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Pilot Quiz – The Experts Speak

What is aviation going to be like in ten years? Before you make a prediction, take this quiz. Some prominent people have spoken out in the past and were absolutely wrong. These quotes are from a fascinating book of errors called The Experts Speak. See if you can guess who made these totally inaccurate predictions.

1. “Man will not fly for 50 years.” Said in 1901 by:

a. Henry Ford
b. Wilbur Wright
c. Theodore Roosevelt

2. “Airplanes will be used in sport. But they are not to be thought of as commercial carriers.” Said in 1904 by:

a. Octave Chanute
b. Thomas Edison
c. Glenn Curtiss

3. “With the possible exception of more pleasing lines to the eye while in flight, the monoplane possesses no material advantage over the biplane” Said in 1911 by:

a. Orville Wright
b. Walter Beech
c. Glenn Curtiss

4. “It is highly unlikely that an airplane, or a fleet of them, could ever sink a fleet of navy vessels under battle conditions.” Said in 1922 by:

a. Franklin D. Roosevelt
b. Calvin Coolidge
c. Robert McCormick (Publisher)

5. “It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane, which two or three years ago was thought to hold the solution [to the flying machine problem] have been exhausted and we must turn elsewhere.” Said in 1895 by:

a. Thomas Edison
b. Gen. Billy Mitchell
c. H.G. Wells (British writer)

6. “I do not think that a flight across the Atlantic will be made in our time, and in our time I include the youngest readers.” Said in 1908 by:

a. Charles Rolls (co-founder Rolls-Royce)
b. William Randolph Hearst
c. William Piper

7. “The airplane is not capable of unlimited magnification. It is not likely that it will carry more than five or seven passengers. High speed monoplanes will carry even less.” Written in 1913 by:

a. Waldman Kaempfort (Managing Editor Scientific American)
b. Dr. Robert Goddard
c. Clyde Cessna

8. “It is significant that despite the claims of air enthusiasts, no battleship has yet been sunk by bombs.” Written in 1941 in:

a. The Saturday Evening Post
b. The New York Times
c. Army-Navy football game program

9. “Space travel is utter bilge.” Said in 1956 by:

a. Dr. Richard van der Root Wooley (British astronomer)
b. Gen. Douglas MacArthur
c. William Lear

10. “[Man will never reach the moon] regardless of all future scientific advances.” In 1957 attributed to:

a. J. Edgar Hoover
b. Dr. Lee DeForest (inventor of audion tube)
c. Dwight Eisenhower

Key to Answers