Tag Archive: history of aviation


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, www.aahs-online.org.

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!

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 Amazon.com.

Donald Douglas Sr. met Tip in 1936 as Tip joined the Douglas Aircraft Company workforce. Thank you Boeing.com for the photo.

Donald Douglas Sr. met Tip in 1936 as Tip joined the Douglas Aircraft Company workforce. Thank you Boeing.com for the photo.

In June, 1936, Cloyce Joseph Tippett was 23 years old looking for a job in aviation.

On the one hand, it was the Great Depression and finding any kind of job was a challenge.

On the other hand, he was in California and he had connections through his fiance’s father, Harry Hossack.

Tip wrote about his ambition in a memoir that has now been turned into the book “When No One Else Would Fly,” now available on Amazon.com.

“…Aviation per se was in the doldrums. Pilot jobs were few and far between in the San Francisco area. However, things were picking up in Los Angeles. Douglas Aircraft was building the DC-3 and the airlines were buying them. Once again, Mr. Hossack came to the rescue with his good friend, Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, a potent political lawman who had been sheriff for years. Sheriff Biscailuz was a very good friend of Mr. Donald Douglas, President of Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, and at Mr. Hossack’s suggestion, wrote a letter of recommendation to Mr. Douglas for me. I presented the letter to Mr. Douglas’s secretary early November 1936 and was sent to the office of the Vice President of Engineering. I was told to start work the next day on the three o’clock shift as a junior project engineer…”

This was just the beginning for Tip and it wouldn’t be long before he would go from helping to build the DC-3 to flying it.

For more of this story, check out Amazon.com for the book, or sign up to keep current with this and other book announcements.

 

Before he was a Colonel, C. J. Tippett flew the Lycoming Stinson out of Clover Field in California.

Before he was a Colonel, C. J. Tippett flew the Lycoming Stinson out of Clover Field in California.

One of my blog post series about my grandfather’s aviation pioneering life is “Where In The World… On This Day”… because he left such an awesome, museum-quality collection of documents, photos, logs, articles, memos, letter, photos and more that I can track where he was on a given day. Like today, for instance.

76 years ago, on May 16th, 1937, Tip was beating the Sunday sunrise at Clover Field, Santa Monica, California. He was running pre-flight checks on a Lycoming Stinson, registration number NC-13843. I know this from his pilot’s log, which he not only kept in great detail, but he had it notarized and signed off with each new flight certification. At age 24, he was aiming for a career as commercial pilot and he needed this flying time to count.

He would eventually go far beyond the career of a commercial pilot. He would become the Director of the South American Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization – and more. The story of his life, including his flights out of Clover Field, is told in his own words, as well as with my background, in “When No One Else Would Fly,” soon to be available on Amazon.com.

The Lycoming Stinson that Tip was flying that day was a day hire. Tip often flew passengers, flight students, or business men needing fast transport out of Los Angeles. Or he traded flight time with local fleet operators, but he flew almost every day. In this way, Tip flew every model of aircraft that was commonly available on 1937 civil aviation airfields, and some that were not so common.

The Lyoming Stinson was also known as the “Reliant.” It was a tail dragger, meaning that until the pilot had enough runway speed to take off, his view out the windshield was of everything except the ground in front of him. The airplane had a single overhead wing, and one engine on the nose. It could carry two passengers in addition to the pilot. True to its name, it was reliable and rugged.

“Lycoming” refers to the engine, and “Stinson” was the aircraft’s maker. This common standard for referencing aircraft in Tip’s day illustrates how important the two pieces of information were to pilots like Tip. The engine and the aircraft were two separate entities, and Tip knew them both intimately well.

Clover Field was the flight testing base of the Douglas Aircraft Company, and the maiden runway for the Douglas DC-3. Tip also knew that aircraft and company well, as they provided his day-job when he wasn’t flying overhead… as he did on Sunday, May 16th 1937.

 

Colonel C. J. Tippett in the cockpit of a Lockheed T-33 in Panama, 1955 - 1960

Colonel C. J. Tippett in the cockpit of a Lockheed T-33 in Panama, 1955 – 1960

For Colonel C. J. Tippett, aviation pioneer and Director of the South American Office of the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1960, active duty orders were literally a license to fly…. the T-Bird, the Lockheed T-33 jet trainer!

Tip, while living and working in Lima, Peru, had qualified in the T-33 in 1955 and any chance to report for duty at Albrook Air Force Base in Panama was a chance to climb into the T-33 cockpit.

Tip’s orders speak for themselves:

“Headquarters 

Caribbean Air Command 

United States Air Force 

Albrook Air Force Base 

Canal Zone 

Reserve Orders Number 13 May 5, 1960

Personnel Data: By direction of the President Colonel Cloyce J. Tippett AO (redacted) (Ready Reservist) (Command Pilot-On Flying Status) (Primary AFSC-redacted) (Present Address: Apartado redacted Lima Peru) is ordered to active duty for a period of 15 days for the purpose of training.

Security Clearance: Secret.

Assignment: DCS/Operations HQ Caribbean Air Command Albrook Air Force Base Canal Zone.

Reporting Data: Effective date of training 16 May 1960. Report to DSC/Operations this headquarters not later than 16 May 1960. Officer will be released from organization assigned in time to arrive at place from which ordered to active duty on effective date of release from training 30 May 1960 on which date he will revert to inactive status unless sooner relieved. (this is not my syntax, I swear – it is gen-u-ine USAF order speakery)

General Instructions: Officer is authorized to participate in flying activities during the period of active duty covered by this order.

Authority: Paragraph 1b. AFR 45-28 6 3 1957.

Transportation: You will proceed from present address on effective date of training. Travel by military aircraft is directed when available. PCS. TDN. Pay and allowances are chargeable.

