2018 AAHS Annual Meeting
SAVE THE DATE!
FEBRUARY 16-18, 2018
Costa Mesa, CA
Come join us for a weekend of aviation history.
Non-members are welcome, but register early to reserve your spot!
For more information go to:
[ ANNUAL EVENT ]
AAHS Annual Meeting Activities
William T. Larkins:
Part I, 1922-1947 “The Golden Years of Aviation - to The Jet Age”
The Life and Work of West Coast aviation photographer William “Bill” Larkins: Part 1, 1922-1947 “The Golden Years of Aviation - to The Jet Age” is the first in a two-part series for
AAHS featuring one of the premier aviation photographers in
America, William T. “Bill” Larkins (1922 -) of Pleasant Hill,
California, chronicling his coast-to-coast aviation photographic
work spanning over eight decades.
William “Bill” Larkins is also an aviation historian, a leading
authority on military aircraft markings and designations and
has produced one of the largest assemblage of historic aircraft
photos in the U.S. His collection of several thousand original
negatives spanning years of dedicated work are now housed at
the Seattle Museum of Flight. Larkins was a co-founder of The
Oakland Air Museum and the American Aviation Historical Society. To this day he continues to enjoy working on his latest photo shooting and book projects.
Since 1938 Bill has written several articles and books on aviation, including Images of America – Oakland Aviation by Larkins & Reuther :(Arcadia), 2008, San Francisco Bay Area Aviation by Larkins & Reuther (Arcadia), 2007, Alameda Naval Air Station: (Arcadia), 2010, Battleships & Cruiser Aircraft of The United States Navy 1910-1949: (Schiffer), Airline Tech Series – Convair Twins Vol-12 (Specialty Press), 2005, and The Ford Tri-Motor 1926-1992: (Schiffer), 1992
Before getting to the Bill Larkins story, it would be helpful to look briefly at the basic differences now and historically, between the fields of aviation photography and aerial
Aviation vs Aerial Photography
For the layperson, not much is generally known in today’s world, dominated by digital photography, of “film” cameras used back in the day by both amateurs and professionals in the field of aviation. So, let’s look briefly at just a few of those“analog” film cameras, and the second-generation film used up to the early 1990s when digital cameras and cellphones were
just coming into common use. Camera film is still in limited use today, and is technically called cellulose acetate film. But growing up, you would probably have been more familiar with terms such as “Kodak Safety Film”, or Agfa and Fuji.
Until the late 1930s, most photographers with a keen interest in airplanes, or aviation enthusiasts with a keen interest in photography, were practicing both aviation and aerial photography with very little distinction between the two. Aerial photography was referred to before the turn of the century as “the taking of photographs of the ground from an elevated position,” and began with hot-air balloons for lift and camera platforms. However, by the late 1930s aerial and aviation photography had become separate professions and fields of interest. Today’s photographers now tend to specialize in either one field or the other.
Aerial photographers past and present, usually used airplanes as the main tool of the trade, not the subject of the photo. That is, as a means for reaching “altitude” to photograph ground or surface conditions for mapping, surveillance, military reconnaissance and observation, measuring, weather, etc. Looking forward to our modern, jet-age era of high technology . . .
Willam T. Larkins, 1942
Pan American Airways Hawaii Clipper’s Last Flight
On November 22, 1935, Pan American Airways conducted its initial flight across the Pacific from Alameda, in San Francisco Bay to Manila in the Philippines. There were no passengers onboard.
The U.S. Post Office issued a beautiful 25-cent commemorative stamp depicting the Martin 130 on the initial Pan American Airways (PAA) flight to Manila. PAA also developed a special commemorative Martin 130 first-flight cover cachet for this flight.
The third and final Martin 130, NC14714, was delivered to Pan American on March 30, 1936. On May 2, 1936, she made her maiden flight from Alameda to Manila, and while laying over in Honolulu was christened Hawaii Clipper on May 3, 1936. On October 21, 1936, she inaugurated the first PAA revenue passenger flight from San Francisco to Manila.
