AMERICAN AVIATION HISTORICAL SOCIETY

   1956 - 2019, Celebrating  over 60 Years of Service
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Back Cover

Excerpts from
AAHS Journal, Vol. 65, No. 2 - Summer 2020
Table of Contents
 


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Douglas C-133: Designed for Atlas ICBMs?

On April 23, 1956, the giant Douglas C-133A Cargomaster made its first flight, from the factory to Edwards Air Force Base, California. The turboprop-powered C-133 was the U.S. Air Force’s largest transport aircraft, and set the pattern of all heavy transports that followed. Over time, the belief became common that the C-133 was built specifically to transport ICBMs. This was probably because of the hundreds of ICBMs that the C-133 hauled. A review of the history of the C-133 and the Atlas ICBM is useful. Finally, there will be a summary of all rocket transports by the C-133.

Development of the C-133
After earlier attempts to develop a newer version of the Douglas C-124, a completely new design configuration was settled upon by the Air Force and Douglas. In October 1952, what was designated Douglas DTS-1333 became the final configuration. This was a high-wing airplane with rear loading, a cargo deck at truck-bed height and a fully pressurized circular fuselage. Gross weight was 275,000 pounds including a 60,000 pound payload to be carried 1,500 nautical miles at 260 knots.[1] Detail design of the C-133 began in February 1953.

The fuselage cross section was defined by space requirements to carry in a pressurized compartment the Army’s largest ground force combat vehicles, heavy ordnance equipment and missiles at time of design (author’s emphasis). The turboprop power plant was chosen because of the desire for good takeoff and climb performance, with high cruise speed at high altitudes while maintaining good fuel economy. The up-swept tail gave adequate clearance for cargo loading and aerial extraction of cargo by parachute. In the end, however, parachute extraction was not used.[2]
The C-133 cargo envelope was larger than any other Air Force transport of the day. The dimensions were as follows.

Length of loading space 97’4”
Floor width 11’ 10”
Width under wing rear spar 12’2” at 11” off the floor
Height (usable) 13’4”
Height (under rear spar) 12’0”
Width in C-133A loading aperture 12’
Width in C-133B loading aperture 15’
Vertical clearance normal to the ramp hinge 12’10”

. . .



Douglas C-133B being loaded with Atlas missile.


The Other Jeep: Curtiss-Wright CW-25

I’ll admit it, right up front: for some years now, I have been on a crusade to shed light on what some folks might regard as “unloved” airplanes or, at the very least, aircraft that did their parts but which have escaped the limelight.


And so it was with the products of the Curtiss-Wright St. Louis Airplane Division. Some years ago, I started a series for the now, sadly, defunct Skyways quarterly, devoting in sequence stories devoted to the Curtiss-Wright CW-12, CW-14, CW-16, CW-19, CW-21, CW-22 and CW-23. Fortunately for me, the CW-20 (which of course became the C-46) had already been very adequately documented – which comes right to the point.

Then I got to the CW-25.

Show of hands: how many readers can readily identify the CW-25. Don’t run for your old copies of Aero Digest or JANE’s: you won’t find it.

Part of my self-inflicted discipline in the midst of all of this missionary work has always been that the aircraft in question had to have at least some connection with the aviation history of Latin America and, yes, it required a bit of a reach to do the CW-25, as it was tenuous at best.

So I swallowed hard, and set out on what proved, as always, to be yet another process of discovery and an awful lot of “I sure didn’t know that’s.” The courageous folks at MMP published the results as The Curtiss-Wright AT-9: The Other Jeep (February 2019, ISBN 978-83-65958-30-3, 175pp illustrated), and the feedback has been very gratifying indeed.

But inevitably, there were elements I simply couldn’t locate and questions that could not be answered, and numbers of our . . .



Curtiss CW-25 preparing for first flight.


The Flying Chiefs of USN VF-2

FIGHTING TWO (VF-2B) was unique among fleet squadrons in the early 1930s in one important respect. It was manned by carefully selected, experienced enlisted pilots, initially all Chief Naval Aviation Pilots (CAPs), led by commissioned officer section leaders, including the CO and XO. VF-2B regularly swept the field in the annual fleet battle practice competitions - especially Individual Battle Practice (IBP) gunnery and bombing events. The squadron’s excellence in its primary role earned it the envy of its competitors and high praise from fleet commanders.

