Flight & Flyers: Luckey flyer


William Luckey, a test pilot and exhibition aviator for the Curtiss Company, came to aviation late in life.

Best known as the winner of The New York Times race around Manhattan Island on Oct. 13, 1913, Luckey was nearing 50 when he took an interest in aviation in 1912.


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What’s in a name?


In the beginning was the word, and the world was Flyer — Wright Flyer, that is.

When one creates a new product and starts to sell it, the product needs a name. Before the Wrights began to build airplanes, they were the manufacturers of bicycles. Among the names of their bicycle products was the “Wright Flyer.”

The Wright brothers would use the name Flyer until 1912, when they advertised their new machines as the “Wright Flyer, 1912 Model.”

In 1913 an ad introduced the Model “E,” a smaller high-performance machine for exhibition work.

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American aircraft in the Spanish Civil War

Vultee V-1A

The Spanish Civil War, which began in July 1936, was the most significant of the conflicts that foreshadowed World War II.

The war forced the world to take sides. Russia contributed military assistance to the cause of the newly elected Republican government, while Germany and Italy backed the Fascist rebels, followers of Generalissimo Franco, who were known as Nationalists.

Many countries, including the United States, chose to stay neutral, believing that involvement would lead to a further war in Europe. In spite of this, many U.S. aircraft would make their way to Spain.

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New amphibians rely on historic designs


loeningcoa1It was recently reported that an aging fleet of seaplanes is prompting several companies to come forward with new or renewed seaplane designs.

Aircraft mentioned include Viking Air’s new-production Twin Otter, the reborn Grumman Goose by Antilles Seaplanes, and the new design Dornier Seastar amphibian. The Viking website (VikingAir.com) refers to the new-build Twin Otter as “combining the best of history and design with modern technology.”

Historic indeed, as this leads one to ruminate on the many amphibious designs during the golden age of the 1920s and 1930s.

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