TEXAS 2015
FRONTIERS OF FLIGHT MUSEUM
»Dallas«

Copyright Ruud Leeuw Photos © R.Leeuw

Visiting Texas in november 2015 for music, aviation- and 'Old West Frontier' history, I had included several air museums in my itinerary.
Since music gigs were a bit hard to find in november, I consulted my 'Aviation Museums & Collections of N.America' (Air-Britain 2011, by Bob Ogden) and found a wealth of possibilities. The book listed 153 locations for museums, collections, memorials, colleges, etc!
Access varies greatly and this influenced my plans as my route was set.

It was to be the 8th and last air museum I'd visit this trip. The list I had from the Air-Britain publication showed no great attraction for me (except a Beech E17B/UC-43D - which I did not see, nor a T-6 Texan I could have consoled me with), but then I found the display on Air America (CIA) and Braniff of great interest.
There is an interesting collection of aircraft to be seen with a number of rare types on show.

 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Nicely done, an impression of the Wright brothers' workplace

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Replica of the Wright Flyer.
In 2005 (my report) I paid tribute to the site at Kill Devil Hill, near Kitty Hawk,NC. That was the place of
the first successful powered flights, in a heavier-than-air machine, made there by
Wilbur and Orville Wright on 17Dec1903.

 

Some background on the establishment of this museum:
George Haddaway, the editor of the American 'Flight'-magazine, donated his personal collection of artefacts, documents, books and magazines to the Uni of Texas at Austin.
In 1978 the items were moved to the Dallas campus and Ed Rice, who was appointed curator, brought in other important private collections, including the Admiral Charles Rosendahl lighter-than-air collection of one million items.
By the late 1980s the space at the university was too small and it was decided to look for a site to exhibit the artefacts. An area in the Love Field terminal was obtained and a superb exhibition was staged.
Funds were raised for the construction of a purpose-built museum and this opened in late 2005.


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
deHavilland DH.82A Tiger Moth, VH-PCC / DE664

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
For its previous identities I have DE664, VH-PCC, N4MH, N8MH, N1XW, N82AK; it is on loan from
' Flight of Phoenix,TX' (Source: Air-Britain's 'Aviation Museum... of N.America', by Bob Ogden)

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Temple Sportsman, N987N

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

 


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
The inevitable Link Trainer, every museum seems to have one.
But this one is a more modern version than I've become accustomed to.

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Mostly models-to-scale are to be found in this corner. But suspended from the ceiling is a Meyer Little Toot, N217J (c/n JDM-3) The plane with the green cheatline has registration N21LF, it is a Lear Fan LF2100, manufactured in 1982 (c/n E003)

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr., USN (October 25, 1888 - March 11, 1957) was an American naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration. He was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for valor given by the United States and was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics.
Aircraft flights, in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau.

Byrd claimed that his expeditions had been the first to reach both the North Pole and the South Pole by air. However, his claim to have reached the North Pole is disputed
en.wikipedia.org:_Richard_E._Byrd
en.wikipedia.org:_Floyd_Bennett

 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

This display on Bill Erwin caught my attention, I had not heard of him before and I read this with great interest.
The death of Captain William P.Erwin reminded me of the disappearance of Amelia Earheart; the following report was copied from  Aviation-Safety.net website:

19Aug1927, location about 650 miles west of Oakland,CA
'William Erwin had entered his Swallow monoplane named 'Dallas Spirit' in the Dole air race from Oakland to Honolulu.
The big, silver and green plane had taken off on the opening day of the race on August 16th, but turned back to Oakland with about 6 feet of fabric stripped from the side of the fuselage.
Repairs could not be carried out before the final day for take-offs, the 18th, but Bill Erwin announced that he was going to leave for Hawaii and carry on to Manila and Hong Kong.
On the leg to Hawaii he intended to look for the two missing planes, Golden Eagle and Miss Doran.
Accordingly the Swallow departed on the 19th, with the navigator Alvin H. Eichwaldt keeping the outside world informed of progress by frequent Morse Code messages.
At 9:02 p.m. the following was heard : "This is Dallas Spirit. We went into a tailspin- SOS - belay that,
we came out of it, but were sure scared. It was a close call. The lights on the instrument panel went out and it was so dark that Bill couldn't see the... we are in a spin - SOS".
A search by ships found no trace of the Dallas Spirit or its crew.'
http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=59957

 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Ryan PT-22 Recruit, N46745 (c/n 2131,previous 41-20923)

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
This little cabin brings us to the WWI era

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
The 94th Aero Squadron was one of the first American pursuit squadrons to reach the Western Front and
see combat, becoming one of the most famous.
The 94th was highly publicized in the American print media of the time, and its exploits were widely reported on the home front.
Its squadron emblem, the 'Hat in the Ring' became a symbol in the minds of the American Public of the American Air Service
of World War I. Three notable air aces served with the squadron, including Eddie Rickenbacker.