VF-2B’s mission was to train and operate as a fleet squadron to determine the capability of enlisted pilots to fly effectively in tactical situations. This point had been heatedly debated during the post-WWI years by the Naval Bureaus and major fleet commanders seeking to determine whether to continue or terminate enlisted pilot training and how best to use those already serving in the fleet.

To settle the debate a decision was made in the mid-1920s to establish a fighter squadron manned by enlisted pilots. This squadron’s performance in the most demanding of fleet air operations of the time, flying fighters, would demonstrate this capability - or lack of it - of its pilots.

ESTABLISHING FIGHTING TWO - 1926
Preparations for establishing the squadron began in late 1926 with the assignment to Fighting Two at NAS San Diego of a prospective CO and XO, Lt. Cmdr. James M. Shoemaker and Lt. George F. Chapline. This original VF-2B would be redesignated VF-6B in the following year and would become famous as the USS Saratoga’s “Felix the Cat” squadron. For the immediate future, though, it was to support and train pilots and crew for a planned new VF-2B.

Shoemaker began preparing for Fighting Two by selecting enlisted pilots, considering only experienced Chief NAPs he knew or who were recommended to him. Ten “plankowner” Chiefs assigned to VF-2B were Noah H. Craven, Owen M. “Sam” Darling, Trent W. “Spic” Driscoll, Roger “Tex” Marley, Felix F. Preeg, Charles F. Rocheville, Victor G. Roden, Frank H. Sheltz, Fred Wallace and T. “Bill” Williams. Officer Naval Aviators were ordered later and reported separately.

Fighting Two’s organization was to Navy standards for fleet squadrons. Flight operations would be in six three-plane sections, each normally led by an officer pilot with NAP wingmen. In later operations selected NAPs flew as section leaders. All pilots were on board by early fall, training on Vought VE-7 biplanes, and by November gunnery and bombing flights were being flown. There is little doubt that the pilots and crew were determined to make the “evaluation” of their capability to function as a fleet fighter squadron a success.

During this period squadron pilots designed and adopted an insignia that depicted the CAP rating badge mounted on a shield. A scroll below the badge initially bore the squadron designation, “Fighting Two,” but this was later changed to the slogan that has since, and will always be, associated with . . .



Curtiss F6C of VF-2


The C-141 Starlifters Participation in OPERATION HOMECOMING

Prelude
On January 27, 1973, “An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam” was signed in Paris by Mr. William Rogers, U.S. Secretary of State, and Mr. Nguyen Duy Trinh, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. This historic signing officially ended the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. Of the 23 Articles contained in this agreement, two involved a 60-day time frame for the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Vietnam, and the simultaneous release of all prisoners of war (POW) by both sides. The United States Air Force had been anticipating and preparing for this day for over two years. While the official date for the first release of American POWs was still to be determined, final logistical decisions had been made and implemented months beforehand.

The signing of the Paris Peace Accord on January 27, 1973.
Foremost of these decisions was where the POWs would be taken for treatment upon their initial release? Initially there were three hospitals, or Joint Central Processing Centers (JCPC) being considered. First was the USAF Hospital at Clark AB, Philippines, second was the U.S. Army Hospital at Camp Kue, Okinawa, and the third choice was the U.S. Naval Hospital on Guam. On December 6, 1972, Admiral Noel Gayler, Commander in Chief Pacific, (CINCPAC), made the decision, that since the USAF Hospital at Clark AB could currently handle 270 patients, with the possibility of expanding to a 400 bed capacity if needed, it was chosen as the primary JCPC, with Guam being second and Okinawa being third.

During the initial planning phase, the operation was given the name OPERATION EGRESS RECAP on all official documents and planning memos. On January 8, 1973, the Secretary of Defense, Melvin Laird, changed the name to OPERATION HOMECOMING. He also decreed that once the personnel had been delivered into friendly hands, they were no longer to be referred to as Prisoners of War, PWs or POWs but simply as “returnees”.

