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Posted by benjamin presten | Yesterday @ 04:08 AM | 6,831 Views
Payne Knight Twister: Onto a slightly different genre of aviation. The Knight Twister may not look like an early 1930s design, but it actually came long before most of the other airplanes in it’s genre.

The first Payne Knight Twister, which looked almost nothing like the vast majority of its successors, was powered by a Salmson AD9 french radial of 40hp. It was a diminutive little biplane with seating for one. Or seating for half if I tried to get in one. As the Knight Twister evolved it got a more sleek landing gear, new wings, new fuselage and tail feathers and a new firewall forward. In other words, the airplane got a new airplane.

The Knight Twister developed into a somewhat standard configuration for which the plans were published. It was a tiny biplane with a wingspan of only 17 feet 6 inches. And it had a more standard bungee type gear. Firewall forward I assume was written on the plans as “any engine you can possibly find laying around” because these things were powered with everything under the sun. They got radials, inlines and opposed engines between 40 and 185hp. They were also built with wingspans varying between 15 foot 6 inches and 21 feet. Not to mention occasionally being modified for two seats somehow.

The Knight Twister was intended for racing, so naturally many of them have been hopped up to go fast. The vast majority of them look a bit like they flew through a composite shop and crashed into every fiberglass fairing in the place. So sometimes...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 23, 2021 @ 06:01 PM | 9,496 Views
Cessna T-50: Speaking of radial Cessnas, you may be more familiar with the T-50 being called the “Bamboo Bomber” or “Crane”....... Or “Bobcat”, the UC-78, the AT-17 or about a dozen other names. But they’re all from the same T-50 family.

The T-50 is of mostly wood construction with the internal steel tube fuselage being the only major metal structure in the airplane. The airplane was powered by twin radials, either Jacobs or Lycomings depending on the specific variant. It had a retractable gear that’s main wheels stayed half-way protruding from the engine nacelles when retracted. Which allowed them to still roll and keep the belly of the airplane off the ground in the event of a gear up landing.

The T-50 was the first twin engine design from Cessna as well as the first with retractable gear. Making its first flight in 1939, the intended role of the T-50 was a light twin for the civilian market. But it found itself being used a lot more as a multi-engine trainer for militaries.

By the end of WWII, Cessna had built over 4600 of them for the US military and another 822 for the Royal Canadian Air Force. These were used to train the vast majority of the bomber pilots that came from North America. Almost anyone that wound up flying a B-17 or a B-25 or any other american bomber during the war was put through a “Bamboo Bomber” at some point in their training career.

While the military did dominate the market for the T-50, plenty did make it into civilian hands. Even...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 22, 2021 @ 02:46 AM | 16,850 Views
Cessna 165 Airmaster: In 1935, the economy was just beginning to strengthen enough for airplane sales to pick back up. Cessna had gone out of business several years before after the short production of the A series and DC-6 series. But as the economy Recovered, Clyde Cessna’s nephew Dwayne Wallace wanted to bring the company back. He designed the C-34 as an updated airplane to target the same market as the Cessna A.

The C-34 first flew in 1935 after Clyde and Eldon Cessna (Father and Son) joined with Dwayne Wallace and brought the company back. The C-34 was a four seat, cabin taildragger with a complex wooden cantilever wing. It was pulled along by a 145hp Warner which was later replaced with a 165hp Warner on most production models. The C-34 was slowly updated overtime into the 165 Airmaster, getting a center airbrake under the fuselage and larger tail surfaces.

The Airmaster was a very high performance ship for it’s day with a cruise speed of 145mph. It’s wing was also a rarity of it’s era being cantilever instead of strut braced. Cessna published a famous photo of people seated shoulder to shoulder on the wing from tip to tip to show the strength of this design. The Airmaster became fairly popular and had a production run of 183 airplanes. Most were sold to civilian and business clientele but when the war began a small handful were impressed into the military as UC-77s or UC-94s.

Today several Airmaster remain in private ownership (Around 20 active and airworthy...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 21, 2021 @ 04:15 AM | 28,064 Views
Meyers OTW: Allen Meyers began designing his light biplane in 1930 in his garage in Wayne Michigan. With his plans underway, in 1933 he secured a space in an old machine shop to get things really going. In 1936 the first OTW (Out To Win) biplane made its first flight.

