Stinson Model “U”
Derived from the Stinson SM-6000, the trimotored Stinson Model U of 1932 was pitched to American Airlines. Only 23 were built
Carrying 10 passengers and a crew of two, the Model U was distinguished by its use of stub wings from the fuselage to the engine nacelles and landing gear, while the main lifting surface was a high-mounted wing.
The Stinson Aircraft Company was founded in Dayton Ohio in 1920. Production moved to Detroit Michigan and Stinson Aircraft during the course of the 20s and early 30s produced over a dozen type of aircraft from general aviation to commercial aircraft. Over the years the company was sold to different companies, eventually ending up as a part of Piper Aircraft. One of its designs became the bases for the popular Piper Apache aircraft.
Wingspan: 66′ 2″
Length: 45′ 3″
Height: 12′ 6″
Gross weight: 9,400 lbs
Maximum speed: 145 mph
Cruise speed: 123 mph
Ceiling: 14,500 ft
Capacity: 10 passengers & 2 crew
Engines: 3 Lycoming R680-BA 9 cylinder, air-cooled radial 240 hp each
Operated by: American Airlines, Trans American Airlines, Eastern Air Transport
Bruce Orriss collection
United Airlines 767-200 “Saul Bass Tulip”
The Boeing 767-200 was Boeing’s first widebody twin jet aircraft. Built to meet the growing needs of airlines for mid-market aircraft, fitting in between the B727 and B747 in terms of capacity and range. Airbus introduced the A300 in the early 1970’s with the first flight occuring in October 1972. With first orders hard to come by, the market for a widebody twin wasn’t guaranteed. Over ocean operations required three or more engines for intercontinental flights without restrictions, with twinjets initially had to be within 90 minutes of a diversion airport at anytime during a flight due to potential engine failure. With fuel prices increasing due to the oil crises of the 1970s, the twin jet configuration became a popular option for airlines which appreciated its reduced fuel and operational costs.
The Boeing 767 was Boeing’s answer to Airbus. The program was launched on July 14, 1978 and the first prototype flew on September 26, 1982, entering service almost a year later on September 8, 1982 with Untied Airlines. An extended range version entered service in 1984, known as the 767-200ER, ER for Extended Range. Following versions included the stretched 767-300ER and 767-400ER. Typical passenger loads ranged from 216 for the -200 to 245 for the -400ER.
The aircraft on display at the Flight Path is carrying the United Airlines livery designed by legendary, Oscar-winning graphic designer and film maker Saul Bass. Saul designed the the United corporate identity featuring the “tulip”, a stylized “U” with red and blue, representing the original colors of United Airlines. A modern custom designed font rejuvenated the United brand. The “tulip” remained United’s logo until the merger with Continental Airlines in 2010. Continental also at one point had a logo designed by Saul Bass.
In 1985 the FAA modified the rules that mandated that twinjets had to be within 90 minutes of a diversion airport, the 767 was the first twinjet certificated for flights within 120 minutes of a diversion airport. This allowed more routes over the North-Atlantic to be flown with twinjets. Today the rules allow for twinjets to fly in excess of 200 minutes from a diversion airport due to the high reliability of aircraft engines and resilient airline operating procedures.
The Boeing 777 family was the first new Boeing design in over a decade, first flying in 1994 and entering service in 1995 with United Airlines. Meant to fill the niche between the 767 and 747, the triple-seven became a hit with airlines across the globe.
In many ways, the 777 was a new type of aircraft for Boeing. The first Boeing aircraft to be completely designed using Computer Aided Design (CAD) eschewing the traditional paper drafting and blueprints. It was also the first Boeing aircraft to feature “fly-by-wire” flight controls, following Airbus’ lead.
Though the B777-200ER was a popular aircraft, the 777 family found its hit player with the B777-300ER. The 777 family was originally designed to complement the 747, however the stretched version of the 777, the -300ER offered similar or slightly lower passenger capacity than the latest B747-400 while offering much greater economics with reduced fuel burn and maintenance costs. It wasn’t long before Boeing 747s were being replaced with B777-300ERs.
The 777 family is still growing with the even longer 777-8 and 777-9. Equipped with a new wing and engines, the -8 and -9 will ensure that the triple-seven will remain airborne for decades to come.
The Lockheed Hudson was a light bomber and coastal reconnaissance aircraft built by the American Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. It was initially put into service by the Royal Air Force shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and primarily operated by it thereafter. The Hudson was a military conversion of the Model 14 Super Electra airliner, and was the first significant aircraft construction contract for Lockheed — the initial RAF order for 200 Hudsons far surpassed any previous order the company had received. The aircraft first flew in December 1938 from Lockheed’s Burbank facility.
The Hudson served throughout the war, mainly with Coastal Command but also in transport and training roles, as well as delivering agents into occupied France. It was also used extensively with the Royal Canadian Air Force’s anti-submarine squadrons and by the Royal Australian Air Force. After the war, the aircraft found use in several air forces around the world with over 3,000 built.
Lockheed P-38J Lightning
Lockheed P-38J Lightning “Putt Putt Maru” flown by Colonel Charles H. Macdonald Ace Commander of the 475th Fighter Squadron during World War II. Generously donated by Chet Schmidt.
