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Last of the Airway Beacons

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Three Travelair 6000s last summer at the Hamilton MT flyin.

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I remember a night flight from Bozeman to Missoula circa 1986. It was a beautiful, calm, full moon and late-Fall night. Of course, we had VOR, etc., but it was still pretty neat to see those beacons on every major ridge, pointing the way.
 
Sweet plane,,, had the pleasure of talking planes with the folks in Homer. Operation was for sale some years back. I thought of buying it....

 
Darn you Eric, now I want one of those now. Imagine the tales it could tell from the past 80 years if it could talk. Looks like Beluga Lk? is it still there? I should have looked last June when I was up there, would have loved getting a ride.

Glenn
 
Sweet plane,,, had the pleasure of talking planes with the folks in Homer. Operation was for sale some years back. I thought of buying it....

Love it! That's my kind of airplane. I remember seeing this one in the back of the hangar in Homer with the wings off in 1981. There was another one with a metalized fuselage at Philips Field in Fairbanks. It reminds me of my Stinson SR another great airplane..
 
Pete, 20 Years ago the SM8A that used to be at Hampton landed at Cooperstown one day. That would be my dream family truckster with sticks and a 300 Lyc.

Glenn
 
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Airway beacon structures are still scattered around the west, as are the arrows. This airway beacon overlooks the Great Salt Lake, but, alas, it’s not lit anymore.


Sent from my iPhone using SuperCub.Org mobile app
 
We have a tower with beacon lenses about 20 west of 0A9 here in East Tennessee. Never knew it was there until a couple of years ago when I happened to fly by it pretty close (it is on a ridge used as a VFR reporting point going into KTRI). The ridge is so steep I can't figure how they got the material to the site to build it. No sign of how it was powered either.

A local pilot was able to dig up a lot of information on this particular beacon via the Internet. He has the beacon ID, what route it was on and even when the site was last inspected. I'll see if he still has the info.
 
WOW---when MEN of steel were flying wooden airplanes---night and crappy weather---I remember as a youngster, the beacon located at Kennebunkport Me. (near the Clock Farm) used to flash in my bedroom---Capt Cub
 
I remember using one of these beacons during the 1960s. It was on a hill in the Berkshires just west of Westfield Mass. There weren't many ground lights in those hills so the beacon was a welcome aid.
 
I read about the old beacon network years ago and thought it was pretty neat. I'd love to take a couple weeks and explore the west/mid-west to see how many I could find the remains of.
 
On one of my DC trips we ducked into a small lesser visited museum to get out of the weather and we were fascinated, it was the postal museum... they had a really interesting display on the airmail routes and had a functioning beacon and various route maps. It’s a good stop, close to Union Station.
 
Pete, 20 Years ago the SM8A that used to be at Hampton landed at Cooperstown one day. That would be my dream family truckster with sticks and a 300 Lyc.

Glenn
Glenn---that airplane was owned by Ken Perkins a United airline capt although aircraft was restored in American airline livery---took about 15 years in his barn ---with that mustache you`d look better flying a "termite special"---a Norseman---LOL---Capt Cub
 
Love it! That's my kind of airplane. I remember seeing this one in the back of the hangar in Homer with the wings off in 1981. There was another one with a metalized fuselage at Philips Field in Fairbanks. It reminds me of my Stinson SR another great airplane..
There is or was another one floating around the Anchorage area during the 80s. The last I saw it was parked at a building on the right side of the road going into Birchwood Airport just before the tracks. This may be the building where mike mcs's shop is now? I seem to think that the owner lived in Wasilla?
 
There still is an operating airway beacon on the bluff overlooking the St Paul airport in Minnesota.
It was built in 1929 and in 1995 the tower was refurbished to the original chrome yellow and black.IMG_1865 (614x800).jpg
 

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Sweet plane,,, had the pleasure of talking planes with the folks in Homer. Operation was for sale some years back. I thought of buying it....


I was told this 6000 was sold to someone in the Seattle area a few years ago. I think there is another in the Boise area and I’ve been told Delta Airlines has one on display. Plus the three in Montana, that’s all there are, one of the owners has told me.

