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Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2 by Andrew Klamka

Published by Spear’s Mint Editions

Andrew Klamka Shipping Planes on Trains © 2009 by Andrew Klamka ISBN-13: 978-1-933117-10-2 ISBN-10: 1-933117-10-9 Library of Congress Control Number: 2009905974

Printed in the USA by Mennonite Press Inc., Newton, KS, 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Editor & Design: Bob Spear

Published by: Spear’s Mint Editions 16313 Springdale Rd Leavenworth, KS 66048 913-772-0056


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2

Dedication I dedicate this book to my niece Cassie and nephews Thomas & Daniel. May God bless and keep you every day for continued good health, happiness, and future success. Remember to always appreciate, obey, and care for your parents.


Andrew Klamka

Acknowledgements My sincerest thanks go to the following individuals who provided assistance in numerous ways or helped with obtaining information for Volume 2: Michael Lombardi, Senior Archivist / The Boeing Company; Thomas Lubbesmeyer, Archivist / The Boeing Company; Mary Kane, Licensing Manager / Boeing Imaging Licensing; Dr. Dik Daso, Curator / National Air and Space Museum; Mr. Robert Arnold; Alan Renga, Assistant Archivist / San Diego Air & Space Museum; Andrea Kuhn, German Aerospace Center (DLR); Dr. E. H. Hirschel; Craig Ordner, Curator & Archivist / Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum; Gene Tacey, Burlington Railroad Historical Society; Hol Wagner; Keith Jordan; John Signor; John Bowen; Mary Nelson, Archivist / Special Collections and University Archives, Wichita State University Libraries; Amy Ziegler, Archivist / Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District; Ted Anderson, Pullman Library, Illinois Railway Museum; John Kyros, GM Media Archives; Andy Labosky, Archivist, Kansas Aviation Museum; George Cockle; Casey James, Director of Programs / Aviation Museum at Marietta, Georgia; Dick Harley; Matt Grimison, Director of Executive Communications / Aerospace Industries Association; Sandra Johnston, Library Assistant / Alaska State Library Historical Collections; Nancy Horlacher, History Specialist / Dayton Metro Library; Volunteer Staff at Salamanca Rail Museum, Salamanca, NY; Dr. J. Wendel Cox, Senior Special Collection Librarian / Western History and Genealogy, Denver Public Library. Thanks go to the following individuals who provided inspiration and encouragement: Darrel Engel, Jim Probst, Jerry Oltmanns, Wayne Schlueter, Richard Roe, Lloyd Stagner, and Dave Sawdy. I am solely responsible for any errors or omissions in this book. Corrections, additions, or clarifications are welcomed.


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2

Table of Contents Chapter Title  Introduction  Supplement to Volume 1 1  Building for the Future 2   Aviation’s Golden Era 3  Crating of an Airplane 4  World War II

Page 1 3 15 90 140 203


Chapter 1 “The aircraft industry in the United States at present is entirely inadequate to meet the peace and war time requirements. It is rapidly diminishing under present conditions and will soon practically disappear” Lassiter Board Report (1923)

Railroad dining car on which the Armistice was signed at Compiegne, France ending World War I. The ‘Armistice car’ was placed in a special structure at Compiegne, donated by A.H. Fleming, American lumberman of Pasadena, CA. This car would again come into public view during World War 2 when on June 21, 1940 Adolf Hitler carried out negotiations with French representatives aboard this car on the exact spot on which the German dignitaries capitulated in 1918. Source: LC-M34-9003-X; G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection, Library of Congress

Andrew Klamka With the signing of the Armistice on November 11 (1918), Air Service activities in the United States were brought to a standstill when Secretary of War Newton Baker cut war production. The Air Service dropped from 190,000 (112,000 in the U.S. and 78,000 overseas) at the time of the Armistice to 81,000 at the end of January 1919 and then to 27,000 at the end of June 1919. (Though the Armistice was signed on November 11 and brought World War I to an end, it is worth noting that the U.S. Senate defeated the treaty that President W. Wilson brought home from Europe, rejecting American membership in the League of Nations. It would not be until 1921 that the United States concluded a separate treaty with Germany). The Air Service closed contracts with the aircraft companies and ask them to stop production when on hand subassemblies were used up. At the time of the Armistice, less than half of the airplanes contracted for had been delivered. By June 30, 1919, the Air Service claims board liquidated 91.5 percent of the 5,000 airplane orders that were outstanding on November 11, 1918. The value of production terminated amounted to about $300 million. Liquidation of the United States Spruce Production Corporation took 28 years. Authorized by Congress, the corporation produced wood for American and Allied aircraft production during the war. At the Armistice its properties encompassed thousands of acres of timber, five large sawmills, nearly 30 million feet of lumber, four railroads with locomotives and other equipment. The government disposed of the bulk of the property rather quickly, but the contract for the sale of one of the railroads contained a payment schedule that ran to December 1946.1

