Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Helen Richey, AE's co-pilot in 9/4/36 Bendix Race, interesting short bio  (Read 9779 times)

Harbert William Davenport

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 72

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 »

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3006

... 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!


           TIGHAR #2359A

Jerry Germann

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 421
  • Go Deep

Just an ordinary event for an outdoor girl;

Is anyone close by this collection?

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

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6101
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda

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.
Pages: [1]   Go Up

Copyright 2024 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: • Phone: 610-467-1937 • Membership

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.18 | SMF © 2021, Simple Machines Powered by PHP