f!lJ1/ .J.R. NIELAI\nEH,.JR.
Who is best qualified to judge the airworthiness of an
antique or classic aircraft? Is it the FAA inspector who
was weaned on military jets? Or is it the A & P mechanic
or A I whose experience is limited to maintaining the last
decade's generation of Spam cans? Or is it the owner-
restorer who separated his aircraft into its smallest
component parts, inspected and either repaired or
replaced each individual part, and then put all of those
parts back together again using much tender loving care
and resulting in an aircraft which equaled or surpassed
that produced by the original manufacturer with regard
to workmanship and beauty? If the aircraft subsequently
requires some maintenance or repair, who among these
individuals is most familiar with it and its systems, and
who is best qualified to perform the work required? It
doesn't take much thought to realize that the one who
took the aircraft down to its bare bones and individual
pieces and then rebuilt it into a beautiful flying piece of
aviation history is certainly the individual who is best
qualified to continue to maintain it and to perform
periodic inspections on it.
Under the present Federal Air Regulations, antique
and classic aircraft, being certificated standard category
aircraft, must have periodic inspections conducted by
FAA maintenance inspectors or A I's, and all mainten-
ance required must be accomplished by, or performed
under the direct supervision of, a licensed A& P
mechanic. For many of us this is no hardship because we
ourselves are licensed A & P mechanics, or we have
worked out an acceptable arrangement with our local A
& P mechanic or A I to work under his direct supervision.
For others of us it is a very definite hardship because,
although we may be superior craftsmen, we are not
licensed A & P mechanics, and we do not have an A & P
or A I near at hand to supervise our work. In this latter
case we would then have to subject ourselves to the
inconvenience and expense of taking our pride and joy
to an approved shop and having the maintenance and
inspection performed by individuals who, although they
are licensed to do the work, are less familiar than we are
with our particular bird, and thus are much slower at
doing the job and much more hesitant about giving the
aircraft their stamp of approval. The end result is that
we have had to pay to have work done on our aircraft
which we ourselves were better qualified to do than were
those whom we paid. Quite probably we have had to pay
for repairs ordered by the A & P or A I which were not
really necessary, but which were specified because of
over cautiousness resulting from a lack of familiarity
with our old bird .
The original builder of a homebuilt aircraft is
empowered by the Federal Air Regulations to perform
maintenance, repairs and periodic inspections on his
homebuilt. Think how great it would be if we who own
and restore antique and classic aircraft could be permit-
ted by regulations to perform maintenance, repairs and
period ic inspections on our own aircraft and still
continue their standard category airworthiness certif-
icates without our being required to have the work sign-
ed off by an A & Por A I, or by an FAA maintenance
inspector. This goal is not impossible to obtain. The
FAA is leaning more and more toward self-policing with
reference to special interest aviation groups. I f we want
it we shall have to ask for it, and we shall have to show
the FAA that we have the ability and self discipline to
police ourselves and to continue to maintain the high
standards of workmanship and airworthiness presently
displayed in the antique and classic movement.
Before we can approach the FAA with regard to
changing the regulations concerning the maintenance
and periodic inspection of older aircraft, we shall have to
have a program worked out which will be an acceptable
substitute for the present FAA regulations. This program
will, of necessity, have to be well planned and worked
out in minute detail to insure that the high standards of
craftsmanship and airworthiness which have been estab-
lished by the regulations will continue to be carried out.
We solicit your comments and suggestions to help us
establish a workable set of rules which would give us
relief from this unnecessary inconvenience and paper-
work. If you had it in your power to set-up the mach-
inery for maintaining certification of antique and classic
aircraft which were restored, maintained and period-
ically inspected by the owner-restorer, how would you
do it?
AI  Kelch 
Assistant  Editor 
Lois  Kelch 
Associate  Editor  Associate  Editor  Associate  Edi t or 
H. Gl enn Buffi ngton  Robert  G. Ell iott  Edward  D. Wi ll iams 
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Restorer's Corner ... . .. ..... . .. . ... . . ....... . 1
The First Cabin Pl ane, Edward D. Willi ams, Assoc. Ed . 3
14,000 Hours in the Air . .. . . . .. . . . .. .... . .. . . . 5
Time Fli es Wh y Don't You, H. Gl enn Buffi ngton, Assoc. Ed. 7
A Sil ver Eagle, George W. Haldeman, Robert G. El liott, Assoc. Ed . 9 
Vintage Album . .. ..... .. . .. ......... . ... . ... . . . 11
Calendar of Events 21
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ON  TH E COVER  ( Back  Cover ) 
Three "birds of a feather " at
Serial No.7 · Mint Restora·
Morton Lester 's Ryan S.c. W.
Oshkosh, 7975.  (Photo by
tion Ted j . Koston)
Copyright  © 1978  Antique/ Classic  Division.  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved . 
Rare photograph shows de Havilland DH-4B converted to a cabin plane for two passengers. At the
extreme left (standing by wing trailing edge) is Ralph D. "Sid" Edwards, who did the work with
the aid of a mechanic '5 helper. The photo was taken in 7920 at Checkerboard Field, Maywood, I L,
a stop for the U.S. Air Mail Service for which Edwards worked at the time.
rSIJ I'IlIl1r
~ A B I   P#fA.1i
By: Edward D. Williams
Associate Editor
77 3 Eastman Drive
Mt. Prospect, I L 60056
Here's a question for antique airplane buffs. What was
the first cabin plane flown in the United States)
Unless new evidence comes in to the contrary, that
honor will have to go to a de Havilland DH-4B of the
U.s. Post Office's Air Mail Service.
The plane was born as the normal open cockpit bi-
plane but in 1920 was converted to include a cabin for
two passengers. The de Havilland was based at Checker-
board Field, Maywood, IL., and was selected for the
conversion so that postal officials could be spared much
of the discomfort from the elements while being flown
throughout the country.
Key man in the work was Ralph D. "Sid" Edwards,
who was a 22-year-old mechanic with the Air Mail
Service. Edwards, with the assistance of a mechanic's
helper, used some aluminum and paralin (1920-era plas-
tic) in accomplishing the task.
First Edwards and his assistant removed the gas tanks
from the de Havilland and put them under the fuselage.
Then they rearranged the interior supports in the fu-
selage, permitting them to enlarge the mail compart-
ment. After building a false floor . in the mail pit, they
installed two stool-like seats facing each other with room
enough between them for a small table.
Finally, a hood of paralin reinforced with aluminum
tubing was built over the compartment. The new
arrangement proved fairly comfortable for the pas-
sengers, who had the benefit of two windows from
which to view the scenery. The pilot, however, still felt
the wind in his face because he remained housed in an
open cockpit.
Edwards, who died on Jan. 28, 1974, had plenty of
experience as a mechanic by the time he worked on the
de Havilland cabin plane. A native of Philadelphia, he
acquired his mechanical skills at the Philadelphia Trade
School and, after graduating in 1916, enlisted in the
Navy in 1917 for the remainder of World War I, serving
at a Naval electrical school. After his discharge in 1919,
Edwards found that many of his friends had joined the
fledgling Air Mail Service and decided on a similar
career. He was able to land a job as an "airplane and
engine" man at Bustleton Field in Philadelphia, a stop
on the original New York-to-Washington air mail route.
Ralph D. "Sid" Edwards
Taken in 7953, just 70 years before retirement
from N.A. T.
By the end of the first year he was building airplanes.
"There were about 10 of us who co uld build an airplane
from the bottom up," he once recalled.
In the eight years that Edwards worked for the Air
Mail service he estimated he built 35 or 40 complete
fuselages for such famous air mail pilots as Jack Knight,
Harold T. (Slim) Lewis, Hamilton Lee and Bobby
Coulter. Edwards and other pioneer mechanics did so
much of this work that they referred to themselves as
"ship builders," he had said.
Edwards had recalled that "We tore them apart, put
them together, then watched the pilots modify them
accordi ng to their own desires."
Among Edwards' friends then was Charles Lindbergh.
Edwards serviced planes for the government mail flights
and Lindbergh was "a boy pilot, who was smart and who
kept pretty much to himself," Edwards recalled.
Edwards remembered Lindbergh as a flier without
fear, who would fly any time in any kind of weather .
Wh en he set out to fly to Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis,
Edwards and the other early aviation pioneers knew that
he was gambling.
" If the flight was a success, Lindbergh was made, if
not, then it was just too bad," Edwards said. After his
successful flight, Lindbergh became just a memory, and
Edwards never saw or heard from him again.
"In those days we could just about make a barn door
fly," said Edwards. "It see ms like a long time ago, but it
was about 1930 when we flew our first real cabin planes.
As late as 1928 we'd fly movie stars, such as Will Rogers,
Bebe Daniels, in open cockpit jobs," Edwards said.
In 1927, Edwards was thinking abou t getting marl' ied
De Havilland 7920, Checkerboard Field at Maywood, IL, Chicago's first Air Mail field. The Field
where "Sid" Edwards worked when he made the first cabin plane.
and started looking around for a job that would pay
more money. He turned down an offer from Lindbergh
to take charge of Robertson Aircraft in St. Louis and
instead accepted a job from National Air Transport as a
foreman in Chicago.
