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Dayton, Ohio held a grand homecoming celebration of Orville and Wilbur Wright's return from Europe; they were greeted with the same attention and adulation that had followed them across Europe. There was a two-day, huge celebration, June 17-18, 1909, featuring receptions, concerts, parades, fireworks, dinners and speeches. At this celebration, the Wright brothers were presented Congressional Gold Medals and medals from the state and the city. Scores of elementary school children clad in red, white, and blue made up a "living flag" chorus that closed the ceremony with a song. The following announcement was made by the president of the homecoming committee: "It is the earnest desire of the committee having in charge the Wright Brothers' Home Celebration, that it be opened up on Thursday morning June 17, with enthusiasm. We have arranged for two modern cannon at the militia encampment, which will be fired at intervals, beginning at 9 a. m. to announce the opening of the celebration. The committee requests all factories and others having whistles or bells to blow or ring them for a period not to exceed 10 minutes, commencing at 9 a.m."

A special medallion was struck for the many committee members and guests; the medallion was hung on a ribbon suspended from a pin on which the particular committee was named or the word "guest" appeared.

Photographs of this enormous event were taken by Andrew Iddings and have been presented in the book shown below, printed in 2003.

Ohio governor Judson Harmon at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Note that the governor is wearing the Home Celebration medallion. This image is from the book.

An original "Wright Brothers Home Celebration" medallion is pictured below. The piece is just a bit over 3 cm in diameter. The original medallions used at the 1909 event were made with a bronze base with silver plating. There have been modern copies made using either all bronze or all silver. Note that on the front side pictured below that the plating has slightly worn off the Wright Flyer showing the bronze framework.

This medallion will be offered for sale. Pricing has not been established at this time. If you are interested, please contact CollectAir.


This 63mm bronze medallion commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Douglas Aircraft Company and its founder, Donald W. Douglas; the reverse side has "Wings for the world by Douglas" with images of the 1920 Cloudster and the 1960 DC-8. Price for this handsome piece is only $50.00.

WWII PIN - US Army Air Corps Command Pilot's Officer Wings - Sterling Silver

A 2-inch, clutch back USAC Command Pilot's Wings made by Davorn. The back of the pin has the maker's name, DAVORN" and "STERLING" which indicates 92.5% silver. Priced at only $75.00.


Here is a very unusual piece of WW2 memorabilia. Handsomely boxed, a complete drafting instrument complete with navigational scales of 1:1,000,000 and 1:1,500,000 along with the original instructions and drawing of the unit. All-metal but made from non-magnetic materials so that aircraft instruments aren't affected. The box top is marked, "MACHINE - AIRCRAFT NAVIGATIONAL DRAFTING AN-5750-1 MANUFACTURE'S PART NO. 3 B 100 CONTRACT NO. AC 33007 STAR WATCH CASE CO. LUDINGTON, MICH." One of the scales is marked "Brunning." Unit is in excellent condition as can be seen from the photos. I can find no information on this device - I would guess that it would be used on large patrol planes for long, over-water flights. The drawing is dated 7-8-42 making this an early wartime purchase. The box measures 23 1/4" x 9 1/4" x 3 7/8". A seldom seen device. Become a navigator on a PB2Y by purchasing this rare instrument for $650.00. See the Link A-12 bubble Sextant (next item) for a companion navigational device to this plotter. The Hamilton AN5740 Chronometer, on this page, is also another necessary instrument to have on board your WW2 bomber. If you're going to navigate, do it in style.


The Link Model A-12 is a rugged and ergonomic, multi-shot bubble sextant with a median device that was developed for the U.S. Army Air Corps for use in WW2. By 1942 Link was building hundreds of these sextants each week at a unit cost of $262.

Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, the navigator of the B-29 Enola Gay, used an A-12 on the long flight across the Pacific and back in August 1945. Shortly after the war's end following the atomic strikes on Japan, the A-12 was considered war surplus and available at deeply discounted prices.

This boxed sextant comes with a reprint of its handbook, "Link Bubble Sextant (Octant) Model A-12, Handbook, Description - Operation Use - Adjustment."

A complete breakdown of all the sextant's parts, from the handbook, can be viewed by clicking here.

The serial number of this A-12 unit is C-2317. The sextant appears to be complete although there are several empty slots in the box - probably batteries went into the upper right corner. The key to the box lock is included, tied to the interior. There is a hidey-hole at left near the eyepiece and I have no idea what might have fit in there - maybe more batteries. The bubble is dry but the handbook describes how this device is to be filled so apparently this device was prone to losing its fluid. A nifty WW2 device used by many pilots, and in great condition. You can own this sextant, along with a handbook of operation, for only Sorry Sold.

Douglas Corrigan (see next item below) could have used an A-12!

Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan and the Curtiss Robin

Douglas Corrigan became a legendary aviator, not because of his accomplishments as a pilot but rather because of a supposed navigational error. In 1938, Corrigan "mistakenly" flew from New York to Ireland--when he was supposed to be flying from New York to California--because he seemingly misread his compass. For Americans, who were caught in the midst of the Great Depression, Corrigan's antic provided a great deal of humor and uplift and he became a national folk hero. To this day, Corrigan's nickname, "'Wrong Way' Corrigan," remains a stock colloquial phrase in popular culture. People use it to describe anyone who blunders and goes the wrong way, particularly in sporting events. Nevertheless, as much fun as Corrigan's incident provides, many people do not understand all the complexities of his story, nor do they appreciate the fact that he was a sound and accomplished pilot. For the rest of this story, click here. Several links are also provided for other Corrigan history sites.