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Sopwith Pup (replica), N914W

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

The Curtiss JN-4D, Serial Number 4072, on display was built by the Liberty Iron Works of Sacramento, California in 1916. Originally founded in 1895 as the Globe Iron Works, it was reorganized as the Liberty Iron Works  when the United States entered World War I in 1917.  In September, 1917, the company received an Army contract to build 300 Curtiss JN-4Ds, but eventually only 100 were built as the contract was cancelled due to the ending of the war in November, 1918.
The Curtiss JN-4 'Jenny' (the common nickname being derived from 'JN' ) was originally produced as a training aircraft for the U.S. Army during World War I.
Source: www.flightmuseum.com/exhibits/aircraft-3/curtiss-jn-4d-jenny/

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
The Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister (Young master) was an advanced trainer of the Luftwaffe in the 1930s.
It was a single-engine, single-seat biplane of wood and tubular steel construction and covered in fabric.
N21KL has c/n 222.


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
The 'Pacific Theater' brings us to WWII; it does not have aircraft on display in actual size.

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

 


 

 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Now this is a peculiar plane!
The Vought V-173 'Flying Pancake', designed by Charles H. Zimmerman, was an American experimental test aircraft;
it was built as part of the Vought XF5U 'Flying Flapjack' World War II United States Navy fighter aircraft program.
The first flight of the V-173 was on 23Nov1942.

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Designed as a 'proof-of-concept' prototype, the initial configuration V-173 was built as a lightweight test model powered by two 80 hp (60 kW) Continental A-80 engines turning F4U Corsair propellers. These were replaced by a pair of specially modified 16 ft 6 in three-bladed units.
A tall, fixed main undercarriage combined with a small tailwheel gave the aircraft a 22° 'nose-high' angle.
en.wikipedia.org:_Vought_V-173

 

 


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Now this caught my attention, American involvement in China's developing aerial transport. Air Asia was another name for Air America (1950-1975).
Formed by CIA-backed Pacific Corporation (100%) as CAT Inc. It was renamed Air America in 1959, sometimes trading as Air Asia for Formosa-based operations.
Air America formally closed down in 1976 following the report from the US Senate's Church Committee on CIA's proprietary companies.

I have several books on this subject , including 'Air America'  by Christopher Robbins (1978).
William M. Leary's 'Perilous Missons, Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia' is another excellent one. And 'China Pilot, Flying for Chennault during the Cold War' - by Felix Smith.
Another one is 'Flying Tigers Over Cambodia', by Larry Partridge.
I would love to read & acquire William M. Leary's 'The Dragon's Wings: the Story of the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC)'... but a secondhand copy costs hundreds of dollars!

Here are a few titles I may consider for some future purchase:
Distant War: Recollections of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia Paperback March 19, 2011
Honor Denied by Allen Cates
Shadow War: The CIA's Secret War in Laos - by Kenneth Conboy
Dirty Little Secrets of the Vietnam War: Military Information You're Not Supposed to Know Paperback by James F. Dunnigan & Albert A. Nofi
Shooting at the Moon: The Story of America's Clandestine War in Laos Paperback - by Roger Warner
Covert Ops: The CIA's Secret War In Laos Mass Market by James E. Parker Jr.
I think most of these books were endorsed by www.air-america.org/index.php/en/book-list

This online reading is fascinating too:
'The Aircraft of Air America, 5th edition of 24 August 2015' , by Dr. Joe F. Leeker www.utdallas.edu/library/specialcollections/hac/cataam/Leeker/aircraft/index.html

 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Claire Lee Chennault purchased several surplus military aircraft and created the Civil Air Transport (later known as Air America).
These aircraft facilitated aid to Nationalist China during the struggle against Chinese Communists in the late 1940s, and were later used in supply missions to French forces in Indochina and the Kuomintang occupation of northern Burma throughout the mid- and late-1950s
en.wikipedia.org:_Claire_Lee_Chennault

 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

CAT/Air America - The Unknown Warriors of the Cold War
Civil Air Transport (CAT) was formed in China after World War II by General Claire L. Chennault and Mr. Whiting Willauer. General Chennault was well known by the Nationalist Chinese Government and by the Chinese people, having been the leader of the American Volunteer Group (The Flying Tigers) during the war. While not as well known as Chennault, Willlauer also provided significant services to the Chinese Government during the war and was highly respected.
Both strongly thought that there was an urgent need within China for airlift services because of the vast distances, the lack of communications services, and the primitive roadway system. After gaining approval, CAT organized as soon as possible and transported relief supplies from various ports to the interior of war-ravaged China. In many situations, they provided a wide range of services that were necessary to support the critical situations in China. As the civil war in China grew in intensity, CAT was also pressed into flying covert missions in support of Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist Kuomintang forces fighting against the communists under Mao Zedong.
The operation moved to Taiwan after the Chinese mainland fell to the communist forces in 1949. In 1950, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) purchased the airline through a Delaware holding company. CAT continued to operate commercial passenger flights, while also running the covert Air America flights for the CIA. CAT and Air America, along with Air Asia and Southern Air Transport, eventually fell under the control of the holding company Pacific Corp.
From the end of World War II to the end of April 1975, CAT and Air America flew covert missions in support of American interests in Southeast Asia. The exhibit is dedicated to the personnel that took part in one of the greatest relatively unknown chapters in the annals of aviation history.
www.flightmuseum.com/catair-america-the-unknown-warriors-of-the-cold-war/