Flight 229, PAA Hawaii Clipper, departed Alameda on July 23, 1938, enroute to Manila. Arrival in Honolulu, on July 24, occurred as scheduled. Midway Island was reached on July 25, as planned. Following an overnight stay at Midway, the flight continued to Wake Island, crossing the International Date Line and gaining a day, for a July 27 arrival. Guam was the next destination with arrival on July 28.
Ronald W. Jackson, in his book China Clipper, give’s an excellent account of the flight segment from Guam to Manila with six passengers and a crew of nine onboard. In addition, the Hawaii Clipper carried several hundred pounds of mail and express.
At 6 a.m. on the morning of July 29, the Hawaii Clipper left Guam as scheduled on the final 1,600 mile journey to Manila. Every half-hour progress reports were sent by radio to Guam, Panay in the Central Philippines and Manila. Except for their position, reports were similar with each message, moderately rough headwinds, scattered showers, speed 105 knots at 10,000 feet. At noon McCarthy, the radio officer, sent the following message, “Flying in rough air at 9,100 feet. Temperature 13 degrees centigrade, winds 19 knots at 247 degrees. Position latitude 12 degrees 27 minutes north, longitude 130 degrees 40 . . .
Martin M-130 Hawaii Clipper
EAA AirVenture 2017
Every year a significant portion of the aviation community travels to Oshkosh, Wis., for the annual pilgrimage to the Experimental Aircraft Assoc., fly-in called AirVenture. For those who regularly attend, this is an opportunity to meet old friends, learn about building or maintenance techniques and to get caught up on the latest in aircraft technology – from components to complete aircraft. For the uninitiated, AirVenture is like drinking from a fire hose – too many things to do and see making it difficult to focus and prioritize.
This year was no different with over 10,000 aircraft parked on the field and many more scattered to surrounding fields simply because there was not more room. The Vintage Aircraft Assoc. had more than doubled their parking spaces and over 1,000 vintage aircraft showed up to fill it. The homebuilts were well represented with 100s of RVs and 10s of Lancairs, Glassairs and others. Crowd attendance was up with the Friday and Saturday shows being record breakers – read that wall-to-wall, or maybe that should be plane-to-plane, people. Official attendance records show that 590,000 people attended the seven-day event and over 17,224 aircraft movements recorded for the 10 days making it the busiest airport in the world during that period. Even Camp Scholler (the camping) area was at maximum capacity with the EAA quickly opening additional space – a first ever for this area.
On the innovative side one of the interesting developments that caught our eye was the latest in helicopter design. Still in the development stages and yet to fly, a number of companies are working on these. There was one, two-passenger model, the SureFly developed by Workhorse Group of Loveland, Ohio, on display. This “quadcopter” design is powered by eight electric motors driving counter-rotating props on four arms – electrical power comes from two 100kW generators powered by a single . . .
Two Boeing B-29s in formation
The Steco Aerohydroplane, Gnome Omega and Denny Eggert
Over the years, times and people have endured in our ever changing world. From what we were taught, to what we know now has drastically meant a new meaning of life especially with our families. From what was a close knit relationship, time took its toll only to see our family find our own ways. Gratifying experiences gave us a new avenue to follow. Some have had hard times, others not. It is this learning tool that we utilize to our benefit. Such is the case I’m about to relay to you. Most of Minnesota Air & Space Museum (MASM) members, volunteers and friends have an idea of what I’ve been pursuing over the past several decades, but do not realize the impact it has had on my life and what I really pursued. What follows are the highlights of the dedication, desire and need to preserve a piece of aviation history that I assumed when I was confronted with this remarkable task.
