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"The evil wrought by flying will be incomparably greater than any benefit derived from it by mankind," declared Sir Hugh Frenchard, chief of the British Air staff recently. Professor Philip Baker of London University, a noted pacifist, used this statement as the basis for an address to a peace conference at York, England, several days ago. Professor Baker affirmed that Sir Hugh Frenchard had said to him that both military and civil aviation should be abandoned. This view of aerial development coming from a distinguished soldier and an experienced flyer has occasioned much comment.
General Umberto Nobile, designer and navigator of the first airship to reach the North Pole, said recently to a CRIMSON reporter, "I find it hard to believe that Sir Hugh Frenchard could have made such a statement about aviation. It is true that he may have meant that flying at present is evil because it increases the taxation of European peoples. Or he may have had in mind the destructive potentialities of airplanes in war. But aviation an evil in itself, no, I cannot think that he meant that. The statement refutes itself. No flyer would ever say such a thing.
Quicker Transportation Leading Value
Lieutenant-Commander. Richard Byrd declared in regard to this statement, It is foolish for anyone to say that aviation is not valuable. The value of quicker transportation, to mankind cannot be estimated. It will unlike nations and link rural and urban communities more closely. The position of the airplane today is analogous to that of the automobile 15 years ago. There were people then who maintained that the growth of the automobile industry was a very great evil. We do not consider it so, now, however.
"The one factor that will do more than anything else to aid the cause of aviation, will be the advance of the science of meteorology. Until flyers have some accurate way of determining the weather before starting on a flight, there will always be expense and a low factor of safety connected with aviation. As long as flying can be considered a dangerous luxury for individuals, conservatives will criticise it with some degree of impunity as an evil and unnecessary invention."
Anthony H. G. Fokker, international aeronautical expert, maintains an opposite opinion to Sir Hugh Frenchard.
"Aviation Greatest Forward Step in Era"
"Aviation", he declared to a CRIMSON representative, "is the greatest forward step taken by mankind since the start of the modern era. Airplanes have already reached the stage where they are commercially practicable. All the long-distance transportation of the future will be done in the air. Flying has not yet become generally popular, but it will.
All that is necessary to convert the most hardened opponent of aviation that it is a benefit rather than an evil is to fly in some of the modern, tri-motion planes. The only possible harmful consequence of division would be the use of planes in war. There can be no question but that aerial attacks will be more destructive than any other military weapon. But that it is no reason to condemn-flying. The value of commercial aviation above will more than off-sec any evils resulting from the transition of people from the earth to the air."
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