The air, man's latest field of conquest, still presents overwhelming obstacles to safe flight over her highways. The magnitude of the natural forces at work in the free air is inconceivable, and just as combinations of elements may produce a sea in which no ship can stay afloat, so they may produce a sky too turbulent for any craft to survive. Although engineering skill is producing marvellous aircraft, it is still a far cry to the ship that can fly through any storm and live to land again. The struggle of the dirigible with the destructive forces of nature in the upper air has been especially arduous and discouraging. Once again, since the loss of the Akron, this branch of aviation is on trial for its life before the court of popular opinion, and In the light of a long record of disasters in the past decade, its advocates may have difficulty in successfully pleading the cause for more or bigger rigid airships.
Lighter-Than-Air Craft and Line Squalls
By Lieutenant Frederick J. Nelson, U. S. Navy