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1956 - 2022, Celebrating over 65+ Years of Service

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Excerpts from
AAHS Journal, Vol. 67, No. 3 - Fall 2022
Table of Contents

  • A Note from your Chief Executive Officer - Jerri Bergen
  • The A-5 Vigilante - Robert L. Wood
  • Kingman, Arizona: A Century of Aviation History - Josh Halczak
  • Ice Patrol; Late in the Twentieth Century - Bill Althoff
  • The Stearman that Really wasn’t a Stearman; The XOSS-1 - Thomas E. Lowe
  • The Aviation Heritage of Port Washington, Long Island - Robert G. Waldvogel
  • Bellanca Aircraft before Bellanca Aircraft; A look at the early work of Giuseppe Mario Bellanca - Renald Fortier
  • The Forgotten Trainer; The Avro Anson AT-20 - Derek E. Monk
  • Interviews with Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson
  • PAA Boeing 314 Lives on; The Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum in Ireland - Ed Martin
  • AAHS Flight Log
  • Forum of Flight
  • News & Comments from our Members
  • President’s Message - James Logue

  • A Note from your Chief Executive Officer

    MD-80 saved both American Airlines and McDonnell Douglas, by Charley Cleaver), thought-provoking (first hand views of how nuclear devices were tested over Christmas Island in the early 60s, by J. Rivard, for example) and have added to our store of knowledge about our shared aviation past. I eagerly look forward to the new Journal in my mailbox

    In looking further ahead, however, from my vantage point as CEO, I can see that costs to continue daily operations, new ventures (like our Scholarship program) and Journal publication in 2023 cannot not be covered by membership dues alone. We have a number of options available to us: We can continue as is and dip into our cash reserves; Eliminate all expenses and services to our members except vital Journal publication costs; Or, raise additional funds to cover needed expenses. A fourth option is what we plan to do – Reduce costs and seek to acquire more funding to continue our support to you, our valued members.

    We are researching grants that can possibly provide funding to our organizational type, a 501.C.3, with a focus on history preservation, developing a sponsorship program with corporate partners that can help both with operations and scholarships, and reaching out to you to show support for our continued mission.

    We all want these excellent slices of aviation history to arrive in the form of our Journal, to share member aviation images via the AAHS website, and support the next generation of aviation enthusiasts

    NOW is an excellent time to show that support in the form of a donation to your Society! For a contribution of $250, members receive a limited edition, signed gift print of Dan Kelly’s AVG Spirit. Members contributing $150 will receive a gift of either the limited edition, signed print of Strategic Air Command’s B-47 by Nick Galloway, or Dan Kelly’s limited edition signed print of Short Flight-Long Walk Home.

    All three of these excellent prints (measuring 21x24" or 24x27") are signed not only by the artist but by pilots of the aircraft depicted.*

    Your support is not only appreciated by readers of the Journal, but of the many volunteers at AAHS Headquarters and Huntington Beach, who put in countless hours to make this history preservation a reality. Make your appreciation a reality with a donation today!

    Jerri Bergen

    *Short-Flight – Long Walk Home, painted by famed aviation artist Dan Kelly, was commissioned by Larry Bledsoe of Bledsoe Aviation Art in the late 1980s to depict the flight of P-51 pilot Roland Sperry, (a well travelled speaker on his experiences during WWII) before he crashed in Germany during WWII, and walking to freedom. Following the completion of this painting in late 1990, Sperry’s career as a WWII pilot was proven to be entirely fictionalized.

    AVG Spirit

    The A-5 Vigilante


    The story of the A-5 Vigilante is of a remarkable, high performance carrier-based aircraft, first fielded in the 1960s; and then evolved during the Vietnam War period into the most effective tactical reconnaissance system ever made available to American forces. Along the way, the Vigilante left some enduring legacies for national defense:

    · It set technology and design standards that paved the way for today’s front line aircraft.
    · It set a lasting benchmark for modern, multi-sensor tactical reconnaissance.
    · It used management methods that could benefit new defense programs even today.

    This story is dedicated to the U.S. Navy and North American Aviation people who produced and flew the Vigilante; proud in knowing that they were part of an enduring national accomplishment.

