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Excerpts from
AAHS Journal, Vol. 62, Nos. 1 - Spring 2017
Table of Contents

  • Duxford’s Hawk Connection - Frank B. Mormillo
  • In the Wake of the Albatross and Seagull, a Look Back to 1922 - Simine Short
  • Piper LBP-1 GLOMB - Mal Holcomb
  • The Cold War Ground Observer Corps - Noel Allard
  • Dark Horse Running; the Bell and Martin-Bell Cold War Orbital Glide Bomber - David Stern
  • Remembering DC-3s, a Dream Come True and Ron Alexander - Denny Caldwell
  • What The Heck Is Going On Here - Dan Hagedorn
  • Pan American Airways, the Pacific Challenge - edited by
    Ed Martin
  • Elmer Fowler Stone and the Origins of Coast Guard Aviation - Justin H. Libby
  • A New Flying Machine; An excursion into historic foreign literature, or how I learned about pioneering aviators - John M. McKee
  • Confession Corner
  • Forum of Flight - Tim Williams
  • News & Comments from our Members
  • Lightning at Sea - Keith Ferris
  • AAHS & ASAA Establish Formal Relationship
  • American Society of Aviation Artists
  • President’s Message - Jerri Bergen

  • Duxford’s Hawk Connection

    While it was not the most spectacular fighter plane of its era, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (first named the Tomahawk or Kittyhawk by the British, the U.S. Army Air Forces did not use a name for its P-40s until the D model went into service) was available in quantity when its services were desperately needed, and held the line against Axis combat aircraft until more advanced fighter plane designs showed up in quantity. Before production ended in December 1944, a grand total of 13,738 P-40s had been manufactured for the USAAF and various allied air forces. However, with the end of WWII, the venerable Hawks soon disappeared from frontline service, though a number (primarily P-40E and P-40N models) did find new homes in the civil register.

    Essentially an inline engine version of the earlier radial engine-powered Curtiss Hawk 75 (a grand total of 1,115 Hawk 75s were manufactured for the USAAF under the designation P-36, and for various foreign air forces, being named Mohawk by the British Royal Air Force), the P-40, known by Curtiss as the Hawk 81 and 87, was generally powered with various variants of the liquid-cooled Allison V-1710 inline engine, though the P-40F was fitted with the Packard-built Rolls-Royce V-1650 engine. The Hawk 81 variants sported rather pointy nose profiles, while the Hawk 87 variants had enlarged, beard-style radiators under the nose.

    Except for a few static display models, Hawk 75s and Hawk 81s never made it into post-war civilian use, having disappeared from frontline service well before their Hawk 87 descendants. However, that situation changed in 1988 when Steve Hinton’s Fighter Rebuilders shop at Chino, Calif., completed the restoration of P-40C 41-13390 to flying condition for Stephen Grey’s Duxford, UK-based The Fighter Collection. Initially supplied to Britain under the Lend Lease Program, 41-13390 was transferred to Russia in September 1941 and wound up being shot down over the Karelian battlefront near Murmansk on September 27, 1942. The wrecked warbird was eventually recovered to Duxford . . .

    Curtiss P-40C

    The Ugly Duckling, Sikorsky S-38

    The Ugly Duckling — not much to look at, but every inch a champion. In its lifetime, the Sikorsky S-38 performed a variety of tasks that would have destroyed a lesser aircraft. Pioneer airline routes were surveyed and flown across the Andes and the jungles of South America. Long over water flights were made to Hawaii and over the Caribbean. Exploratory flights were made across Africa, Greenland, New Guinea and Australia. Passengers were carried and freight was hauled under all possible adverse conditions of weather, terrain and lack of proper facilities. No wonder that the men who flew her have been strong in praise

    The designer, Igor Sikorsky, by 1926 had struggled through misfortune and poverty to successfully create the Sikorsky Manufacturing Corporation. But the company was still struggling hard in 1927 for a secure place in aviation. As Sikorsky saw it: “In spite of the excellent characteristics of the S-37, the time for the large transport is not yet at hand.” It was impossible then to secure additional orders on this type of ship. The company built and sold a number of Universal wings, but this did not represent any important business. During this period the S-36 was completed and a few ships of this type were sold. But Sikorsky still had his troubles. “The volume of sales was insufficient to keep the organization alive, and difficulties and worries were to a large extent still with us.”

    During this trying time, Sikorsky and his men worked hard to remedy defects in the S-36. The result was the first S-38 in May 1928. Of this plane, the designer said, “It was tested, and we very quickly realized that we had a really excellent machine on our hands.” The Navy Department ordered two; and soon afterward Pan American Airways purchased a few for pioneer work on their airlines.

