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Wrong Side Up! Popular Mechanics Magazine - June, 1928

Posted By:
Wayne Bressler
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#1 Posted: 6/23/2010 12:33:26 Modified: 6/23/2010 12:34:58

Wrong Side Up! - Popular Mechanincs Magazine - June, 1928Wrong Side Up!  PM June, 1928

Google Books is wonderful.  Absolutely wonderful.  Where else would someone like me find an article about flying aerobatics from a Popular Mechanics Magazine originally published in June of 1928?  I don't know about you, but my local library doesn't keep back issues that long.

The article doesn't give an author, but it is a great history piece of basic aerobatic airmanship.  Some of the terms may not be quite as we like them today, but the lore and fantasy of flight still comes through clear as day.

Topics covered include the inside loop, outside loop, tail spin, barrel roll, side slip, vertical figure "8", and Immelmann turn.  Brief instructions are provided on how to perform each manuever.

Of the outside loop, the article writes,

"...it has been less than a year since Lieut. James Doolittle, U.S.A., retired, performed the first outside loop in the history of flying, and came down with his eyes popping out of his head as the result of the terrific strain.  Lieut. Doolittle, who can turn vertical banks around a race pylon steeper and tighter than anyone else has been able to turn them at high speed because his "insides" seem to be peculiarly constituted to resist the terrible centrifugal force involved, declared when he landed that he would never do an outside loop again."

Wrong Side Up! - Popular Mechanincs Magazine - June, 1928And on we go.

This really is a great read for those who not only enjoy aviation and aerobatics, but who love to read history from the perspective of those who lived it.  Our perceptions today have had 82 years to evolve over those of the author of this article.  Reading these old magazines gives us insight into the way aviation was perceived and understood in a time before jet aircraft, ATC, and increasingly burdensome Federal regulation.

However, some things are remarkably unchanged...

"The tail spin used to be one of the most deadly causes of flying accidents and considerable time was spent teaching new pilots how to avoid it, and how to get out of a spin if the plane should accidentally go into one.  The chief requisite for getting out of a spin was plenty of altitude to maneuver in.  With modern aircraft conditions have changed.  Planes are built now which can't be made to spin without deliberate intent on the part of the pilot, and which will come out of a spin by simply setting the controls in neutral."

Did you know that, "Col. Lindbergh's favorite stunt is a side slip when landing."?  Here and I thought ol' Lucky Lindy would be more adventurous than that.  Who knew someone who flew solo across the Atlantic could be entertained so easily.

If you want to read the full article, surf on over to Google Books and do some searching.  Or, just click on the link below.

"Wrong Side Up!"  Popular Mechanics Magazine - June, 1928

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Jon Wanzer
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberWarbirds of America MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
#2 Posted: 6/23/2010 16:56:09


Thanks for linking to the article, what a blast form the past. Working on plans for vintage aircraft makes the old articles that much more interesting, well, to me at least.

Thanks Again,


FlyBoyJon ✈ Aviator, builder, and tool junkie ✈ jon@FlyBoyJon.comwww.FlyBoyJon.com