The OTW was somewhat unique in construction for its size. While most two seat biplanes of the time had steel tube fuselages covered with fabric, the OTW had a semi-monocoque all aluminum fuselage. It seated two in tandem and was initially powered by a 125hp Warner. (Later production models were mostly powered by either 145hp Warners or 160hp Kinners) The wings were of a more standard wood and fabric construction.

In 1938 the OTW got official approval for use in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. (CPTP) The CPTP was intended to use civilian flight schools to train as many college students to fly as possible with the knowledge that many of them would eventually become military pilots if the US entered the war. The OTW was approved for this alongside the Ryan PT-22 and Waco UPF-7. Between 1938 and 1940 the CPTP used all three along with many Cubs, Aeroncas and Taylorcrafts to teach thousands of new pilots.

While the OTW never got an official military contract once the war did start, they managed to sell over 100 of them to various schools that were participating in the CPTP. This jump started the Meyers Aircraft Company which survived well after the war building civilian airplanes.

Today there are...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 20, 2021 @ 03:25 AM | 37,244 Views
Rearwin 6000M Speedster: The Rearwin Airplane company began to falter at the beginning of the depression and Rae Rearwin negotiated control from his investors and started Rearwin Aircraft. The intended first offering of Rearwin Aircraft wound up being the third airplane to make it to production when it’s development took a lot of work.

The Rearwin Speedster started life powered by a Cirrus engine. Initial testing for certification found the airplane didn’t meet spin recovery standards. Between 1934 and 1938 the airplane received several changes in search of the solution. The ailerons were redesigned to reduce the gap between them and the wing. The tail feathers were enlarged and centering springs were added to the rudder. All of the control systems also received ball bearings.

By the time the Speedster was ready for production, the Cirrus engine was out of production so the Menasco C-4 was chosen to replace it. The 6000M was the final production variant of the airplane. It had a cramped cabin for two in tandem inside it’s very narrow fuselage. It had a very distinct tough looking landing gear and large tail feathers. In general the Speedster was a very unique looking ship.

At the same time as the Speedster, Rearwin was producing the Cloudster and the Sportster. They seemed to overshadow the Speedster leaving it with a final production run of only 11 aircraft. Today two remain on display. The most recent Speedster to fly was restored by Tim Talen who was...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 19, 2021 @ 06:21 AM | 32,885 Views
Butler Blackhawk: Butler Manufacturing was a manufacturer of prefab steel buildings, including hangars, that was founded in 1901. In 1928, Butler decided to venture into aircraft manufacturing. They founded Butler Aircraft Corp to do just that and the first (and only) product was the Blackhawk biplane.

Heading up the design team for the airplane was Waverly Stearman, brother of Lloyd Stearman who founded Stearman Aircraft. Prior to the foundation of either Stearman or Butler Aircraft, both brothers had worked at Swallow Aircraft. This probably explains the incredible similarity between the Blackhawk and Stearman C3 which were designed at almost the same time. While there’s no actual interchangeable parts between the two airplanes, they are very visually similar.

The Blackhawk was a three seat open biplane like so many of its competitors. Up front was a 220hp Wright J-5 radial. It was constructed using the standard steel tube fuselage and wood wings and had a conventional landing gear. The only really odd feature of the Blackhaw is it’s ailerons. Conventional biplanes with a longer top wing almost always have their ailerons on the top wing. The Blackhawk however, ditched the complex control system necessary to do that and simply put the ailerons on the lower wing.

The Blackhawk never really achieved particular fame as the beginning of the depression wasn’t the best time for an airplane like that, but it did manage a little mild fame. Famous race and aerobatic pilot...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 18, 2021 @ 06:16 AM | 12,881 Views
Waco E Series Cabin: While we’re on the subject of Wacos, here’s one of the highest performance ships they built.

The HRE, ARE and SRE cabin biplanes from Waco came onto the market in 1939 as competition to the Howard DGAs, Stinson Reliants, Spartan Executives and Beechcraft Staggerwings. It had a series of big radials up front from 300 to 420hp. The SRE was top of the line with a P&W R-985 up front. It had sleek lines and slim wings giving it a competitive cruise speed of 195mph. It’s wide stance, long fuselage and large flaps also gave it docile ground characteristics that some of its competitors didn’t have.

The E series was unusually configured for a biplane. It’s upper wings were so much larger than the lower wings, it technically qualifies as a sesquiplane. It also had a very rare feature of having both the flaps and ailerons on the upper wings. It had comfortable room for four inside it’s plush interior and it delivered its passengers in speed and style. And at a hefty price.