Scenes from the Spruce Production Corporation Source: Pictorial Review of World’s War Activities, Spruce Production Division, U.S. Army, Š1918

Source: AERIAL AGE WEEKLY (May 24, 1920)


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2 The Air Service sent back to the U.S. from Europe some 2,000 airplanes and 1,000 engines. The War Department ordered sold or destroyed nearly 2,300 airplanes not worth sending back. The Air Service set up an organization to dispose of more than $100 million in airplanes, engines, and materials. By selling on the open market, the hope was to popularize flying in the United States. In the spring of 1919 the Air Service announced that anyone wanting to buy a plane or motor should send his name to the Salvage and Sales Branch, Washington, D.C. The branch would notify him when the opportunity arrived to make a purchase. The offer was later withdrawn because the branch could not handle the many transactions involved in selling to individuals. Moreover, the Air Service lacked people and shop facilities to put the equipment in safe operating condition before sale, and did not want to be responsible for placing unsafe equipment in the hands of American people. The Air Service and War Department were likewise concerned about the ill effects of competing with private business. They decided to sell to the industries that produced the materials. 2 The Curtiss Aeroplane Company purchased 4,608 Curtiss OX-5 motors, 1,616 JN-4 airplanes without motors, and 1,100 Standard airplanes without motors, all for $2.72 million. Many of the JNs sold to Curtiss came from Love Field near Dallas, which also served as a storage site for surplus DH-4s. After the Armistice, information became available on a unique use of trains in aviation that had been undertaken by the Germans. Readers will find in this issue a brief description of a German railway installation for testing full size airplanes. The work on this installation was interrupted by the signing of the armistice and no actual aerodynamic experimentation seems to have been completed. Yet, the railway apparently has given satisfactory results from the point of aerodynamics and of mechanical operation. The inclusion of a high tower for carrying the object to be tested seems to have removed the main objection which has been raised in the use of previous installations of the kind, as at St. Cyr. The skillful arrangement of six measuring instruments allows the measurement of forces in all directions, both as regards magnitude and position. The use of recording instruments in combination with a powerful rotating drum would seem to render experimentation a matter of reasonable difficulty. Altogether the installation appears to be one of great engineering skill and obvious utility. It is possible in testing a full sized plane to investigate a number of points which must remain obscure in the best equipped wind-tunnel. Thus, the exact investigation of radiator effects in combination with the airplane is something which a wind-tunnel can never solve effectively. The exact interaction of propeller and plane is another problem on which full size work will shed considerable light. Changes in fuselage resistance due to minor projections are almost imperceptible in the tunnel but may well be measured on the full size machine. We can never hope to duplicate in small scale experiments the effects of fabric deformation, and elastic deformation of the structure under load. 17

Andrew Klamka

Source: AVIATION (December 20, 1920)


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2 As against these advantages, a railway installation for testing full sized airplanes offers many difficulties. There must be a great initial expense; the cost of operation and upkeep would be relatively enormous. Owing to the complexity of the installation, the most painstaking work would never prevent break-downs, disappointing and vexations delays. Weather conditions would have to be waited upon, and granted that the majority of errors in this type of work have been eliminated, the errors due to cross-winds, up and down currents would be a perpetual source of trouble and inaccuracy. It is by no means that the advantages would outweigh these difficulties.3 The following is a portion of the abstract of a paper by Dr. Bendemann before the German Aeronautical Society: “ … On top of the tower is placed the full size airplane to be tested. The airplane is connected to the tower in such a manner that a variety of indication apparatus is brought into play. By means of this apparatus forces can be measured in both magnitude and direction just as in a wind-tunnel. The main difference between the wind-tunnel and the airplane testing railway is that in the railway scale effect is eliminated. Also certain flight conditions can be studied which is impossible or difficult to reproduce in the tunnel, and which it is dangerous to study in the air. Further, the effect of such parts of the airplane as body, chassis, trussing, radiator, airscrew with motor in action or at rest can be studied more exactly than in a wind tunnel model. The effects of change of wing surfaces under load and other deformations under load are also brought into play. In the construction and use of such a testing equipment, practical difficulties regarding road-bed and so forth are many, but are not insuperable. In the construction of the road-bed special features have to be introduced, if the very highest locomotive speeds are to be used safely and without undue disturbance. Disturbances and oscillations due to the road-bed and to the violent movement of the locomotive can never be completely avoided, and this has an important bearing on the design of the measuring instruments. It seems impossible to balance the mass of the airplane to be tested in relation to the points of rotation in the measuring system, - so as to avoid effects of acceleration – because this introduces too great a complication and weight into the apparatus.” 4 Because the needed reinforcement of the tracks of the military railway was, due to low military priority, not authorized, the project was abandoned in 1916. [\


