APR 4 t948
£M 17 Gl ROUNDTABLB
UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND
The Uniteu States Ak.uko Kmui:.
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
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Wamiinmon 25. I). C. 28 Dee 1945
|A.(;. 300.7 <2H Dec 45). |
KM 17, 67 Round lahlv: How Free Arc the Skyways?
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Why is freedom of the air a peacetime problem? 1
How serious are the obstacles to freedom? 6
Can the obstacles be removed? 15
Will postwar flying be quick and cheap? 24
What are the "Five Freedoms" of air transport? 32
To the discussion leader ... 36
Other Gl Roundtable
Freedom of the Air
A PEACETIME PROBLEM?
xjlLMOST a century ago a prophetic poet foresaw "the
heavens filled with commerce." His name was Alfred Lord
Today passenger and cargo transport planes by the thou-
sands roar through the skies. Jt begins to look as though
Tennyson was right. During the war these planes went mostly
on military errands and could cross friendly frontiers without
explicit and individual permission. The question remains to
be answered, however: Will even more commerce fill the
skies of peace?
]n their wartime service, transport planes could go farther
at greater speeds across more arduous routes carrying heavier
cargoes than they ever could before.
In the African jungle, planes on regular runs were almost
as common as lions. Twenty planes an hour crossed the high
Himalayas through fierce storms and between the jagged
peaks of the Shangri-la country. Planes flew from New York
to London between supper one day and lunch the next. Daily
they rode the airways above the iceberg lanes of the North
Those are impressive accomplishments. But is the golden
age of aviation truly upon us? Or will the plane, because peace
has come again, be a modem chained giant?
Closing the skies
For a number of reasons air commerce did not come into its
own before the war.
In the first place there was the technological hazard. Men
still had a long way to go in overcoming the problems of
weather and of mechanical imperfection in planes and motors.
In the second place an economic hazard stood in the way.
Despite its speed, air travel always failed in the past to attract
enough passengers and freight to make wide-scale operation
profitable. The airlines grew as a result of slate subsidies.
Pan American World Airways (formerly Tan American Air-
ways), the great international line which has its headquarters
in the United States, got its impetus from Post Ofiicc Depart-
ment subsidies for carrying air mail.
In the third place a political hazard has postponed the arrival
of the air age.
The first hazard faded to all but a memory during the war
as intercontinental Hying became an everyday reality. It is
possible that enough peacetime air traffic will now develop to
erase the second. But the third one continues to loon) as the
greatest barrier that must be brought down before Tennyson's
prophecy can come true.
Does anybody turn the air?
A few years ago a song writer told us: "The skies belong to
everyone." Hut he didn't know his international politics.
Twenty planes an hour over tin Hump
Boundaries in the eky
As a matter of fact, each country claims exclusive control
or "sovereignty" over sky above its territory. If you could
hang boundary markers in the clouds, you would find that
the Upper air is cut up into as many political divisions as the
face of the earth itself.
In that fact lies one of the problems of the future of inter-
national Hying. I'-very country has been insisting on the
right to decide whose planes may lly over its territory. At the
same time almost every country has a plan for establishing
commercial airline routes through the air above some other
Will all nations hold to these contradictory aims of expand-
ing their own use of the air while restricting the use other
nations can make of it? If they do, the result might be either
the establishment of even higher walls that would cut off
aerial intercourse between all countries or an outburst of
conflict that would obtain air advantages for only a few of the
nations of the world.
Can the nations reach a common understanding that will
free the air from most of the political barriers? What sort of
understanding would make possible the maximum use of
aviation knowledge and equipment developed during and
before the war?
What is our stake?
The future of air commerce involves questions that profoundly
affect the foreign affairs of the United Stales. Kich in planes
and aviation engineering skill, America car look forward to
an era of intercontinental Hying that will put South America,
Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia just around the corner
from the forty-eight states.
The settlement of international air problems can help bind
the various countries of the world more closely together —
politically as well as commercially. Or the settlement can keep
the world divided. Let us sec how international aviation has
progressed in the past and examine the schemes put forward
to improve its prospects for the future.
I In international air pioneers
The history of international commercial aviation falls neatly
into two periods: (1) the pioneer era before World War 11,
and (2) the wartime era of great expansion.
International aviation began with the commercial conquest
of a modest distance, the 200 miles between London and Paris.
The line was opened in the summer of 1919, shortly after
World War 1 gave to aviation its first great impetus. The
journey took two hours, but it saved the passengers the
agony of crossing the stomach-tossing Straits of Dover via
hVorn 1919 to 1939 was the pioneering age in international
(lying. Airlines expanded to a total of more than 300,000
route miles. The North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Pacific
oceans were spanned. Networks were laid over Europe, North
America, South America. Europe was linked with the Far
East and Australia. A number of routes were opened in Africa,
no more the secluded Dark Continent.
Airmen complain, however, that those advances of the
pioneer era were but a small portion of what might have been
done had the nations of the world understood the great im-
portance of the airplane. The world seemed to fear the plane
more than appreciate it. Two fears especially held the
commercial airplane on a leash during the international
The plane as an instrument of aggression
The strongest fear was military, the fear that foreign airlines
might use their planes for aggression. This fear has made
governments hesitant to let planes fly into the air they control.
It led the French government a few years before the war to
propose a limitation on the size of planes operating inter-
"The military aspect of aviation cannot fundamentally be
separated from the civil aspect," a report of the British govern-
ment said in 1938. For the most part, civil planes are not easily
converted to combat uses, any more than a supcrliner becomes
a battleship easily ; conversely the military planes used in
World War II have little peacetime commercial worth.