    “It was this modest airplane which [sic] actually completed the peaceful conquest of nearly all of South America,” Sikorsky states. “The first series of ships were sold out quickly; a second series was started and also sold out in a very short time. Soon afterward the company found itself with more business than it could handle.”

    The factory was enlarged and it became advisable to reorganize the Sikorsky Aviation Corporation. Land was purchased in Stratford, Conn., in close proximity to deep water, which was very important for its seaplane activities. An excellent, modern aircraft factory, with first-class machinery, equipment, offices, drafting rooms, research laboratories and a wind tunnel, was planned and during 1929 erected on this land. “It was at that time,” Sikorsky relates, “that our organization ceased to be a small one and became a substantial, excellently equipped, modern aircraft manufacturing organization.”

    The success of the S-38, at a time when the Sikorsky . . .

    Sikorsky PS3, A-8285

    In the Wake of the Albatross and Seagull, a Look Back to 1922

    In today’s world, towing behind an airplane is possibly the most widely used method of launching a glider into the air so that its pilot can search for the right atmospheric conditions to achieve soaring flight. But who thought of this type of launching first and who first tried it successfully?

    At the beginning of the twentieth century, inventors around the world were building and experimenting with gliders, as this was the practical preface to powered flight. Soon, however, the application of the internal combustion engine to aircraft turned the attention of the world’s aeronautical engineers to powered aircraft and speed, and this interest was, by necessity, accelerated by WWI. When the war ended, speed lost none of its attraction.

    Under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, German aeronautical designers had to work on the less spectacular, but still significant, development of low-speed, high-lift aircraft, primarily unpowered gliders. German pilots called their motorless craft “Sailplanes” (Segelflugzeuge), because “for all practical purposes, gliding or soaring is simply aerial sail boating in three dimensions.”[1] Their success started a gliding craze that soon presented a challenge to the rest of the aviation world.

    Glenn H. Curtiss, then president of the Curtiss Engineering Corp. at Garden City, NY, reported in late August 1922, “we can learn how to build lighter, more efficient airplanes, and, having built them, to utilize natural air currents to the consequent saving of artificial motive power. By lessening our speed and increasing our load we not only cheapen air transportation, but also minimize the cost of the planes to popularize aviation in general. The wind tunnel, in which full scale airplanes are tested, performs admirable service, but nothing can equal practical, full-size trials.”[2] Curtiss, whose company always found time and manpower to be active in other directions beside filling orders for the navy and doing commercial work, now wondered if his “company could develop a plane, light and manageable, for anyone to work it, and so cheap that almost anyone can buy one. To do so, manufacturers must find a way to take advantage of the lifting powers of air currents, so that less power would be required from the motor.”[3]

    Up to this time gliders were usually launched from hills using an elastic bungee cord and manpower, but Curtiss who had always been interested in water-borne aircraft (or seaplanes), wanted to explore soaring over the water. “The albatross takes off with little effort from the crest of a wave and rides the winds for hours. If pilots could learn the secret of the albatross instinct we, too, can soar at will over the surface of the sea.”[2]

    Coinciding with the publication of the sensational results of the three recent European national glider meets in 1922, the 44-year-old Curtiss announced via the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce in late August that his company had developed a new type of biplane flying-boat glider. Except for its blunt nose, the resulting glider, constructed of wood (spruce) and duralumin with silk fabric covered wings, looked like a miniature copy of his famous NC flying boats. It had taken two months to build at his experimental shops at Garden City and construction cost was about $5,000, but according to Curtiss, quantity production was expected to reduce the price to as low as $500.4 The Brooklyn Eagle reported that Curtiss’ ultimate goal was to develop a glider that could take off from the surface . . .

    1922 Curtiss Glider

    Piper LBP-1 GLOMB

    In the 1930s, the U.S. Navy started developing the technology that would lead to the guided missile. This included automatic stabilization, television and radio remote control. Initially this was developed using a powered drone that was accompanied and directed by a mother ship. Heading up this effort was Lt. Cmdr. Delmar S. Fahrney of the Naval Aircraft Factory (NAF), who in December 1940 proposed that they also consider using gliders. This would be a cheaper vehicle as no engine would be required and the mother ship could tow it to within glide range of the target. The Bureau of Aeronautics approved Fahrney’s proposal in March 1941 and the project was officially started on April 19, 1941. The new weapon was soon named GLOMB, short for “glide bomb.” The GLOMBs were expendable bomb-carrying, towed gliders, capable of operation by a pilot or by remote control as a guided missile with special control equipment.