    America has rediscovered some critical warfighting lessons during recent international conflicts. High among these is the importance of modern tactical reconnaissance, using multi-sensor systems capable of collecting a full range of intelligence in the theater of battle under the control of local commanders.

    America’s benchmark capability for tactical reconnaissance has long been the RA-5C Vigilante, a remarkably advanced system originated early in the Cold War by Navy leaders who had the foresight to envision the worldwide tactical role that Naval Aviation so effectively provides today.

    The A-5A Vigilante was started in the mid-1950s as a highly advanced attack aircraft for both nuclear and conventional weapon delivery. During the early 1960s, its versatile airframe and electronics served as the foundation for growth to a full capability reconnaissance configuration, supporting Naval Aviation’s evolving tactical role at the same time systems like the SR-71 and special satellites were being developed for strategic or "national" reconnaissance.

    The RA-5C served for two decades as America’s most comprehensive and fully integrated tactical reconnaissance capability, including exemplary duty off Yankee Station during the Vietnam conflict.

    This publication reviews three aspects of the Vigilante Story that have left an enduring legacy:

    Modern Technology—It doesn’t take a discerning eye to recognize that this aircraft, originated for high speed, low-altitude, carrier-based attack, also established modern design standards for front-line American and Soviet fighters that remain operational today. A look at the Vigilante’s variable geometry inlets and overall planform shows close similarities to the Navy F-14 and F-18E/F, the USAF F-15 and late generation Russian MiG fighters. In addition, precedent-setting electronic capabilities like the first airborne inertial navigation and digital computer, the first operational fly-by-wire flight controls and the first subsonic and supersonic escape system made the A-5A the most advanced carrier aircraft of its time.
    Integrated Reconnaissance—The definitive Vigilante was the RA-5C, the fleet’s tactical reconnaissance eyes and the airborne element of the Navy’s Integrated Operational Intelligence System (IOIS) for two decades. This publication is devoted to the RA-5C/IOIS because it demonstrates an important . . .

    North American RA-5C, BuNo. 148930

    Kingman, Arizona: A Century of Aviation History

    Charles Lindbergh touched down on the lone dirt runway of the 41-acre clearing known as Wallapai Field (alternatively known as Hualapai Field) in Kingman, Ariz., on June 1, 1928. As Chairman of the Technical Committee for the nascent Transcontinental Air Transport, Inc. (TAT), Lindbergh was surveying refueling terminals for a proposed air route. A seminal effort in coast-to-coast air travel, the TAT line would comprise 11 air terminals across the country between New York and Los Angeles, and traversed partly by air and partly by rail. The decade-old Wallapai Field - the earliest such field in northwest Arizona - was occasionally used as a refueling station, notably by U.S. Aerial Mail Service, and so was a logical waypoint in his search.

    Kingman, the seat of northwestern Arizona’s Mohave County, was located near the major transportation arteries of the Santa Fe Railroad, as well as the National Old Trails Highway, which would later be subsumed as a segment of Route 66. Kingman was indeed selected, but Wallapai Field was found insufficient for TAT’s plans, which included the construction of a terminal and use of heavier aircraft, likely the Curtiss Condor or the Ford Tri-motor (the Tri-motor would ultimately win out at Lindbergh’s discretion). Thus, TAT established the 310-acre Port Kingman airfield as one of its 11 terminals; it would be the first eastbound terminal and final westbound terminal on the "Lindbergh Line," as the TAT line was popularly known.

    On June 25, 1929, Port Kingman became the first dedicated airport in Northern Arizona. Early the following month, TAT’s inaugural flights took place. Lindbergh piloted the City of Los Angeles toward its first terminal in Kingman, Arizona. The City of Los Angeles touched down on July 8, 1929. The next day, as the passengers continued their journey to New York. Amelia Earhart was one of Lindbergh’s passengers on his return flight to Los Angeles for additional TAT inaugural ceremonies.

    In October 1929, the stock market crashed, and the Great Depression would soon take grip. A decreased and ever more safety-conscious clientele put TAT at risk of bankruptcy. Western Air Express (WAE), similarly impacted by the market crash and which also offered airmail service, merged . . .