Nevertheless, international commercial flying does give
pilots practice in long-distance operation that is usable in
flying bombers and troop transport planes or in instructing
others how to fly them. International flying makes possible
the mapping of foreign areas that might later become bomb
targets or paratroop objectives.
Development of international routes and production of the
planes needed to fly them can lay the foundation for an indus-
try devoted to the manufacture of large planes — civilian plane:;
in peace, combat planes in war. Germany consistently took
advantage of its international commercial flying for politico-
The economic fear
The second strangling fear was economic, growing out of the
fact that planes have been able in the past to attract only a
small percentage of the persons and freight in motion from
one point on the earth's surface to another.
This fear has led some countries to impose restrictions on
the regularly scheduled planes of other countries lest a few
nations obtain a lion's share of the total business. And it has
led some countries to exploit their geographical locations by
exacting a price — often a stiff one — for allowing the planes
of other nations to lly over their territory.
HOW SERIOVS ARE THE OBSTACLES
When tjif. wild GEESE who have spent the summer in northern
Sweden get the autumn urge to lly south, they head for the
Mediterranean and cross the boundaries of a number of coun-
tries without any permission Irom a mortal agency like a
government bureau. Not so in prewar days with commercial
airplanes carrying passengers, mails, and freight over regularly
Before World War II, governments made some progress
through the tedious business of reaching individual agree-
ments with a large number of other countries. By trading
off privileges and by making special financial arrangements,
governments gradually got for regular commercial planes
some of — but far from all — the freedom of the wild goose.
Except through this process of special negotiation — and
sometimes in the process — nations have hesitated to grant
foreign planes the privileges of flying over their territory, of
landing to refuel or make repairs, or of landing to discharge
or take on passengers and freight.
These privileges have lately been divided into five classes.
so it may be easier to discuss the underlying issues in
Freedom of transit
The first is the mailer of Hying across the territory of other
nations. This is the so-called "right of innocent passage."
If two states are separated by the territory of a third state,
they cannot enjoy mutual air commerce unless their planes
can ily over the intervening territory. Countries which lie
across straight airline routes can thus use their position for
great good or ill to international aerial transportation.
The greatest obstacle to freely granted privileges of transit
through the air of one country by the planes of another has
been the strategic consideration. Nations do not relish the
idea of permitting the planes of other nations to Ily unhin-
dered and unquestioned over their territory. Rivalry among
colonial powers has been another barrier. Until Great Britain,
France, and Belgium reached agreement on lines to their
-African colonies, each stood in the others' way. And the spirit
of competition for aerial traffic has moved nations to bar
transit over their territory until they were ready to engage
in the business themselves.
The second privilege is that of landing for nontrainc purposes,
that is, to refuel, make repairs, seek haven from bad weather,
and the like. This is important particularly for transoccan
hops. On these routes nations possessing islands that are
essential for intercontinental Hying are in the saddle. For
instance, at the present time (lights across the North Atlantic,
to be profitable, must have access to land in Newfoundland,
Iceland, Bermuda, or the Azores.
The United States, of course, has complete control of Pacific
flying through possession of Hawaii, a key station on the
middle Pacific route, and Alaska, the gateway from North
America to Siberia. Before the war, the United Slates, with
an eye to possible Japanese operations, declined to admit
foreign planes either to Hawaii or the Philippines. That was
the reason Australia, which wanted the right lo fly a route
via Hawaii to Canada, declined to let Pan American Airways
extend its service from New Zealand to Australia.
673402° — 46—2
International rivalries and fears slowed up the progress of
European air routes to the Orient until hard bargains about
bases were struck. Italy, for instance, agreed to let Imperial
Airways (Britain) Ily to ligypi by way of an Italian base only
in return for British permission for an Italian line lo ily to
Iraq via Palestine, a British mandate. Turkey unrelentingly
closed its air to commercial planes bound for the Orient.
Oceanic and land bases are still important even though the
range of modern planes enables them to cross great bodies of
water in one jump. A plane which has the privilege of crossing
the Atlantic in two jumps, refueling at a way base, needs to
carry less gasoline than docs the one-hop plane. That means
it can carry more paying passengers and freight.
Stopping to do business
Third is the privilege of landing to discharge passengers, mail,
or cargo taken on in the country whose nationality the aircraft
possesses, that is, under whose flag it Hies.
The related privilege of taking on passengers, mail, or cargo
destined for the country whose nationality the plane possesses
is the fourth privilege.
Jealous bargaining over privileges three and four has slowed
down the development of international routes. Governments
have required that their airlines be given reciprocal privileges
in a second country when the airlines of that country seek
admission to the first country.
Sometimes country A not only has sought reciprocal privi-
leges but has stipulated that country B cannot begin operations
until country A is ready to run a competing route to country B.
For instance, the United Stales had a reciprocal agreement
with Britain respecting the crossing of the Atlantic. When
Pan American Airways was ready to begin (lights to Britain
before the war, however, the British were not ready to begin
flights to the United States and a special permit was needed
to let Pan American start.
The twenty Latin-American countries, not being in a posi-
tion to engage in competitive operations, generally have not
demanded reciprocity, and airway development has progressed
rapidly in them. Neither, of course, do the forty-eight states
in our country demand reciprocal privileges of each other.
In 1932 American lines Hew their transport planes an
average of 87,500 miles each, while European lines Hew theirs
an average of 22,100 through the blocked skies of that conti-
nent. In 1942 American domestic airlines averaged 464,000
miles per plane.
Some persons credit this American advantage to the free
sky lanes between the states. Others attribute it l<> the facts
that Americans on the whole live on a higher economic level
than Europeans and that commercial flying within the United
States has been technologically superior to that within Europe.
Perhaps it is just that distances are much greater.
