3/22/2015

Taxi Trainer?

I landed on (sorry) two obscure photos this week. Like the two photos on the 'hazing' recently, these photos are so different that they force me to look into them. There are literally hundreds of photos of Jennys, dozens of F-boats and over 300 of the Indy 500. But these two also tell a story, and one that I will probably revisit.

First, a close shot of two gentlemen, one in the cockpit. One person in the cockpit is significant. All of these trainers had two cockpits, a forward cockpit for the student, and the aft for the instructor. Even from this angle things don't look quite right. That rudder is very small, and the elevator cables look cobbled together. It is covered with what looks like very dry canvas and you can see the blotches of castor oil all over the forward part of the fuselage.















Next, a view from farther away. It may be hard to see from this distance but there is a single-piston engine driving the prop, which is huge compared to the plane. There is a small gravity fed fuel tank above the pilot.  Notice also the very narrow wingspan. The whole 'airplane' is very small and it rests on four wheels which do not appear to be steerable.

I recall from my reading that there was a plane designed for taxi training at this field, and I'm suggesting this was it. The student would tear around the field in the trainer getting the feel of the controls on the ground prior to getting in a 'real' plane. Perhaps this is why it had four wheels. Notice how far aft the rear wheels are located and how far forward are the front wheels.

I feel disappointed not to have found any source material for this little device. I hope to revisit this post when I find it, or if someone can provide the documentation it needs.

kpw