HOW IT BEGAN
For years the opportunity to share with the public community locally, nationally and internationally the efforts of saving our aviation heritage. It began early in high school and continued through my military service for over 13 years. It consumed me to exercise my talents to show, display and relay to individuals what a valuable resource of aeronautical history we have via the Aviation Art Museum’s exhibits. For numerous decades I was involved in hundreds of shows in a vast variety of locations such as air shows, shopping malls, military bases, airline offices, conventions, hospitals, charity events, schools, government buildings and a host of other facilities. Through it all, I was astounded at the positive reaction of hundreds, if not thousands, of people who were unaware of what was out there. I enjoyed it immensely and appreciated a close attachment with these people. After a number of years on the road traveling throughout the United States at mostly military bases, I called it quits because of the amount of time I was away from home. I then settled on doing local shows in the five Midwestern states, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota, but at times I did venture to go west to three shows in the mid 1990s. It was costly, but ends were met.
We were in Minneapolis for a two month MASM show at the Hennepin County Government Center. As we typically do, we posted our contact information in the display area. Shortly thereafter, while set up at a mall show, we were contacted by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shannon of Minneapolis who had seen our display and our contact information. They said they had an aircraft that has to go into a museum. Not knowing the details about the aircraft we told them we would investigate it. The collection was located in Maywood, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. I led the fact finding mission, to uncover, what this mysterious aircraft was. Upon returning, a full report was given the Shannon’s. Shortly thereafter we were contacted by them in which they gave us the astounding news that they would donate the entire collection to the MASM. We were ecstatic.
Now it was up to MASM to recover this collection that was, according to recovered documents, packed and stored in 1914 in a garage. Gathering a crew was fairly easy with our membership at that time, as we set out on this unique mission of the unknown. Only later did we find out that what we had was a Steco aircraft; Steco is the acronym for STephens Engineering COmpany, and cars designed and built by James Shand Stephens.
Stephens was an immigrant from Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. Born in 1865, he immigrated to the Twin Cities around the 1880s, where he worked for . . .
Steco 1911 Aerohydroplane
The Irish Constellations . . . A Lucky Break for BOAC?
The dream of an Irish Transatlantic Airline
The 1922 treaty between the new Irish Republic, Eire (Irish Free State), and Great Britain left most of the industrial economy concentrated in British administered Northern Ireland.
Politician Sean Lemass of De Valera’s Fianna Fail party wanted a national airline, partly as a symbol of a progressive Eire. Aer Lingus was launched in 1936 with De Havilland biplanes. Two brand-new Lockheed 14s were imported from America in 1939 and in 1940 Aer Lingus received the last prewar DC-3 to be delivered in Europe from the Fokker agency for Douglas. An advanced modernist terminal at Dublin’s Collinstown Airport was being constructed in 1940. The war prevented Aer Lingus from serving anywhere but Manchester, England, so the almost unused Lockheeds were sold off to Guinea Airways in Australia in 1940.
The development of the flying boat base at Foynes from 1937, its busy wartime use and the construction of the nearby Rineanna (Shannon) landplane airport impressed Sean Lemass, who began planning a postwar Irish transatlantic airline from 1943.…this was incorporated as Aerlínte Eireann, 100% owned by the Irish State through the Aer Rianta Teoranta holding company. Aer Lingus, the separate short-range airline, postwar was 30% owned by British European Airways (BEA) and 10% by British Overseas Airways Corp. (BOAC) and 60% by Aer Rianta). Aer Rianta ordered three L-749 Constellations from Lockheed on May 7, 1946. By September 1946 the Constellation was demonstrated to Aerlínte officials Scott and Kennedy by Lockheed pilot James F. White in Holland during KLM crew-training flights. A contract for two more Constellations was signed with Lockheed on October 26, 1946, at the Savoy Hotel in London.
BOAC’s struggle to obtain Constellations
BOAC, like its ancestor Imperial Airways, was obliged to use British aircraft but its other prewar ancestor, British Airways Ltd, had no such restriction and had become a committed Lockheed customer before its 1940 merger into BOAC. During WWII, BOAC built up a large fleet of Lockheed 18 Lodestars, . . .