Picking up business en route
The fifth and final privilege is that of carrying passengers,
mail, and cargo between intermediate countries on a route —
neither country being that whose nationality the aircraft
possesses. This is important for intercontinental Hying. As
long as this privilege is restricted, an aircraft flying outbound
on a long route with stops in several countries must fly with
a constantly growing number of empty seats.
"For example," a State Department official says, "a plane
from New York to Cairo via London, Paris, Geneva, and
Koine would drop off at each city the passengers booked to
that point and take on none, thus probably arriving at Cairo
with perhaps two or three scats occupied. Between New York
and Buenos Aires, for instance, only 15 percent of the traffic
is through traffic, and therefore we should be able to operate
only about one plane a week on that trade route. Such a
restriction would strangle the lines of every country except
those operated for political reasons with heavy government
The fifth privilege tends also lo be restricted by the fail
that most countries reserve to their own lines right to what
is known as cabotage. This is the carrying of passengers or
freight between two points within the territory of one country.
As long as cabotage is reserved, a foreign airline coming from
across the Atlantic to the interior of the United States, for
instance, cannot pick up passengers in New York and take
them on to Chicago. Some countries interpret cabotage to
cover operations between a country and its colonies in other
In attempts to reduce the barriers lo enjoyment of these five
privileges, the nations have sought in the past to make inter-
national agreements that included many countries. The most
important pacts were made at Paris in 1919 — which the United
States signed but never ratified — and at 1 lavana in 1928 among
the American Republics. Only the United States and ten
other nations have ratified the latter.
The Paris and Havana conferences failed to establish any
of the live privileges as an international reality. But they did
provide a simplified basis by which individual countries could
make air agreements with other individual countries. Inter-
national cooperation in the air was extended as a result of the
Some governments made what are known as pooling
arrangements — by which the lines of two countries split the
profits and deficits from operating one route together. This
scheme divided the economic risk.
France and Germany had a pooling arrangement for their
services from Europe to South America. In the intricate net-
work of lines within Europe pooling was common.
The prewar routes
Despite restrictions on its freedom of Night, the airplane forced
its way around the world during the pioneering era.
Pan American Airways was the pioneer United Stales inter-
national line. It began operations in 1927 with a line from
Miami to Havana that, among other things, exploited people's
thirst for a drink when the Prohibition Amendment was in
force in the United Stales.
When war came on December 7, 1941, the United States
was operating 9.S.000 route miles of international airways; this
country's rouie mileage was the world's longest. Here are
the 1938 airway mileages, international and domestic, of other
leading aviation countries:
The Soviet Union, 58,036 miles, almost entirely for domestic
flight; France, 40,833; Germany, 32,720; United Kingdom,
29,064; Italy, 23,583; Australia, 21,748; the Netherlands,
16,055; Canada, 11,917; Belgium, 11,388; Mexico, 10,104;
Brazil, 9,182; Japan, 8,694; Netherlands East Indies, 7,943;
South Africa, 7,893; Colombia, 4,844; India, 4,122; Poland,
3,744; Argentina, 1,581.
Air commerce during the tear
The second World War had a curious effect on international
Hying. The world's air was rent in two, part of it controlled
by the Axis, part by the United Nations. Antiaircraft barriers
between the two parts were more formidable than any of the
barriers that discouraged the development of Hying between
countries and continents before the war. Only combat planes
or troop-carrying planes protected by combat planes traveled
from erne air region to the other.
Yet in each of the two divisions of the world, the air was
freer than it ever had been in the past. Within them planes
could move almost without hindrance from one section to
This change came from urgent necessity. The conduct of
the war required that men and supplies be moved quickly
over long distances. To meet their military requirements the
United Nations developed one set of international routes, and
Mure than 400,000 airway miles in December 1941
Azimiilhal equidistant projection centered at 40° IN, 175* W
Azimuthal equidistant projection centered at 18° N, 0° hMlgilude
the Axis developed another set— or rather two sets, because
the region controlled by Germany and Italy was far removed
from the region controlled by Japan.
Neutral airlines provided a wartime link between the air
worlds of the United Nations and of Germany. Throughout
the war, planes flew with variable regularity from Stockholm
to Aberdeen and from Stockholm to Berlin.
Wartime mileage increases
The war brought a marked increase in the total mileage of
international air routes. This happened even though the
Germans had to give up their Oriental and transatlantic lines,
the Italians were forced to abandon their European and inter-
continental lines, the Netherlands suspended its route to the
Orient, and the French lines gave up their South Atlantic
crossing and their flights to the Far East.
In their place, the British Overseas Airways Corporation
(BOAC, successor to both Imperial Airways and British Air-
ways) developed an extensive transatlantic service. With the
assistance of the Belgian Sabena lines, it increased the number
of its African lines while maintaining operations to India. Its
wartime routes totaled 70,000 miles. The Dutch KLM line
opened a network of operations in the Caribbean Sea region,
with a United States link at Miami. The French inaugurated
special military lines in Africa.
ATC and NATS
Most extensive of all were the new routes operated by the
United States, under the control of the Army and the Navy.
The Naval Air Transport Service, created on December 12,
1941, had a network of 80,000 miles, and the Air Transport
Command of the Army Air Forces, organized on May 29, 1941
as the Ferrying Command, operated more than 160,*000 miles.
ATC was the longest airline in the world. It kept pace as the
front advanced farther into enemy territory. Within a month
after the liberation of Paris, ATC planes included Paris on
their schedules. Soon they were flying to Brussels. Within a
month of its invasion, Leyte became an ATC port of call.
The speeds maintained, the distances covered, the trying
terrain conquered, the foul weather outwitted, and the great
variety of cargo carried by ATC and NATS altogether testify
that man is winning the technological battle against the air.
