RR Auction’s Space and Aviation Autograph and Artifact Auction, scheduled to take place from May 17 to May 23, includes a selection of early aviation items, including an exceedingly rare, handwritten letter by Wilbur Wright from 1910 to a student pilot discussing their “new machines” which “are much steadier in strong winds and easier to control than the older ones.”
Seldom seen and in-demand aviation artifacts from World War II are also represented, with one-of-a-kind vintage patches, autographs, and an assemblage of original fighter pilot flight jackets, including jackets from such famed aviators as James W. Ayers, Robert Cardenas, and Frank K. “Pete” Everest.
Other items include an historically significant autographed note by Charles Lindbergh pleading with reporters the morning after his son’s kidnapping: “Due to the fact that our roads are blocked and communication made extremely difficult under present circumstances, I am asking that everyone leave our farm;” a huge piece of glazed aircraft fabric, replete with a large Balkankreuz from one of the fighter aircraft of Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron; and a historic American flag flown with the legendary Howard Hughes on his world-record breaking “Around the World Flight” in July of 1938.
The auction also includes rare space artifacts, autographs, and manuscripts, according to the auctioneers. Of particular note, they said, are U.S. Naval Academy items directly from the Alan Shepard estate. Original items from Shepard, the first American into space, and a moonwalker and Commander on Apollo 14, are extremely rare and hard to come-by, especially with such impeccable provenance and from so early in his career, they said. Items from the estate include Shepard’s United States Naval Academy Battalion Pass Book, signed a total of 38 times by Shepard; a large assortment of personal gear and clothing issued to and worn by Shepard while at the Naval Academy; a collection of approximately 52 letters and a telegrams sent to Shepard by female “love interests;” and Shepard’s worn Navy hat and jacket.
Other items include:
- A flown, 100-plus page pilot’s log book from the Gemini 5 mission, with extensive in-flight writing and mission commentary from Gemini 5 pilot Pete Conrad.
- American flag flown on the historic Apollo 11 mission, and attached to an official NASA certificate with an authentic Neil Armstrong signature.
- A flown Apollo 11 Robbins medallion from the former collection of Apollo 12 moonwalker Alan Bean, as well as an extremely rare Apollo 12 “Wives-pin” Robbins medallion with diamond stud and pin-back.
- A lunar surface flown Apollo 15 Lunar Rover commemorative license plate that was carried by mission commander Dave Scott for over 17 miles across the lunar surface.
- A large flown lunar module stowage bag from the Apollo 15 mission stained with lunar dust from the Hadley-Apennine region of the moon.
- A rare and complete Apollo 17 flown tool kit, believed to be the last complete tool set in existence and available for private collectors.
There are also a host of rare and vintage training used hardware and documentation, including a Block II Command Module Rotational Hand Controller; a one-of-a-kind Apollo Lunar Module water loop designed to go from space suit to the console in the Lunar Module; and a 46-page complete Apollo 13 Command Service Module Data Systems training manual, signed and certified by Fred Haise, the Apollo 13 lunar module pilot.
For more information: RRAuction.com
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