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S t efan $ son’s Forecast for, Arctic Flying ■* BY CAROL BYRD. ,44 JT T HEN navigation of the air l . Mgw / by airplanes, and especially M/M/ dirigibles, becomes custom- F r ary, the uninhabited Arctic will be like an open park in the center of the inhabited city of the world and air voyagers will cross it like taxi riders crossing a park.” When Vilhjalmur Stefansson, one of the greatest polar explorers of all time, made this .statement seven years ago people regarded it as a prophecy of the most visionary sort. It was .long before the public had become air-minded, especially about the Arctic, and the idea that comercial routes could be successfully operated In the Par North was startlingly new. Today Arctic flying is one of the most im .portant subjects in the entire field of interna •- tional aeronautics, for the majority of authori ties agree that the most practical air lane be tween North America and Europe lies along a ; patch in which the stepping stones are Baffin Island, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Scotland, a route first proposed by Sir Eric Geddes, chairman of Imperial Airways, a fed •zrsticn of all British aeronautical manu facturers. "This route,”- says Stefansson, "is tire only practical one because in order to have a com mercially paying route you ought to be able to pick up airplane fuel every 300 miles or so. This can be done on the northern route and on no other. v ti'T'HE particular path‘forecast by Geddes . •!, twould not' use ice flans for landings except in the rarest emergencies. Much of the year .there are no suitable floes, anyway, in Davis Straits and only a narrow belt of them along the east coast of Greenland. Most of the water between Greenland and Iceland has no ice in it at any time and there is never any ice between Iceland and the Faroes or between the Faroes and Scotland. "However, it is not a bad idea to discuss fee floes as possible substitutes for the elaborate constructed floating landings that have been proposed between Newfoundland and Ireland. In a true-scale map of the Northern Hemi sphere, such as included in my book. ‘The Ad venture of Wrangel Island,’ you will see the area which nearly always contains ice clearly indicated. Within that area there is an emer gency landing field of i<se on an average of 1 to every 5 miles. Better than that, in fact, for you can probably never fly 5 miles without a chance to land. “These ice floes are comparatively stable' inany of them, but not stable enough to permit erection of a really permanent station on any of them. Take the case, for instance, of Storker son, one of my own expeditions. Storkenon’s party selected a particularly substantial floe and remained encamped on it for six months while it drifted 450 miles. But even that selected floe might have broken up if the conditions had been unfavorable. '<<TF some multi-millionaire aviation enthusiast .. were to arrange an air derby across the Arctic he might well establish relay statioos by airplane transport on a line of such floes, the stations being, say, 30# miles apart and C or • in number. The temporary hangars or machine .shops would more logically be tents, although tat Summer repair work could perfectly well be done shelter and in Wintertime windbreaks could be created with snow blocks Such sta .* lions would not be of a really permanent nature. "Siiej.'fouia not operate for ril6!re than i few ’ weeks at a time. ’ ' r t “ ' f ‘There are no special weather problems. No one has ever reported a wind of more than 40 miles an hour as blowing in the Arctic over the pack ice far from land, though more violent Winds are found where there is open water near high land. These seem to be created locally by the atmospheric differences over the sea and 2and. In the early stages most of the Arctic fly sing will be done in Winter, for the Bummer Is a more difficult season. v “Fogs are rare and unlikely to be dense in Winter. Snowstorms, too, are . rare. In fact, there will be less need for special devices to snowstorm or fog than there is in ‘ many territories already regularly flown. - i “You would want radio direction beacons at Che temporary service stations on the ice and 'corresponding apparatus on the airplanes, but <1 believe this is about to become standard equipment for all flying In every latitude. • “Radio telephones would doubtless be used on the ice no less than on land. • "However, it seems almost childish to talk 'about stations on the ice, even temporary ones. The flyers vho cross the Arctic will have enough ability so that if anything goes wrong with ithsir engine* they can come down almost any place and have leisure to study the trouble .and . '-to. repair it themselves. In special difficulty they would send out 8 0 8 calls, specifying .'what parts were broken or what special help they neded. Planes would then come from 'neighboring Islands bringing the required ns ’aistance. In other words, flying the Arctic 1 would: ‘x much like flying an uninhabited coun 'try that Is largely prairie, the airplanes landing 'on the prairie and sending calls to frontier . stations for assistance. 