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1924 __ The First Airplane Radio Broadcasting
Comment : The airplane will in the future become an important link in the art of radio broadcasting. Through the cooperative experiments made by The Radio Ccorporation of America, Maj. William N. Hensley, Commanding Officer of Mitchel Field, Long island, and AVIATION, the practicability of using airplane radio transmitters to broadcast in connection with the powerful radio stations, was demonstrated on Aug. 14, in New York City, after a series of tests covering a period of two months. Major Hensley flew over New York City and held a two way conversation with Maj. Lester D. Gardner, publisher of AVIATION, who was talking into a microphone located in Central Park. The conversation from ground and air was sent cut to thousands of listeners by Station WJZ, at New York. Picking the hour of 7 p.m., when radio fans, as a rule, are close to their receiving sets, Station WJZ of the Radio Corporation of America yesterday repeated its experiment of the day before of talking by radio between the earth and an airplane flying over the city and broadcasting the results. An observer in an airplane from Mitchel Field flying a mile above New York City talked to radio experimenters on the ground and they in turn talked to him, the complete conversation being broadcast to radio fans, who said they heard it perfectly. According the Station WJZ of the Radio Corporation of America, which conducted the tests, this has never been done before, so far as they know, in the history of radio communicaiton. They profess to attach great importance to the results as suggesting enlarged possibilities in broadcasting. The field station for the test was set up atop a little knoll in Central Park just west of the Mall. Antennae were strung between the trees. The apparatus in the field consisted of a superheterodyne receiver, a remote control amplifier panel and a set of batteries. Radio signals that came from the airplane were received on the antennae, amplified on the field and sent 3 mi. by wire into the control room of Station WJZ in Æolian Hall. There they were amplified and modified for quality and sent to the transmitter room, whence they were broadcast with 500-watt power. The results were noticeably clearer than those of the day before as far as the signals from the plane were concerned. This time the aerial microphone was handled by Maj. William M. Hensley, Commandant of Mitchel Feld. Carl Dreher, the engineer in charge for WJZ, explained that Signal Corps officers had been working all afternoon on the airplane set to eliminate extraneous noises. Mr. Dreher said the roar that had been heard the day before had not come entirely from the motor in the plane, but that a certain amount of generator hum had been included in it. The Signal Corps engineers, he said, had eliminated a good deal of this by the use of condensers. The same apparatus that had been used the day before was set up in Central Park. Again Maj. Lester D. Gardner, editor of AVIATION, was at the ground microphone. Major Hensley’s DeHaviland 4 plane was piloted by Lieutenant Connell. [...] One of the handicaps to perfect hearing of what was sent from the airplane came from the roar of the machine’s big Liberty motors. The aviator explained this himself. His microphone was not more than ten or fifteen feet away from his motor, and the roar was transmitted with his voice."Where are you?" he asked of the vacant air. In a moment there came an answer. "Hello, hello, hello, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, Good evening, Major I get you very well. We are over the Mall in Central Park looking down on one of the greatest panoramas in the world." "A-B-C-D-E-F-G-. We heard you very clearly indeed," Major Gardner broke in. "Will you tell us what altitude you are at and at what speed you are going through the air." "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. We are about one mile up and.wait a moment.going at approximately 100 mi./hr. Lieut. S. M. Connell.C-o-n-n-e-l-l.is piloting and we are circling with the plane banked to keep as nearly over you as we can." There followed a series of questions and answers, interrupted by: "Wait a minute," the voice from the sky said. "I’ve put my foot on one of the wires that leads to the control. Just hold on a second until I reach over and fix it and then we’ll go ahead." "I can see you up there about 3000 ft. above us," said Major Gardner, introducing his next question. "Say, Major, you’re a pretty good estimator of airplane heights," interjected the aviator. "You said we were 3000 ft. up and our reading is 3,400 ft. That’s coming pretty close. "It’s funny to hear a man talking from a mile high above the earth," he said. "Only a few years ago anybody would have said you were crazy if you had predicted it.". (in Aviation magazine September 8, 1924)
Urls : http://www.oldbeacon.com/beacon/first_radio_to_aircraft_broadcast_1924.htm (last visited )

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