They're the coolest airplane there is IMO.
 
until a few years ago, 1S3 still had the airway marking on the sectional. took me a few years to figure out what the arrow stood for. then finally it disappeared. Airway beacon hadn't been here for years unless they were using the airport beacon which is still one of the old tall towers.
 
Is the little arrow by Bear Lake (IU7) what you are talking about? I was in the lounge and was reading about the tower they still have (not lit). I didn't see or ask about an arrow.

Ooops,my screw up; that's a power line.
 
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There used to be an airway beacon, a runway, and a shed in the pass between SLC and TWF when I flew the route in the sixties. Haven’t been by there in years. Don’t know what is still there. Good memories.
 
For years, I had heard about a "big airplane propeller" in the bush on a mountain side in a remote area about 30 miles from my place. No one lives withing several miles of the area, it's used for grazing cattle and that's about it. One day a gal pal and I decided to check these rumors out, as I had heard them long enough to give them some credence, and figured it would be a fun expedition.

After a 2 hour drive and a 1/2 hour hike, we found the prop. My first thought was that it was from a teens or 20's (as in 19...) era aircraft, as it had little twist but mucho dia., 12', and I know a lot of the early aircraft swung monster props, slowly. Then, after I got it home and had a chance to really eyeball it, it struck me: it was a wind electric prop, not an airplane propeller. that didn't really make sense though, as the site we scavenged it from (with permission from the grazing association that leased the ground) had zero indication of an old homestead plus the terrain was not a place that would have supported a homestead (steep.)

Then the light went on (pun intended) after I drew a straight line from KPIH/Pocatello to KSLC/ Salt lake City, it all became clear. This was no doubt a lighted beacon remnant for the old timers flying the mail. It's really the only thing that makes sense, but it's location right on the line of flight between the two cities confirmed, at least to me. It is the crown jewel of my shop's propeller wall, most of which are too embarrassing to talk about, this 12'er and the little 28" prop off a WW2 target drone are my favorites. Thinking of those pilots flying that route, at night, in bad weather, wow.
 
Is the little arrow by Bear Lake (IU7) what you are talking about? I was in the lounge and was reading about the tower they still have (not lit). I didn't see or ask about an arrow.

Ooops,my screw up; that's a power line.

I'll see if I can find one of my old sectionals that still had it on it.

If you can find Missoula on Skyvector.com and follow the interstate southeast to the rock creek airport, there is one just northeast of the airport .._
the one at 1S3 only had one arrow and it went right thru the beacon ( I think)
 
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Airway Beacon Code...........W U V H R K D B G M........................Standing by for read back!

The easy way to remember this CODE was------When Undertaking Very Hard Routes Keep Directions By Good Methods----ATR test long long time ago ----synonymous with--- True Virgins Make Dull Company---will give you a compass heading----Capt Cub
 
For years, I had heard about a "big airplane propeller" in the bush on a mountain side in a remote area about 30 miles from my place. No one lives withing several miles of the area, it's used for grazing cattle and that's about it. One day a gal pal and I decided to check these rumors out, as I had heard them long enough to give them some credence, and figured it would be a fun expedition.

After a 2 hour drive and a 1/2 hour hike, we found the prop. My first thought was that it was from a teens or 20's (as in 19...) era aircraft, as it had little twist but mucho dia., 12', and I know a lot of the early aircraft swung monster props, slowly. Then, after I got it home and had a chance to really eyeball it, it struck me: it was a wind electric prop, not an airplane propeller. that didn't really make sense though, as the site we scavenged it from (with permission from the grazing association that leased the ground) had zero indication of an old homestead plus the terrain was not a place that would have supported a homestead (steep.)

Then the light went on (pun intended) after I drew a straight line from KPIH/Pocatello to KSLC/ Salt lake City, it all became clear. This was no doubt a lighted beacon remnant for the old timers flying the mail. It's really the only thing that makes sense, but it's location right on the line of flight between the two cities confirmed, at least to me. It is the crown jewel of my shop's propeller wall, most of which are too embarrassing to talk about, this 12'er and the little 28" prop off a WW2 target drone are my favorites. Thinking of those pilots flying that route, at night, in bad weather, wow.

I forgot to mention, the only sign of any structures in the area was 4 footings, like you would expect for a 4 legged tower. The tower's angle iron was no doubt hauled off by some rancher.
 
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