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Golden Anniversary Activities

Jet Hop Wins Mackay Trophy

The NAA-administered Mackay Trophy is to be awarded this year to Maj. Louis H. Carrington, USAF, in recognition of the first non-stop jet flight across the Pacific on July 29, 1952, in a North American RB-45 multi-engine jet. 

The trophy is to be presented by Gen. Nathan F. Twining, Air Force Chief of Staff, in a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington.

The Mackay Trophy, a silver cup permanently on display in the office of the USAF Chief of Staff, is awarded annually to a member or members of the Air Force for the year's most meritorious flight. It was deeded to the National Aeronautic Association by Clarence Mackay in 1911.

Major Carrington's fellow crew members were Capt. Wallace D. Yancey, co-pilot, and Maj. Frederic W. Shook, navigator. The flight over the Great Circle route was from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, to Yokota Air Base, Japan, a distance of 3.460 nautical miles. It took nine hours and 50 minutes, about seven hours of which were under instrument flying conditions. Two in-flight refuelings were made under adverse weather conditions using Boeing KB-29 tanker aircraft. 

At the time of the flight, the three officers were members of the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, based at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. They were en route to Japan to join the Far East Air Forces for a period of rotational duty. Their flight was not disclosed publicly at that time.

Major Carrington is now attending the Aircraft Observer Training School at Mather Air Force, California. Major Shook and Captain Yancey are still assigned to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing.
Past winners of the trophy include: Colonel Fred J. Ascani in 1951 for setting a world speed record of 645.6 miles an hour in the 100 kilometer Closed Course competition at the National Air Races in Detroit; the 27th Fighter Wing for its 1950 mass flight across the Atlantic; the pilot and crew of the Lucky Lady for the first non-stop flight around the world in 1949, and Captain Charles E. Yeager for the first flight faster than sound in the ell X-1 in 1947. The first winner, in 1912, was Lt. Henry H. Arnold, later to become commanding general of the Army Air Forces. 

Reconstruction of the buildings and launching apparatus used by the Wright Brothers in their first successful powered flight will be a feature of the Golden Anniversary celebration at Kill Devil Hills, N.C., on Dec. 17. Dedication of a landing strip near the hill is another planned feature. 

The steering committee in charge of the anniversary observance is headed by Miles W. Clark of Elizabeth City, N.C. Organizations and their representatives on the committee are: Kill Devil Hills Memorial Society, S. Wade Marr, Elizabeth City; Air Force Association, Ralph V. Whitener, Washington, C.C.; National Park Service, Elbert Cox, regional director, Richmond, Va.; and North Carolina Commission to Promote, Conduct and Participate in the Celebration of the First Airplane Flight, Carl Goerch, Raleigh, N.C. 

Tentative plans call for a four-day observance beginning on the flight anniversary, with a huge fly-by of military planes exactly at 10:35 a.m. on December 17. This would be followed by a memorial service at the monument on Kill Devil Hill, five miles from Kitty Hawk, where the Wrights stayed while conducting their experiments. 

Meanwhile, the State Committee will sponsor civic and educational observances of the Golden Anniversary throughout the state between now and the anniversary date.

Max Conrad, the famous distance flier, around Sept. 7 is expected to complete a three-weeks "Flying Paul Revere" tour in which he is to visit capitals of all of the 48 states to report to their governors on progress in this year's celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Powered Flight.

The flight will cover 14,500 miles and is being made in the same Piper Pacer in which Conrad twice spanned the Atlantic, and flew non-stop from Los Angeles to New York. He is scheduled to climax the tour with an attempt to break the world distance record for lightplanes with a non-stop flight from San Francisco to New York. 

The tour is sponsored by the National Anniversary Committee, with the cooperation of the Air Transport Association, Civil Air Patrol, Aircraft Industries Association, U.S Junior Chamber of Commerce and the CAA.

Conrad is delivering four messages in each state capital: one from Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle to the Governor, for delivery to the chairman of the state 50th anniversary celebration committee; one from Maj. Gen. Lucas V. Beau, national commander of the CAP, to the commander of the state CAP wing; one from CAA Administrator F.B. Lee to the state director of aviation, and one from Dain J. Domich, national Jaycee president, to each state president. The letters urge comprehensive state programs in connection with the Golden Anniversary observance. 

Presentation to the National Air Museum of the Sperry automatic pilot which made possible Wiley Post's solo around-the-world flight in 1933 was arranged by the National Committee to Observe the 50th Anniversary of Powered Flight. Post's flight in the famous single-engine "Winnie Mae" established the reliability of the automatic flying aids without which today's all-weather flights would not be possible. The automatic pilot is mounted in a demonstration case with crank controls so visitors to the Museum in Washington can see how it works.

Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker (USAF, Ret.), chairman of the California state committee for commemoration of the 50th anniversary of powered flight has named the following eight area committee chairmen in the state: Terrell C. Drink-water, president of Western Air Lines, Los Angeles; Lloyd H. Nolta, agricultural pilot, northern area; J. Felton Turner, chairman Calif. Aeronautics Commission, Oakland; Brig Gen. Lawrence Ames, Air National Guard, San Francisco; Donald B. Smith, manager, Sacramento Municipal Airport, Sacramento; Wilmer Garrett, manager, Fresno Municipal, San Joacquin area; Capt. Jerry Robinson, Civil Air Patrol, El Centro, Imperial Valley area; and T. Claude Ryan, president Ryan Aeronautical Co., San Diego.

Developments and contributions of electronics to aviation in the 50 years since the Wright Brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk will be emphasized at the Fall Assembly of the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics in Washington, D.C., Oct. 22-23. 

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