Seaplane (ca 1930)
any ready-to-fly toy glider can be considered as being “historically
significant”, then perhaps this bi-wing seaplane would qualify.
It was made by the Miami Wood Specialty Co, which is discussed in
my article "Let's Go Flying."
original box art clearly shows the connection this company had with the
iconic Wright family. (Note
the Wright-Dayton “logo” imprinted on the glider itself.)
obtained this stunning and unusual airplane from a Maryland family whose
father (Jim) was the original owner. (Sadly,
Jim is no longer with us.) He
was born in 1923 and lived his early years in Bowie, Maryland … where
his parents owned a general store beside the tracks of the Washington,
Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad.
Since this glider is a promotional item, one could conclude that
Jim probably received it through his parent’s store.
He obviously treasured the seaplane, and kept it in remarkable
condition throughout his entire life.
I feel honored that the family entrusted me with becoming the
caretaker for Jim’s amazing glider.
seaplane is 12½ inches long, with the top wing having a span of 14
inches. It is held together
entirely by rubber-bands of various sizes, and was designed to be
launched using a stick & rubber-band “catapult”.
As one might expect, only petrified remnants of the original
rubber survived. Bits of
rubber were also fused to the glider itself.
The original size, color and position of the rubber-bands were
duplicated as closely as possible in assembling the glider, by use of
the instructions, the box art and trial & error.
seaplane had some rather remarkable flying characteristics engineered
into its design. According
to the instructions, if the tail is properly affixed into the metal
fitting and secured with the correct sequence of twists & loops of
the rubber-bands, the glider will fly straight and level after
launching. Then, as the
airspeed slows and air pressure is reduced on the tail surface, the rear
portion of horizontal stabilizer will angle up.
This will cause the glider to “rise
or describe a loop”. What
a spectacular sight that must be! But
if the “Wright” name is on the glider … I believe it.