Aviation Historian 26
M.Bearman - Our Man in California
A press day at Long Beach, California, featuring “one of everything” being built for the RAF in southern California. From left, we see the rear half of a Douglas Boston; a Consolidated Liberator; a Lockheed Ventura and a North American Mitchell.
Addams at the controls of a Douglas Boston over Los Angeles.
The North American Harvard was one of the many types tested in California by British test pilot James Addams.
Standing beside the first Harvard I, N7000, at Inglewood, California, are, from left to right: H.C. Luttman, AID Inspector-in-Charge; Addams; J.H. “Dutch” Kindelberger, President, North American Aviation (NAA); J.L. Atwood, Vice-President, NAA; E.R. Breech, Chairman, NAA and H.C.B. Thomas, British Resident Technical Officer.
Lockheed Lightning I AF105 was one of only three examples, all without turbosuperchargers, sent to the UK in March 1942. Addams had already flown the type with turbos in the USA by that time, and had made recommendations that the control yoke be changed
Addams (far right) discusses the Vanguard with Vultee executives, including sales manager Hugh Fenwick (middle), at the manufacturer’s plant at Downey, California, around the time Addams test-flew the type in December 1940. The flight resulted in a glowing Los Angeles Times report on the type - and pilot - the following month.
Our man clambers aboard Vultee Vanguard BW209 in California in 1941.
Following his three-and-a-half-year stint with the A&AEE, in 1932 Addams was posted to India with his family to join No 31 Sqn. The unit was then operating Westland Wapitis, including J9725 seen here, from its base at Quetta, on Army co-operation duties over the North-West Frontier.
The first of the RAF’s Lockheed Hudson Is, N7205, is seen here with the type’s designer, Kelly Johnson, and Addams posing beside it at Burbank in December 1938. The RAF Hudsons were to be fitted with a Boulton Paul dorsal turret after the aircraft’s delivery to the UK, so a rather crude mock-up was fitted for various air tests.
Addams leads the A&AEE’s formation aerobatics team of three smoke-equipped Gloster Grebes, the other two being flown by fellow Flt Lts D.M. Fleming and C.B. Wincott, at Hendon in June 1931.