<![CDATA[Little Buttes Publishing Co. - Blog]]>Tue, 05 Dec 2017 04:24:29 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Josephine Callaghan - virtually an armless pilot.]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:03:50 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/josephine-callaghan-virtually-an-armless-pilot
Josephine was virtually armless.  She had no forearms due to a birth defect.  This is didn’t stop her from competing on horseback, jumping, hurdles, and taking up flying.  In July 1928, Josephine soloed at Dyer Field in Los Angeles.  Her instructor was Charles Dycer who stated that, despite her handicap, he considered her the best woman flyer he had ever seen.  “And I have seen all the famous woman flyers.” 

After soloing, Josephine purchased a Lincoln Page and accumulated 200 hours of flight time primarily flying to horse events.  Her plane was equipped with a stick which extended to her shoulder.  A padded, forked rod was at the top of the stick in which she was able to insert her six inch ‘stub’. Switches and throttle control also were placed so she could work them.

Flying from her home in Encino, California to Washington D. C., Josephine was killed when her plane crashed in Texas.  She was on her way to the nation’s capital to protest the denial of her pilot’s license.  Assistant Secretary of Commerce W. P. MacCracken stated in a letter that the department could not grant her a license not only because of her lack of forearms but also because her vision was defective.  Josephine set out on the long flight to prove she should be granted a license.   Dycer thought that she must have become incapacitated in some manner. 

​What did Josephine think about her abilities?  “Why I can pilot that plane easier than I can drive an automobile and look at the time I save.  Also, it’s the greatest thrill in the world and I ought to know because I’ve been riding my jumpers in horse shows for several years and driven all makes of automobiles.”
<![CDATA[Clem Sohn - the bat-wing man!]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 04:25:37 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/clem-sohn-the-bat-wing-man
In the 1920s, Clem paired up with stuntman Art Davis famous for his famous Kiss of Death.  "When passing in front of the audience, Davis would edge up next to another plane with a flag planted on the outer edge of its wing.  With the tip of his wing, Davis would grab the flag mid-flight." Clem was more interested in jumping from a plane rather than piloting one. Davis flew and Clem jumped on the airshow circuit.  After watching the holder of the highest altitude Jump Spud Manning in 1932,Clem began dreaming of jumping with wings and pursued the quest of fabricating some.   While pursuing the construction of wings, Clem continued thrilling the crowds with his free-falls, only opening his chute with no more than 1,000 feet remaining.  By 1935, he was ready to jump with his wings.  Made from sailcloth and steel tubing, he created a locking device that held the wings to his body and prevented the wind from dislocating his arms.  The jump was a success!  To read more - get Michael Abrams's book, Birdmen, Batmen, and Skyflyers.  Great read!
<![CDATA[The Thaden All-Metal Argonaut]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 04:22:37 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/the-thaden-all-metal-argonaut
Many aviation enthusiasts know the name Louise Thaden - a very accomplished pilot but did you know that her husband, Herbert Von Thaden was an engineer who started the Thaden Metal Aircraft Company of San Francisco and designed the Thaden Model T-1 Argonaut, an all-metal cabin monoplane.  He flew it to the 1928 National Air Races to put on display in the Exhibition Hall.  Powered by a 400 HP Pratt & Whitney Wasp motor, the plane possessed a full-cantilever wing with flaps and room for eight.  Its first flight took place on January 15, 1928 and was flown successfully until March 1933 when it crashed in Chitna, Alaska.  Thaden also built a smaller 4-seat model, a T-2, powered by a 150 hp Comet engine.  Pittsburgh Aviation Industries Corporation (PAIC) purchased Thaden’s company for $100,000 in 1929, renaming in the Pittsburgh Metal Airplane Company. Records indicate that one additional model was built, a modified T-3 or T-4.  One year later, PAIC sold the company to the General Aviation Corporation which subsequently changed its name to the Metalair Corporation.  
Herbert's son Bill and his friends retrieved the Argonaut in 1988 and donated it to the HIller Museum for restoration..  For more information - ​http://thaden.org/

