Celebrating the AAA's Diamond Jubilee:
Aircraft from the First Few Fly-Ins
If you were a kid growing up in the 1930s, odds are you and your
buddies were "airplane crazy". Airplanes, air races, speed records,
and long distance flights were in the newspaper almost every
day. Pilots named Lindbergh, Doolittle, Turner, Hawks, and Earhart
were real life heroes. And there were other aviation heroes - mostly
fictional - who came right into your living room every night over the
radio. Between 1932 and World War II, there were over
programs with an aviation theme being broadcast around the U.S. The
first of those programs to totally capture the attention of young
listeners was The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen in 1933.
The 2013 AAA-APM Fly-In will highlight the 80th anniversary of
The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen
to draw attention to the important role the
early aviation radio programs played in inspiring an entire generation
of young people towards aviation and other technical careers.
First and foremost we hope to see Sarah Wilson's "Jimmie Allen"
Stearman 4E at the
2013 AAA-APM Fly-In.
Stearman NC667K is
currently the oldest surviving Model 4, having been delivered to the
Richfield Oil Company on October 28, 1929. The aircraft was used by
Richfield Oil as a promotional vehicle for their sponsorship of the
Jimmie Allen Flying Club.
We also invite you to participate in a Jimmie Allen Air Race during
the AAA-APM Fly-In. One of the things that set the Jimmie Allen radio
program apart from the others were the Jimmie Allen Air Races. These
were model airplane contests using balsa stick-&-tissue rubber powered
models that participants picked up at their local gas stations and
built themselves. The Air Races were hugely popular with 10,000 to
30,000 participants at each event, held in cities like Wichita,
Denver, Des Moines, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
In addition to the Fly-In activities next summer, the
intends to create a permanent display to highlight the aviation radio
programs of the 1930s and 1940s. Not only Jimmie Allen, but other
popular programs like Tailspin Tommy, Hop Harrigan, Smilin Jack, Frank
Hawks' Sky Patrol, Roscoe Turner's Sky Blazer, Speed Gibson, Anne of
the Airlines, Captain Midnight, Sky King, and all the others. If you
or someone you know has artifacts, photos, or other memorabilia about
these historic aviation radio programs, we invite you to participate
in this endeavor by either donating or loaning your materials to the
Air Power Museum.