Category: Blogs @ “Colonel C. J. Tippett”

solarimpulsesolar impulse in airThe Solar Impulse – on the longest nonstop leg of its Round-The-World attempt has now broken the record for both longest solo flight and longest SOLAR flight (by time). André Borschberg and the Swiss team are attempting to set the record for circling the globe without using a single drop of fuel.


No gas.

Not only from Japan to Hawaii – that’s the hardest, longest, most dangerous part.

But around the world.

The first-in-flight record books are filled with points-on-a-graph success stories all heading toward one goal… flight without limitations of time or distance.

Flying like a bird is not enough for mankind, we must fly like the wind.

Without polluting it.

Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight is the most famous of the record setters. He flew solo nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927.

But before that was the first round-the-world flight in 1924. Not nonstop, not solo. It was four biplanes under the command of Major Martin. That record was broken seven years later by Wiley Post who flew it solo, in a Lockeed Vega.

In 1949 came the first nonstop round-the-world flight, in a B-50A Superfortress built by Boeing. Eight years later in 1957, three Boeing B-52 bombers topped that record by flying round-the-world nonstop by jet engine.

With round-the-world and nonstop accomplished, many years went by without a technological record-breaking advance in aviation. Not until after the 1970s and the energy crisis. Then the race turned to fuel efficiency.

In 1986,  Rutan and Yeager flew round-the-world, nonstop, without refueling. The plane was the Voyager – and a whole new technology.

Naturally, the next record had to be round-the-world, nonstop, without refueling, solo. That was set in 2005 by Steve Fossett with the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer.

The team behind the Solar Impulse is blowing the record book sky high now. Forget “without refueling”… they are going for “without fuel” in their round-the-world flight.

And in this leg, claiming longest nonstop solo – even aside from without fuel.

Congratulations Solar Impulse. Those of us sitting under skies changed by global warming cheer you on.





This was the summer I spent at Llangollen Farm with my grandfather, Colonel C. J. Tippett and Liz Whitney Tippett. These were her prize-winning carriage horses. They were biters.

Congratulations to American Pharoah, winning the Triple Crown for the first time in decades! I’ve been watching the Belmont Stakes for so many years in a row in the hopes of seeing a Triple Crown winner, and today is the day.

Col. C. J. Tippett and Liz Whitney Tippett were all about racing. Liz was a racehorse owner, with high profile horses in the USA and Australia, including “Igloo” in the 1970’s. She bred, trained, and raced horses from her own stable at Llangollen, Virginia, under her own colors – the purple and fuchsia.

As I wrote the biography of Colonel C. J. Tippett, “When No One Else Would Fly”, I was immersed in Liz’s world as well. Her story blends with Tip’s near the end of the book as he left civil aviation and entered joined Liz in the business of thoroughbred racing.

And I went with him – visiting him at the farms and ranches in California and Virginia and spending part of a summer at Llangollen. I joined Liz and Tip at the racecourse and picked a winner. I sat in on an after-dinner foal naming session and contributed a name. I rode as groom with the carriage team to a lawn party and held the bridles as the team snacked on my knuckles.

One day, I’ll write Liz’s story. It is a story of thoroughbred racing history just as Tip’s is a story of aviation history.

Col. C. J. Tippett and Liz Whitney Tippett would have loved the 2015 Belmont stakes and the winning of the Triple Crown for the first time since their own heyday in the racing world.

Email me at with “Liz Book” in the subject, to be added to my Liz book update list.

Check out the book review of "When No One Else Would Fly" in the AAHS Flightline Newsletter, 2nd quarter 2014, No. 187, page 8

Check out the book review of “When No One Else Would Fly” in the AAHS Flightline Newsletter, 2nd quarter 2014, No. 187, page 8

This month’s edition of the Flightline newsletter published by the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) carries a book review of “When No One Else Would Fly” and I am delighted.

Hayden Hamilton has written a thoughtful and detailed review that highlights what is most important about the book – that it describes the important but little known contribution Col. C. J. Tippett made to aviation during his lifetime.

The review also gives a candid assessment of an aviation expert’s opinion of the way I wrote the book, by interspersing Tip’s own writing with my historical summaries… which he did not hate!

Mr. Hamilton declared the book “an excellent read and reference for those interested in the development of civil aviation in both the U.S. and South America during the 1940s and 1950s.”

The review, and the whole newsletter, are a ten-course meal for aviation enthusiasts – as is the AAHS website,

Click here to read the review, and I encourage you to click around on the AAHS website as well – it is a rich resource for american aviation history.

The quarterly newsletter is available to anyone clicking through to the site. The organization’s magazine, a full-color beautifully written resource of aviation articles, goes to members. Membership is not expensive and well worth it.

The review appears on page 8 of the 2014 second quarter AAHS newsletter, No. 187.

My thanks to the AAHS!

Now available for Kindle!

Now available for Kindle!

When No One Else Would Fly is now available for Kindle!

The eBook is done and looking good, and up for Amazon’s Kindle.

If you are an Amazon Prime member with a Kindle, the book is also available for you in the Kindle Lending Library!

This is all cause for big celebration.
Unless you have an e-reader that takes only ePUB,
In which case, you’ll have to wait three more months for the eBook BUT…

The print book is also available, and its batteries won’t run out like your e-reader’s will!