<![CDATA[Genevieve Haugen - Women with Wings]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 21:00:26 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/genevieve-haugen-women-with-wings
The high-flying Haugen (1911-1968) received her pilot’s license in 1932 at the age of 20. Her flight logbook documents the action as she barrel rolls and loops around Los Angeles, giving numerous friends and strangers their first airplane rides along the way. Haugen was a member of the Ninety-Nines, an organization of women aviators founded in 1929. In 1935 Haugen published Women with Wings: A Novel of the Modern Day Aviatrix, which was later adapted for the screen as the 20th Century Fox film Tail Spin (1939). Haugen served as a technical advisor for the film.  Tail Spin’s star was Alice Faye who played the fictional aviator, Trixie Lee.  The UCLA Genevieve Haugen Papers contain correspondence, photographs, screenplays and other writings (even a pair of flight goggles), and document the life of a dynamic, independent woman in 20th century Los Angeles.
For more images - 
<![CDATA[Wings Over Wake]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 19:51:55 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/wings-over-wakePicture
Dorothy Kaucher just wanted to fly the Hawaii Clipper.  In 1937, her dream came true.  Dorothy, a pioneer woman reporter of the skies since 1930, had wanted to fly since childhood.  The book, published in 1947, is about the flight but more about her experiences on Wake Island - "a humorous, sensitive record of vanished days upon an island pin point of Americanism in the vast Pacific."  Best of all is Dorothy's love of flying.  "Why do I like airplanes - For the same reason that one admires anything thoroughbred.  In the air I find something clean, decent, sporting.  It is no place for flabby mockery, for human strutting.  It makes ridiculous the arrogance of mortals and it makes bright the neighborliness of the universe.  Moving among stars, high sunlight or global storms, the airman travels a country that knows no boundaries."
Did I mention that Dorothy was a member of the 100,00 mile United Club - in 1947!  Thank you to my good friend Diane Cole for keeping after me to read this nostalgic story.

<![CDATA[Queen of Speed: The Racy Life of Mary Petre Bruce]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 20:32:04 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/queen-of-speed-the-racy-life-of-mary-petre-brucePicture
There are many women who have made their mark in history and, more specifically, in aviation.  To describe them, words such as daring, courageous, inventive, feminine, and eccentric.  Mary Petre Bruce can be depicted using all of those words - and more.  Her biography written by Nancy R. Wilson weaves a wonderful and informative tale of Bruce.  "An hour to spare in London with nothing to do always leads to some extravagance,"  Mary Bruce liked to claim.  True enough, but how many of us would come home with a biplane in our shopping bag?  In 1930, Mary did just that and went on to become the first woman to fly solo around the world, just one of 17 speed and endurance records she set on land, sea, and in the air.  She defined the excitement and hedonism of the 'jazz-age' but was also a real pioneer.  Of all the books I have read about early women pioneers in aviation, this one brought adventure to the forefront as well as the unique cleverness of one woman to continue to reinvent herself.  

<![CDATA[Peel Glider Boat]]>Tue, 15 Nov 2016 18:40:57 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/peel-glider-boatPicture
​The Peel Z-1 Glider Boat, also called the Peel Flying Boat, is an American biplane, two-seats-in-tandem, flying boat glider that was designed and produced by the Peel Glider Boat Company in the late 1920s.   The company’s intent was to capitalize on the aviation craze sweeping the country following Lindbergh’s epic flight across the Atlantic in 1927.  The Peel prototype was built at Roosevelt Field and flown by pioneering pilot Frank Hawks.  Full production took place at College Point in 1929.  Selling price - $695.  It was an impressive display at the 1930 New York Salon Show held in Madison Square Garden.
Considered a recreational aircraft, the Peel achieved lift-off speed towed behind a speed boat by the use of a “Y” shaped bridle attaching the tow row to the glider.  One problematic issue with the Peel was its inability to sit in the water for any length of time.  If it did, water would seep into the hull and, on take-off, shift to the tail making control of the craft unmanageable.  The company built 30 before going out of business in the early 1930s.  The only remaining Peel Z-1 is on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum – Garden City, New York.

