A line-up of Spitfire Is at RAF Drem in 1939, shortly before the shooting down of the first German aircraft onto British soil - a Heinkel He 111 on October 16. No 602 Squadron had arrived at Drem just three days beforehand, and remained there until August 1940.
Spitfire I N3047 at RAF Heathfield, Ayr in 1941. These 602 Squadron Spitfires are at dispersal in blast-proof pens around the airfield.
Two views of a 602 Squadron Spitfire VB taken at RAF Kenley in 1942. The aircraft was flown by B Flight.
Sgt Smith about to head for France in a 602 Squadron Spitfire VB at Kenley in 1942. The unit returned to Scotland that summer, after a year based in South-east England.
Curtiss Condor NC727K belonging to Atlantic flyer Clarence Chamberlin and possibly the aircraft he used to barnstorm the Mid West. This 91ft 8in span 18-passenger variant of the US Army Condor bomber was powered by two 12-cylinder 600 h.p. Curtiss Conqueror engines. The Condor had an all-up weight of nearly 18,000lb and was certificated in 1929.
Hawker Hind K5510 was part of a batch of 193 delivered to the RAF between January and August 1936. It was delivered to 602 Squadron - note the fuselage code - and was lost following an accident at Rochford on July 27, 1937 while flying at summer camp. The Hind struck some telephone wires whilst landing - the incident is depicted here.
Stinson SR-9 NC2285 at Springfield Airport. The 1937 version of thus well-tried five-seater came in either De Luxe ("D") series or Multi-Purpose (“M”), the former for the private owner and sportsman pilot and the latter for general transport duties. Variants were powered by the Wright Whirlwind (285-320 h.p.), the 450 h.p. Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior, and the 245 h.p. Lycoming nine-cylinder R-680-D6 engine. Fitted with the Lycoming, the SR-9BD cruised at around 140 m.p.h. and had a range of 400 miles.
Travel Air 6000-B NC624K of Inter City Airline, a commuter airline operating out of Springfield Airport. The Travel Air S-6000-B was powered by a 300 h.p. Wright J6 engine and was certificated in March 1929. Around 55 of these six-seat aircraft were built by the company at its Wichita, Kansas factory. Jean Louis Drapeau photograph.
Stearman 4-CM-1 SR Speedmail mailplane NC13905 owned by Rostell Wheeler, who was probably the first black pilot in Massachusetts. The type was certificated in May 1930 and around 15 CM-1s were built at Wichita, Kansas.
Curtiss Robin NC99M, owned by Gulf Aviation Fuel and advertising No-Nox motor fuel, during a visit to Springfield Airport. The Curtiss Robertson Robin Airplane Manufacturing Company was formed in 1928 as a subsidiary of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation to undertake production of the three-seat Robin. During 1929 and 1930 a Curtiss Challenger Robin twice broke the world endurance record. In August 1930 a Robin flown by Dale Jackson and Forrest O'Brine stayed aloft for nearly 27 days. Later, a four-seat Robin, the 4C-1A, was introduced, fitted with a 185 h.p. Curtiss Challenger radial engine. Many other variants of this prolific aircraft were produced before production ceased in late 1930.
Sikorsky S-39C NC833W photographed on a visit to Springfield. This five-seat amphibian was powered by a single 300 h.p. Wasp Junior. It was certificated in 1930 and was built at Bridgeport, Connecticut by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a Division of the United Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The 52ft span S-39 cruised at 100 m.p.h. and weighed 4,000lb fully loaded. The S-39 was derived from the twin-engined S-38, a much larger amphibian that carried up to nine passengers.
Short L.17 G-ACJJ Scylla, at Drem, Scotland after it was blown over in a gale on September 14, 1940. It had been requisitioned by the RAF in March. One of two 39-passenger airliners built for Imperial Airways in 1933-34, it was powered by four 595 h.p. Bristol Jupiter engines. The L.17s were used on European services.
This Miller Zeta, seen landing at Springfield Airport before the war, is now hanging in the Springfield Science Museum. Edwin Grundstrom Collection.