    Transcontinental Air Transport built Port Washington airport at Kingman

    Ice Patrol; Late in the Twentieth Century

    Chance – call it luck – is always a factor in love, in business and in war. Just ask any soldier, airman or naval officer. Sometimes, fortune proffers the unexpected. If one is wise, such moments ar.e savored for what they are: a delicious spice to the everyday of life-experience.

    Three decades ago, for a few, fantastical days, this author was granted an experience wholly alien to the average American – most of whom reside comfortably enough in a reasonably temperate (more or less) swath of this two-nation continent called North America.

    To be candid – I’m no airman. I am, however, a geologist and deeply curious researcher: naval aeronautics, the history of science; polar memoirs. By 1988, the "next" project was underway. Thirty years before, a United States Navy non-rigid airship (blimp) had penetrated the Canadian Arctic. Its orders: rendezvous with base BRAVO riding T-3 – an "ice island" adrift in the Arctic Ocean. Then positioned 800 or so miles off 90° North Latitude – the north geographic pole.[1] Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, the mission would assess the platform for support of science in the Northlands – and perhaps contribute to the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957-58.

    En route T-3 that IGY August, the airship would log the Arctic Circle (66°33’ N) – the only military airship ever to do so.[2]

    And so an insight. If the Arctic was to come alive on the page, I should see it for myself. Chasing false leads and dead ends, an invitation was realized. Host-to-be: the Canadian Ice Patrol, a government unit within the Atmospheric Environment Service. With the Patrol as host, I experienced firsthand much of the roof of North America – an alien3 realm a world-away from the teeming millions "back south."

    Researching one story, I found another.

    A cold trail had warmed late in 1988, thanks to the Air Attaché at the Canadian Embassy, in Washington. My inquiry: an overflight of the High Arctic in a military aircraft. Commercial rates into the far north (I’d discovered) are frightfully expensive. (Round-trip fare from New York to the RCAF base at Resolute, on Cornwallis Island on the Northwest Passage: over $2,000.) [Slightly more than $5,000 in today’s money]

    My inquiry was referred to Canada’s National Defence Headquarters. After a follow-up written inquiry, the Director Information Services responded. Again: no luck. "I regret to inform you," the letter intoned, "that Canadian military aircraft do not make regularly scheduled flights to either Churchill or Resolute. . .The Canadian forces do, however, make a number of northern patrols each year with Aurora aircraft originating in Nova Scotia. Media passengers can be accommodated on these flights." . . .

    Canadian Ice Patrol Lockheed Electra L-188-C

    The Stearman that Really wasn’t a Stearman; The XOSS-1

    In 1937 the U.S. Navy (USN) issued a request for proposals to meet their specifications for a new Observation-Scout aircraft that would be capable of operating from either land or water and would be stressed for catapult launching from battleships and cruisers. This new aircraft was intended to replace the aging Curtiss SOC Seagull that had been ordered into production in 1933 and entered service in 1935. The Curtiss SOC currently was serving as the standard observation and gunnery spotting aircraft aboard the U.S. Navy’s capital ships.[1]

    Back in 1934 the U.S. Navy had adopted the policy of assigning dual mission designations to some of its airplanes. The Curtiss O3C observation airplane was redesignated as the SOC for Scout-Observation, the primary mission being the first letter in the designation. In the case of the Stearman XOSS-1 and the other aircraft vying for this new contract, the roles were reversed with observation becoming the primary mission.[2]

    Three aircraft companies responded to this proposal and built prototype aircraft for evaluation by the U.S. Navy. They were the Vought Aircraft Co., the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia, Penn., and the Stearman Aircraft Co. in Wichita, Kansas. The Vought XOS2U was a mid-wing monoplane, single-float airplane powered by a 450-h.p. Pratt & Whitney R-985-4 Wasp Junior engine. The other two airplanes were conventional biplanes, typical for that time period, and were powered respectively by the 500-h.p. and 600-h.p. versions of the Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine.[3]

    The Vought XOS2U Kingfisher was the obvious front runner in the competition and it was apparent from the start that it was the preordained winner of the competition. It was a more modern all-metal single-wing airplane, while the other two entries were traditional biplanes that really were not much of an advancement over the Curtiss SOC which they were intended to replace.