Edwards started with NAT on July 18, 1927, and his
first job, naturally, was to get six Dougl as M-3s co nvert-
ed to MAs and ready to fly the new Chicago -New York
route by September I , 1927. Working with a group of
Gel'man mechanics, who spoke no English ("I didn't
speak German, either"), he got the job done, His new
job paid off, and on September 2, 1927, he married
Bernice M. Foster in Chicago.
National Air Transport was one of four companies
which merged to form United Airlines in 1934, and
Edwards helq various maintenance and customer services
positions with the new company at Cheyenne, Chicago,
Des Moines and Omaha.
When he retired at Omaha as line maintenance man-
ager on August 1, 1963, after a 44-year association with
aVlatron, generally acclaimed as " the man who is
said to have bu i I t the first cab in a irplane to fl yin the
United States." And so far no other person has laid
claim to that honor.  
Above:  Eddie  Stinson  and  his  wife  snapped  at  Mills 
Field,  San  Francisco,  on  National Air  Tour. 
By: Earl  Miller 
Reprint from April, 7929, Popular Mechanics
Eddie Stinson, barnstormer, war pilot and airplane
manufacturer, the other day finished his fourteen thou-
sandth hour in the air, a record, it is claimed, no one else
anywhere in the world has ever approached.
Fourteen thousand hours represent 583 1/3 days of
twenty-four hours each, or the equivalent of about
nineteen and a half months in the air, if they were all
strung together in one flight.
For a man still in his early thirties to have spent
nearly two years in the air is a remarkable thing, but
more remarkabl e still is the fact that after fifteen years
of flying, it still holds its lure-the one thing he wants to
do. The great majority of flyers, after a few years' expe-
rience, retire into something not quite so hazardous, but
Eddie Stinson expects to keep on flying as long as he
lives. The answer is that he is one of those rare persons, a
Right:  The  Stinson 
" D e t r 0 it e r ", in 
which  the  builder 
and  Capt.  George 
Haldeman  last spring 
broke  the  World's 
Endurance  record,  a 
new  ship  is  being 
built  to  regain  the 
mark,  now  held 
natural-born flyer.
That is not to be wondered at, for he comes from the
greatest flying family in the United States, and, so far as
American and British records show, the world. The fly-
ing Stinsons have produced four pilots- Katherine,
Marjorie, Eddie and Jack - a record believed to be
How does it feel to have spent 14,000 hours in the
"I've never given it a thought," Eddie confessed the
other day. "It's the one thing I want to do, and the only
thing I know how to do- build planes and fly them. I get
in six or eight hours every Sunday, usually flying down
to Chicago from the factory at Northville, Mich., to
spend the day with the boys at the airport, and, while
we have a test pilot, I usually manage to get in a bit of
time on every plane we build."
What those bits of time amount to is indicated by the
fact that, in the two and a half years since he became an
air-plane manufacturer at the head of his own factory
and began turning out commercial ships and special jobs
for trans-Atlantic and round-the-world flyers, he has man-
aged to keep up his average of around a thousand hours
a year in the air. Last year, with Capt. George Haldeman,
he took a Stinson "Oetroiter"- a six-passenger mono-
plane fitted with special gas tanks instead of passenger
seats - down to Jacksonville, Fla., and set up a new
world's endurance record of 53 hours 36 minutes and 30
seconds, the second time in a few years that he held the
endurance mark. Both the Italians and the Germans have
since bettered that record, but a new Stinson is coming
out of the factory shortly to go after it again, and Eddie
will be at the controls half the time.
His chief recollection of the two and a fraction days
of monotonous flying over the Florida coast last spring
is that it allowed him to catch up in his lost sleep.
"We carried an eiderdown quilt and a supply of
magazines for entertainment," he explail)s. "The one off
duty would stretch out, read a bit and then go to sleep. I
got almost twelve hours sleep out of each twenty-four.
About the only discomfort was watching George's beard
grow and wishing we would get it over with so he could
Haldeman was no novice at long flights in a
"Oetroiter," for he piloted Ruth Elder almost to the
Azores on her ocean flight.
The flying Stinsons' connection with aviation is
almost as lengthy as that of the Wright brothers. Along
about 1903 and 1904, when the Dayton bicycle men
were making their first flights with power, a boy in knee
pants, down in Mississippi, with the assistance of two
sisters, was building glider-type kites. The trio were
Eddie, Katy and Marge, who grew up to be, respectively,
an airplane builder and a pair of famous women dare-
By the year 1909, when the Wrights were winning
their first world-wide recognition, the Stinson children
were getting 200 and 300-foot flights in gliders big
enough to carry them and attaining the respectable al-
titude of ten to fifteen feet. It must be remembered that
the Wrights did most of their power-airplane flying at
that time around fifty feet above the ground and
publicly announced they saw no reason for going higher.
Katherine went to Chicago in 1912 and learned to fly
a Wright Model - B, a curious contraption that a spec-
tator described as a rather flimsy front porch with a
pilot sitting out on the steps. At the same time Eddie,
who had reached the respectable age of seventeen, was
building his own machine, with the help of a couple of
garage mechanics, in St. Louis. There wasn't any suitable
engine on the market, so they built that, too.
The finished product bore a close resemblance to the
Wright, even to the pair of chain-driven pusher propellers
in the rear. With it he did a lot of ground flying and
learned to handle a plane perfectly up to the moment it
reached flying speed and took to the air. Every time it
got off the ground, however, the trip wound up in an
accident, and the machine had to go into the shop for
repairs. Finally it had been crashed and repaired so many
times the bu ilders ran out of places to put fresh patches
and Eddie decided to go down to Dayton and enter the
Wright school, an arrangement which had the advantage
that the cost of tuition included all repairs, if the
student cracked up the school ship, the singular being
correct as, most of the time) the school had only one
Katherine already had become a famous state and ·
county-fair attraction, and Marjorie went through the
Wright school that same summer of 1914 and followed
in her sister's footsteps, while Eddie went barnstorming,
The family had moved to San Antonio, and put that
ancient Texas town on the flying map long before the
army made it the greatest flying center in the country by
establishing there Brooks and Kelly, the chief primary
and fi nishing flying schools during the war and since.
Eddie says the funniest experience in all his 14,000
hours happened at San Antonio while he was still in his
teens. He was flying a Wright model, hom emade, and, by
permission of the commandant, was using the parade
ground at Fort Sam Houston as a flying field. One day
the commandi ng officer served notice he would have to
move away, as the army was sending down four ships to
establish the nucl eus of an ai r corps at Ft. Sam Houston,
and it wouldn't be safe for a kid in a forty-mile-an-hour
Wright to be fooling around in the air when four fast
"Jennies," ships capable of as much as eighty miles an
hour, were in the same vicinity.
So the young flyer went out and located his first
field, a level track south of town, borrowed a pair of
sheets from his mother, staked them down to mark the
spot, and returned to th e fort to start his first cross-
country flight, a journey of seven miles.
All went well the first half of the di stance, and then,
as he shoved the control st ick forward to nose down and new fie ld, until finally his ship was not more than thirty
lose some altit ude, nothing happened. He kept on feet from the ground.
shoving until he had the stick all the way down to the Afraid to try another dive, he shut off the ignition
crossbar on which his feet rested, with the result that and let the plane settle to the ground, making a landi ng
finally, perhaps because of the displacement of his in a corner of a cemetery without breaking anyth ing.
weight, the homemade plane went into a dive. The sexton ran over to investigate, and Eddie explained
Back came the stick until it was pressed tight against he couldn't get out of the cemetery until he got a three-
his ch est, and agai n noth i ng happened. He squ i rmed side- -sixteenth-inch s t   v ~ bolt to repair the controls. The sex-
wise out of the seat and kept on pushing until the stick ton thought one might be found, and together they rum-
was where he had been sitti ng, and then the plane nosed maged through all the junk in his storeroom, without
up. At the same time he located the source of the success. Finally the sexton inquired if the boy flyer was
trouble. A bolt which acted as a pivot for the elevator superstitious, and volunteered the information that one
controls had sheared off, and instead of going up and of the vaults contained an ancient ironplate coffin, fairly
down when the controls were moved, the elevators were studded with bolts.
simply sliding back and forth. The breaking of the same Together they rolled back the stone cover, inspected
bolt made it impossible to warp the wings, a necessary the coffin and found a bolt just the right size. Repairs
function which took the place of ailerons in the Wright were made, young Stinson took off and landed safely
ships. beside his mother's sheets at the new field.
By alternately shoving the stick all the way down and I t was on the same field that Marjorie won the title of
pulling it all the way back, he succeeded in descending in the "Flying School Ma'rm," when she opened an avia-
a series of short dives, all the time hoping to reach his tion school and became the first woman pilot to give
Matty Laird loaned this plane, called the "Boneshaker", to Katherine Stinson for the first tour of an aeroplane
in japan and China, the trip and Matty's plane became an "International Success" overnight.
Stinson  in  the plane,  and the Mayor ofJacksonville  wish-
ing  Haldeman  "Good Luck" before  the start of the  flight. 
flying lessons. She and Eddie together trained a large
number of flyers for Canada before the United States
went into the war, while their mother helped manage the
One of the queerest of flying incidents happened dur-
ing that period.
"We had a student," Eddie says, " who didn't want to
fly, and was afraid to fly. He was of army age, and if he
had to go into the army, he had decided he wanted to be
an officer, so joined up to get a flying commission. In
private life, he had been a ribbon clerk, and if anyone
ever looked and acted as you would expect a ribbon
clerk to look and act, he did.