But the question still remains whether the economic and
political hazards can be overcome. ATC and NATS, as mili-
tary lines, paid little heed to questions of financial efficiency.
ATC ran the biggest hotel chain in the world. It dished
out more meals a day than any other transport enterprise in
history. NATS and ATC together carried about 45,000 pas-
sengers a month. Their pilots buzzed the back yard of Santa
Claus and braved the rainy season thundershowers of the
The accompanying maps reveal some of the NATS and ATC
routings. In the operations of these wartime lines, perhaps,
we sec the shape of the future.
CAN THE OBSTACLES BE REMOVED?
Does the end of the war mean the end of the two fears that
held back the development of international flying before the
war? Will the strangling restrictions go?
If the world can answer "yes" to those questions, then the
golden age that the poet Tennyson envisioned may truly dawn.
If this new air age comes about, how will it look?
More routes planned
Perhaps transoceanic planes no longer will halt at the coastal
fringes of continents as they did before the war. They may
start their runs as far inland as Chicago and end them as far
inland .is Moscow.
New intercontinental links are planned. A person will be
able to travel directly from North America to Africa, or to
Asia by way of northern Europe.
673403° — 46—3
AIR TRANSPORT COMMAND
Network of 160,000 airway miles in June 1945
.t/iiniiiliiil eqiiidislanl projection renlered at 40° N, 175° W
Azimitllinl <-i|iii<li-i;n!i projirlion ri-iil<*-n;«I ul ■t&" N, 0" loupilmb-
NAVAL AIR TRANSPORT
Network of 00,000 airway miles in May 1945
Azitmilluil equidistant projection centered at 40" N, 175" W
Aziimilliiil oi|iiiilis1iuil projection reiilereri nl 48" IN, 0° longiluiie
6/3407° — 46 — 4
Airmen envision at least five lanes across ihe Atlantic which
we may call: (1) the Viking route, via Labrador, Greenland,
and Iceland to Scandinavia; (2) the Iceberg route, via New-
foundland, Eire, and England ; (3) the Sunshine route, via
Bermuda, the Azores, and Portugal; (4) the Equatorial route,
via Bermuda, the Azores, and West Africa; and (5) the Latino
route, via Brazil and West Africa.
Only the Iceberg route and the Sunshine route operated
before the war. The Viking route and the Latino route were
added during the war. The Equatorial route is projected.
New ways to span the broad Pacific lie ahead. Lines may
regularly run from the United States to Australia. They will
reach the Netherlands East Indies from the Philippine Islands
and reach Japan from Guam.
"North to the Orient" is the quickest way to reach Asia
from the United Stales, although the ordinary map would not
lead us to think so. So routes are planned to Batavia via
Alaska, the Aleutians, Siberia's Kamchatka Peninsula, Japan,
and the Philippines, and via Alaska, Siberia, Manchuria, and
Singapore, or the Philippines.
From San Francisco to Batavia by way of Hawaii is 9,830
miles. By way of the Aleutian Islands and Tokyo, believe it
or not, it is only 9,375 miles.
Regularly operated airways apparently will enclose the
globe. The maps of the future show routes from the United
States to Calcutta by way of the Pacific and routes from
the United States to Calcutta by way of the Mediterranean Sca.
More countries in the airtvays
Far more countries will operate international lines than did
before the war. And those who operated them previously
will extend the scope of their undertakings.
Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and perhaps
others propose to inaugurate service across the Atlantic to
North America over routes already operated by the United
States and Britain.
Netherlands and British Commonwealth airlines propose to
link Asia with North America via the Pacific. The Union of
South Africa will be readily available to air travelers from the
United States. United States airlines are seeking approval for
the opening of new routes to Latin America. New services
will link Europe with South America.
Within Europe there is certain to be a rearrangement of
operations, for the victorious powers are not inclined to per-
mit Germany or Italy to start again the airlines they were
maintaining before the war.
In time planes may possibly lly over the North Polar region
in joining the Old and New Worlds. Russian airmen twice
made this hop in 1937. It is 11,900 miles from New York to
Chungking by way of San Francisco and the Pacific. It is
only 7,600 miles by way of the North Pole. But the long polar
hop may be unprofitable, and although wartime flying across
Greenland and over Alaska into Siberia has taught many
lessons about northern weather, the technological problems
raised by polar aviation are far from solved.
The Chicago aviation conference
Most of the United Nations agreed in 1944 to try to get rid
of the fears and restrictions that had held back international
aviation before the war. They sent representatives to a con-
ference in Chicago arranged by the United States government.
The purpose of the conference was to find a satisfactory way
to settle the problems arising from divided "ownership" of
One allied country, Russia, decided at the last moment not
to send a delegate to the conference. Before the war Russia
was operating almost 60,000 miles of airways within its own
vast reaches, but it had few international links. A Swedish
line connected Moscow with Stockholm, a Russian-German
joint line connected Moscow with Berlin, a Russian line con-
nected Moscow with Sofia, Bulgaria, and a Russian-Chinese
line connected Siberia with northwestern China.
According to Juan Trippe, the president of Pan American
World Airways, the Russian government in 1935 granted him
permission to run an experimental line from Alaska into
Siberian territory, although Iris company never went ahead
with the operation.
For those countries represented at Chicago, the old economic
tear was still alive. The various countries represented were
all determined to overcome this fear, but different countries
proposed different methods of doing away with it.
The economic fear had two facets:
First, fear that one or two countries might have so many
airplanes and be able to build and operate so many more that
they could get a monopoly of the air transport business almost
from the word "go."
