Category Archives: Aviation History

A Look at the Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior Beechcraft D18S Twin Beech

On January 15, 1937, the Beechcraft Model 18 made its first demonstration flight at the factory in Wichita, Kansas, and it continued in production for thirty-two years. This low-wing, all-metal, twin-engine monoplane was originally intended as a six-to-eight-passenger executive or feeder airline transport. As the years passed, however, the Model 18 was adapted to many uses and, in all, thirty-two different versions were produced.

This post is from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

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The History & Story of the R-985 Powered Boeing PT-17 Stearman

Climbing over the narrow, wing-root walkway and stepping on to the cushioned seat of the tandem, two-place, blue and yellow fabric-covered open-cockpit Boeing PT-17 Stearman registered N55171 in Stow, Massachusetts, I lowered myself into position with the aid of the two upper wing trailing edge hand grips and fastened the olive-green waist and shoulder harnesses.  Donning era-prerequisite goggles and helmet, I surveyed the fully duplicated instrumentation before me and prepared myself both for an aerial sightseeing fight of Massachusetts and a brief, although temporary, return to World War II primary flight training skies.

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A Look at Bush-Planes: The P&W R-985 Powered Bellanca CH-300 “Pacemaker”

The Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker was a six-seat utility aircraft, built primarily in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. It was a development of the Bellanca CH-200, fitted with a more powerful engine and, like the CH-200, soon became renowned for its long-distance endurance.

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Amphibious Plane Spotlight: Grumman Goose

Unlike other amphibious planes designed for military use, the Grumman Goose began as a private venture.  A group of wealthy Long Island executives simply wanted a way to get back and forth to Wall Street, and commissioned Grumman to build a plane that could take off from a local airstrip and land on water near New York’s financial district.

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The PT6A-50 Powered De Havilland Canada DASH-7

During the 1950s and 1960s, the aircraft manufacturer De Havilland Canada (DHC) acquired extensive experience in the construction of small and medium capacity transports with short takeoff & landing (STOL) capabilities, such as the “Otter”, “Twin Otter”, “Caribou”, and “Buffalo”. In the early 1970s, DHC decided to create a four-engine turboprop medium STOL airliner, which emerged as the “DHC-7” AKA “DASH-7”. The DASH-7 was only built in modest numbers, though it did prove useful as a military surveillance platform. DHC followed it with a twin-turboprop airliner, the “DHC-8” AKA “DASH-8”, which proved much more successful. This document provides a history and description of the DASH-7 and DASH-8.

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Vought’s R-985 Powered Kingfisher Floatplane Was Slow, But It Saved Many WWII Crews

 

Despite Its Slow Speed, The OS2U Rescued, Spotted, and Observed Its Way Across World War II.

Vought’s OS2U Kingfisher first took flight on March 1st 1938. This observation floatplane, conceived as a replacement for the Curtiss SOC Seagull biplane floatplane, operated from American Navy battleships, cruisers, and even a few destroyers via catapult and from shore bases around the world during World War II. In so doing the slow but steady Kingfisher earned the sobriquet “Eyes of the Fleet.” While the every single one of the 1,519 OS2Us Vought and the Naval Aircraft Factory built was so slow it had trouble getting out of its own way, some elements of its design and the methods used to build them were radically advanced and would be seen on tens of thousands of subsequent aircraft. Continue reading Vought’s R-985 Powered Kingfisher Floatplane Was Slow, But It Saved Many WWII Crews

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Covington Aircraft Celebrates Pratt & Whitney Canada’s 100K Engine Milestone at NAAA 2017

Pratt & Whitney Canada reached a significant milestone in April of this year, when it produced its 100,000th engine, a testament to the company’s longevity and leadership in the global aerospace market.

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What’s That Silver Plane in the Air? Air Canada’s Lockheed 10-A Takes to the Skies to Mark the Airline’s 80th Anniversary

In honor of Air Canada’s 80th anniversary, Air Canada’s Lockheed 10A vintage aircraft took to the skies across Canada. After taking from Vancouver, BC, the L-10A made overnight stops as well as fuel stops at airports across Canada, and was on public display at the Royal Aviation Museum in Winnipeg on September 13 and 14. More information is at: http://www.royalaviationmuseum.com.

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