For the Commander: W.H. Fleetwood 

SIGNED CWO. W-4 USAF Asst Director of Administrative Services”

For more T-33 flight adventures, and the full story of Tip’s aviation history life, check Amazon.com for the book “When No One Else Would Fly” or contact us to be added to the list for upcoming release.

 

The Cessna T-50 was a twin-engine trainer and Tip flew it from Washington D.C. to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1943. Thank you wikipedia for the public domain photo!

The Cessna T-50 was a twin-engine trainer and Tip flew it from Washington D.C. to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1943. Thank you wikipedia for the public domain photo!

The Cessna T-50 is not a very big plane, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a very long way from Washington D.C.

The flight would be a challenge in today’s modern times, with all of the GPS navigation equipment now available – but back in 1943, it was beyond challenging, it was a record!

Colonel C. J. Tippett made that flight in October, 1943 to bring a Cessna T-50 twin engine plane to Rio as a gift from the US Government to the civil aviation program of Brazil. Tip was in charge of the pilot training program, and his students needed access to a twin engine trainer. The US Government wanted to keep Brazil’s good will during wartime, and due to enemy submarine attacks in the Atlantic, the only way to get the plane to the students was to have Tip fly it down.

Additionally, Tip wanted to bring his wife and young son to Brazil. The Cessna could seat up to five, so off they went – with a State Department diplomat named Tony Satterthwaite.

Tip wrote:  “The newest twin-engine trainer at that time was the Cessna T-50; a five passenger wood and fabric aircraft powered with two 245-hp. engines. I was very familiar with the aircraft, as we had used the first ones at the Houston Standardization Center for the training of our inspectors.”

Louise, Tip’s wife, wrote:  “My husband, Cloyce Tippett, a special representative of the Civil Aeronautics Administration in Brazil, met his son, Mike, and me in Washington on his return from his foreign assignment. One day he came in from the CAA office bursting with news and asked me if I’d like to go with him to Brazil. I said sure I would. But Tip had been sent the year before to Argentina for “six weeks” and he had stayed more than a year. All that time, I had one bag packed while I perched precariously on the assurance I was to join him, but I never did. So now I put a strong dash of salt on the Brazil talk.

He assured me patiently that this time it was different and did I, or did I not, want to go to Brazil? I played another card. He had flown down there in a two-seat Fairchild single-engine plane and I wanted very little of that. Tip was a patient guy; tall, good-looking, with smile wrinkles mixed in with the lines that usually frame a pilot’s eyes. He described the Cessna that the CAA was turning over to him. Cozy, he said, as a small apartment. Long back seat where you and Mike could curl up and sleep. Now being converted from its military purposes at the factory. Make the trip in ten days. Magnificent scenery. New places. Rio’s wonderful.

It took more than ten days, but they did it – and their account of the flight is one of the best chapters of Tip’s aviation pioneering story “When No One Else Would Fly”, which is VERY close to being released on Amazon.com. Contact Us to be added to the book release list, or search the title on Amazon.com in the next month. The book is part memoir, part background story, and totally riveting.

 

Tom Berto creates aviation paintings, both beautiful and accurate.

Tom Berto creates aviation paintings, both beautiful and accurate.

There is an added dimension to the history of aviation, a thread that runs throughout stories of aviation pioneering. It is passion.

Colonel C. J. Tippett’s passion was for flight, and for aviation safety. While he admired the planes, he was enraptured by the process of flying. I can’t tell which aircraft as his favorite, although I’d guess it was the Beechcraft C-45.

And that admiration was not left behind as time, and technology, moved forward. Restoration, study, photography, modeling… and artwork, all keep the aircraft flying in our present day imaginations. Often, tangibly.

Tom Berto’s passion is for the aircraft themselves. The individual ships, or the models and types, and he expresses it through his art. His aviation paintings bring the aircraft back to life with exquisitely accurately detail.

Tom writes:

“I started painting in the late 70’s.  It was a natural offshoot of modeling – I already had the paints, thinner, X-acto knives, brushes, airbrush, and compressor.   In addition, I had developed airbrush and masking skills that are fundamental to making paintings.   Paintings are obviously different from plastic models, but they have some technical processes in common.  With “Mustang”, which I finished this year, the subjects matched, too.   Here’s the what, why, and how of “Mustang”.

The performance, looks, and positive historic roles of the Mustang and Spitfire have made them my favorite airplanes for as long as I can remember.   The range and performance of the P-51 gave the pilots of the 8th Air Force the bomber escort they needed to break the back of the Luftwaffe in early 1944.  This hastened the end of the most horrible war in human history.  My painting is based very closely on a WWII USAF black & white photograph of a P-51. The subject is “Tika IV”, flown by Vernon R Richards, an ace pilot of the 374th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group, 8th Air Force.  The photo shows off the wing planform and radiator scoop of the P-51, as well as the elegant drop tanks and four-blade propeller churning out power. The black/white invasion stripes have historic and moral significance as a symbol of the liberation of Europe from Hitler and his Nazis – as well as being a striking graphic element.  The clouds and receding fields of the background help convey the height and space of the scene.  There is also some “abstraction” to the image, in that the canopy is not visible – very unusual for aircraft photos!   It’s a unique, spectacular, and beautiful photo – a great starting point for a painting…… read more about Tom’s process…”

Tom’s articles, on www.modelingmadness.com, step through the process of creating two of his paintings.   They are symphonies of specialized knowledge, vision, historical perspective, and then there’s the paintings themselves: “Hurry Home Honey” and “Mustang”

I was already fascinated by Tom’s landscapes and flowers, and now I am an even bigger fan of his aviation paintings. Visit Tom’s site to see all of his paintings, including the B-17G, “Floogie Boo and Little Friends”.

 

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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