Second, even if planes were divided up pretty evenly, the
fear existed that the business available for international and
intercontinental air transport — in terms of passengers, freight,
express, and mail — would not be great enough to 1111 all the
planes that all the countries might want to put into the air
Ordinary rommrrrial planes transported paratroops.
and that therefore the strongest country might soon drive the
rest out of business if there were open competition.
The old concern for security was also noticeable at the
Chicago conference. The war in whose midst the delegates
met was marked by the use of ordinary commercial planes
to transport paratroopers behind enemy lines. This fact left
many of the governments with a deep conviction that peace-
lime and wartime aviation arc inextricably mixed.
Two governments so convinced were those of Australia and
New Zealand. Their delegations proposed an all-embracing
international company that would own and operate the inter-
national air services of the world. This proposal, unacceptable
to the conference, was put forward in an attempt to cope with
the security problem.
The supporters of this proposal said that the international-
ization of aircraft would render it difficult for nations to
prepare to use peacetime planes for war purposes. The oppo-
nents feared internationalization more than they feared attack
from the air.
Con feren ce disagree m en ts
These economic and security apprehensions arc serious and
sincere. The economic considerations inspired the suggestion
made at the Chicago conference by the British delegation that
after the war international air transport should be strictly
controlled by an international bureau which would have the
authority to fix rates, allocate traffic quotas, and assign routes
to the various countries.
The United States delegation, on the other hand, argued
in favor of more wide-open competition, at least during the
immediate postwar period, with an arrangement for later con-
sideration of the problem of dividing up the traffic justly
among the interested countries. It proposed establishment of
an international body whose chief power would be to deal
with questions of standardizing equipment and other techno-
WILL POSTWAR FLYING BE QVICK
Almost alone among the allies, the United States continued
to construct transport planes during the war. Therein lies
this country's prime advantage in any peacetime race lor
routes and traffic.
To indicate to the rest of the world that we do not intend
to exploit this advantage unfairly, the United States govern-
ment announced to the Chicago conference that when the war
ended America would supply other countries with planes from
its military surplus.
Daring the war the United States — and to a lesser degree,
Britain — developed planes not only for wartime but for post-
The planes designed for international transport after the
war will be far superior to those used before the war. Most
of them are on view and many made history with their daily
runs on ATC and NATS routes.
Most of these planes have four motors, and each motor has
2,000 or 2,200 horsepower — the De Haviland plane that in-
augurated international transport in 1919, between London
and Paris, had one motor of 345 horsepower.
Whereas the Pan American Clipper of prewar days traveled
165 miles an hour crossing the ocean, these modern planes
Wright's first flight — about 120 feet
W iiif-juvitil of CoiiMellation — 123 feet
are far more speedy. In the spring of 1944 a Lockheed Con-
stellation — whose wing span of 123 feet is greater than the
distance the Wright brothers flew in their first flight in a
plane — flew from Burbank, California, to Washington, D. C. f
2,400 miles, in 6 hours, 57 minutes, and 51 seconds, an average
of 330 miles an hour.
A few months later another new sky giant, the Boeing
Stratocruiser, transport brother of the B-29 bomber, flew
from Seattle to Washington in slightly less time — 6 hours,
3 minutes, and 50 seconds, averaging 383 miles an hour. The
best fighter plane America had on Pearl Harbor Day wasn't
We are betting on these
The United States has developed both land planes and flying
boats. Before the war the flying boat was the usual craft used
for crossing the ocean. But today land planes regularly make
long over-water hops.
The outstanding flying boat developed in the United States
during the war is the Martin Mars, a flying warehouse that
weighs 70 tons. It has a range of 7,500 miles— enough to cross
the Pacific in one hop.
But it is the land plane to which the United States has
devoted most attention. Before the war, the standard trans-
port plane within the United States and in many countries
abroad was the two-engined DC-3 made by Douglas Aircraft
During the war this plane's big brother went into service —
the DC-4, or the C-54 as the Army knows it. It can carry 44
passengers. The manufacturer is improving the model that
the Army has been using so that it will be more efficient.
A still bigger brother is the 50-passenger DC-6.
The Constellation is a 60-passenger plane with a lower
operating cost than the DC-6. Another four-motored trans-
port the Army has been using is the C-87, a noncombat twin
of the Liberator bomber, But its operating cost is so high
that it will probably not be flown commercially now that the
war is over.
The Mars, the DC-6, the Constellation, and the Strato-
cruiser are the "big four" planes with which the United States
faces the future.
Britain announced the design of seven new transports during
the war, but constructed only one of the seven.
British energies in plane construction were primarily
devoted to combat needs, to the mighty bombers like the
Lancaster and such fierce fighters as the Spitfire, Hurricane,
Outstanding among the British commercial designs for the
future are these:
The Brabazon — 100 tons, 250 miles an hour, capacity for
50 passengers and two tons of mail.
The Tudor — 32 tons, 220 miles an hour, capacity for 12
passengers, pressurized cabin, for transatlantic service.
The Avro York — four-engined (1,260 horsepower each), 230
miles an hour, 50 passengers, 3,000-mile range. This brother
of the Lancaster bomber is in production and is flying the
Are there too many planes on hand now?
An important question whose answer throws some light on
the future of air transport is how many planes all the world's
lines will need for peacetime operation.
They got along on relatively few before the war. United
States domestic airlines were using only 371 transports when
war came and our international lines, 82. But in 1944 one U. S.
line, United, ordered 50 four-motored planes (15 DC-4's and
35 DC-6's) for later delivery and another line. Eastern, ordered
Sales of surplus American military transports to foreign
buyers began late in 1944. A subcommittee of the Military
Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives has esti-
mated that there will be a world demand for a good deal of
the military surplus— for 100 C-54's and for from 280 to 1,975
of the Army's two-engined transports, the C-47, C-53, C-46
(Curtiss-Wright Commando), and C-93 (Budd cargo plane).