Aer Lingus Constellation EI-ADE
The Boeing System, 1925 to 1931
In 1830, six months was good time for an ox-drawn covered wagon to carry mail from Missouri to the Pacific Coast. In 1850, the journey required 24 days by stagecoach and rail. In 1861, the time by Pony Express and rail was 12 and a half days and in 1869, by the first transcontinental railroad it was narrowed to seven days. And even then there were those who felt it could be done in three days or less.
The United States Post Office conceived the idea of a coast-to-coast air mail service and began making it a reality in 1919. The first job was to select a route that would bisect the country and best serve the nation. After much study, postal officials decided on the 2,600 mile mid-continent route between New York, Chicago and San Francisco. This became U.S. AIR MAIL ROUTE #1, which later would form the backbone of the Boeing System.
It was 6:41 a.m., September 8, 1920. A small crowd was gathered at Hazelhurst Field, Mineola, Long Island, N.Y., to witness the departure of the first transcontinental air mail trip. Pilot Randolph G. Page made a final check-up of his single-engine biwing De Havilland and its load. His tabulation showed 16,000 letters weighting 450 pounds. There wasn’t enough room for all of this inside the plane so Page found a suitcase, stuffed the overload into it and strapped it to a wing. Dust flew as he gunned the engine, rolled awkwardly down the field and, as he took off, the handful of spectators cheered.
Headwinds delayed the initial transcontinental flight, so that the westbound mail did not reach San Francisco until 2:25 p.m. September 11, more than 82 hours after its departure from New York, but nevertheless considerably ahead of train mail.
As impressive as were these early schedules, there was no indication that air mail appropriations might be forthcoming from Congress in 1921. So, seven pilots volunteered to show that the speed gained would justify the expense of air mail. Just before dawn of February 22, 1921, one of the pilots headed east from San Francisco. Relay pilots took the mail on from Reno to North Platte, to Chicago and so on to New York. Bonfires set by public-spirited citizens served as navigational aids over the night portion of the trip.
Jack Knight had planned to fly only from North Platte to Omaha, but his relief pilot did not show-up. Even though Knight was weary, he knew that “the mail must go through.”
He was off into the blackness of the night, then into a blinding whiteness of a snowstorm. By flashlight, he studied a railroad map unfolded . . .
Pacific Air Transport Ryan M-1
“Black Sunday,” April 16, 1944
The story of April 16, 1944, Black Sunday, is a truly harrowing story about hundreds of aircraft being forced to fly though a severe and unexpected weather front that blocked their path home. Many crashed, unfamiliar with purely instrument flying. Others ran low on fuel and crashed into thick jungle, mountains, or the water of Papua New Guinea’s Madang Province.
At the time of the raid, the aircraft were staged out of a number of bases, including Gusap (A-20s), Finschafen, Lae and Nadzab (B-25s and P-38s). With a combat range of 985 miles, the 888 mile round trip from Gusap to Hollandia was pushing the A-20s to their limits. The P-38J models were eventually more than capable of combat ranges of 2,000 miles, but it would take Charles Lindbergh’s visit to the 475th Fighter Group in the summer of 1944 to teach the pilots skills necessary to obtain these. At the time of Black Sunday, they had poor fuel management operating procedures, so the Hollandia mission gave them smaller margins in fuel reserves. Added to the fuel issue was that many of the pilots had marginal training and practice in instrument flying, with the storm front pushing their skills to their limits.
The squadrons of returning U.S. Fifth Air Force aircraft had no choice but to take on the front as it lay across the demarcation line between the enemy and the safety of their home bases.
Black Sunday represents the largest weather-related loss in combat aviation history, yet ironically not one aircraft was lost to the Japanese.
The following story provides insight into the experiences pilots of the 433rd Fighter Squadron of the 475th Fighter Group on that day.
To those fliers and crewmen who participated in this eventful flight, the day will live forever. Most disasters unfortunately live on in history, and this particular day and event must qualify for the somewhat dubious honor of this classification.