"We labored and labored over him, and finally one
morning he made three fairly decent landings in succes-
sion, so I told him to go ahead and solo. To get his
ticket, he had to take off, go up and do two figure
eights, and come down and make a good landing within
a certain distance from a mark.
"He made a perfect take-off, climbed to the right
altitude, did a pair of as nice figure eights as anybody
ever saw, circled out downwind, turned and came into
the field at just the right altitude, at the correct moment
he cut the gun and nosed down in a gentle glide, leveled
out just when he should, pulled the nose up as the plane
lost speed, and was settling for a perfect three-point
landing, with the plane hardly six inches off the ground,
when he lost his head and jumped overboard.
"The ship landed and rolled along to a stop, while the
student was nearly killed from the head-first impact at
thirty miles an hour."
With the entrance of America into the war, Stinson
was commissioned, and immediately assigned as an
instructor to Kelly field. There he stayed, for there were
plenty of students to send to France, but good instruc-
tors were rare. As "final check" pilot at Kelly, no stu-
dent could graduate until he had a certain number of
minutes in the air with Stinson and received his O.K.
At Kelly, Stinson became famous for two things: his
stunts with a ship of his own design, and his ability to
break light globes with a wing tip, the last of which
proved a remunerative occupation, as there was always a
certain number of people willing to bet it couldn't be
Every structure around a flying field is marked with a
red warning light, one of the most prominent being the
light atop the flagpole. Eddie's usual bet was $100 that
he could fly over the flagpole and gauge the distance so
accurately that he could crack the glass globe off by
brushing it with a wing tip, without damaging his ship.
As a collision with the flagpole at a flying speed of
eighty miles an hour or more would be fatal to both ship
and pole, there were frequent takers of the bet, but they
invariably lost.
His little homemade monoplane handled so perfectly
that one of Stinson's favorite stunts was to climb the
side of the field water tank, drip across the top and go
down the other side until the ship picked up flying
speed. To do the trick he flew straight at the water tank,
with his wheels just off the ground, pulled the stick back
just before a crash seemed unavoidable, zoomed the ship
up the side of the tank until it lost flying speed just
above the top, shoved the stick down and flipped over
th e top, then down the opposite side until he got speed,
when he would pull the ship up and level out again.
What his 14,000 hours of flying represents can be
visualized by reducing it to mileage. Forty to forty-five
miles was top speed in the early days, but 150 and better
is common now, so it is safe to say he has averaged
better than 100 miles an hour over the 14,000 hours. At
that rate, his 1,400,000 miles represents three round
trips to the moon and back, which is a respectable lot of
Time Flies 

was  the  slogan  of  the  Vance  Air  Service. 
By:  H. Glenn  Buffington,  Assoc.  Ed. 
878  W.  Crockett Street 
Seattle,  WA  98779
The Pacific Northwest is represented by two pilots on
the Ninety-Nines Charter Roster - Esther M. Combes
Vance (license No. 3180), formerly of Great Falls, Mon-
tana, and the late Edith Foltz Stearns (5600), of Port-
land, Oregon, and later of Corpus Christi.
Esther Combes graduated from the University of
Washington in 1925, majoring in physical education; she
A  "now" picture of Esther Combes  Vance. 
Center: Esther M. and Earl T. Vance, by the Na-
It: A 7928 picture of Esther Right: A 7933 picture of Esther Vance and the KR-27
tional Parks Airways' Fokker Universal, suited up
/nce in winter flying attire. Fairchild NC206V at Pocatello, Idaho.
for winter operation in the Big Sky Country.
then returned to Eastern Montana, where she became
reacquainted with Earl Vance (1384) who, at that time,
was Montana's best-known aviation barnstormer. In
1923, Vance, as he was widely known, headquartered his
flying business in Sidney, her hometown, and Esther's
introduction to flying was by her husband-to-be. Vance's
approach was by interesting Esther's father, Billy
Combes, in flying also, and it proved effective.
In 1925-26, as one of the pioneering U.S. flying
couples, the Vances honeymooned and winged their way
southeast flying at fairs and carrying passengers at var-
ious points between Montana and Florida.
Cecil Shupe (3857) and Frank Wiley (3007) were also
members of the Vance southern entourage. Esther
accompanied her husband on a couple of years of barn-
storming, during which she acquired a lot of f lying
experience, enabling her to become Montana's first
commercially licensed woman pilot.
Regardi ng the 1928 winter-garb picture, (above)
Esther writes, "I t is representative of the years when
utility, not high fashion, dictated what the well-dressed
flyer must wear, which for my particular needs required
a close fitting leather lined jacket with turned up lamb-
skin col lar, tailored breeches and high laced boots, all
topped off with the indispensable helmet and goggles.
"At that time we had been barnstorming and head-
quartering at the North Montana Fairgrounds, located
adjacent to the business district of Great Falls, but in the
spring of 1928 established the Vance Airport on the flats
north of the city, where the picture was taken." Relative
to the Fairchild picture, she commented, "By 1933 I
had found India type jodphur breeches and English style
riding boots ideal for summer open cockpit flying".
Esther became the business manager and treasurer
of The Vance Air Service, as it was called. They
purchased a Stinson Detroiter, had the Waco sales
agency for the area, and operated an airline from Great
Falls to Billings. When the Vance Air Service facilities
were destroyed by fire in 1931, Vance went to work as a
pilot for National Parks Airway. The National Parks
terminal at Great Falls was Gore Field, located south of
the city. At times when Vance flew for NPA, he would
start pilots off on their duties at Vance Airport, then
Esther would ferry him over to Gore Field to make the
run to Salt Lake City. It was on one of these occasions
that the photo of the Vances was taken standing by the
Fokker mail plane. (above center) There were sub-
sequent moves in the Pacific Northwest and when the
airmail contracts were cancelled in 1932, the Vances
bought a Pitcairn autogiro and barnstormed the West
with it.
Vance instructed in the CPT program for Bob John-
son at Missoula, and then was called back to active
military duty, so Esther followed as the base command-
er's wife at Walla Walla, Washington; Topeka, Kansas and
Alexandria, Louisiana.
Another move took them to Colorado Springs where
Earl directed search and rescue in the Rocky Mountain
area. I t was here Vance met an untimely death with a
heart attack in 1944; then Esther returned to Missoula,
where she was employed at the registrar's office at the
University of Montana.
Now retired, Esther enjoys the role of being a geneal-
ogist and is busily tracing the lineage of both the Vance
and Combes families, living in her Woodworth Avenue
home close to Mount Sentinel and the University of
Montana campus.
Subsequently, Mrs. Vance heard from Peggy Verger,
Renton, WA., relating that her husband, Sherwood, and
his friend, Glen Gronquist, Enumclaw, WA., had
acquired the Fairchild NC206V, a number of years ago
after it had been ground looped in the South. Esther
Vance's comment, after learning of the "find", led to
the re-titling of this story. Peggy recently advised the
author that restoration of the KR-21 had been un-
derstandably limited because of her late husband's
lingering illness, however she and Gronquist do have a
145 Warner powered Fairchild 22, a very rare '34 model,
currently flying. Either aircraft would be a dream-come-
true for some antiquer buff!  
geoltge  CWo ffiaQde»latl 
In  1927,  the  year  of  the  first  solo  flight  from  New 
York  to  Paris,  there  were  other  attempts.  In  1977  we 
celebrated  the  50th  Anniversary  of  that  first  solo  flight. 
Five  months  after  that  first  fl ight,  on  October  11,  1927, 
George  W.  Haldeman  and  his  co-pilot  Miss  Ruth  Elder 
attempted  a flight  over  a different  route. 
To  commemorate  the  50th  Anniversary  of  his  flight, 
this  biographical  sketch  of  George  W.  Haldeman  is 
George  was  born  on  July  28,  1898  in  McPherson, 
Kansas.  In  his  youth  on  the  farm  he  quite  naturally 
developed  a  fascination  for  the  farm's  machinery.  Even-
tually  he  was  satisfactorily  repairing  mowing  machines, 
tractors,  hay  balers  and  threshing  machines.  During  the 
fall  thresh ing  season  he  often  assisted  in  servicing  the 
steam  engine  which  furnished  power for  the  thresher. 
George  recal ls  his  pre-teen  days.  "In  1908  Dad 
bought  his  first  automobile.  Actually  Dad  had  an  agency 
to  sell  the  Oldsmobil e  Model  25,  and  he  allowed  me  to 
work  in  the  repair  shop."  "I n  1912,  Dad  became  the 
Secretary  of  the  County  Fair  near  home.  A  balloon 
ascension  was  booked  and  I  was  allowed  to  assist  in  the 
preparations due  to  Dad's  position.  A year  later the  Fair's 
feature  attraction  was  to  have  been  the  "flight  of  a 
Wright  Biplane.  The  owner  allowed  me  to  assist  in  the 
plane's  assembly,  but  bad  weather  during  Fair  time 
prevented  any  flights.  A  substitute  feature  was  booked. 
