asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether it is possible to provide faster air services without adding to the cost of transit; and, if not, what steps he proposes to take in connection with future development in order to hold the balance between those who are anxious to have lower rates and those who demand higher speed?
My hon. Friend's question raises issues which are too complex to be dealt with within the limits of a Parliamentary reply. I can only say that proposals for accelerating our imperial air services without a disproportionate increase in cost have been under consideration for some time past, though I am riot yet in a position to make any detailed statement.
Can we have the assurance of the right hon. Gentleman that the question of aerodynamics will be taken into consideration in regard to speed; is he aware that in the Curtiss-Wright Condor, if the retractable under-carriage is left down the speed is lowered by 30 miles an hour, and that in the streamlined Vultee the removal of the 2 feet 6 inch streamlined radio mast increased the speed by seven miles an hour; and does this not prove that speed may be increased by better aerodynamical design, in which case it is economical?
Dealing simply with the existing position, the cruising speeds of the British aircraft at present used on the service from England to Singapore range from 105 miles per hour to 120 miles per hour. The cruising speeds of the Dutch aircraft range from 107 to 119 miles per hour. Both services reach a very high standard in regularity of operation.
Can the right hon. Gentleman do something to speed up aeroplanes on the first part of the journey between London and Paris, which is the most frequently used and is the slowest of the lot?