    The Stearman XOSS-1 and the Naval Aircraft Factory XOSN were very similar in appearance as well as in performance. For example, the Stearman XOSS-1 had a maximum speed of 162 mph, a service ceiling of 18,500 feet and a range of 832 miles. Its comparable competitor, the XOSN, had a maximum speed of 160 mph, a service ceiling of 14,900 feet and a range of 925 miles. The major design features that differentiated the two biplanes were that the Stearman XOSS-1 employed full-span wing flaps on the upper wings that were not directly attached to the trailing edge of the wing, but rather were attached by long mounting brackets mounted to the interior of the aft wing structure. They were called "flaperons" by some sources. Whereas the Naval XOSN’s innovations included leading edge . . .

    Stearman XOSS-1 at the Stearman factory

    The Aviation Heritage of Port Washington, Long Island

    Amphibious Aircraft Development
    Water, not land, drew aviation to Port Washington, Long Island. Indeed, other than the roads leading to this aquatic air field, there was never a single paved runway. Like the Hempstead Plains, the flat expanse of Manhasset Bay fronting it, evoking nautical images, became inextricably tied to aeronautical development during the first half of the 20th century. Its calm, deep waters – centrally located only 15 miles from New York City, yet at the threshold of the Atlantic Ocean and thus the European continent – proved the ideal breeding ground for craft that combined the buoyancy of the boat with the aerodynamics of the airplane.

    Wealthy aristocrats, such as Guggenheim and Vanderbilt, who engaged in yachting on the waters that were overlooked by their opulent, North Shore mansions, were endowed with significant wealth for the activity, logically sublimating the sport to flying and transitioning from "floating-craft" to "air-craft." Nautical designers, facilitating this change, equally progressed to this new technology, and Port Washington›s Manhasset Bay, like Nassau County’s Hempstead Plains, rapidly became the cradle of seaplane aviation.

    Glenn Curtiss, soon to become synonymous with this branch, both designed and successfully tested the first dual-mode, sea-and-sky airframe, the "F" Boat, here in 1912, inherently expressed in its very name, the "Port Washington." Its succeeding, larger and improved-performance "M" (for "modified") version met the U.S. Navy’s specifications for such a seaplane and resulted in an order five years later, in 1917.

    Having already constructed a seaplane base here the previous year, with workshops, hangars, and ramps, Curtiss was able to offer an array of related services, including floatplane testing, pilot training and public familiarization rides. This branch was officially established in July when 12 men from Yale University, forming the First Yale Aviation Unit, received Naval pilot training here from Curtiss School Instructor David McCulloch in an "F" Boat. The fleet later encompassed "M" Boat, N-9, and R-9 aircraft.

    If Manhasset Bay had been a mirror, it would have reflected an increasing number of speed, altitude and distance records written above it. In October of 1919, for instance, Caleb Bragg, a local resident, attained a 19,100-foot altitude in a Loening Monoplane, while David McCulloch himself climbed 400 feet . . .

    New York Seaplane Airport.

    Bellanca Aircraft before Bellanca Aircraft;
    A look at the early work of Giuseppe Mario Bellanca


    An Italian youth
    Giuseppe Mario "Joe / G.M." Bellanca was born on March 19, 1886, in Sciacca, Sicily, Italy. As a child, he often flew kites. As a young man, he wanted to join academia. Bellanca certainly had the brains for it. In 1908, he obtained a teaching certificate in mathematics and a degree in engineering and mathematics, from the Istituto Tecnico Superiore of Milan and the Politecnico di Milano. Some of Bellanca’s early work had to do with marine propellers. His discovery of aviation put an end to these career plans of this humorous, kind, opinionated, short and wiry young man. Bellanca wrote articles for Italian and French aviation magazines as early as 1907, for example.

    In 1908, he joined forces with fellow engineers Paolo Invernizzi and Enea Bossi. The latter’s father financed the development of the flying machine they designed, built and tested, in December 1909. This pusher biplane was in all likelihood the very first fully Italian aircraft design to reach for the sky. Bellanca may have seriously damaged it during trials. Like almost all aviation enthusiasts of the day, he did not know how to fly.