This  was  Bill  Thompson  with  his  Jenny.  I suppose  this 
event really  sparked  my  interest  in  aviation."  "By 1914  I 
had  progressed  in  age  and  ability  sufficiently  to enroll  in 
the  Sweeney  Automobile  School  in  Kansas  City, 
Missouri.  Besides  car  engines  they  also  had  a  6  cylinder 
Hall-Scott,  Curtiss  OXX-2  and  OX-5  engines  for  us  to 
Although  his  Dad  had  never  objected  to  George's 
interest  in  aviation  he  had  offered  wise  counsel  to young 
By: RobertG.  Elliott(Associate Editor) 
Daytona Beach, Fla. 32074 
George  to  gather  more experience.  The  Haldeman  family 
had  moved  to  Florida  by  August  of  1914,  but  George 
spent  the  next  three  summer  vacations  in  Kansas  City 
working  as  a  mechanic  to  gain  that  experience.  Soon 
after  he  became  a  mechanic  for  the  Harley-Davidson 
Motorcycle  Company,  eventually  graduating  from 
mechanic  to dirt track  driver  for  the  Company . 
By  the  time  George  was  in  his  middle  teens,  World 
War  I  was  well  along.  It  was  on  one of his  final  vacation 
trips  to  Kansas  that George  learned  that Air  Cadets were 
being  recruited  in  Kansas  City,  Missouri ,  a  fact  that  he 
later  put to  use. 
In  recalling  for  me  his  earliest  interest  in  aviation, 
George  added,  "I  started  flying  before  I entered  military 
service.  On  May  10,  1917  I  rode  my  Harley-Davidson 
motorcycle  to  St.  Petersburg  to  receive  flight  instruction 
from  Johnnie  Green.  It  seemed  a  fitting  climax  to  my 
graduation  from  High  School  only  weeks  before.  Later 
in  the  year  as  a result  of this early  flight  training  in  May, 
I  was  successful  in  having  my  application  in  the  Signal 
Corps accepted."
"I reported to Georgia Tech in Atlanta, the School of
Military Aeronautics. Our group had been there only
four or five days when the school was closed and we
were transferred to the School of Military Aeronautics at
Austin, Texas, where I completed my grou nd school
training. Upon completion of ground school in Austin, I
was next ordered to Dall as for additional radio operator
training and physical education before continuing on to
Park Field, at Memphis, Tennessee for flight training."
"Because I had claimed to be a bit old er than I really
was, authorities at Park Field discovered the age discrep-
ancy on close examination of my records. As a result,
when my class was Commissioned, I was held back four
months before being Commissioned a Second Lieuten-
ant. This four month wait turned into a real benefit. In
one of the hangars seven airplanes were stored, it being
referred to as the 'Ersatz Rese rve'.
I was given my choice of anyone of those planes and
thus acquired approximately two hundred hours flying
time before I received that long awaited Commission.
Graduation was accompanied by orders to report to
West Point, Mississippi. Due to the large number of
hours I had accumu lated and my additional experience,
my assignment was that of aembatics instructor. Follow-
ing this tour of duty, the next assignment was at Carl-
strom Field in Arcadia, Florida. Here again, I was
considered to have had more experience than the average
graduate. Additionally it wasn't long before they
discovered from my log books that I'd been performing
flight tests at Park Field, so I was immediately assigned
to flight testing Jennys, DH-4's, Nieuport 28's and the
Liberty powered LaPere's after overhaul."
I had been promoted to First Lieutenant, Engineering
Officer, Carlstrom Field, Arcadia, Florida prior to the
time of my discharge in 1919.
With the war part over, George's reminiscing now
turned to barnstorming in Central Florida as he
contin ued, "Those were the rags-to-riches days. We
would haul passengers at a large Fair and realize some
ten to fifteen thousand dollars and then, ... one of the
boys would crack up a plane and there would go our
profits. It was touch and go to keep your head above
water most of the time.
I n the meantime Roger Q. Will iams and I had started
Inter-City Airline Corp. which had been scheduled to
operate between Brooksville, Dade City, Plant City,
Lakeland and Bartow, Florida. We had planned to start
Harold Edward Cornell, left, present President of Glenn St. Mary Nurseries, Dundee, Florida and George W.
Haldeman, right relax in front of George's German L VG in 7927. Powered by a Mercedes Benz 260 hp
engine, the plane had a top speed of 740 mph, cruised at 720 mph with a 5 hour range. (Photo courtesy of
George W. Haldeman)
one plane at Brooksville and the other at Bartow. Our
eq uipment consisted of World War I, OX-5 powered
J ennys and it took us a week to make the one-way
flight from eac h end of the route. The distance wasn't
that great, but every time we'd land with it passenger, a
crowd would gather wanting rides before we could
continue our flight. Good for business but bad for sched-
ules. "
"During these barnstorming days we learned that in
order to get people out to the landing field, we had to
stage an aerial exhibition first. Usually it was a plane
change or maybe a wing walk, and sometimes a par-
ach ute jump. Soon thereafter crowds would come
streaming to the field eager for a ride.
An incident of particular interest occurred in 1921
during our second year on the barnstorming - air circus
tour. We had arrived without barnstormers at Columbia,
South Camlina on the evening of November 10, the next
day being Arm istice Day, we were to carry passengers.
(continued on page 73)
Men and The
This is the last in the series of WW I photos furnish
were enjoyable. Anyone having a series for Vintage
Above: Counting the exhausts would indicate a Ub-
erty Engine, the bowed wing bracing reminiscent of
the German Taube. (What is it ?)
Below: The deHavilland that was converted from
military to mail plane after the war, becoming the
Above: Rear view of the fuselage, looks like the
recent homebuilt Hyper Bipe. Plane is reported to be
a Loening development.

Below: At press time I had struck out on this one, it
should be readily identifiable with the wing bracing.
Someone enlighten us please.
Above: Front view of deHavilland, dihedral on both
wings contributed much to its stability.
Jge  Mac h i n e ~
- ,.... ...... ,.......--... 
.... ~ ...

~ ..,  .   ~ v t. ..,...._,
ack Rose. The previously unpublished pictures
dig them out!
Below: Jenny made her mind up, from the number of
rolled up ones in the picture collection, it is evident
they didn't like students.
We met another fellow flyer named Roscoe Turner.
Roscoe used to dress in a fitted jac ket, flared riding
breeches, boots, peak cap and gold wings. Roscoe and
his partner, Mr. Runsner, had planned to make a plane
change using two ) enny 's with two pilots, neith er of
whom had flown with a man on the wing before.
After looking over the 'modus operandi' our group
saw they were planning on making the change using a
!"Ope ladder fastened to the landing gear of the top plane.
Ro scoe intended to stand on th e center section of th e
top wing of the lower plane and catch the ladder from
the pl ane above, a 35 foot rope ladder with iron rungs
was to be used . Such a program we had long ago discard-
ed because it placed the man making the change directl y
in the path of the lower plane's propeller. The method
we had deve loped called for the man to make the plane
change from wing tip to wing tip.
We decided then and there to st ick around and see
this guy get 'bumped off'. The two planes took off in
very poor weather for their performance over the infield
in front of the grandstand. It required much maneuver-
ing for the two planes to get close enough and still be
seen by the crowd. Finally, the guy in the top pl ane
turned hi s ladder loose_ It unroll ed from between hi s
wheels and dropped into the cock pit of the lower pl ane
hittin g the pilot on the head. Up to that point they had
been airborne almost an hour , but aft er gett ing hit on
th e head , th e lower pil ot banked shar pl y away so they
gave it up and came in for a landing.
Minutes later, Mr. Runsner, Roscoe's partner,
approached us and inquired if we would save the day by
using our planes to make the change. Of course we
agreed , but our change was made from wing tip to wing
tip. That was my introduction to Roscoe.
Our genera l act consisted of plane changes, wing
walking and flying low over the crowd. Often time, how-
eve r, our man would climb back into the cockpit after
completing his outside act, strap on his old ) ohnson
pac k chute and prepare to bailout. We didn't have seat
or back packs in those days. He' d fasten himself to a
rope wound around the fus elage and thus be suspended
beneath the plane. In this way, wh en the pilot waved at
him. he wou ld cut the rope and generall y wou ld land in
a pre-determined spot near the crowd."
"Eventually barnstorming became a cut throat busi-
ness. We had started out tak in g passengers for $10.00, a
three minute ride or chat'ging $15.00 for a little longer.
If we did any stunts like a loop or wing over, we'd
charge them $25.00. For several years that was very lu-
crative but finally it got to where too many were trying
the sa me thing so th e pri ce of ti ckets came down to
where we were charging a penny-a-pound. Those were
the touch and go days of sur vival in barnstorming.
In response to my question of when he stopped fl yin'g
) ennys, George replied , "During my military experience
I had been chosen to cond uct fl ight tests on var ious
foreign military planes which the Government had
obtained as War Reparations. They were such planes as
German Fokkers, Rumpl ers, and LVG'S; British Avros
and Sopwith Camels and Italian Fiats with Ansoldo en-
gines. As a re sult of the varied ex periences with these
planes I was especia ll y impressed with the German L VG
powered by a 260hp Mercedes Benz engi ne.
Therefore in 1921 I was able to purchase one of those
L VG'S I had become acquainted with in the Air Service.
After some modification I made one of the first trans-
Continental flights for commercial planes with that
LVG , from Dayton, Ohio to Seattl e, Washington and
back to New York, then down to Florida.
During that period of aviat ion history airplanes
improved quite rapidl y. News reached me in Lakeland
that a new pl ane was schedul ed to be exhibited at
Dayto na Beach. After flying over and landing on th e
beach, I saw this new pl ane, ... d Pitcai rn Mailwing with
a )-5 engine. The demonst rat ion pilot was Irving
Ballough. In becoming acquai nted we all ret ired to the
shade beneath the wing, as we li stened to Ballough tell
of the Pitcairn' s features.