Dust jacket of Corrigan's story of his life, printed in 1938. The cover design is from a painting by Charles H. Hubbell.

A Douglas Corrigan "special" is being offered here. A first edition, autographed copy of That's My Story by Douglas Corrigan is combined with an original aluminum wing rib from a Curtiss Robin, the model of airplane that Corrigan used for his 28-hour wrong way flight from Floyd Bennett Airport in Long Island to Dublin.

The book has the original dust jacket and is further protected by a nifty plastic cover. The cover boards are bright. Some age yellowing on endpapers. The autograph is on the front free endpaper and the facing endpaper has a bookplate and an inscription from the giver of the book, dated 1939. The back endpaper has a full page, delightful inscription describing her encounter with Corrigan as he signed the book at "Robinsons" and ending with the note, "...always treasure this for he was a daring and Brave lad." A newspaper clipping is inserted in between blank endpapers at the end of the book. This clipping is shown, in part, below and describes Corrigan's britches! The newsprint clipping is yellowed and has yellowed the page adjacent to it. A true provenance!

Corrigan bought a well used OX5 powered Curtiss Robin for $325 in 1933; he later installed a used Wright J6-5 engine in 1935, put new wheels on the ship, recovered it, installed some large fuel tanks and repaired some tail damage - so, in 1935 he was planning his attempt to fly from Newfoundland to Ireland.

Corrigan's Curtiss Robin "B" with Wright J6-5 engine modification.

The Robin's semi-cantilever wing framework was built up of solid spruce spar beams and stamped-out Alclad aluminum alloy wing ribs and fabric covered; this wing structure was used on all the Robins, from the "B" on. The Robin rib being offered was removed from a Curtiss Robin that is being restored; photos of the rib are shown below. The rib is in "as removed" condition so shows some disassembly "trauma." This rib makes an excellent display of a 1930s aircraft part - it measures 65 3/8" overall chordwise.

The combination of the signed Douglas Corrigan first edition book from 1938 and the Curtiss Robin wing rib is available for SORRY SOLD (Note: Another Robin J-1 rib is available - see below).

Curtiss Robin J-1 Wing Ribs

The Curtiss Robin wing ribs, shown below, are available for sale. These ribs are from a Curtiss Robin Model J-1, serial number 711, which is being restored in California; the wing has been completely rebuilt using newly constructed wood ribs to strengthen the original metal ribs (a common practice). Two sets of wings were the "donors" to provide airworthy aluminum ribs and the ribs offered here were the rejects. The airplane was originally sold in Medford, Mass. And was impressed into Army service as a navigational trainer in WW2. After the war, as with many Robins, it became a crop duster, moving from Idaho to Washington and ultimately to Porterville, CA where it was retired from service about 1953. The J-1 being restored has the same engine as Corrigan's airplane. Own an original part of a well used vintage duster. The price of each rib is $45.00; if shipped, there will be an additional cost of $18 for a shipping crate and a FedEx charge of $17. The photos below show two ribs, with opposite sides exposed.

Detail of aluminum rib construction.

Additionally, a trailing edge, aluminum rib section is available for $25.00. The section being offered is pictured below. Shipping to be determined.

A Robin rib nose section is also available for $20.00. This section may be purchased individually. It will also be included with the full rib offered above. Note the inspection stamps.

An interesting, undated model airplane plan from Sturdi-Built Model Aircraft, Portland, Oregon. Corrigan's Curtiss Robin is accurately drawn, including the notation of a Wright J6-5 engine. Note the sidebar which states, "Smallest power plant ever to span the ocean." If you would like a copy of the small plan, send a SASE to CollectAir. At least one other Corrigan Robin flying model kit came out in the late 1930s - the Scientific "wrong Way Plane" - a 25" wingspan kit which first sold for 35 cents. The description below is from the 1940 Scientific catalog. A modern replica kit is available from Golden Age Reproductions.

Megow produced a 12-inch wingspan solid model of the Corrigan Robin, kit number V-10; the catalog entry from 1942 for this kit is shown below.

Model airplane News carried a 1939 article and model plan for "Corrigan's Crate" as pictured below.


The U.S. Naval Aviation Centennial was widely celebrated in 2011.

The fiftieth anniversary of Naval Aviation in 1961 had an official medallion commemorating the event. The bronze medallion was made by the Medallion Art Company and the sculptor was Paul Fjelde. The medal is accompanied by a document outlining the history of Naval Aviation and information about the sculptor. The leaflet introductory paragraph states:

May 8, 1961 marks the fiftieth birthday of Naval Aviation. On that date, in 1911, the Navy ordered its first airplane from Glenn Curtiss, of Hammondsport, New York. Due to the many significant events which took place during that historic year, the entire year 1961 has been designated by the Secretary of the Navy for the celebration of "The Golden years of the Golden Wings." The medallion bears on the obverse side a design portraying an aged hand passing a pair of Navy wings to a young hand - a symbol of the handing down of the rich traditions and vast responsibilities of Naval Aviation. The reverse side bears the official anniversary seal.