Lord Beaverbrook, formerly in charge of coordinating
British postwar civil air transport policy, passed on an esti-
mate that the world would be using some 15,000 planes after
The war has brought the use of jet-propulsion in combat
planes, and this revolutionary principle, adding to speed, will
be applied to civil planes. So will rocket starling, which
enables planes to get into the air after a relatively short run
on the ground and with far heavier loads than planes could
lift without rockets.
How many paying passengers?
Interesting as the modern planes arc, they will be common
sights in the skies over the Atlantic and Pacific, above the
jungles of Africa and the deserts of Asia only if there is enough
business to keep them running.
Planes are natural carriers into regions which neither ships
on the sea nor trains nor automotive transport can reach from
the outside world. This explains the success of airways in
Latin America, interior Africa, and northern Siberia, where
farmers who never saw a train arc quite used to the giants
of the sky.
They are naturals, too, for those passengers who have to
make a long journey swiftly, say from New York to Rio dc
Janeiro, New York to London, or San Francisco to the Far
East, and who can hang the cost. And they are naturals for
transporting cargoes of great value which take small space,
like diamonds, or which are perishable, like expensive tropical
Planes have become common carriers of the mail. Between
parts of the British Empire, all mail was carried by plane
before the war wherever a route existed that made it possible.
Will airplanes attract enough passengers and enough freight
to make intercontinental plane travel as common as steam-
ship travel? Some students of the problem think that, in
time, they might attract more travelers than the steamships.
Certainly they will make future travelers of many present
How much must they pay?
So far as passengers are concerned, the matter of fares will
have a good deal to do with their desire to travel by plane.
Several years ago the United States Maritime Commission
expressed the view that transatlantic planes would supersede
the great luxury liners. Hut first-class tickets on those liners
were in a price class with prewar tickets on transoceanic planes.
During the war ATC carried priority civilian passengers on
important missions for twelve cents a mile. That is about
$360 from New York to Mire. Train fares average around
three cents a mile. Late in 1945 Pan American World Airways
dropped its New York-Eire fare from $525 to $275, but then
had to raise it again to $375. The original fare charged on this
flight in 1939 was $337, and Pan American has forecast a fare
of $137 if it gels projected equipment and Civil Aeronautics
Board approval of all pending applications.
A number of airlines have announced low peacetime fares
they hope to be able to charge if costs, traffic, and other con-
siderations permit. Pan American hopes to cut its New York-
Rio fare from $419 to a future $175. TWA looks forward to a
possible charge of $193.50 between New York and London.
Pennsylvania-Central hopes to carry passengers from New
York to Paris for $186 and New York to Calcutta for $490.
How much freight?
The factor of cargo also governs air economics. The Army's
C-82 cargo transport can carry a light lank. Will cargo planes
attract freight this heavy in the years of peace?
Many heavy cargoes are not in a hurry to get from one
place to another, and steamships have been making money
for years because they can haul at low rates.
The total weight of air express carried by United States
domestic lines in the twelve months of 1939 came to 2,700,000
ton-miles. ATC hauled 15,000,000 ton-miles a month.
Are the prospects good or bad?
We cannot predict the future. But we can make estimates
about it, and a number of students have looked closely into
the prospects for peacetime passenger travel and cargo hauling
inlercontinentally. This is what they foresee on the conserva-
tive assumption that rates remain high:
Two hundred and fifty passengers a day may fly in each
direction over the Atlantic between Europe and North
America, or slightly more than enough to fill four Constella-
tions. A third as many passengers may be traveling between
North America and South America, and a fourth as many
may travel across the Pacific. Planes filled to 65 percent of
passenger capacity can operate efficiently.
Freight tonnage by air from the United Slates to northern
Europe may average 10,000 tons a year; to the Mediterranean,
5,000 tons; to Australia, 1,500 tons; to the Far East, 4,000
tons; to South America, 3,000 tons; and to the Caribbean area,
Those cargo figures represent an increase of ten times the
prewar carriage of cargo between the United States and
foreign desli nations.
More optimistic commentators foresee a greater traffic, both
passenger and cargo. Assuming that fares can be reduced to
the neighborhood of three cents per mile, they estimate that
as many as 4 million Americans may travel abroad by air
Other observers, pessimistically inclined, envision a lesser
traffic than even the first figures above.
WHAT ARE THE "FIVE FREEDOMS"
OF AIR TRANSPORT?
The prospect for only limited travel helps to explain the
economic apprehensions that were expressed at the Chicago
In an effort to eliminate restrictions, this conference pro-
posed to open the air to the traffic of all by declaring "five
freedoms" — or more properly, fixe privileges.
The privileges were set forth, in two agreements — the
first agreement containing privileges 1 and 2 (the Inter-
national Air Services Transit Agreement) and the other agree-
ment containing all five privileges (the International Air
The agreements propose that for scheduled international air
services each nation grant to all others, with the possible
exception of former enemy countries, these "freedoms":
1. To fly across its territory without landing.
2. To land for nontraffic purposes.
3. To put down passengers, mail, and cargo taken on in
the territory of the country whose nationality the air-
4. To take on passengers, mail, and cargo destined for the
territory of the country whose nationality the aircraft
5. To take on passengers, mail, and cargo destined for
the territory of another agreeing nation and to put
down passengers, mail, and cargo coming from any such
What do they mean?
Freedoms 3, 4, and 5 are essentially commercial privileges that
encourage economic enterprise in the air. Freedoms 1 and 2
attack the political hazards that help keep the skies from
The ready reception which the delegates to the conference
gave to the first privilege indicated that the military fear is
subsiding. With the first freedom in force, any plane on a
regularly scheduled run can cross any nation's territory on
designated routes without other preliminary agreement.