He mad e a passing remark that, "if anyo ne installed
one of these )-5 engines in a plane that co uld carry four
hundred ga ll o ns of gas, he would be ab le to fly non-stop
fro m New York to Pari s and win the Raymond Ortig
prize of $25,000." ... "It was that comment which
started me thinking about making the Atlantic flight. I
guess I had a mild case of Atlantic fever. Of course we all
knew there was a guy named Charles Lindbergh out in
California, at the Ryan plant, who was supervising
construction of a plane in which he ho ped to fly th e
Atlantic. I recalled that a short time earlier Eddie
Stinson had installed a ) -5 in one of hi s planes and won
the Ford Reliability Tour. This feat proved to me that
here was an airplane with the ab ility to car ry four hun-
dred gall ons of gas together with two people and remain
in the air for thirt y to thirt y-five hours."
"Along in this time period, ear ly in 1927, I was
operat ing a fli ght school in Lake land . One of my st u-
dents was a girl named Ruth Elder. While our student
group was discussing the many problems of Atlantic
flight, Lindbergh made hi s wonderfu l non-stop flight
from San Diego to St. Louis, th en on to New York and
fin all y when conditions permitted, on across the ocean
to Paris."
One of three LaPere aircraft built with Liberty engine, 425
hp., photographed in front of hangar 33 at Carlstrom Field,
Arcadia, FL. George Haldeman set an unofficial loop r ecord
in 79 79 by making 425 consecutive l oops, later broken by
Capt. j ohnny johnson who made 437. All loops were
performed within sight of the fi eld. (Photo court esy of
George W. Haldeman)
Pitcairn Mailwing. One of several different types of mail planes that followed Ruth Elder about to hop into the cockpit of an OXX-6 powered Waco 9,
the famous DH-4, which pioneered air route later day airlines. (Pho'to cour- during the summer of 7927 at Roosevelt Field, New York. (Photo courtesy of
tesy of R.G. Elliott from the Tallmantz collection)
Because of the Lindbergh publicity, Ruth came to me
and said she thought that, "if a man cou ld make the
flight, I'd like to be the first woman to do it ."
"We 'd talked of it quite a bit during the school ses-
sions. Of course Ruth had onl y accumulated something
like one hundred hours of flight time, but the idea
struck me as being a good money making proposition.
A specific proposa l for financing was mad e to seven-
teen of my friends and because of their trust and belief in
our plan, I was abl e to acquire the third Stinson mono-
plane that had been built. I'd been flying for ten yea rs in
1927, so the take-off, navigation and hoped-for land ing
would be my responsibility.
Ruth, with her limited time was, however, a whale of
a good pilot and would be valuable in relieving me at the
The Florida Chapter has honored these men with a
membership and the distinctive title to go with it.
Robert Elliott (Assoc. Ed.) has put in many hours
researching and gathering these articles. We will look
fonvard to more of them in the future.
George W. Haldeman)
I t fina ll y became a question of wha t we'd name the
plane, as our At lanti c flight plans became firm. Ahead of
us there had been such names as the ' Spirit of St. Louis',
the ' Amer ica', and 'Old Glory', so someone suggested
that since the flight was planned for a woman, it shou ld
be named 'American Girl'."
All navigating on the Atlantic flight was to be
accomplished by dead reckoning. We had planned on not
carrying heavy navigating or radio equipment because
the excess weight would rapidly reduce our fuel supply.
We chose Roosevelt Field, Long I sland, for our take-
off. Commander Dick Byrd, a good fri end of mine, had
offered the use of th e ramp which he had used to
provide extra takeoff speed for his Tri-Motor Fokker,
He had really been the first pilot to carry sophis-
ticated radio equipment, a feat easily accomplished in
that Tri-Motor Fokker.
" I accepted his offer for the use of the ramp, but
when takeoff time came around the wind had changed,
necessitating a down-wind takeoff. Of course this would
be folly, especially so heavily loaded, so I taxied to the
other end of the fi eld and turned around for a takeoff
heading due East.
It was at that final turnaround point that Ruth and I
dumped a jury-rig rad io which had been provid ed for our
use in the event we landed in the water. One of the
features was a kite-lifted antenna wire. I had wondered
how we would launch a kite from the water if there was
no wind of sufficient strength to support the kite. So,
we got rid of that extra weight, closed the door, revved
up the engine once more and took off.
Judging from photographs I saw' weeks later, we
cleared the takeoff ramp at the east end of the runway
onl y with inches to spare. Once we had become air-
borne, ... our cruising altitude reached, .. . our course
established, ... I could allow Ruth to spell me at the
controls. For the most part our flight was routine the
first day, following night and into the second day. Early
in the evening on th e second day we entered a low pres-
sure area formerly predicted by Doc Kincaid of the U.S.
Weather Service. From then on the weather became
increasingly worse."
"The day passed easily into evening without incident
but in the early morning hours th e oil pressure started
dropping. Somewhere about 04:00 A.M. the pressure
George W. Haldeman with passenger/crew, Ruth Elder, maneuver the
"American Girl" into final takeoff position at Roosevelt Field, New York
on October 77, 7927. (Photo courtesy of George W. Haldeman)
went to zero. We had no other choice but to continue
heading towards Paris, France. Dawn came very gray and
rainy. We'd been out of oil pressure for about two hours,
when, in slowly losing power and altitude, I could
faintly make out the running lights of a ship. In breaking
out beneath the clouds I had less than a two-hundred
foot ceiling and observed the seas were running quite
With the oil temperature against the peg and zero oil
pressure it was imperative we land at once, so I circled
the vessel to attract their attention while Ruth hastily
wrote a note. Attaching it to a weight she threw it out
while I passed as low as possible over the deck. The first
two attempts failed, but luckily the third time our note
landed on the deck near the wheelhouse."
Ruth had written, "How far are we from land, which
A few minutes later we saw being painted on the top
deck the words, "260 nautical miles, S.E."
"Being northwest of Cape Finestaire, Spain, some
260 nautical miles convinced me that I damn well
couldn't fly any further, nor was I going to let the ship
get out of my sight. So we ditched right along-side the
tanker. The waves were approximately thirty to forty
feet from trough to crest. I thought at the time we were
close enough for us to swim to safety, but we saw the
crew lowering a lifeboat. By the time it was in the water,
we'd been blown quite a distance from the vessel.
The "American Girl" poised on the runway at Roosevelt Field, New York,
ready for takeoff on October 77, 7927. The New York to Paris flight was
to start from the ramp provided by Cdr. Richard E. Byrd, however, a last
minute wind change made it necessary to take off from the opposite end
of the runway, heading due East. (Photo courtesy of George W. Haldeman)
Tremendous waves capsized the first lifeboat. We never
did see the second lifeboat lowered into the water
because by then we had drifted between half and three-
quarters of a mile from the ship.
After successfully ditching, Ruth and I quickly tried
to locate a few necessities such as money, passports and
the I ike, but when the fourth wave broke over the
"American Girl", the cabin filled with water. Ruth
hurriedly cut a hole in the side fabric and was outside in
the water while I was still inside trying to find some four
hundred dollars in cash which had been brought to cover
out-of-pocket expenses. After a few seconds more of the
rising water, I decided to get out fast before it sank with
me inside. Stayi ng in the lee of the fuselage we moved
alongside to the rear and were able to scramble up on
top. Our best support was to hold onto the earth induc-
tor generator post which was about eighteen inches high
with a small windmill on top. This turning blade had
operated our generator and it was to this post that we
hung on for the next two and three-quarters hours while
waiting for that second lifeboat to reach us.
As the waves were breaking over us now and then, we
linked our arms together around that post to keep from
being washed off the top . Because of this pressure and
stress at the bend of her elbow, one of Ruth's arms
became seriously swollen."
"Our long awaited lifeboat finally reached us and a
little later we had a firm deck beneath our feet. It was
then that we learned our benefactor was Captain Goos
of the Dutch tanker, 'Barendrecht'. Ruth was given
immediate medical attention to relieve the swelling of
her arm, but it wasn't until we made port that she was
provided with more adequate treatment in a hospital.
For a time it had looked rather serious for her."
"After Captain Goos ~   f e l y delivered us to the Port of
Lisbon, Ruth received the hospital treatment necessary
to restore circulation in her arm. When she was suffi-
ciently recovered to be released we were flown in a Tri-
Motor Junkers from Lisbon to Madrid. The French
Government had kindly flown a Potez 25 from Paris to
Madrid and placed it at our disposal. In this Potez then,
Ruth, and I completed our last leg of the flight and
landed at LeBourget Field near Paris."
I n recognition of his contribution to aviation as a
result of his Atlantic flight, October 11-13, 1927,
George was promoted to Captain, Specialist Reserve,
U.S. Army Air Corps. The Fiftieth Anniversary of the
Haldeman-Elder flight was October 11, 1977, and the
City of Lakeland, Florida proclaimed this date as
Haldeman-Elder Day.
Respondi ng to my question of what happened to
Ruth Elder over the years, George remarked, " In those
passing years I kept very close contact with Ruth , for a
time shortly after the flight we saw each other a great
deal on matters connected with aviation. She went on
and did a lot of flying over the next six to ten years.
