Hello, this is Aloha’s father. Aloha is studying hard for finals so she asked me to guest post. I have been fascinated by airplanes since I was a little boy and I thought I would take the opportunity to share a few of my favorites with you. Aloha said that you might be able to use some information about airplanes for your noveling projects and mentioned that I should let you know which might fit well into Steampunk worlds.
So here they are a few of my favorites in chronological order:
- The Sopwith Camel F.1
This is my favorite World War I era airplane. I love its lines, the double wings with the struts slanted forward between them. I spend many hours in grade school drawing this airplane when I should have been listening to the teacher. It was one of the most maneuverable fighters of WWI and shot down more enemy aircraft than any other Allied plane. About 5700 were manufactured. V.M. Yeates’s noves Winged Victory contains good descriptions of this airplane.
In 1927 Charles A. Lindbergh flew this little plane non-stop and alone across the Atlantic in 33 hours and 30 minutes. I recommend the 1957 movie “The Spirit of St. Louis” starring James Stuart as a good family movie that tells the story of this historic flight. I should confess that I was the only one to finish the movie to the end, the rest of Aloha’s family either fell asleep or found other activities. The Spirit of St. Louis hangs today in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
3. Piper J-3 Cub
This airplane was designed in the 1920s. I like it because of it’s simple lines and the fact that its top speed is 87 mph so no one uses it to get somewhere in a hurry; it’s best used to just enjoy flight. My dad had a Cub before I was born and recovered the wings in his basement. I recommend the book Flight of Passage A Memoir by Rinker Buck. It’s the well written story of two young brothers who flew a Cub cross country in 1966.
4. Gee Bee Super Sportster R-1
5. Lockheed P-38 Lightning
This plane looks fast just sitting still. Definite Steampunk potential, don’t you think? It was designed in 1937 and first flown in 1939. Clarence “Kelly” Johnson (you’ll see his name by the SR-71 aircraft later) assisted in the design. I recommend the Kelly’s autobiography Kelly More than My Share of It All for background on one of my heroes and role models. I also recommend the documentary “Showdown: Air Combat” available on Netflix watch instantly. Episode 4 features the P-38 vs. the Zero.
Well that’s probably enough for now. I’ll continue where we left off when Aloha lets me guest post again sometime. Do you have any favorite airplanes stories or an airplane museum that you would recommend? Let me know.