Air Progress: Lindbergh Era (1927-1929)
July 1954 Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men

July 1954 Air Trails
July 1954 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like American Aircraft Modeler, American Modeler, Air Trails, Flying Aces, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, & Young Men captured the era. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

The "Golden Age of Flight" is unofficially the period of time between World War I and World War II; i.e., the 1920s and 1930s. The Wright Brothers and their immediate followers had worked out the basics of flight control and engine building, and the race was on to design airplanes for commercial passenger and freight transportation, recreational pursuits, and military applications. Part of that process was the setting of records for closed course and long distance speed, time to climb, altitude, and high-G maneuvers. Proving new concepts in airframe, powerplant, and instrumentation was necessary, as was developing equipment and techniques for facilitating precision navigation - both visual and by instrument. During the era, aviation transitioned from being a mere curiosity for the public and barnstorming daredevil pilots to establishing a serious business that engaged a growing percentage of the population.

Air Progress: Lindbergh Era (1927-1929)

By Douglas Rolfe

Air Progress: Lindbergh Era (page 1), July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsCommercial aviation in America was a struggling and financially perilous industry at the time of Lindbergh's New York-Paris flight, and by far the majority of civil aircraft in operation then were either war-surplus types or conversions. The success of the "Lone Eagle's" flight, however, served as a shot in the arm, and within a few years scores of aircraft by American designers were being offered as "tomorrow's plane today!" Since an enormous quantity of war-surplus Curtiss OX-5 engines were still available at low disposal prices, and since the Wright Whirlwind was a very expensive engine, it is hardly surprising to discover that a great number of new OX-powered open cockpit biplanes appeared. Some of these are featured on these pages, as well as some of the more involved types which blossomed briefly. It is interesting to note that the Laird "Whippoorwill" was not the product of the E. M. Laird Airplane Co., builders of the famous Solution and Supersolution racing airplanes and he fast Speedwing three-place biplanes, but was a different concern called Laird Aircraft Corp. of Wichita, Kan. E. M. Laird was the original builder of the Swallow, back in 1923, which design was later acquired by other interests, and "Matty" Laird started manufacturing his speedsters in Chicago, Ill. ... The planes shown here have never before appeared in Air Progress; other unpublished types of same era will follow.

N.A.S. Air-King 90 H.P. Curtiss OX-5 Engine- 3 place  - speed 85-99 M.P.H. - (1928-9)

Super-Swallow 90 H.P. Curtiss OX-5 liquid-cooled engine - representative 0X-powered civilian aircraft predominant in America prior to and for many years after Lindbergh's epic flight -

Air Progress: Lindbergh Era (page 2), July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsBuhl Senior Airsedan 220 H.P. Wright Whirlwind air-cooled radial engine - 3-5-place light transport - 124 M.P.H. (1928)

Simplex Red Arrow K-2-3 100 H.P. Kinner radial - 2-place - maximum speed 120 M.P.H. (1928)

Metal Aircraft Co. Flamingo G1 450 H.P. Wasp radial engine - 8-place light transport - speed 135 M.P.H. (1928)

Waco 10-T Taperwing Sport 220 H.P. Whirlwind radial - This high-performance 3-place biplane cruised at 130 M.P.H.

Laird Whippoorwill 220 H.P. Whirlwind radial - Little publicized 4-placer produced by one of the top designers of fast aircraft in the mid-twenties (1928)

Spartan C-3 120 H.P. Walter radial engine 3-place - top speed 115

Travel Air 90 H.P. OX-5 or radial powered 3-placer

Spartan C-3 120 H.P. Walter radial engine 3-place - top speed 115

Travel Air 90 H.P. OX-5 or radial powered 3-placer

American Eagle !-1 90 H.P. OX-5 or radial powered as shown - 3-place

Brunner-Winkle "Bird" 90 H.P. OX-powered 3-place

American Moth 60 H.P. Le Blond radial 2-place

Crosley Moonbeam 110 H.P. Warner radial. The well-known radio and appliance company marketed this 3-placer in 1929

Knoll KN-1 A little known 1929 6-place cabin biplane which was largely constructed from plywood

Maximum safety experimental 4-place cabin monoplane was a 1928-9 design. - Produced dihedral and other features should interest R/C model builders with an eye on true scale types

Chamberlin Crescent 220 H.P. J-5 radial - closely resembled Bellanca monoplane flown non-stop from New York to Germany by Chamberlin in 1927

Douglas Rolfe Drawings



Posted March 25, 2017