Go over to Ambulance Driver’s and read this POST. It appears Chris and Melody Byrne of the Anarchangel are the same as you and I, and they’ve been fighting a lengthy, tedious and horribly expensive international custody battle for several years now, and the bills are coming due. They’re offering up a cookbook for donations, so if you can spare it, go help them out…
Okayyyy… I’m tired of the political crap, so a little aviation history…
Not necessarily correctly time sequenced, but an intriguing story never the less.
From NAA retiree’s newsletter, author D.S Scott.
Enjoy a trip back in time and wonder at what was accomplished. Quite frankly, as an aviation nut for most of my life, I’m flabbergasted at not only the humble beginnings, but the back and forth moves by some of the major players. I was lucky enough to meet Ed Heinemann at the Naval Aviation Museum back in the 70’s; he was very interesting to talk to…
In aviation history, decades before geeks and nerds altered our way of life, young and gutsy aviation pioneers changed the world with their wood sticks, bailing wire, canvas and aluminum.
How many of you know that in 1910, mighty Martin Marietta got its start in an abandoned California church? That’s where Glenn L. Martin with his amazing mother Minta Martin and their mechanic Roy Beal constructed a fragile biplane that Glenn taught himself to fly.
It has often been told how Douglas Aircraft started operations in 1920 in a barbershop’s backroom on L.A. ‘s Pico Boulevard . Interestingly, the barber-shop is still operating.
The Lockheed Company built the first of their famous Vegas’ in 1927 inside a building currently used by Victory Cleaners at 1040 Sycamore in Hollywood.
In 1922, Claude Ryan, a 24 year old military reserve pilot, was getting his hair cut in San Diego, when the barber mentioned that the ‘town’s aviator’ was in jail for smuggling Chinese illegals up from Mexico. Claude found out that if he replaced the pilot ‘sitting in the pokey,’ that he would be able to lease the town’s airfield for $50 a month – BUT he also needed to agree to fly North and East – BUT not South!
Northrop’s original location was an obscure So California hotel. It was available because the police had raided the hotel and found that its steady residents were money-minded gals entertaining transitory male hotel guests.
Glenn Martin built his first airplane in a vacant church, before he moved to a vacant apricot cannery in Santa Ana . He was a showman and he traveled the county fair and air meet circuit as an exhibitionist aviator. From his exhibition proceeds, Glenn was able to pay his factory workers and purchase the necessary wood, linen and wire. His mother, Minta and two men ran the factory while Glenn risked his neck and gadded about the country. One of his workers was 22-year old Donald Douglas [who WAS the entire engineering department]. A Santa Monica youngster named Larry Bell [later founded Bell Aircraft] ran the shop.
Another part of Glenn Martin’s business was a flying school with several planes based at Griffith Park , and a seaplane operation on the edge of Watts . His instructors taught a rich young man named Bill Boeing to fly. Then, Boeing bought one of Glenn Martin’s seaplanes and had it shipped back to his home in Seattle At the same time, Bill Boeing hired away Glenn’s personal mechanic. Later, after Boeing’s seaplane crashed in Puget Sound , he placed an order to Martin for replacement parts.
Still chafing from having his best mechanic ‘swiped,’ [a trick he later often used himself] Martin decided to take his sweet time and allowed Bill Boeing to ‘stew’ for a while. Bill Boeing wasn’t one to ‘stew’ and he began fabricating his own aircraft parts, an activity that morphed into constructing entire airplanes.
A former small shipyard nicknamed ‘Red Barn’ became Boeing Aircraft’s first home. Soon, a couple of airplanes were being built inside, each of them having a remarkable resemblance to Glenn Martin’s airplanes .. that, interestingly, had its own remarkable resemblance to Glenn Curtiss’ airplanes.
A few years later, when the Great depression intervened and Boeing couldn’t sell enough airplanes to pay his bills, he diversified into custom built speed boats and furniture for his wealthy friends.
After WWI, a bunch of sharpies from Wall Street gained control of the Wright Brothers Co in Dayton and the Martin Company in L.A. and ‘stuck them’ together as the Wright-Martin Company.
Wright-Martin began building an obsolete biplane design with a foreign Hispano-Suiza engine. Angered because he had been out maneuvered with a bad idea, Martin walked out taking Larry Bell and key employees with him.
From the deep wallet of a wealthy baseball mogul, Martin was able to establish a new factory. Then his good luck continued, when the future aviation legend Donald Douglas, who Glenn persuaded to join his team. Quickly emerging from the team’s efforts was the Martin Bomber, the Martin MB-1.
Although too late to enter WWI, the Martin bomber showed its superiority when Billy Mitchell made everyone mad at him by sinking several captured German battleships and cruisers.
In Cleveland, a young fellow called ‘Dutch’ Kindelberger joined Martin as an engineer. Later, as the leader of North American Aviation, Dutch became justifiably well-known.
Flashing back to 1920, Donald Douglas had saved $60,000, returned to L. A. and rented a barbershop’s rear room and loft space in a carpenter’s shop nearby. There he constructed a classic passenger airplane called the Douglas Cloudster.
