On the eve or America's unaviodable entrance
into World War II, there was already a lot of preparation happening both in the aircraft production and pilot training realms. The
monthly "Flying into Focus" feature in Flying Aces magazine provided a lot of coverage not just to let people know what was
going on in the aerospace field, but also to condition everyone for the eventuality. At the time, the U.S. was supplying European and
even Russian allies with machinery and troop training, primarily via the
Lend-Lease Act of 1941 through which Congress
allocated funds for those purposes. As in this edition, the "Flying into Focus" column did dedicate a fair amount of space to civil and
commercial aircraft news as well.
Flying Into Focus
According to Bell Aircraft, their XFM-1A is identical to the old XFM-1, with the exception of the tricycle landing gear
arrangement. We learn via the grapevine, though, that cannon will not be included in the armament. Instead, machine guns will be mounted
in the engine nacelle turrets.
As we go to press, 589 Lockheed Hudson bombers have been delivered to Great Britain and 100 others to Australia. The plant
is still turning out these long-range-medium bombers for RAF use. Note trailing Fowler flaps on inboard section of Hudson's wing.
Major Bedrandias (in cockpit) points out details of the Douglas 8A-5 to Comdr. K. A. Ostby of Norway. A total of 36 of
these machines have been ordered.
R.B.C. Noorduyn, left, poses with one of his Norseman jobs. These ships are being built for the Canadian RCAF for training purposes.
The Coast Guard now has seven of these Hall PH-3 patrol boats. Cruising range is 2,000 miles with a crew of six and top
speed is 137.
Reloading a Spitfire after a fight with Nazi raiders. Eight machine guns are carried, three in each wing panel and two on the body.
Attack bombers are steadily rolling off the line at Douglas Aircraft. This factory scene shows U.S. Air Corps jobs in
Air Corps Cadets "land" a Flying Fortress. The pilot, with broom-handle joystick, points down to the field - and his crew gets scared.
And now, our cuckoo Cadets come in for a landing. The crew chief has throttled the motor and both command pilot and co-pilot
- plus the navigator - are pulling hard on the stick, trying to bring up the nose. The command pilot has his foot down on the rudder can
-er, pedal - to counteract drift. But will they land safely? That is the question.
Ah, they've done it! That last ounce of oomph the boys gave finally brought the tail wheel down! But the crew chief still
seems a little worried. "Wonder if we unretracted the landing gear?" he wonders aloud. "But who cares?" he goes on. "I always did like belly
floppers!" Yes, it was a tough fight - but they made it at long last!
Posted September 26, 2015