Science: Helium Pump-Up

Why not use helium, which weighs only one-seventh as much as air, to inflate airplane tires and thereby save precious cargo weight? This idea might have occurred to any ten-year-old, but it remained for engineers of the Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Corp. to think of it. They propose to use it in Consolidated's projected plane, the 204-passenger CV-37, which will be so huge that it would normally carry 180 Ibs. of air in the tires alone. Cost of a helium pump-up (near a helium plant): about $50. Weight saving: 154 Ibs., the approximate equivalent of an extra passenger per trip.


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