    On August 10, 1943, the NAF issued the requirements for a production GLOMB:

    3,000 lb empty weight
    4,000 lb explosive payload
    7,000 to 7,500 lb max gross weight
    350 mile radius of action when towed by a Grumman F6F Hellcat
    150 mph tow speed
    Autotow, remote control, and television systems

    Six companies submitted proposals in September 1943. Contracts were awarded to Pratt Read (LBE-1), Piper (LBP-1) and Taylorcraft (LBT-1).

    This article will focus on the Piper LBP-1, one of the three GLOMBs contracted by the U.S. Navy. Bill Norton has written a history of the overall GLOMB program that was published in the Summer 2008, AAHS Journal1 and expanded it in his definite book on U.S. military gliders.2 The reader is encouraged to review these two references for an overall understanding of the GLOMB program as well as information on the Pratt Read and Taylorcraft GLOMBs.

    The LBP-1 was not Piper’s first experience with a pilotless glide bomb. In March 1942 Piper had submitted a proposal to the army’s MX-108 glide bomb program. It was a wooden 12-foot wing span, pilotless glider with a 565 mph dive speed that had a 2,460 lb gross weight with a 2,000 lb bomb. Piper was unsuccessful in getting a contract with this design.

    Piper was also experienced with gliders having built 253 TG-8 (navy LNP-1) training gliders for the army and the navy.

    The Piper LBP-1 was an expendable bomb-carrying, towed glider, capable of operation by a pilot or by remote control as a guided missile. The LBP-1 was capable of towed, catapult or snatch take-off from an airfield or the deck of an aircraft carrier and landing on an airfield.

    Max gross weight of the LBP-1 was 6,800 pounds with a 4,000 lb bomb. Gross weight was 2,944 pounds with a check pilot in place of the . . .

    Piper LBP-1 GLOMB

    The Cold War Ground Observer Corps

    In 1953, after the Korean War, the real “Cold War” had begun. I was in my eighth-grade year. A couple of us young people were invited to visit the Air Force, Air Defense Command “Filter Center” at Lake Street and Colfax Ave. in South Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Filter Center was located in the old Buzza Building, a multi-storied whitewashed brick office building. I had very little knowledge of what the Filter Center represented, but that first visit opened my eyes.

    I learned that it was a year-old facility of the Ground Observer’s Corps (GOC), a government sponsored corps of volunteers of all ages and occupations who observed the skies on the lookout for possible enemy (Russian) bombers flying over Canada into the Continental United States, supposedly to drop nuclear weapons on us. That was the simple explanation. The idea was a good deal more complicated, but being a member of this far-out league entranced me and at 14 years of age, I was allowed to become a trainee at the Filter Center. Consequently, I began taking the streetcar from 50th and Bryant to Lake Street on Saturdays and Sundays through my eighth grade year and the summer following. Often, I worked into the evenings. I guess I was responsible enough that my parents did not have a problem with my new interest or taking the streetcar by myself.

    As the Air Force, Air Defense Command, GOC, Aircraft Warning Services was structured, it consisted, in part, of a legion of observers on the ground, mostly farmers, electric co-op crew members, DNR officials, forest service workers and other volunteers of all ages, working out-of-doors throughout the provinces of Canada and Minnesota, as well as other northern U.S. states. The observers’ jobs were to spot aircraft flying overhead. As there was no first line of warning radar in Northern Canada as there is today, the DEW Line (Distant Early Warning,) now itself outdated, did not exist in the early 1950s as the Cold War warmed up. Citizens of this continent actually expected the Russians to come across the North Pole to bomb us at any time. A good set of eyes was our first defense.

    The observers would jot down certain characteristics about the aircraft they spotted flying overhead and phone in the observation to the Filter Center, where plotters, such as myself, would place a marker on a huge grid table that represented a region of overhead air space. Once the marker was positioned, additional calls from other observers along the aircraft’s path, calling in their reports, allowed a “track” to be established for an airplane. Air Force officers and civilian supervisors with access to military exercises, airline schedules and a knowledge of regional airports and air routes would mark the . . .

