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Thread: Old Aviation History

  1. #1
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Old Aviation History

    It might be nice to have a “Historical Events” to post old history or other non-current things.

    Pan Am Flight 121, Gene Roddenberry

    Listened to a podcast from Mike Rowe, which prompted me to look up the event. Take Mike’s podcast with a grain of salt, as it wasn’t jet fuel streaming...

    http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/b/b/c/bbce...f05f699d0ef6ac

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_121


    Transmitted from my FlightPhone


    Transmitted from my FlightPhone
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  2. #2
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Another good one as Historical fodder.

    https://www.hangar-b.com/post/not-today-brother




    Transmitted from my FlightPhone



    "Not today, brother!"







    Cornelia Fort


    In the summer of 1924, at a sprawling farm in Nashville, Tennessee, Dr. Rufus Elijah Fort summoned his three boys to his study. The patriarch solemnly produced the family bible, and addressed his sons, intent on cutting short a growing threat to good order in his household, and the future of his legacy.

    Aviation had taken root in his household, and Dr. Fort meant to put a stop to it.

    "I want you boys to put your hands on this Bible," he said, "and promise me you will never fly."

    Obediently, each of the three boys placed their hands on the sacred text and said the words, forever condemning themselves to a life on the ground. In the hallway, just outside the doorway, Dr. Fort's five year-old daughter Cornelia observed the proceedings intently, and listened.

    Years later, at John Rodgers Airport on Oahu Island a high wing, two seat, Interstate Cadet rolled down the gravel runway and lifted gently into the quiet December air. The Instructor was Cornelia Fort. Omitted by gender and age from her family pledge to shun aviation at all cost, Cornelia had become a flyer, much to her father's horror and chagrin.


    Receiving her commercial flying license in February 1941. Cornelia applied as an instructor to various flying schools across the nation, and soon received a telegram from the Massey-Ransom Flying Service of Fort Collins Colorado:

    "MR. CORNELIA FORT. YOU ARE ACCEPTED AS A FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR. REPORT AT ONCE."

    After some deliberation, she wired back, reasoning that she should clarify the issue of her gender.

    "WE DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU ARE IF YOU CAN TEACH FLYING. REPORT AT ONCE."







    Of her time in Colorado, she wrote, "I'm flying off the side of the Rocky Mountains where the air is tricky and vicious; one learns plenty and fast. A year ago if anyone had told me that I'd ever care about the workings of a carburetor I would have laughed in his face, and if that same person had told me that I would get up at 4:30 A.M. and work straight through until almost 8 P.M. daily for six months, I'd have thought him crazy. Yet one student who really aches to learn, one sun drenched flight at sunrise, one trip chasing a rainbow, one little girl who claps her hands and shouts 'Roller Coaster!' One cool, deeply quiet flight up the canyon at dusk are perhaps reasons enough."

    In August of 1941, Fort had been offered a job at Andrew Air Service on Oahu. Knowing that there where "millions. -thousands anyway- of embryo pilots" among the defense workers, civilian contractors, and military personnel residing in or around Honolulu, she jumped at the chance.

    Her regular Sunday morning student was a defense worker named Suomala. His takeoff and landings had become appropriately workman-like and she decided he was ready to fly solo. After this next landing, she would jump out of the airplane, wish him luck on his next circuit, and wait nervously on the ground for him to return again.





    Interstate Cadet flown by Fort and Suomala on December 7th, 1941


    As they turned downwind along the coast Oahu, She noted a military aircraft coming in from the sea. Army Pilots and Naval Aviators frequently made hash of the airspace along the south shore of the island, buzzing the Royal Hawaiian Hotel to the west and occasionally wreaking unintentional havoc among the tyro flyers at Andrew Air Service. Observing Suomala's base leg turn, she again took stock of the surrounding sky, making sure their landing pattern would be clear of any traffic.

    The other aircraft was coming straight at her.

    Jerking the controls away from her student, she blasted the throttle wide open and climbed above the oncoming aircraft, which passed so closely underneath the blue and yellow Cadet as to rattle the celluloid windows.

    "The painted red balls on the tops of the wings shone brightly in the sun. I looked again with complete and utter unbelief. Honolulu was familiar with the emblem of the Rising Sun on passenger ships, but not on airplanes.

    I looked quickly at Pearl Harbor and my spine tingled when I saw billowing black smoke. Still, I thought hollowly it might be some kind of coincidence or maneuvers. It might be. It must be. For surely, dear God...

    Then I looked way up and saw formations of silver bombers riding in. I saw something detach itself from a plane and come glistening down. My eyes followed it down, down, and even with knowledge pounding in my mind, my heart turned over convulsively when the bomb exploded in the middle of the harbor.

    Most people wonder how they would react in a crisis; if the danger comes as suddenly as this did you don't have time to be frightened. I'm not brave, but I knew the air was not the place for our little baby airplane and I set about landing as quickly as ever I could. It was as if the attack was happening in a different time track, with no relation to me."



    Zero versus Cadet


    As they wheeled over in a hard slip and began their descent, Cornelia heard a burst of gunfire and realized it was meant for her. She dropped the plane quickly toward the runway and touched down gracelessly. With the engine at idle, they rolled out the length of the runway in relative silence.

    Suomala broke that silence with a question that may have been plaintive or in jest.

    "When am I going to Solo?"




    "Not today, brother!" replied Fort.


