Macmillan Ring-Free Oil – Famous Aviators Roscoe Turner & Clyde Pangborn (1934) US Advertising Poster

Macmillan Ring-Free Oil – Famous Aviators Roscoe Turner & Clyde Pangborn (1934) US Advertising Poster

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Macmillan Ring-Free Oil – Famous Aviators Roscoe Turner & Clyde Pangborn (1934) US Advertising Poster

Roscoe Turner (September 29, 1895 ? June 23, 1970) was a record-breaking American aviator who was a three-time winner of the Thompson Trophy air race and widely recognized by his flamboyant style and his pet Gilmore the Lion.

In 1933, Turner learned of plans to organize what became known as the MacRobertson Air Race, to be run from London, England to Melbourne, Australia, in October 1934. He quickly obtained sponsorship from Pratt & Whitney in the form of engines and technical assistance, followed by Boeing. United Airlines then offered to lend him one of their latest airliners, a Boeing 247 (NR257Y). Other sponsors included Heinz, Macmillan Oil Company, and Warner Brothers. Turner selected Clyde Pangborn as his co-pilot, due to his experience with international flights. The third crew member was Reeder Nichols, a partner in Bill Lear’s Lear Development Corp, whose job it was to operate the Lear radio and direction finder. After modification and testing of the Boeing 247, Turner flew it to New York and had it loaded onto a passenger liner bound for England. After diversions and delays, the aircraft was reassembled at Hamble, then flown via Heston Aerodrome and RAF Martlesham Heath finally to the race starting point at RAF Mildenhall.

Turner departed Mildenhall on 20 October, eventual destination Melbourne, 11,300 miles distant. The sectors to Athens and then to Baghdad were flown without problem. The next destination was Allahabad, one of the five compulsory refueling stops, but at the calculated arrival time, the aircraft was in darkness and the crew could not see the expected lights of a city. They contacted the radio operator at Allahabad, with little success until they declared SOS, when they finally obtained a radio bearing. They landed with just sufficient fuel to park the aircraft. Further stops were made at Alor Setar, Singapore, Koepang, Timor, and Darwin, where they learned that the de Havilland DH.88 flown by C. W. A. Scott had already landed at Melbourne with a time of 71 hours. On the sector to Charleville, the oil pressures were low, so the engines were throttled back. They set out for Melbourne, but further engine oil problems led to a forced landing at Bourke, New South Wales, where they made minor repairs. They flew on, to cross the finishing line at Melbourne. After checking in with an elapsed time of 92:55 hours, Turner learned that the Dutch entry, a KLM Douglas DC-2, had arrived in a time of 90:13 hours. Turner’s crew were awarded third place overall, and second place on handicap. The Boeing 247 went back into service, and in 1952 was presented to the National Air and Space Museum, where it is now displayed.

Condition: G

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Weight 2 lbs
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