Andrew Klamka

Scale model of tower with airplane and a steam locomotive for wind tunnel testing purposes. Developed by Germany during World War I, it was to be used to conduct tests of full-scale airplanes. Source: DLR (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt) / German Aerospace Center


Source: DLR (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt) / German Aerospace Center

Full-scale airplane attached to tower. Test tower has been fastened to a flat car, which also contains the instruments that measure the forces exerted by the airplane during its “flight� along the tracks.

Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2


Andrew Klamka

Locomotive ready to begin towing of flat car with tower and airplane. Source: DLR (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt) / German Aerospace Center


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2

Detail drawing of the testing tower and railroad flat car. Source: AVIATION (December 20, 1920)

[\ In 1919, the Air Service participated in the U.S. Government’s final war bond drive, the Victory Loan campaign. A Victory Loan Flying Circus was organized that would tour the United States. In addition to raising money, the campaign would be used to show what was achieved by the American aircraft industry during the war.

Source: LC-USZC4-10670, Library of Congress

“The country has been divided into three sections for the Victory Loan flights, Eastern, Middle-Western, and Western. A squadron made up of American, French, and British flyers will tour each of these districts, beginning April 10. The Eastern tour will begin at Minneola, L.I. The Mid23

Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2 B-24

The B-24 ‘Liberator’ was developed by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation of San Diego. The B-24 was a high-wing monoplane heavy bomber with twin fins and was powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engines. More B-24 bombers were built than any other multi-engine aircraft of WW2 with estimates of between 18,188 and 19,203. In January 1941 the government established the Liberator Production Pool Program. Primary manufactures of the B-24 were Consolidated at San Diego, Ford at Willow Run, and North American at Dallas. Additional facilities were constructed by Consolidated at Fort Worth, TX and by Douglas Aircraft in Tulsa, OK where final assembly of aircraft would occur from sub-assemblies provided by the other plants. Parts from San Diego to Fort Worth were supplied in May of 1942 and to Douglas in Tulsa in August 1942. Eventually Consolidated’s facility in Fort Worth became a primary facility by fabricating its own components. Ford was designated as the prime contractor for spare parts. Ford would build a total of 6,972 Liberators and 1,893 knock-down parts for other manufacturers. Ford also supplied components for final assembly at Douglas in Tulsa and Consolidated in Fort Worth.

Source: National Museum of the Air Force (


Andrew Klamka

Source: San Diego Aerospace Museum


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2

Source: San Diego Aerospace Museum


Andrew Klamka

Source: San Diego Aerospace Museum


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2

Source: San Diego Aerospace Museum


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2

Source: National Museum of the Air Force (


Andrew Klamka

CB&Q 92179, one of 69 cars for shipping B-29 fuselages, being spotted at DeSoto’s Warren Ave. plant. Source: Chrysler Historical Collection; Detroit, MI


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2

Loading of B-29 forward fuselage section into CB&Q 92179. Shipping fixture also contains wing leading edges. Source: Chrysler Historical Collection; Detroit, MI


Andrew Klamka

View looking inside of CB&Q 92179. Note the placement of additional wing leading edges in upper right hand corner of freight car. Source: Chrysler Historical Collection; Detroit, MI


Shipping Planes on Trains Volume 2

Interior view of CB&Q 92179 looking at the nose section’s pressure bulkhead. Also visible is the entrance to the pressure tunnel that ran back to the gunner’s compartment. Source: Chrysler Historical Collection; Detroit, MI


To order Shipping Planes on Trains:     Contact the author, Andrew Klamka at:    316.721.9064  7402 W Westlawn  Wichita, KS 67212   

Shipping Planes on Trains Volume Two by Andrew Klamka