I have reconstructed the events of Will's life through interviews with his living descendants, newspaper accounts, Will's extensive personal journal, and avid library research. I am well on the way in developing a factual report of his creation... a flying machine which actually flew over the cotton and corn fields of Madison County, Alabama... circa 1905.
Will Quick's original aeroplane was discovered by the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in 1964. It was found disassembled and idle after 60 years of laying in an old cluttered barn, and was donated to the EAA by Will's son, Joe Quick.
It was restored, flown 105 miles by a commercial jet pilot, and placed in the Space and Rocket Museum in Huntsville, Alabama in 1970. Will Quick was inducted into the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame in 1982.
His accomplishments were not lost, nor neglected, by the inactivity of his children. Eight of his ten children learned to pilot airplanes, to build aircraft engines, and to mechanically maintain aviation successes and push the envelope of aviation's future.
ABIGAIL QUICK MASON. Married and lived in Huntsville. Opened a furniture store in 1908. She died at the age of 25 during a flu epidemic on November 4, 1918, twenty-four hours after giving birth to her sixth child.
ETHEL QUICK STEVENS. Married and lived in Huntsville. Worked for her sister Abigail in the furniture store. She died a month earlier than Abigail in the same flu epidemic on October 17, 1918. She was survived by one son and daughter.
CARROLL "COOLIE" QUICK. Eldest son. Operated the family business. Married, four children, and the last son to learn to fly. He died in 1959.
JOE QUICK. Learned to fly when he and his brothers bought a Cunuck OX-5 in 1920. He flew as a "Barnstormer" with county fairs and took aviation enthusiasts into the sky for $5.00 a hop. Fathered six children. Died in 1977.
WILLIAM MASSEY QUICK. Because of his slight build and light weight, he was cleverly "volunteered" to make the first flight in his father's bat-winged, single-engined, propeller-driven monoplane. He joined the Navy in World War I and became an aviator and mechanic. He and his brothers studied aerial geology to find possible oil-rich fields in Texas. Fathered ten children. Died in 1956.
Via email from Stephen L. Quick, 1-8-03
The pilot of the airplane was William Massey Quick and he was known as Bill, not Willie. Also, you'll note, he was not a "Jr." He was my grandfather. His son, Benny L. Quick is my father. He is retired now, but he was a Lear Jet pilot. I am also a pilot.
Stephen L. Quick
GEORGE "CURT" QUICK. Bought OX-5 in 1920. Taught brothers Tom, Eric, and Joe to fly. He built the first crop duster aeroplane in 1924. In 1936, he started crop-dusting with 'live' ladybugs. A process he originated a unique attempt to eradicate certain plant eating organisms. Fathered two sons. Died 1955.
CHARLES "ERIE" QUICK. Became a pilot and an airplane mechanic. Founded the Quick Air Motors Company in Wichita, Kansas in 1927. Later built the first all metal monoplane and organized the Metalair Manufacturing Company. During World War II, he was Certification Chief of all military aircraft. Died 1951.
THOMAS EDISON QUICK. Co-owner of OX-5. Learned to fly in 1920. He helped Erie in manufacturing Quick engines. Helped Curt in crop-dusting. Helped Willie study rock and strata to find possible oil fields from the air. He attained many mechanical patents. No children. Died 1963.
ELIZABETH "CADY" QUICK. First female aviator in Alabama. Soloed in 1928, and flew exhibition flights throughout Alabama before she joiined her brothers in WIchita. One daughter. Died 1969.
HERBERT SPENSE "DEE" QUICK. Joined his sister and brothers in Wichita. Became an engine mechanic. Joined cropo-dusting venture and carried on the business after Curt's death. Died 1969.
NOTE: In 1929, there were seven aircraft companies: Cessna, Swallow, Travelair, Swift, Knoll, Stearman, and Metalair. Company.
There were two engine manufacturers: Bluestreak and the Quick Air Motor Company....