The second freedom means that, with certain limitations,
the bases controlled by one country are open to the planes of
any other agreeing country. Thus the United States can no
longer close the Pacific by denying foreign lines the use of
Hawaii if the other nation involved has accepted the second
freedom with respect to American planes desiring to land
in its territories. And Britain can no longer deny the use
of Newfoundland or Bermuda to the lines of other nations
accepting the second freedom.
The third, fourth, and fifth freedoms, insofar as they are now
in force, make it economically useful to send planes from one
country to another since they can thus pick up, carry, and
discharge passengers and cargo en route both ways.
Without the fifth freedom a plane going, say, from New
York to Calcutta would be unable along the way to pick up
new passengers when others not making the whole trip got
off. Under prewar conditions this was not always possible —
with the result that it was not profitable to operate long
international routes without the help of heavy governmental
Results of the Chicago conference
A. A. Berle, Jr., chief of the American delegation to the
Chicago air conference, said that the meeting advanced inter-
national aviation by two decades. That it made very con-
siderable forward strides is undeniable. Probably the most
important is the Provisional International Civil Aviation
Organization which has been operating at Montreal since
August 1945. This was provided for in an interim agreement
reached at Chicago and is intended to be replaced by a perma-
nent setup that will, among other things, be a clearinghouse
for international civil aviation matters.
Mention should also be made of the technical agreements
reached at Chicago covering a dozen operational and regula-
tory matters — from uniform rules of the air and traffic control
to licensing, registration, and customs procedures.
Eventually the system of international agreements worked
out at Chicago should eliminate need for the old country-to-
country negotiations that preceded every previous extension
of international flying. Bat to ease the path in the mean-
time for arrangements covering point-to-point international
transport, the conference recommended a standard form of
agreement. This is intended for the use of countries making
bilateral — one country with another — arrangements within the
terms of the third and fourth freedoms. From the Chicago
conference to December 31, 1945, the United States reached
such agreements with Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Eire,
Canada, Switzerland, Norway, and Portugal.
The Chicago conference marks a long step forward in man's
cautious progress toward full use of the airplane. To the
question of who owns the air, it gave the same answer as the
Paris conference of 1919: Each state "owns" the air above
its territory for an infinite distance into space.
Kut if we ask, "How free is the air?" and then examine
the two-freedoms and five-freedoms agreements, we can say,
"Much freer than it used to be." By December 31, 1945 forty-
six nations had signed the two-freedoms document and it was
in force with respect to 25 of them. The five-freedoms agree-
ment had been signed for 28 nations and was in force for 12.
Issues thai remain
The dispute whether there should be strict international
traffic quota control in time of peace still goes on. The
problem turns on these four questions:
Will there be enough traffic for all the international airlines?
Even if there is not, should not international aviation be
governed by the principle of regulated competition?
But would this competition tend in time to give a monopoly
of business to the operator who started with better facilities
than his competitors?
And would such an advantage, especially in what will be the
richest field of international air transport — across the Atlantic
between Europe and North America — lead to jealousies that
would injure international cooperation in shipping, telecom-
munications, and the like?
TO THE DISCUSSION LEADER
Cooperation against danger, not competition for prestige
and economic advantage, guided United Nations air transport
policy during the war. Economic and political obstacles were
brushed aside. Amazing technical progress was the result, and
thousands of men in the services observed it at firsthand.
The postwar use of the skyways is another matter. Critical
questions must be answered. In these questions lie the major
issues for your discussion :
How far will economic and political obstacles hinder peace-
time international airlines?
How can these obstacles be removed or minimized?
Has something already been done to eliminate some of them ?
Can large planes be operated safely enough and cheaply
enough to compete successfully with steamship travel?
Should international aviation be governed by the principle
of open competition?
If you raise these issues and add some of those suggested
below, under "Questions for Discussion," you will have much
more material than you can cover in one meeting. Your task
is to select perhaps the first three issues or the last two as
points to discuss at one meeting. Or you might plan two or
three meetings if your group wishes to talk out completely
the subject of international air transport.
The text of this pamphlet docs not contain the answers to
the questions that have been raised. It does, however, explain
what the economic and political obstacles are; it describes the
proposals made at the Chicago conference to minimize the
obstacles; and it summarizes concisely the known facts about
the kinds of planes which will be used in intercontinental
flying and about estimated costs of operating such planes. So
you have the raw material for discussion. For the present at
least, each man will have to work out the answers for himself.
Aids to discussion
Use the maps. If you put rough copies of them up on the
wall, you will find ihein of invaluable assistance whether you
conduct a forum or an informal discussion.
List the important problems j'ou wish to keep before your
group all through the meeting. Two lists are suggested. They
may be written on a blackboard or a large sheet of paper.
It is suggested that one chart contain the three "hazards" —
mentioned on page 2. The other could list the five privileges
or so-called "five freedoms" found on page 32.
The techniques of organizing and conducting discussions
and forums are described in EM 1, 67 Roundtable: Guide for
Discussion Leaders, which every leader should have. Leaders
who are especially interested in conducting roundtable dis-
cussion or forum programs over radio stations or sound
systems of the Armed Forces Radio Service should also read
EM 90, 67 Radio Roundtable.
Make copies of this pamphlet available for advance reading
in some central place — library, day room, service club, or other
accessible spot. Informed members in your group will improve
the quality of your meeting.
Questions for discussion
The questions that follow are intended to help you organize
your discussion. If you have better ideas, don't hesitate
to use them.
Which do you think are the greatest obstacles to full com-
mercial use of postwar skyways — the technological, economic,
or political obstacles?
