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About Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger

BSEE - KB3UON

My Engineering Web: RF Cafe

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Airplanes And Rockets Copyright 1996 - 2026

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Youth Air Movement News
December 1939 Flying Aces

December 1939 Flying Aces

December 1939 Flying Aces Cover - Airplanes and Rockets Table of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

The flying business was big business in the early days of aviation. From the beginning, specialized training and certification was needed to be trusted in the air with mail, cargo, and the lives of strangers. As with today, a flyboy could teach himself to fly and put his own neck on the line (only with ultralights now, though), but anything more meant graduating from a college curriculum and/or getting training from the military. The Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA, now the Federal Aviation Administration cum FAA), oversaw non-military flights and its Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) regulated and certified private schools for teaching aspiring pilots aerodynamics, mechanics, weather phenomena, airframe and powerplant maintenance, rules and regulations, public relations, and other necessary skills. This "Youth Air Movement News" column from the December 1939 issue of Flying Aces magazine reported on the progress of the program, and mentioned here that women were being permitted into the flying schools as well.

Youth Air Movement News

Youth Air Movement News, December 1939 Flying Aces - Airplanes and RocketsHere's our bright clearing house of info regarding the CAA pilot training program and kindred subjects. Brief, newsy bits - of interest to casual fans as well as actual candidates - will be our specialty each month in these columns.

College Goal Reached

Just as we went to press, the 300th American college was approved by the CAA for pilot training. That meant that the Authority's goal for the 1939-1940 scholastic year had been reached. So "Contact, colleges!" is now the cry. Originally, the CAA plan called for revving up 10,000 new pilots by next June; however, new word from Washington has advanced this figure to 11,000.

Girls, Too

It now develops that these schools may, by way of experiment, permit girls to take the flight training up to 10 percent of their quotas. Two of the approved colleges are girl schools, as a matter of fact. Moreover, two of the universities are Negro institutions. As for that meager 5 percent of non-college applicants, 550 of these will be trained by university extension courses covering ground school work, then they'll get their flying at university-named airfields.

Non-College Man Holds Bag

We still don't like the punk deal given non-college men - and we won't like it as long as the airminded fellows-in-the-street belonging to that group called the backbone of the country gets such starvation fare as a 5 percent crumb of this Government-backed training. College women are now figured for 10 percent, twice as good a "break" as the non-collegians - in the face of the fact that the avowed first purpose of the program is to develop a reserve pool of flyers for use in a possible national military emergency. You figure it out. We can't.

Pity the Frosh!

Another point calling for raising of the eyebrows is a report that the CANs statement to the colleges "strongly urged that freshmen be dissuaded from the flight courses." Why? Is this an aero version of the common collegiate three year athletic rule against fresh playing on the varsity? Are they afraid that some non-college lad will furtively sneak into a university just to get flight training? If some such poor gink does, it looks like they'll fix him in a hurry - by putting him away on the shelf until he's a soph.

NYA Doing Grand Job

Meanwhile, we applaud the National Youth Administration for the aero industry opportunities it offers American youth. Many chaps who showed mechanical ability under the NYA program are now in the Administration's aircraft training projects at Charleston, W. V., and Algiers, La. The NYA also contemplates aviation projects at Quoddy, Me.; Weiser, Ida.; Port Townsend, Wash.; Buchanan Dam, Tex.; and Muskingum Conservancy District, Ohio. All phases of airplane mechanics are taught, thus fitting the fellows for future jobs in ground branches of commercial aviation.

CAA Grads Fine Ducks

The 19 CAA college pilots who won an additional seaplane course at E. W. Wiggins Airways, Boston, certainly took to the water like ducks. Flying pontooned Piper Cubs, they chalked up a total of 285 hours in 21 days, received their ratings, and had no trouble or breakage of any kind during this "sailor" term.

Low-Wing Trainer Approved

Abandoning its former scheme of all-biplane primary training, the Army Air Corps has now Okay'ed the new Ryan YPT-16 low-wing trainer. This job is already being used by the Ryan School's Air Corps Training Detachment, at San Diego. Use of low-wings by cadets simplifies the transition from primary to advanced flying stages which used to demand a change from biplanes to monoplanes.

Pep Up Mechanic Recruiting

Outbreak of the new European war has decidedly sped up preparedness in this country. And that means there will now be many more opportunities in the American military aero services for airminded fellows who'd like to see their names on a Government pay roll. The Army, for instance, has accelerated its recruiting program which calls for 25,139 additional aircraft mechanics.

We Welcome the AYA

Air Youth of America is the name of a new national agency now being formed to assist the hundreds of thousands of airminded lads in this country with their model building and other junior aero activities. Winthrop Rockefeller is temporary chairman of the group's organizing committee. This movement is heartily welcomed by Flying Aces because its purpose is the promotion of more openings for youths in the aviation field. We might also add (this in a whisper) that the AYA intends to make its program so attractive that it'll lure a bunch of non-airminded boys away from the corner pool rooms. Get each of 'em to trade in his cue for another kind of stick - one with wings and a prop on it, you know. But we don't figure this particular angle applies to any F.A. readers. Or are there really some 8-Ball players in our audience?

Domestic Aviation Zooms

Figures from Washington indicate that since August, 1938, our aero industry has climbed at a rate unparalleled in our history. Airlines carried 170,913 passengers last July, 55 per-cent better than in July of 1938. The first half of this year saw 1,627 civilian planes produced and sold, against 850 for the same period in '38. This September 1st saw 1,109 more certified aircraft and 6,000 more pilots than a year ago. And there was not a single fatal airline accident in the U.S. during the first half of the current year.

Very Few Get "Green"

Maybe you'll be interested to know that only three sky passengers out of every 1,000 get air sick. Dr. Ralph Greene, Director of Eastern Air Lines' Aero-Medical Department, discovered this fact. And he points out that sea, train, and auto sickness are much more common. As for ear aches, which sometimes occur due to fast ascents or decents, the Doctor prescribes yawning or swallowing to equalize the inner-ear pressure. He goes on to say that "thrusting out the jaw with the mouth open, and rocking it from side to side also helps." It would be a swell show for some lurking candid camera fiend, too.

Winged Elevens

Becoming a college football player may soon be another standard way to get in some flying. The Pitt Panther team recently hopped via TWA to the West Coast to grapple with Washington, and the College All-Stars flew from Chicago to New York to take on. the New York Giant grid aggregation. Flying keeps the pigskin men in better condition than the more grueling long-distance ground travel.

Sport Flying Flourishes

Private flying is advancing by leaps and zooms, and we hope a lot of you readers are "getting aboard." The growing popularity of the light plane sport model is indicated by the fact that Taylorcraft enjoyed a twenty percent increase in the sales of its ships during the first six months of this year, while Piper turned out its one thousandth 1939 Cub as early as the 19th of August.

 

 

Posted August 6, 2022