    Ground Observer Corps Wings

    Dark Horse Running; the Bell and Martin-Bell
    Cold War Orbital Glide Bomber

    It has long been the dream of earth-bound humanity to leave the safety and security of its nest and travel outbound through space to explore. The previous century offered two possible future parallel methods whereby this might be achieved. First, a brute force vertically launched multi-stage rockets placing a purpose-built craft into orbit or deep space, but powered by chemical fueled rocket engines. Still embryonic in the 1920s, its engineering and operating principles remained to be learned, thus providing a challenge and steep learning curve for inventors and engineers alike. Still, this unproven method was enthusiastically championed by such luminaries as Konstantin Tsiolkovskiy, Robert H. Goddard, Herman Oberth, the VLR (German Rocket Society), Werner von Braun and other supporters.[1]

    The second, a parallel earth-escape mechanism was a rather more elegant advanced hybrid winged aircraft escaping earth’s gravity, and thrust aloft via multi-stage rocket boosters. Such aircraft were either non-powered or equipped with an onboard liquid fueled rocket engine (as were several winged expeditionary spacecraft proposed for Lunar and Mars missions during the 1950s). They would operate in low earth orbits (LEO) but execute a high-speed glide return to earth and accomplish a powerless landing (exactly as performed by the Space Shuttle decades later). However the requisite high speed aerodynamics and supersonic flight data was non-existent for engineers to design a survivable intra-atmospheric and exo-atmospheric aircraft.

    Early rocket designs were crude and dangerous solid and liquid fueled rocket engines that were constructed and jury-rigged in cars (Opal race cars), gliders and the (1928) two seat Mueller-Griesheim monoplane (only its liquid-powered rocket engine was ground tested).[2] Predictably, the airplane and rocket engine were eventually mated resulting in the Heinkel 176, flying on June 20, 1939; unfortunately the plane’s low thrust rocket engine generated disappointing performance.[3]

    In Germany, during the 1930s-1940s, the Zepplin-Werkes and Peenemunde high speed wind tunnels provided early supersonic data for the German Peenemunde rocket team to choose a body and fin design for their A-4 (V-2) project.4 Winged rocket-powered airplanes were still supported by advocates like Fritz von Opel, von Hoefft, Max Valier, von Braun, Sanger-Bredt and Alexander M. Lippisch, who created the Me-163 Komet rocket interceptor applied in defending the Fatherland’s petroleum refineries.

    Enthusiastic support of winged space airplanes was evinced by Franz Edler von Hoefft, a protagonist for the creation of the Austrian Rocket Propelled Society for Altitude Exploration in the 1920s. During the late 1920s von Hoefft, a chemistry . . .

    German A-9/A10 Long Range Rocket

    Remembering DC-3s, a Dream Come True and Ron Alexander

    My first flight in a commercial airliner was a family excursion from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Asheville, N.C., 400 miles south as the crow flies, but considerably farther on this “milk run” route in the late 1950s. As I recall, we left Detroit on a springtime morning in a 4-engine Delta DC-7, landed in Columbus or Cincinnati (or both), then changed to a smaller plane for the next legs to Lexington and Knoxville. Arriving behind schedule at Knoxville, our flight was met by an agent assigned to help our family hustle to a distant gate to board a DC-3 for our final leg to Asheville. Entering through its rear door and walking uphill to our seats felt strange to me after riding in newer tricycle-gear planes that sat on the ground with the floor level inside.

    I looked outside the windows the whole time and enjoyed every part of the journey: the early morning departure, rising above the wisps of ground fog into the clear sky, watching the terrain change from flatland to hills as we flew southward, and later in the day, cruising through the scattered bumpy cumulus clouds. Turbulence and clouds were difficult to avoid in the unpressurized DC-3 flying at the lower altitudes.

    Another series of flights taking us home a few days later finished long after dark. I recall the hypnotic sight of blue engine exhaust flames, the image fixed in my memory along with the sound and vibration of propellers and the firing of dozens of cylinders: RPM, manifold pressures and mixtures set just right by the crew.

    Not long after the family trip, I read the classic aviation book written by Ernest K. Gann, Fate is the Hunter; it became my favorite book about aviation. One of the airplanes Gann wrote about was the DC-3, and ever since reading the book and watching them fly daily over my childhood home near Willow Run Airport, I developed a great fondness for the elegant, radial-engined DC-3 and its military sibling, the C-47. I admired DC-3s from afar and up close at airshows and museums, and I could identify them by ear without even seeing the plane. After the family adventure, the next (and last) time I flew in a DC-3 was in July 1967 from Houston Hobby when Trans-Texas Airways (a.k.a. “Tree-Top Airlines”) delivered me to Fort Polk, La., for army basic training.

    Through 50 years of my aviation career, I had a fantasy that someday I might actually fly a DC-3 with its tailwheel and two big radial engines. But, only after my retirement from airline flying did I take the opportunity to fly a tailwheel airplane, and I had never operated a radial engine in my life. I was beginning . . .

    Ron Alexander's DC-3

    What The Heck Is Going On Here

    The image shown, so far as can be determined, has been published three times.