    In 1910, Bellanca completed an aircraft of his own design. Whether or not this tractor biplane flew is unclear. The young man may have been too poor to buy an engine.

    Early work in the U.S.
    Like countless Italian families before it, Bellanca’s kin emigrated to the United States in 1911 to join brother Carlo, who was already living in New York City. In the weeks and months that followed his arrival in the new world, Bellanca began to work on an aircraft, his third, a single seat parasol monoplane. He built it with the help of his parents and siblings, a sister, Caterina, and five brothers, Carlo, Nicola, Augusto, Francesco and Giovanni. This aircraft was put together in the cellar of the family home and/or in the back of a grocery store owned by one of the brothers. Bellanca soon taught himself how to fly, on what became Roosevelt Field, near Mineola, New York. Mind you, he may also have taken one or more flying lessons at that location.

    In November 1912, the budding aviator opened Bellanca Aeroplane Company and Flying School. One of his students was Fiorello Henry La Guardia. The future WWI pilot and mayor of New York City taught Bellanca how to drive using his own Ford Model T. Bellanca’s flying school seemingly closed its doors in 1916.

    By the fall of 1913, Joseph Bellanca, as he was sometimes referred to in the press, was said to be flying a graceful and powerful Santos Dumont Demoiselle, one the smallest and lightest aircraft of its day – and a sometimes tricky one to fly. Whether or not he had built that machine, or owned it, is unclear. Mind you, it is possible that the journalist who wrote the article in which Bellanca was mentioned mistook the aircraft Bellanca had designed for the world-famous Demoiselle.

    Indeed, the monoplane flown with panache by Bellanca in July 1914, near Mineola, in front of the consul general of Italy in New York City, Arturo Carotti, may have been designed by its pilot.

    Earlier in 1914, Bellanca had trained patrol officer Charles Minthorn "Mile-a-Minute" Murphy of the City of New York Police Department, quite possibly the first flying policeman in the world. He did so using an aircraft of his own design. At the time, Murphy was on a leave of absence granted by New York City Police Commissioner Arthur Hale Woods so that he could . . .

    Maryland Pressed Steel Model CE

    The Forgotten Trainer; The Avro Anson AT-20

    Do you remember the AT-20 Advanced Trainer? Have you seen one? Have you seen a photograph of one? Few people can answer yes to any of the above questions, even though the airplane in question was one of the world’s most popular trainers with a production run of over 11, 000.

    The AT-20 was the U. S. Army Air Corps designation for the famous twin-engine Avro Anson that introduced the monoplane wing and retractable landing gear to Royal Air Force squadrons. Designed in 1934 for coastal patrol around Britain’s shores, it was used during the early months of WWII for light bombing and air sea rescue and later for its true vocation, training. It was used, in various versions, for training pilots, navigators, air gunners and observers, becoming the backbone of the massive Commonwealth Air Training Plan, and was eventually to serve with the air forces of at least 25 countries.

    The exploits of the Anson during WWII would fill a book (and have). So to mention the six Messerschmitt 109s shot down by one squadron or the 109 that followed an Anson in ever decreasing circles, never getting it into its gunsights, until the 109 had to break off for lack of fuel, gives only a small indication of the reasons behind its popularity.

    In 1942 an order for 50 Ansons, to be numbered 43-8181 to 8230, was placed by the USAAC with the Royal Canadian Air Force, which was receiving Ansons by the hundreds. While waiting for the machines to be taken from RCA F reserve stocks one Anson, RCAF-10257, was loaned to 302 Sub Depot at Stockton, Calif. It stayed there from July until November 1942. Most of the machines were delivered to Stockton in small batches for use by Training Command during September and October 1942, with a few machines going to Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma City and Muskogee Army Field, Muskogee in Oklahoma and to Hammer Field, Fresno, California.

    The AT-20s were spread among a number of bases during 1943, including Taft, Chico, Merced, Lemoore, Minter Field and Gardner Field, not to forget Luke A FB where 43-8226 broke up in mid-air on September 20, 1942.

