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Engineering and Transport

    Naturevolume 140page719 (1937) | Download Citation



    IN his presidential address to the Institute of Transport on October 11, Sir Alexander Gibb suggested that we are on the threshold of another great advance in methods of transport. He did not speak of the experiments that the great physicists of the world I are carrying out in their laboratories ; he confined himself to consideration of the most that engineers can offer, to improve transport with the knowledge and means they have at present. In constructing bridges, the record for length (4,200 feet) is held by the Golden Gate Bridge at San Francisco. He said that American engineers are confidently looking forward to building, within the next ten years, spans up to 10,000 feet long. With present materials and the development of wire cable construction, it is quite possible to expand this length to 18,000 feet ; but before this limit is reached, the ratio of dead load to live load would be too great to make spans of this length economically justifiable. In air transport the speeds at which aeroplanes will regularly operate will before many years equal or exceed the highest speed records at the present time, and the distances over which they will operate will be greatly extended. Sir Alexander doubts, therefore, whether floating seadrome bases or mother seaplane ships will ever be necessary for great ocean crossings.

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