes the methods used in marking the aerial highways.



The Southerner who made good by making New Yorkers look up expects the whole postwar world to go sign-happy in the Times Square manner

The sky’s no limit to Douglas Leigh, today’s Lamplighter of Broadway and King of the Spectaculars, those illuminated, animated supersigns that are catching on across the country.



There’s something wrong with aviation. Suddenly, after making an amazing war record, the airlines have found themselves deluged with criticism. Air travelers, weary of delays and irritated by uncertain arrivals of planes, have begun to object. And their objections have been frequently and vociferously expressed. To date, the airlines have not been able to do much to help themselves. Keeping passengers sitting in airplanes for an hour, or two, or more, waiting to take off, has not made friends for the lines; nor has the business of “stacking” planes for long periods above congested terminals.


PROPELLERS and engines are not needed to fly the model airship of Bernays Johnson, who is shown with his craft in the photograph at the right. A powerful radio wave which neutralizes the pull of gravity is the force which keeps the ship aloft. Johnson experimented for ten years before he succeeded in discovering the principle of his anti-gravity waves. The ship can be controlled from within itself or from the ground. It was exhibited at the recent Boston radio exposition

Uncle Sam’s Amazing Warship of the Sky (Sep, 1931)

Uncle Sam’s Amazing Warship of the Sky


(Vice President and Chief Engineer, Goodyear Zeppelin Corp.)

The biggest airship in the world, an amazing structure which is veritably a flying battleship, is practically finished and ready for test flights by the U. S. Navy, The man who supervised the design of this warship of the sky reveals here the fascinating mechanical details of its construction.

ABOUT the time this article appears in print the largest lighter-than-air ship ever built—the 6,500,000 cubic feet Akron will be walked out of the world’s largest airship dock, or hangar, for its initial trial flight.

When the Akron takes to the air, the dream of Count Zeppelin—a super-airship capable of taking its place in world commerce—will have been realized. Not that the Akron is such a ship, for it is purely a military craft, a sort of flying battleship, built for scouting work with the fleet at sea, but it contains within it all the essentials which the coming trans-oceanic air liners will need, save actual passenger compartments.

SETTLE Pierces “Night Beyond the Earth” (Feb, 1934)

The OCR software screwed up and read it as: “Great typographical features were visible…” which would have made for a much more entertaining piece. “The word AKRON was wider than the great Lake Superior!”

SETTLE Pierces “Night Beyond the Earth”

MAN’S last frontier, that mysterious region beyond the air, has again been explored. The balloon flight into the stratosphere of Lieut. Commander T. G. W. Settle and Major C. L. Fordney gave the United States the altitude record of 61,237 feet, more than 11-1/2 miles.

How I Broke the World’s Altitude Record (Sep, 1930)

How I Broke the World’s Altitude Record

On June 4, 1930, Lieut. Soucek flew a Navy plane to a height of more than eight miles to establish a new altitude record. Here he tells his story of his thrilling ascent to the roof of the world.

by Lieut. Apollo Soucek U. S. N.

MORE than 8 miles above the earth’s surface, in a region of terrific cold, where life itself depends on “canned air,” airtight clothing and electrically heated goggles, I fought, on the afternoon of June 4, 1930, a successful battle of two hours and five minutes against nature to gain for the Navy and the United States a new world’s altitude record.

Sham WAR Demonstrates New Air Attack Strategy (Jul, 1931)

Sham WAR Demonstrates New Air Attack Strategy

by CAPT. T. R. PHILLIPS, U. S. Army

Immense fleets of fighting planes directed in battle by radioed orders from a flying general—deadly new attack planes carrying a quarter ton of bombs and capable of firing 3000 shots a minute—these are a few of the latest developments in aerial warfare demonstrated in an amazing sham air war. Don’t fail to read this authoritative article if you take pride in keeping informed on Uncle Sam’s defense system.

The World’s Strangest AIRPLANE (Dec, 1930)

The World’s Strangest AIRPLANE

WHAT is most certainly one of the strangest airplanes ever built is shown on this page and on this month’s cover of Modern Mechanics and Inventions. The plane, which its designer, Paul Maiwurm of San Diego, California, has ailed the Fly worm, will have no propellers to pull it through the air

Defying Death in a Parachute (Sep, 1930)

Defying Death in a Parachute

Credited with 275 official parachute jumps, W. F. Scott, familiarly known as “Scotty,” holder of the Navy record jump of 15,200 feet, tells here of some particularly close calls in which he brushed elbows with the Grim Reaper. Scotty is jumping again now after a two months’ enforced vacation caused by an automobile accident, after which his life was despaired of — ironic testimony to the relative safety of air and land travel!