Views of the medallion are presented below along with its box. This medal may be purchased for $47.50. Note that the carrier, U.S.S. Enterprise, is depicted; the Enterprise has been retired.


The 1977 Rallye 235 was the final and ultimate derivative of the long produced line of French STOL airplanes built by the light airplane manufacturing arm of Aerospatiale, SOCATA. Neither of these companies exist today with those names. The original line began with Morane-Salnier's MS.880, the Rallye Club, with a 90 h.p. engine; the first flight was just prior to 1960. By 1965, MS became part of Sud Aviation and was renamed SOCATA in 1966. The various models of the line were built in France up to around 1980. I owned a MS. 894 Rallye "Minerva" which was powered by a 220 h.p. , 6-cylinder Franklin engine. This was a nifty airplane with the smooth running Franklin and a control stick. The STOL characteristics developed from full span, leading-edge automatic slats, Fowler flaps and large control surfaces, a real kick to fly. By 1978, my company became a dealer for the new Rallye line which incorporated Lycoming engines, from 150 h.p. to 235 h.p. I visited the factory in Tarbes in 1978 and witnessed the impressive manufacturing methods for the Rallye line - the wing was a one-piece, spot welded structure. The Rallye has a sliding canopy which could be partially opened in flight. We would demonstrate the amazing flight characteristics of the airplane by pulling the control wheel (the 235 was changed to a wheel from the stick) back against the stop, wrap a seat belt around it and then fly the ship with power and rudder right to a landing! Try that in your usual Cessna or Piper!

The metal key fob was a promotion piece; the reverse side has the Rallye/Aerospatiale logo. You can celebrate this rugged French STOL airplane with this factory item, priced at $27.50.

If you would like to see why the French chose the canopy style, then click here for a demonstration of French advertising.


Amelia Earhart's husband, George Putnam, worked closely with Pitcairn Autogiro to secure publicity for Amelia. In April 1931, Amelia used a Pitcairn PCA-2 to set an altitude record and soon after, an attempt at a transcontinental flight was planned with the backing of the Beech-Nut Packing Co. A Beech-Nut owned PCA-2 , carrying the Beech-Nut logo, was to be used to promote its chewing gum. Amelia did fly PCA-2, c/n 12, leaving Newark on May 29, 1931 and arrived in Glendale in early July. She did not set a record as another PCA-2 flown by John Miller beat her by 9 days. Her promotion flights in the Beech-Nut autogiro resulted in several crashes and her involvement with Beech-Nut did not outlast the year. A thorough article about Amelia's flirtation with autogiros can be read by clicking here.

The paperweight pictured below is a commemorative item from the Beech-Nut promotional effort. The glass weight featuring the PCA-2 is available for Sold.


An as-new World Airways promotional pen set from the 1970s. This Parker set functions perfectly and has never been used - a classy airline memorabilia piece for only $35.00.

This pen set, with an added "Deluxe Service," is exhibited in the Oakland Aviation Museum at Oakland's North Field - a photo of the display is shown blow as captured by CollectAir in 2013.

World Airways was founded in 1948 but Edward Daly is thought of as World's founder. He bought the non-sched airline in 1950 for $50,000 and proceeded to acquire DC-4s. The airline has always had substantial government contracts since 1951. The airline operated DC-6s, Connies, Boeing 707s, 727s and bought DC-8s in the early 1970s. The 747 and DC-10 joined the World fleet and, in more modern times, MD-11s became a mainstay for military trunk routes.

World was a prime military contractor during the Vietnam War, operating out of the Oakland Airport base and transporting troops and equipment to the war zone. A move into scheduled airline service resulted in staggering losses and the airline moved its base from Oakland to Washington Dulles and more recently to Atlanta Hartsfield as World has gone through several financial mergers and structural changes. More info on World can be found at

The World hangar at Oakland Airport was an imposing structure; World moved out in the 1980s and the hangar became a maintenance facility for UAL at that time. Ed Daly was well known in the San Francisco Bay Area; he owned a Douglas B-23/UC-67 Dragon (bought in 1978) which was frequently seen at airshows. The photos below show his airplane at an airshow (Livermore,CA) in 1980. After WW2, this AAC s/n 39-033 became part of the Howard Hughes aircraft stable as it was sold surplus in 1945; Hughes sold it soon after and it eventually became a corporate transport for several companies including Rexall Drugs and Food Machinery (FMC)before Daly bought it. Daly sold the B-23 in 1985; I believe the airplane is currently owned by Jim Slattery and is based at his Gillespie Field museum called the Greatest Generation Naval Museum.

CollectAir photos.


The PBY Catalina is the subject of "In Focus" in the June 2008 issue of Fly Past. The photo below shows the PBY-5A Catalina csn 2459 which is based in the Netherlands. Note the overhead throttle/prop quadrant in the cockpit.

The cockpit throttle/prop control body shown below is from a PBY. In excellent condition, this vintage PBY item is available for $550.00.