    Shadows passed over them as they sprinted from the airplane to the relative safety of the Andrew Air Service hangars. As they ran, bullets tore into the plucky little interstate Cadet.

    Strafing Zeroes killed airport manager Bob Tyce as he hurriedly grounded his Piper Cub and ran for the hangars.

    "Suddenly that little wedge of sky above Hickam and Pearl Harbor was the busiest, fullest piece of sky I ever saw .... Our antiaircraft started belching shells which left their puffs of smoke scattered like so many umbrellas floating thru the air, planes darting in and out, high and low. One came screaming down in flames, leaving a crimson wake; the detonation of the bombs bursting shook the ground under us.

    We counted anxiously as our little planes came fling back home to roost. Two belonging to Bob Tyce's company never came back. They were washed ashore weeks later on the windward side of the island, riddled with bullets. Not a pretty way for the brave yellow cubs and their pilots to go down to death.

    Those of us on the Honolulu side were lucky. The enemy planes were hell-bent on Pearl Harbor and flicked only a few careless bullets at us en route.

    We couldn't decide whether to put all the planes in the hangar and make one good target or whether to leave them out and open to general strafing. (which never came, as the enemy pilots weren't concerned with our little putt-putts when battleships and military planes were nearby) During the height of the attack we saw a bomber coming in very low, directly toward us, and deciding that the hangar was not a very smart place to stand, and we scattered.

    For me and for some of the others, we later compared notes, this was the most unpleasant sensation of the whole day. It also crossed some of our minds that the possibility we were the first Americans to run from invaders on American soil. This dubious historical distinction I would rather have done without. Even when we recognized the bomber as it came nearer to be an American B-17 (one of those coming in from the mainland on a routine delivery flight) the guilty feeling was still in my mouth."

    The B-17 pilot, she said later, "was so confused and excited, he landed downwind and nosed over."

    As the fallout from the attack subsided, all civilian pilots and planes were grounded. Eventually returning to the U.S., Cornelia Fort joined the Army Air Corps and was one of the core group of the nacient Women's Auxilary Ferrying Squadron. Later known as WASPs (Women Auxilary Service Pilots), these experienced female flyers performed vital aircraft ferrying and test piloting jobs during the war.

    Cornelia Fort was killed on March 21st, 1943. Her BT-13 was struck by another aircraft flying close formation. Her aircraft was crippled, and she did not have enough altitude to bail out.

    Cornelia Fort was burried near her native Nashville. Her footstone was inscribed with the noble epitaph of so many before and after: "Killed in the Service of Her Country"




    Cornelia Fort would have been 100 years old today



    Correspondence and quotations from Daughter of the Air by Rob Simbeck

    With drawings by the immensely talented Grace Jensen

    All illustrations © Hangar B Productions, LLC

    Last edited by Farmboy; 02-05-2019 at 03:25 PM.
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  3. #3
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    I think she performed a Falling Leaf to evade the Zero

    https://youtu.be/PGg4TVI-0vk

    Glenn[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by cubdriver2; 02-06-2019 at 01:38 PM.
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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  4. #4
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubdriver2 View Post
    I think she performed a Falling Leaf to evade the Zero

    Glenn
    That airplane was at OSH a couple years ago. It's now in an aviation museum near Seattle: http://www.heritageflight.org/aircraft.html I met the pilot, Greg Anders (AF pilot and son of the astronaut) at Mobridge, SD enroute, and we chased each other around weather into OSH. Beautiful little airplane, pretty much totally original. And a fascinating story behind it.

    MTV
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    Richgj3's Avatar
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    Not to diminish the story at all because it’s great, but wasn’t there some controversy around the airplane that was at OSH?
    I can’t remember the details but I recall something. It’s possible that airplane was the true correct one whereas another was thought to be previously.

    Rich

  6. #6
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    I remember going with my dad to pick up our C310 with the Colemill conversion at Cornelia Fort Airport. ('70's) I'm taking an extended motorcycle trip down south in the spring. I will be going through Nashville so I'm going to stop at the airpark just for old times sake. They have a facebook page. (I'm not a facebooker) She made her mark in her short life.

  7. #7
    high time cub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richgj3 View Post
    Not to diminish the story at all because it’s great, but wasn’t there some controversy around the airplane that was at OSH?
    I can’t remember the details but I recall something. It’s possible that airplane was the true correct one whereas another was thought to be previously.

    Rich
    Hi Rich,

    https://www.airspacemag.com/history-...ery-132431368/

    Best,

    HT & V
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  8. #8
    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Not aviation but cool history



    A FASCINATING SHORT SEA STORY

    The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia.

    The navigator had just finished working out a star fix and brought the master, Captain John Phillips, the result.

    The Warrimoo's position was LAT 0º 31' N and LON 179 30' W.

    The date was 31 December 1899.

    "Know what this means?" First Mate Payton broke in,

    "We're only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line".

    Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime.

    He called his navigators to the bridge to check & double check the ships position.

    He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark.

    Then he adjusted the engine speed.

    The calm weather & clear night worked in his favour.

    At mid-night the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the International Date Line!

    The consequences of this bizarre position were many:

    The forward part (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere & in the middle of summer.

    The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & in the middle of winter.

    The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.

    In the bow (forward) part it was 1 January 1900.

    This ship was therefore not only in:

    Two different days,

    Two different months,

    Two different years,

    Two different seasons

    But in two different centuries - all at the same time.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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