Implementation of OPERATION HOMECOMING would involve three phases for the returnees. Phase I would be the initial recovery and reception. This would involve C-141 medevac flights into Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi, and C-9 Nightingale flights into Saigon, Hong Kong, Loc Ninh, South Vietnam and Laos to pick up returnees. Phase II would be the
in-processing at the Joint Homecoming Reception Center (JHRC) at Clark AB. This would include a preliminary medical and dental examination, initial debriefing, hot showers, American food, telephone calls home to family and new uniforms. It was anticipated that each returnee would require only three days to complete Phase II. Phase III would involve a C-141 medevac flight to the CONUS, with stops at Hickam AFB in Hawaii for fuel and crew change, and then on to Travis AFB in California, or to a military hospital close to their home of residence. At times all three Phases would run simultaneously.

To accomplish the necessary reception and processing for Phase I and Phase II, the JHRC Commander and his staff of senior personnel were augmented by 1,573 Clark-based personnel, and 1,307 off-island personnel from other . . .



OPERATION HOMECOMING C-141 Starlifter participants.


Hurricanes Over Old Warden

The Shuttleworth Trust’s annual Military Airshow at the Old Warden Aerodrome near Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, on July 7, 2019, featured “all things military from aircraft to vehicles,” with particular emphasis this year being on the WWII Hawker Hurricane. First flown on November 6, 1935, the Hurricane was the British Royal Air Force’s (RAF) first single-seat interceptor monoplane and its first 300 mph warplane. Armed with eight 0.303-inch Browning machine guns, the Hurricane went into production in June 1936 and entered squadron service on December 25, 1937.

The Hawker Hurricane’s performance was soon eclipsed by the superlative Supermarine Spitfire that came to be considered by many as the hero of the Battle of Britain. About 60 percent of the RAF’s fighter plane strength during the Battle of Britain actually consisted of Hawker Hurricanes, and they scored about 60 percent of the aerial victories during that epic conflict. The robust Hurricane was not as streamlined as the Spitfire, and incapable of making the most of increased engine power (the fastest Hurricanes could only attain a top speed of 342 mph. Later marks of the Spitfire could outpace the Hawker fighter by as much as 100 mph. The venerable warbird continued in service until the very end of the war.

Armed with as many as twelve 0.303-inch machine guns, four 20mm cannon, or even a pair of 40 mm cannon, as well as bombs and rockets, the Hurricane also proved to be an excellent ground attack, fighter-bomber and reconnaissance plane. Hurricanes even served aboard Royal Navy aircraft carriers and were catapult-launched from merchant ships. By the time that Hurricane production came to an end in July 1944, well over 14,000 had been manufactured. However, the Hurricane was phased out of service shortly after the war.

By the 1960s only two in the world were still flyable, including PZ865, the very last Hurricane manufactured. Retained by Hawker primarily for the sake of nostalgia and named “The Last of the Many,” PZ865 was flown at public events, took part in air races and even served as a chase plane for projects such as the V/STOL Hawker P1127 Kestrel. Along with LF363, the other flyable Hurricane at that time, PZ865 is still flown regularly at special events by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

Fortunately, thanks to increasing interest in vintage warbirds, other Hurricanes that had been on static display or languishing as wrecks in WWII battlefields have since . . .



Three of the seven Hawker Hurricanes that participated in the Shuttleworth 2019 Commemoration.


The First Lockheed Spy Planes

No, the U-2s were not the first Lockheed aircraft used as spy planes! Lockheed had no direct involvement, but that distinction was earned about two decades earlier by three 12-A Electra Jrs.

Although the early 1930s were financially disastrous for Lockheed, considerable promise for survival was evident by mid‑decade. The Electra was in full production by the end of 1934, and the company could turn its excellent design team to new ventures. For its next effort, Lockheed chose to pursue a smaller six-passenger model that could participate in a Department of Commerce design competition.

The resulting Model 12 bore a family resemblance to the Electra and was appropriately named the Electra Jr. It was roughly nine‑tenths as large dimensionally. Except for two Wright-powered 12-Bs delivered to the Argentine Ministerio de Guerra (Ministry of War), all were
12-As with 450hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. SB engines. Lockheed proposed, but wisely declined to pursue, under-powered Models 12-F and 12-M that would have had 320hp Wright and 290hp Menasco engines, respectively.

The Electra Jr. was first flown on June 27, 1936, and was type certificated on October 14, 1936. With the same engines and a smaller airframe, it was faster than the Electra. Publicity‑minded Lockheed personnel did not hesitate to point out that its top speed of 226mph made it the fastest twin‑engine airplane, commercial or military, in the United States at the time!

