Peter Bowers also owned the Continental-powered 1947 Curtiss Pusher replica NX5704N built by Walter Bullock, now held by the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum in Hood River OR. There are photographs of it posed with various antique cars and modern jet aircraft such as this June 1960 image of Bowers and the Curtiss with an X-15 and B-52 mother ship at Edwards AFB.
Photo, which is cropped, via Peter Bowers, photographer unknown.
And there is this oft-used image. In his book A Complete Guide To Aviation Photography (Tab Books, 1980) Bowers explained how the photograph was taken;
A special “Then and Now” action impossible to get from a fixed position. The photographer was in the back of a pickup truck on a taxiway at Boeing Field, Seattle. The author was in his replica of a 1912 Curtiss Pusher at the head of the runway while the Boeing 707 Jet Transport Prototype was airborne a couple of miles downwind and lined up with the runway. At just the right time, the pusher and the pickup started off together and the pusher moved over toward the taxiway to fly formation on the pickup, which had stabilized at a speed of 50 mph. By holding steady formation, the pusher eliminated the time-speed-distance variables between it and the camera. The 707 then dragged by over the runway as slowly as it could (about 120 mph), the pilot keeping the pickup in sight over the wing of the pusher. Use of a 10-inch (2X) lens on the Speed Graphic reduced the apparent distance between the planes and also the actual size differential.
The photographer was Byron Wingett of Boeing using a Speed Graphic set to 1/500 at f.11 on Kodak TriX film.
It’s not hard to imagine slide rule-wielding Boeing engineers clustered around a desk planning the timing required for the photo.
These odd pairings brought together to illustrate progress bring to mind this post card produced twenty years before of Douglas DST NC16006 overtaking a stagecoach. Is it great photography or great darkroom trickery? Did pilot, teamster and photographer plan this perfectly or was a double-exposure carefully created in the darkroom?
Post Card undated, published by Brace Erion Incorporated, East Aurora NY.
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Twenty years since his death Peter Bowers remains a strong presence among aviation enthusiasts and historians through his many aviation reference books, articles and photographs, not to mention the homebuilt Bowers Fly Baby.
Here is a fine Bowers photograph of four of his planes at Seattle circa 1959, two homebuilts and two Aeronca C-3s.
N1338N (2) the 1953 Story Experimental II was part-owned by Bowers and appears to have influenced his design for the Bowers Fly Baby homebuilt. N4940V (1) the 1954 Sorrell Biplane began life as the 1930 White Special and later the Smith Special before transformation by Hobart Sorrell.
The Aeroncas are N11291 (A-123) a 1931 C-3 and N13082 (A-246) a 1933 PC-3, refer to this site to see a photo of it on floats.
The three pilots are unidentified, possibly some of Bowers’ fellow Boeing employees.
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A post card of Tri-County Regional Airport (LNR) in southwest Wisconsin as it was just after WWII, the rotating beacon tower a reminder of Lone Rock's 1930s days as an emergency field at the junction of two air mail routes.
Air Marker "4312" indicates the airport latitude, 43 degrees 12 minutes N. The meaning of "C-TC 15" is obscure, perhaps "TC" identified Tri-County Airport.
The photographer captured some types typical of the period; an Aeronca 65-TC Tandem, BT-13A NC55604, Ercoupe NC87195, a distant Cessna 120 and wingless Fairchild PT-23.
(L L Cook Company, Milwaukee)
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Thanks to Tim Dubé for identifying Van Nuys CA as the location of the photo in the previous blog. The former Navy-Lockheed Service Centre hangar in the background was occupied by the Aviation Maintenance Corporation between 1946 and 1949, which narrows down the date.
Through the courtesy of Ken Swartz over 150 colour slides of Canadian Cessnas from the collection of the late Douglas Broadribb have been uploaded on the site. Taken around 1961 they include many from the colourful duotone era similar to those in the 1958 Cessna post card above. We see 172 N8530B in the lead, then a 182, a 182 Skylane and a 310. (Newfer Color Card Co, Dexter Press # 7776B)
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An intriguing lineup, presumably used in the production of an aviation movie.
They appear to be, from the right, a DH-4 fuselage, the Pitcairn PA-7S C95W now displayed in the EAA Aviation Museum, a Stearman 4 (?), a Curtiss JN-4 or derivative, a Travel Air followed by a jumble of parts including perhaps a JN-4 fuselage pointing skyward and another JN-4 fuselage. Could that bare metal fin at far left be a Vultee V-1?
There is a Southern California feel to the scene which is reinforced by the C-54s behind the blast fence.
So which movie was it?
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The site-dedicated search engine is now fully operational. Searches may be made for individual aircraft, individual types or any other data entered on any of the individual aircraft pages.
Meanwhile, the Aircraft Manufacturers page can be used to quickly browse the individual aircraft listed under each entry.
2,000 individual aircraft images and data have been posted on the site to date.
Comments can be sent to me using the link at the bottom of the HOME page or by leaving comments in this blog
General Aviation Album is a home for my accumulation of aviation photographs, negatives and digital images.
I fixed on a website as the most convenient way to find and view my many unindexed images stored in numerous boxes and on my computer.
The site is concerned with aviation history rather than photography so this is not the place to look for superb aviation art.
General Aviation here is defined as just about any civilian flying machine except airliners. But those categories are blurred, some military liaison and basic trainers appear as do some small feeder airliners. The emphasis on North American light aircraft reflects my primary interest.
Many of the photographs were not taken by myself, but came to me as gifts, by trading or purchase. Regrettably, some photographers' names are now unknown, if you find one of your images without credit do let me know so that your name can be added.
Site searches may be made by aircraft type, registration mark or the manufacturer's serial number.
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