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Born into a family of aviators, Merrill Wien was destined to become a pilot. His father, Noel Wien, was one of the first pilots to fly in Alaska and his life was full of firsts, including making the first round-trip flight between Asia and North America in 1929. His mother played a big role in the founding and development of Wien Alaska Airlines, the second-oldest scheduled airline in the United States and territories. One of the most versatile and experienced pilots of his time, Merrill has flown just about every aircraft imaginable from DC-3s to Lockheed 1011s to historic military planes like the cargo C-46 and B-29 bomber to the Hiller UH-12E chopper. Although fundamentally modest by nature, family and friends encouraged Merrill to share his remarkable stories given his accomplishments and experiences with so many famous people and events. His tone is engagingly informal as he recounts crossing paths with such luminaries as Joe Crosson, Howard Hughes, Lowell Thomas Sr. and Lowell Thomas Jr., Sam White, Don Sheldon, Brad Washburn, Wally Schirra, and Bill Anders. He re-creates for readers his firsthand experiences flying top-secret missions for the Air Force, viewing the devastation of the Good Friday Earthquake in Anchorage, and the challenges of starting his own helicopter company, to name just a few. His fascinating narrative is complemented by photographs from his personal archives.
This book follows the careers of Alaska's pioneering pilots, who, with cranky open-cockpit biplanes, started the great change in Alaska's way of travel. Aviation first arrived at Fairbanks, the trade center of mainland Alaska, from which dog sled trails spider-web to mines, villages, and trap-lines. During winters, goods and people traveled mostly by dog sled. During the summer of 1923 Ben Eielson was the first to fly commercially from Fairbanks, ferrying passengers and light freight with an open cockpit Jenny (JN4) biplane. It was the beginning of the leap from ground travel to the air. Noel Wien was the next. In the summers of 1924-26 he flew open cockpit biplanes from Fairbanks. Starting in 1927, he flew a cabin biplane year-around on scheduled flights in the 579 miles between Fairbanks and Nome. In March, 1929, Wien flew from Alaska to the Elisif, an ice-locked trading schooner in Siberia, to return with a load of valuable furs. In the following November, Ben Eielson repeated this flight to the Nanuk, another ice-bound trading schooner in Siberia. And when he and his mechanic, Earl Borland returned for a second load of Siberian fur, their Hamilton airplane disappeared in a winter snowstorm. This brought on one of the most famous, and difficult aerial searches ever made from and in Alaska. By the 1930s, Alaska's growing aviation industry had revolutionized transportation in the Territory. This volume is a fond look back at the triumphs and tragedies of the pioneering Ben Eielson, Noel Wien, Harold Gillam, Joe Crosson, Ed Young, and others, the great pilots who were the first bush pilots of Alaska.
Everything travelers ever wanted to know or have wondered about Alaska is contained in this fun and factual book: Gold Rush centennial events, museum collections, salmon history, ZIP codes, and more. An added pleasure in this year's edition is the humor of Mr. Whitekeys, author of ""Mr. Whitekeys' Alaska Bizarre"". Illustrations & photos. 22 maps.
Announcing the incredible publishing achievement, the most complete story of Alaskan flight ever compiled, a rare collector's item. This two-volume set is the magnificent result of Bob Stevens' exhaustive research & devotion to Alaska, & his knowledge of the subject. Volume 1 traces the story from ballooning in 1897, through 1928. Volume 2 covers the busy times of 1929 & 1930. Includes early Canadian flying that is intermeshed with Alaskan history, U.S. Air Service flights in their sturdy biplanes, United States Naval aerial surveys that mapped much of Alaska by camera, grit, & determination, early Russian fliers who played a part in Alaska's flying history, Polar flying by Roald Amundsen & other Scandinavian explorers, & hundreds of other fascinating facts, meticulously researched, clearly presented in narrative form & fully indexed. The day-to-day progress of events along with the gripping drama of the more sensational occurrences. Over 1095 pages, more than 980 rare photographs, many never before published! The aircraft, the airmen, Alaska & its citizens live within the pages. Every historian, collector, Americana enthusiast, everyone with a love of flying, will treasure this beautifully produced 2-volume set of 59 chapters. Gold-stamped hardcover binding. Don't miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own such a valuable record of a remarkabl e aviation era.
Over 1000 short biographies of people who have made a substantial imprint on Alaskan politics to 1974.
Rowan Companies grew from the dreams of two Texas brothers, Charles and Archibald Rowan, and their $16,000 oil rig. The two men started out as roughnecks, and founded the company in 1923. The men formed a lifelong partnership based on hard work, loyalty to their workers and cost-conscious business sense. Rowan Companies today builds and operates huge offshore drilling rigs and owns a fleet of helicopters and airplanes that provide services as varied as medical flights and Alaskan sightseeing tours. Relive the struggles and stories in the pages of The Legend of Rowan. Individually boxed.
Bush pilots are known as rough, tough, resourceful people who fly their aircraft into tight spots in the worst of weather. Alaska s bush pilots are all of that and more. Acting as pioneers in a land with 43,000 miles of coastline and North America s largest mountains, Alaska s bush pilots were and are visionaries of a lifestyle of freedom. Flying came late to Alaska but caught on quickly. The first flight was made over a three-day exhibition at Fairbanks, July 3 5, 1913. James Martin first flew that aircraft, owned by him and his wife, Lilly, and investors Arthur Williams and R.S. McDonald. Ever since, Alaskan bush pilots have found that they were calculators of their own fate, flying in fragile aircraft over vast stretches of tundra or through towering mountain passes. This book examines the pioneer aviators and the aircraft types such as the Stearman, Stinson, and Lockheed, many of which were tested and crashed in the far north regions of Alaska."

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