Being the high performance and complex airplane that it was, the E series came with a large price tag. With such a high price came a limited clientele, as only 30 E series cabins were produced. With big names like Lycoming and Goodyear tires being the purchasers of the airplanes, they were mostly used for high class executive jobs. But when the war rolled around, half of them were impressed into the military as UC-72s.

With a cursory count, there are six of these ships still...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 17, 2021 @ 03:12 AM | 14,050 Views
Waco A Series: Speaking of confusing Waco names, the A series consists of the following models, BBA, KBA, PBA, RBA, IBA, TBA, UBA, ICA, KCA, PCA, RCA, TCA, UCA, PLA, and ULA. And the only differences between those models was the engines and minor changes to the wings and canopies.

The A series is extremely similar to the F-2 series with one major difference. What set the A series apart from the F-2, and the vast majority of other biplanes as well, was the fact that it was two seats side by side in the same cockpit. The wings, landing gear and tail feathers were otherwise essentially the same as the F-2 series.

This arrangement is extremely unusual for biplanes but it carries a few advantages. Firstly, this opens up a huge space in front of the cockpit for a very large baggage compartment that you would be hard pressed to find on any other open biplanes. Secondly, this allows for a single canopy to easily cover both pilots without being some large contraption with multiple sliding sections.

Another neat feature of the A series was it’s brakes. The A series has a very large throttle handle on either side of the cockpit. Pushing this handle forward and back actuates the throttle as normal, but pulling it inward actuates the brakes. If you use the handle to actuate the brakes while also pushing one rudder pedal it gives you differential braking.

The A series saw a fairly decent production run but I would have a brain aneurysm if I tried to add up the actual number....Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 16, 2021 @ 03:31 AM | 21,807 Views
Waco F-2: I had a different airplane planned today but the F-2 came up in the comments yesterday (on instagram not RcGroups) so I thought I’d cover it. This is a confusing type to differentiate because of Waco’s identification system. If someone refers to it as the “F series” of Wacos then it gets lumped in with the UPF-7, YMF-5, RNF and everything in between. So the “F-2” here refers to the UBF and QCF which are the most common of the F-2 series and are almost identical. There are other variants of this series but they all share the same airframe as either the UBF or QCF.

The F-2 series was an offering in the three seat open cockpit biplane market from Waco in the early 1930s. It was powered by a variety of engines, but the UBF and QCF models were by far the most common, powered by a Continental A-70 radial. The only difference between the UBF and QCF were minor changes in the wing design. Continental actually purchased on of the very early QCFs to test the first A-70 radial on and do development testing on it. This particular example of the QCF has just undergone a complete restoration and now belongs to Chris Galloway.

The F-2s were set apart from other Waco designs by several things. The UPF-7 and RNF were both two seat designs and the YMF-5 was a much later and somewhat larger design which incorporated almost all new parts. The F-2s had a short nose, usually with a beautiful speed ring around the engine. They also had a totally different landing gear than the UPF...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 15, 2021 @ 07:14 PM | 22,706 Views
Curtiss-Wright Travel Air CW-16:

The last in the lineup of Curtiss-Wright Travel Air biplanes was the CW-16. The CW-16 was very similar to the CW-12 series. It retained the same wings, tail feathers and landing gear. The major difference was the exchange of the fuselage for a three seat configuration. The last version, the 16E also received significantly more power than the others with a 165hp Wright J-6-5 engine. The Wright J-6-5 was a 5 cylinder radial similar to the Kinner series, but it had the addition of a supercharger. This is a very rare engine these days since only around 500 were built.

The CW-16 suffered the same era issues as the rest of the series, open cockpit biplanes just weren’t selling during the depression and a very limited market was found in the US for this airplane with only 13 of them making it onto the US registry. However, there was a market outside the US for them. A total of 46 CW-16s were exported. Fifteen went to both Argentina and Brazil, nine went to Ecuador, six more went to Columbia and three found their way to Bolivia.

These exports were used as trainers as the wide front cockpit did still retain a set of controls. The ones sold inside the US were all civilian however and were presumably used for sport flying. Some of them even sported floats. Today a handful remain alive although they don’t seem to pop up too much at air shows. The Creve Coeur Aircraft Restoration Museum has one on display in Argentinian markings....Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 14, 2021 @ 03:56 PM | 29,182 Views
Curtiss-Wright Travel Air CW-14: Between the CW-12 and the CW-16, things at the Curtiss-Wright factory got racey looking and we are lucky to have the fruit of that era.

