1929 Curtiss-Robertson Robin C-1

1929 Curtiss-Robertson Robin C-1

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Originally powered by the famous 90hp Curtiss OX-5 engine, later
models of the Robin were outfitted with the much more powerful
180hp Curtiss Challenger radial engine. A utilitarian aircraft capable
of accommodating a single pilot in front and two passengers in
back (provided that the two in the back were svelte), the aircraft
proved to be a stable platform. So stable in fact, that Robins were
used to set a number of flight endurance records including a flight
of 653 hours and 34 minutes by brothers Fred and Algene McKey
in 1935.
The most celebrated flight of a 1929 Robin was made in 1938 by
Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan. Having been denied authorization
to fly across the Atlantic by federal officials, Corrigan filed a flight
plan to fly from New York to California but then took off heading
east. Arriving in Ireland 28 hours later, Corrigan claimed a
navigational error brought about by heavy cloud cover and a
malfunctioning compass caused him to fly in the wrong direction for
26 hours before he realized his mistake. For “flying in the face” of
the aviation authorities, upon his return to the US, Corrigan was
given a ticker-tape parade attended by over a million people.
The aircraft on display was retrieved from an apple orchard near
the southeastern shore of Flathead Lake in the early 1970s by Bob
Colby and his father George. The aircraft was in derelict condition
having not been flown since the late 1940s. Nevertheless, the
Colbys rebuilt the aircraft and flew it regularly until 2015.