The Allen Airways Flying Museum

1929 Boeing F4B-1 Navy Fighter



1929 Boeing F4B Navy Fighter
Photo courtesy of Art Contrarian.  Click to enlarge.
An F4B-1 Navy Fighter has been under construction at Willow Aircraft in Gardnerville, Nevada for 21 years. (see photo below)  Each part for the aircraft has been hand-crafted per the original Boeing Plans and Specifications. The airplane is expected to be completed in 2015 and flown to Allen Airways.  The Museum's aircraft bears the markings of Vice Admiral Frederick M. Trapnell, USN. The late Admiral is considered to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, test pilot in the history of the US Navy. The field at the Naval Air Station at Pawtuxet River is named for him. He flew Boeing F4B-1s from
Under construction at Willow Aircraft in Gardnerville, Nevada for 21 years.
Click to enlarge.
North Island. A biography authored by his son and granddaughter will be available in spring 2015.

Naval flight test and evaluation was less complicated during the Golden Age of Flight; flight test was so straightforward that one Navy test pilot, Vice Adm. Frederick Mackay Trapnell (1902-1975), insisted on personally conducting preliminary test flights on all new Navy jets to qualify them for acceptance testing at the Naval Air Test Center at Patuxent River. He was the first Navy pilot to fly a jet and the only Navy test pilot to evaluate the F6F Hellcat prototype before it went into production during World War II.

Comments Bill Allen.


Frederick M. Trapnell, right,
is inducted into the Caterpillar Club, Nov. 16, 1929. He is holding the intact ripcord D-ring from his parachute. He jumped from a Boeing F4B fighter that split its gas tank and burst into flames over San Diego
while he was flight testing it.
Photo courtesy of Fritz Trapnell.  Click to enlarge.




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