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In the rush of events after our entrance into the war not only was there a lack of information regarding Air Service, but there was a considerable amount of misinformation, most probabl}^ attributable to German propaganda. Throughout the country was spread the information that the average life of an aviator was only a few hours of actual service. Parents were given to believe that their sons were being taken for an almost immediate and inevitable sacrifice. Furthermore, there was not a city in the United States in which it was not firmly believed by the public that the much-discussed medical examination of an aviator was a form of refined torture.
It is easy to see that a fast-climbing machine is bound to carry the pilot to greater heights than the slow, weight-carrying machines. Whereas in 1915, flying rarely exceeded 8,000 or 10,000 feet, through improved designs scouts of to-day climb to altitudes even as high as 25,000 feet, and this height is attained in a very short space of time. The nature of the work of a scout, which is simply hunting out the enemy and attacking him, also necessitates descents from high altitudes at tremendous speed.
It is only right that we should supply for our air fighters as good if not better planes than those used by the enemy. In the same spirit, it is our duty to bear in mind that when an American aviator meets a German aviator the outcome of the encounter may easily depend upon which of the two possesses the better vision and other special senses, the better nervous system, and the better mental and physical equipment in general. The flier starting for the enemy's lines carries with him a certain potential disaster for the Hun.