CORINTH INFORMATION DATABASE VERSION 1.3

(c) 1995 Milton Sandy, Jr.

XHome | Home | Email Contact


  Excerpt from:

                IGOR SIKORSKY, His Three Careers in Aviation
                                     by
                               Frank J. Delear

          Early in the spring work began on the S-29-A- "29" for the
  twenty-ninth type of Sikorsky aircraft and "A" for America....[p.102]

           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          ...Captain Roscoe Turner, swashbuckling racing pilot of the
  1920's and '30's, brought the S-29-A in 1926.  He crisscrossed the
  country with the big plane, arousing enthusiasm for aviation and
  conditioning thousands to become the air travelers of a later day.  He
  used the plane to make advertising flights for various companies, the
  long flat sides of the fuselage providing ample space for company names
  in huge letters.  At one point the ship was set up as a flying cigar
  store.
          Turner's S-29-A once suffered the shame of having a tire blow out
  while the plane was in flight.  "The tire was so rotten," Igor related
  with a chuckle, "that it could not stand the change in air pressure at
  altitude.  The blowout was so loud and caused such a shock to the wing
  that Roscoe thought the end had come-- that some vital part of the plane
  had failed.  But he made a good, one-wheel landing with no further
  damage."
          Through his many charter, advertising, and demonstration flights,
  Turner earned enough to pay the Sikorsky company the $11,000 price that
  had been agreed upon.  When he sold the plane to Howard Hughes in 1928
  for use in the movie, HELL'S ANGELS, the S-29-A had fully proven itself a
  rugged and reliable aircraft.  A telegram sent by Turner to Sikorsky from
  Hollywood, California, on February 26, 1928, provides a fitting epitaph
  for the S-29-A:
          "The S-29-A successfully took off at 5,000 feet altitude, cleared
  mountains at 8,000, got into one tail spin going through mountain pass,
  came out OK.  Never had any mechanical trouble.  Plane a big show
  everywhere we landed.  Tell Mr. Shoumatoff am writing.  Regards.  Roscoe
  Turner."  [Officers of Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation formed on
  March 5, 1923, were Igor Sikorsky, president, W.A.Bary, treasurer, and
  L.A. Shoumatoff, secretary]
          In Hollywood, Hughes converted the S-29-A into a German bomber of
  World War I vintage, complete with machine guns and Maltese crosses.  One
  gun sprouted from the mid-fuselage cockpit and a new cockpit was
  installed in the nose.  The pilot put the ship into a spin and parachuted
  to safety.  The old plane spun down for thousands of feet before smashing
  into the ground.  The scene was probably the most spectacular of an epic
  film in which, as one movie historian said, "The airplanes were the real
  stars."  It was an ironic end for an airplane so safe it had never
  suffered a crash in its long and varied career.  Tragically, one crewman
  who was releasing smoke flares far back in the fuselage failed to bail
  out and died in the crash....     [pp. 114-116]           

           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          As youngsters, the Sikorsky children watched the great and the
  near great of aviation come and go in their home.  Lindbergh, Andre
  Priester, and others from Pan American were occasional guests.  Roscoe
  Turner visited a few times.  A guest for lunch one day was Captain Eddie
  Rickenbacker, just back from his ordeal on a life raft in the Pacific,
  emaciated and still walking with a heavy cane....          [p. 217]

             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  PICTURE:   Igor Sikorsky, flanked by good friends Colonel Roscoe Turner
             (left) and Bernard L. Whelan, veteran aviator and general
             manager of Sikorsky Aircraft from 1943 to 1955. [Picture of
             Roscoe in tuxedo, appears to be in his 60's]     [p.231]

             ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

       Source:  Frank J. Delear.  IGOR SIKORSKY, His Three Careers in
                Aviation.  New York, NY: Dodd, Mead & Company, Rev. Ed.
                1976.


       Data transcription by:  Milton Sandy, Jr. April 30, 1994.


XHome | Home | Email Contact


Last Update: September 27, 1995
Webmaster: Jackey Wall tsiwall@tsixroads.com
© copyright 1995 CrossRoads Access, Inc.