Posts Tagged ‘seaplane’

Air America, United Air – How This Tourist Plane Over Frisco Used to Work for the CIA as a Spy Plane a Half Century Ago

Friday, June 16th, 2017

As seen over western SF:

7J7C4222 copy

The yellow floatplane, before it became a floatplane, used to operate out of Thailand as a part of the CIA-owned Air America, Inc a half-century ago.

See? It’s one of these:

“Six Beavers lined up at Udorn, probably in 1962 (UTD/Fink/ photo no. 1-JF25-16-PB1)”

Get all the deets right here:

AIR AMERICA: DE HAVILLAND CANADA DHC-2 (L-20) BEAVER by Dr. Joe F. Leeker Last updated on 4 March 2013

To wit:

“DHC-2 (L-20) L-202 833 1 March 62 leased from US Army 54-1693

Service history: arrived at Bangkok in crates on 15 February 62, to be operated under the Madriver Contract AF62(531)-1674, based at Vientiane, but maintained at Udorn (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 23 January 62, in: UTD/CIA/B7F1); assembled by Thai Airways according to contract no. BKK 62-001 (Memorandum dated 9 February 62, in: UTD/Fink/B2F16); officially received at Bangkok on 1 March 62 (Aircraft list of June 62, corrected to Sept.1963, in: UTD/Kirkpatrick/B1F1).

Fate: was to be returned to the US Army in October 62 (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 30 October 62, in: UTD/CIA/B7F1); returned on 21 April 63 (Aircraft list of June 62, corrected to Sept.1963, in: UTD/Kirkpatrick/B1F1); sold to R. N. Nelson Earth Movers as N5220G in March 92; sold to Kenmore Air Harbor Inc, Kenmore, WA, in 92; sold to San Francisco Seaplane Tours, Mill Valley, CA, on 13 July 94; current in March 2004 (request submitted to the FAA on 13 March 2004 at http://162.58.35.241/acdatabase/); current in November 2008 (request submitted to the FAA on 23 Nov. 2008 at http://162.58.35.241/acdatabase/).”

So there you have it. Head on up to the Sausalito / Marin City / Mill Valley area and take a ride on a piece of flying history, if you want.

Unlikely Seaplane Base, Marin County

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

All the deets at Seaplane.com

7J7C7263 copy

And a half century ago, one of these planes was a part of the CIA’s Air America in southeast Asia

Troubled ICON Aircraft Company Sends a Seaplane to Buzz Frisco – But Layoffs Up in Vacaville – A T-Tailed Doctor Killer?

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Paying off on the headline:

1. An Icon A5 seaplane as seen yesterday from the Embarcadero, presumably on yet another media joyride. Kind of sounded like an old Subaru.

7J7C8713 copy

2. This year’s big news from ICON, which has an actual aircraft factory up in Vaca [cow] ville [town].

3. And I just don’t know about the kind of person who’d be attracted to flying these planes. I’ll tell you, waybackwhen, the “fork-tailed doctor killer” certainly looked bad-ass, but it appealed to people who prolly shouldn’t have been flying, oh well. Will Icon eventually sell a bunch of planes to people who, similarly, aren’t really / shouldn’t be pilots? IDK.

Not saying it’s not fun to fly about in a tiny seaplane…

Northern California’s Very Own Aircraft Company Makes a Splash in New York – But Beware the Icon A5, Tech Bros

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

I came across this:

Take a Ride in the First Airplane That Anyone Can Fly @willyakowicz

And that leads us to this:

icon-aircraft-a5-fool-proof-consumer-sports-plane-hits-the-market

Which got changed to this:

Take a Ride in the First Airplane That Anyone Can Fly – Aircraft startup Icon has begun selling the A5, its eight-years-in-the-making amphibious sports plane.

Look, Comrades! Two in the air at the same time. All hail this glorious Revolution!

proxyhhhh

Except.

Except….

Hey, here’s some background from a couple years ago.

