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of aerial cameras are now higher than formerly. These estimates are based on the latest prices paid and the latest cost data available.


The appropriation for minor equipment for 1938 was $44,800 and that for supplies was $54,200. The estimates for 1939 are $48,000 and $59,900, respectively. The increases requested for 1939 are therefore $3,200 for minor equipment and $5,700 for supplies. These increases in funds requested for minor photographic equipment and supplies for 1939 are required to take care of the increased expenditures for photographic training at Pensacola, to accomplish important photographic work for new units joining the fleet, and to replenish the stock at the naval aircraft factory and San Diego.

Due to the rapid growth of the naval aeronautic organization in recent years, it has not been possible, within the funds allowed, to supply improved photographic equipment to all of the units listed below, in quantities required. Photographic stock at the naval aircraft factory for the east coast units, and at the naval air station, San Diego, for the west coast units, has necessarily become reduced and frequently many of the items requisitioned by operating units are not available, making it necessary to purchase in small quantities, often at higher prices, after requisitions are received. This causes delay and loss of efficiency. The increases requested will remedy this.

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The appropriation for aerological instruments for 1938 is $23,835. As the estimate for 1939 is $23,107, a reduction of $728 is shown in this item.

Conditions affecting aerological instruments and equipment will change very little in 1939 from those obtaining in 1938. There still remains some old obsolete equipment in use which will gradually be replaced by newly developed equipment. A study of issues of equipment over the past 5 years was made to determine the estimated expenditures for 1939. This indicated that the wear and tear on meteorological instruments on board ship is considerably greater than on shore and thus replacements in certain items are required more often.

The unit prices quoted are based on current prices for standard instruments and estimated prices for instruments imder development. The decrease of $728 in the estimates for instruments is due principally to the fact that the replacement of many old and obsolete instruments is practically completed.




The appropriation for 1938 under this item is $16,365. As the estimate for 1939 is $31,853, an increase of $15,488 is being requested for 1939. This increase of $15,488 in the estimate for consumable supplies is due solely to the anticipated adoption of the radio meteorograph. Plans have been made to replace aerological flights to obtain upper air temperatures and humidities at three stations afloat by substituting radio meteorographs. This will necessitate the use of three special balloons and meteorographs daily, a total of 1.095 per year, with 70 spares. Such a program will supplant the present aerological flights by airplane at these stations where about 20 flights per month are made, or a total of 720 flights per year. In addition, the use of meteorographs will make possible the obtaining of upperair conditions with regularity at sea, especially at times when it is impossible to make airplane ascents due to bad flying conditions. Also through their use there will be obtained extremely valuable data on the structure of storms at sea, possibly of the upper-air structure of typhoons and hurricanes about which little or nothing is known at present, and will aid materially in the forecasting of weather conditions over the sea. These instruments are classed as consumable, as all radio meteorographs launched at sea will be lost. Those used ashore will be recovered as far as practicable.

MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR For 1938 the sum of $4,800 was appropriated under this item. The estimate for 1939 is $5,040. Therefore an increase of $240 is requested. This increase of $240 in the estimate for maintenance and repair of aerological instruments is caused by the increase in the number of repairs necessary to keep older instruments in good condition. An analysis indicates that the cost of repairs has steadily increased over the past 5 years. This increase has been more than compensated by the gradual decrease since 1934 in the cost of new equipment. This figure has dropped from $30,000 in 1934 to an estimated cost of $23,107 in 1939, even though five new aerological stations have been established over the same period.

Radio equipment and supplies

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RADIO SUPPLIES The appropriation for radio supplies for 1938 is $278,000. The estimate for 1939 is $333,516, an increase of $55,516 being requested. Due to the extensive requirements for higher-powered radio equipment in the fleet, a detailed explanation of the present situation is given below.

