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Chapter II THE OUTLOOK FOR HELICOPTER AIR SERVICES The first half of the 20th century ushered in a new era in transportation. The advent of the private automobile, motorbus and motor truck during the first quarter-century facilitated by a nationwide network of hard surface, all-weather highway, revolutionized the transportation of persons and property during the second quarter-century. The automobile put the country on wheels. It made a possible dispersal of population. It permitted a great exodus of industry and population from highly concentrated city area to suburban areas. The birth of the aviation industry introduced in the second quarter-century a new concept of speed in the transportation of people and goods, bringing the cities of the world closer together by reducing the time of travel from days to hours. By mid-century air transportation was rapidly approaching a position of ascendancy in the carriage of persons in the long-haul intercity market. In the short-haul intercity travel market, however, air transportation has been handicapped by the necessity for locating airports on the periphery of large cities. In certain respects the role of air transportation during the first half of the century has been a limited one. Its volume is small in comparison with the total volume of passenger transportation of an expanded role during the latter half of the 20th century -jet propulsion and the helicopter. The helicopter promises a vast expansion in the role of air transportation. In it aviation now has a flying machine that can take off and land vertically, and thus has no need for runways. Its ability to stop in mid-air and to fly in any direction gives it a flexibility unattainable by the aeroplane, while its ability to operate without the benefit of highways and streets truly makes it a three dimensional and very versatile vehicle. This rotary-wing aircraft will be able to operate into and out of midtown city areas. It can, therefore, provide intercity air service from downtown to downtown, competing with established surface carriers in distances between 40 and 175 miles. It has only one important limitation - its speed, which is not likely to exceed 150 miles per hour. As a result the helicopter probably is barred from competing with faster fixed-wing aircraft for the travel market between 175 to 200 miles. The helicopter will play a major role in the continued dispersal and decentralization of large metropolitan areas. This will be particularly true in the Northern New Jersey/New York metropolitan area where already some large national concerns are contemplating moving their Manhattan offices to the suburbs. The helicopter will make it possible for the execu- 5
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