The actual Putt Putt Maru can be seen on display at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston Texas.
The Lockheed P-38 Lightning is an American single-seat, twin piston-engined fighter aircraft that was used during World War II. The Lockheed Corporation designed the P-38 in response to a February 1937 specification from the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) for a twin-engined, high-altitude “interceptor” having “the tactical mission of interception and attack of hostile aircraft at high altitude.” Specifications called for a maximum airspeed of at least 360 mph (580 km/h) at altitude, and a climb to 20,000 ft (6,100 m) within six minutes, the toughest set of specifications USAAC had ever presented.
Lockheed formed a secretive engineering team to implement the project apart from the main factory; this approach later became known as Skunk Works, later responsible for legendary aircraft such as the U-2 and SR-71, under the direction of Hall Hibbard and Clarence “Kelly” Johnson.
The P-38 was primarily used in the Pacific theater through was also used in Europe in mostly a reconnaissance role. The P-38 was the only American fighter aircraft in large-scale production throughout American involvement in the war, from the Attack on Pearl Harbor to Victory over Japan Day. Over 8,000 were built.
Sikorsky S-42 Clipper NC 823M
The Sikorsky S-42 was a commercial flying boat designed and built by Sikorsky Aircraft to meet requirements for a long-range flying boat laid out by Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) in 1931. The innovative design included wing flaps, variable-pitch propellers, and a tail-carrying full-length hull. The prototype first flew on 29 March 1934, and, in the period of development and test flying that followed, quickly established ten world records for payload-to-height. The “Flying Clipper” and the “Pan Am Clipper” were other names for the S-42.
During the inaugural flight of Sikorsky’s previous flying boat, the S-40, on November 19, 1931, the pilot and Pan American Airways consultant, Charles Lindbergh, who considered the S-40 a monstrosity, engaged designer Igor Sikorsky in a conversation about what he thought the next airplane should look like. The conversation continued that night at the hotel in Jamaica. Sikorsky argued that design development should be incremental and that the safe approach would be a larger S-40. Lindbergh argued that a sleeker design, with a range in still air of 2,500 miles, was needed.
In June 1931 Pan Am president Juan Trippe had requested designs from six aircraft companies for an aircraft able to span the oceans. The new design would need increased lifting capacity to carry enough fuel and 300 pounds of mail, but no passengers, for a 2,500-mile (4,023-kilometer) nonstop flight against a 30 mph (48 km/h) wind, at a higher cruising speed than the norm for similar flying boats at that time. Of the six companies tenders had been sent to, only Sikorsky and Martin provided submissions. Sikorsky offered the S-42. The other offer was the more ambitious Martin M-130.
The new Sikorsky design, the S-42, had major aerodynamic improvements over the S-40. Igor Sikorsky said, “in its very outline the S-42 represents simplicity. Diverting sharply from the past Sikorsky designs, external bracings have been reduced to a minimum. The tail, instead of being supported by outriggers, is attached directly to the hull.” The S-42 had a high wing loading which required flaps to provide acceptable takeoff and landing speeds. Though Lindbergh approved of the S-42, it fell far short of his proposed range. Stripped of all accommodations, with extra fuel tanks in the fuselage, the S-42 was just able to fly proving flights across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Pan Am would have to wait for the Martin M-130 to have an airliner capable of flying the Pacific with a payload.
Pan Am’s S-42s were used primarily on the Miami – Rio de Janeiro route. In 1937 S-42s also operated a New York-to-Bermuda service. 1940 saw S-42 flights between Seattle and Alaska. An S-42 was also used between Manila and Hong Kong.
Flying for Pan American Airways, which was the sole customer, a total of ten S-42s were built, manufactured by the Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of the United Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut. The prototype first flew on March 30, 1934.
Consolidated PBY Catalina
The Consolidated PBY Catalina is a flying boat and amphibious aircraft that was produced in the 1930s and 1940s. It was one of the most widely used seaplanes of World War II. Catalinas served with every branch of the United States Armed Forces and in the air forces and navies of many other nations. The last military PBYs served until the 1980s. As of 2021, 86 years after its first flight, the aircraft continues to fly as a waterbomber (or airtanker) in aerial firefighting operations in some parts of the world. None remain in military service.
The XP3Y-1 had its maiden flight on 21 March 1935, after which it was transferred to the U.S. Navy for service trials. The XP3Y-1 was a significant performance improvement over previous patrol flying boats.
The aircraft eventually bore the name Catalina after Santa Catalina Island, California; the name was coined in November 1941, as Great Britain ordered their first 30 aircraft.
With the end of the war, all of the flying boat versions of the Catalina were quickly retired from the U.S. Navy, but the amphibious versions remained in service for some years. The last Catalina in U.S. service was a PBY-6A operating with a Naval Reserve squadron, which was retired from use on 3 January 1957.The Catalina subsequently equipped the world’s smaller armed services into the late 1960s in fairly substantial numbers. An estimated 4,051 Catalinas, Cansos, and GSTs of all versions were produced between June 1937 and May 1945 for the U.S. Navy, the United States Army Air Forces, the United States Coast Guard, Allied nations, and civilian customers.