National Geographic : 1929 Jun
ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND One of the participants in the glider meet in 1923 was the Dutch airplane constructor, Fokker. During this competition the first motorless flight of one hour was performed by Martens and the first motorless flight with pilot carrying a passenger was made by Fokker. Fokker arrived at the competition with two motorless biplanes. The measurements of these, it was said, he had wirelessed to his factory from aboard ship on a return voy age from the United States. His factory built, engineless air plane was a sensation in those days, when Espenlaub, a carpen ter's apprentice, had spent a whole lonely winter on the Wasser kuppe building his bird, and when the school-teacher, Ferdi nand Schulz, flew a machine which bore all the earmarks of de pleted funds. Yet these crude, homemade machines flew well. When Fokker came to the 1923 meet he brought his motor car with him and made Photograph by Howard Siepen WOMAN NOW SHARES WITH MAN THE ADVENTURES OI THE AIR This girl is taking gliding lessons at a town near Berlin. She is buckled in her seat with a safety belt and above her head hangs a sort of street-car straphanger's device, which she may grasp with her left hand to steady herself when landing. other competitors his lifelong friends by towing their gliders uphill, back to the place of take-off. In those days one could reach the Wasserkuppe only on foot, across meadows and up steep inclines. But soon enthusiasts came and formed a happy family, congratulating one another on every additional ten minutes a plane stayed in air. Where once only a few primitive sheds and a ramshackle inn sheltered the flyers, to-day there is a fine road leading up to the hilltop, spectators arrive in chars-a-bancs, and two hotels provide for their comfort. The first passenger flight, after a few trial hops, lasted 13 minutes; the present world's record for a flight with one pas senger, held by Ferdinand Schulz, is 9 hours and 21 minutes. He flew with Heinz Reichardt like a shuttlecock between Ros sitten and Pillkoppen, two villages on the coast of East Prussia. Conversation in a glider can be carried on as normally as in a room, owing to the absence of engine noise. The suggestion has been made, in fact, that on long flights the passenger should read aloud to the pilot.