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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks including AI scrapers can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
AIRM_160214_003.JPG: Ryan PT-22A Recruit
Improved from the earlier PT-16, the PT-22 was a military trainer aircraft used by the United States Army Air Corps and it successor, the United States Army Air Forces. It was the first low wing monoplane used for primary pilot training and made for a smoother transition to more demanding low wing fighters during World War II. The Army Air Forces accepted 1,023 PT-22s. Ryan also built additional aircraft for the U.S. Navy, and as part of Lend/Lease contracts with China and other Allies.
This Recruit was originally the third of twenty-five built under contract as a float plane trainer for use in the Netherlands East Indies but the sale fell through after the N.E.I. surrendered to Japanese forces in May 1942. It then was used as an AAF trainer until declared surplus late in the war. Since 1944, this Recruit has had nearly two dozen owners who have cared for and preserved the aircraft-some have flown this aircraft in air shows, others just for pleasure.
AIRM_160214_023.JPG: Baldwin Red Devil
After making a reputation with lighter-than-air craft, Thomas Scott Baldwin turned to heavier-than-air flying machines in 1909. By 1911 he had built several airplanes and had gained extensive experience as an exhibition pilot. He began testing a new airplane in the spring of 1911. It was similar to the basic Curtiss pusher design that was becoming quite popular with builders by this time, but it was innovative in that it had steel-tube structural components. It was powered by a 60-horsepower Hall-Scott V-8. Baldwin called his new machine the Red Devil III, and thereafter each of his airplanes would be known as a Baldwin Red Devil. Baldwin built approximately six Red Devils. Most were powered by the Hall-Scott, but Curtiss engines were also occasionally used. By mid-1911, Baldwin was training pilots, taking up passengers, and performing regularly with Red Devil aircraft at air meets. He advertised Red Devils for sale into 1913.
AIRM_160214_032.JPG: Curtiss N-9H
The Curtiss N-9H was a seaplane version of the famous Curtiss JN-4D trainer used by the U.S. Air Service during the First World War. To make the conversion, a single large central pontoon was mounted below the fuselage, with a small float fitted under each wingtip. These changes required a 10-foot increase in wingspan to compensate for the additional weight.
During the war, 2,500 Navy pilots were trained on the N-9H. In addition to training a generation of Navy pilots, the N-9H was used to develop tactics for ship-borne aircraft operations in 1916 and 1917, using catapults mounted on armored cruisers. After the war, the airplane was again employed to successfully demonstrate a compressed air turntable catapult. In July 1917, several N-9Hs were acquired by the Sperry Gyroscope Company and were used as test vehicles for aerial torpedo experiments conducted for the Navy's Bureau of Ordnance. The N-9H was withdrawn from the U.S. Navy inventory in 1927 after ten years of exemplary service.
AIRM_160214_042.JPG: Curtiss Model E Flying Boat (hull)
In 1911, Glenn Curtiss was awarded the prestigious Collier Trophy for the development of the hydroaeroplane, a land airplane mounted on floats. In 1913, Curtiss developed the first practical and highly successful flying boat, the Model E, with the entire fuselage being a hull rather than mounting the aircraft on floats. The later Model F perfected the flying boat design with the incorporation of a V hull, supplanting the less efficient flat-bottomed hull of the Model E.
Among the Curtiss Model E Flying Boats produced in 1913 was one sold to Logan A. "Jack" Vilas of Chicago. Vilas' Model E was powered by a 90-horsepower Curtiss OX engine. With this aircraft, Vilas made the first crossing of Lake Michigan, flying from St. Joseph, Michigan, to Grant Park on Chicago's waterfront in July 1913. Vilas donated the hull of his Model E Flying Boat to the Smithsonian Institution in 1949. Nothing else of the aircraft survives.
AIRM_160214_047.JPG: William Lendrum "Billy" Mitchell (1879-1936)
A Wisconsin native, Billy Mitchell rose through Army ranks to brigadier general during World War I. He commanded a force of more than 1,500 planes during the air offensive at St. Mihiel -- the largest combat air armada ever assembled up to that time. During that offensive, he piloted the Span XVI displayed next to this statue. After the war, Mitchell led a force of Army bombers in tests to demonstrate the vulnerability of naval ships to aerial attacks. Their sinking of the captured German battleship Ostfriesland (depicted on the statue's base) sparked spirited debate between the Army and the Navy over future military funding.
A staunch and outspoken airpower advocate, Mitchell was convicted of insubordination during a highly publicized court-martial in 1925. He resigned his commission but continued to press for a powerful national Air Force.
AIRM_160214_066.JPG: SPAD XVI
The Spad XVI was a two-seat version of the very successful single-seat Spad fighters of World War I, the Spad VII and the Spad XIII. The first Spad two-seater design to see front-line service was the Spad XI. The Spad XVI was an attempt to improve upon it by replacing the Spad XI's 220-horsepower Hispano-Suiza engine with a 240-horsepower Lorraine-Dietrich 8Bb. The Spad XVI appeared in January 1918. It was slightly faster than the Spad XI, but had a lower ceiling and the same poor handling qualities. It offered no overall improvement. Nevertheless, approximately 1,000 Spad XVIs were built, ultimately equipping 32 French escadrilles.
An otherwise undistinguished aircraft, the Spad XVI in the NASM collection is significant because of its association with Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell. He piloted this Spad XVI on many observation flights over the front lines during pivotal battles in the last months of the war.
AIRM_160819_01.JPG: Ryan PT-22A Recruit
AIRM_160819_16.JPG: North American F-100D Super Sabre
AIRM_160819_31.JPG: Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver
AIRM_160819_47.JPG: X-35B STOVL Propulsion System
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