Ruth flew in severa l of the Cleveland Air Races that
had women's events. Later she marri ed and moved to
Honolulu where we lost touch somewhat. She didn't fly
anymore as she had an accident, breaking her hip while
unpacking furniture in their move back to San
Francisco, my understanding was that she hadn't flown
for about ten years. She was a good little pil ot and I'd
like to say this, "She was much help to me on the
Atlantic flight , in the air for some 35 hours, as any other
pilot with the equival ent amount of flying tim e, approx-
imatel y one hundred hours. Any time I asked her to do
anything, help fly, adjust eq uipment, whatever, she was
always right there, Johnny on the spot."
(Note: I n a telephone conversation with her husband,
Ralph King, on October 10, 1977, George learned that
Ruth had passed away that morning, one day short of
the 50th Anniversary of her flight.)
In response to my observat ion that the Atlanti c flight
was a critical turning point in his career, George agreed
by saying, "Yes, the Atlantic fl ight opened a few doors
in the growing aviat ion business."
For a short per iod of time, from 1927 to 1928, I was
engaged in free-lance fli ght testing for the Curti ss Air-
craft Company, the Keystone Aircraft Company and the
Detroit Aircraft Company. Three aircraft which I was
privileged to fly and test were the Loenin g, Cyclone
powered Air Yac ht , the Loening-Keystone J6-9
Commute r and the Tri-Motor Keystone, Cyclone
Just after returning fro m the Atlanti c fli ght and
before I joined the Bell anca Company, Eddie St inson
wanted to tr y for the Wor ld 's endurance record for non-
refueling flight in 1928. I ran the flight tests after install-
ing the special fuel tanks. Later, Eddie and I brought the
plane down to Jacksonvi ll e Beach. Thi s decision was
prompted by the fact that we had broken through the
ice a number of times whil e flying from froze n Lake St.
Clair near Detroit.
We landed at Jacksonvill e Beach after the flight from
the north and topped off the gas tanks that same
eve ning. Next morning we took off and es tab li shed a
non-refueling fli ght record of 51 hours, 14 minutes and
13 seco nds. That record didn't hold long however. Later
we instal led a Packard Di esel engi ne in a Bell anca at the
factory for the Packa rd people. They desired their own
pilots for the new endurance atte mpt, which was only
natural. Fl ying again from Jacksonville Beach, they kept
it in the air for some 84 hours. I n landing on the beach
to avoid a thunderstorm t hey discovered the fuel remain-
ing would have kept them aloft another four hours.
"In 1927 Guiseppe M. Bellanca had built the fa mous
Bellanca ' Columbi a' that Clarence Chamberlin flew
across the Atlantic. Because of the successful flight char-
acteristics of this pl ane, Bell anca was very anxious to
begi n production. His company was locked up by th e
Wright Company and later by the Dupont' s of Wilming-
ton, Delaware.
Mr. Bellanca came to me because he knew he needed
so m eone with experience in testing airplanes. He
proposed I join hi s company and this I did in 1928,
remaining with him for so me six yea rs as Chief Engineer-
ing Test Pilot and later becoming Sales Manager.
During those six years while I remained with the
company, Mr . Bell anca developed the J-5 Pacemaker, the
J 6-9 Pacemaker, the Skyrocket, the Swoop and of
course the famous Airbus. The Airbus carried a pil ot,
co-pilot and nin e passengers. We sold 54 of those air-
planes to the Military. It was a very high performance
single engine aircraft built around the Wri ght Cyclone
and Curtiss Conqueror engi nes. In addition, we develop-
ed and sold some twi n-engine ai rcraft to the Columbian
Government in South America."
In 1928 George made the FI RST non-stop flight fro m
north to south across the Unit ed States, from Walker-
ville, Canada to Havana, Cuba in 12 hou rs, 12 minut es
and 14 seconds, pil ot ing a J-5 Pacemaker.
For the years 1928-1931 inclu sive, George also won
FI RST place for si ngle engin e cabi n-type aircraft in the
renowned Ford Reli abil it y Tours.
George broke the U.s. Altitude record for commer-
cia l planes in a Bell anca Pacemaker flying from the fie ld
at New Castle, Delaware in 1929. He reached an altitude
of 30,467 feet. So me months later in 1930 that mark
was broken , agai n by George, setting a mark of 35,457
feet .
In 1929, about one year after George joined the
Bellanca Company, record s reveal that he was a partic-
ipant in the 1929 Nat ional Air Races held in Cleveland.
On behalf of the Bellanca Company, he was entered
in two events.
Event No. 10 The Cleveland to Buffalo Efficiency Race.
FIRST place won by George W. Hald eman, flying a
Above: Captain Goos of the Dutch tanker, "Barendrecht"
that rescued Ruth Elder and George Haldeman from the
Atlantic near the Azores, displays proudly, for the first
time, the letter dropped by Miss Elder from the "American
Girl" as she circled above the vessel. The letter, written on a
sheet of plain paper read, "How far are we from land,
which way . .. Ruth Elder". (Photo courtesy of George W.
Be/ow: George W. Haldeman and Ruth Elder arrive at
LeBourget Field, Paris, France after flying themselves from
Madrid, Spain in a Potez 25, powered by a 475 hp Lorraine
Dietrich engine. The plane was proVided as a courtesy of
the Potez Aircraft Company, Paris, France. (Photo courtesy
of George W. Haldeman)
Bellanca  powered  by  a  Wright  Whirlwind  300.  His  win-
ning  time  was  3:02:54  for  an  average  speed  of  130.22 
Event  No.  18  Civilians  Only  .  .. Air  Transport and  Effi-
ciency  Contest.  FI  RST  place  won  by  George  W.  Halde-
man,  flying  a  Bellanca  powered  by  a  Wright  Whirlwind 
300.  Recorded  time  for  this  event  was  0:36:39, average 
speed  of 119.97  mph. 
The  National  Air  Races  of  1930,  held  in  Chicago, 
again  saw  George  W.  Haldeman  as  a  participant  for  the 
Bellanca  interests. 
Event  No.  27  Men's  1,000  cu.  in.  Cabin  Race,  10 laps,S 
mile  course.  THI  RD  place  won  by  George  W.  Haldeman 
flying  a  Bellanca  powered  by  a  Wright  220  J-5.  Average 
speed  was  -136.10  mph. 
Event  No.  29 Air  Transport  and  Efficiency  Race,  10 
laps,S  mile  course.  THI RD  place  for  speed.  Haldeman 
flying  a  Bellanca  Airbus,  powered  by  a  Conqueror 
engine,  average  speed  123.32  mph.  SECOND  place  for 
efficiency  won  by  George  again  flying  a  Bellanca  power-
ed  by  a  Wright  J -5  engine. 
When  asked  to  remark  about  Mr.  Bellanca,  George 
thought  a  moment  and  said  .... 
"Guiseppe  M.  Bellanca  was  a  wonderful  man  of 
whom  I  had  the  utmost  regard  as  a  talented  designer.  He 
Left:  Mayor  jimmy  Walker  of New  York  City,  right, 
escorts  Ruth  Elder  and  her  pilot,  George  W.  Halde-
man  down  the  steps  of City  Hall  after they had been 
officially  received  by  the  Mayor  and  his  reception 
committee.  They  were  driven  here  as  thousands 
cheered  after  they  had landed  from  the  5.5.  Macon, 
in  transferring  from  the  liner  Aquitania  down  the 
bay.  November  77,  7927.  (Photo  courtesy  of George 
W.  Haldeman) 
built  wonderful  airplanes  that  performed  superbly, 
whether  on  floats  or  wheels.  They  always  had  the ability 
to  carry  a  good  payload  over  long  distances.  Built  into 
each  plane  was  the  evidence  of  his  fine  reputation,  of 
which,  to say  again,  I had  the  highest  regard." 
The  year  1932  proved  to  be  an  extraordinarily  busy 
twelve  months  for  George.  Though  not  in  order  of 
occurrence,  the aviation  events  in  which  he  was  involved 
Referee  - Cord  Trophy  Race,  Los  Angeles  to  Cleveland. 
Assistant  Referee  - National  Air  Races,  Cleveland,  Ohio. 
(Repeat  assignment  in  1933) 
U.s.  Representative - Convention  of Trans-Oceanic  Pilots 
called  by  Sig.  Benito  Mussolini  in  Rome,  May  20-27. 
Decorated  - by  King  Victor  Emanuel  of  Italy  as  "Grand 
Ufficale  of The Crown  of  Italy". 
Flight  Tested  - the  German  12-engine  Dornier  DO-X  in 
"Over  these  passing  years",  George  continued  to 
reflect,  "I  was  becoming  more  interested  in  Type 
Certification  of aircraft  because  of  both  my  work  in  the 
Military  and  later  in  test  flying  various  commercial  air-
News  of  the  12-engine  DO-X  had  reached  the  United 
States  and  received  generous  mention  in  the  press.  When 
some  friends  of  mine  heard  that  it  had  flown  with  one 
hundred  people  on  board,  they  conceived  the  idea  of 
buying  two  or  three  of  these  planes  to  fly  people  from 
New  York  to  Havana  for  the  races. 
