"Boston" & "New Orleans" Fly to Shanghai, China "Chicago" Left Behind
The "Boston" and "New Orleans" arrived in Shanghai at about 7 p.m. after a flight of more than 9 hours.
The "Chicago" was unable to get airborne in Kagoshima and will attempt the flight to Shanghai as early as tomorrow if the weather stays favorable.The "Chicago" piloted by World Flight Commanding Officer Lt. Lowell Smith, was unable to takeoff in the smooth waters of Kagoshima Bay and after several failed attempts signaled the other two planes to continue the flight to Shanghai without "Chicago."
The Douglas World Cruisers are equipped with pontoons for this section of the World Flight and require at least a mild chop in the water to get airborne with very heavy takeoff loads. Because of the long over water flight to Shanghai, the planes were loaded to near maximum weight.
A typical tactic used to takeoff in smooth water involves the lead plane creating a disturbance or wake in the glassy water. The other planes use this wake to break the "surface suction" and get airborne more easily. Unfortunately, the lead plane doesn't have this advantage and often struggles into the air. Today, the lead plane, "Chicago", was unable to get airborne at all.
by Lt. L. H. Smith. Commanding
This morning, all planes had considerable difficulty in getting in the air with the heavy load of fuel which had been taken on board. The "Chicago" after failing in numerous attempts, signaled "Boston" and "New Orleans" to proceed. This was done to prevent their again having to take-off in the quiet water which prevailed in the harbor. At Shanghai, the moorings were in the Whang Poo River. The current of the river is very strong on ebb tide and there is a great deal of shipping. However, no special difficulty was caused by these handicaps. The planes were met by the Chief of the Chinese Air Force, General Lee, and various other officials who extended the hearty welcome of china. Planes left Kagoshima at 7:05, landing at Shanghai at 4:15.