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The “Dallas Spirit”

The Dallas Spirit was the name of an aircraft flown by Capt. William P. Erwin in the 1927 Dole Air Race, also known as the Dole Air Derby, and entered in a second competition, the Easterwood Race, intended to run from Dallas to California to Hawaii and finally to Hong Kong. Typical of construction at the time of transition away from biplanes, it was a monoplane (single wing) characterized by a high wing and conventional landing gear. It was a “tail dragger” which meant that when it came to rest, it sat on the two forward wheels under the wing and a tail wheel. The design somewhat resembled Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis. The Dallas Spirit’s wingspan was 48 ft., and the 225 hp. air cooled Wright radial engine could allow it to achieve a top speed of 126 mph. and cruise at about 105 mph. Its wings were painted silver and its body was painted green.

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Posted by on November 26, 2020 in aviation

 

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Silent Wings – Texas Glider Training Program in World War II

For many years, there was a “Silent Wings” Museum in Terrell, Texas at the municipal airport.  It was a tribute to the World War II glider project that allowed the Allies to transport troops and supplies into enemy territory.

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Posted by on October 8, 2020 in aviation, world war 2

 

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William E. Easterwood, Jr.

W. E. Easterwood, Jr. was a wealthy Dallas businessman who became known for his philanthropy as much as for his enthusiasm for aviation. Easterwood had been born in 1883 in Wills Point. After serving in World War I, he returned to North Texas to earn his wealth in various businesses he started in Wichita Falls. Easterwood later moved to Dallas and became an ambassador for his adopted city.

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Posted by on September 24, 2020 in aviation, biography

 

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British Flying Training Schools in the WWII Era

Prior to the United States’ entry into World War II, a number of joint agreements were instituted between the United States and the United Kingdom, including the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, the British Flying Training Schools and the Arnold Scheme. Each one involved training airmen from the U.K. at facilities in the United States.  The British Flying Training School involved seven locations where training was carried out.  From west to east, they were Lancaster, California; Mesa, Arizona; Sweetwater, Texas; Terrell, Texas; Ponca City, Oklahoma; Miami, Oklahoma and Clewiston, Florida.  The school at Sweetwater was only open a few months, but the school at Terrell was in operation from 1941 to 1945.

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Posted by on April 2, 2020 in aviation, world war 2

 

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Pyote Army Air Field, the “Enola Gay” and “The Swoose”

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(Image credit: aircraftboneyards.com)

The origin of the name of Pyote, Texas is unknown, but possibly derived either from a mispronunciation of the word “coyote” by foreign railroad workers or it was a variation of the word peyote, the name of a local cactus plant.  Pyote is located roughly about halfway between Pecos and Monahans in Ward County, Texas.  It has had two notable “boomlets” in its history, the first after oil was discovered in the area around 1920 and a second during World War II.

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Posted by on December 12, 2019 in aviation, world war 2

 

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