    The first instance was in Ernest R. McDowell’s Squadron Signal monograph Curtiss P-40 in Action (ISBN 0-89747-025-7, 1978), accompanied by a caption – but no photo credit – suggesting that the subject was “…a twin-engined P-40 design that at least reached the mock-up stage.” As Mr. Lou Casey, Curator at the National Air and Space Museum at the time, was listed amongst the credit, it is assumed that he may have been the source for the image, as the NASM had only recently acquired the Curtiss collection, such as it was, and such an oddity most certainly would have attracted the eye of the well-respected curator.

    Then, in 1979, Peter M. Bowers included the exact same image in his classic entry in the Putnam manufacturer’s series, Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947 (ISBN 0-370-10029-8) on page 495, with exactly one sentence of speculative accompanying text. The image was credited to NASM, lending additional weight to the source for McDowell’s image.

    Finally, your scribe, as co-author of Curtiss Fighter Aircraft: A Photographic History 1917-1948 (ISBN 978-0-7643-2580-9, Schiffer, 2007) with the late Francis H. “Diz” Dean, which was completed as a duty of honor to my great friend, the image was once again published with two paragraphs of accompanying text, and credited to Peter M. Bowers, from whom a print had been acquired, while I was actually on staff with NASM, not knowing at the time that Pete had in fact acquired the images from NASM some 27 years earlier!

    To date, aside from a fringe and nearly cult following on the Internet, where speculation and imagination have run wild, not a single, verifiable word about the provenance of the subject of the photo has turned up. This one keeps me awake at night.

    When I decided to run the image in the Schiffer book, the first thing we consulted was the actual Individual Aircraft Record Card (IARC) for Curtiss P-40C 41-13456, the serial that is painted on this – thing. The IARC did not reveal a single unusual action regarding the subject P-40C, and it served out its service life without so much as a single unusual entry. Had it been the subject, or source, for the fuselage shown here, in keeping with standard USAAF data entry practices at the time, some sort of entry would have been on that IARC. It must be assumed, therefore, that the serial was selected purely at random, possibly aided and abetted by the convenient progression of the last four digits of the serial.

    So what can we tell about this “thing?” It appears to be wearing pre-June 1942 U.S. national insignia, but on the fuselage side only (not on either wing) and it appears to be a short-tailed H87 series aircraft with rather crude, twin-engine . . .

    Curtiss - What Is It?

    Pan American Airways, the Pacific Challenge

    In 1927 Pan American Airways was awarded an air mail contract from Key West, Fla., to Havana, Cuba. Following the success of these flights and later expansion into the Caribbean and South America, Juan Trippe, President of Pan American Airways, turned his thoughts to conquering the vast expanses of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The shorter distance from the U.S. to Europe across the Atlantic Ocean was an attractive challenge with many obstacles, particularly weather. The Pacific was a more viable alternative. However, no aircraft then existed capable of flying the long distances involved; but Trippe decided to accept the challenge.

    The following events are referenced from the John B. Russell Collection Vol. 2 of newspaper clippings, published by United Press International (UPI) and Associated Press (AP) in the Miami Herald and Miami Tribune, as received via Pan American Airways’ radio, during the initial flight of the China Clipper from Alameda, Calif., to Manila, Philippines, on November 22, 1935.

    Technical difficulties involved were monumental the distance from the west coast of the U.S. to China was over 8,000 miles. Extensive research would be necessary to determine if this route was feasible. Suitable aircraft would need developing, navigation requirements, weather and wind variations, landing and refueling bases, personnel and passenger accommodation and, where necessary, government approvals would all be required. In 1931, Pan American Airways issued specifications for an aircraft that could accomplish the task of flying 2,500 miles to Hawaii with a suitable payload. A year later the Sikorsky Co., and Glenn L. Martin Co, submitted acceptable proposals for flying boats. In late 1932 Pan American Airways placed orders for three Sikorsky S-42 and three Martin M-130 flying boats.

    Another major consideration was where to originate-terminate such a flight from the U.S. A great deal of consideration was given to flying the northern route to Alaska and over Siberia to China for which Pan American Airways acquired an interest in Pacific Alaska Airways.

    Charles Lindbergh, a Pan American Airways technical advisor, and his wife Anne (Morrow) Lindbergh, surveyed this route to China for Pan American. After much research it was determined that cooperation from the Russian government would not be obtained, which determined that the route be across the Pacific Ocean.

    Alameda Airport in San Francisco Bay would be the origination point and Hong Kong across the Pacific as the termination with stops at Hawaii and Manila along the way. The Pacific islands of Midway, Wake and Guam would serve as intermediate rest and refueling bases. Fortunately, these small islands were U.S. possessions with Midway Island approximately 1,400 miles from Honolulu, and Wake Island was another 1,300 miles westwards with Guam a further 1,400 miles of flying. Manila in the Philippines was the initial . . .

