Transport: Bicycle Plane?

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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, but the yarn was carefully authenticated by the German Air Sport League. It announced that a pilot named Duennbeil had shot his glider into the air with a rubber cable, pumped feverishly at a bicycle-like treadle, flown a yard off the ground for some 700 ft.