This Grumman J2F-4 Duck, s/n 1649, was at NAS Pearl Harbor;s Ford Island on December 7, 1941, operating with the First Utility Squadron VJ-1. At Ford Island during the Japanese attack, this Duck not only survived unscathed, but is thought to have been one of the first to be used to seek the Japanese fleet. Active throughout WW2, this Duck was sold on the surplus market and operated until sinking in a Bahamas lake in 1955. The airplane was salvaged by Bill Floten in the 1990s, sold and fully restored to flying status by Wichita Air Services and now owned by Charles Greenhill. Click here to see a photo of the beautifully restored Duck, s/n 1649. Another excellent photo of the restored J2F-4 can be seen by clicking here. In cooperation with Wichita Air Services, CollectAir has several salvaged parts from this historic airplane on exhibit; although significantly corroded, the wing ribs, an aileron, engine parts and several instruments are all elegant reminders of Pearl Harbor. The first item to be pictured here is an aileron which I'm assuming is from the right hand wing, either the upper or the lower. Actually in pretty good condition considering its dunking in a Bahamna lake. It is a typical Grumman part - well built with sturdy construction.

The Duck's full wingrib is an amazing structure. The rib top and bottom surface is a formed hat section with rolled edges. The structural ties are hollow and intersect the top and bottom through cutouts and are riveted (pop?).

The air intake box on the J2F-4 Wright 1820-30 engine is shown below.

J2F-4 cylider head gage.

Grumman Duck auxiliary fuel tank gage. Not from s/n 1649.

The December 2011 issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine has an excellent article on this Duck and its restoration; the photos below are from this article.

Fantasy of Flight's Grumman Duck - Polk City, Florida.

Grumman Duck Recognition Model 1:72 scale. Friend or Foe? Museum.


This propeller spinner assembly is from a Lockheed P2V Neptune. The P2V was conceived shortly after WW2 and was in production by Lockheed until 1962. Not certain whether this spinner was used on most P2Vs or whether it is for a specific model only. Obviously it is for a four-bladed prop as used on most of the production ships. A very handsome artifact with a beautiful curvature; Lockheed engineers had that knack of lofting gorgeous shapes. This item has not been priced.


This plaque was awarded to a "Member of United Air Lines' 100,000 Mile Club" in 1959, over 50 years ago. The award is in excellent condition and is complete with six additional "stars" - perhaps these were for additional miles or years. A terrific United Air Lines passenger artifact featuring the DC-3. The plaque can be hanging on your office wall for only $65.00.


The Japanese IJN ace, Saburo Sakai, visited the CollectAir gallery on January 4, 1992. Eight years later, in September 2000, Saburo Sakai suffered a heart attack at Atsugi naval base while reaching across the table to shake hands with an American navy officer. He died at the hospital a few hours later; he was 84.

Saburo Sakai signing a print at CollectAir in 1992.

Born in Saga, Japan in 1916, Saburo Sakai came from a family descended from Samurai, Japan's ancient warrior class. He was taught to live by the code of Bushido, which he defined in his book, "Samurai!", published in 1957, as living so as to always be prepared to die. He enlisted in the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1933, at the age of sixteen. Basic training was brutally harsh with constant corporal punishment being administered and he later served aboard a battleship. In spite of minimal education and little aptitude for formal study, he managed to finish at the top of his enlisted pilot training class (38th) in 1937.

During World War II Sakai flew the legendary Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter aircraft, which for the first years of the war was considered the best fighter anywhere in terms of maneuverability and range. He soon became a living legend in World War II Japan. Japanese pilots invariably spoke in awe of his incredible exploits in the air. In 1943, Sakai was seriously wounded while attacking a formation of Dauntlesses, taking a .50 cal. round to the head. The bullet split the upper frame of the right eye of his flight goggles and bounced off his skull, crushing the bone underneath. Covered with blood, blind in one eye and barely conscious, he somehow managed to fly his now canopy-less Zero 4-1/2 hours back to base and land, to then endure surgery without anesthesia. He never regained the vision of his right eye, but was back in the cockpit a year later, and shot down four more planes before the war ended.

Petty Officer 1st Class Saburo Sakai was one of the most famous Japanese combat pilots and was one of the few high scorers to survive the war. He first flew in China with the Imperial Japanese Navy, where he gained two victories, and joined the land-based naval wing at Tainan. On December 8, 1941, piloting a Model 21 Zero V-107, he flew with the rest of the Tainan Kokutai to attack an American air base in the Philippine. He was promoted to LTJG by the end of the war.

While at CollectAir in 1992, Saburo Sakai impressed everyone with his genuine manner and soft spoken good will. He visited the U.S. frequently because his daughter, Michiko, married to a U.S. Army officer, lived in Los Angeles and later moved to the middle west during the Gulf War. Sakai was an enlisted flyer and wasn't shy about telling of his dislike for the Academy officers. He enjoyed telling me of a particular incident in China where the enlisted pilots successfully carried out a hair-raising ground raid on a Chinese air base and the accompanying officer pilot received all the official credit - to this day - yet didn't participate in the action. Sakai seemed embarrassed by the number of kill credits that have been attributed to his aerial combat record; in fact, he was not sure of how many victories he had insofar as the IJN kept records only by squadron, not individual pilots, and for certain not enlisted pilots.

Saburo Sakai, with daughter Michiko Smart, at Fort Knox in 1987.

As shown at top, Sakai designed a tie-pin, or lapel pin, featuring a Zero with a small diamond serving as the propeller; his daughter manufactered the pins under the name of Bazuka Productions. The wingspan of this pin is 1 1/4-inches. These pins are worn by many ex-Zero pilots in Japan; the pin is pictured on page 157 of the book, "Winged Samurai" by Henry Sakaida. The pin comes in a typical Japanese fitted box made of a wood similar to balsa.

