Midget Plane is Acquired by Hollywood Airpark
Keith Mackey, N4159, sent us this clipping and photo, dated June, 1949. Here are his comments:
The attached information was given to me by friend and neighbor, Jeff Abrams. Jeff's father, Maynard Abrams, who was also a good friend and neighbor passed away in 1992, while still very active in aviation.
Maynard was a WWII Army Air Corps instructor pilot. After the war, he was employed by the Hollywood Airpark as a flight instructor and later became the manager.
The attached photograph, taken in June, 1949, shows Maynard sitting in N360A in Hollywood, Florida. The newspaper article from the Hollywood Sun - Tattler newspaper dated June 3, 1949, gives some information about the innovative new Mooney Mite. The airplane must have been new or nearly new in the pictures which show in great detail the factory paint scheme of that era.
The story doesn't end there. It seems that one of the students Maynard checked out in a Mite had some sort of a mishap and sued him. It is unclear if the mishap involved N360A, but it may be the reason the airplane is on the "missing" list. At any rate, the need to have to defend himself in a lawsuit so frustrated Maynard that he decided to attend law school at night. To make a long story shorter, Hollywood Airpark was sold to real estate developers and Maynard had a long and successful career as an attorney. He later became the mayor of Hollywood. He owned and restored many historic aircraft and was a great friend to the South Florida Aviation community.
Amazing - a career in Law all because of a Mite.
The latest novelty at the Hollywood Airpark, 2101 Moffitt St., is a midget,
low-winged monoplane which weighs only 450 pounds.
The plane, a single place Mooney product built at Wichita, Kans., looks
much like a P-51 fighter plane in flight, Maynard Abrams,
airpark manager, said this week.
It is powered with a Lycoming 65 horsepower engine and has a cruising speed
of 120 miles per hour at 10,000 feet, Mr. Abrams pointed out. Another feature is
that it uses only three and one-half gallons of fuel per hour.
The tiny monoplane has a tricycle landing gear which is
Mr. Abrams said that better control in landing and in taking off is
achieved through the use of flaps. The plane is expected to be in demand since
it is economical to operate and yet provides speedy transportation.
Another innovation at the air-park is a Piper Cub equipped with a nose
wheel instead of the usual tail wheel. The tricycle landing gear is something
new for small training planes, Mr. Abrams said. However, it has the approval of
the Civil Aeronautics Administration.
Advantages of this type of gear are that it allows operation of the plane in much higher winds, affords better visibility both in landing and in taking off, and has resulted in reduced propeller breakage.