    In October 1943, it was approved that Training Command hand the by then 40 machines over for reconnaissance duties to the Third Air Force, and . . .

    Avro Anson AT-20, 43-8215

    Interviews with Clarence Leonard "Kelly" Johnson

    "I was one of nine children, a very large family, and my earliest memories of upper Michigan were how beautiful it was to go out into the woods, up on the bluffs, watch the long iron-ore trains going on off both east and west, and I would always have some kind of camp where I could go on out summer or winter. In fact, in the winter at one time I went out into the woods when it was about 10 degrees above zero and I had my little camp out there. I never built a fire, but I would chase rabbits, try to read the tracks of the various animals that were in the place, and I always felt that I had a place to retreat to if I ever needed it, and there was a time when I did."

    How I got my nickname "Kelly."
    I was about seven or eight years old. I was interested in going to school so I would always show up first in line to get in school. But there was a certain young fellow there who thought he would push me out of the way. He would come later, and after doing this several times it became very obvious that action needed to be taken. He also had a bad habit of calling me Clara or Mrs. Lacey for Clarence, and about that time I thought, "Well, I’ll plan this." I was a great planner from the early days. So one recess we were out in the school yard and words came to words and it finally came to blows. They pushed us together and I thought I’ve only one way that I can lick this fella, who was about a foot taller than I. [He was] a very long, gawky kid and I’ll have to trip him. So I kicked him behind his knee, fell on him and jumped on him, whereupon there was a pop and his leg broke. He belonged to one of the richer families in town and we were poorer than church mice.

    Well, of course the principal, Mrs. Lacey, and my second-grade teacher, Miss Haas, and another took me in and they didn’t know what to do. There was Cecil with a broken leg and here I admitted doing it and doing it on purpose. So they spanked me over the knuckles with a ruler, which broke, but I wouldn’t cry.

    [A]fter it became known around that I wouldn’t cry, the kids decided I shouldn’t have a name like Clarence because I didn’t act like one. [T]here was a song about that time Kelly with the Green Necktie. So they thought they would give me an Irish nickname, and so they started calling me "Kelly," and from that time on it was "Kelly."

    When I went home, the word had already gotten to my mother that I had broken Cecil’s leg and I was rather afraid to go home for the consequences because I knew that their family would raise heck with our family. So as I approached my mother, I said, "I won’t come home if I am going to be spanked." She said, "Clarence, I won’t spank you."

    "I am not going to come home if I am going to be spanked, I am going away for a day." So I ran out to one of my little places in Surprise Valley with one of my dogs and stayed there overnight.

    When I came home the next day, hungry, having eaten nothing but some old bread and butter that I had stored in a tin can, I was received with great joy and was never spanked. I have never been spanked in my life, perhaps it would have been better if I had been.

    But I gathered a new nickname. I established my place at the front of the line. I was never bothered again, and as "Kelly" Johnson rather than Clarence Johnson. It stuck through life.

    I have had a one track mind in terms of knowing what I wanted to do as early as I could understand such things. I would go to the library and read Collins’s book on model airplanes and to the right of that particular series of books there were also books on the Rover Boys and Tom Swift. There was Tom Swift and his Aeroplane, and Tom Swift and his Electric Automobile, Tom Swift with his Submarine, and I came to be a great admirer of Tom Swift and his pal Ned. Here is Tom Swift and his Airship –a wonderful book. I would read about one of these a day and I became convinced that I wanted to be . . .

    Lockheed Model 049 Constellation Prototype

    PAA Boeing 314 Lives on; The Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum in Ireland


    Recently the opportunity presented itself to step back in time to the "Golden Age" of aviation and board a full-size replica of the Pan American Airways System Boeing 314 flying boat Yankee Clipper NC18603. The replica is located in the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, in County Limerick, Ireland. All aviation enthusiasts interested in flying boat history of the 1930s and 1940s must make this pilgrimage. The Museum is housed in the original airport terminal used during Pan American’s operations.

    Foynes is a short distance from Shannon International Airport and a three-hour scenic drive from Ireland’s capital city of Dublin.

