Was Caracciola afraid of flying?
Posted 01 November 2004 - 20:30
Posted 02 November 2004 - 16:33
I never read anything to that effect.
Originally posted by James L. Kalie
...Question: Was Rudi afraid to fly...
Before WW II, most drivers travelled by car or sometimes took the train to get to the races, only on few occasions by plane. As far as I know, flying was then more expensive than travel on the ground.
Posted 03 November 2004 - 08:31
Posted 07 November 2004 - 17:25
and still a very new thing.
Remember Lindberg only flew over the Atlantic in 1929!!
Deutschland flew Junkers, Holland Fokkers, and the now Famous Douglas DC3 was only coming in the mid 30's.
This was the age of the Luxery Passenger ships, and the great Steam trains!
and flying only replace them on a large scale in the later 50's....
Posted 07 November 2004 - 23:27
(And, no, I have no personal memory of the event!)
Posted 07 November 2004 - 23:42
Posted 07 November 2004 - 23:43
Posted 07 November 2004 - 23:54
Originally posted by Ray Bell
Couldn't he catch a Zeppelin?
The Zeppelins were used on trans-Atlantic flights, but not really for short hops. And certainly not to London: there were still many people who remembered the Zeppelin bombing raids during the Great War.
Originally posted by Henk
According to Neubauer/Rowe, in 1946 Caracciola and his wife traveled by plane to the US.
Wasn't that at least partly due to delays in obtaining visas and the problems over transporting the cars (which never raced anyway)?
Posted 08 November 2004 - 00:03
WW2 brought an incredible advance to the flying machines, gave them speed, range and reliability almost undreamt of in the thirties.
Additionally, the time to be saved flying the Atlantic would be much more than going to London.
I should have used a smilie with that Zeppelin line, shouldn't I?
Posted 08 November 2004 - 04:59
...that reminds me of the Belgian Grand Prix on July 11, 1937, which took place just one week after the Vanderbilt Cup race in the USA. To render participation possible in both races, it was necessary to split the teams of the Scuderia Ferrari, Auto Union and Daimler-Benz. In 1937 the only existing transatlantic passenger air service was by airship. Originally it was planned for Caracciola and Rosemeyer to return with the luxerious dirigible "Hindenburg" in time for practice at Spa. Their tight schedule, with the Hindenburg departing New York on July 7, never materialized. Two months earlier this gigantic airship, within seconds, got completely destroyed. The 804-foot "Hindenburg" went up in flames upon landing at Lakehurst, N.J.
At the time of the Spa event, the two European champions were at high seas on the "S.S. Europa" on their return from America and were expected to arrive on July 13. With Nuvolari, Farina, Rosemeyer, von Delius, Caracciola and Seaman still at sea, the entry for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa was reduced to only nine cars.
Of the 97 passengers, 36 were dead within minutes, suffocated, burned or jumped to their death. Miracoulously many survived.
This disaster involving the largest Zeppelin ever built, after already ten prior successful transatlantic round-trips, set off the
beginning of the end for airship travel.
Posted 08 November 2004 - 08:15
At the same time, however, a new breed of machines was emerging, mainly from the US. Stressed skin, all metal aircraft, with variable pitch props and retractable undercarriages began to appear from 1934 - the Boeing 247, the Douglas DC-1 and 2 and the Lockheed 10/14 family. These planes were almost 100 mph faster than their competitors and it was'nt long before airlines were beating a path to the American manufacturers to get in line to place their orders. Even some European airlines joined in the race to modernise. Ironically, it was the national airlines of countries who had indigenous airline manufacturers who were reluctan to buy these new advanced American designs. As a result, Imperial Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and LIAT (Italy) did not "go American" but instead had to wait for their own country's manuafacturers to produce state of the art designs.
Swissair and KLM were not so reluctant and both ordered Douglas DC-2s. Holland did have Fokker as a native manufacturer but Fokker got around the "not built here" sydrome by signing an agreement to assemble Douglas DC-3s under licence at their Schiphol factory. Aer Lingus also ordered Dutch assembled DC-3s for deliver in 1940. The war put paid to a lot of these schemes (although Aer Lingus managed to get three of their DC-3s out of Amsterdam literally weeks before the Germans arrived).
Had the war not intervened, new pressurised airliners would have started entering service. In fact, the first was already in use, the Boeing 307 Stratoliner was being flown by United and TWA in the US. The pressurised Lockheed Constellation was being readied for its first flight. The first Douglas DC-4 also flew in the early 1940s and it was pressurised. However, due to war commitments, Douglas concentrated on a non-pressurised version (the C-54). In the end, no production DC-4s were ever built as pressurised planes although the Canadian licence built version (the Canadair C-4M North Star/Argonaut) was. All Douglas airliners after the DC-4 (DC-6/7 and of course the jet DC-8) were pressurised.
Posted 08 November 2004 - 08:22
Maybe I should have said 'the war years'? Though you imply that the developments were already in full swing. I was thinking earlier that the Stratocruiser was quick off the mark after the war...
Posted 08 November 2004 - 09:27
Yes, the American aircraft industry was producing some very advanced designs by the mid 1930s, particularly in the field of air transport. Some of their airliners were faster than contemporary bombers and fighters.