The Department of Commerce recognized that passengers traveling the major airline routes were enjoying tremendous improvements in service and reliability afforded by then modern airplanes, such as DC‑2s. Others, traveling routes that could not generate sufficient volume to fill those airplanes, were forced to use surface transportation or fly in older, hand‑me‑down airplanes that were inefficient and uncomfortable. That was especially true in western states with distant cities of moderate size. The Department believed that this situation could be relieved considerably if modern twin‑engine, six‑passenger airplanes were available and that the competition would provide the incentive to design such aircraft.

Although the Electra Jr. easily won the competition (no other potential entrant was completed in time to be considered!), the market for six-passenger airliners never developed. [Editor’s note: The only other competitors were the Beech 18 and the Barkley-Grow T8P-1] Due to increasing traffic, the intended routes were already being served quite effectively by its progenitor, the Electra. Fortunately, the strong demand . . .



Lockheed 12 G-AFTL was the third to be configured for aerial recon work.


James “Jimmy” H. Doolittle

In 2003, celebrating the 100th anniversary of manned-flight, Aviation Week published a list of the top 100 international luminaries in aviation and aerospace, based on a poll of industry professionals. The list, headed by Wilbur and Orville Wright, features familiar names such as Glenn Curtiss, William Boeing, Igor Sikorsky and Donald Douglas. Included in that collection of important and influential aerospace individuals is James “Jimmy” H. Doolittle. Doolittle’s career spanned most of aviation’s first century and he is recognized as a record setting aviator, an accomplished scholar and engineer, a leader in industry, an air force commander and a war hero. The story of Jimmy Doolittle’s life and his contributions to the development of aviation is summarized in this note.

The Early Years
James “Jimmy” Harold Doolittle was born in Alameda, Calif., on December 14, 1896. Soon after his birth, his father, Frank Doolittle, a carpenter by trade, heard that gold was discovered near Nome, Alaska. Frank left his wife and son in California and moved to Western Alaska hoping to find his share of the rare metal. At the age of three and a half, Jimmy‘s mother brought him to Alaska to join his father. Jimmy spent his youth in Nome, where, being small in stature, he often had to defend himself from the local bullies. Feisty Jimmy Doolittle soon earned a reputation as a capable brawler and boxer. Because of the basic living conditions and the limited educational opportunities in Nome, Jimmy’s mother brought him back to Los Angeles, Calif., when he was 11 years old to enable him to get a proper education and to experience “modern living.”

In 1910 Jimmy’s Manual Arts High School class attended the Los Angeles International Air Meet at Dominguez Field (present day Carson, Calif.). That event was the first major airshow in the United States and it left Doolittle with a fascination for aviation.

He continued to hone his boxing skills under the guidance of a high school boxing instructor and won the West Coast high school amateur flyweight championship in 1912.

After graduating from high school in 1914 he went to Alaska to reunite with his father, but returned to California the following year where he was admitted to the University of California School of Mines at Berkeley with the goal of getting a degree in mining engineering. During his time at Berkeley, Doolittle continued to box and became the middleweight champion, even though he was only a lightweight boxer (the University’s lightweight and welterweight positions were filled so Doolittle competed in the middleweight category).

Army Aviator
In October 1917, six months after America entered the Great War, Doolittle took a leave of absence from his studies to enlist in the U.S. Army Signal Corps Reserve as a flying cadet. His aviation ground school training was conducted on the campus of the University of California and flight training was performed at Rockwell Field near Coronado, California.

With the prospect of receiving a steady pay check from the Army, Doolittle persuaded his girlfriend Josephine “Joe” Daniels to marry him and they were wed on Christmas Eve 1917, while Jimmy was still a flying cadet.

On March 11, 1918, Jimmy Doolittle received his Reserve Military Aviator rating and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Signal Officers Reserve Corps of the U.S. Army.

Although he requested to be transferred to the European theater to contribute to the war effort as a fighter pilot, Doolittle was ordered to stay in the United States as a flight and gunnery . . .



James “Jimmy” H. Doolittle


Will Rogers’ & Wally Post’s Last Flight; Point Barrow, Alaska, 1935

August 15, 1935, two American legends were killed in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. Pilot Wiley Post, famous round the world record setting aviator, and Will Rogers, humorist, movie star, journalist, known as “Ambassador of Goodwill,” died instantly in the crash.

