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Building the Vision: Swan song for 'Building the Vision' column

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

As you may have read in the Democrat-News on Monday, the Pancake Breakfast at the airport on Sunday did not reach record-breaking crowds, but considering the weather, was well-attended. The flow of patrons was steady, like the rain. The pancakes were flying, if nothing else! The exhibits, including the Taylor Craft, were bright and intriguing.

When I told my seven-year-old granddaughter that such planes were built in Marshall, she found that very hard to believe. Saying that brings forth a feeling of pride even if it was a long time ago and I, personally, didn't have anything to do with it. Still, it's my home town, and I am also very proud that our history will soon be on display for all to enjoy.

This is my last article in a long-running series of stories about the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company and the impact that business had on aviation and on this town. I have enjoyed putting together each article and have learned, along with you, about many facets of our heritage.

I again want to thank my dear friend Catherine Kennedy for her research and gathering of the newspaper articles. Thanks, also, to others who have sent clippings and other information that I have been able to pass on to you.

Writing this has been my pleasure, and I have appreciated the kind comments I have received. All of this began when I joined the dedicated people who spearheaded the Civic Center/Museum Project. A lot of work has gone into the building of this great addition to Marshall, and a lot of donations from the supporters of this "Vision" have been received.

Before I share the last of my articles with you, let me say that our headquarters are still going strong ... as are the committees and obviously the builders. As you go to the Marshall Airport to check out what is happening, and as you see the walls of this edifice actually go up, please remember that we need your support in many ways. Yes, we still need money to complete the interior. We also ask you to continue sharing your ideas and your artifacts.

The number to call for the headquarters is (660) 886-2630. Feel free, also, to contact me personally (660) 886-2031 or to contact any of the people on the committees to let us know what is on your mind. We can't thank you enough for all you have done to this point, and we look forward to seeing you ... all together ... for the dedication of the Nightwine Civic Center/Nicholas-Beazley Aviation Museum in the near future!

The Marshall Democrat-News, January 22, 1931

"Mail 133 Sacks Of Catalogs

"Nicholas-Beazley Book Contains About 10,000 Aviation Items

"One hundred and thirty-three mail pouches of catalogs were mailed by the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company Friday. The catalogs were their newest production describing their airplane supplies, motors, parts, and materials.

"The sacks contained 6,100 catalogs, each weighing about one pound. The books went into every state in the United States, being the regular domestic mail. The company will mail its export catalogs ... about 3,000 ... next week.

"Each catalog was in an envelope. Each envelope bore postage ranging from 7 to 12 cents, depending upon the zone into which it was to be sent. The average postage was 9 cents.

"The company has changed the size of its catalog from 7 by 10 inches to 9 by 12 inches. These being mailed out now contain 84 pages. The paper is heavy enamel and the cover is printed in three colors. About 10,000 items are listed, practically each one bearing an illustration."

The Marshall Democrat-News, April 2, 1931

"A New Folding Wing Monoplane Is Made Here

"This Craft and New NB-4 Will Be Shown First

"Time at Detroit by Nicholas-Beazley

"When the national aircraft show, expected to be dominated by midget and light planes, opens in Detroit April 11 there will be at least one Missouri-made flivver plane with unusual characteristics on the ground. It will be the new NB-Trainer monoplane with high wing that folds back against the sides of the fuselage, allowing the machine to be parked in a large garage or in a barn.

"Designed by T. A. Kirkup, chief engineer of the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company, Inc., here, and produced by that company, the little craft weighs only 550 pounds empty. It carries 410 pounds.

"The NB-Trainer is an entirely new development in the 2-place side-by-side open cockpit planes. Dual controlled, the craft is strongly constructed to stand all forms of aerobatics, despite its apparent light weight. Powered with an 80-horsepower Genet motor, it has a top speed of 98 miles an hour and will cruise at 80 miles an hour. It will take off in an extremely short distance and has a 38-mile landing speed.

