SCHAF Newsletter for January 2017-

SCHAF Newsletter for January 2017-

Reminder: The next SCHAF Open House will take place Saturday, January 14, 2017. 10am-1pm at Hangar Y-1 Hamilton/Owens Airport.

Foundation Happenings-


A very successful open house on Saturday, December 10, 2016.  We were visited by some of the young people who took part in the Young Eagles program sponsored by EAA 242. We were also honored and privileged to be visited by members of the 360th Civil Affairs Unit of the U.S. Army Reserve.  They spent over an hour at Y-1 looking over GF-2 and speaking with SCHAF members and asking questions about the foundation.  A really great bunch of gentlemen.  They expressed a lot of interest in the foundation’s mission of educating people about South Carolina’s aviation heritage and the importance of teaching young people about the contributions and sacrifices of earlier generations.  Thanks to Col. Steve Durst and the troops of the 360th for coming by. Again, a great bunch of folks.


The board of directors of SCHAF did not meet in December.  The next board meeting will take place in January.

Would like to mention that the foundation still has number of prints commemorating the Doolittle Raiders for sale.  There are three different prints.  If you would to purchase any of the prints or would like more information please contact Katherine Cuddy. Her e-mail is .


I’ve made mention in the past couple of newsletters about a really great collection of airplanes donated to SCHAF by the family of Glenn Stackhouse, former professor at the University of South Carolina. Thought everyone would like to see some pictures of the entire collection.



Historical Notes-

The world was saddened in December the news of John Glenn’s passing.  I can remember being in grade school and watching Glenn’s historic flight into space.  He was a true American hero who served his country in so many ways.  Here is a remembrance from The Columbus Dispatch. Also photos of his amazing life.  And do you know who his wingman was in the Korean War?  None other than Ted Williams: . God speed John Glenn: .

One of the great things about doing the SCHAF newsletter is the feedback from readers.  SCHAF member Franklin Hall sends this in about his first flight.

At age five I resolved that when I grew up I would become a fighter pilot. My dad thought he would help me achieve my ambition and bought me a pedal plane for my birthday. Somebody told me that the best thing I could do until I was old enough to get a pilot’s license was to build model airplanes. Woolworths sold Comet model airplane kits for 10 cents, so I built model airplanes. I found that I could sometimes sell one of my completed models for 25 cents and put 15 cents profit into my piggy bank to pay for flying lessons someday.

            June 1938 somebody told me how Jimmy Doolittle learned to fly. He would hang around the local airport, help pilots wash their planes, check the oil, add gas and oil, “Give ‘em a prop” to get the engine started, and anything he could find to help. Pilots would sometimes give him a free flying lesson in gratitude.

            In those days many airports were just an unused hay field that had a shed or a barn that could be used for a hangar. Such was the Greeley airport, the nearest airport to where I lived. I began hanging out there. My first day there were two planes tied down there: an Aeronca C-3 owned by the FBO, and a transient Porterfield that RONed there on its way to Pueblo. The Porterfield pilot wanted to add five gallons of gas, and seemed pleased when I offered to help him. We loaded a 55-gallon drum of gas on a dolly and rolled it out to his plane.  A hand pump was already inserted. All we had to do was crank the handle 360 degrees three times (1080 degrees) and one gallon of gas would squirt into a large pitcher. Then we poured this through a chamois cloth into his tank.  Four more times (total of 5400 rotations of the pump handle) and he had his five gallons. I gave him a prop, and he was off toward Pueblo, and I was sure I would be able to help enough to repeat what Jimmy Doolittle had done. I was on my way!

            A few minutes later my optimism was stunned. The FBO told me, “Kid, if you think you can hang around here helping people and be given free flying lessons, you are sadly delusioned. Every kid in this town has already tried that and it doesn’t work.”

            “Oh, that’s okay,” I replied. (I think I was lying.) “I just like to be around planes. When I grow up I am going to be a fighter pilot.”

            For about three weeks I hung around, helping everyone who would allow me near their treasured vehicle. The FBO gradually came to accept me. You might even say we became friends. One Saturday he said, “Frank, can you dig up three dollars? I’m almost broke and I have a date tonight. If you can scare up three dollars I will give you a flying lesson.” (He probably knew that was what I wanted above all things.)

            I ran home, emptied my piggy bank, and scraped together every nickel

 and dime I could find. “I’m sorry,” I told him, “all I could get is two dollars.”

            He accepted the bag of nickels, dimes, and pennies. I gave him a prop, then he moved over into the right seat and I climbed into the left. His hands and feet were on the controls as well as mine, making sure I did everything correctly. We climbed to 2000 ft AGL and did some gentle turns and stalls, then returned to the hay field. Total flying time 20 minutes.

            If you think I was hooked on flying before, well this created a new definition. The nickname for the Aeronca C-3 was “the flying bathtub” and I guess I got baptized in it.


One of the more famous aviation paintings is entitled “Take Off” and shows the interior of a Short Stirling as the crew prepares for another mission in the skies over Germany.  It hangs in the Imperial War Museum in London and I’ve been fortunate to see it.

Here’s a link to a posting on the blog Vintage Airplane Writer comparing the painting to the interior of the Avro Lancaster of the RAFs Battle of Britain Memorial Flight: .

In last month’s newsletter I included a number of links dealing with the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Here’s an interesting one from the Vintage Wings of Canada site about the attack from the viewpoint of a Japanese aviator who took part: .

The folks at the Spann Watson chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen are a great bunch, folks who have helped SCHAF a number of times in the past during open houses and with various events.  Couldn’t hope to know a nicer group of people.  And, speaking of the “Red Tails,” Here’s a link from Britain’s FlyPast magazine about a Tuskegee Airman who, at the age of 91, was able to renew an old friendship. .  Oh, here’s another link about the Tuskegee Airman from the Vintage Wings of Canada site:–the-Tuskeegee-Airmen.aspx .

