Tag Archive: vintage aircraft


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!

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 Amazon.com.

 

 

 

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.

 

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”.

 

I'm pleased to be a new member of the American Aviation Historical Society!

I’m pleased to be a new member of the American Aviation Historical Society!

As I continue to pursue my aviation history interest – which is almost ready to result in a book about Colonel Cloyce Joseph Tippett, I’m very pleased to have found the American Aviation Historical Society – and I’ve joined!

As a member, I’ll receive their quarterly Journal, and newsletter. In this way, I plan to study, follow, and contribute to the history of aviation. My access to Col. C. J. Tippett’s amazing archive of documents, flight logs, memos, letters, photographs, reports, publications, articles, objects, and military correspondence is going to make this membership even more rewarding for everyone… but mostly for me, as I begin to meet people in the industry and who share this interest.

Tip was a great believer in organizations, clubs, and associations. He held membership in all the biggest aviation organizations of his time, including:

The book about Tip’s life as an aviation pioneer is almost ready for release (sign up here for where to find it once it is out), and I am looking forward to further sharing Tip’s experiences by writing articles that expand on the material included in the book. There simply wasn’t space in a single book for all of the details in Tip’s archive, and it is going to enrich our legacy of American aviation history as I have the amazing opportunity to share it.

 

Col C. J. Tippett flew the Sikorsky OA8

Col. C. J. Tippett flew the Sikorsky OA-8 on February 14th, 1939… on his 26th birthday!

Cloyce Joseph Tippett was born on February 14th, 1913.

Twenty-six years later, on February 14th, 1939, he was at Kelly Field, Texas, flying a Sikorsky OA-8, also known as a JRS-1 or S-43.

Flying at Kelly Field was an accomplishment Tip had been trying to achieve since he was 16, flying his own Jenny biplane in the fields of Port Clinton, Ohio.

The amphibious twin-engine Sikorsky “Clipper” was only one of the many aircraft Tip learned to fly, at Kelly Field, and afterwards. This was a passenger craft and could hold up to 25 people in addition to the crew. Tip was learning every aspect of aviation, including navigation and communications.

Amphibious aircraft enjoyed the extended landing and take-off options afforded by waterways, but there were techniques specific to using those waterways that Tip had to master. Calm water was one thing, but any chop or waves presented a unique set of problems.

The extraordinary detail of Tip’s life as an aviation pioneer, described in the soon-to-be-released book “When No-One Else Would Fly”, was made possible by the flight logs and other documents that Tip carefully preserved throughout his life and travels.

Tip’s birthday flight in 1939 at Kelly Field, Texas was recorded in his flight log, along with every other flight he took as he studied with the US Army Air Corps. His descriptions of those times are a delightful read, and the book is almost ready!

 

Copyright 2012 Corinne Tippett & The Westchester Press
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