    How did a full-size Boeing 314 flying boat replica, the only one available in the world get, to the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum? Margaret O’Shaughnessy Museum Director explains: (reprinted from Our Boeing 314 Clipper Flying Boat Replica).

    "Originally we intended to build just one compartment of the Boeing 314. We discussed the idea with John Harrison our Historical Interpreter and Designer: he in turn engaged Bill Fallover, a film set designer, builder and model maker. Much to our surprise Bill suggested we build a complete full-scale replica of the aircraft!

    We thought Bill must be mad, but he insisted it could be done. It was thrilling to think we might resurrect this magnificent machine. (There are no other full-scale replicas in existence).

    With Bill’s imaginative and gifted crafting, we had the skill to get the project underway, but we needed funding. We knew this would be a world-class exhibit, unique in the world, and one that Ireland would be proud of for many years to come. So, we went to Minister John O’Donoghue, Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, and requested more funds to build this aircraft. Seeing the potential for the project, he agreed and was able to secure the money.

    It took Bill and his team approximately 10 months to build our replica (in County Wicklow) and it was transported to Foynes in sections by night, in big wide loads. Large cranes on site lifted the pieces in place and the model was assembled right where it sits. today"

    Margaret also stated, "We got great support from Boeing, photos, designs, etc."

    Replica team builders were: Bill Fallover, Joe Fallover, Harrie Fallover, Robert Clarke, Jimmy Kavanagh, Riki Tiilikainen, Kevin Tiilikainen, Michael Miller, Jack Harrison and MD Engineering.

    The museum details how transoceanic flying was a challenge in the 1930s until the 1935 successful Pan American . . .

    Foynes B314 cockpit replica

    There is a lot going on behind the scenes at your AAHS headquarters that does not get regular coverage. The following provides a snapshot of activities during the last quarter. Don’t forget that there are opportunities for you to actively help further the objectives of the Society. Just contact Membership and volunteer.

    This issue of the AAHS Log Book focuses on the history behind the AAHS headquarters building at Flabob Airport and a quick look at AAHS’s participation at the 2022 EAA Air Venture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

    This issue of the Forum focuses on images from the air racing world. Covered are both actual racers and replicas of famous racing aircraft.

    The FORUM is presented as an opportunity for each member to participate in the Journal by submitting interesting or unusual photographs. Most of the images come from contributions to the AAHS archives. Unfortunately, with older images the contributor information has been lost. Where known, we acknowledge them.

    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 92605-3023. Mark any material to be returned: "Return to (your name and complete address)." Or, you may wish to have your material added to the AAHS photo archives.

    Delmar Benjamin&rwquo;s replica Granville Bros. Model R-2 Super Sportster

    News & Comments from our Members


    From AAHS Journal, Vol .67, No. 1, Spring 2022

    Correction: "The General CA-38 Trimotor," by Gert Blum
    On page 19 of this article, some words inadvertently got edited out that substantially changes the interpretation of the sentence. Specifically, "His design proved to be bigger and heavier, while its wing loading was substantially less per square foot than on his own Pilgrim 150 aircraft." This sentence should have read: "His design proved to be bigger and heavier, while its weight on the wing square footage basis was substantially less than on his own Pilgrim 150."

    "The Rebirth of Personal Flying following WWII"
    I’ve been enjoying the Spring 2022 Journal but I have to make an observation about the article "The Rebirth of Personal Flying following WWII." It repeats the often seen statement that the Johnson Rocket 185 "did evolve into the all-metal four place Texas Bullet 205." This statement is as correct as saying that the Beech D17S evolved into the Beech 35 Bonanza. It would be more correct to say that the Rocket 185 and Texas Bullet 205 both evolved from "Pop" Johnson’s Swift prototype. The Rocket 185 kept the steel tubing and wood construction, added tricycle gear and a larger engine but the heritage is fairly clear. The Texas Bullet 125 was more like an effort to evolve the Swift into modern metal construction. The Bullet 125 was expanded into the four seat Bullet 205. I can furnish some illustrative photos including one of my Bullet 205 next to Orval Fairbairn’s Rocket 185. (Rigth)

