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June 21, 2021

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Pearson Air Museum explores aviation history

Lecture series will feature local flavor, an eye toward the future

By , Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter
Published:
6 Photos
Courtesy of the Pearson Air Museum
The World War-I era spruce mill is the focus of the Feb. 5 "Imaginings of Flight" lecture at Pearson Air Museum. The mill turned out aircraft components from February 1918 to November 1918.
Courtesy of the Pearson Air Museum The World War-I era spruce mill is the focus of the Feb. 5 "Imaginings of Flight" lecture at Pearson Air Museum. The mill turned out aircraft components from February 1918 to November 1918. Photo Gallery

Feb. 5: Bob Cromwell, Pearson Air Museum manager, “The Spruce Production Division’s Vancouver Cut-Up Mill and the Contribution to the Air War in World War I.”

Feb. 12: Dick Pugh, Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory, Portland State University, “The Meteorite Petting Zoo.” (Attendees can bring possible meteorites for verification).

Feb. 19: Charles Radley, Oregon L5 Society president, “Mining the Moon With a Lunar Elevator.”

Feb. 26: Diana DeLuca, “Commonwealth Air Crews and the Evolution of the Handley Page Halifax Bomber.”

March 5: Dan Dolan, Moon Base Builders, “Back to the Moon With the Lunar Rover Mission.”

March 12: Cameron Smith, Portland State University, “Designs on Personal Space Exploration.”

March 19: Matthew Simek, “Lincoln Beachey: the Man Who Owned the Sky.”

Nobody could summarize the pace of aviation progress better than an Army pilot who was assigned to Vancouver’s Pearson Field in 1924.

Feb. 5: Bob Cromwell, Pearson Air Museum manager, "The Spruce Production Division's Vancouver Cut-Up Mill and the Contribution to the Air War in World War I."

Feb. 12: Dick Pugh, Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory, Portland State University, "The Meteorite Petting Zoo." (Attendees can bring possible meteorites for verification).

Feb. 19: Charles Radley, Oregon L5 Society president, "Mining the Moon With a Lunar Elevator."

Feb. 26: Diana DeLuca, "Commonwealth Air Crews and the Evolution of the Handley Page Halifax Bomber."

March 5: Dan Dolan, Moon Base Builders, "Back to the Moon With the Lunar Rover Mission."

March 12: Cameron Smith, Portland State University, "Designs on Personal Space Exploration."

March 19: Matthew Simek, "Lincoln Beachey: the Man Who Owned the Sky."

“The first winter I was here I made four round trips to San Francisco and back to Pearson, and it was considered a record,” Lt. Oakley Kelly said in 1928.

“Now the mail makes a round trip daily,” said Oakley, whose quote is part of an interpretive panel at his old Pearson Field headquarters building.

Seven other reflections on the pace of aerospace progress will be featured in a free February-March lecture series in the historic air facility. “Imaginings of Flight: Past, Present and Future of Aviation” will be presented at the Pearson Air Museum, 1115 E. Fifth St., at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver.

• What: Seven free public lectures, “Imaginings of Flight: the Past, Present, and Future of Aviation.”

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 5 through March 19.

• Where: Tex Rankin Theater at Pearson Air Museum, 1501 E. Fifth St., Vancouver.

• Information: http://bit.ly/aviation_series

People have been imagining flight “for as long as people have been looking at birds,” Bob Cromwell, Pearson Air Museum manager, said.

• What: Seven free public lectures, "Imaginings of Flight: the Past, Present, and Future of Aviation."

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 5 through March 19.

• Where: Tex Rankin Theater at Pearson Air Museum, 1501 E. Fifth St., Vancouver.

&#8226; Information: <a href="http://bit.ly/aviation_series">http://bit.ly/aviation_series</a>

The seven-week series will include aviation history, discussions on celestial bodies in our universe, and exploration and technological discussions of aviation and space of the present and future, Cromwell said.

Pearson is an appropriate setting for a review of aviation history that goes back more than a century. The Fort Vancouver archives include images showing a Curtiss Pusher aircraft on the Army landing strip, surrounded by horses and mules, Cromwell said.

“What will the next 100 years bring?” Fort Vancouver Superintendent Tracy said, wondering. “Things we can’t even imagine.”

The series of 6:30 p.m. programs begins on Feb. 5 with a chapter of history that occurred where the museum now stands. Cromwell, a National Park Service archaeologist, will discuss the Spruce Production Division’s Vancouver cut-up mill and its contribution to the air war in World War I.

The series is a collaboration between the National Park Service and the Oregon L5 Society, a chapter of the National Space Society.

In a news release, Charles Radley, president of the Oregon L5 Society, said the group appreciates the opportunity to connect with a wider audience in Vancouver and Clark County.

Radley also is a participant and will present a Feb. 19 program, “Mining the Moon With a Lunar Elevator.”

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