CollectAir was able to purchase a few of these pins which haven't been advertised on this website until now. Only one remaining and the price of the Saburo Sakai designed Zero pin is SORRY, STOCK SOLD OUT.

An autographed, b&w, 8"x10" photo (not a litho) of Saburo Sakai, signed while at CollectAir in 1992, is available for SORRY SOLD OUT. The photo is shown above.

A signed Saburo Sakai print, along with a piece of his original brush work calligraphy, is presented on the "Art Prints" page.


A modified cockpit slider canopy hood, windscreen and the aft greenhouse of a Curtiss P-40N are offered here for sale - actually not. They have all been individually sold but nevertheless, I'm mentioning them here because the slider had an interesting provenance. There's no question that the long greenhouse, squared-off rectangular, transparent aft section is that of a P-40N variant; it was designed to offer an improved rearward view and it was introduced on the P-40N-5-CU variant and was kept for all of the rest of the Ns. However, this particular unit shown below does not have the two restraining straps evident on the standard fighter versions although the lower rail has been drilled for the straps. Perhaps it is from the two-place P-40N, the TP-40N-30CU, also pictured below. A rare TP-40N-6-CU, sn 44-47923, is at the Wings Over Miami Museum owned by Kermit Weeks.

The frame of the greenhouse is in perfect condition; the upper, forward assembly is detailed below as well as a shot of the forward extrusion. The glass is scratched and would require some heavy duty polishing; however, there are no cracks or crazing to prevent flight use. This aft greenhouse could also be used as an interesting piece for an aircraft memorabilia display. Own it for SORRY SOLD plus shipping. I will deliver to any California address for expenses only.

Curtiss TP-40N-30CU two-place trainer.

The P-40N canopy slider is an interesting, one-of-a-kind item. The "N's" did away with the "birdcage" style canopy and replaced it with an open style canopy for improved pilot's vision along with the larger aft greenhouse shown above. Refer to the drawings immediately below (Squadron/Signal Publication No. 26, 1976, $10.00) for the noticeable difference between the Mk IV Kittyhawk (early P-40N) and the P-40N-25; note how the aft, slanted portion of the canopy slider slants in a different angle on the later "N" model.

The sliding hood offered here, however, has the later "N" style without extra frames but has a reversed aft slant, as shown below which is only associated with earlier models. The windscreen depicted has been sold.

Why was this unit made this way? Did it come from Curtiss in this configuration? A little research turned up an interesting story about this canopy and why it was field modified.

In Aug. 2001, I contacted Charles Darby and Garth Hogan of Pioneer Aero Restorations located in Papakura, New Zealand (Near Auckland). They built/restored a beautiful former RAAF P-40N-1 Kittyhawk 42-104730 which they are flying. Charles looked through their drawings (and he stated that they've looked at lots of pictures) of the N1 and there is no sliding hood that matches the one offered above.

Then Andrew Walz of North York, ON, Canada, after reading a plea for information on this website, advised me that the "The P-40 sliding canopy can be seen in a 1966 photo of the Tallmantz collection P-40E. It apparently lost the original hood, had the pieces in question built up out of P-40N frame with an earlier piece to get the rearward sloping contour." With this valuable clue, I then checked out the history of the Tallmantz P-40E at which described this airplane as Serial # AL152 and gave the history of ownership up to 1992 when it went to the War Eagles Air Museum, Santa Teresa, NM where it is still located (see The museum states that this airplane served with the 23rd FG in China. Andrew later informed me that he'd seen one photo of the Tallmantz P-40E flying with an unmodified P-40N hood which left a large gap at the top because of the reverse slope! I then checked out the outstanding site run by Doug Robertson.

I contacted Doug and he kindly provided me with photos, taken over the years, of P-40E AL152 in it's various configurations. AL152 was used as a crop duster in Colorado in the early 1950s and still had the original E hood in a 1961 photo shown below (identified by caption). It had been sold to Walter Erikson and trucked to Minneapolis, rebuilt and flown in 1957. Frank Tallman and Tallmantz obtained the airplane in 1958-59 and kept it until auctioned in 1968 and purchased by Dick Woodson in Livermore, CA. While owned by Tallmantz, Frank Tallman experienced an in-flight canopy failure as described in his book , "Flying the Old Planes," published in 1973 (copy given to me by my friend Tony Burson who was working as a lineboy for Tallmantz at the time - now a corporate jet pilot). The chapter entitled "P-40E" has the following quote which explains the missing canopy mentioned above: "On my second flight (in the P-40E), the canopy blew off due to a broken release spring in the emergency exit system. The noise was like an exploding cannon and the damage was nearly as great, for the canopy went at about 240 mph, tumbling and tearing holes in the wing root, fuselage and stabilizer. When my stomach settled down, I found the flight characteristics and handling qualities unimpaired, so I flew 350 miles to my destination, and except for about a week with an ear trumpet (due to the short stack s of the 1250-hp Allison and a cold from the super air conditioning), everything turned out all right."