Radio communication is assigned a more important role in aviation as each year passes. At the present time radio is used in every phase of naval aviation. Each year finds the operating personnel depending more and more on radio communication and consequently all airplanes are using their radio more hours each succeeding year than in the previous year. A Navy airplane without proper radio equipment, or with radio equipment that does not function properly, is of little practical value. ` Aircraft radio equipment must function properly if naval aircraft are to be used to the utmost of their capabilities and not be curtailed in their operations. Operation of aircraft over the ocean without adequate radio equipment is dangerous to life and property. Loss of communication on even one occasion may result in loss of life or in the loss of material worth many times the amount expended for all aircraft radio maintenance during the course of a year. The safety of personnel and airplanes, as well as the ability of the pilot to carry out his assigned mission, depends upon adequate radio communication, which in turn entails the supply of suitable radio equipment for the airplane and its proper maintenance.

It has become necessary to include in the 1939 estimates the following new items of supplies which are now required in the radio equipments of naval airplanes. Microphones, cords, fairleads, reels, and frequency indicators. The addition of microphones and cords has been necessitated by the inclusion of voice equipment and interphone provisions in all airplanes. Reels and fairleads have been procured in limited quantities in the past; but, with the advent of increased transmitter power, replacements are now required in a considerable quantity each year. This is due to unavoidable damage caused by the salt atmosphere in which naval airplanes must operate.

Frequency indicators are used for placing aircraft transmitters and receivers on the proper frequency in the air, and are carried by all airplanes except the fighting type, which cannot shift frequency in the air. Fighting-type airplanes use the same type frequency indicators for setting their frequency on the ground. Frequency indicators are precision instruments and for this reason require considerable maintenance. Whenever the tactical situation requires the airplane to shift frequency, the only simple reliable method known today is to use a frequency indicator. "The necessity for carrying and using frequency indicators has arisen from the increased employment of naval aircraft with different types of surface vessels, and with Coast Guard and Army Air Corps airplanes, in joint operations which require repeated shift of frequency. It is estimated that a total of 1,084 frequency indicators will be required for use during 1939.

Increased operating ranges of new aircraft have necessitated the use of higher powered radio equipment to give satisfactory communication. Also the growing complexity of aircraft operations has required an extension of frequency ranges and the addition of voice provision in the transmitters. While these requirements are necessary if naval aircraft are to be employed to the limit of their capacity with safety, nevertheless it costs more each year to maintain the complex, higher-powered radio equipment than the older types of radio equipment which were made obsolete by the longer range aircraft. In 1939 there will be in operation 1,012 of these higher-powered, more complex radio sets, as compared with 636 in 1938, or an increase of 59.1 percent. This, together with the increased cost caused by more hours of operation, accounts for $31,600 of the requested increase of $55,516 for radio maintenance. All loupowered sets will be replaced with medium-powered sets by the end of 1938, because of the increased range of the new airplanes over the older airplanes which they replace.

In 1939 there will be 112 more radio-equipped airplanes in operation than in 1938, or an increase of 8.6 percent, for which $23,903 is requested, using the 1938 appropriation as a base. This sum, plus the amount of $31,608 required for routine maintenance as explained above, makes a total increase of $55,516 requested for this purpose.


This is a new item which was not included in the 1938 appropriation. The estimate for this item for 1939 is $98,784. The necessity for this equipment is explained in the following paragraphs.

Airplanes on administrative flights over the commercial airways must, in order to comply with the Department of Commerce regulations regarding two-way radio, be equipped in the future with both transmitters and receivers covering certain frequencies, where previously only a beacon receiver or no radio equipment was carried. This will enable the ferry schedule, training flights and all other administrative flights over the commercial airways to be carried out with greater safety, as well as insuring compliance with the Department of Commerce regulations. The past procedure of requiring an airplane to circle the field until the traffic permits the landing to be directed by the ground-control operation, by a control light or radio, will be improved upon through the ability of the pilot to contact the airport at a distance and control his approach so that a minimum hazard will result until the landing is safely completed.

