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anywhere in the United States, préparation of tariffs, collecting and accounting for the revenues, supplying office equipment, use of its traffic, accounting, legal, and other departments; handling inquiries as to rates and services, also handling and settling claims, investigating thefts, placing insurance, and providing the executive staff and management for the air-express business in all of its phases other than the actual flying of the shipments between airports, working to that end in close cooperation with the air lines' officials and personnel. The contracts with the air lines provide for the mutual services and facilities to be rendered by the air lines and the Express Co., and for the collection, allocation, and apportionment by the Express Co. of the air-express revenues, payment of expenses, compensation to the Express Co. for its services and facilities, and for distribution of the remaining revenues among the air lines.
The Civil Aeronautics Board has held that the Express Co. is an air carrier under the Civil Aeronautics Act because it is indirectly engaged in air transportation (In Re Railway Express Agency, 2 C. A. B. 531).
The Express Agency and its predecessor, American Railway Express Co., have been engaged in the air-express business from its inception. In November 1919, the Express Co. attempted an experimental flight from New York to Chicago. A large four-engine plane was used for the purpose. The plane, heavily loaded with cargo and a crew of eight men, took off from New York, but on account of strong head winds and mechanical difficulties which developed was forced to land in the State of Pennsylvania. The Express Co. took the express matter from the plane to a nearby railroad station and within 30 minutes the journey of the express matter was being continued by rail and was so transported to the destination point, Chicago, thus inaugurating the first coordinated air-rail service. This coordination has always been a most important element in air-express service. The Express Co. conducts the express business over the railroad lines of the United States under contracts with the individual railroads. It also operates an express business over steamboat, stage, and motorvehicle lines and routes.
When a shipment is given to the Express Co. for transportation by air and a flight of the aircraft must be canceled on account of weather conditions, or a plane must be landed en route because of weather or other difficulties, the Express Co. has facilities available to immediately transport the express matter to the nearest rail point and the traffic is thus kept moving forward toward its destination. If air service is available so that quicker delivery to the consignee can be made by transferring the traffic from rail back to air the Express Co. also performs that operation and thus the consignee receives his shipment at the earliest possible moment. This avoids the delay which would otherwise result if it were attempted to transport the shipment solely by air and thus necessitate wating for a plane which could handle the shipment. As has been stated, the Express Co, serves more than 20,000 points throughout the United States, many of which do not have direct air service. The Express Co. receives air express shipmenst at all of these offices and transports them to the nearest airport, from which they go forward by air. Likewise, shipments are transported from airports to places not directly served by air. As a result of this coordinated service a substantial portion of the air express traffic receives some rail transportation. The amount of such rail transportation varies with the seasons of the year and with weather and other conditions, with the result that it is estimated that during the course of a year as much as 30 percent of the air express traffic moves partly by rail.
Following the expriment in 1919 the Express Co. and others interested in the subject continued experimenting with the result that on September 1, 1927, the first regular air express operation was begun by the Express Co. under contracts with the then 4 air lines, Boeing Air Transport, Colonial Air Transport, National Air Transport, and Western Air Express. The business has grown so that now the Express Co. does business over all the principal air lines of the country, 18 in number, and also handles air express business in connection with Pan American Airways under a contract with that company so that the Express Co. can pick up and deliver at all of its 20,000 offices air express shipments to or from all points in the United States and foreign countries. According to the testimony of Chairman Pogue, of the Civil Aeronautics Board, before this committee on February 2, 1943 (R. 35), the express traffic on the domestic air lines of the country increased from 4,100,000,000 pound-miles for the year ended June 30, 1938, to 16,000,000,000 pound-miles in the year ended June 30, 1942, an increase of approximately 400 percent, thus keeping pace with the rate of increase in air passenger traffic in that 4-year period. It may be added that for the year ended June 30, 1942, the express ton-miles increased 91 percent over the previous year ended June 30, 1941, while the mail ton-miles increased 41 percent, and the revenue passenger-miles increased 27.6 percent. For the calendar year ended December 31, 1942, the gross air express revenue was in excess of $9,000,000, an increase of approximately 112 percent above the year 1941.
Railway Express Agency is, therefore, intensely interested in the subject of cargo carrying by aircraft, and, as has been stated, is an air carrier under the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938, and conducted its air express operationss during the "grandfather" period mentioned in that act. It is interested in the provisions of the "Air Carriers Liability Act of 1943," set forth in section 58 of H. R. 1012, and in the definitions and classifications of the operations which are covered by the bill, including the definitions set forth in sections 2 to 7 thereof. It is also interested in the provisions of section 26, relating to Air Contractor Economic Regulation, and may desire later to submit some definite suggestions to this committee.
