On Schedule

by "Vista"

Commercial airlines still being operated by Germany in Europe have now been cut down to the absolute minimum, one of the latest being the elimination of the link with Lisbon, which had been running via Vichy, France. The current sparse news seems to indicate that Lufthansa, once the most plentifully equipped airline in Europe, has been stripped of all aircraft which could serve a possible military purpose. Lufthansa's mainstay craft — the sturdy Junkers 52-3ms — have been seen in great numbers over both the African and Russian fronts, rushing up troops and equipment. Many of these planes appear to have just come off the commercial services, only being armed with a few light machine guns.

At the same time, some of the Nazis' newest large planes have been pressed into military service, too. Notably, the Blohm & Voss BV-222, a sizable flying boat originally designed for transatlantic service, has been converted into a troop carrier, and several of them have been shot down over the Mediterranean. This 150-ft-span, plane weighs some 90,000 lb loaded, and is powered by six BMW 1,000-hp engines. It may be said to be but slightly larger than the Boeing 314a. The craft's use of six 1,000-hp engines, instead of the larger 1,500-hp engines made by the same concern, seems to indicate that this plane was designed around the start of the war.

In Switzerland attention is still being focused on postwar plans, especially since it is generally felt that the increasing fuel capacity and range of modern aircraft will finally eliminate the use of Swiss airfields as half-way stopping places. This development is generally expected to force this small country to provide sufficient air services to meet its own service demands and to allow for a general junction with the postwar airline network. At the same time, Swiss authorities are working on a continuation of the International Air Traffic Association's (IATA) activities, in that a general compilation of laws and rules pertaining to aerial traffic, with its many legal and technical aspects, is being drawn up for possible future use.

This "On Schedule" sidebar was originally published as part of the "Aviation Abroad" column in the January, 1943, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 42, no 1, p 297.