The second photo below shows the P-40E with a standard N hood fitted to replace the missing canopy but with a significant gap (E hoods must have been difficult to find to require this sort of kluge). Doug says that this is a 1964 photo so the airplane was owned by Tallmantz at that time. The N hood was then apparently modified to fit the rearward slope of the E version and a picture of this version of the hood is shown in the third picture which Doug says stems from 1964, again owned by Tallmantz. The current version of the airplane is shown in picture four below and you can see that a standard P-40E sliding canopy has been refitted - just when and by whom is not known at this time. This P-40 was flown in the movie, "Tora, Tora, Tora," and I haven't revisited this movie yet but suspect that the modified N type hood was used in the filming. The airplane was again restored to airworthiness somewhere between 1978 and 1986 and it's possible that this is when the correct E hood reappeared. The CollectAir sliding hood shows signs of conversion from a standard N - the top fore and aft frame has been spliced about where the original rear frame would have intersected the top. The lower brace joint has been shifted to slant aft and the original mounting holes are evident. The work was done very expertly however and obviously was airworthy. So the probability is very high that this hood is from the Tallmantz P-40E; it would make a good flyable hood for a P-40E through M and the price is right. The hood could be converted back to the N version with the existing parts.

Original P-40E, AL 152, pictured in 1961.

P-40E, AL 152, with a standard "N" hood. Note the large aft gap at top.

P-40E with N hood modified to fit the aft slant. This is the canopy offered by CollectAir.

P-40E Al 152 as currently flown by the War Eagles Air Museum with the correct E sliding canopy.

Model Airplane News, August 1959. Caption for cover photo reads, "When Paul Mantz, famous stunt flyer, used Thimble-Drome Flying Tiger model to plan air action scenes for his TV series 'Rogue for Hire', to be released this fall, young admirers Tommy Sparks and Mike James were lucky to be on set for a demonstration by Mantz. Yes, the P-40 in background is the real thing. Photographers even got a vapor trail!" This P-40E is most likely the same P-40 examined here although with a different paint scheme for filming.

Interior details of the P-40 sliding hood. The modification to an aft slant was accomplished very professionly.

This "movie star" sliding hood for a P-40E (or can be modified back to an N version) is available for $SORRY SOLD. Use on your next P-40 project or as one heck of a conversation piece in your living room. Think of the stories that you could tell!

The above is Curtiss-Wright Corporation file photo from the Buffalo Plant Airplane Division. This photo #680-X is dated April 22, 1944 on the back along with a release entitled "P-40N Warhawk" which states, in part, "An improved Allison engine and enlarged rear vision fuselage cutout, slightly smaller landing gear wheels and provisions for carrying auxiliary wing tanks or additional bombs are a few of the important changes." This is probably a picture of an early P-40N, probably an N-1, and the tail number is probably bogus. Note that the sliding canopy does not match the "mystery" canopy offered for sale. Also, note that the aft greenhouse is not clear but that the internal P-40 rear deck is painted on the "transparent" glass! Maybe a revision of an "M" model that hadn't had the deck converted. This Curtiss publicity photo is for sale at $40.00 and is 8" x 10". Picture above is the detail of the airplane. Found another picture in the 6-9 September 1974 "Aviation News" (British), p.8, of P-40N, 47318, which also has what appears to be a painted on rear deck structure on the aft greenhouse. What gives?


This NOS windwing for the P-40 is Curtiss part number 87-26-917-2; this ventilation device was used on the P-40L-5-CU, P-40M and P-40N-20-CU. The P-40L was a "lightweight" version equipped with the 1,300 h.p. Packard V-1650-1. The P-40M reverted to the Allison V-1710-81 (F20R) rated at only 1,200 h.p. for takeoff but had an increased altitude rating to 17,300 feet. The M was otherwise similar to the P-40K-20 with the exception of a cooling grill forward of the exhaust stubs. The P-40N underwent an extensive weight savings program and was Allison powered; the N was the fstest of all P-40s, with a maximum speed of 378 mph. The P-40 was one of the sturdiest fighters of WW2; this windwing is an example of the overkill as it is suitable for a truck and weighs in at almost 2 lbs.

The P-40 part from WW2 is available for $275.00.


The Messershmitt Me 110C instrument panel also features original instruments in a reproduction panel. The panel lights are the only known reproduction components on the panel; the undercarriage indicator instrument is a partial repro. Two instruments shown in the photos on the base of the stand, the Emergency Auto Pilot switch and the Course Indicator are included with the panel to replace the reproduction instruments that are presently installed. Complete with display stand, it is an impressive collection of increasingly rare and hard to find instruments from WWII German aircraft. Based on the current value of German Luftwaffe instruments and adding together all components, the asking price is $6,800.00 SORRY SOLD.

As you may know, the price of some of these instruments has skyrocketed the past few years. If you consider the amount of labor one must invest in finding individual instruments (which are becoming harder and harder to find and increasingly expensive as demand soares), the cumulative cost of shipping items and the cost of making custom panel structures, a complete panel assembly is actually a reasonable investment. The opportunity to obtain panels like these ready to purchase is rare. Please note that CollectAir is acting as a broker for this panel assembly and it is not currently in the gallery although it is located in the Santa Barbara area.

This panel and the Fw 190A-8 panel below have been sold but others are available from time to time. Contact Ron Rothell at 805 964-3745 for information - and tell him that CollectAir sent you.


This control wheel, including the center nut cover, or hub, is from a Douglas DC-3 or C-47. This is no wimpy, fly-only-on-Sunday, only around the patch type of DC-3 part. This wheel has seen plenty of action. Own this wheel which was gripped by many a pilot operating in the 3's front office. The plastic coating is cracked in several places near the hub and has a few divets missing as can be seen in the photo below.

