Aviation infrastructures in the Republic of China, 1920-37.
This essay investigates technical aspects of the history of aviation in the Republic of China, focusing on the period between 1920 and 1937. It suggests that Chinese authors and administrators came to see the establishment of technical infrastructure as dependent on the education of personnel who could assume responsibility for maintaining and expanding Chinese aviation ventures, rather than on specific technologies or practices. Magazines and journals in the 1920s reflected concerns with the establishment of weather observation and reporting, radio communications, and technical education in service of aviation; the last of these was critical for the first two. Provisions for technical work and training were reflected in contracts that were drawn up in the years around 1930 to establish three aviation projects in the Republic: the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC), the Eurasia Aviation Corporation, and Southwest Airlines. Subsequent contracts and reports for CNAC and Eurasia in the years before the 1937 outbreak of war with Japan suggested a particular emphasis on the technical education of personnel as an important step in building Chinese aviation infrastructures.