The results given by aerodynamical laboratories have certainly rendered the greatest service to aviation by enabling the magnitude of the forces sustained by an airplane and its organs to be obtained with fair precision. It is considered, however, that the precision of the information given on the conditions of flight of full-scale machines is no longer sufficient, and that at present there is urgently required on the one hand, a program of comparison and revision and, on the other hand, scientific experimentation, if it is to contribute usefully to the progress of aviation, must undertake more comprehensive and far-reaching tests than those hitherto realized.
While a number of good goggles have been manufactured, there is still much room for improvement. Unfortunately, some goggles that are distinctly dangerous have been put in circulation; they lessen visual acuity; create an irregular astigmatism; limit the field of vision; finally certain tints used in the lenses seriously alter the color values of objects necessary for following the topography of the ground or recognizing certain changing meteorological conditions.
The report of the Chief of the Weather Bureau for the fiscal year contains much material of interest to aviators. Some of the special service rendered to the Air Services are given particular attention. Army and Navy Balloon Race.—This race was confined to officers of the Army and Navy, three balloons being entered from each of these branches of the service.
The Aerial Forest Fire Patrol for the season of 1920 started when personnel of the Ninth Aero Squadron was moved from Mather Field to Fresno and Red Bluff on May 10, 1920. The patrolling was to conform to the routes outlined on the accompanying map, and was to cover the state of California in accordance with patrol routes as indicated below : Patrol No. 1—From March Field to Rockwell Field and return. Patrol No. 2—From March Field to Santa Barbara and return. Patrol No. 3—From Fresno to Bakersfield and return. Patrol No. 4—From Fresno to Cooperstown and return. Patrol No. 5—From Mather Field to Cooperstown and return. Patrol No. 6—From Mather Field to Red Bluff and return. Patrol No. 7—From Red Bluff to Alturas and return. Patrol No. 8—From Red Bluff to Montague and return. Patrol No. 9—From Red Bluff to Covelo and return. NOTE: The personnel for Patrols No. 1 and No. 2 was furnished by March Field.
Before taking up the structural and aerodynamic problems of the large airplane, it will perhaps be advisable to consider in what respects the large machine is superior to the small one, as the former has the obvious disadvantages of high initial cost and of requiring large landing fields.