• U.S.

Transport: Awards

3 minute read

Andre Kostelanetz is a plump, semi-bald radio orchestra leader of high talent. Last summer he achieved the kind of publicity radiofolk dote on by flying from New York to Los Angeles and back on 13 consecutive week ends. In Manhattan he conducted a radio show; in Hollywood he would ask Lily Pons to marry him. On the 13th proposal she said, “Yes.” Last week they were still unwed, but Musician Kostelanetz received a reward for his persistence.

Glad to share his publicity, four U. S. airlines got together, concocted an annual award for the nation’s No. i air traveler. To Musician Kostelanetz went a silver mug for flying 126,000 miles in 1936, more than any one of the other 1,140,000 passengers. More significant last week were two other prizes presented for the first time —the Lawrence B. Sperry Award and Aviation magazine’s Maintenance Award.

¶ Lawrence Sperry, who drowned in the English Channel in 1923. was the youngest son of famed Inventor Elmer A. Sperry (marine gyrocompass and gyroscope). A pioneer of air instruments and of blind flying, Lawrence Sperry invented such indispensable aids to flight as the gyropilot, bank & turn indicator, early efficient parachute. His family last year endowed with $10,000 an annual award for the greatest contribution to aeronautics by men under 31.

Last week the first award, a certificate and a check for $250. went to 26-year-old William Curtis Rockefeller for his work in determining optimum flight paths _ for transports.

An instructor at the California Institute of Technology.

Prizeman Rockefeller also acts with notable success as weather adviser for Howard Hughes. ¶ Aviation is a trade magazine eager to call attention to the little famed but highly important topic of maintenance. To 36-year-old Walter Andrew Hamilton, maintenance superintendent of Transcontinental & Western Air, it gave a bronze plaque for being a leader in maintenance improvement, being first to develop a maintenance manual as efficient as the operation procedure, first to insist that aircraft makers design not only from a flight aspect but also with an eye to ease of maintenance. At Kansas City, hefty Prizeman Hamilton heads TWA’s maintenance crew of 418 men. or 15 valets for each one of TWA’s 27 Douglas transports. ¶ An older prize presented again last week was the Sylvanus Albert Reed Award of $250, given annually by the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences for the year’s most notable contribution to aeronautical science. This year’s winner: Professor Edward Story Taylor. 34, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His invention: a dynamic vibration absorber for aircraft engines.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com