Army & Navy - OPERATIONS: Paper Airfields

The U.S. Army Air Forces thought it had the last word in quick surfacing for airfield runways when its engineers developed perforated steel mats. They have been installed on battlefronts all over the world, proved serviceable under almost all conditions. But their cost was terrific: a 5,000-by-150-ft. runway required 1,150 airplane (C-47) loads of steel, 6,000 man-hours of labor.

Last week Air Forces engineers were glad to announce that they had a new emergency runway material with the essential advantages of steel mats. Known officially as PBS (Prefabricated Bituminous Surface), it consists of a layer of cloth between two layers of...

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