Crane & Co. Aviation Themed Stationery
Crane & Co. have been making high quality paper since the U.S. were colonies. High quality paper is made with cotton instead of wood pulp—like paper currency—which gives the paper the “tooth” which a fountain pen’s nib can be used with to render a scintillating writing experience. Though ball points and rollerballs combined with conventional paper have more general utility the fountain pen + high end paper pairing something good is usually left behind whenever we progress. Nothing compares well to the tactility of the fountain pen’s nib scratching (scribing?) ever so lightly across the grain of excellent paper. It is nothing like the feel of a ball point or a rollerball. High end paper is pricey. High end nibs even more so with their rare earth metal alloys and multiple hand prep manufacturing operations.
Ultimately, it is up to the writer to judge if the benefit exceeds the cost, of course—though good writers write for their audience😉 Here is an example of a Crane an Co. product—a thank you note card and mailing envelope. Note the detail of the envelope interior as well as the near machine fit of the card into the envelope. High end products with tight tolerances—taking writing well above the mundane
The U.S. Army is replacing the OH-58 Kiowas and UH-1 Huey/Venoms (an evolved Huey) with the Airbus Helicopter UH-72A Lakota as its light utility helicopter. Eurocopter had been the most recent manufacturer until acquired by Airbus Helicopter—the original design firm was Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB). These have often been seen as medevac helicopters for EMS as well as hospitals for two decades. Essentially unmodified civilian helicopters, the Army is purchasing the Lakotas to free up UH-60 Blackhawks for combat missions. Clamshell doors at the rear admit two litters as well as easy cargo access. The twin Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 turboshaft engines, of 738 shp each, provide reliability. Cruise speed is 153 mph over 370 miles. Crewed by two its troop capacity is nine (optimistically, perhaps) or two litter cases and medical personnel.
Kevan of the bloc on preserved aircraft Pickled Wings has this interesting note: “…the UH-72 is a development of the Eurocopter EC-145. The EC-145 was developed from the MBB BK-117, itself a development of the BO-105.” As he later sums up, the Lakota is a grandchild of the BO-105. Thank you Kevan for the description of the Lakota’s esteemed lineage
MBB (Messerschmitt-Bölkhow-Blohm), now owned by Airbus Helicopter, BO-105 making hot runs during training against a target vessel. The U.S. Army is purchasing descendants of these, as the UH-72 Lakota, for its light utility helicopter in an expedient move to improve logistics and free up UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters for combat assignments.
Perusing through the San Diego Air and Space Museum photo archive often brings pleasant surprises. Here are some nose art examples, not from glamorous fighters or bombers bristling with machine guns, from the cargo aircraft which flew slow and unarmed to supply troops and airfields as well as extract casualties.
The Douglas XC-47C was likely a trial to determine the feasibility of the aircraft to perform amphibiously. Whether the idea was from military contingency planning, a need to fund the Edo Aircraft Corp. (now absorbed into a larger company), or to meet a specific need could not be found on-line—nor any first hand experiences. Although the context of its history remains latent it is a curious development. One can readily see its utility in areas rich in wide and long river expanses devoid of nearby airfields.
The Edo Aircraft Corp. manufactured their Model 78 amphibious floats for the trials and they appear to have worked well enough for calm water operations at least, as seen in this YouTube video link, though the all important taking off (where water spray from the prop wash is the most critical) remains unaddressed. This video also shows how entry and exit was made using a two ladder process with intermediate steps on the rear left float strut−which appears a bit precarious, in places requiring some faith. Also what could not be found was the ease of loading and unloading cargo. The twin engines would have aided in maneuvering on the water as well as the rudders on the floats. Its best operating environment could have been islands and remote wilderness, it would seem.