Swedish aviation has successfully overcome a variety of difficulties caused by the climate and nature of the country. British, German and Dutch manufacturers have provided the machines which Swedish pilots operate, sometimes in Arctic conditions. Swedish prestige is maintained by the men who pilot the ambulance machines which serve remote parts of the country, by the pilots who have flown into the Arctic to the aid of explorers in difficulties, and by the pilots of the Swedish Air Lines, or ABA. This chapter is by Sidney Howard and describes the steady progress made in Swedish aviation since 1909.
Of all the voluntary defence forces in Great Britain the Auxiliary Air Force has a unique appeal to a young man. By joining the Auxiliary Air Force he is able to serve his country and, if he is a pilot, to fly in some of the world’s fastest aeroplanes.
The Auxiliary Air Force began in 1925, when three squadrons -
No matter what his profession or trade may be, anyone is eligible to join the Auxiliary Air Force, if, of course, he can pass the medical examination. In the City of London Squadron, for example, only a few of the airmen are normally occupied in mechanical work. As its name implies, this squadron draws its recruits from that quarter of London known as the City, and they come from banks, insurance, stockbroking and accountants’ offices.
Until recently only officers could become pilots in the Auxiliary Air Force, but now there are opportunities not only for men to be promoted to the rank of sergeant pilot, but also for men to enter the Auxiliary Air Force as sergeant pilots. No one, however, is taught to fly in the AAF. Before anyone can be accepted as a pilot he must have reached the standard of flying required for an “A” licence. But if he cannot learn to fly in the AAF, a young man can improve his flying in conditions which are better than those offered by a club. Flying is carried out during annual training, the two weeks in the summer when the squadron lives under canvas.
Only a limited number of those who join the AAF are able to fly; apart from the pilots, other ranks who can expect to do a reasonable amount of flying are photographers, gunners and observers. If the other work of the squadron is less spectacular, it is of equal
importance, for it includes the work of the riggers, who are responsible for the airframes, and that of the fitters, who are responsible for the engines; but the “non-
Nigel Tangye contributes this chapter. Nigel Tangye held a commission in No. 600 City of London Bomber Squadron.
This chapter is a timely reminder of the unprecedented extension of the Royal Air Force. Sir Kingsley Wood, Secretary of State for Air, recently inaugurated a new appeal for recruits for the RAF. He announced requirements of an increase in personnel such as has never before been known in peacetime. Some 2,100 pilots, 550 observers, nearly 26,000 tradesmen and unskilled men, and about 3,000 boys are needed -
Sir Kingsley Wood said that the Royal Air Force is now engaged in the greatest expansion scheme that any defence Service has had to face in peace. “We are offering careers,” he continued, “in a Service vital to the country at a time when our strength means so much for the peace of the world. A great sustained effort will be required to achieve our object. But it can be said without doubt that in this country today there are no party differences in this connexion, and that the nation is united, as it has always been when a considerable effort was required.”
The Control Tower at Basra Airport
CONTROL TOWER at Basra Airport, one of the finest aerodromes in the East and an important point on the England to India air mail route. The new airport buildings were opened on March 25, 1938. The Cairo to Basra section was the first to be inaugurated. That was in 1926; in 1929 the London-
Spraying Cotton Plants
COTTON PLANTS are subject to attacks from the boll weevil. This insect is particularly active after heavy rainfall, and a delay, even of hours, in the application of calcium arsenate powder may cause thousands of pounds of damage to the crops. When aeroplanes are not available the work has to be carried out with carts, fifty to seventy-