Well used, we wish this wheel could tell its story. The venerable DC-3 is certainly one of the most famous airplane designs in history. This experienced wheel can be yours for only Sorry Sold.. The scene below shows the cockpit of the DC-3 on exhibit at the C.R. Smith Museum in Texas. Too bad this wheel isn't still mounted on such a sturdy steed.


The Fw 190A-8 instrument panel shown here includes mostly original instruments and some reproductions. The reproduction parts are the Fuel selector lever (a very nicely done reproduction), panel lights, Revi 16 gunsight mount and holder and ammo counters/ammo counter holder. All of the panels are reproductions made in Germany. This panel features a one of a kind custom built rugged cast upper cockpit section hand built in Germany according to factory drawings upon which the upper panel section for the Revi 16, ammo counters and clock is mounted. The panel has mostly original instruments and some reproductions. The ammo counters and holder shown in the photos are not included. I can send you e-pics of the reproduction ammo counters/holder that will be included in the panel. Based on the current value of German Luftwaffe instruments and adding together all components the asking price is $5,675.00SORRY SOLD for the panel as described above (a Revi 16 gunsight is not included). Please note that CollectAir is acting as a broker for this panel assembly and it is not currently in the gallery although it is located in the Santa Barbara area. All panel photos are by Ron Rothell.

Cockpit of Fw 190 F-8 at the NASM Garber Facility prior to restoration. A CollectAir photo taken in Nov. 1980. Aircraft was restored by 1985 and is currently on exhibit.

Fw 190 A-8 of III./JG 54. This Diverse Images, British-made, painted pewter model in 1:72 scale can be seen, along with many other WWII aircraft, on the Diverse Images page link at left. Limited to only a hundred or so units, these models feature open cockpits with instrument panel.



Two instruments from WW2 Japanese airplanes are offered for sale. The T&B and the Rate of Climb are generic instruments that were used in many Japanese airplanes including the famous Zero. These two relics were "salvaged" by a GI in the Pacific and brought back home following the end of the conflict. Both instruments are in good display condition inasmuch as there are no visible or evident damaged areas, the glass is intact on both faces and there is fluid in the ball tube. There has been no restoration to either instrument except cleaning off the grime accumulated by years of storage; the finish is original.

Robert Mikesh, former Senior Curator of Aeronautics at the National Air & Space Museum and an expert on Japanese aviation, has authored many books on the subject. The illustration below, by Rikyu Watanabe, is from the book, Zero Fighter, by Mikesh; the diagram shows a typical instrument panel from a Zero-sen Model 52a (A6M5a) fighter. Note that the T&B and Rate of Climb are located beneath the gunsight. Both instruments are marked with an anchor.

The turn and bank indicator is shown in several photos below. The vent screen at the back removes (unscrews) easily. The instrument glass could use polishing inside and out but I leave the glass removal to a new owner - the glass is held in by a wire snap ring. The face has a nice finish and the ball moves freely in the fluid. The Japanese Turn and Bank instrument is priced at $Sorry Sold.

The rate of climb indicator is pictured below and all placards shown. The bezel nut turns freely. This instrument is priced at $Sorry Sold.

The instruments pictured below have all been sold. Their images remain for informational purposes.


The Japanese altimeter pictured was obtained from the G.I. that brought it home from Japan. This style altimeter was used in many Japanese aircraft and could be from a Zero or George for example. It is in original condition as obtained in Japan. The price of this rare instrument is $600.00 SORRY SOLD. Other Japanese aircraft instruments in similar condition will be made available in the future and pictures posted here. Please contact CollectAir if you are interested or have instruments to sell. Check out the T&B below.

The above Japanese Turn and Bank Indicator is in excellent condition. The serial number on the data plate is 306743. The adjustable air valve is an interesting addition to the instrument. This rare Japanese WWII instrument is priced at SORRY, T&B SOLD. An Airspeed Indicator is presented below, suitable for fighter aircraft.

This airspeed indicator appears functional and has ports labelled "P" and "S" on back. The s/n is 407097 and is was manufactured by "TS". Notice the clever logo with prop. An authentic Japanese aircraft instrument, priced at SORRY SOLD.

The boxed instrument pictured below was with the instruments and may be some sort of calibration or aiming adjustment device and tool.

Note that the serial numbers on box identification plate match the instrument device. It appears to be practically unused; has a bubble level and a vernier adjustment knob for elevation. This Japanese WWII instrument device may be purchased for SORRY SOLD.

The WWII Japanese aircraft compass, pictured below, was obtained from the GI that brought it back from the Pacific. This instrument is in mint condition and features some sort of aneroid device on the back. You can add this superb instrument to your Japanese aircraft panel for only SORRY SOLD.

The data plate on the WWII Japanese aircraft temperature gage, pictured below, reads the same on the bottom line as the compass - same manufacturer? Or military designation? This temp gage, because of the temp range of 500 to 900 degress Centigrade, is probably an exhaust gage temperature (EGT) device, possibly associated with a turbocharged engine. Check the EGT on your "Jack" for only SORRY SOLD.


