REVIEW of REVIEWS

London to Tokyo in Four Days

Canadian Explorer is Campaigning for Usefulness of Arctic Route for World Air Voyages— “Mild” Arctic Weather

VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON January 1 1925
REVIEW of REVIEWS

London to Tokyo in Four Days

Canadian Explorer is Campaigning for Usefulness of Arctic Route for World Air Voyages— “Mild” Arctic Weather

VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON January 1 1925

London to Tokyo in Four Days

Canadian Explorer is Campaigning for Usefulness of Arctic Route for World Air Voyages— “Mild” Arctic Weather

VILHJALMUR STEFANSSON

WHOEVER first crosses the Arctic through the air will convert that cylinder into a sphere equally traversable in all directions by ships of the air,” predicts Vilhjalmur Stefansson in The Forum.

Mr. Stefansson continues in part:—

The most optimistic students consider that flying conditions over the Arctic throughout the year are on the average better than over the north Atlantic. The most pessimistic consider them probablyworse, but conquerable. Those who hold a middle ground think that the Arctic is perhaps more favorable than the Atlantic in summer but that it would be less favorable in winter. Some of the highest authorities have said that January flying across the Arctic will probably turn out to be not only easier than north Atlantic •flying in January, but actually easier than Arctic flying in July. The authorities differ partly because some think only of our flying technique as it is to-day. But there is likely to be as much progress in aviation during the next five years as there has been during the past five, and many of the difficulties of to-day will be conquered before 1930.

Though the average temperature for the ■month of July at sea level at the north pole has been estimated to be approximately freezing, the Arctic sea has above it in summer what are called reversed temperatures, and the air at a flying altitude of a thousand feet above the water will probably average for July ten or

twenty degrees Warmer than the sea level figure. With regard to dirigibles, it is considered that one of the great advantages over others of the transarctic route is that there will be less trouble with expanding and contracting gas. If you are in a balloon and suspend two_ identical dark bulb thermometers, one in the sunshine and the other in the shade, you may record temperatures one far above and the other far below freezing. This means that the heat which expands the gas of a balloon is not an air temperature but is directly created when the sun’s rays strike the bag and are there transformed into heat. Y ou may, therefore, be flying through such a uniform temperature as that over a tropical ocean, and still the rising sun each morning will expand your gas and compel you to let some of it escape. Correspondingly, when the sun sets the gas will contract, and you will have to throw out ballast to prevent the dirigible from sinking to the ocean. This difficulty can be largely avoided in transarctic flying. Take as an example the route from London to Tokyo: you fly from London across Edinburgh, then north along the west coast of Norway, and so on in a great circle to Japan. If you leave London an hour after sunrise and have the speed now ordinary in dirigibles, you will, in July reach the area of the midnight sun before evening. In other words, the sun will not set upon your voyage from the time you leave England until you have crossed the Arctic and are well down to the middle of continental Siberia.