Glider on the horizon

The DC-3 intended to tow Veterans Air first cargo glider

Veterans Air to launch first cargo glider. November 1945.

[CLICK on the full-length article below to expand it for an easier read. CLICK on the circled white “X” in the upper right corner of the article to close it.]

This first article from the Morning Edition of The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY, on 30 November 1945, is news reporting at its best. Wish it had a by-line. The reporter unfolds names, type cargo, info sources, history, operations plans, and a unique transport method. A borrowed glider.

As reported in the a.m.: The flight also will mark the first time, it is believed, that a glider has been used to carry commercial produce. The plane and glider will land at Teterboro, N.J., airfield just 10 minutes from downtown New York.

My thanks, again, to Al Stettner for finding this 1945 article in November 2021. Al’s father, Jack Stettner, was a Veterans Air co-founder, investor, international and domestic pilot, and the first of my Dad’s men that I met face-to-face. 🙂

But as the day and plans progress
is scheduled…”

THE LEXINGTON POST * (AP) Dateline: Louisville, Nov 29, 1945 * Printed: Friday Morning, November 30, 1945

Veterans Air Express schedules to tow a turkey-loaded glider on Nov 30 1945. May be historic use of commercial gliders.

develops into “…was scheduled.”

THE LEXINGTON LEADER * Dateline: Louisville, Friday Afternoon, Nov 30, 1945 * [with a Lipstick factoid “applied” for fun.]

Towed glider packed with iced, dressed turkeys was scheduled for take off today, Friday, Nov 30 1945.

And, ultimately, the anticipated glider flight was downgraded to “…a slight disappointment.”

Dateline: Teterboro (NJ)
Tuesday, December 4, 1945.
Newspaper Unknown.

The Veterans Air DC-3 did not depart on its 3-1/2 hour flight from Louisville that Friday afternoon, November 30, as expected.

As per this December 4 coverage, the aircraft arrived in Teterboro, NJ, on Monday, December 3. No doubt, this delay called for rapid mid-stream measures by restaurateurs throughout New York and New Jersey who expected a Turkey Special on their menus the previous weekend!

What happened? The fact that Veterans Air was forced to leave the glider behind in Louisville might be key. While it is not disclosed if waiting for favorable glider weather delayed the flight for three days until Veterans decided to abandon the idea, no doubt it was a factor as reported: The overcast weather in the Middle Atlantic States yesterday made its flight impossible. [Referring to the glider.]

Such wide-spread late customer delivery was a tough way to learn that the initial intent of using gliders at all was likely untenable. In fact, no glider reference has surfaced since.

Personally, Dear Reader…I don’t “get” the concept. The logistics? The revenue benefit? Never mind the overarching “contact weather” restrictions. I’ll look into it. And, if you have any input, don’t be shy! CONTACT me. Always a pleasure!
Gaye Lyn

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