A couple of years later, Claude Ryan bought the Cloudster and used it to make daily flights between San Diego and Los Angeles . This gave Ryan the distinction of being the first owner/operator of Douglas transports. Claude Ryan later custom built Charles Lindbergh’s ‘ride’ to fame in the flying fuel tank christened: The Spirit of St. Louis .
In 1922, Donald Douglas won a contract from the Navy to build several torpedo carrying aircraft. While driving through Santa Monica ‘s wilderness, Douglas noticed an abandoned, barn-like movie studio. He stopped his roadster and prowled around. That abandoned studio became Douglas Aircraft’s first real factory.
With the $120,000 contract in his hand, Donald Douglas could afford to hire one or two more engineers. My brother Gordon Scott had been schooled in the little known science of aviation at England ‘s Fairey Aviation, so he hired Gordon.
My first association with the early aviation pioneers occurred when I paid my brother a visit at his new work place. Gordon was outside on a ladder washing windows. He was the youngest engineer. Windows were dirty. And Douglas Aircraft Company had no money to pay janitors.
Gordon introduced me to a towhead guy called Jack Northrop, and another chap named Jerry Vultee. Jack Northrop had moved over from Lockheed Aircraft. And all of them worked together on the Douglas Aircraft’s world cruiser designs. While working in his home after work and on weekends, Jack designed a wonderfully advanced streamlined airplane. When Allan Loughead [Lock-heed] found a wealthy investor willing to finance Northrop’s new airplane, he linked up with Allan. Together, they leased a Hollywood workshop and constructed the Lockheed Vega. It was sensational with its clean lines and high performance. Soon Amelia Earhart and others flew the Vega and broke many of aviation’s world records.
I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with Ed Heinemann who later designed the AD, A3D and A4D. He told me how my Dad would fly out to Palmdale with an experimental aircraft they were both working on. They would fly it around for a few hops and come up with some fixes. After having airframe changes fabricated in a nearby machine shop, they would hop it again to see if they had gotten the desired results. If it worked out, Mr. Heinemann would institute the changes on the aircraft’s factory assembly line. No money swapped hands!
In May 1927, Lindbergh flew to Paris and triggered a bedlam where everyone was trying to fly everywhere. Before the first Lockheed Vega was built, William Randolph Hearst had already paid for it and had it entered in an air race from the California Coast to Honolulu . In June 1927, my brother Gordon left Douglas Aircraft to become Jack Northrop’s assistant at Lockheed. While there, he managed to get himself hired as the navigator on Hearst’s Vega. The race was a disaster and ten lives were lost. The Vega and my brother vanished. A black cloud hung heavily over the little shop. However, Hubert Wilkins, later to become Sir Hubert Wilkins, took Vega #2 and made a successful polar flight from Alaska to Norway . A string of successful flights after that placed Lockheed in aviation’s forefront.
I went to work for Lockheed as it 26th employee shortly after the disaster and I worked on the Vega. It was made almost entirely of wood and I quickly become a half-assed carpenter.
At this time, General Motors had acquired North American consisting of Fokker Aircraft, Pitcairn Aviation [later Eastern Airlines] and Sperry Gyroscope and hired Dutch Kindelberger away from Douglas to run it Dutch moved the entire operation to L.A. where Dutch and his engineers came up with the P-51 Mustang.
Interestingly, just a handful of young men played roles affecting the lives of all Americans ….. as it initiated the Southern California metamorphosis, from a semi-desert with orange groves and celluloid, into a dynamic complex, supporting millions.
Although this technological explosion had startling humble beginnings, taking root as acorns in – a barber shop’s back room – a vacant church – and an abandoned cannery – but came to fruition as mighty oaks.
Well, Sotomajor will be confirmed if you believe the LWLs…
They are already crowing about having TWO premptive cards to play, the race card AND the gender card. From what I’m hearing inside the beltway, it’s already started…
Also, plan on hearing a lot about “snippets”, “half-sentences”, “out of context”, and other buzz words as the dems machine cranks up to derail any and all opposition to Sotomajor. Although I haven’t seen it, one of the LWLs that works in the office was talking to one of her friends about a “team” email she had gotten and how, “Everybody just has to stay on message to make sure nobody can counter without feeling the pain in the media, and especially push hard with any Hispanic friends to get them up in arms if there is any negative media.”
What happened to selecting the best person for the job based on, oh something novel, LIKE QUALIFICATIONS???
I predict this will go ugly early in the media, driven by the left, to shut off ANY questions… sigh…
Well, I guess everyone has heard Sonia Sotomayor has been nominated as the replacement for Souter on SCOTUS…
All this has done is reaffirm, at least in my mind, the Lightbringer doesn’t care a flip about the Constitution and is simply trying to stack the deck as much as he can! She is an average Judge, no really tough cases (she wouldn’t even hear the Reverse Discrimination case by Ricci et al over the firefighter promotions, which is now at SCOTUS), she is definitely anti-gun, anti-2A, and is going to get confirmed anyway because the Dems have enough votes to put her on the court without any problems…
BUT, she is female, Hispanic, Liberal, and has a sob story background- That puts all the checks in the box for the Obamabots, so who cares whether or not she is really the best candidate? They sure as hell don’t!