The push for high altitude flight was in full swing in the 1930s, mainly to obtain the benefits of being able to fly above the relatively rough air conditions found at altitudes below 20,000 ft. Boeing's B-17, which first flew in 1935, was already capable of flying at 30,000 ft. It wasn't pressurised but it was fitted with turbo charged/supercharged compund engines to enable it to fly at such heights. The 307 Stratroliner used the wings, engines and tail units of the B-17 mated to a bulbous pressurised fuselage. If the war had not intervened there is no doubt that Boeing would have had a big success with the 307. In fact, the prototype crashed whilst on a demonstration flight for the benefit of Dutch KLM airline officials so European airlines were already expressing an interest in the type..
When the war ended, it was the Americans who were in best position to leap into action with airliner production, namely because they had already built up a certain level of expertise in advance of other country's manufacturers.
Britain's first pressurised airliners were the De Havilland Comet jet and the Vickers Viscount turboprop - both post war designs.
Posted 08 November 2004 - 09:37
And there's something not yet mentioned... that Avro built Fokkers under licence. Made them more saleable to Commonwealth countries.
Posted 08 November 2004 - 10:02
One company which sometimes gets neglected in the discussion on advanced airliner construction in the 1930s is Northrop. They built some really fast all metal planes even before the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-1/2 and even managed to flog a few to Swissair. However, the main reason why Northrop get left out is because Jack Northrop was actually working for Douglas at the time the DC-1/2 and 3 aircraft were being designed - and he was their chief designer!
So really, Jack Northrop is the main man when it comes to the great advances made in airliner construction in the 30s.
OK - you'ld better explain the "Silver Cloud Incident".
Posted 08 November 2004 - 10:49
In March 1931, the Southern Cloud took off for Melbourne with five passengers and a crew of two (IIRC), leaving Sydney just before a weather report came in stating that they'd encounter fierce headwinds and heavy cloud most of the way.
About eight hours later, believing he would be safely over flat country just north of Melbourne, the captain circled down in the cloud and found he wasn't over flat country at all.
No sign was found of the aircraft until the late fifties. In fact, I remember the day we heard the news report that it had been found. It was in the Snowy Mountains in southern NSW.
Yet people all over Victoria reported hearing it fly over that afternoon. Nobody saw it, there was cloud, but plenty of people heard it.
It pointed out the total lack of ground to air contact that existed at the time. Some planes naturally had radio, as did these, but they simply would not transmit or receive within the Avro 10s.
The net result was that Kingsford-Smith's well-funded and well respected airline fell into disrepute and financial ruin. It never got the essential mail contracts that were to be forthcoming in the thirties and couldn't grow on the back of them, Kingsford-Smith was to take risks that would ultimately kill him because of the company's failure.
And Qantas grew out of the ruins of ANA... the landscape of Australian commercial aviation was set in concrete on the unknown graves of the people who perished in Southern Cloud.
Though you won't find it written anywhere, ordinary people were affected by all of this.
Recall that I said many reports came in, most of them erroneous? My grandfather from that time until his death would never let a plane go overhead without going out and observing what he could about it.
Like I said, you'd love to read the book...
Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:11
Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:31
Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:40
Ironically, the rival airship, the R100 performed pretty flawlessly on all its flights but was ordered to be broken up by the Government when they cancelled the airship programme.
In the US, airships were never envisaged as commercial airliners. The main supporters of the concept was the US Navy who had grand notions of airborne aircraft carriers being used to defend the Eastern and Western seaboards of the USA.
Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:46
Posted 08 November 2004 - 11:59
Does James L. Kalie know about it?
Posted 08 November 2004 - 12:49
Posted 08 November 2004 - 13:00
Posted 08 November 2004 - 13:08
Originally posted by Rob29
.....One area not yet mentioned was Flying Boats.These were popular in the 1930s for long distance travel. Only the availablility of surpus runways built for bombers lead to large airliners after WW2.
Qantas used flying boats extensively into the 1950s...
The 'Connie' was the aircraft that converted their fleet to wheeled machines... and an oil cooler from one of these is fitted to my Jolus as a radiator.
Posted 08 November 2004 - 13:45
The two planes were bought by Charles Blair and operated in the US Virgin Islands until he died in the crash of a Grumman Goose in 1978. One of the Sandringhams (VP-LVE) visted the UK and Ireland (he was married to the Irish actress Maureen O'Hara) in 1976 and 1977 and I had the great pleasure to see "Victor Echo" do a beat up of Dublin's Runway 24 in the summer of 1977. It's a sight I'll always remember.
His airline (Antilles Air Boats) retained a basic Ansett colour scheme with just the titles changed).
Posted 08 November 2004 - 15:19
Was Caracciola afraid of flying?
Not sure about Caracciola, but I know someone who wasn't afraid of flying.....
Must have been the ultimate symbol of status - in 1936!
Posted 08 November 2004 - 21:44
Originally posted by Eric McLoughlin
In fact, I think Ansett used two Sandringhams (converted Sunderlands) right up to the mid 1970s. They operated a service to Lord Howe island, if I remember correctly.....
To the delight of Garry O'Callaghan...
I saw these take off from Rose Bay Flying Boat base a few times, a great sight!
They would have been ANA aircraft prior to the Ansett takeover in the late fifties. But that's not the same ANA that Kingsford-Smith had begun... it had sunk long ago.
Must have been the nicest way to arrive at Lord Howe Island.