Side Up! PM June, 1928
Books is wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. Where else would someone like me
find an article about flying aerobatics from a Popular Mechanics Magazine
originally published in June of 1928? I don't know about you, but my local
library doesn't keep back issues that long.
The article doesn't give an
author, but it is a great history piece of basic aerobatic airmanship. Some of
the terms may not be quite as we like them today, but the lore and fantasy of
flight still comes through clear as day.
Topics covered include the
inside loop, outside loop, tail spin, barrel roll, side slip, vertical figure
"8", and Immelmann turn. Brief instructions are provided on how to perform each
Of the outside loop, the article writes,
been less than a year since Lieut. James Doolittle, U.S.A., retired, performed
the first outside loop in the history of flying, and came down with his eyes
popping out of his head as the result of the terrific strain. Lieut. Doolittle,
who can turn vertical banks around a race pylon steeper and tighter than anyone
else has been able to turn them at high speed because his "insides" seem to be
peculiarly constituted to resist the terrible centrifugal force involved,
declared when he landed that he would never do an outside loop
on we go.
This really is a great read for those who not only enjoy
aviation and aerobatics, but who love to read history from the perspective of
those who lived it. Our perceptions today have had 82 years to evolve over
those of the author of this article. Reading these old magazines gives us
insight into the way aviation was perceived and understood in a time before jet
aircraft, ATC, and increasingly burdensome Federal regulation.
some things are remarkably unchanged...
"The tail spin used to be one
of the most deadly causes of flying accidents and considerable time was spent
teaching new pilots how to avoid it, and how to get out of a spin if the plane
should accidentally go into one. The chief requisite for getting out of a spin
was plenty of altitude to maneuver in. With modern aircraft conditions have
changed. Planes are built now which can't be made to spin without deliberate
intent on the part of the pilot, and which will come out of a spin by simply
setting the controls in neutral."
Did you know that, "Col.
Lindbergh's favorite stunt is a side slip when landing."? Here and I
thought ol' Lucky Lindy would be more adventurous than that. Who knew someone
who flew solo across the Atlantic could be entertained so easily.
want to read the full article, surf on over to Google
Books and do some searching. Or, just click on the link below.
"Wrong Side Up!" Popular Mechanics Magazine - June, 1928