I certainly hope that Commander Awtrey's "ruptured duck" suggestion for using a stripped-down jet plane to set a land-speed record (19TH HOLE, Jan. 17) was intended to be tongue in cheek. Without considering surplus jets, our best operational fighters cannot lower their landing gear at low altitudes—even at half the present land speed of 600 mph. What is more, the wheels are much too small. Even with the suggested oversize wheels, beefed-up landing gear and "spats," the most high-powered duck would still find things coming unstuck long before its speed began to get respectable.
Although 600 mph on land may not sound so impressive in comparison with today's space-age air speeds, I think a little-known fact should be pointed out that gives some idea of the magnitude of the achievements of Craig Breedlove, the Arfons brothers and their homemade vehicles. This is that one of the primary obstacles to overcome in any high-speed run is the tremendous friction of the air. Because of the thinner air at high altitudes, one of our jets at, say, 30,000 feet would have to achieve a speed of approximately 1,010 mph before the wind pressure would be comparable to what Breedlove faced on the Bonneville Salt Flats. At 70,000 feet, the cruise altitude for the sleek supersonic transports of the future, the equivalent speed would be a phenomenal 2,250 mph, or about three and one-half times the speed of sound (beyond the capability of any aircraft at present being developed, X-15 excepted).
JON G. SCHNEIDLER
1st Lieut., USAF
William McGinnis of Iowa's new Midwestern College writes (19th HOLE, Jan. 24), "Come see us when we play Hiram Scott and judge for yourself which school should have been written up first." We think it is only fair to tell those not fortunate enough to attend that game that the score was Hiram Scott 115, Midwestern 71. Obviously, then, you were entirely correct in featuring the Scott coach, Forddy Anderson, in your story, Tradition Sprouts in a Cornfield (Jan. 10).
WILLIAM A. WILSON
GATELY W. BARTLETT
LOGAN N. FLECKLES
ROBERT M. STEBBINS
DANIEL J. SCHULTZ
ROBERT D. SMITH
I'm sure the student from Midwestern College in Denison, Iowa feels even more hurt now. At the half break Scott led Midwestern 63-30 and increased the lead to 44 points at the final buzzer to win 115-71. This victory boosted Scott's record to 7-1 and left it with an average of 110-plus points per game. Your readers will surely have to agree now that Forddy Anderson is at least the second-best basketball coach in the Midwest. Second only to Nebraska Coach Joe Cipriano, of course.