Bernard L.Whelan
Bernard L.Whelan
Bernard L. Whelan and the Dayton-Wright Mechanics
Left to right: Castro, Roy Zorn, Bernard Whelan & Roy "Tack" Lounsbury
In front of the Dayton-Wright OW-1 Aerial Coupe
just after setting a new altitude record with three passengers, 1920

The Whole Story
via email from Mary Anne Whelan, 12-1-07
     I've been able to identify the photo and the occasion! It turned up, labeled, on a piece my father had written on "Commercial Aviation in the 1920's". It was taken at McCook field, Dayton, which was then the site of the Army air Corps test center. The occasion was attempting (successfully) to set an altitude record.
My father wrote as follows:
     "The profile of the O.W. (a plane developed by Dayton- Wright) was particularly pleasing and the close attention given to reduction of drag readily apparent. It's predicted performance was exceeded and at a later date a new altitude record was set in a certain category, the flight being made with three passengers and pilot from McCook Field, Dayton, the original site of the Army Air Corps test center. The flight was made from McCook for proper certification by their flight test staff. Reaching a corrected altitude of only a little short of 20,000 feet represented fine performance with that load and an unsupercharged engine. also another compliment to the light wing loading. I still vividly recall that day because we first tried in the morning and were dissapointed over the results. In the afternoon we left out the fire extinguishers, oxygen tanks and other paraphenalia and got a full thousand feet higher. Three Dayton-Wright mechanics, ---Castro, Roy Zorn, and Roy "Tack" Lounsbury accompanied me on the flight." The picture is labelled, left to right, as Castro, Zorn, BLW, Lounsbury - return from altitude flight. Dad and Lounsbury were clearly pleased at having set a new record."
     I love the way bits of history are continually coming to light!
Regards - Mary Anne

BackNext Home