WHAT DO YOU KNOW
Member Jim Colver hoped to identify Spitfire designer R J Mitchell in the Supermarine Royal visit card shown in September by comparison with another photo of the same event but cannot be sure. However Mitchell is definitely on the right in this (non postcard) shot of the same event.
A report in "Flight" says that, apart from local dignitaries, the party included the head of the Spanish Naval Air Service. It also referred to R J Michell as " one of our foremost flying boat designers". This at age 29, having been Chief Designer at Supermarine from age 24.
Nothing new on the other puzzles, so here are some new ones. This next one could equally have been put into "Worth a second Glance" for that it certainly is. First impression is of a gate guardian at some military establishment but the back says this is the Walt Disney School in Levittstown Pennsylvania.
Even so, aircraft in playgrounds are not unknown but this one is nothing ordinary. It is a Douglas Skyrocket, rocket powered research aircraft - basically the US Navy s answer to the USAF Bell X-1. It attained over 1300 mph in 1953 after air-launch from a B-29. ,But whereas the Bell resides in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, the Skyrocket appears to have ended up being tested to destruction by kids in Pennsylvania - does anybody know why, or , if, like the Vikings in WASG , it was ever rescued. Even when the above was taken the rudder had already disappeared.
Next, to follow on what seems to be a theme on interior views, there is a Pan American official card from the 1930s. It is titled "Aboard a Flying Clipper Ship".
Remarkable now is that all the passengers shown are smoking, in the case of the jigsaw puzzle player on the right from the classic 30s holder and that the airline has provided an ornate ash-tray on stand for their convenience. Also the male passenger at left bears a striking resemblance to the current film portrayal of Howard Hughes by actor Leonardo de Caprio in the film biography "Aviator".
The real Hughes of course would not have been seen anywhere near Pan American which he saw, correctly, as using every fair or foul means to thwart the ambitions of his own TWA to develop international services. Anyway, the one thing the card does not tell is , "Which Clipper ?". I reckon the choice is between the Sikorsky S.42 and the Martin 130 - I have a vague feeling that I have seen this shot or one similar on a cigarette card somewhere too.
Lastly a request from another
specialist Postcard Club. Bryan Horsnell
Of the Football ( Soccer for those in US) Postcard Collectors Club is interested in aerial views of Football grounds, especially early ones. He wonders whether there are any such in the Surrey Flying Services series from the 1920s. The later Airviews series may also have some examples. I know only of this Imperial Airways card of a W8 over the Wembley Exhibition and Stadium.
He can be contacted at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 275 Overdown Road, Tilehurst, Reading RG31 6NX.
Tel./Fax 0118 9424448. I have pointed out other possible football connections
like teams sponsored by airlines and special paint schemes for World/ European
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