The CW-14 series was intended to fill the higher performance market than the CW-12. It looked similar but shared almost no parts. The wings were totally redesigned with a new higher performance airfoil and had Frise ailerons. The fuselage was also redesigned and in standard configuration allowed two people in the front cockpit. The landing gear was longer and used pneumatic struts for suspension. The engine was housed in a NACA style cowling unlike most of the CW-12s. Inside that cowling was a variety of Wright Whirlwind series engines ranging in power from 240 to 420hp. And lastly, the tail feathers also got a redesign to handle more speed and power.

The CW-14 found it’s main market as a foreign military airplane. The airplane was heavily used by Bolivia in the Chaco war against Paraguay. These airplanes were configured with single control sets in the front cockpit and a swiveling turret in the rear cockpit. They also had a forward firing machine gun that was housed under the cowling and fired through the prop. Lastly, they were fitted with bomb racks for up to 250lbs of bombs.

Bolivia received 20 of these airplanes during the war and many others went in smaller groups to other South American countries. The total production number is unknown but it was at least 38 airplanes, most of which were...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 13, 2021 @ 11:02 PM | 34,630 Views
Curtiss-Wright Travel Air CW-12:

In the early 1930s, Travel Air had just joined Curtiss-Wright and the search was on for the replacement to the Travel Air 4000. The first bid from the Curtiss Wright Factory was the CW-12. It was a much more slender design than the 4000 and reduced the seating in the front cockpit to one seat.

Designed by Herb Rawdon (who started Rawdon Brother’s aircraft) and Ted Wells, (who designed a few small time airplanes like the Beech 18 and Beech Bonanza among other things) the CW-12 was mostly intended as a training platform with dual controls. It had a simple welded steel tube fuselage and wooden wings all covered with fabric. The landing gear was a stout design with a proprietary steerable tail wheel or tail skid built into the back of the fuselage under the rudder.

The CW-12 got a number of power plants over it’s short production run, each with their own designation. The 12K was powered by a 125hp Kinner. The 12W was powered by a 110hp Warner. And lastly, the 12Q was powered by an 90hp Gypsy upright 4 cylinder. Between the three models there were a total of 40 CW-12s built.

The production of the CW-12 was unfortunately during the peak of the great depression which undoubtedly stunted its production life. However, a surprising number have survived and quite a few remain airworthy or on display in museums....Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 12, 2021 @ 10:54 AM | 32,767 Views
Cessna XMC: A part of the history of the Anderson Greenwood AG-14 was that one of them was bought by Cessna for research. Cessna built the XMC (eXperimental Magic Carpet) to research a light pusher design.

In 1971 the XMC made its first flight. The idea was to replace the Cessna 150 with a pusher design. The XMC used the same O-200 power plant and also seated 2. At the same time Cessna tested their swept wing ideas and they later added a duct around the propellor to test ducted thrust ideas.

The XMC underwent very thorough testing as Cessna used it to test so many other things besides the design itself. They tested CG changes on a swept wing. They tested the response of control surfaces depending on their location. They even tested new construction methods on it. However, after all this testing they found that the XMC design itself wasn’t a winner.

The XMC apparently provided no benefit over the Cessna 150 design and it had some downfalls. The quoted reason for not producing it was that the cabin noise was too high. But another issue Cessna experienced with the design was CG. Because the engine was mounted under the wing, in order for the CG to work the pilots had to be positioned forward of the wing. The issue with that design was that it made the airplane more critical to changes in pilot and passenger weight.

The XMC project was scrapped in 1972 and the airplane was presumably scrapped with it. It certainly never made it into the hands of the public.
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 11, 2021 @ 04:51 PM | 35,502 Views
Anderson Greenwood AG-14: Another airplane just like the Howards. Okay maybe not.

The Anderson Greenwood AG-14 was designed by three Boeing Engineers. Ben Anderson, Marvin Greenwood and Lomis Slaughter. Unfortunately Slaughter’s name was not used for obvious brand recognition issues.

The AG-14 may look like a fairly modern design but it actually made its first flights in 1947. Production was in full tilt by 1950. And by full tilt I mean they managed three airplanes that year, and another two in 1953 before stopping altogether.