 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
For LS-20A check this website (use search CTRL+F for 'LS-20A') www.utdallas.edu/library/specialcollections/hac/cataam/Leeker/history/Laos2Part2.pdf

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Ling-Temco-Vought XQM-93A, 201287/N5592S (72-1287)

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Earthquake's Final Flight
This painting commemorates air operations of Civil Air Transport, an Agency proprietary, and its CIA contract pilots in support of French forces at Dien Bien Phu, Indochina, in 1954, during the final days of the conflict between the French and Viet Minh. In Fairchild C-119s with US Air Force markings hurriedly painted over with French Air Force roundels, 37 CAT pilots volunteered to fly supplies from the French airbase at Haiphong to the battlefield near the border with Laos.

Between 13 March and 6 May 1954, the pilots and crews made 682 airdrops to the beleaguered French forces, flying through murderous antiaircraft fire from guns that ringed the valley at Dien Bien Phu. On 6 May, the day before the Viet Minh overran the French fortifications antiaircraft fire hit the C-119 flown by legendary CAT pilot James McGovern (nicknamed "Earthquake McGoon") and co-pilot Wallace Buford. The pilots struggled to keep the plane airborne despite flak damage to the control surfaces and the port engine. The plane limped over the border into Laos and crashed, killing McGovern and Buford and two French paratroopers. The CAT pilots were thus among the first Americans to die in the Indochina conflict, which would eventually fully engage US military forces and end only in 1975.

The painting depicts McGovern's ('Earthquake McGoon')  C-119 shortly after it was hit by flak over the drop zone at 'Isabelle', an outpost of the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu.

The crash site was located in 2002, and in 2006 DNA testing confirmed that the remains recovered were McGovern's. He was buried with honors at Arlington Cemetery on 24 May 2007. Pieces of his C-119 are now in the CIA Museum collection.

When the painting was unveiled at his residence in 2005, French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte presented the French Republic's highest award (the Légion d'Honneur) to five of the six surviving CAT pilots for their heroic performance in the epic battle that marked the end of French colonial rule in Indochina.
www.cia.gov/library/...../earthquake2019s-final-flight.html
www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/earthquake-mcgoons-final-flight.html

 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

 


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
We come to a section which has several military aircraft of the Vietnam War era on display.
Vought A-8B Corsair II, BuNo.154502 and Bell TH-1L Iroquois, '38362'; note the Air America insignia 'All The Way'

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Vought RF-8G Crusader, BuNo.146882

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Northrop T-38A Talon, 62-3645

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
An SSM-N-9 Regulus II missile on display.
The Regulus II cruise missile was a supersonic guided missile armed with a nuclear warhead, intended for
launching from surface ships and submarines of the U.S. Navy.

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
N20JJ is a Roberts Laser Z200, manufactured in 1978. Its registration was cancelled in 2012.

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
N2WW is another oddball: Warnack Thorp T-18, manufactured in 1974 and registry cancelled 2012 (FAA N-inquiry page)

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Dart GC, N4HM (c/n GC-24) 'Spirit of Port Columbus'

 


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
The Braniff gallery traces the history of one of America's most colorful airlines from its humble one-aircraft beginnings
in 1928, through its worldwide expansion through the 1960s and 1970s, to its final flight in 1982.

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Personal involvement started when Braniff commenced scheduled operations into Amsterdam (NL): 1979
See also my page Braniff Remembered

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

 


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Bell 47H (TH-13T) Sioux, 67-17059

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
'Home of Apollo 7'

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird has a modest corner for its display

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Kiddies can loose some excess energy here

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Southwest Airlines has a prominent presence at Love Field; this is probably the bit where the history
of Love Field is exhibited in detail, but I was running out of time and did not go down there.
The 'Herbert D. Kelleher' 737 is probably 737-200 N102SW.

 


 

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
General Dynamics F-16B Fighting Falcon, 75-0752

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Republic F-105D Thunderchief, 62-364/SH - named Sumpin' Else

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas

Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Lockheed T-33A 56-1767

 


 

LINKS
TEXAS 2015
The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at William P. Hobby (Houston) Airport
Lone Star Flight Museum / Vietnam War Flight Museum (Galveston)
Highland Lakes Squadron (CAF), Burnet
Ghost Squadron, Central Texas Wing, San Marcos
Texas Air Museum - Stinson Chapter (San Antonio)
Cavanaugh Flight Museum (Addison)
Vintage Flying Museum, Ft. Worth

EXTERNAL
Commemorative Air Force (CAF) on Wikipedia
Frontiers of Flight Museum

 

 

 

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Reactions / comments welcomed (always include the url you refer to!)