The Tuskegee Airman, of course, were famous for breaking the color barrier in the military.  We should not forget the men who broke the color barrier in the civil aviation industry.  A link about the men who became the first African-American airline pilots: .


File this one under the history of an airport.  A very interesting multi-media presentation on the history of Schiphol airport, Amsterdam’s international airport: .  In the early seventies I had the occasion to fly through Schiphol. My memories of it. Busy.  By the way the name Schiphol translates into ship hole. The airport was built on land reclaimed from the ocean by those ingenious Dutch in an area once known for being the place where a large number of ships went down, thus, the ship hole.

Now for something on military aviation.  A posting about ten U.S. military aircraft that never quite made it: .

When we think of navy fighter pilots we think first of the Pacific theatre and epic air battles with the Japanese.  Less known though is the role played in Europe by aviators of the U.S. Navy.  Here’s a piece about Hellcats over France: .

Here’s the story of a pilot who bombed Hitler’s hideaway: .

On a lighter note, the story of the flying Santas who brought Christmas to folks in lighthouses: .

Good Reads-

 The Sky on Fire: The First Battle of Britain 1917-1918 by Raymond H. Freddette.  Not about the Battle of Britain we’re all familiar with but instead the German aerial assault on England during the First World War.  An interesting book where the reader realizes that the success enjoyed by the British during the Battle of Britain in 1940 was the result of lessons learned in 1917 and 1918.  It was in trying to find solutions to the problems that had bedeviled them in the final years of World War I that the British were prepared for the German aerial onslaught after the fall of France.  Interesting part is that Freddette disagrees with the common picture of Lord Trenchard as the “father of the Royal Air Force” arguing that Trenchard was not supportive of the idea until he realized politically it was in his best interest to back the formation of an independent air arm.  A bit academic in presentation but still a very interesting read.

Odds and Ends-

Our trivia question last month had to do with an airline that sadly is no longer with us.  In the mid-sixties they painted their planes in various pastel colors and outfitted their stewardesses – old school term for flight attendant – in mini-skirts and designer outfits.  All very mod looking.  Their advertising declared “The End of the Plain Plane.” The answer is Braniff International, the Texas based airline that shook up the industry and brought a swinging sixties attitude to air travel.  Here are some links about Braniff: and along with .  Congratulations go out to John Tokaz who was first with the correct answer.  John mentioned that he flew Braniff from Tulsa to Kansas City in 1967 on a BAC Oen-Eleven, a British jetliner of the era.  Also, congratulations go to Tim Darrah, and Frank Young, both of whom also had the right answer.

This month’s trivia question has to do with a waterfall, a rather famous waterfall with an aviation connection.  It’s named for the American pilot who discovered it in the 1930s. It is one of the great waterfalls of the world.  Which waterfall am I looking for and what’s the name of the pilot it’s named after?  We’ll let you know next month.

One of the more popular TV shows of the 70s was Baa Baa Black Sheep (later known as Black Sheep Squadron).  It starred Robert Conrad but the real reason to watch was to see the beautiful F4U Corsairs featured in the show.  Here’s an article about the Corsairs of Baa Baa Black Sheep: .


I’ve probably mentioned it before but when I was young I loved building model airplanes. I remember kits from companies like Revell, Monogran, Aurora, Airfix and Lindberg.  Here’s a good blog devoted to model airplanes: .


One of the blogs I follow is called Shortfinals.  It’s interesting, well written though I do have some complaints about the layout.  But, still you will always find something of interest there. For example a couple of pieces on the Sikorsky flying boat: . Here’s the second piece: posting from Shortfinals about a D-Day survivor: .

Air travel the way it used to be: .

Answering the questions you haven’t asked.  Do airplanes have windshield wipers? . Another question you probably didn’t ask, why do airlines ask you to raise the window shades on take-off and landings: . And, the answer to another burning question, why does the 747 have that giant mump in the front: .

Want to see some really amazing aviation photography: .

Okay, I know politics is still in the thoughts of many so with that in mind a brief history of Air Force One: .


No doubt about it a leak in a blimp could be disastrous.  Could get in the way of those incredible aerial shots of your favorite football game. How do you find leaks in a blimp?  Seems the folks at Lockheed Martin’s legendary Skunk Works have a way: .


One of the missions of SCHAF is introducing future generations to the rich and exciting history of aviation; here in South Carolina and elsewhere.  History, you may have noticed is also one of my passions.  It’s important to know where you’ve been or you might not have a clear idea of where you’re going.  While not about aviation this article from the Los Angeles Times discusses why it is so important that people are familiar with what has gone before us: .


Another area that you’ll find me mentioning a lot is that of getting young people involved in aviation. It’s important we mentor the next generation of aviation enthusiasts.  For example there is going to be a big need for airline pilots in the coming years: . Another piece on the same subject: .


In Closing-

Well, that wraps up this month’s SCHAF newsletter. I made mention last month of the fact that SCHAF is a 501(c)3 organization with donations, contributions and membership dues being tax deductible. With tax time only a few months away I thought it would be worthwhile to remind everyone that when you support SCHAF not only are you supporting a very worthwhile organization you’re also earning a break on your taxes. Just something to remember.

If you have something you would like to share please e-mail me or any of the board members for inclusion in future newsletters. Oh, and by the way, if you have not renewed your membership, do so at your earliest convenience.  Go to the SCHAF membership page on the foundation’s website.    

Also, another membership renewal will be going out later this month. Now is the time to re-up. Your support of SCHAF is needed and is important and greatly appreciated.


Dave McIntosh ( )


South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation   803 731 3254


3100 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29205