To me, what makes this story interesting is the fact that today’s navigational aids have improved to the point where any pilot lost within the confines of the continental United States in an aircraft equipped with radio and the basic blind flying instruments can be brought in to a safe landing. Seventy plus years ago with the finest aircraft, radios, and blind flying equipment, a pilot lost in bad weather trusted to luck and hoped his ETA would run out over his home base.
The advances made in navigational aids within the past years are amazing, and it is with these great strides in mind, I write this story as a reminder to those who have forgotten what it used to be like in years gone by.
April 16, 1944
To the ground crews and pilots of the Fifth Air Force in New Guinea, Easter Sunday 1944 dawned just as dozens of other days in the months past. It was noticeably hot before the sun rose over the jungle covered Finisterre Mountain Range to the East, and long before its rays touched the arid Markham Valley, crewchiefs were at work on the A-20s, B-25s, B-24s, P-40s and P-38s. The rumble of pre-flighted engines filled the air. ·The staccato bark of the Wright-powered B-25s contrasted . . .
Author Carroll Anderson
Everyone has a story. This is especially true if you have been associated with aviation in any way. In this case, anyway, means as a pilot, flight crew member, aircraft passenger, witness, etc. Hopefully, after individuals read this request and give the subject some thought, they will start to recall a number of interesting and/or humorous events.
Whether Confession Corner survives or not depends on the response to this plea requesting your contributions. You do not have to be a professional writer or have a Ph.D.
The AAHS is interested in short stories concerning aviation, not whether or not your grammar, spelling, etc., is correct. Let AAHS staff members worry about those problems. If successful, Confession Corner should be a learning, interesting and enjoyable segment of the AAHS Journal.
If I can do it - anybody can.
Sidney M. Yahn (USAF, Ret.)
Bobo the Gorilla
In the late 1980s, as a DC-8 freighter captain, I and my crew, were sent to Rickenbacker Airport in Columbus, Ohio, to pick up a “passenger.” Since we didn’t do passengers, I was curious. Upon arrival I told we’d be delivering “Bobo” to Chicago O’Hare and thence to his new home at the zoo. Bobo was a gorilla.
I wasn’t terribly happy with this new cargo, but I talked to dispatch and filed the paperwork while the aircraft was readied for departure. It was only a 45 minute flight so it should have been easy, but the handlers weren’t taking any chances. At the last moment, they gave Bobo a healthy dose of some tranquilizer, and his 800 lb frame was soon asleep.
Bobo (in a cage on a pallet) was last to board and positioned in clear view of the cockpit bulkhead. All closed up, we taxied out for takeoff. The last item on the Before Takeoff Checklist stopped us cold. A no-go electrical fault sent us back to parking.
Waiting for the ground personnel and the mechanic to board seemed like an eternity. As we relaxed, we opened the catering and had some coffee. After about 45 minutes, we were good to go and began getting ready again.
At this point, I could not help but notice what appeared to be white caps on my coffee. As the first officer and I exchanged glances we felt the unmistakable motion of my 240,000 pound . . .
Tribute to to Walt Bohl
AAHS has lost a long-standing AAHS member, officer, commercial pilot, author and friend, Walt Bohl, of Orange County, California. He passed away suddenly on September 22, 2017. He is survived by his wife Marnie, four children, and 11 grandchildren.
Walt retired from United Airlines in 1994 with nearly 39 years of experience and over 25,000 hours of pilot-in-command. He held FAA type ratings for eight different aircraft, and FAA certificates for Single-Engine Commercial, Multi-Engine Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), Flight Engineer for Piston and Turbine aircraft, as well as Aircraft Dispatcher. In addition, he held Advanced Ground and Instrument Instructor certifications.
To say aviation runs in Walt’s his family would be an understatement. His father was an Army Air Corps and Air Force pilot, as well as a United Airlines captain. In addition, Walt’s wife is a retired United Airlines flight attendant. One son is a current 747-400 captain with United, a grandson is a captain for United Express and a granddaughter holds an FAA Private Pilot Certificate.