"The feature of the ship, however, is the folding wing. When ready to fly, the NB-Trainer is 37 1/2 feet wide and 22 feet and 2 inches long. When folded up ready to 'park,' the craft is 10 feet wide, 7 feet high, and 20 1/2 feet long.

"It sells for about the same as a medium-priced automobile.

"The Nicholas-Beazley company will also show their new NB-4 low-wing monoplane at the Detroit show for the first time. While the design of the ship has not been radically enlarged, the new model has many improvements for speed, safety, and strength.

"The most noticeable changes are that the wing has been raised 10 inches into the fuselage and the fuselage has been perfectly streamlined into a monocoque or egg-shaped type. Windshields and cockpits, with adjustable seats, are so designed that they are free from draft, eliminating the necessity of goggles by pilot or passengers.

"Brakes, air wheels, and stream-lined hydraulic landing gear are other improvements. A 90-horsepower Warner or Lambert motor gives the all-metal structured monoplane a top speed of 110 miles an hour and a cruising speed of 95 miles an hour.

"The NB-4 sells for more than two times as much as the NB-Trainer."

The Marshall Democrat-News, April 9, 1931

"Completes Flying Course

"Young Woman Has Accepted Position in South America

"Miss Barbara S. Poole of Baltimore, Md., has just completed a limited commercial pilot's course in the Marshall Flying School and has gone to her home.

"Miss Poole took a 60-hour course here, about 41 hours of which was solo work. Being only 17 years old she was too young to receive a limited commercial pilot's license, so she was given a private pilot's license by the government. She received this document several days ago.

"Miss Poole has been offered and has accepted a position as pilot for a South American gold mining company in British Guiana, and will take up her duties July 1, the contract calls for ten months work. The gold mine is 150 miles from the nearest town and it will be Miss Poole's job to fly supplies to and from the mine. The mine is being operated by R. M. sage, an American.

"The flyer came to Marshall October, last year."

The Marshall Democrat-News, May 28, 1931

"Company Buys 6 Boats

"Nicholas-Beazley to Install OX-5 Engines in Water Craft

"The Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company has recently purchased from the Horace E. Dodge Boat Works, Detroit, Mich., 2 twenty-six foot and 4 twenty-two foot water boats.

"The boats will be installed with OX-5 90-h.p. Marine converted aerial engines. Installation will be completed at the factory here in Marshall.

"One of the larger boats has been purchased by Russell Nicholas and Charles Buckner and is on the Lake of the Ozarks as Warsaw, Missouri. It is for their own private use and will not be employed for any sort of experimental purpose.

"The boats are equipped with electric starter, generator, lights, and leather upholstery."

The Marshall Democrat-News, June 18, 1931

"Safety Boosted In NB-8 Plane By 2 Changes

"Wing and Engine Position Altered Slightly,

"Cutting Landing Speed to 15 Miles

"At the instigation of department of commerce aeronautical officials, who recently stamped their approval on the NB-8, newest plane of the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company here, two minor construction changes have been made which materially decreases the landing speed of the craft, and means safer and easier plane control.

"The new landing speed will be about fifteen miles per hour, possible when the plane is in the hands of a trained pilot.

"This is approximately 50 per cent reduction in landing speed which means that the safety of the ship is increased and the danger of accidents while landing is decreased.

"Delivery of the first production job was made Wednesday. Walter H. Bryan, building contractor of Waterloo, Iowa, left that morning flying an NB-8 to his home, where he will act as distribution agent for the factory. He has already entered orders for four planes of this type and one NB-4.

"Earl Ormond and Kenneth McKellar of the McCorm Aircraft Company, Saginaw, Michigan, left here today, flying an NB-8, the first of three planes which will be delivered to that company.

"Major J. C. Bryan, stationed at McCook Field, will soon take an NB-8 which he and his wife will use for a vacation trip to Mexico City this summer.

"Safety features, small storing space, low price and ease of control are the elements that cause an optimistic trend among officials of the Marshall factory."

ANITA WRIGHT, Columnist
Building the Vision