Will Rogers was born November 4, 1879, in the old Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, between the towns of Oolagah and Claremore. He later claimed Claremore as his birthplace because nobody could pronounce Oolagah. His parents were part Cherokee Indian, and Rogers was very proud of his Indian heritage. “My ancestor’s didn’t come over on the Mayflower, they met the boat.” He was baptized William Penn Adair Rogers. His mother, a devout Methodist, hoped he would become a Methodist minister. Will obviously had other ideas. Growing-up on a ranch with cattle and horses Rogers became an expert at riding and roping. He left home and after extensive world-wide travel he joined a vaudeville show in New York doing roping tricks and using his wisdom and wit that would lead him to world fame.

Wiley Post’s parents were cotton farmers and the family moved from Texas to Oklahoma when he was five years old. While attending school he developed an interest in aviation. As a young man he worked for a construction company and in the oil fields where he lost his left eye in an accident resulting in his wearing an eye patch. Undaunted, he earned his pilot’s license. He became the personal pilot of Oklahoma oilman F.C. Hall, owner of a Lockheed Vega 5B named Winnie Mae after Hall’s daughter.

Post gained national prominence in 1930 when he won The National Men’s Air Race Derby in the Winnie Mae setting the fastest flight time ever recorded between Los Angeles and Chicago. Post purchased the Winnie Mae from Hall after this race. He went on to set two “Round-the-World” records in the plane. The first flight in 1931 was with Harold Gatty as navigator, and in 1933 he set a “Round-the-World” solo record beating the previous flight time by 21 hours. Post is also credited with developing the high altitude pressure suit and discovery of the jet stream in the modified Winnie Mae.

Wiley Post was interested in surveying a possible mail and passenger air route from the United States to Russia via Alaska. His friend Will Rogers asked Post to fly him through Alaska to research material for his newspaper column.

Wiley Post had retired the Winnie Mae and was in Burbank, Calif., working on assembling an aircraft suitable for the potential Russia flight. The fuselage was that of a former Transcontinental & Western Air Lockheed 9E Orion Special and the wings were from a Lockheed 7E Explorer. The Explorer wing was six feet longer than the Orion’s original wing adding extended range to the hybrid aircraft. The original Orion’s engine was replaced with an air-cooled supercharged Pratt & Whitney S3H1 nine-cylinder radial engine weighing 865 lbs, driving a three bladed Hamilton . . .



Will Rogers and Wiley Post in Alaska prior to their crash.


Forum of Flight

The FORUM is presented as an opportunity for each member to participate in the Journal by submitting interesting or unusual photographs. This issue features a combination of material. In addition to images submitted by members, the Society is scanning its slide archive contributed by members old and new, and a number of interesting shots have been pulled from the sliides that have been scanned. Unfortunately, in many cases 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 takenby 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 (yourname and complete address).” Or you may wish to have your material added to the AAHS photo archives.



Curtiss 18T-1


News & Comments from Our Members

Spring 2020, Vol. 65, No. 1
Steve Wolff did a particularly nice article on the crew complement history subject (Turbulence on the Flight Deck) in the Spring 2020 issue (pg 62).  But Steve’s Bio wasn’t included. Is it available somewhere???

I’ve lived through this crew complement fight issue and era, at least three times now... and this subject has been one of life long significant interest.

I was first involved with direct experience from my dad (an All American and then Allegheny Captain), who was directly involved with the Allegheny Airlines pilots fighting the UAL pilots, so as to not have the Allegheny pilots be ejected from ALPA for opposing the 3rd pilot on those first DC9-10 and DC9-30s. Note: the Allegheny pilots jokingly told the UAL pilots who were pushing a 3rd pilot to be on to the Allegheny DC9s that they’d (Allegheny pilots) even fly the DC-9 “single pilot” if the company would give them the co-pilot’s pay too, ...and there was no way they’d ever agree to adding a featherbedding flight engineer on to the Allegheny DC9s.

Then again I was involved with helping inside FAA (when I was the Branch Chief at FAA Hqs for AFS-210), to resolve the B737 supernumerary third-pilot controversy with United. Note: many times as an FAA inspector I took some vicarious pleasure in bumping that UA featherbedding supernumerary pilot off the B737 cockpit jumpseat, back to a cabin seat, to do my necessary FAA air carrier ops inspections.

