Best of the Web

For this week’s Best of the Web, we have assembled collection of recent articles or posts related to aviation history:

Aviation Prodigy Cromwell Dixon. General Aviation News has a fascinating article about Cromwell Dixon, a child prodigy turned aviator who in 1911 became the first pilot to fly across the US’s Continental Divide in his “The Little Hummingbird” aircraft. Unfortunately and just 2 days after the flight, he died while performing maneuvers in Spokane Washington.

The Lost Squadron. For World War II aviation buffs, the Winged Victory: Women in Aviation Webzine has a noted the book: “The Lost Squadron: A Fleet of Warplanes Locked in Ice for Fifty Years.” The book is about the efforts to find the so-called “lost squadron” of six P-38 Lightnings and two B-17 Flying Fortress bombers that had to be ditched during a 1942 blizzard in Greenland.

Hinting Warbirds. In addition, the Winged Victory site has also mentioned: “Hunting Warbirds: The Obsessive Quest for the Lost Aircraft of World War II.” This book covers the story of two “Warbird hunters” and their quest to find a Kee Bird B-29 Superfortress that was also forced to land in Greenland ice back in 1947.

A Pilot Doctor’s Tribute to his Patient: A Restored Warbird. And speaking of Warbirds, there is an article in the Bismarck Tribune about how a local North Dakota physician restored a P-51 to the configuration of the aircraft flown by one of his patients during World War II. His patient had flown 106 missions out of Steeple Morden, England, in 1944 and 1945.

Overview of Jimmy Doolittle’s Career. Meanwhile, the Voice of America has a transcript and an audio file of an episode from Explorations that gives a good overview of Jimmy Doolittle’s career. Its worth noting that Doolittle was a “scientist, an airplane engineer and a general in the United States Army.”

Memories of Working in a World War II Aircraft Factory. In addition, the San Diego Tribune has an article about 91-year-old Bill Dean and his memories of working in the Consolidated Aircraft factory. He recalled that they paid him just 50 cents an hour but it was enough to live on and more importantly, he was helping with the war effort.

Restored Mosquitoes. Meanwhile, the EAA has an article about a 3/4 scale replica of the de Havilland Mosquito that is now flying in France, a full-sized restoration of a Mosquito from Canada that is now being undertaken in New Zealand and an 88 year old World War II veteran in Florida who is working on his 3/4 scale version of a Mosquito.

Flying Bicycles. And finally and for pilots who are either cyclers or history buffs, Dennis Parks, the Curator Emeritus of Seattle’s Museum of Flight, has written a wonderful article for General Aviation News about early efforts to turn bicycles into aircraft. In fact and in 1912, the Peugeot Co in France offered a prize to anyone who designed an aircraft powered by a bicycle. It took 9 years and a rule change before someone finally (and just barely) won it.

Gabriel Poulain


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