The Express Co. is also interested in section 59 of the bill, amending the Railway Labor Act. It is an express company subject to that act. Section 59 provides that certain provisions of title I of the Railway Labor Act, including section 1 thereof, are extended to cover air carriers. Title I of the Railway Labor Act covers express and other companies, and companies under their control, performing service "other than trucking service.” The Express Co. owns and controls two trucking subsidiaries. To make it clear that the exception of trucking service is retained in the proposed amendment, it is suggested that on page 66 of H. R. 1012, in line 19, following the word "which," a comma be inserted and followed by the words "except, any person which is a motor carrier within the meaning of that term as defined in part II of the Interstate Commerce Act."
I thank the committee for the opportunity to make this brief statement and shall be glad to give the committee upon its request any further information it may desire with respect to the air express phases of the proposed legislation. Respectfully submitted.
H. S. MARX. Mr. Warner; we will hear you.
STATEMENT OF EDWARD WARNER, VICE CHAIRMAN, CIVIL
AERONAUTICS BOARD, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Mr. WARNER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Warner, will you just briefly refer to some of your past connection with this question of aviation ?
Mr. WARNER. Yes, sir. I have been active in the aeronautical field for somewhat over 25 years. I was in charge of the development of the aerodynamic laboratories of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics for 2 years after the war, 1919 and 1920; I was professor of aeronautical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1920 to 1926; Assistant Secretary of Navy for Aeronautics from 1926 to 1929; editor of Aviation Magazine, 1929 to 1934; vice chairman of the Federal Aviation Commission in 1934 and 1935; in a private consulting practice with special reference to requirements and problems of air transportation's position from 1936 to 1938, when I came to Washington as a technical consultant and assistant to the Civil Aeronautics Authority, of which I was appointed a member upon the resignation of Mr. Noble in April 1939.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: I have understood that there have been some interests in the question of airworthiness regulations, affecting the design and construction of aircraft and the conditions subject to which new air transport aircraft are designed. I shall be glad to run briefly through some of the historical background and describe briefly the consequences of certain of the regulations which have been the subject of large interest on the part of the
industry in the last 2 or 3 years, and which have been most important in their effect on the design of commercial aircraft.
It is, of course, the universal practice of the aircraft building countries of the world to establish governmental regulations imposing some limits within which the design of commercial aircraft must be contained, to which their design must conform, just as armies and navies and air forces establish specifications under which the aircraft built for military service must be designed, so the Governinents have not left the preparation of such specifications for civilian aircraft purely to the purchaser, but have made rules to protect the public safety, providing that certain standards of strength and performance must be met.
Before the war the requirements established and observed in a number of countries of the world, including Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands among large aircraft-building and transportoperating countries, were standarized under the terms of one of the annexes to the International Convention for Air Navigation. We, not being ratifying parties to that convention, had our own air worthiness requirements quite independent of those of other countries, although there was a continual exchange of information on the regulatory steps being developed, and we took advantage of one another's experience.
It was necessary that there be some degree of common understanding at least on an informal basis, for otherwise maintenance of any international trade in aircraft would have been extremely difficult.
The first airworthy requirements in the United States were set up under the Air Commerce Act of 1927.
The CHAIRMAN. In connection with what you just said, does that exchange of information apply to the features of purely military importance ?
Mr. WARNER. No; these were regulations that related only to civil aircraft.
The first airworthiness regulations for civil aircraft were promulgated by the Air Commerce Branch in the Department of Commerce in 1927.
I am going to limit myself to a discussion of one or two particular phases that have been particularly of interest and importance to the industry and that have undergone particularly recently development, so I come immediately to that point.
One of the factors that is of greatest interest and importance to the aircraft designers and to the operators of aircraft is the wing loading, or load carried in flight on each square foot of wing area. The wing loading has shown a general tendency to increase from prevailing levels of about 10 or 12 pounds per square foot 15 years ago to a prevailing level of about 30 pounds per square foot at the present time. That increase has been accomplished in part by changes in the form of the wing and in the fundamental technical characteristics of the aircraft, and by the use of auxiliary devices to permit of increased loading; but it has been accompanied by a general tendency to increase the stalling speed of the aircraft, or the minimum speed at which it can fly. The stalling speed is approximately equal to the landing speed which, of course, means the minimum speed at which the aircraft can be brought in contact with the ground in a normal landing. That is, as I say, of great importance to the designers, because in general an increase in the wing loading, other things being equal, results in an increase in the maximum speed and the cruising speed, and so in an increased economy of operation. Such an increase will, on the other hand, entail a sacrifice in the rate of climb of the aircraft, in maximum altitude that it can attain, in the success with which it can be flown, and the performance that it can maintain, in the event of failure of one or more of the engines; and, of course, other things still being equal, it increases the minimum speed at which the aircraft can be brought in contact with the ground. Obviously, if carried too far that becomes a hazard. It would be a problem for the designer, even if there were no regulations, to decide how far the increase of wing loading should be carried. There being regulations, it is a problem of the regulatory authority to know how far that increase in minimum flight speed or landing speed can properly be allowed to go.
