Thornton’s Illinois State Journal Column

INTRODUCTION — Among the materials donated to AeroKnow Museum by John Thornton Walker’s daughter Connie and her husband Richard when they visited AeroKnow Museum during October 2012 were several pages from the Springfield morning newspaper, the Illinois State Journal. They appeared in the Sunday paper. Because the paper has grown brown and brittle over the decades, I am committing to transcribe every article about “T” (as Walker’s friends called him) and every “Aviation” column he wrote that was donated to AKM. As I transcribe the columns, I will share the transcriptions here, in some cases using more modern spelling and punctuation. I don’t know that what I’m doing as a journalist and friend of the Strouse families is legal, so I’m going to direct some friends now employed by the newspaper, known today as the Illinois State Journal-Register, to let me know. If asked by those
“in the know” to delete this transcription and not to publish other transcriptions, I will comply, but I will continue to transcribe so that they will remain a part of AeroKnow Museum to benefit other researchers. Please tell me what you think of this transcription. Did you find it interesting? A worthwhile souvenir of our city’s aviation life and the gentleman who was so much a part of it before going overseas?
Picture 006a    The column scanned here is not the one transcribed in this blog post.

The use of ” *     *      *” indicates double spacing between mentions in T’s writing, which in the newspapers was printed in three or four or more of the eight columns that spanned a typical page of newsprint.
Aviation – Illinois State Journal – April 7, 1940
by Thornton Walker

photo caption – Two new Taylorcraft trainers for the Springfield Aviation Co. flying school are shown above. Craig Isbell, left, and Henry Adams who flew the new ships in from the factory at Alliance, Ohio, Friday, are shown with the planes. Fifty-five horsepower dual ignition Lycomng engines power the new planes. The dual ignition not only gives the motors more horsepower, but also makes them twice as reliable against failure. – State Journal photo

In monthly delivery of airplanes, England and France overtook Germany about Jan.1 of this year says T. P. Wright, well-known aeronautical engineer, in an article in the April issue of Aviation magazine. At that time, according to Mr. Wright, both the allies and Germany were each producing approximately 1.800 airplanes per month. Allied production rate includes planes being received from the United States.

Germany’s best time to strike a crushing aerial blow was at Munich, the article points out, when Hitler had two and one-half as many airplanes as did France and England. The tide is now turning, and Germany’s chance of success grows less and less and the allies steadily close the gap of plane production.

If a “total war” should break out this spring, Germany would still have a dangerous advantage, says Mr. Wright. “Germany now has approximately 29,000 airplanes while the allies have slightly less than 22,000.”
*     *     *
A national aviation forum to discuss civil aviation will chiefly be sponsored by the National Aeronautic Association May 27, 28 and 29 in Washington, D.C. Private and transport flying, air mail express and freight will be the leading topics.
*     *     *
Howard Knotts of this city, one of the best-known aviation lawyers in the country and editor of the Journal of Air Law will speak at a meeting of the Sangamon County Bar Association at 6:30 p.m. In the Sangamo Club.
*     *     *
Melvin Ingram, 1528 South Second Street, is the latest student of the Springfield Aviation Co. flying school to make his solo flight.
*     *    *
Clarence Stelte has to into the plane ownership field. He purchased the partnership of Henry Jabush in a Taylorcraft owned by Henry Adams and Jabush.  Jabush moved to Chicago.
*     *    *
The 1940 Illinois highway maps are now available, They not only show the location of all airports in the state, but because of their accuracy, they make good flying maps
*     *     *
Lead story in the April 8 issue of Life magazine is a seven-page review of US aviation. The article cites the unique record made by transport planes during the “historically safe year” that has just ended. Several views of the new Boeing Stratoliner that will shortly go into service is one of the features.
*     *     *
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association will sponsor a breakfast flight next Sunday to the Waukegan airport, located about thirty miles north of Chicago. Wayne K. Carpenter, manager of the airport, promises a hearty breakfast, free to all who make the trip. Those who land before 8 a.m. Will qualify for prizes.
*     *     *
Dorothy Negus, wife of pilot Benny Negus of Orleans, wrote the following poem last Sunday after watching her husband fly away in the early dawn with the squadron of local planes en route to Quincy on a breakfast flight.
“Thru A Wife’s Eyes”
When the moon is perpendicular
Or the sun gets in my eyes,
In fact he’s not particular
Just so he always flies;
In wind or storm, it’s all the same|
His only one ambition:
To strive and learn the whole grand game —
The art of aviation!
*     *     *
The C.A.A. Inspector will make his monthly visit to the local airport Thursday.
*     *     *
H.K. (Hump) Arnold of Nokomis yesterday took delivery of a 1939 sixty-five horsepower Taylorcraft from the Springfield Aviation Co. Arnold learned to fly in this city.
*     *     *
Another new airplane owner is Louis Welge, 1307 ½ East Monroe St. , who last week purchased a 1936 Cub at St. Louis. Welge doesn’t know how to fly, but is going to use the plane to take instruction in. He says both himself and Mrs. Welge are going to learn how to fly.
*     *     *
President Roosevelt’s new reorganization plan , which he submitted to congress last week, make a big change in the administrative details in collection with the civil aeronautics act. The president’s plan makes Clinton M. Hester the big man in the authority, with broad powers which are vested in the five-member board.