Walt was born in 1934 on March Air Force Base (then known as March Field) in Riverside, Calif., where his father was stationed at the time. “I was an Air Force brat,” Walt would recall. He fondly remembers flying in a B-25 one day with his father, an experience that left a definite imprint on him. After that, a career in aviation quickly became a forgone conclusion.
“My dad had served in the Army Air Corps before the war, then went to work flying for United. When the war started he was called back as a C-47 instructor pilot. After that he began ferrying all types of aircraft around the world for the war effort. He was stationed for a while in North Africa, where one of his duties was getting C-47s from North America to China-Burma-India war zone.”
Walt took some aviation classes in high school, and spent the summer after graduation working for TWA, fueling airplanes. He continued his aviation studies at San Mateo Junior College, where he vividly recalls the unique arrangement he had with his first flight instructor. Walt commented, “I paid $3 per hour to rent the airplane and I paid the flight instructor by doing work on his house. He hated working on his house, so for every two hours of work I would perform on the house, he would give me one hour of dual-time flight instruction. He drove me to and from the airport, so ground school was held in his car!”
After two years of college, Walt emerged with a commercial pilot certificate in 1955. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by United Airlines as a copilot. “I began at United with 250 flight hours and no instrument rating. They put me through a three-week instrument course, which was not too difficult considering the experience I already had.”
He served as a flight engineer on Douglas DC-6s, DC-7s and DC-8s for seven years. Then he upgraded to the right seat of the cockpit and served as a copilot on piston aircraft for two years before transitioning to turbine DC-8 aircraft for an additional two years.
Once Walt made captain he continued to fly the same aircraft. He also began flying newer airplanes like the DC-10 and Boeing 727s and 737s. He spent about three years operating each aircraft, amassing an impressive number of hours. It was a natural progression that he would one day fly the Boeing 747.
Spending over nine years captaining jumbo jets of a global carrier, Walt had the opportunity to fly the vast expanses of the globe numerous times over. He flew into many of the world’s most exotic and legendary airports, including old Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport, where the difficult approach and landing on Runway 13 was revered among both pilots and passengers. The maneuver required such skill that pilots had to be trained in a simulator before being allowed to fly the approach.
Walt retired from United in 1994 as a 747-400 captain, but his involvement in aviation did not end with his retirement. “After I retired from United I taught ground school classes on passing the FAA written tests for Airline Transport Pilot, Flight Engineer and Instrument Airplane rating.” There is little doubt that Walt’s vast experience and expertise helped many pilots gain the certifications and ratings necessary to fly commercially, a process that takes years of ground and air instruction.
Walt owned a Cessna 170B for a number of years that he flew and worked on, including upgrading to a more powerful engine with a constant-speed propeller. Using this aircraft he flew over 100 search and rescue missions for the Civil Air Patrol.
Walt authored more than a half-dozen articles for AAHS, focusing on airlines and their histories, from start-ups with a few ragtag airplanes to global carriers that crisscross the globe in sophisticated jetliners. Walt served as the Society’s vice president and chief financial officer from 1999 to 2010.
Walt was also as a docent at the Lyon Air Museum, where he enjoyed relating the histories of the museum’s aircraft to visitors. When asked about his greatest satisfaction from being a docent at the museum, Walt would answer. “I learn from people who come here. We get airline pilots in that are on layover, and I enjoy talking to them about the various aircraft they fly, and their experiences. We get 747 pilots from Los Angeles International, and local crews who fly current models of the 737, both aircraft that I had the opportunity to fly. We trade stories and learn from each other.”
AAHS will miss the friendship and aviation expertise that characterized Walt’s interaction with others around him. The aviation community has been a better place because of him.
Authored in part by Dan Heller, Lyon Air Museum.
