There Be a Plane
in Every Garage?
Who Is Going to Fly the Planes of Tomorrow?
Wright took off from the earth in 1903 and twelve seconds later landed 120 feet
from where he started, the world’s most successful aerial navigator was
a joker by the name of Prince Houssain. The prince could go wherever he wanted
through the air—and that was more than the Wright brothers or other
early birdmen could do.
Of course Houssain, like the Wrights, had a very
special contraption to carry him through space. It was a magic carpet, and in
1,001 Arabian nights there was only one of its kind. In the light of day there
might not have been even that many.
No longer, however, is flying through
the air the exclusive privilege of either an imaginary Arabian prince or a couple
of intrepid American inventors. At Kittyhawk the Wight brothers unlocked the sky
to all kinds of heavier-than-air flying military airplanes, commercial craft,
and personal planes that anyone can fly.
Ten years after the war,
if Prince Houssain were still around to take a Sunday joy ride, he would probably
have to look sharp to avoid a collision with one of the many planes we are told
will crowd the skyways.
A great deal of thought is being given to these
airplanes of the future—especially to the private planes. Airplane manufacturers,
airplane designers, and other interested persons are putting their minds together
on the question of what kind of planes to put on the market once civilian production
all this discussion there is one missing person—the person for whom all
the planning is being done. YOU are that person. If you could be on hand the others
would fire questions like these at you:
Are you going to fly yourself
after the war? For business? For pleasure? In a plane of your own or in one you
will rent? How much money are you going to put into a plane? How many seats do
you want in it? Do you want high performance or maximum safety? Are you serious
enough about this to have read up on the subject? Have you figured out how an
airplane will fit into your personal life? Have you had any experience in owning
or operating a small plane? Have you ever belonged or would you belong to
a flying club? Are other members of your family interested in flying?
you going to own a plane?
The automobile is one of the most useful machines
ever in-vented by man and it can perform a number of daily services that make
life easier. Is the private plane in its present stage of development a very useful
article for most people to own? A plane can take you from St. Louis to Buffalo,
but it cannot be used for taking the kids to school, your wife to the grocery
store, or you to your job. In other words, the private plane has the automobile
to reckon with. Until private planes can do everything that automobiles can do,
and fly as well, they will not displace the automobile. Not even the most enthusiastic
advocate expects they will.
But the war has given America a close-up view
of the modern airplane. In addition to the considerable number of private plane
owners, there are 75,000 with civilian pilot licenses who do not own planes, and
3,000,000 young men engaged in some way in military and naval aviation—nearly
300,000 of them with pilot training. Not only all these, but many others, including
some of the older generation, will want to learn to fly and have the thrill of
owning and operating their own planes.
What Will The Postwar Planes Be Like?
How much will it cost?
We can quote figures on the prewar cost of buying and operating a private
plane. One estimate indicates that it cost about $1,000 to operate a $2,000 airplane
for 100 hours a year. Assuming the life of the plane to be about seven years,
it would cost you a minimum of $9,000 if you keep the plane that long. For that
amount of money you could consecutively buy and operate three or four good automobiles
over the same period of time.
We have only guesses to go by for the price
of and demand for airplanes of the future. The predictions range anywhere from
20,000 to 450,400 private planes within five or ten years after the war. At a
guess, most airplanes for personal use will sell for about $2,000. By comparison,
there was a prewar market for some 50,000 Cadillac automobiles a year—costing
$2,000 apiece. If the price comes down to $1,000, the market will of course expand—nobody
knows just how much.
Whether you are going to have a private plane after
the war depends probably on whether airplane designers and engineers are able
to build a safe, reliable plane that you can operate; whether you will have money
enough to buy and operate it; whether your community has landing facilities for
private planes; and, most important of all, whether you can make practical use
of an airplane.
What Will The Postwar Planes Be Like?
pamphlet was in press when Japan surrendered. Lines appropriate during the war
have not been reconverted to Peace.