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Friday, Nov. 27, 2015

Building the Vision: Men -- and women -- took to the skies

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I can only wonder if those flying aces I write about could have done anything in this weather! It seems like landing on ice like we have now would result in one thrill ride most anyone would want to forego.

I hope all of you are safe and warm. The weather "gurus" have promised that the end of the week should bring relief.

This week, I will start with an article from The Marshall Democrat-News on Aug. 1, 1929, that is interesting for its insight into women in aviation as it was in its infancy. We are still surprised to see major airline female pilots who emerge from the aircraft. Just imagine how unusual it was to encounter a lady pilot in the early days. In my mind, I guess I thought Amelia Earhart was the exception.

"A Woman Air Derby Entrant is Visitor Here

"Mrs. Blanche Noyes, Who is Enroute to

"California, Praises the Barling

"A young woman who is a qualified pilot and who flies all alone set her plane down on the Nicholas-Beazley Airport this morning for a short stop-over here in a flight from Cleveland to Santa Monica, Calif., where she will enter a woman's cross country air derby.

"This young woman is Mrs. Blanche Noyes. She left her home at Cleveland about noon yesterday. She planned to depart from Marshall immediately after her lunch at the Goodwin Hotel. Wichita was her destination for this night. Mrs. Noyes is driving a Waco, equipped with an OX-5 motor.

"The courage of this young aviatrix is remarkable. She was taught flying last winter by her husband. February 10, she made her first solo flight. That means she has been piloting a plane only five months and yet is going to drive all alone in a cross country race against time.

"The race is from Santa Monica to Cleveland. It starts August 18 and ends August 26. The route carries the fliers from Kansas City to St. Louis and that means the contestants will come over Marshall. There are four entrants so far, Mrs. Noyes said. She is representing Halle Brothers, the largest exclusive department store in Cleveland. The plane is to be christened 'Miss Cleveland.'

"Frank McKay, operations manager for Nicholas-Beazley and the Marshall Flying School, was acting as host to Mrs. Noyes. He took her through the Barling factory.

"Mrs. Noyes was asked what she thought of the Barling NB-3.

"Oh, lovely," replied this intrepid flier. "I believe that if I had seen the Barling before my ship for the race had been purchased I would have tried to get my backers to give me this remarkable monoplane." Mrs. Noyes did not have time to take up one of the Barlings.

"Another question was put to this flier.

"Would you object to telling your age?"

"Is that absolutely necessary?"

"No, not absolutely."

"Then, I'll pass that up but will confide one personal secret to you. I have just been married a year."

Before I write about another of the accolades bestowed on "our" illustrious Barney Zimmerley, I will confide a little "secret" of my own. In an effort to spread the word about our soon-to-be aviation museum, and in an effort to find any and all people or items connected with our aviation past, I have written and submitted an article to the Star Magazine in the Sunday Kansas City Star. It centers on Mr. Zimmerley, and mentions his flying career in Kansas City when he was a noted pilot for Mid-Continent Airlines there. I don't know if it will be published, but if it is, I hope it brings forth some interesting leads. If I hear word about this, I will let you know.

"July 25, 1929 ... The Marshall Democrat-News

"Zimmerley Is Back In City With Laurels

"Marshall Pilot Wins $1,050.00 at Des Moines

"Aeronautical Exposition Last Week

"D.S. "Barney" Zimmerley is back in Marshall and is wearing additional laurels garnered last week at the Des Moines Aeronautical Exposition. Incidentally, he brought back $1,050 of the prize money offered there.

"Zimmerley received $1,000 for winning the efficiency Flight race against some of the best ships built in the United States. He flew from St. Louis to Des Moines, a distance of 273 miles, in 2 hours and 41 minutes, an average of 101.3 miles per hour, with the following load:

"Five hundred pounds of sand, himself weighing 129 pounds, and 30 pounds of baggage, totaling 659 pounds. This was besides his gasoline and oil, which were not figured as load.

"On this race Zimmerley piled up 223 points to his nearest competitor's 192 points. The character of the Barling NB-3, with its great carrying capacity and speed with a small horsepower motor, is the reason for his winning, Zimmerley said.

"The pilot won second prize in the balloon bursting contest, which was $50. This contest is one where three small balloons are released in the air and the pilot attempts to burst them with the propeller of his ship. Zimmerley burst his three in 1 minute and 52 seconds.

"The Barling NB-3 was the sensation of the show, Zimmerley said. Whenever it was on the ground there was always a crowd around asking him questions about the performance, weight, and a dozen and one other subjects. When he first landed after the race flight, the pilot said there were a few laughs from other pilots of great ships having tremendous speed and power. But when he started unloading the sand and kept piling it out on the ground the laughs stopped, and when he had that unloaded and reached down and pulled out the baggage there was downright amazement.

"Their eyes bugged out," Zimmerley put it."

Check this out ...

"The Marshall Democrat-News, Aug. 15, 1929

"Made Record Jump

"A record parachute jump was claimed Monday by Jimmy Donahue, former Marshall boy, who leaped from a monoplane 19,500 feet in the air, near Pike's Peak in Colorado. Donahue drifted 3 miles and it took 19 minutes to land. Thirty-five thousand persons saw the jump at the closing day of the Pike's Peak air meet.

Building the Vision appears Wednesday.

Building the Vision