State of the Art; Digital Images and Image Processing
Remember back in the days of film how you would toss out images that were somehow flawed – for example, the back of someone’s head that managed to get into the picture at just the wrong time? Or that really rare bird that everyone was flocking around and you ended up having to take that “less than perfect” shot with a couple of people standing in frame? Or, a setting like a museum where unless you had an ultra-wide-angle lens, you just couldn’t get a shot of the complete aircraft? The frustration of getting your prints or slides back and finding the anomalies in some of your great shots if only . . .
And, if you didn’t toss these pictures, you still have the opportunity to salvage them by scanning them to create a digital copy.
With digital imaging and technology available today, we no longer have to settle for tossing these images. With imaging software like Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, or other sophisticated packages, you can now “correct” these situations. The following are before and after examples of the types of image editing that is possible to accomplish today with various degrees of experience required.
Most photo editing applications provide the user with basic tools to crop and manipulate the image density and intensity – similar to what we did when we were making prints from our film. The primary difference is that you can quickly fine tune the settings to get the desired results without having to expose and develop the print, repeating this process until you got everything the way you wanted. These features are probably the most frequently used aspect of the software and some of the most basic editing tools.
In the case of photo “stitching,” you really only need the tool. The software figures out how to put the multiple images together. In this example, the situation was the museum’s arrangement of aircraft was such that it was impossible to get a shot of the entire plane with the lens available at the time. By taking a series of overlapping images while panning the camera, we ended up with four photos covering the entire aircraft. With Photoshop’s image stitching feature, we simply collected the images and let the software . . .
AAHS, in its first foray to EAA AirVenture, the world’s biggest annual aviation venue, in late July gained several positive results from the experience, not the least was an opportunity to hang out for a week with others that share our passion.
The Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA), with whom we partnered to share some space at AirVenture, accorded AAHS a very generous gift by allowing AAHS to set up a small table in the Vintage Hangar at no cost, a space normally dedicated to housing displays and tables for only the aircraft type clubs, such as the Cessna 140/170 Club, Globe Swift, OX-5, and Piper Cub Club, to name a few. These type clubs enter a lottery of sorts to determine seating arrangements, as some locations within the VAA hangar are more accessible to the crowds than others. Thanks to the support of AAHS member John Turgyan, (also a longtime VAA member) and VAA President Sue Dusenberry, AAHS was provided a table right in the front, where we had a great view of the Vintage Aircraft area. John is from New Jersey, and has been a supporter of AAHS since the ‘70s, and VAA since the mid-1980s. It was a pleasure to speak with a veteran like John of these historical organizations and gain more insight into our past.
We had a great time acquainting ourselves with the AAHS volunteers that staffed our table. They came from all over the United States. Bill Jordan and Barbara Myers, who hailed from San Diego, had never been to EAA AirVenture before. John Lyon, Carl Scholl, and editor Hayden Hamilton were also from Southern California, while Garry and Barbara Pape drove in from Le Mars, Iowa. Dennis Caldwell and his wife Debra came all the way from New Hampshire, and David Beulke drove down from South Dakota to assist the Society. Terry Weisemann, and her husband Baron, were already participating with Utah State University at AirVenture, but offered, as AAHS members too, to assist AAHS where they could. These volunteers, in addition to helping pass out brochures and talk with potential new members, swapped hangar stories and real life aviation histories. We couldn’t have had a presence at AirVenture without the help of these volunteers - thank you all!
The breadth, diversity and sheer number of aviation enthusiasts present at AirVenture also made a fabulous opportunity for aviation networking. Every conceivable aviation venue was present, from merchandisers, equipment makers, trainers, administrators, fixed base operators (FBOS), photographers and aircraft manufacturers, along with pilots and their planes -- all made for an organized mash up of gargantuan proportions. We had hundreds of conversations with folks who had similar interests, and collected ideas for future collaborations. So many avenues to explore!
What we all came away with is the conviction that AAHS’ mission to share documented aviation history (i.e., the Journal), its photo archives and our members’ aviation passion is still valued by a community that we don’t often come in direct contact with. We heard so many times comments like, “The Journal is the best source of aviation history available in this (magazine) format.” That, aside from creating big smiles from our . . .