While the AG-14 looks a bit weird, many of it’s strange features aren’t noticed at first glance. While the airplane’s twin boom design obviously has two vertical fins, only the one on the left actually has a rudder. That rudder also isn’t connected to the nosewheel steering, instead the nosewheel steering is connected to the ailerons so that it can be driven around like a car. The Continental C-90 is mounted directly on the center of gravity and has a 4” shaft extension to put the prop out behind the airplane. Speaking of the prop, it was positioned almost parallel with the rear wheels so that a prop strike incident is almost impossible.

Another fun thing about the AG-14 is that it technically qualifies as LSA and with the flight characteristics which are described as “delightful and easy” by a magazine review, maybe this airplane could have a future if someone put it back into production.

One of the AG-14s had a slight mishap in one...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 10, 2021 @ 01:42 AM | 19,542 Views
Howard DGA-8/9/11/12: Okay this is the last Howard for a while, I swear. Many of you I’m sure are familiar with the Howard DGA-15P (usually what someone is talking about when they reference a “Howard DGA”) but it’s predecessor the DGA-8/9/11/12 are a rare sight these days. (and I think they qualify for obscure even if some might consider it a stretch)

When Benny Howard entered the Mulligan into the 1935 races, he had already started work with Gordon Israel on a commercial version of the design. His plan was to win as many races as possible in 1935 (which he did, by taking the Bendix, Thompson and Greve Trophies that year) and using the money to start a factory building his new design.

In 1936 Benny used his winnings to buy the old Laird factory in Chicago and get the certification started on the Howard DGA-8. (Damn Good Airplane - 8) The airplane was similar to the mulligan, but it had 7 feet more wing and was powered by a Wright J-6-7 E2 of only 320hp. Nicknamed “Flanigan” the prototype was used for the type certification with most of the work being done by Gordon Israel.

Howard was really depending on the winnings from the 1936 season to get the factory off the ground but after he and his wife were injured in the Mulligan crash, there were no winnings and he stacked a lot of hospital bills on top. So getting the factory going was slow business. 18 DGA-8s creeped out of the factory, some equipped with floats. Eventually the design got some variation in the engine...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 09, 2021 @ 12:18 PM | 20,565 Views
Howard DGA-6 Mister Mulligan: I can’t very well talk about the Howard racers and leave out the most famous of all, so here goes.

In 1934 Benny Howard finished his latest airplane. A totally new approach from Howard, the DGA-6 replaced slim lines and high strung inlines for brute horsepower with as little wing as possible. Benny Howard said he was inspired by “seeing the Monocoupe from the wrong end” during a race. The DGA-6 had a short wingspan of only 31 feet. That’s four feet shorter than a piper cub. And with an 830hp Pratt & Whitney, it only had a little more than 12 times your average J-3’s power.

Mister Mulligan clocked in at almost 290mph at its best and was capable of a service ceiling of 22,000 feet and cruise of 230mph for cross countries. Highly unusual for race planes, it also had four seats. (The DGA-6 was eventually modified for the civilian market and sold as the DGA-8,9,11 and 12) The high wing, tail dragger had some advanced building techniques used on it. It had a standard steel tube fuselage, but the wooden wings were completely sheeted with plywood for a perfectly smooth surface.

Mister Mulligan made it’s racing debut in 1935. Designers Benny Howard and Gordon Israel took the Mulligan to a 1st place victory in the Bendix Trophy Race flying cross country from LA to Cleveland with an average speed of 238mph. Shortly thereafter, Harold Nuemann won the 1935 Thompson trophy with the same airplane, the first airplane to win both races.

...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 08, 2021 @ 02:05 AM | 13,969 Views
Howard DGA-4 and DGA-5 “Mike” and “Ike”: A continuation on the story of the Howard DGA-3 “Pete”

Benny Howard was quite satisfied with the winnings that the “Pete” had generated and decided that there was money to be had in racing. The Gypsy on the “Pete” was quickly becoming outclassed with six cylinder inlines taking over. So a new design was needed to take back the top class of the races.

Work began on the two new racers in 1932. Both airplanes were very similar to the “Pete” in that they were designed with as little frontal area as possible and they followed the same rough design criteria. The differences were minimal. The DGA-4 “Mike” had a Menasco six cylinder inline that was intended for higher octane fuel than the Menasco on “Ike”. “Mike” also had a cowling designed to incorporate a spinner that was never used and had more ventilation in the cowling that was later covered up.

