National Geographic : 1924 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Official Photograph, U. S. Army Air Service EQUIPPED FOR A HAZARDOUS FLIGHT On the left is Lieutenant James Doolittle, U. S. A., who made a one-stop flight across the continent. On the right is Lieutenant Wendell H. Brookley, pilot at McCook Field, famous for his spectacular "stunt" flying. Parachutes have saved many aviators' lives within the last few years. Lieutenant A. W. Stevens, U. S. A., the famous aerial photographer, in June, 1922, established a world's record at McCook Field, when he jumped from a height of 24,200 feet, or nearly five miles (see text, page 85). in every direction. It was a considerable strain to guide two tons of metal and fabric on even keel, at a speed of a hun dred miles an hour, for minutes at a time through continuous masses of clouds. "Rain began to drench our goggles and to run back over the wing surfaces. The plane was struggling to better its eleva tion of I6,000 feet and get above the clouds, but while we were still trying to fix it, the eclipse took place. "For some minutes the light had been waning, and suddenly we felt, rather than saw, the leading edge of the moon's shadow whisked over us. "Outside the fuselage long blue flames writhed from our exhaust pipes; it was like a flight at night in every way except one-there was a horizontal color band wherever we looked. To the northwest this band was a wonderful red and orange; to the southeast it was white. "As the shadows passed on the band became rose color in all directions, and after a few moments the northwest be came white while the southeast became red; then, as suddenly as it came, the shadow whisked by us." So, while this unique undertaking of Stevens and Macready failed in its pri mary object because of weather condi tions, the collection of unrivaled photo graphs of America has enriched man kind's knowledge of "The Land of the Best." Theirs has been a distinct geo graphic achievement. The pictures reproduced in this GEO GRAPHIC reveal the globe on which we live in a new aspect. All of them warrant not mere passing notice, but will repay long and careful study, for each has fea tures which are not apparent to the hasty glance.