Yesterday I ran an aircraft identification contest with pictures I took of the one-of-a-kind McDonnell 119/McDonnell 220 business jet. The prize for correctly identifying this relatively obscure example of aviation history consisted of Kindle or Nook versions of my two mystery novels: Decisions and The Globe.
And the winner is (may I have the envelope, please) . . . Pilot, Aircraft Enthusiast, and Fellow Blogger Frank Van Haste. You can visit Frank’s wonderful aviation (and occasional book review) blog at N631S.blogspot.com.
Frank recognized the McDonnell 220 because of his long-time interest in the Air Force contract that in the 1950s pretty much created the modern business jet. That was the once famous but now mostly forgotten UTX/UCX (Utility-Trainer Experimental/Utility-Cargo Experimental) contract. The eventual winner of that contract was the Lockheed Jetstar (L-329/C-140), an aircraft that sent shivers down my spine whenever it showed up at RAF Lakenheath because that was the aircraft used to evaluate air traffic control services at Air Force installations throughout Europe back in the 1970s. If you’re a movie buff, you can see the Jetstar in action in the classic James Bond film Goldfinger.
Another winning entry for the UTX contract was the North American Sabreliner (N-265/T-39), which went on to become quite successful in the civilian market. Indeed, over 800 examples of the Sabreliner were eventually built compared to just over 200 Jetstars.
Now for a bit of self-congratulatory housekeeping. Yesterday’s post was the 400th for this blog. That’s over three a week since this blog’s inauguration in January of 2011. Looking forward to bringing you many more in the future.