The main difference between the two was the landing gear. Initially, “Ike” had a gear designed with two wheels on each side in tandem that were housed in a single wheelpant, whereas “Mike” had the same large wheels that “Pete” had with no fairings. After a short time, both airplanes were converted to have matching small wheels with wheel pants and became nearly indistinguishable from each other.

The two airplanes racked up enough racing heritage to fill a small book and way too much to try and list. But they took a combined 13 first place victories at the National and International...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 07, 2021 @ 12:15 PM | 14,024 Views
Howard DGA-3 “Pete”: I’ll try this to the best I can, but the Pete has possibly the most confusing history of any single airplane. Well, sort of a single airplane.

In 1929, Benny Howard built his first of many purpose built racers. With the help of Gordon Israel (responsible for the beautiful Israel Redhead I wrote about previously) Howard began building a racing airframe to match a 90hp upright Gypsy he had. The goal of the Pete design was to have as little frontal area as possible. The airplane had an exceptionally narrow fuselage with an accordingly tiny cockpit.

The Pete made its entry into racing in 1930 and continued to race in roughly its original configuration until 1935. Over its racing career, it racked up an impressive list of awards. Five firsts, four seconds, and three thirds at the National Air Races, one third place Thompson race and numerous other smaller races.

Somehow the Pete managed to survive the War and was once again thrust back into racing in 1947. The Pete had been bought by an optimistic entrant into the Goodyear races and modified with a canopy and continental powerplant. It was entered into the 1947 Goodyear races as the “Baker Special” but it proved no competition to the other goodyear racers. It was badly damaged in a hangar fire after it’s Goodyear race and it’s next life was one belonging to Paul Poberezny. Poberezny rebuilt the fuselage, added a spring gear, an A75 Continental and mounted shortened Luscombe wings to it and named it...Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 07, 2021 @ 04:26 AM | 17,075 Views
Cunningham Hall PT-6F:
The Cunningham Hall Personal Transport 6-Place Freighter is a serious mouthful. Thankfully they decided to just call it the PT-6F for short.

Cunningham Hall was started in 1928 and their first airplane was the PT-6. (not to be confused with the Pratt & Whitney one) The PT-6 was very advanced for its era since it was of all metal construction built to very high tolerances. The PT-6 had a front cockpit with two seats and a separate cabin with four passenger seats. The cabin area was sheeted with corrugated aluminum while the rest of the airplane was covered in fabric and up front was a Wright J6-9 radial of 300hp.

The first two PT-6s were standard PT-6 versions for passengers and were worked commercially in the US. Almost ten years after production started, Cunningham Hall built another airplane, the third to go on the registry. This one replaced the seats for a freight compartment and freight doors on the side and top of the fuselage were installed. This version was what was given the PT-6F designation. Surprisingly for an airplane that had a production run of only three, the PT-6 and PT-6F were actually type certified. Presumably since they were intended for commercial use.

The PT-6F was sold to a bush company in Alaska and spent it’s life working hard. Years after it’s bush career began, Greg Herrick bought and restored this PT-6F to fantastic flying condition. It was displayed for years in his Golden Wings museum in Anoka Minnesota....Continue Reading
Posted by benjamin presten | Jun 05, 2021 @ 12:33 PM | 32,188 Views
Douglas DC-5: Ever wonder what came between the DC-4 and the DC-6? Well logically it would be the DC-5 but since it came two years before either the DC-4 or the DC-6, I’m not sure where the numbers came from. (Technically this numerical nightmare gets way more complicated when you include the DC-4E but we’re not even gonna go there)

The DC-5 was a very handsome entry into the transport category. While it didn’t look too dapper in military olive drab colors, it looked as good as Bond in a tux with some of it’s classy civilian colors. Sadly only 5 of them wore civilian colors out the door.

The DC-5 was intended to fill the area that commuter airlines fill for us today. The DC-3s and other larger airliners would tackle the longer routes and the DC-5 would fill in on the shorter ones. However, with its introduction in 1940, airlines weren’t exactly scrambling for new airplanes at the time. Douglas themselves were already beginning to focus their efforts on the war and the DC-5 fell somewhat to the wayside without a market.

The most interesting civilian use found for the DC-5 was the prototype. The prototype was configured to have 8 seats (production versions were between 16 and 22 seats) and was sold as the private airplane of William Boeing. So yes, the founder of Boeing’s personal airplane was a Douglas. The other four civilian airplanes were sold to KLM. One of which was eventually captured and flown by the Japanese.

The DC-5 got it’s small second chance as a...Continue Reading