The plan also changes Hester’s title to “administrator of civil aeronautics” and gives him complete supervision of the following:
Civilian pilot training act of 1939
Functions of aircraft registration and of safety regulation, except the function of prescribing safety standards, rules and regulations, and of suspending and revoking certificates after hearing.
Appointment of offices and employes, and authorization of travel.
Functions provided for by section 1101 of the civil aeronautics act, which include issuance and suspensions of  orders in connection with provisions of the act.
In his message to congress, dated April 2, the president said:
“I propose to clarity the relations of the administrator of the civil aeronautics authority. The administrator is made chief administrative officer of the authority with respect to all functions other than those relating to economic regulation and certain other activities primarily of rule making and adjudicative character which are entrusted to the board. This will eliminate the confusion of responsibilities existing under the civil aeronautic act and provide a more clear cut and effective plan of organization for the agency.
The plan will go into effect in sixty days, unless sooner rejected by congress by a two-thirds vote. The change should go far toward speeding up the aviation machinery in the national capital, and is generally regarded by the industry as a big improvement.
Although the change clips the wings of the five-member board to some extent, the board still sits as an administrative court an should be able to transact business which strictly belongs under its jurisdiction without delay.”
*     *     *
Because of the confusion that exists as the the distinction between “airway” traffic control and “airport” traffic control, the March 15 issue of the Civil Aeronautics Journal clarifies the difference. It says:
“Airways traffic control is exercised by federal personnel.
“Airport traffic control is exercised by local personnel representing the airport management.”
The Journal then explains that airway traffic control centers may exercise jurisdiction over any flying in their control areas, certain designated portions of the civil airways including, of course, the airspace over airports lying within such airways. However, the airway traffic control center exercises its control only when the visibility is restricted and only over those portions of the air space under its jurisdiction in which the visibility is restricted.”
Further explaining the difference between airway and airport traffic control, the Journal states that airport traffic control is confined for the most part to control over contact flight operations within three miles of the center of the airport and includes control of the actual takeoff or landing of aircraft under all conditions except for those takeoffs made under such conditions of weather and traffic as to require the immediate control of flight by the federal agency.
Airport traffic control is exercised by radio on 278 kilocycles and light signals to aircraft not equipped with radio.
*     *     *
Numerous drawings, manuals, memoranda and other material on airport problems compiled by the civil aeronautics authority are available for distribution to airport engineers and others interested. The material can be obtained from the airport section, civil aeronautics authority, Washington, D.C.

About Job Conger

I am a freelance aviation, business and tourism writer, poet, songwriter. My journalism appears regularly in Springfield Business Journal and Illinois Times. I am author of Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing and available everywhere. As founder/director of AeroKnow Museum (AKM) and a volunteer with American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), I created this blog to share news about AKM activity and aviation history.
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