    Sikorsky S-42 at Dinner Key, PAA Miami base

    Elmer Fowler Stone and the Origins of Coast Guard Aviation

    Of all the aviation pioneers who made a mark in the early decades of the 20th century, there were few who had as wide-ranging impact as Elmer Fowler Stone. His contributions as pilot, inventor, theorist and commanding officer produced an extraordinary legacy in Coast Guard and naval aviation. His achievements included being the Coast Guard’s first pilot (Number 38 on the U.S. Navy Roster of naval aviators), working to develop catapults for which he obtained a patent and arresting gear for aircraft carriers. In addition, Stone flight-tested aircraft and aircraft systems for the navy and the army and helped develop and implement air-sea rescue operations.

    Elmer “Archie” Fowler Stone was born on a farm near Livonia, N.Y., south of Rochester on January 22, 1887, to Frank E. and Francis Elberta Fowler Stone. Eight years later his family moved to Norfolk, Va., where he was educated and graduated from Norfolk High School. In early 1910, at the age of 23, Stone, while a newspaper typist, applied to the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service School that later evolved into the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He passed the entrance examination with the highest score among that year’s applicants. Stone entered the program on April 30, 1910, and graduated from the Revenue Cutter School of Instruction on June 7, 1913, with the rank of 3rd lieutenant.[1] Two years later, on January 28, 1915, the Revenue Cutter Service was merged by President Woodrow Wilson with the Lifesaving Service thus forming the Coast Guard.[2]

    Stone’s first assignment was studying steam-propulsion aboard the Revenue Cutter Onondaga and shortly thereafter became a line officer. He was temporarily assigned to the training cutter Itasca from October 1914 to February 1915 and then returned to the Onondaga. Soon, however, Stone’s attention turned to the use of seaplanes as a new means of searching for and rescuing (SAR) stricken vessels. This became a turning point in his Coast Guard career.

    Origins of Coast Guard Aviation

    Stone and his close friends and colleagues Norman Hall and Charles E. Sugden had recognized early in their careers the potential of aerial search in assisting vessels in distress, blowing up menaces to navigation or hauling in smugglers. But even with their enthusiasm, Hall, Stone and Sugden realized that they did not have an airplane that could effectively search enormous ocean areas in much less time than seaborne vessels. Nonetheless, all three men were encouraged to further their ambitions by the support of Capt. Benjamin Chiswell[3] of the Onondaga on which they were all serving. They were also encouraged by Capt. Thomas S. Baldwin who was the head of the flying school Curtiss had established at Hampton Roads. While at Hampton Roads, Stone arranged for a flight in a navy Curtiss MF flying boat, thanks to Captain Baldwin, that only advanced his desire to be involved in aviation.

    The group agreed that they needed an aircraft to further the aviation needs of the Coast Guard. With permission of officials in Washington, Captain Chiswell contacted pioneering aircraft designer, Glenn H. Curtiss, and persuaded him to design an . . .

    NC-4 taxies in Lisbon, Portugal harbor

    A New Flying Machine; An excursion into historic foreign literature, or how I learned about pioneering aviators

    As part of my research on Irving M. Davidson’s participation in Israel Ludlow’s kite experiment of December 1905, I came across an article with a nice picture published in 1906. As the article (which I purchased through eBay) did not have an apparent English translation, I decided to see what I could translate. My education in foreign languages extends only to modern French and ancient Greek (and some conversational Spanish). I decided to see what I could accomplish by using Google’s translate function (https://translate.google.com). I was aware that German had its accent marks, but I also had to give myself a crash course in German orthography. So, I learned what appeared as a slightly off “t” was really a “k,” or what I thought were “ss” was actually a “p.” The word processing program (Microsoft Word) included symbols with letters with the appropriate accent marks (particularly vowels with umlauts), which had to be inserted each time they appeared. Given that the article was approximately 850 words, the effort took less than five hours of working with the translating service.

    The real challenge was checking the translation as multiple English words may apply to a specific German word. For example, while we are familiar with Führer as leader, it has other meanings. One possible meaning is pilot, and that term was used as the most appropriate for the context of the discussion. I do know that nouns are written with a capital letter, and I learned that the possessive or adjectival form of a noun may include a suffix. I started out copying whole sentences, checking for the sensibility of the translation. Aviation has its technical terms that must be accounted for across language barriers. After addressing typographical errors and finding alternative words (again, dealing with orthography), I later input whole paragraphs. The effect tended to change the context of the translation subtly. When I was satisfied with the new translation, I inputted the entire monograph to the translator. While I am impressed with the results, I by no means claim to be fluent in German. Anyone who knows German . . .