You can go HERE and read some of her statements and see the video of HER view of what the appeals courts do. You can go over to Texas Fred and read his post with leads to other posts/blogs.
Folks, this is, in my opinion, the first shot across the bows of the silent majority. I think the Obamabots are going to see what they can get away with on this one… How far they can push the envelope, how well the dems actually perform to get her on the SCOTUS, and prime the pump because the Lightbringer thinks he’ll get to do this again and again…
I’m writing my Congresscritters, asking them to look at qualifications and agendas of this woman, because I STRONGLY believe she will hurt the US more than help it…
What you do is up to each of you, but I simply ask you to consider whether you really want someone like this interpreting/making your laws for the next 20-30 years…
Or would you rather have someone like Justice Diane Wood? If you want a female, why not get one of the best? sigh…
Banging head on soapbox now…
It was a pleasure to finally meet Snigs’ clan and J.R. Shirley today. We did an impromptu blogmeet (kinda, sorta) for lunch over in Augusta, GA. Once again I was impressed with the folks in real life, as they ALL are down to earth and VERY sharp! Snigs’ kids were probably the nicest most polite kids, and the quietest I have seen in oh, forty forevers… Of course, something about if they got out of line they were dead meat “might” have had something to do with it… Or maybe not ☺
J.R. has my admiration, simply because he teaches school- I couldn’t do that, at least not without ending up under the jail because I’d have smacked one of the back talking little twerps… J.R. did admit it wasn’t easy, but he hung in there! Now he’s on to bigger and better things.
J.R. has an interesting background, and is a shooter too! We also found out we know people in common (cue small world music)! Snigs piped up that we probably know people in common, as she was raised over in Covington, GA where some of my relatives are…
J.R. related the story of the threat made by one of his students that he posted about, and Snigs’ hubby James made an interesting observation, since he works for GA Dept of Corrections, and I think he’s right when he said he’d probably be seeing “most” of them in the near future…
It’s no wonder Snigs does as well as she does in school, she reminds me of the ol’ Steel Magnolia… All Southern sweetness and light on the outside, real pretty, but solid steel underneath, and NO qualms about doing what is right, regardless of what is going on around her. If she’s not the top graduate out of nursing school, it sure wont be for lack of effort!
I think we solved the world’s problems at least once or twice, talked guns, travel, guns, school, guns, kids, snakes, idiots… well you get the drift ☺
I had to bail early, as the Maytag man was meeting me at my place to install a new microwave (yes they DO make service calls, of course in this case, it helps that he’s a friend and I bought the original one from him in 1994…), even on a Sunday; this is because I have to go back tomorrow.
Hopefully we can do this again in the future and actually get a little shootin in too!
This is sworn to and recited by every member of the military. Easy to say but it takes that special dedication to enact that almost all of our military members possess when the time comes for the oath to hit one in the face with reality.
The Military Code of Conduct
I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.
If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.
If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will
obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me, and will back them up in every way.
When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give only my name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or
written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.
I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the
Well, the Lightbringer did it again…
The cost of your car just went up by $1300 and for this you get what???
Under the changes, the overall fleet average would have to be 35.5 mpg by 2016, with passenger cars reaching 39 mpg and light trucks hitting 30 mpg under a system that develops standards for each vehicle class size. Manufacturers would also be required to hit individual mileage targets.
The only way they are going to be able to do that is reduce the size of the cars and the engines in them. I believe someone from Ford said they would downsize engines, possibly add turbo or super chargers to “boost” power when needed. Also they will have to reduce weight, which means less steel, more aluminium, and more plastic…
But…but… to make plastic it takes… Petroleum!
Sooooo, you get to buy a smaller, less safe car, with less acceleration capability, for more money, and you’d BETTER enjoy it! Cause you sure as hell aren’t going to have any choices… sigh…
And this one just cracked me up!
Obama said the proposal would save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years, akin to removing 177 million cars from the roads over the next 6 1/2 years.
Yo, Lightbringer, this doesn’t take effect until 2016, so howinthehell is it going to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil BEFORE IT TAKES EFFECT???
Oh yeah, while I’m on the subject, well more or less, where are all those “Porkulus” jobs that were supposed to be created? Hmmm?
Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in April (-539,000), and the unemployment rate rose from 8.5 to 8.9 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.
In the even more stoopid category, it appears the Navy will have to forgo $450 MILLION in required maintenance on ships, submarines and aircraft in 2009 because the bill is too big…
Last time I looked, we were STILL at war with folks in combat in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Can somebody PLEASE tell me WTFO???
I’m beginning to wonder when the other size 937 shoe is going to fall on us…
Oh, a “bright” spot… Health care jobs were UP by 17000 in April. Hmmm, betting on the come maybe? After all, Daschle DID get hired by GE to head up their medical records division.
Couldn’t possibly be they expect him to “lobby” the Lightbringer for contracts and money could it? Nah… the administration doesn’t ALLOW lobbyists, right?