<![CDATA[The Todd Monoplane┬á´╗┐]]>Tue, 11 Oct 2016 20:47:53 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/the-todd-monoplane
Designed by E. B. Todd of Douglas, Wyoming, the monoplane was to be used as a light express carrier for high altitude work but could quickly be converted to 'student instruction and passenger carrying by replacing the removable front seat in the package compartment.'  The three part wing totaled 40 feet; cruising speed with an OX5 engine was 110 mph; pay load - 330 lbs; and possessed a service ceiling of 12,000 feet with an absolute ceiling of 14,000 feet.  Externally braced, two aerodynamic tubes connected the wing and the main struts on either side of the fuselage to decrease the vibration of the lift struts as well as increase the structural strength of the monoplane.  Todd's ideas showed promise but, like so many early designs, research indicates that only the prototype was built.  For further information - ​http://archive.aviationweek.com/issue/19290302/#!&pid=609
<![CDATA[Early Aviators Shaped Industry]]>Tue, 04 Oct 2016 22:54:37 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/early-aviators-shaped-industry
         The leather-jacketed daredevils who dominated the early days of aviation in Montana had the nerve to chase big dreams. A look back at those early years of flight shows how those thrill-seekers helped reshape the nature of travel and commerce.  Within a decade after the Wright brothers' historic flight, aviators dazzled crowds at Montana fairgrounds. "Bird men" raced against motorcars and set altitude records. The earliest exhibitions of powered flights were in 1910, according to Frank W. Wiley, an early aviator and the author of "Montana and the Sky," a history of aviation in the state.At the 1910 state fair in Helena, J.C. "Bud" Mars thrilled spectators with his death-defying "circular dip." Mars did three flights a day and had three accidents during Helena's fair week.
      The early aviators who passed through Montana dreamed and crashed and dreamed some more. They flew without knowing just how big an engine it took to fly at the state's higher elevations, or just how treacherous Montana's crosswinds could be.  Twice during Helena's fair, Mars attempted to cross the Continental Divide. On the second try, he hit a downdraft and sank 2,000 feet in two minutes.  "Just short of going through the pass, the propeller hit a boulder, throwing Mars from the machine and damaging the tail of the aircraft beyond repair," Wiley wrote.
        Some of those early aviators died young. In 1911, Cromwell Dixon, an Ohio teenager, was the first to fly across the Continental Divide, from the Helena fairgrounds to the tiny community of Blossburg. He died two days later at the age of 19, during an exhibition flight at the Spokane, Wash., state fair.
        While most of those early pilots were simply passing through the state on exhibition tours, a few aviators, such as Terah T. Maroney, were more or less homegrown pilots. Maroney was a cabinet maker who came to Butte in 1908 and later moved to Great Falls. He made his first flight, a hop of 300 feet, in July of 1911 in Great Falls. He flew a second home-built plane, before he decided he could afford flying lessons in San Diego.
         In 1912, at Montana's first air meet in Butte, Maroney made what was then billed as the state's longest flight, to Gregson Hot Springs and back, a non-stop flight of 43 minutes.  Dr. Frank Bell, a dentist who was the first Billings resident to own and fly a plane, wowed spectators during a Memorial Day celebration in 1913.  Walter Beck, from Missoula, was a self-taught pilot, chauffeur, and road race driver. In 1911, on the flats south of Missoula, Beck became proficient in taxiing an airplane. But, when he attempted to take off, the under-powered plane failed to clear some telephone wires. He continued flying, and by 1913 he was doing exhibition and cross-country flights in a plane with a higher-powered 50 horsepower motor.
A few of those daredevils were women. Exhibition flier Katherine Stinson, a petite, Alabama-born brunette who weighed 101 pounds, was the fourth woman in the United States to receive a pilot's license. Stinson, known on the exhibition circuit as the "Flying Schoolgirl," received the license in 1912 at the age of 21.
​  For more of these very interesting historic article visit the link below.
<![CDATA[The First Russian Aviatrix]]>Tue, 26 Jul 2016 04:52:14 GMThttp://littlebuttesbooks.com/blog/the-first-russian-aviatrix
Lidia Zvereva learned to fly in 1910 at the first Russian Aviation Association Flying School at Gatchina.  Her flight training took place in Henri Farman biplanes.  Born in 1890, Lidia was the daughter of a prominent Russian Admiral and attended the Institute for Girls of Czar Nicholas I.  She received her pilots certificate, No. 31, on August 10, 1911.  The next several years found Lidia flying in exhibitions in Baku and Tiflis in South Russia and at Riga in Latvia.  She became the first Russian woman to perform the loop-the-loop.  Lidia gave up active flying after her marriage to V. V. Slyussarenko, a well-known sportsman, pilot and aircraft manufacturer.  She spent her time acting as her husband's assistant in aircraft manufacturing although she did make occasional flights.  Typhoid fever ended Lidia's life in May 1916,