    Isarel Ludow’s kite

    Confession Corner

    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.

    Like you, I am no professional writer, but will kick off the program by submitting what I considered my three most hairy landings. I expect to read your stories in future issues of Confession Corner articles. If I can do it - anybody can.

    Sidney M. Yahn (USAF, Ret.)

    T-33 Cross-Country Flight
    In 1955, while flying alone early one evening in a Lockheed T-33 over the state of Montana, my right wing-tip fuel tank would not feed. A malfunction of the tip tank release mechanism was realized when attempts to jettison the tanks manually and electrically were unsuccessful. It was impossible to maintain lateral control below 150 kts. Add to this the fact that it was snowing hard and starting to get dark. I was over rugged terrain, so ejecting was not seriously considered, but . . .

    Forum of Flight

    This issue of “Forum of Flight” includes a “featurette” consisting of some of the rarer military types that found their way into use for fighting forest fires. Included in this set are North American AJ-1 Savage, Northrop F-15 Reporter and P-61 Black Widow.

    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.

    Vought F7U-3

    News & Comments from our Members

    Sentimental Journey, The Air Fields of the Sixth Air Force; Rio Hato, Vol. 61, No. 4, Winter 2016

    An apology to the author and correction to this article. During the editing process, the editor managed to change the opening line of the article from the author’s correct grammatical structure to one that was incorrect. We have learned that several individuals have contacted Dr. Hagedorn questioning if he might possibly be going senile. We want to assure all that it is not the author, but the editor that may be having bouts of senility.

    The opening line should read, “This is the fourth in a series of short histories [not “history” as the editor had it] of the Journal describing France Field.

    Our apologies to the readers and, in particular, to the author.

    Wolf Pack vs. the Red Star; Deception, Attrition and Redemption over North Vietnam, Vol. 61, No. 4, Winter 2016

    It has been brought to the editor’s attention that the photo below that appeared in this article was mis-attributed as to . . .

    Lightning at Sea

    The Keith Ferris painting Lightning at Sea (back cover) was commissioned by Pratt & Whitney Military Engines for presentation to the navy at its Naval Aviation Symposium at Pensacola in early May 2016. The 32” x 56” oil painting on canvas depicts the navy’s new Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II stealthy carrier fighter launching in the future from the navy’s newest new carrier CVN 78, the USS Gerald R. Ford.

    The aircraft is viewed from an altitude of 130 feet from a position 55 feet forward of the aircraft and 500 feet forward of the ship as it will appear about 5 or 6 seconds after launch. The deck crew scrambles to prepare the catapult for its next launch as other F-35Cs are in position on catapults and another is about to trap aboard.

    This is the third of a three-painting series of Ferris works featuring the F-35 Stealth Fighter family commissioned by Pratt for presentation to the Air Force, Marines and the Navy.

    Long time AAHS member, artist Keith Ferris was raised as an Air Corps dependent growing up on the grass flying fields of the early 1930s. Having spent his entire life in the midst of military aviation, he has built his now 70-year career around the documentation and portrayal of flight through art. His art has served the advertising, editorial, public relations, and historical documentation needs of the aerospace industry, aviation . . .

    Lightning at Sea

    AAHS & ASAA Establish Formal Relationship

    AAHS has been dedicated to documenting aviation history, personal stories, grand dramas, technical details, and more, since 1956. For the last 25 years, AAHS has pursued this mission alone, without sponsors, advertisements, or significant interaction with other like-minded organizations.

    AAHS has run its publication successfully for its first 60 years, but changing times and technology are taxing our tried-and-true methods. We need to reach out to younger members, display our historical assets more effectively, and partner with other smart organizations. As Will Rogers once said “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there,” and we’re a sitting duck without developing good relations with like minded organizations – organization like the American Society of Aviation Artist (ASAA) – to partner with during these turbulent times.

    AAHS has always looked to publish good historically-minded aviation artwork. In fact, the inside front and back outside cover of every AAHS Journal features an illustration, painting, pen-and-ink or technical drawing that brings to light some aviation element or activity. Members vote annually for ‘Best Artist’ based on these published pieces in the Journal, and the winner is awarded a plaque and an article about their artwork.

    Being cloistered as AAHS has been, we can also be myopic in the types of aviation history we present to our readers or the public at large. We may get excited at yet another WWII 8th Air Force bomber crew mission log account, when an outsider would clearly want to hear more about the first use of drones in a combat environment, or the short history of the Populair biplane. Talented members of ASAA could very well bring some new aviation history to our pages, while we could provide historical data, photos and reference . . .

