National Geographic : 1925 Mar
LOOKING DOvVN ON EUROPE 305 Photograph by Deutscher Aero Lloyd REMARKABLE VIEW OF 'THE RAILWAY VIADUC'T NEAR CRIMMI'TSCIIAU, FORTY MILES SOUTH OF LEIPZIG When for any reason the engine of an airplane ceases to run, the plane does not fall out of control immediately, as is sometimes thought, but continues to fly, the source of power now being gravity, and the path of flight no longer horizontal, but inclined downward by a small angle. Modern transport planes travel forward 10 to 12 feet for every foot descent of altitude; so that if the plane is 2,500 feet in the air at the time of motor failure, it may glide from five to six miles in any direction from the point where the engine failure occurred. It is very rare not to find in a circle of area of this size any field in which the plane may be landed without accident to its occupants. Since the area of the circle increases as the square of its radius, and the radius of the circle available in which to make a forced landing is proportional to 10 or 12 times the altitude at which the plane is flying, it may readily be seen how great is the factor of safety when an airplane is flown at an altitude above a thousand feet or more. At Kiskunfelegyhaza we overtook the storm center, an awe-inspiring spectacle of Nature's pent-up fury unleashed on a hapless town. The rain lashed the gray roofs Lelow us and ran in torrents through the narrow streets. The black spiral core of the storm threw out wraith- like octopus arms that reached down to the wet, gleaming earth, and clutched at us in sinister fashion as we slipped Ly to the south. But in 20 minutes we were out of shadowland into sunlight once more, the tumhled thunderheads behind us now gloriously white, towering] 5,000 feet into the sky. Occasional flashes of silver far away to our right betrayed the sluggish Danube making lazily for the sea, and the placid, level fields beneath our wing reflected the eternal youth and purity of Nature after a thousand partial corruptions. I let my eyes close on this tranquil scene, in involuntary relaxation from the tension of our turbulent passage through the storm. The muffled roar of the en- gine beat less and less loudly on the drowsy senses, and when I awoke Panc- sova aerodrome was rushing up to meet our wheels, with Belgrade at the wing tip across the shallow Danube. PROCEEDING A'T A "SNAIL'S PACE" OF 75 MILES AN HOUR Five hundred and fifty air miles now lay behind us, while still some 280 miles to the east, beyond the frowning Transyl- vanian Alps, was our goal, the capital of Rumania.