The three month wait is due to my enrolling “When No One Else Would Fly” in the Kindle Select Program – so that I can see how that works for my books.

Check out the five star reviews on for Tip’s biography – readers are enjoying the story!


The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1956, but there was more to the story than anyone expected...

The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1956, but there was more to the story than anyone expected…

Colonel C. J. Tippett was not only the Director of the South American Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1956, he was also the club manager for the Cabo Blanco Fishing Club, off the coast of Peru.

The Cabo Blanco Fishing Club was the hottest big game sportfishing location in the world at that time, and celebrity anglers were pulling record-setting hook and line catches in astonishing numbers.

This activity attracted the attention of Sports Illustrated, and the magazine sent out a writer to do an article on the wonders of black marlin fishing on Marlin Boulevard. But the article didn’t represent The Club in quite the way the members had expected, some of whom were affiliated with the magazine’s leadership.

On March 19, 1956, the headline “The Fabulous Cabo Blanco Club – In Color” blazed from the cover of Sports Illustrated. It pictured Alfred C. Glassell Jr. with one of his many black marlin catches on the dock at Cabo Blanco. Tip’s happy anticipation in reading the article, mailed to him from New York City, quickly turned to unease as the author began to systematically bash the Club’s exclusive policies.

Tip and The Club’s leadership were tasked with damage control on the fallout from the article. The incident is described in detail in Chapter 17 of “When No One Else Would Fly“, the aviation biography of Colonel Tippett.

Tip wrote a telegram regarding his action on the article:




The full story, in the book, is now available on

Roscoe Turner was a self-made pilot, race car expert, and commercial airline founder. He met Tip in 1955.

Roscoe Turner was a self-made pilot, race car expert, and commercial airline founder. He met Tip in 1955.

Continuing one of my favorite blog series that support my book “When No One Else Would Fly“, the aviation pioneering biography of Colonel C. J. Tippett… I introduce Roscoe Turner.

Roscoe Turner was a self-taught automobile mechanic who fell in love with flying but was prevented from joining pilots in the sky by his lack of education and connections. He persevered throughout WWI and bought his own barnstormer at the end of the war. Turner made his way up in civil aviation, by flight racing and stunt flying. He built himself a name and place in commercial flight through his own efforts.

His speed racing set flight records and he caught the attention of the Gilmore Oil Company, which would one day be absorbed into the Mobil Oil Company. The Gilmore Oil Company’s logo contained a lion, and so, as a publicity stunt, the company gave Roscoe Turner a lion cub to fly with – and he did. Roscoe and Gilmore, the lion cub, flew all over the United States until the cub grew into a lion and became a flight hazard in the cockpit. Gilmore stayed on the ground, and Roscoe grew in fame and set up training programs during WWII.

Roscoe Turner was 60 years old when he traded letters with Tip in 1955, discussing a commercial aviation opportunity in South American aviation – when Tip was the Director of the South American Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization. They enjoyed a friendship and professional connection, as well as similarities in their aviation backgrounds. Turner expressed admiration, and some envy, over Tip’s transition from conventional to jet aircraft as Tip qualified in the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star.

Read more about Tip’s aviation life in “When No One Else Would Fly” now available on

Colonel C. J. Tippett and Joe Mashman set first in flight records in helicopters in 1947.

Colonel C. J. Tippett and Joe Mashman set first in flight records in helicopters in 1947.

In 1947, Argentina had a problem. An unusual series of winter rains in the northern provinces had triggered a succession of locust plagues.The insect swarms were unmerciful, and Argentina was losing critical grasslands which fed the beef cattle that were the nations most important export.

Pilots in conventional aircraft were trying to combat the locusts, but were failing as engines clogged with the insect’s bodies and lives were being lost. Efforts to fight the locusts from the ground were limited and ineffective.

There was one new aviation technology that came to the forefront at this time – the helicopter. It was the ideal aircraft for fighting the locust plague, and there just happened to be a helicopter manufacturer who was looking for a way to showcase commercial helicopter abilities.

In Chapter 14 of “When No One Else Would Fly“, Tip wrote:

“While I was in New York City, I was called to an office in the State Department and advised that a phone call would be coming through from Mr. Larry Bell, president of the Bell Helicopter Corporation, who wished to speak to me personally. Over the phone, Mr. Bell told me that the Argentine government and the State Department wanted me to be the head of an operation and that it was a most important assignment. The helicopter was the only instrument that could combat the locusts successfully. I advised Mr. Bell that I did not feel qualified to accept the position, as I knew nothing about helicopters, having never seen or flown one. Bell replied that if I would come back to Buffalo, they would teach me all they knew about the machine in a matter of weeks.”

Tip did learn in a matter of weeks, and he joined Joe Mashman, Bell Helicopters primary test pilot, and solved Argentina’s locust problem. Together, they stayed on and formed TAYR, Trabajos Aereos Y Representaciones. Tip and Joe mashman, along with C. W. Wes Moore, set first in flight helicopter records almost every time they took to the air.

Read more about Tip’s helicopter exploits, and more, in “When No One Else Would Fly”, now available on




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