Transport: Bicycle Plane?

Last year, like many another U. S. newspaper, the New York Times carried an astonishing picture, captioned it: MAN FLIES ON HIS OWN POWER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY (TIME, April 23, 1934). The picture showed a man on skis propelling himself off the ground by puffing into a pair of rotors. It was a fine picture, a fine story and, unfortunately, a fine hoax, concocted as an April Fool joke by the editors of Germany's Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung.

Last week another surprising story burgeoned in Germany. This time there was no picture,...