Around the Airport

Friday, October 7, 2011

One Giant Leap for Aviation

Last month I was lucky enough to spend a great deal of my time flying around in old airplanes. Because of that, some great little news stories came my way that I was too busy to put to words.  One of those came in the form of photos.
While polishing, to the best of my ability, a large shiny spinner, a faint tone emanated from my phone sitting on the wing. Wiping the remaining black residue from the mirror like finish, I dropped the rag, grabbed my phone, sat down, and opened the digital package. It was from Addison Pemberton and anything from him gets my full attention. Why? He loves old planes?
Once opened, I found two files attached to the email plus a statement, “See 2 pictures taken by Liz Matzelle at the Historic Flight museum during the wonderful “vintage airplane weekend” hosted by the very kind and generous John Sessions at Paine Field north of Seattle. As you can see, I had the good fortune to fly formation with Clay Lacy in his DC-2 with the Boeing 40 which shows these two historic aircraft in their true element.”
 Obviously, the two pictures are quite stunning. Yet, after seeing them, I had a question for Addison that I hoped would add to the photo’s story. In what years were these flying machines manufactured?
When he responded, the answer was as interesting as I suspected. His Model 40 Boeing was built in 1928 and the DC-2 was built in 1934, only six years apart! But that’s not all; the last Model 40’s were built in 1931 and the DC-1 that became the DC-2 first flew in 1933. Therefore, the leap from single engine, commercial, ragwing, biplane, passenger hauler all the way to the twin engine, aluminum, monoplane DC-1(DC-2) was only two short years apart! Just look at the photos and try to imagine what a leap of that caliber would be today.
Thanks again to Addison for sharing the photos and this unique look into aviation history.

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