And what’s this:

Icon A5 Purchase Contract May Be More Complex Than The Aircraft Itself…
Highly Restrictive, Certainly Controversial, The Purchase Agreement Leaves One Wondering — Are You Buying An Icon A5, Or Just Borrowing It? ANN News/Analysis/Commentary By Jim Campbell, ANN CEO/Editor-In-Chief

I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen such a restrictive purchase contract.

Hey you know, sometimes when somebody dies, it was the Maid in the Billiards Room with a Candlestick. But how about instead:

Sean Parker (or somebody like him, [cough] engineer [cough])

on Molly

in an Icon A5 Over The Bahamas

Just saying.

Enjoy your amphibian, tech bros.

Chinese-Backed ICON Aircraft Wants to Build Carbon Fiber Seaplanes in Vacaville? Really? No, Really?

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

I can’t see this ending well.

This outfit really, really reminds me of CODA Automotive.

Anyway, here’s the news of the day, California’s Cow Town will soon be California Aircraft Production Town, maybe, someday:

ICON Aircraft to Bring Hundreds of Advanced Manufacturing Jobs to Vacaville, California

LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — ICON Aircraft has announced that it will relocate to the City of Vacaville in Northern California, located approximately fifty miles northeast of San Francisco. Beginning in the first quarter of 2015, the company will begin operating in a 140,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the Vacaville airport, also known as the Nut Tree Airport. ICON intends to consolidate aircraft manufacturing, sales, training, service, and corporate headquarters at the new location. The move follows an extensive nationwide search for a site that would enable ICON to co-locate all divisions. The move stands to create hundreds, and eventually thousands, of advanced manufacturing-related jobs, while providing economic impact on the region that has been independently estimated to exceed $350 million.

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20140514/87590

“The selection of Vacaville as ICON’s new home is a major milestone for the company and a significant economic win for the residents of the region,” said ICON CEO and Founder Kirk Hawkins. “The move will play a major role in achieving our goal to not only deliver the best consumer Light Sport Aircraft in the world, but also a comprehensive flight training and operating experience that our customers and employees will absolutely love. The site we have chosen has a rare combination of key elements that makes it an ideal fit for ICON at this next stage of growth. The decision to stay in California and relocate to Vacaville, located in Solano County, would not have happened without the proactive, tireless effort of the airport officials, City of Vacaville, Solano County, and the Governor’s GO-Biz office over the last several years. This has been an impressive demonstration of local, regional, and state cooperation that ultimately made it possible for ICON to remain in California.”

“To say we’re pleased with ICON’s selection of Vacaville would be an understatement,” said Vacaville Mayor Steve Hardy. “We have much to offer ICON, as well as other businesses, and this seems like such a natural fit to us. We look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with this world-class operation.”

Supervisor John Vasquez added, “ICON will be the needed catalyst to ensure the long-term success of the Nut Tree Airport. Solano County, the City of Vacaville, as well as the North Bay region will benefit from this project. I am thrilled ICON is coming.”

ICON chose the site in Vacaville because of the business-friendly local government, accessibility to a vibrant, talented labor pool, existing facilities adjacent to the airport, and outstanding weather and local conditions for year-round flight operations and training. The site also allows easy access to compelling recreation destinations, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Wine Country, and Sacramento for visiting customers as well as employees. Finally, the San Francisco Bay Area represents a strong cultural fit:  ICON was founded in Silicon Valley, and the company culture draws heavily on the entrepreneurial drive embodied by the area.

ICON’s move also stands to have a significant positive economic impact on the region, according to an independent study. The study concluded that the move would directly and indirectly create hundreds, and eventually thousands, of jobs in advanced manufacturing as well as many other disciplines. The annual economic impact on Vacaville and Solano County is estimated to exceed $350 million through wages paid, local purchases made by ICON, and increases in employee and visitor spending, as well as sales and property tax revenues to the city and county once the company is at full production rates.

ICON will continue to manufacture production aircraft at its existing facility in Southern California before transitioning to the facility in Vacaville. The first customer aircraft is scheduled to be completed in early 2015.