    American Society of Aviation Artists

    The American Society of Aviation Artists, incorporated in 1986, is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and public appreciation of aerospace art. For thirty-one years, the ASAA has been recognized as a non-profit organization specializing in visual art of aerospace subjects while providing educational resources for its membership. Annually, an ASAA International Aerospace Art Exhibition and ASAA educational forums are coordinated to interact with the public and provide members with academic resources. Interim regional meetings are scheduled to provide member interaction between forums. Membership is categorized by Artist Fellow, Artist and Associate members. Both artist membership categories are attained through a review process of the artist artwork. Members receive a quarterly journal, the Aero Brush and access to a comprehensive website (www.asaa-avart.org). The ASAA website includes the Aero Brief newsletter, archived issues of Aero Brush, interaction with membership and organizational resources. A Facebook page is also available. ASAA maintains a scholarship program and provides mentoring for members. ASAA receives support from aerospace corporate sponsors and membership dues.

    In the early 1980s, Keith and Peggy Ferris initiated the foundation to form a society of artists with common interest in aerospace art. In 1983, Luther Gore, a Humanities professor at the University of Virginia, sponsored an aviation art forum and exhibition. This successful event inspired further commitment to form a society. With additional national networking and planning, ASAA was formed three years later. Five very successful practicing visual artists, Keith Ferris, Jo Kotula, Bob McCall, R.G. Smith, and Ren Wicks joined together to establish ASAA as Founders. Their exemplary artwork and aerospace industry experience provided leadership and a knowledge base upon which to build a society equipped to educate and inspire other artists. Today, ASAA artist members and associates, reside in thirteen countries, thirty-eight of the United States, and the District of Columbia.

    The ASAA endeavors to document historical and narrative artworks of aerospace subjects. The ASAA prides itself in representing an educational mission that provides the requisite learning for achieving works of art. Historical and technical accuracy are emphasized. These artworks are featured in Aero Brush, the ASAA website, and the ASAA annual juried exhibition. ASAA exhibitions are viewed by the public in venues ranging from aerospace museums and fine art galleries to an international airport, in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

    In 2006, the ASAA was recognized by the National Aviation Hall of Fame with the Milton Caniff Spirit of Flight Award. The . . .

    ASAA Aero Brush


    President's Message

    The year has begun with a great visit with AAHS members from around the U.S. and Australia (thank you, Derek!) at our 2017 Annual Meeting, held this year at AAHS members Bill and Claudia Allen’s place, Allen Airways Museum, Gillespie Field, near San Diego, California.

    Not only did we have the opportunity to renew friendships, we made new ones, such as AAHS member Gary Fogel, who gave us a fascinating overview of early aviation pioneer John J. Montgomery, and AAHS member Ken Penneck, a volunteer at the model shop at SDASM restoration center, who’s currently building a 1/5 scale model of the B-17G-25-BO Outhouse Mouse, 42-31636, that will go on display in SDASM sometime in the future.

    Our Annual Event this year gave us an opportunity to see how aviation buffs, like Bill and Claudia Allen, display their aviation collection, as well as larger institutions, like SDASM. Much of the priorities set by SDASM Head Archivist Katrina Pescador for their library and archive are very similar to AAHS. Katrina even provided AAHS a copy of the SDASM Library Operations Manual from which we can draw some best practices.

    Some of our priorities will take more hands on effort, and I encourage you to give some time to our common goal of preserving our members’ photos. We have a goal to get 20% more negatives and photos identified and loaded to the website this year than last year, and we can use members’ help in correctly labeling file names. Contact our office and we’ll show you how to do it, right from your own home office.

    Moving forward we have more partnerships than ever to nurture, such as the American Society of Aviation Artists, and the Antique Aircraft Association. We’d enjoy having combined events, so that members from each group can get to know one another.

    Speaking of new associations, we are very excited to plan for an AAHS week at Oshkosh 2017! With a table at the Vintage Hangar, we hope to reach out to more aviation enthusiasts and get more people involved. We’ve reserved an AAHS clubhouse near Whitman field, (walking distance!) for afternoon get togethers and are now working to possibly lead a forum at some point during the week. We’re looking for volunteers to help us in this recruiting effort (see page 64). If you can’t physically participate, maybe you will consider making a donation to help defray the expenses associated with promoting the Society.

    Plan to spend more time with AAHS this year; we’ll all benefit!

    Jerri Bergen

    Allen Airways Museum Poster Collection