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Meacham Field: 1942

Meacham Field: 1942

January 1942. Fort Worth, Texas. "Meacham Field. Civilian pilot training school. Instructor and students, control tower in background." Acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein. View full size.


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Fair Trade Pants

Sorry for the late reply. The wheel coverings are properly called wheel fairings (Grumman calls them Wheel Fairing Shells) but are almost universally known as wheel pants. While some aircraft can see an increase of a couple of knots in performance (in particular the Cessna 172 as noted by flyingk15), others might not benefit at all. When I asked my author, who has also written a book on Luscombe airplanes, he noted that as far as he was able to determine only the Luscombe factory had ever conducted actual tests to see what effect the pants had on performance. They found that across their range of products, wheel pants DECREASED aircraft speed in Luscombe airplanes by two to three knots.

Owners of Piper Cherokees have found that adding pants costs them some performance in the climb, but they gain some performance in cruise. So, if the aircraft in question does not have hard data (plus for Cessna, negative for Luscombe, tradeoff for Piper) it’s really just a matter of personal taste. One advantage pants do have is to keep gravel and dirt from hitting the fuselage when using unimproved landing strips. On the other hand, in winter they can get clogged with mud and ice. Many pilots simply take them off for winter flying.

The question for discussion today is whether you think wheel pants helped or hindered the 1938 Tupolev ANT-20bis?

Fender skirts

Skirts make non-retractable landing gear a bit more aerodynamic. Planes still come from the factory with them, such as the venerable Cessna 172.

Stinson Voyager

My dad owned a Stinson Voyager in the early sixties. A 1949 108-3, N6769M. I remember the plane fondly.

$12,000 for a new Stinson

The $12,000 price tag equates to $250,635 in 2022 dollars. I looked up a couple currently for sale, but no price is listed. I guess if you have to ask ...

Out with the old

There is a Texas Historical Marker at Meacham Field. The comment about the terminal was interesting, "On April 4, 1937, Meacham Field’s new Art Moderne Terminal (the first air-conditioned passenger terminal in the U.S.) and control tower were dedicated."

It's all gone now; replaced by a shiny, new building, also air conditioned.

Tire covers

Since we have Tobacconist on the line, perhaps he could answer this question: why do some planes, such as this one, have those fender-like tire covers, while others do not? Is it purely a styling issue?

Gull-Wing Wonder

NC16198 (serial number 9780) was a 1936 Stinson Reliant SR-8E.

While 125 of the Model SR-8 were built in Wayne, Michigan, only 35 had the letter E designation, which meant that it was powered by a 320-hp seven cylinder Wright Whirlwind J-6 series R-760-E2 engine, the largest of five engines offered in the Reliant.

In addition to the pilot it could carry four passengers at a cruising speed of 148 mph at 15,000 feet. It sold for $12,000 new.

I only know this because I just finished editing a book on Stinson's early years. I like your treatment of the photo. What are the chances that I may use it in the book?

Aircon Deco

A particularly fine example. Died at age 30 from blunt trauma.
(you just know your search is not going to end well when 'google' only turns up historical photos)

Airport magician.

I've seen this trick -- it's in his left hand. Cool plane! Cool airport!

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