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Grace Hunnington Altitude Record (list archive)

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  • Grace Hunnington Altitude Record (list archive)

    I think it would be most appropriate to share Grace's flight on the web
    site. imagine - 24,311 feet in a pure stock, unaltered, 65 HP Taylorcraft,
    in 2 hours 40 minutes, on a certified 10 gallons of fuel, with sealed fuel
    tanks. What an achievement!
    Taylorcraft Foundation Forum Administrator (Bob Ollerton)

  • #2
    (list archive)

    Ive been researching Grace Huntington and so far have come up with nothing.
    I did find this bit of information: The Museum of Flight at Paine Field,
    Everett, Washington has a Taylorcraft "A" model, NC19893, Cont A-40A engine
    built in 1937, one of 1837 built. Airspeed 82 MPH, range 240 miles. This
    one established an altitude record of 44,255 feet in 1952, did not give the
    pilots name. What year did Grace set her record? John in N Fla
    Taylorcraft Foundation Forum Administrator (Bob Ollerton)


    • #3
      (list archive)

      Hi All,

      Research has discovered that there is little to nothing available so far on
      Grace herself - but her flight lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes total elapsed
      time. Grace departed with a certified 10 gallons of fuel and her
      Taylorcraft's fuel tanks were sealed for the duration of the flight. No
      hard data on how much fuel might have remained at the conclusion of the

      The engine in Grace's Taylorcraft was a Continental C65, serial # 467608
      and was certified as being completely stock and unaltered.

      Does anyone out there know what ever happened to Grace?

      Grace may yet hold the absolute altitude record for a stock, unaltered
      Taylorcraft powered by a stock, unaltered Continental C65 engine. Hopefully
      some information will surface on the type of person she was, her aviation
      career and interests, and what motivated her to make the attempt.

      Does anyone doubt that a stock, Prewar, 65 HP, Continental powered
      Taylorcraft is probably one of the finest single engine airplanes ever

      I emailed the photo of Grace to Bob at Taylorcraft and he is going to try
      and modify it's size so it can be placed on the list.

      Randall Reihing
      Taylorcraft Foundation Forum Administrator (Bob Ollerton)


      • #4

        Grace Huntington photo (35.5K)
        Attached Files
        Taylorcraft Foundation Forum Administrator (Bob Ollerton)


        • #5
          Grace Huntington bio (list archive)

          Gentlemen and Ladies, Taylorcraft Pilots All:

          A touch of history for Taylorcrafters everywhere -

          Grace Huntington was one fine pilot and a very attractive young woman who
          knew how to fly a Taylorcraft better than most of us will ever know.
          The tail number of her record setting Taylorcraft was NC26581. I'll bet
          Forrest might have some information on that Taylorcraft. In 1940 when Grace
          performed her record setting flight, classifications were by engine size
          and her Taylorcraft, NC26581, was classified as a light airplane, 3'rd
          category, for engines between 122 and 344 cubic inches. Today, airplanes
          involved in altitude record attempts are classified by takeoff weight.

          Grace flew out of the Union Air Terminal in Burbank, California and on
          September 12, 1940, she flew her beautiful Taylorcraft to 24,311 feet, or
          7,410 meters, a US National Altitude Record. For Taylorcraft's that may yet
          be the record. I tired to include an attached 1940 photo of Grace and her
          Taylorcraft but Topica refused my e-mail stating that it exceeded their
          allowable maximum. I will try to send the photo as a separate e-mail.

          The current Federation Aeronatique International (FIA) and US record holder
          for light, single engine, piston powered aircraft, was set in 1996 by James
          Price in his Long-EZ. Operating in class C-1.a which includes aircraft
          "with a takeoff weight of 661 to 1102 pounds", James flew that little
          airplane to 35,027 feet. I wonder how he was able to keep warm, breathe, or
          pee. And how long did the descent require? Oxygen for sure on that flight.

          For piston powered, single engine aircraft with a departure weight of
          1102-2205 pounds, the record is held by an Austrian flying a Hoffman HK-36.
          The Austrian made it all the way to 36,188 feet.

          And so my friends, there you have a little more of the history so kindly
          brought to our attention by Taylorcraft enthusiast and expert pilot, Hank
          Jarrett. Thank's Hank for the motivation to research some of the history on
          that superb flight.
          Taylorcraft Foundation Forum Administrator (Bob Ollerton)


          • #6
            Grace Huntington NC26581

            "I am trying to located the plane my mother used to set an altitude record in 1940. According to the records it was a Taylorcraft BC 65 NC 26581. I have a picture of my mother with the plane if you would like. I tried to locate the plane through the FAA site but didn't get anywhere. I don't know if the plane still exists. The altitude record was 24000+ and still stands.
            Berkeley Brandt
            Bob Ollerton


            • #7
              Grace Huntington

              Grace Huntington was my mother. She died of TB in 1948. She kept an extensive scrapbook which I donated to the Smithsonian in 2000, so they do have a large file about her now. This also includes the barograph tracing. I am also trying to publish a manuscript that she wrote about her flying experiences. Does anyone know what happened to the plane? Does it this exist?
              Berkeley Brandt


              • #8
                Thank you Bob O and Dr B for sharing the info.
                Bob , you are as always doing an OUTSTANDING job of info gathering
                B 52 Norm
                1946 BC12-D1 Nc 44496
                Quicksilver AMPIB, N4NH
                AOPA 11996 EAA 32643
                Lake Thunderbird , Cherokee Village
                Somewhere on the 38 parallel in NE Arkansas


                • #9
                  I should get onto the site more often, the factory "B" book does how Ser# 1923 having ser# 467608, prop ser# 15632 and an empty weight of 717# on 6-21-1940 . Still checking for the test pilot. I will e-mail her sone after OSH and exchange more stuff...
                  Taylorcraft Foundation, Inc
                  Forrest A Barber 330-495-5447


                  • #10
                    Re: Grace Hunnington Altitude Record (list archive)

                    "Grace Huntington "Please Let Me Fly!" the remarkable story of the woman aviation pioneer who set world altitude records in 1939 & 1940"
                    Topic: The remarkable story of Grace Huntington, an aviation pioneer who set world altitude records in her 60 HP Taylorcraft monoplane.
                    On September 20, 2005 at 5:45 PM
                    Waypoint Restaurant
                    325 DURLEY AVE

                    Camarillo, CA 93010

                    Berkeley Brandt III, the son of two pilot parents, will tell the remarkable story of his mother, Grace Huntington ( who received her pilot license in 1937) and her fascination with high altitude flight and determination to find flying jobs for herself and other women aviators.
                    I am posting this annoucement in hopes some of you can attend. This talk is sponsed by the Ventura County 99's


                    • #11
                      Graces plane had a gross wt of 1100# just like mine which weighed 625#, had the Lyc O-145 was called just a B model & was 14th off the line.
                      Eric Richardson
                      1938 Taylor-Young
                      Model BL NC20426
                      "Life's great in my '38"
                      & Taylorcoupe N2806W


                      • #12
                        Holy smokes Batman! A 15-year-old thread resurrection!


                        • #13
                          There is an extensive write up on the foundation website posted in 2006. Content came from her son. It is interesting how her penmanship deteriorated as altitude increased.
                          1945 BC12-D
                          N39911, #6564