This decorative piece is dated 1927 and was made by the Van Bytenbeek Sales Co., NY. It carries the name of "WRIGHT AERONAUTICAL CORPORATION" on the base and the inscription under the NYP states, "Commemorating Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh May 20-21 1927" The nose of the NYP has "SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS" and the tail reads, "NX 211 RYAN NYP". The wingspan is 19.8 cm which is the same as the Danbury Mint piece of 1977 although this trophy airplane has an out-of-scale shortened tail section.

The base is silver (probably silver plated but there are no markings indicating the material) and needs polishing (which I've avoided in order to not disturb the overall effect). The NYP is obviously pot metal of some sort with varying degrees of corrosion. The propeller is long gone and there has been no attempt to clean the airplane so this momento is shown in the "as found" condition. I've run into one other Lindbergh collector who had the base but without the NYP. I recently ran across the trophy in a Lindbergh memorabilia display at the Udvar-Hazy Center (2013); a photo of that item is included below.

I would be interested in finding out more about the origin of this piece. For instance, how many were made and who were they given to? Wright Aeronautical was promoting the success of their J5, but who to? I am not currently offering this for sale as I don't know the value but I would entertain offers. Quite a nice item considering some of the Lindbergh kitsch that came out in 1927.

The trophy/award as shown at the Udvar-Hazy Center is pictured below. A CollectAir photo 2013.


A handsome AN5740 Hamilton 24-hr. G.C.T. chronometer with sweep second hand in perfect working condition with its original metal, 2-part carrying case, a rare combination.

The watch is held in a snap-in metal cradle which is spring suspended within the bottom of the carrying case.

The stainless steel back of the watch is inscribed as follows: AN5740, MFR'S PART NO. 4992B, SERIAL NO. AF-42-38053, CONTRACT NO. W535 ac-28072, HAMILTON WATCH CO. I have not opened the back so I don't know if anything is inscribed on the inside. The watch looks like new.

The metal case has an outside diameter of 3 15/16" and carries the brass nameplate as shown above which has a dimension of 19mm by 38mm. This combination of a an aerial navigator's watch and carrying case may be purchased for $950.00.


This 16 size, 15j Elgin Pocket Watch Timer was made during WW2 for military purposes. This 10-second stopwatch came from the estate of an AAF crewmember; the same watch type is reported to have been used for ordinance timing in the artillery or submarine service, as examples. The central seconds hand does one rotation every 10 seconds (hence the description 10-seconds timer compared to a normal stopwatch which does count 60 seconds for each rotation). There is a minute counter at 12 o'clock, it has capacity for 10 minutes. The reason for the quick moving second hand is the very small balance wheel which beats (vibration rate) at 144.000 bph, or 40 beats per second. The increased speed results in a very precise watch - this Elgin 10-second watch, because of its "fast" sound, earned the nickname of "jitterbug." The length of a beat is one swing of the balance wheel, between reversals of direction, so there are two beats in a complete cycle. Balances in precision watches are designed with faster beats, because they are less affected by motions of the wrist.

The back of this watch has very faint, barely legible descriptive markings and a more distinct serial number:

Type A-8
Spec. No. 94-27749
Ser. No. AP-44-22045
MFRS Part No 1778
Ord. No. W11-107AC 112(45)

The photo below shows the serial number line on the backplate.

The backplate of the watch certainly indicates use so this was an active "participant" in WW2; the photos below show more of the watch case.

Note that the serial number on the back of the case is not the serial number of the works - the Elgin watch movement's serial number is not related to the case marking which is probably oriented to the contract number. Unlike some of these A-8 stopwatches, the inside of this case back is not marked with the Star Watch Case Company inscription, as some are, suggesting that this is an Elgin-made case.

This is not an "as found" watch. The movement and stem winder/stop mechanism has been carefully cleaned and restored as necessary by an expert watchmaker so that this 10-second stopwatch is in perfect working condition (August 2010). This "high speed" watch runs continuously regardless of whether the sweep hand is moving or not; one full wind of the spring gives approximately 2 to 4 hours of running. A purposeful push on the stem is necessary to activate the sweep hand and to stop it. The crystal is new.

A restored and fully functional 10-second stopwatch from WW2 that proudly shows that it was used and not relegated to a safe drawer somewhere, safe from action. The watch comes with a cloth pouch. Own this AAF watch for $285.

Want to hear a 40 beats per second A-8 watch? Click here for a short video.


"Pick me up at eight . . . and we'll fly to the club," says this lovely lady.

This comely lass was featured in an Aircooled Motors Corp. ad in the November 1943 edition of Skyways magazine. Promoting the postwar use of Franklin engines in light planes, the copy starts with, "Americans will find a whole new way of life built around their personal planes after the war . . ." The anticipated postwar lightplane boom soon faded as the returning GIs and war weary public were struggling with economic issues, war industry layoffs, college educations and young families and weren't able to discover that "whole new way of life" as expressed in this sexy fantasy ad. The full-page ad can be seen in a PDF file by clicking here.

The cover of this Skyways issue has a nifty night-time airport scene of a Constellation painted by the late Ren Wicks, one of the founders of the American Society of Aviation Artists.

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Thank you for visiting CollectAir. Your comments or questions are invited. Use the FEEDBACK or call my call. To ORDER, call cell (408) 828-2810 or e-mail Payment by check, money order or Paypal. Mailing address is CollectAir, 1324 De La Vina St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

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