Viewing page 6 of 10

to their staff. Their business growth soon enabled them to employ the well-known aeronautical engineer, Ivan Driggs, to design and supervise the construction of some new aircraft. 

The Johnson-Driggs light airplane type D-J-I was their next production. Called the "Bumble Bee," it was a high-wing full-cantilever monoplane of 27-foot span, powered by a Henderson 4-cylinder motorcycle engine. The total weight was only 325 pounds, without fuel and pilot. In October of 1924, the National Air Races were held in Dayton at Wilbur Wright Field. For the first time a race for light airplanes was added, sponsored by the Dayton Daily News. Engine displacement was limited to 80 cubic inches. The race was for 25 miles from a standing start. The "Bumble Bee," flown by James Johnson, was won easily at a speed of 64.1 mph.

James Johnson remained with the Johnson Aeroplane and Supply Company until 1927 when he resigned to join the Air Regulation Division, U.S. Department of Commerce as an aircraft inspector. He remained there until 1928 when he left to become test pilot and sales manager for the Buhl Aircraft Company, Marysville, Michigan. There he tested and assisted in the development of several aircraft, among them the small "Flying Bull Pup" which was brought out in January, 1931. The "Pup" was a monoplane of 32-foot span with an all-metal fuselage, wire braced, cloth-covered wooden-wing construction, and was powered by a 3-cylinder radial 45 h.p. Szekely engine.

Johnson remained with Buhl Aircraft through 1931 when he resigned to become district representative for the Hartzell Propeller Fan Company of Kansas City, Missouri, where he remained through 1933. In 1934 he became Vice-President of the Diamond Buff Company of Detroit, Michigan, and was with them through 1937.

During World War II Johnson was the Dayton representative for Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. In the 1950's he owned and operated Johnson's 5ยข to $1.00 store in Germantown, Ohio.

In the early 1960's Johnson retired and moved to McAllen, Texas, later moving to Weslaco, Texas. In retirement he enjoyed traveling. He received his 50th year Commemorative Early Bird Plaque at that organization's Annual Reunion held

2.
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.