Finally, later with the B767, as the ANM-200/201 and AEG Chief, I ended up being directly involved in the FAA’s B767 approval for a two-pilot crew, as well as actually signed the FAA Flight Standardization Board Report for issuing the first “Common Type Rating” for the B767 and B757 with a two-pilot crew.

So it would be really helpful to know and understand Steve’s bio, as to his perspective on all this, which is still evolving today. The dust still hasn’t settled on this subject in the form of reduced crew-complement proposals for new designs, as well as for expansion of commercial use of “single pilot IFR” and for proposals at some large freight airlines, looking toward the future (e.g., reducing three or four augmented pilots to just two by using a ground dispatch monitoring co-pilot) for long-haul freighter B777s, etc.).

Tom Imrich

 

Steve Wolff’s Bio
Steve enlisted in USAF 1962 and served four years as Airborne Electronics Technician, which piqued his interest in Cold War electronic counter measures. He soloed in July 1965, and Graduated 1971 with a Bachelors degree in Geology. Steve started flying professionally 1973, and holds the following FAA certificates: Airline Transport Pilot, Flight Engineer Turbo propeller, Flight Instructor, Ground Instructor. He is type rated in the following aircraft: Boeing B-727, Lockheed Model 382 (L-100) Hercules, and Cessna CE-500 Citation. His aviation background is in corporate and nonsked airlines, and includes a seven year stint in the Angolan civil war flying the Lockheed Hercules and Boeing B-727 for the Marxist People Liberation Army.

Steve has been a member of the American Aviation Historical Society for 42 years. Member of the Dawson County, Nebraska Historical Society, Wyoming State Historical Society. Nominated the Medicine Bow Wyoming Airport for the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. Aviation articles have appeared in AAHS Journal, Airways, Airliner, and Africa Air News. Authored one book on Wyoming’s history of Controlled-Flight-Into-Terrain accidents 1919-1996. Scratch builder of large scale, ¾ inch =1´ model aircraft, several of which are in museums.



President’s Message

In these unprecedented times, we have seen world priorities change overnight. Circumstances that were not on anyone’s radar suddenly become life as we know it. With the COVID-19 virus and its impacts sweeping every country, we want to first implore our members and families to employ every effort to minimize this virus’ impact on you and your loved ones’ health.

As you see by our Annual Meeting Event Update, in this issue, we had in late February postponed our meeting date as a precautionary measure. Making the move early ensured members that travel plans could change without penalty, and gives us more time to better understand how this situation will develop and affect upcoming events. We’ll make sure to update you on the changes and exciting new venues we’re planning for at our October Annual Meeting.

With a ‘social distancing’ protocol now standard practice for many business operations, we will be working to implement more of our operations offsite, and continue our image archiving activities, such as ‘Plane Spotter,’ that can be performed entirely over the internet.

We have mechanisms, with our new bookkeeping processes, to process memberships without having to make volunteers come into the office. We can continue to scan our 35mm slide collection for the digitizing effort, all remotely. And, we continue to fine tune our new ‘Plane Spotter’ program, that will allow AAHS members and other interested enthusiasts help identify AAHS archive photos via a simple internet interface.

AAHS operations will continue, albeit a bit slower perhaps. The implications for the aviation industry are tremendous, however, and have already affected commercial aviation operations significantly. Boeing’s stock is down 75% since the beginning of the year, and airlines, who could not find enough pilots to fill committed travel routes are now reversing course and performing layoffs as global air travel is severely curtailed.

Some smaller charter and private airline operations have capitalized on a small silver lining in this pandemic, offering flights with just a few passengers in specially sanitized aircraft flying in and out of small and private airports, to get passengers more safely to distant destinations.

Another small opportunity, for me anyway, has come about as a result of the many commitments I had that are now cancelled. I have time to work on a few AAHS articles that have been on my literary back burner for a few months now. In partnership with Steve Johnston, Airport Manager, Kingman Airport, I’m documenting the early military and current uses of historic Kingman Airport, of Kingman, Ariz., as well as a review of a newly published book about fellow AAHS member Bert Zimmerly’s father and his involvement in early airline service in the Northwestern U.S. Perhaps this new environment might also be an opportunity for you to begin that research you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the time.

For now, let’s stay “On Course, On Glideslope.”

Jerri Bergen
AAHS President

 

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