National Geographic : 1938 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph courtesy Pan American Airways AIRLINERS FLY THE PACIFIC BETWEEN SAN FRANCISCO AND CHINA VIA MANILA Four motors furnish 3,600 horsepower for this giant Martin flying boat. With a crew of seven it may carry 30 passengers; but only 12 or fewer on the longest hop, between Honolulu and San Francisco, when mail is heavy or winds unfavorable. Its course to Macau and Hong Kong, China, is by way of Honolulu, Midway, Wake Island, Guam, and Manila. On the Normandie (page 83), steam tur bines supply power to generate electricity which, in turn, has spun its four propellers fast enough to win the giant French liner the blue ribbon for speed in both directions across the North Atlantic. The United States Navy aircraft carriers Lexington and Saratoga, as well as the battleships Colorado, Maryland, and West Virginia, similarly have electric-driven pro peller shafts, the necessary "juice" being generated, as on the Normandie, by power from steam turbines fed by fuel oil. THE PASSING OF THE STOKERS The Diesel engine (a type of internal combustion engine using crude oil in stead of gasoline) is becoming more and more popular for ship propulsion. Oil can be piped directly to the cylinders, eliminating the necessity of a boiler. Petro leum has done away with the old-time horde of "coal passers" and stokers that were essential in the crews of coal-burn ing boats. Even more revolutionary are the long range flying ships which oil has made pos sible. These new craft now span all the seas. The first of the great flying boats were the Clippers connecting North and South America, placed on schedule some years ago by Pan American Airways. Even larger Clippers of this service now cross the world's greatest ocean from San Fran cisco to Hong Kong in 50 hours of flying time and six days of elapsed time. These comfortable, fast Clippers traverse the Pacific with almost clocklike regularity via Hawaii, Midway, Wake, Guam, and Manila, and are restoring to the United States her former maritime prestige. Over other seas splendid ocean craft of Imperial Airways carry men, mails, and ex press. Flying ships ply between Europe, on one end, and Africa, the Netherlands In dies, and China on the other. Newly com missioned and powerful American and Brit ish flying ships are also beginning to brave the stormy Atlantic; for the present they fly via Bermuda and the Azores. Improvements are constant. Each suc ceeding type of seaplane seems to increase in size, speed, and comfort. Members may obtain enlarged reproductions of the sets of 16 etchings, by Norman Wilkinson, suit able for framing, by writing the National Geo graphic Society, Washington, D. C., at $2 the set. The reproductions will be 11 by 14 inches and they will be available only in sets.