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Past Issues

Volume 10, Number 4 - 4th Quarter 2010

LOGBOOK is a quarterly magazine covering the entire spectrum of international aviation history, from the first tentative attempts at flight, to history that was made just yesterday.

LOGBOOK is a distinctive publication in the field of aviation history. At LOGBOOK we certainly enjoy bringing you in-depth articles written by some of the world’s premier aviation historians. More importantly, however, we also enjoy working with, actively encouraging and publishing the first-time, one-time and fledgling author. These are the folks who actually lived the aviation history they are writing about, which lets the reader experience the action from a unique perspective. This allows LOGBOOK to bring you aviation history you will find no other place.

Back Issue: Available
 

Wooden Propellers! - Why Not Steel?

A Keystone K-47 Pathfinder - one of two such aircraft built - with steel props. A Keystone K-47 Pathfinder - one of two such aircraft built - with steel props.
Monday, 4 May 1925, Navy Department, Pennsylvania Avenue and 17th Street NW, one block from the White House, Washington, D.C.:
The senior staff members of the Bureau of Aeronautics have been instructed to gather this morning in the conference room to hear what has been described by Rear Admiral William Moffett, Chief of the Bureau, as an announcement that will change the future of Naval Aviation. If what has been rumored is, in fact, true many will continue to debate the topic following the briefing.
U. S. Naval Aviator, Lieutenant Stanton Hall Wooster, Propeller Section, Bureau of Aeronautics, has stepped to the podium and is now prepared to make the historic announcement. Let’s listen in:
Metal propellers for airplanes seem to have sold themselves. They are more efficient, smoother running and, in the long run, actually cheaper than wooden propellers. Rather broad statements, but capable of proof nevertheless. Just how much more durable metal propellers are than wood is difficult to say. No case is known where one has been worn out in service.
Later, Wooster concludes his remarks:
All told, metal propellers are superior to wooden propellers…it is decidedly safe to say that the day of the wooden propeller is over. The day is not far distant when it will be relegated to the museum.
Why would anyone have doubted the capabilities of metal propellers over wooden designs? Wouldn’t it seem obvious that metal would be preferred over wood? To many it wasn’t.
Author Leo C. Forrest, Jr. tells the story.
 

Flying the Consolidated Commodore

The Consolidated Model 16 Commodore - christened Rio d Janeiro. The Consolidated Model 16 Commodore - christened Rio d Janeiro.
Captain Bob Fatt, Pan Am Chief Pilot, Miami base, was impatiently waiting for us as our taxi pulled up at the Dinner Key Pan American Airways seaplane base on Biscayne Bay. Captain Fatt led us to a twin-engine flying boat sitting prettily at dock. He pointed to the plane and gruffly spoke, “This is a Consolidated Commodore. That’s all you have to know for now. Get in.” He led us through a hatch on top of the cabin, closed the hatch when we were aboard.
“You,” he said as he grabbed Ed Noyes by the arm, pointed to the copilot seat and growled, “Sit down. The rest of you wait your turn.”
The five of us, all flying boat copilots from New York, had been sent to Miami on short notice and had arrived the day before. They said they needed us right now. This day we were getting three take-offs and landings to be legal in this aircraft’s front seats. The next day we would be on schedule.
Retired Pan Am pilot Bill Nash tells of his days flying the Commodore.
 

The "Clunk"

An Avro CL-100 Canuck - more familiarly known as the An Avro CL-100 Canuck - more familiarly known as the "Clunk."
You have to love an airplane called “The Clunk.” Okay, technically it is the Avro CF-100 ‘Canuck,’ but to a generation of Canadians, the CF-100 will always be the Clunk or the Lead Sled, CF-Zero, Zilch, Beast, and several other names not suitable for print. In aviation, the more nicknames an aircraft has, the more beloved it usually is. So it was with the CF-100, Canada’s only indigenously produced operational fighter.
First conceived as a gleam in the then Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) eye back in 1945, the design that became the CF-100 was envisioned to defend the skies of the vast Canadian expanses and develop the nascent Canadian aerospace industry.
Using interviews with former Clunk Drivers, Colonel Brick Eisel USAF (Ret.) tells the story.
 

I Saw That Me 262

A Messerschmitt Me 262. A Messerschmitt Me 262.
On a beautiful bright fall afternoon my family and I joined my aunt and uncle for his 60th birthday at their home on the banks of the upper Mississippi river in Northeast Iowa. Sitting on their deck we overlooked one of the large pools created by lock and dam Number 9 at Lynxville, Wisconsin.
Forty years earlier my uncle Clarence was living life in a B-17 high above the fields of Germany and Eastern Europe wondering if he’d ever see 21, let alone 60. Back then he didn’t care about much other than making it through another mission. He and nine other young men on his bomber were all thinking about the same thing, getting home.
On one such mission Clarence, from his position in the tail of his Flying Fortress, saw a strange aircraft. He had heard of them before, but this was the first time he had actually seen a Messerschmitt Me 262.
W.G. Doscher writes of his uncle's encounter.
 

A Gentle Man - The Story of John Shirk

Second Lieutenant John Shirk USAAF. Second Lieutenant John Shirk USAAF.
During his assignment to the 467th BG (H) John Shirk flew 26 missions, his first on 12 December 1944, and his last on 20 April 1945. After each flight John compiled his own personal mission reports describing the targets, dates, bomb load, flight duration, enemy aircraft destroyed, probably destroyed and damaged. This information was often incorporated into the more formal reports that were filed after each mission. However, John also noted details not found in the formal mission reports, things like fear, excitement and other human emotions. Through his personal notes John was able to convey a captivating account of each mission.
With access to John Shirk's notes, as well as interviews with John himself, author Chuck Guidotti gives the reader a highly personal account of flying missions over occupied Europe.