Since freedom of the seas means that ships of every nation
can sail the oceans without asking permission of any other
nation, does free and unrestricted use of the air mean the same
principle applied to the air?
If nations have feared that the regularly scheduled com-
mercial planes of other countries might be used for concealed
military purposes, why have they left noncommercial inter-
national Hying almost unregulated?
Will it ever be wholly impossible to use civil planes for mili-
tary purposes and vice versa? What are the advantages a
nation is supposed to gain from having a large and active
aviation program? Are they peacetime or wartime advantages?
How important is the "prestige" accruing to a nation because
it has a far-flung system of air routes?
If there were to be free and open competition in inter-
national air transport, is it likely that one nation might soon
drive the rest out of business? Would such a development
threaten world peace?
Should each country allow only one line, a "chosen instru-
ment," to enter the field of international competition? Should
this be a private company, a government monopoly, or a joint
operation of domestic lines, or what? If drastic competition
between lines of several nations for, say, the North Atlantic
passenger traffic means profits for none, should a pooling or
price-fixing arrangement be permitted? Should international
air rales be regulated? By whom? Are most nations or only
a few likely to try to develop large-scale international airlines?
Why do you think so?
Since ocean steamers can freely pick up and discharge pas-
sengers and freight in any port of any country, except for
coastwise traffic (cabotage), why has a different rule been
applied to planes?
Will passenger travel by intercontinental plane be as com-
mon as steamship travel? How can costs be reduced? Can
planes compete with ships in carrying freight? Will increased
trade and travel between countries make them closer friends
or give rise to more frictions?
Which of the transport planes developed for immediate post-
war use do you think will be successful from a business
standpoint? Will flying boats be more practical than land
planes on long overwater hops? Do you believe the prophecy
that within ten years after the war the majority of commercial
planes will be jet-propelled? Is the Beaverbrook estimate that
the world will need 15,000 planes after the war sound? If true,
what nations do you think will operate them ?
Do you think the Chicago conference produced important
results? What are the most recent developments on inter-
national aviation agreements?
Should Germany, Italy, and Japan be allowed to engage
again in civil aviation? In international commercial air
FOR FURTHER READING
These books are suggested for supplementary reading if you
have access to them or wish to purchase them from the pub-
lishers. They are not approved nor officially supplied by the
War Department. They have been selected because they give
additional information and represent different points of view.
Civil Aviation and Peace. By J. Parker Van Zandt. Pub-
lished by Brookings Institution, 722 Jackson Place, N. W.,
Washington 6, D. C. (1944). $1.00.
New World Horizons: Geography for the Air Age. By
Chester H. Lawrence. Published by Ducll, Sloan and
Pearce, 270 Madison Ave., New York 16, N. Y. (1942).
International Air Transport and National Policy. By
Oliver J. Lissitzyn. Published by Council on Foreign Re-
lations, 45 E. 65th St., New York, N. Y. (1942). $5.00.
Wings after War; The Prospects of Postwar Aviation.
By S. Paul Johnston. Published by Duell, Sloan and Pearce
International Air Transport. By Sir Harry Osborne Mance.
Published by Oxford University Press, 114 Fifth Ave., New
York 11, N. Y. (1944). $1.00.
Empire of the Air. By Matthew Josephson. Published by
Harcourt, Brace and Co., 383 Madison Ave., New York 17,
N. Y. (1944). $3.00.
International Control of Aviation. By Kenneth W. Cole-
grave. Published by World Peace Foundation, 40 Mt. Ver-
non St., Boston 8, Mass. (1930). $2.50.
OTHER Gl ROUNDTABLE SUBJECTS
Introductory copies of each new Gl Round-table pamphlet are automatically
issued to information-education officers in the United States and oversea areas.
Additional copies are authorized on the basis of one copy for each 25 military
personnel. Pumphlets may be requisitioned from the United States Armed
Forces Institute, Madison 3, Wisconsin, or from the nearest USAFI Oversea
Branch. List EM number, title, and quantity. New subjects will be announced
as published. Gl Roundtable subjects now available:
EM 1, Guide for Discission Leaders
EM 2, What Is Propaganda?
EM 10, What Small Be Done about Germany after the War?
EM 11, What Shall Be Done with the War Criminals?
EM 12, Can We Prevent Future Wars?
EM 13, How Shall Lend-Lease Accounts Be Settled?
EM 14, Is the Good Neighbor Policy a Success?
EM 15, What Shall Be Done about Japan after Victory?
EM 20, What Has Alaska To Offer Postwar Pioneers?
EM 22, Will There Be Work fob All?
EM 23, Why Co-ops? What Are They? How Do They Wobk?
EM 24, What Lies Ahead fob the Philippines?
EM 27, What Is the Future of Television?
EM 30, Can War Marriages Be Made To Work?*
EM 31, Do You Want Your Wife To Work after the War?
EM 32, Shall I Build a House after the War?
EM 33, What Will Your Town Be Like?
EM 34, Shall I Go Back to School?
EM 35, Shall I Take Up Farming?
EM 36, Does It Pay To Borrow?
EM 37, Will There Be a Plane in Every Garace?
EM 40, Will the French Republic Live Again?
EM 41, Our British Ally
EM 42, Our Chinese Ally
EM 43, The Balkans — Many Peoples, Many Problems
EM 44, Australi \: Our Neighbor "Down Under"
EM 45, What Future for the Islands of the Pacific?
EM 46, Our Russian Ally
EM CO, Gl Radio Roundtable
tot distribution in the United Stales only.
f(U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, 1946—673402
For sale by the Superintendent of Document*. U. S. Government Printing Office
V/ashintJton 25, D. C • Price 15 cents