It's a photograph of a day like any other in Hawaii, a half-century ago. A wood and wire Army bomber rumbles through the azure sky, criss-crossing the pellucid air above Oahu on an obscure military mission. But wait a minute — take a closer look. What's that guy doing hanging on the landing gear?
June 23, 1927, and newspapers were filled with hot-dog pilots possessing whatever the stuff is that later would be called "right." Pictures of Lucky Lindy whooping it up in Paris; a half dozen attempts being planned to fly non-stop to Hawaii from the Mainland; Commander Richard E. Byrd touring the world after soaring over the North Pole. In Nicaragua, US Marines in biplanes were flying bombing missions against Sandinista rebels.
Things have changed since those barnstorming days of wind humming in the wires and silk scarves snapping in the slipstream. The air is no longer a frontier, but it was once.
The plane is a twin-engine Martin bomber, the NBS-1, made out of wood and steel...