Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Crosley Built Airplanes?

Yes, the Crosley Corporation for several years built airplanes, under the auspices of the Crosley Aircraft Corporation. The company had a hangar and 93-acre airfield north of Cincinnati, where the Ford Motor Company's Sharonville Transmission Plant stands today. (Not far from the General Electric Jet Engine Plant.)

Crosley built both monoplanes and biplanes, like that shown to the left. The series was called "Moonbeam," and the one pictured is Moonbeam number C-3 (X147N). You can see it at the Kentucky Aviation Museum at Lexington, Kentucky's airport. It's owned by Dr. George Gumbert, who flew the aircrafti n from Arizona.

There were five Moonbeams. In among them, the company built the Cobra aircraft engine, and a skeletal power-glider. In 1934, years after the company folded, Crosley's pilot, Eddie Nirmaier, built the second example of the Mignet "Flying Flea." The Crosley-Mignet Flying Flea is on exhibit at the National Air & Space Museum, along with a trophy it won at a Miami air show. In the 1940s, Crosley automobile engines powered some different airplanes, a story for another post.

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