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Flight in the Stratosphere



    ALL countries which are interested in aviation have been considering the possibility of extending their activities to aircraft in the stratosphere. The greatest advantage in flying very high is that much higher speeds can be obtained for the same expenditure of power as the density of air is so much lower in the stratosphere than at ground-level. The Schneider trophy was won, for example, at a speed of 430 m.p.h. with an engine which gave 2,200 h.p.. In the stratosphere, a speed of about 800 m.p.h. could be obtained for the same power. To drive the Schneider trophy winner at the latter speed near the ground would require an engine of 30,000 h.p. If stratosphere flight were possible at 600 m.p.h., then New York would be only five hours from London ; so that by local time a passenger from London would arrive at New York before he started.

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