The regulations that were originally adopted on this point—I have not looked back to get the exact dates, but I think this provision was incorporated in 1928, very soon after the first set of airworthiness regulations appeared-provided that the minimum speed, or landing speed, of civil aircraft must not exceed 65 miles per hour. That is, in order that a new type might be certified it had to be demonstrated that it could land at not over 65 miles per hour.
That remained in force, with minor modifications, for about 8 years. In about 1936 it became apparent that that requirement was becoming obsolete, and a minor change was made allowing an increase from 65 miles per hour to 70 miles per hour in the case of aircraft of over 30,000 pounds in weight. I say that it became obvious that the existing regulation was becoming obsolete. That was for two principal reasons. In the first place, because of the improvement of landing areas; the general availability of paved runways, much smoother than the old grass-covered fields, and the increased length and extent of landing runways. Secondly, because of the technical changes to which I have referred, landing gears were being improved; wings were being improved; and airplanes could as a result safely land somewhat faster than had appeared proper some years earlier.
The increase to 70 miles per hour for landing aircraft was adopted in 1936. That was an expedient which involved no basic change in the method of regulation. As the matter continued to receive the attention of the industry and of the regulatory authorities, it appeared that a substantial improvement could be made by a fundamental change to make the regulation more logical than it had been, and instead of providing that there be a single fixed landing speed to apply to all aircraft and a single fixed take-off distance, which used to require that all aircraft must be taken off, get off the ground in less than 1,000 feet instead of imposing such a fixed requirement, it appeared it would be advisable to allow some accommodation of the aircraft to the particular fields from which it was to be operated, so that where there were 6,000-foot runways, a heavier load and a longer take-off run could be allowed than if the runway were only 2,500 or 3,000 feet long.
With that in mind, the work on the revision of the regulations to bring them up to date began in 1938. The first complete draft of the proposed revision of these landing and take-off regulations that I have with me is dated August 1939. To make a long story short, discussion continued from that time with a meeting in Washington in October 1939, and in Kansas City in January 1940, and finally, on May 28, 1940, there was adopted what goes by the name of amendment No. 56, which allowed on increase in the minimum speed from the 65 or 70 miles an hour that had prevailed theretofore to 80 miles an hour, but with some additional safeguards designed to make certain and this was the basic assumption under which the changes were written—to make certain that with the complete and sudden failure of one engine at any instant during flight, including the most critical instant of the take-off, the airplane could continue safely in its flight. That seemed to be a suitable and fundamental requirememnt for transport aircraft.
That regulation was adopted in May 1940.
It almost immediately became apparent, even though it had been under discussion for such a long time before adoption, it still contained certain flaws. The manufacturers, after analyzing its actual effect on design, found some faults in it. The airline pilots also found some fault with it, and we almost immediately resumed the study and the holding of conferences with a view to further revision. We prepared drafts and sent them around for comment by the interested parties. We held more meetings from time to time, four or five in all in various parts of the country, and in January 1942 we adopted the present form of the landing and take-off regulations, although someone else would perhaps be better qualified than I to say that they are generally satisfactory, at least we have had relatively little fundamental complaint against the present form.
Some of the designers, I know, think that with regard to the landing speed, the regulations are still too restrictive, that a limitation of 80 miles an hour, although that is a substantial increase over anything they were allowed before these recent amendments were made, is too
The airline pilots on the other hand, and I think in general the airline operators, although they have made no formal declaration on this point, feel that we have at least gone as far as would be desirable for the time being; that if the speed were further increased, the rate of approach of an airplane to a point of landing would be so high as to handicap the pilot and to endanger the operation under bad conditions. That is to say, there are still differences of opinion; and we have had to do the best that we can, after collecting the views of all the interested and expert parties, to reach a conclusion on a reasonable standard.
Just one other point. I understand that there has been some interest expressed in the relation of our regulations to those of other countries, under which manufacturers of non-American nationality have to build their transport aircraft. Of course, the regulations of other countries have been substantially in abeyance since 1939. Up to that point they were very largely controlled, as I have indicated, by annex B of the International Convention for Air Navigation. That has provisions somewhat different from ours, in that, instead of fixing a limit for landing or stalling speed, they fix a limit for landing distance. They provide that the airplane must be able to be brought to rest within 980 feet after first contact with the ground—the odd distance being due to the fact that the basic specification is given in