For more information, visit www.iconaircraft.com.

For information on careers in Vacaville, visit www.iconaircraft.com/vacavillejobs.

ABOUT ICON AIRCRAFT:
ICON Aircraft is a consumer sport plane manufacturer founded in response to the new sport flying category created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2004. ICON’s first plane is the A5, an amphibious sport aircraft that fuses outstanding aeronautical engineering with world-class product design. It has won some of the world’s most prestigious design awards and has inspired a global following. The company has received more than 1050 order deposits and has started manufacturing components of the first production aircraft. ICON Aircraft’s facilities are in Southern California, a hotbed for automotive design and aerospace engineering.

ABOUT FAA LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT & SPORT PILOT CLASSIFICATIONS:
In 2004, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created a new classification of easy-to-fly and affordable two-person airplanes called Light Sport Aircraft. These airplanes enable a new classification of Sport Pilots to fly in lower altitude, uncongested airspace, during the daytime, and in good weather. The Sport Pilot License focuses on the fundamentals of flying and requires a minimum of 20 hours of in-flight training, undercutting the time and cost of a traditional Private Pilot License by about 50%. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has described the new rules as “the biggest change in aviation in 50 years.”

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140514/87590

SOURCE  ICON Aircraft

Beaver Surprise! This Tourist Airplane Over San Francisco Used To Be a Part of CIA-Owned Air America, Inc.

Monday, December 16th, 2013

[TRIGGER WARNING: Beaver*]

This 1955 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, operated by Seaplane Adventures (aka San Francisco Seaplane Tours Inc) of Mill Valley, Marin County USA  and recently seen flying over Market Street…

…this one…

…used to operate out of Thailand as a part of the CIA-owned Air America, Inc a half-century ago.

See? It’s one of these:

“Six Beavers lined up* at Udorn, probably in 1962 (UTD/Fink/ photo no. 1-JF25-16-PB1)”

Get all the deets right here:

AIR AMERICA: DE HAVILLAND CANADA DHC-2 (L-20) BEAVER by Dr. Joe F. Leeker Last updated on 4 March 2013

To wit:

“DHC-2 (L-20) L-202 833 1 March 62 leased from US Army 54-1693

Service history: arrived at Bangkok in crates on 15 February 62, to be operated under the Madriver Contract AF62(531)-1674, based at Vientiane, but maintained at Udorn (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 23 January 62, in: UTD/CIA/B7F1); assembled by Thai Airways according to contract no. BKK 62-001 (Memorandum dated 9 February 62, in: UTD/Fink/B2F16); officially received at Bangkok on 1 March 62 (Aircraft list of June 62, corrected to Sept.1963, in: UTD/Kirkpatrick/B1F1).

Fate: was to be returned to the US Army in October 62 (Minutes ExCom-AACL of 30 October 62, in: UTD/CIA/B7F1); returned on 21 April 63 (Aircraft list of June 62, corrected to Sept.1963, in: UTD/Kirkpatrick/B1F1); sold to R. N. Nelson Earth Movers as N5220G in March 92; sold to Kenmore Air Harbor Inc, Kenmore, WA, in 92; sold to San Francisco Seaplane Tours, Mill Valley, CA, on 13 July 94; current in March 2004 (request submitted to the FAA on 13 March 2004 at http://162.58.35.241/acdatabase/); current in November 2008 (request submitted to the FAA on 23 Nov. 2008 at http://162.58.35.241/acdatabase/).”

So there you have it. Head on up to the Sausalito / Marin City / Mill Valley area and take a ride on a piece of flying history, if you want. $179 and up.

* Heh.

Know Your Aircraft in San Francisco Airspace: Grumman HU-16 Albratross Flying Boat

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Straight out of Santa Rosa, this large flying boat could be seen above San Francisco on the Third of July. Here’s the view from the cockpit.

Can you see this very plane in Raiders of the Lost Ark? I don’t think so, but anything’s possible, right?

It even goes up to Canada, eh?

Click to expand

1956 never looked so good.