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Author Topic: Helen Richey, AE's co-pilot in 9/4/36 Bendix Race, interesting short bio  (Read 3427 times)

Harbert William Davenport

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http://businessheroinemagazine.com/heroines-history-helen-richey/

Does anyone know of any record of Richey's account of the 9/4/36 Bendix race, and especially of the incident of the overheard hatch flying open in mid-flight?

Also, I wonder whether Richey's achievement in multiple mid-air refuelings in 1933 might have inspired AE's fantasy of mid-Pacific refueling of her Electra??  Excerpt below is from the bio linked above, authored by Kat Michels:

"Because of this popularity, Frances Marsalis, another prominent female aviator, contacted Richey and in 1933 Richey was Marsalis’ co-pilot when they set a new record for a ten-day endurance flight.  To accomplish this feat the women circled around the city of Miami with two other pilots flying up to meet them over 83 times to provide fuel, food, water and repair materials.  Without the modern advances that we enjoy now, refueling consisted of one of the two pilots climbing out of the hatch, catching the fuel nozzle as it descended from the other plane and shoving it into the fuel tank.  Not only was this extremely dangerous, but it also presented a very high likely hood that they would get sprayed with gasoline.  Helen gained acclaim when on the sixth day the nozzle came loose and catching on the wing, tore the fabric.  In order to ensure that they could stay aloft long enough to set the record, Richey climbed out onto the wing with needle and thread and repaired the tear.  Upon landing, officials declared that they had set a new record for a refueling endurance flight by staying aloft for 237 hours and 42 minutes and flying 23,700 miles.  Marsalis and Richey had also become close friends."
H. Wm. (Bill) Davenport
3555R Prof of Philos, ret.
 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 03:23:56 PM by Harbert William Davenport »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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... In order to ensure that they could stay aloft long enough to set the record, Richey climbed out onto the wing with needle and thread and repaired the tear.


I feel woozy just imagining that scene!

LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Jerry Germann

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Just an ordinary event for an outdoor girl;

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/237-hours-42-minutes-in-the-air

Is anyone close by this collection? http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8wq070q/entire_text/

Might be some Bendix race/Amelia references in the papers somewhere.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 06:59:48 PM by Jerry Germann »
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Ric Gillespie

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Great information and resources guys!  We really should take a look at Helen's papers in San Diego.  There is bound to be information there about her association with AE and the Bendix race. 
Helen's experience with air-to-air refueling may well have been the inspiration behind AE's original transpacific plan but I have a hard time imagining that Helen, knowing how difficult it was, endorsed the idea.
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