Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ryan Aircraft and flying school, San Diego, the 1920s


the above was taken from the top of the hanger you see in the below photos, and is looking south toward San Diego downtown, with the harbor on the right. The road just to the left is now called Pacific Coast Highway





According to the AIAA report “Historic Aerospace Site: Dutch Flats Airport”:
 “As business expanded, Ryan found a new location on a salt flat called Dutch Flats, adjacent to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. (now San Diego International Airport/Lindbergh Field) In the spring of 1923, he moved his operations there and paid a $15 per month rental fee. He managed to build a hangar and a small office building. The new location on the corner of Tide Street (later renamed Barnett Avenue) and Midway Drive (a dirt path at the time) provided a boom to business. He offered free plane parking to other pilots and increased his business by hiring a full-time mechanic. His sightseeing business also expanded, and he and his mechanic, Hawley Bowlus, experimented with increasing the size of airplanes to accommodate more passengers.

 He took on a partner, B. Franklin Mahoney, and on 3/1/25, they debuted the first year-round, regularly-scheduled passenger airline, the Los Angeles - San Diego Air Line. It continued for about a year and a half.”

Bowlus, famous for trailers and gliders http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2014/04/hawley-bowlus-engineer-and-designer-of.html






how cool is that curved dash Olds! Photo taken November 29th, 1931


All found on https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/sets/


If you can picture the above image rotated 180 degrees, then the roads will match the below map.

The Midway Post Office is basically over where Ryan had his airfield "Dutch Flats",  a commercial airport, located at 3200 Barnett Avenue, “directly opposite Marine Barracks.” The field was said to have a 2,500' northwest/southeast runway and a 1,400' northeast/southwest runway.


Maps and aerial view of the area above it from http://www.airfields-freeman.com/CA/Airfields_CA_SanDiego_N.htm

San Diego International Airport is the busiest single-runway commercial airport in the United States, and the second-busiest single-use runway in the world after London Gatwick, with about 18 million passengers in 2013. San Diego is the largest metropolitan area that is not an airline hub or secondary hub.



above is TC Ryan in his Studebaker hauling the Spirit of St Louis from the assembly building. It was named after the city that invested heavily into it. Found on http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?55365-Studes-in-Roadside-Americana-photos/page62

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