As  it  happened  I  was  in  Europe  in  1932  on  other 
business  and  was  therefore  engaged  to  check  out  the 
DO-X  and  analyze  its  flight  characteristics.  It  wasn't 
long  before  I  arrived  at  the  conclusion  that  should  the 
DO-X  be  fueled  sufficiently  to  fly  from  New  York  to 
Havana,  only  a very  few  passengers  could  be  carried.  The 
plan  didn't  appear  feasible,  so  my  friends  didn't  buy 
The  DO-X  that  I  flight  tested  at  the  Dornier  factory 
was  later  flown  over  to  New  York  in  1933  and,  after 
touching  down  on  the  water,  was  moored  near  what  is 
now  LaGuardia  Field.  A primary  purpose of the  trip  was 
to  remove  the  twelve,  400 hp  Bristol  Jupiter engines  and 
re-install  twelve,  620  hp  Curtiss Conqueror  engines.  This 
installation  was  accomplished  on  Long  Island.  Later  I 
made  a  flight  with  Captain  Harry  Rogers  who  was  pilot-
ing  the  airplane  during  these  evaluation  tests.  Those 
Conqueror  engines  did  improve  the  airplane's  perform-
ance,  however,  it  was  never  to  be  a  long  range  aircraft. 
The  DO-X  was  a  combi nation  of  six  tractor  and  six 
pusher  engines  mounted  on  top  of the  wing. 
Its  hydro-stabilizers  were  originally  set  with  very 
little  incidence,  about  1  degree  as  I  recall,  which  caused 
the  Dornier  much  trouble  on  takeoff.  Water  would  build 
up  in  front,  making  it  most  difficult  to  get  up  on  the 
step.  To  correct  this  problem,  the  angle  of  incidence  in 
these  hydro-stabili zers  was  increased  to  4  degrees  which 
provided  more  bouyancy  and  the  increased  ability  to get 
up  on  the step. 
Before  this  hydro-stabi I  izer  cond ition  had  been 
corrected,  the  rear  mounted  Bristol  J upiters  were  over-
heating  while  taxiing  for  takeoff.  In  an  effort  to  over-
come  this overheating  problem  to some  small  degree,  the 
tractor  engines  were  run  at  full  throttle  until  the  pusher 
engines  cooled  off. 
Cruising  speed  would  have  been  a  bit  more  than  120 
mph  with  only  a  moderate  load. 
At  the  ti me,  the  Darn ier  DO-X  was  the  largest  sea-
plane  in  the  air,  however,  Anthony  Fokker  had  built  a 
four  engine  land  plane  with  two  tractor and  two  pushers 
which  was  the  largest  land  plane  at that  time." 
In  later  years  while  conducting  flight  test  evaluation 
for  the  Boeing  Aircraft  Company  during  development of 
the  Boeing  314,  George's  findings  relative  to  the  hydro-
stabilizer  problems  of  the  DO-X  were  to  prove  useful  to 
Boeing.  Such  reports  were  instrumental  in  improved 
hydro-stabilizer  dihedral  settings  and  wing  tip  flotation 
which  in  turn  improved  takeoff and  landing  characteris-
tics  and  lateral  stability  in  the  Boeing  314 Seaplane. 
During  one  of a  number of visits  with  George,  he  and 
I  were  trying  to  choose  a  few  photographs  from  his 
enormous  collection.  We  were  making  rather  slow  prog-
ress  because  his  most  valuable  memorablia,  reposed  in  a 
storage vault, was  not easily accessible.  A particular photo, 
however,  prompted  George  to  reminisce  about  the 
Hughes-Kaiser  flying  boat,  the  Hughes  HK-1,  or  better 
known  in  some  circles  as  the  "Spruce  Goose".  It  took 
little prompting for George to continue.
"My recollection of the noted Hughes-Kaiser flight is
as though it happened yesterday.
Earlier in 1936 I had joined the Civil Aeronautics
Administration. During World War II , as Chief, Flight
Test Branch, I had been requested to organ ize an
Engineering Flight Test Center at Houston, Texas by
General H. H. (Hap) Arnold, Commanding General of
the Air Force. The function of the Flight Test branch
was to evaluate numerous models of Civil and Military
aircraft for long range cruise data on trans-oceanic flights
carrying Civil and Military V.J.P.'s, critical war items and
cargo. During this mid-World War II period, the Kaiser
Company was awarded a contract from the Navy to
build an all-wood aircraft using non-strategic materials.
Although Kaiser had been awarded the contract, he had
had no aircraft building experience, as he was a ship
builder. So he considered it would be wise to associate
himself with someone who not only had aviation expe-
rience but also who was financially sound, and that
someone turned out to be Howard Hughes.
It fell my lot to be assigned the test project of the
Hughes HK-1 for purposes of awarding Type Certifica-
tion to the plane. My function was Project Engineer for
the CAA on that flying boat for a period of about four
years until it finally made its first and only flight at
Long Beach, California on November 2, 1947.
Eventually the contract responsibility became solely
that of Hughes after having negotiated with Kaiser, and
it became th e H-4 Hercules. Although the project had
suffered a series of delays, my engineering data support-
ed the opinion of everyone on the project, in that we
saw, no reason why it shouldn't fly."
We had documented one limitation that was sched-
uled to be corrected. The elevator controls were not yet
approved beca use of a substantial delay in the reaction
of the controls as measured to the elevator surface
response. Hughes was fully aware of the problem and
plans were being formulated to provide hydraulic assist.
During this same period of time, Hughes was involved
in a Congressional controversy in Washington with
Senator Brewster who was claiming the airplane would
never fly. A condition for full payment was that the
aircraft would indeed fly. Perhaps too, Senator Brewster
may have been disturbed by the fact that the series of
delays and modifications had escalated the cost to the
Government to about 18.5 million dollars to that date.
The project had become a political football by 1947,
thus Hughes was anxious to schedule taxi tests in order
to reduce some of the criticism.
I was sympat hetic with the taxi test idea and upon
my recomm endatio n Howard agreed to fix the elevator
controls in a neutral position. In this fashion then, all
taxi tests were conducted.
As Government Project Engineer and co-pilot, I
arranged communications with my assistants throughout
the plane in order to monitor all systems. There was one
man stationed inside each engine nacelle monitoring an
instrument panel. One man was in the leading edge of
the vertical fin, near the top. Through his window he
could conduct a visual check for exterior signs of
In addition I had another five technicians stationed
throughout the fuselage. We were all inter-connected by
our phone jink so that, for example, if one engine would
drop R.P.M's or stall, I'd not only hear from the techni-
cian in the nacelle but also from my visua l check point
high in the fin . Our passenger cargo was some twenty-six
newspaper representativeS and factory technicians who
witnessed the tests from the rear section of our flight
Over the 5 hours and 10 minutes of taxi tests, up-
wind, downwind, crosswind, slow speed taxi, docking,
etc., I recorded only one deficiency and that was in
number six engine. At times it idled a little slow and
occasionally it would stall. For this initial test, however,
we didn't consider this serious.
The last run of that day's test was to be a high speed
taxi. Observing all instruments and the neutral control
system from the co-pilot's seat, I could plainly watch
Howard advance the throttles to full position. Within
moments the H-4 broke loose from the water and was up
on the step. Once Howard was aware the increased speed
had allowed the plane to rise onto the step, he merely
increased the manifold pressure on all eight engines
about ten to fifteen percent, and we ballooned right off
the water into the air. We were airborne a little less than
two minutes.
Right: Ruth Elder and her pilot, George W. Haldeman
being escorted up the canyon of Broadway on their
triumphant arrival in New York from the Aquitania
from Europe. They are shown being escorted by
police up Broadway with great crowds of admirers
along the sidewalks welcoming the two fliers home.
November 77, 7927. (Photo courtesy of International
Newsreel Photo and George W. Haldeman)
In my opinion, it seemed quite natural and entirely
within the profile of our agreement. The elevator
controls had not been moved from their neutral posi-
Now that the time has come to consider the future of
the H-4 Hercules, I'd personally like to see the airplane
preserved intact. It had a number of very fine design
features even though it was built entirely from wood.
(Essential fittings were, of course, fabricated from
I have always felt it was a shame Mr. Hughes didn't
have the opportunity to test fly the H-4 more thor-
oughly. From that day of the flight on, official tests
were cancelled due to lack of contract funds and as you
know, the airplane was never flown again.
Ironically, it was our good friend Grover Loening, a
member of the War Production Board, who issued the
letter of cancellation." 
The  Post·War  years  were  to  become a  kaleidoscope  of 
flight  testing,  type  certification  and  consultant activities 
for  George. 
Space  does  not  permit  closer  examination  of  each 
phase  of  his  broadening  career.  Following  then,  are 
cameos,  ... selected  from  events'over the  years. 
1950·1953  .  Complete  F.A.A.  Certification  tests  (3 
times)  on  DeHaviland  4·engine  Jet  Comet.  Complete 
C.A.A.  Flight  Tests on  DH·125,  Beaver  and  Herald. 
Vickers·Viscount  Transport  and  Valiant  Jet  Bomber, 
tested  and  evalua ted. 
Sud  Aviation-Caravelle,  tested  and  evaluated  automatic 
loading systems. 
A vero-Vulcan  Jet  Bomber,  extensive  evaluation  of 
control,  stability  and  maneuverability  characteristics. 
1953  - Flying  with  Herman  'Fish'  Salmon,  Lockheed 
Aircraft  test  pilot,  sound  barrier  was  broken  at speed  of 
Mach  1.15  in  a  Lockheed  F-94C  at  Burbank,  California. 
