By William M. Leary
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Extra resources for Aviation's golden age: portraits from the 1920s and 1930s
Guggenheim attained the rank of lieutenant commander before being discharged in September 1921. ) During the Great War, Harry's father, Daniel, had developed a strong interest in the airplane for both military and civilian purposes. " After the war, Daniel's awakened interest never flagged, though he had a serious heart condition that would forever prevent him from flying in a plane. Harry continued to fly as a sportsman pilot and made the acquaintance of a brilliant aeronautical engineer, Alexander Klemin, then teaching at New York University.
Federal regulation of airplanes and pilots did not exist. Airport facilities were wretched. Weather forecasts were more useful to farmers than to fliers. Radio aids for navigation and communication remained in the experimental stage. Wood-and-wire biplanes, powered by unreliable liquid-cooled engines, made flying a hazardous undertaking. "5 By 1938 progress had been nothing short of astonishing. The Army Air Corps, with 29,000 officers and men and 1,700 aircraft, was poised for rapid expansion.
Liebold, that the Ford Motor Company had made an airplane to kill people and had managed to kill one of its own men. 54 By the end of 1931, the Airplane Division teetered on the brink of collapse. It had sold twenty-one trimotors during the year and had orders for only three more. Attempts to land a military contract had failed, as had efforts to convert some trimotors into single-engine freighters. 55 After seeing at the 1929 Chicago Air Show a new Boeing biplane that had been developed to compete with the Ford trimotor, Mayo had ordered work to begin on a forty-passenger airplane.