Terry Weisemann manning the AAHS table
Tribute to Sidney Yahn
Sid Yahn was born in Iowa. At an early age, he developed an interest in aviation, building and flying model planes. In 1943, he became a pilot soloing in a Piper Cub. Later that year he enlisted in the USAAF as an aviation cadet. In 1947 he transitioned to the USAF. While in the air force, on April 25, 1950, he was forced to bail out of a F-51D following an engine fire northwest of Nellis AFB. In 2008, at Sid’s request, friends found the wreckage of his F-51D and took him to the crash site.
Sid volunteered to serve in the Korean conflict where he completed one 125 combat missions flying the Lockheed F-80. Returning from Korea he served as an instructor pilot in the Lockheed T-33 before being assigned as an air attaché to the Chinese Nationalist Air Force. Following his tour of duty on Taiwan, Sid joined the Strategic Air Command where he served with distinction, flying the Boeing KC-135 during the Vietnam War.
After 31 years of service, Lt. Col. Sidney M. Yahn retired from the air force. In 1974, he went to work for the Northrop Corp. where he became an international sales representative promoting the F-5E/F fighter aircraft. During this period, he continued to fly sailplanes, entering cross-country races, and racking up kudos in Soaring Magazine.
Sid was an esteemed member of the Red Barons and the Old Bold Pilots Assoc. of Huntington Beach. He was also a member of the American Aviation Historical Society where he made numerous contributions to the AAHS Journal.
Sid Yahn was 91 when he died on April 12, 2017. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and numerous friends, and admirers. Sidney M. Yahn exemplified the finest attributes of an officer and a gentleman. He asked to be remembered as “a fighter pilot, nothing more, nothing less”.
G. Pat Macha
Sidney Yahn with CAF F-84
News & Comments from our Members
Vol. 62, No. 2, Summer 2017
It has been brought to this editor’s attention that this beautiful painting that graced the inside front cover of the AAHS Journal Summer 2017 issue was attributed to the wrong artist. Both the artist and the artist it was attributed to let me know I had screwed up. The credit should be given to artist John Amendola. My sincerest apologies to both individuals, and I take full responsibility for the screw up – promising to work harder at NOT repeating this type of error in the future.
Forum of Flight, Page 159
The captions for the two photos of the Grumman G-21 Gooses are reversed. Checking the N-numbers of the planes will quickly sort out this error.
The Ugly Duckling, Sikorsky’s S-38, Page 85
The photo in the upper right corner labeled NC8005 has the wrong caption applied to it. The caption should read, “The Sikorsky S-36B, as represented here by XPS-1 , A-8005, was a basis for the S-38 development. (G. Balzer, AAHS_D102805)”
We regret these errors and will continue to work diligently to minimize future ones.
Call for Paintings
The AAHS has traditionally supported the aviation artist by featuring their work on the covers to the AAHS Journal. But, we can only do this with your help. The inventory of aviation art we have available is getting drastically low. So, if you’re an artist that would like to see your work featured, please contact the editor (Hayden Hamilton, email@example.com). We would like to hear from you.
Forum of Flight
This edition of Forum of Flight offers two featurettes:
Day-Glo paint schemes of the mid-century and the photographic work of two of our Society’s pioneers.
The FORUM is presented as an opportunity for
members to participate in the Journal by submitting interesting or unusual photographs. Negatives, slides, black-and-white or color photos with good contrast may be used if they have smooth surfaces. Digital submissions are also acceptable, but please provide high resolution images (>3,000 pixels wide). Please include as much information as possible about the
image such as: date, place, msn (manufacturer’s serial
number), names, etc., plus proper photo credit (it may be from your collection but taken by another photographer).
Send submissions to the Editorial Committee marked “Forum of Flight,” P. O. Box 3023 Huntington Beach, CA 92605-3032. Mark any material to be returned: “Return to (your name and complete address).” Or you may to wish have your
material added to the AAHS photo archives.
Bell P-63 King Cobra
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