    Robert Brown

    AAHS Journal, Vol. 67, No. 2
    The Journal, I think it has always been interesting, many times quite good and occasionally extraordinary. The latest issue with the articles on the 307 ditching and the "repurposing" of Lawrence Sperry’s ill-fated Messenger was outstanding. All the best to you and the AAHS leadership.,

    Dick Hallion

    "Food for Thought, or You Can’t Take It with You" by Pete Bowers

    Disposition of collections
    Books: I volunteer here at our local museum. It’s a small country museum like is found in small towns throughout the U.S. We have boxes of books in the warehouse. We have a women volunteer who does nothing, but cull books that the museum cannot use. The museum director has the final say on the disposition. Books that are kept and put out for public use, are those that generally do with the state and local history or genealogy. The rest are packed away and stored in the warehouse or put out in the free box by the entrance door. We have one Bible from the 1600s that is so valuable that it cannot be displayed.

    Our university here had thousands of bound periodicals such as Saturday Evening Post, Aviation, Harpers, Life and such going back to the 1920s. During the Covid scare, a biological team was hired to vet the building and it was discovered that the some books had mold. ALL periodicals were destroyed! Occasionally, I have an overflow of books of all themes that I give to a small library here. Some they keep, most they sell.

    It is important to note that once the donor makes a gift to the museum, it becomes the property of the museum and may or not be displayed. It can also be given away (at our museum anyway). The displays are rotated as to the whim of the director and generally depict period themes such as 1890s children’s toys or 1950s furniture and appliances. Your one off model airplane, car or boat may never see the light of day unless it can be worked into a display.

    I have large 1/16th scale aircraft models on loan in a museum in Texas. My one heir is designated as the owner. Once he gets enough room, he will take possession of the models. I get the benefit of free storage, the museum gets the benefit of the models. Some museums will not accept items for loan only. Also, in the recent past, there has been a rash of aviation museum closures and many of the small items disappear, likely into private hands.

    My heir has directions to keep what he wants and toss the rest in a dumpster. I don’t want strangers rummaging around my house and through my collections during a yard sale. Several years ago, I bought lots of balsa wood almost free, when a local model flyer passed away. I regret it now.

    I think it is best to sell everything while a person still has some command of the sale price. Donate the money because it allows the recipient wider discretion as to its use.

    Steve Wolff

    Johnson Rocket & with Texas Bullet

    President"s Message


    First, a thank you to all the volunteers that helped staff the AAHS booth at EAA AirVenture. This was a first for us, and, all things considered, a successful one. We re established old contacts, created awareness about the organization, which we believe will help drive members, signed up some new members and connected with a number of current members. Most importantly, we learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t and how to do it much better next time.

    On the home front, progress continues to be made on processing the Society’s photo and book collection. Thanks to the efforts of Bob Pallazola, we’re organizing the work that needs to be done. A thank you to all the "unnamed" volunteers as well. The Society is in your debt for the time and energies you so freely provide.

    On the other side of the coin, just as all of us have felt in our personal circumstances, inflation is having a big impact on the Society. Since the last time the Society set its membership rates in 2017, printing costs are up about 12% in just the last two years, postage has increased 22%, utilities costs have gone up almost 20%, and all of these are forecast to increase again with the current state of the U.S. economy. With all of this, the board recognizes that we have to reluctantly increase the membership rates effective November 1, 2022. Regular membership will change from $46 to $50/year, Canada/Mexico from $54 to $69/year, International from $75 to $81/year and e-Membership from $29 to $32/year. The headquarters team is doing all it can to minimize expenses as much as possible, but most of the increases are things we have little or no control over.

    While membership is important, the revenue from membership only covers about 60% of the Society’s operating expenses. We rely heavily on the generosity of our members through donations to help cover the balance. So, please consider making a charitable contribution. Membership can also assist you in setting up a bequest, endowment or charitable remainder trust. Contact Syndy in the Hunting Beach office to explore these options.

    Finally, on a personal note, my work and family obligations have recently changed such that I do not have sufficient time to devote to the management of the Society. It is with deepest regrets that I have tendered my resignation to the board of directors. I plan to continue to be involved with the Society and help wherever I can, but just not at the level currently required of the president.


    James Logue
    AAHS President