1954 - Graduated  from  U.S.A.F.  Jet  Qualification  course 
at  Craig  Field,  Selma,  Alabama.  After  completion  of 
course,  was  a  participant  in  several  hours  of  thunder-
storm  flying  to  evaluate  effects  of  updrafts  and  down-
drafts on  controlability  and  stability. 
Completed  Special  Jet  Familiarization  course  in  T-33 
and  F-94C  aircraft at  Moody  AFB,  Valdosta,  Georgia. 
1960·1966  - As  Special  Assistant  to  the  Director of The 
Civil  Aeronautics  Board,  Bureau  of Safety,  Special  Proj-
ects  Officer,  he  was  responsible  for  new  aircraft develop-
ment  proj ects.  Participated  in  evaluation  of  all  flight 
tests  of  XB-70A  Supersonic  Vehicle  and  eval uation  of 
aircraft  and  engine  manufacturers  proposals  on  Super-
sonic  Transports. 
1963-1965  - Evaluated  the  UK-French  Concorde  Super-
sonic  Transport  for  C.A.B.  prior  to  flight  tests.  Included 
activities  were  flying  and  eva luating  Concorde  Simulator. 
1965  - DeHaviland  Tri-Jet  Transport  and  B.A.C.  VC-10 
evaluati on  of Flight  test  data. 
1966-1967  - Retired  from  U.S.  Government  Service, 
Civil  Aeronautics  Board  in  1965  in  order  to  accept  a 
contract  as  Special  Consultant  to  the  Chairman,  C.A.B. 
on  new  aircraft  development  projects  with  emphasis  on 
Sub-sonic  transports,  but  contract  was  broadened  to 
include  new  SST  Aircraft,  both  UK-French  Concorde 
and  the  U.S.  - SST,  Boeing 2707. 
1969  - On  behalf of the  C.A.B.,  conducted  evaluation  of 
cockpit  arrangement  and  crew  complement  of  Boeing 
747  and  737. 
Evaluated  flight  characteristics  of  Boeing  747  and  737. 
1970  - Director of Flight  Test for  Aero  Spacelines,  Santa 
Left: George W. Haldeman flanked by two ladyavia-
tors. On the left is Eleanor Smith and on the right
Amelia Earhart. The aircraft was a Bellanca Pace-
maker. (Photo courtesy of George W. Haldeman)
Below: An early Keystone Trimotor built north of
Philadelphia, Pa., and flown at Trenton, N.f. by
George W. Haldeman. He tested and evaluated this
one and only "Patrician" for the Keystone Company.
Although it could carry 32 passengers and a crew of 3
and was powered by 3-Wright Cyclone 620 hp en-
gines, the Ford Trimotor was the competition, and
being a smaller plane, with less power, it was less
expensive to operate, so the Keystone Trimotor was
never mass produced. (Photo courtesy of George W.
t - -.---;..,
<:::'.UM o'r -(00-19 r
A _. (5. Z1b
_ '*.;:_..
- _l..;
. .. - - - ', --j
.,.", . . .. ...

c'.r. ·

_ on which evaluation or government type certification ::;
Barbara, California for models MGT and SGT. Director
of Certification for SGT-201.
1969-1972-1975 - Performed data evaluation, from
. . .
flight test reports on British-French SST Concorde and

By the month of November, 1977, George W. Halde-
man had been flying for 60 years. A check of his flight
time logs in january, 1977, show an accumulation of
33,972 hours of air time in his long and colorful aviation
Experimental flight tests on more than 100 different
model aircraft were conducted by George during his
more than five decades of flying. Better known aircraft
tests were conducted are:
Douglas - DC-2, DC-3, DC-6 and 6B, DC-7 and 7 A
Lockheed - 049, 149, 649, 749, and jets T-33, F-94C
and Electra
Boeing - 247, 307, 314, 377, 707, 720, 737, 727 and
preliminary evaluation of 747
Martin - MARS, j RM-l and j RM-2
Convair - 240, 340, 440
Curtiss - CW-20, C-47
Bellanca - All models 1929 to 1935
Aero Commander - Various models
Bud Aircraft - RB-l, Conestoga
North American - Navion and Saberlincr
Vought-Sikorsky - VS-44
Howard - DGA-l 5
Republic - Seabee
Additional model aircr}ft tested for C.A.A. Commer-
cial Vertification constructed by the following aircraft
manufacturers, were ....
and others.
Aircraft flight tested and/or eval -uated for the C.A.B.
included, DOUGLAS DC-8-61, approximately 15 hours
evaluation of control, stability and performance prior to
certification, from Miami to Chicago to Minneapolis to
Kansas City, Missouri.
DOUGLAS DC-9-20 at factory, BOEING 737 and
747 at factory as well as a cross-country flight from
Seattle to Tampa in a 727.
AERO SPACELINES GUPPIES, conversion model of
Boeing 377 and C-97 design as MG2-101 and SGT-201.
Above: The B-7 Bomber, designed and built by Rockwell International, in a recent test flight. George been
a civilian consultant on the project. (Photo courtesy of Rockwell International and George W. Haldeman)
BOEING 747 jumbo jet Transport and BOEING 737
jet Transport.
There can be no question tshat George W. Haldeman is
one of a few great aviation pioneers remaining active
today. His reputation of integrity and meticulous
attention to detail combined with superb skill has been
largely instrumental in his being chosen as one of the
civilian consultants on the B-1 program. Even today,
George maintains a packed suitcase ready to respond at a
moment's notice should he be summoned to Washington,
D.C. or California, or one of the Air Force test facilities.

Right: The Hughes H-4 Hercules in Long Beach
Harbor, California on November 2, 7947. The
one mile flight was made at an altitude of about
85 to 700 feet. The "Spruce Goose" had a wing
span of 320 feet, length of 278 feet, and a
height of 79 feet. Gross weight was 300,000
Ibs. Fuel capacity was 74,000 gal. Powered by
eight, 28 cyclinded P& W 3000 hp engines, it
was designed to carry nearly 500 troops some
3500 miles. (Copyright photo by Arthur Kemp
Above: Left to right are - Doug Benefield, Assistant Chief Pilot
for B-7 Division, Rockwell International, George W. Halde-
man, and Richard Abrams, Manager Flight Test Engineering
and Chief Flight Test Engineer, Rockwell International . .. all
veteran Flight Test Pilots. (Photo courtesy Rockwell Interna-
tional and George W. Haldeman)
; ' A (   ~ i i II
1"+" ~
Mr, AI Kelch
Headquarters of the Experimental
Aircraft Association, Inc.
P. O. Box 299
Hales Corners, WI 53130
Dear Mr. Kelch:
When a teenager, I served as a mechanic in Marine Air
Groups 11 and 21. I was in VMF-211 and VMF-214
(Black Sheep Squadron) in the Solomons. I came across
some pictures of even older U.S.M.e. planes.
Please find enclosed two pictures of a line of 02U-I's.
These were taken by a good friend of mine, Gerald
Pierce, a retired Master Gunnery Sgt., U.s.M.e.
I had these pictures reproduced from his album.
When a young man, Sgt. Pierce was stationed with the
U.S.M.e. in Haiti in 1929. He was a line company
marine, thus, he does not know the details of the air-
craft. However, he remembers their dawn and dusk
patrols. I think this was about the time Haiti came under
control of" Papa Doc".
However, if I recall, Vought was building these ex-
cellent aircraft in Miami, Florida at the time.
Note, the two parachutes at ready on the wing tip.
See also, the offset gun mount between the top wing
center cabane and the right wing. The gun sight is in
front of front cockpit. Also, the same three prop tip
colors were on Marine Corps WW II planes.
This might be of interest to not only antiquers but
former Air Wing Marines.
If any readers know the details of the planes, let him
speak .
With kind regards,
Waldense F. Malouf
Antique/Classic Division
No . 01386
Calendar of Events
May 5-7, 1978- Chino, California - 4th
Annual Southern Cal ifor-
nia Regional Fly-In.
Sponsored by EAA Chap-
ters 1, 7, 11, 92, 96, 448
and 494. Contact Gene
Vickery, 1115 S. Sierra
Vista Ave., Alhambra, CA
91801 - 213/289-8944
May 26-29, 1978 - Monocoupe Club and
Ryan Club Fly-In, Dacy
Airport, Harvard, Illinois
June 23-25, 1978- National Waco Club Fly-
In, Hamilton Airport,
Hamilton, Ohio
July 8-9, 1978 - National Stinson Club
Fly-In, Minden, Nebraska
July 29-Aug. 5, 1978 - Experimental Aircraft
Association Convention
and Fly-I n, Wittman Field,
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Aug. 27-Sept. 4, 1978 - Antique Airplane Associa-
tion Convention, Antique
Airfield, Blakesburg, Iowa
Are  you  restoring  a  Classic? 

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free Duraliner headliners, baggage compart-
ments, seat slings and fire wall covers are
also available for Classic planes.
Available for all Classics and some Antique
models, in Ceconite #101, #102 and cotton.
Airtex makes the world's finest envelopes!
Nitrate & butyrate dope, enamel, urethane,
thinners, reducer, retarder and primers.
Complete stock of re-covering supplies.
Send  $1.00  for  Catalog  and  Our 
Fabrics  Selection  Guide 
lJiIdea Jnc. 
(215)  295-4115