The maintenance of two-way communication en route between airports will also materially contribute to the safety of such flights, as forced landings or other difficulties can be reported immediately. Navy frequency bands do not include those frequencies required by the Department of Commerce. This necessitates additional radio equipment, as modification of standard aircraft radio equipment is not practicable from a cost, weight, or engineering standpoint. It is estimated that a total of 42 two-way radio equipments for flying the commercial airways will be required for the fiscal year 1939. The unit cost of these equipments, including spares, is $2,352 each. based on 1937 purchases. The total cost of 42 equipments is $98.784. as shown in the above estimate.

RADIO INSTALLATION IN ARMY AND NAVY PLANES Mr. UMSTEAD. Admiral, is there any similarity between the radio installations used in Army and Navy planes ?

Admiral Cook. As to the instruments as a whole, yes, sir; but as to the frequencies on which they are designed to operate, they are entirely different and that is very readily understandable. The Army is assigned certain frequencies in the kilocycle band, and the Navy is required to have certain frequencies. In the beginning, as each type developed its radio, it was less expensive to have it cover only its own band, which was done; but now, due to the advances in radio and the necessity for the Army and the Navy to be able to communicate with each other, we must have the ability to have our sets work on the Army frequencies as well as on the Navy frequencies, and, in addition, there is this very important feature: That the Department of Commerce rules now require every airplane which flies in certain bad weather conditions to have two-way radio, which imposes a third frequency on them; and that is one of the reasons for this radio increase.

Mr. I'MSTEAD. Admiral, where you do use the same equipment, are the purchases consolidated ?

Admiral Cook. There are no purchases consolidated, due to the fact that the specifications are so different. We have to have in cur specifications certain requirements against salt-water corrosion, and so forth, which the Army would not be willing to include, because it would make their cost so much higher. So there is no joint procurement.



Mr. U'MSTEAD. We will take up next, maintenance and operation.

Admiral Cook. This project covers the maintenance, repair, and operation of all aircraft afloat and ashore; the upkeep and operation of all air stations and fleet air bases, including the aircraft factory; the maintenance of air departments on board carriers and aviation units of other vessels, including maintenance and operation of catapults and arresting gears; and the procurement of all supplies, spare parts, and services not specifically provided for under other items of the appropriation. A summary showing the several subdivisions of this project is given below.

Estimate for 1939


Operation of fleet aircraft.. $4, 140,000 $3, 620,000 $520,000 $3,644, 380 $2,961, 391 $2,459, 498 Outfits for new squadrons..

134, 000 119,000 15,000 119,000 282, 380 29, 275 Overhaul of aircraft and accessories. 7, 422,000 7,100,000 322, 000 7, 100,000 5,034, 2314, 260, 482 Replacement and increase in overhaul equipment...

250,000 166, 000 84,000 141, 620 169, 548 12,000 Operation of aircraft at Pensacola and other sir stations

909, 900 1,080,000 -170, 100 1,080,000 1, 117,000 802,000 Maintenance of air stations and naval aircraft factory.

3, 606, 900 3,500,000 106, 900 3, 500,000 3,086, 800 2,994, 550 Major repairs, improvements, etc., at air stations.

800,000 650, 000 150,000 650,000 Equipment for new buildings

200,000 Maintenance and replacement of catapults.... 250,000 250,000

250,000 221, 000 120,000 Maintenance and repair of carrier arresting gears.

89,000 225.000 -136,000 225,000 125,000 40,000 Helium

50,000 50.000

50,000 50,000 10,000 Freight and travel expenses

120,000 120,000

120,000 100,000 78,000 Group IV (b) employees.

1, 268,000 1, 184, 000 84,000 1, 184, 000 1,061, 920 984, 580 Total..

19, 039, 800 18,064, 000 975, 800 18,064, 000 14, 408, 270 11, 790,385

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