44 VOU must remember about the Arctic that x it is a tiny sea as compared with the • Atlantic, and that islands in it are far more numerous. The flying problems will, therefore, » 'fi>7 •*% y * r.- _ TH E SUNDAY STAR, WASHINGTON, P, C, DECEMBER 22, 1929. Ho zv the Great Explorer’s Dream and Prophecy for Transpolar Air Routes Is Coming True, and Why He Estimates That Within Ten Years Ordinary Travel Between America and Europe Will Be by Way of the Safe Short Cut Across the Ice Pack at the Top of the World. r begin to seem very simple just as soon as you understand the conditions.” Stefansson believes that every flyer who crosses the Arctic should know all the methods of self-help which are described In “The Friend ly Arctic,” one of the many books he has writ ten on the North. He particularly insists that they should know how to build snow houses. "U a flyer crossing the Arctic develops a - disabled engine, and is forced to land,” Stefans son explains, “he would have to build a snow house to provide proper shelter in the event that it required considerable time to repair his trouble, or to send out SOS calls for parts from neighboring islands. With the assistance of two men who had never seen a snow house before I built my first one in three hours, guided only by my memory of the house building I had so often seen while I lived among the Cop per Eskimos. T built that house from principles I learned by watching. Any Boy Scout can get those same principles from my books and apply them. There have been explorers who have said in print that no white man can ever learn to build a snow house. They say the gift is in stinctive with the Eskimo. I say there is no instinct and only common sense about it. MVIfHAT we have to do for successful Arctic - , Hying, whether it be air derbies with a of entrants or a regular passenger and mall service traveling on schedule, is merely to establish such facilities on Arctic Marti as we would have on tropical or temperate lone Blands, and then to be thankful that nature The Hope of the World. By Alfred Noyes.' The world’s great heart has burst its chain, And music comes to birth. * ->-• • Rivers of healing flow again ■> ‘ , ! *; v ; v ' And whisper Peace Oti Earth. ' ' ‘ •* ; • , , Through streets tidiere mourners boused in prayer The healing splendor rolls. . ' The faces in the darkness there •>< < Are like immortal souls. ’ • * From earth, till Heaven and earth accord; From time, till time shall cease; Praise to the everlasting Lord; Praise to the Prince of Peace. If thou forget what unite they shed, . Thy sons on land and sea, Mother of all our hallowed dead, Shall peace return to thee? Look on the fields they left so fair, The hills their passion crowned. They built a nation’s altars there, And there Thy peace is found. • They have not laid aside the sword. Their warfare shall not cease. They serve an everlasting Lord. They serve th'c Prince of Peace. Rise on our darkness, healing Sun, Shine on our storm-beat coasts. Till all the nations move as one . . With these Thy starry hosts; Till, as Thy zvorlds from chaos draw, The broadening ages .find, Bound in the music of Thy law, The kingdom of mankind. From earth, till earth and Heaven accord; Front time, till time shall cease; Praise to the ei’erlasting Lord; 1 •• • •• Praise to’the Prince of Peace. has scattered level floes as emergency landing fields liberally In every direction. “It is the innumerable landing fields that have made Arctic flying safer than any in the tropic or temperate zones. Have you noticed that not a single life has yet been lost in con nection with, let us say, 50,000 miles of Arctic flying? “It will Jump to your mind at once that the great Arctic explorer, Amundsen, with his Nor wegian and French companions, was ‘lost in the Arctic.’ He wasn’t really—at least not un der Arctic conditions. We define (he Arctic Sea, from the flying point of view, as those waters which have at least a certain amount of ice floating around. Amundsen was flying from Norway, where there was no ice, he was crossing waters that were wholly ice free and his plane fell several hundred miles before reaching the first Ice cake. He was drowned, as many other flyers have been, in the North Atlantic, or at least under strictly North Atlan tic conditions. The only way you can blame the Arctic for the death of Amundsen was that he was on his way to it when he lost his life. “The freedom from tragedy in the history of Arctic flying has been due to the high safety factor provided by innumerable landing places Where the subsoil is frozen, there can be no underground drainage, and where such drainage is absent the rain waters stay where they fall, and there are bound to be ten times as many lakes as in any section where the ground is unfrozen. Accordingly, Northern flyers can al ways descend upon water In Summer with floats and upon level lake Ice during the Winter months with skis. MOTHERS