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The Welch airplane story: Airplanes designed and manufactured by Orin Moore Welch Hardcover – January 1, 1983


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Sunshine House; 1st edition (1983)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006EFQPY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,333,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
A poignant example of a man whose vision failed is found in the life of Orin Welch, a less recognized aviation personality than Cessna, Beech, Stearman, Piper or Luscombe. Welch saw an opportunity to produce and market a versatile, inexpensive airplane only to be thwarted by misfortune, bad timing, government bureaucracy, and the capriciousness of financiers.

"In 1929, Orin started his first light plane design. Nearly all manufacturers were still committed to their larger airplanes. He envisioned the need for a light, low-cost airplane for the sportsman pilot and for flight training. Only such an airplane could bring flying to the masses and create a true production market. As his design evolved so did his plans for production, only to have his production facilities destroyed by fire.... The Falcon was a lightweight, two place, side by side cabin monoplane, with detachable wings. The wings were also referred to as `demountable' requiring only five minutes to unlock and swing back. The wings swung back on their universal fittings which allowed the craft to be housed in a 10 by 24 foot space. This new airplane was to be priced at $995.00" (44-45)

It was claimed only 2 to 5 hours were necessary to learn to fly the Falcon; so easy, it was claimed that "if you can drive a car, you can fly the new Falcon."(46) Despite successful flight demonstrations during 1931, Welch's sales effort unfortunately failed to generate orders. The depression was a major factor and another was the fact that the Falcon had not yet been certificated. "Not realizing the necessity of the ATC [Approved Type Certificate] before the orders could be obtained, the financiers decided to liquidate the company."(45) In later years Welch modified the design and built an unknown number of similar examples.
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