Text of the Ninth Annual Lester D. Gardner Lecture, presented by the author under the auspices of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, May 1968. Air transport history is reviewed by a participant in the development of civil aviation since its beginning. In terms of the future and of practical, utilitarian air transport systems, the following aspects of current developments are to be considered: First, there is not much advantage in speeds above those associated with SSTs and in ranges above those associated with subsonic jets; an eventual combination of the two is indicated. Second, problems of terminal congestion and high airplane cost curtail any advantage in putting more payload in each vehicle over that which will be carried in the 747 or C-5. Third, the public's growing irritation with heavy air traffic, noise, and delays will affect future developments. Advance system planning, taking into account competing and complementary systems, is a present essential need. 32 pp.
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