are few places In Northern Canada where you can get five miles away from a good landing, and there are similarly few in Northern Siberia. Alaska Is to a degree an ex ception, for it is so mountainous, but there has been the same freedom from serious accidents there as in'Canada. It is not as safe as the typical Arctic, but safer than most temperate ■one routes. Landing places are even more numerous on the ocean pack ice than on the Arctic land. “There have been three great Arctic airplane flyers so far. Rather, among all the splendid men at work in the North, three have so far * attained enough publicity to make them famous. These are Amundsen (with Ellsworth), Byrd (with Bennett) and Wilkins (with Eielson). The work of Amundsen had no bearing on the problem of whether the landing places on the pack ice are numerous, for he used a flying boat and landed in water. Byrd's work is equally without bearing on this problem, for he was not compelled to land nor did he land vol untarily. The most famous exploit of Wilkins and Eielson, when they flew from Alaska past the North Pole to Spitsbergen, tells us nothing, for they did not land till the 2,200-mile journey had been brought to a successful end. “But on a previous flight, in 1927, WUklns and Eilson had landed three times at distances of 550, 540 and 100 miles from shore. The first was a forced landing in good weather, the sec ond was a forced landing in a blizzard, and the third, also forced, had the combined handicaps of night darkness and thick snowstorm. They were all safe landings, the first two followed by takeoffs when repairs had been made, and the third without take-off because the fuel was ex hausted. They were in line with the contention of Wilkins that you are never out of reach of s good landing place when flying the Arctic pack in Winter. “When it comes to learning, there are two kinds of people—those who understand and trust theories, and those who are impressed only by what has been done. The first class were convinced, say, live years ago, that Arctic fly ing conditions, whether over sea or land, are better on the rverage than flying conditions over any lands or any seas in the tropic or tem perate son es. “I would estimate that the Arctic will come into its own as the practical airplane thorough fare between the commercial centers of the United States and Canada on one side and these of Europe and Northern Asia on the other in not much less than 5 years, nor much more than 10“ (Coprrlcht, MM.) / Christmas at the Hoovers\ Continued From Firtt Page last two or three Christmases, blossomed in out door decoration in the West, in neighborhood gardens all illumined with glowing trees and starry flowers—such expressions are the Hoover Interpretation of Christmas. I am sure they would be spending this Christ mas day in their camp on the Rapidan it they could. I am sure they would have all of us spending It In camps If they could. These lovers of out-of-doors enjoy the sur prise element in Christinas joy-making as keenly as any boy or girl, lluch time is spent in preparing “Jokes.” Laughter rings as “sur < price packages” are opened about the. tree. . There is more laughter aa the thread of st©ry > telling is woven through the day-—and (he First Lady has a rare gift for unfolding a humorous tale. Their spirit of youth is revealed in this delight, in jokes and merriment. No two persons •younger in spirit ever went into the White House. . It Is often difficult to know the inner man, what he really likes, desires. This is not true of the Hoovers. The kind of Christmas they like could be described by almost any friend of theirs. To be with them Is to know them; so directly, so honestly, do their acts reflect what they are. I happen to have had the privilege, as neighbor, of spending many happy Christmases under the Hoover roof, but I think I could have pictured their Christinas had Z never been with them on that day. As I think backward, across a dozen Christ mases, I see against a world darkness unending lines of little children—lines of little children . stretching miles upon miles—of Belgian and French children, of Austrian and German chil dren, of-Polish and Russian children. And to each outstretched hand is given a slice of bread. It was dark bread, but as I look back at it, It gleams. For it reflects the rays of that same star of brotherly love that shines on us today. It represents that same passionate and ever active love of little children which made Presi dent Hoover set In motion, through the recent White House conference on child health, the most important investigation into the present condition of American children—with a solemn, obligation to Improve this condition—that has ever been attempted. To some, Christmas comes but once a year. The Hoovers, through their practice of sharing what they have and are, through their continu ous effort to bring nearer that joy and peace on earth which the star above Bethlehem heralded and which Christ preached, are put ting the essential meaning of Christinas into every day.