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Three Men On a Flying Trapeze - Montgomery, Alabama
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member xptwo
N 32° 22.880 W 086° 21.246
16S E 560755 N 3582888
Quick Description: Marker telling the story of the aerial demonstration group known as "Three Men On a Flying Trapeze." The marker is located in front Base Operations and Passenger Terminal at Maxwell Air Force Base, which was in use at the time.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 3/18/2012 11:34:48 AM
Waymark Code: WME0R7
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Thorny1
Views: 5

Long Description:
Located at what was then known as Maxwell Field, the Air Corps Tactical School was the place where theories of the use of fighter and bomber aircraft were being developed. Chennault was an advocate of fighters and used the organization of the aerial demonstration team to show how fighters could work together. The following is from an Air Force Association web page: (visit link)

"Chennault got permission to form an ACTS aerobatic team, which he dubbed "Three Men on a Flying Trapeze." The trio was a laboratory for fighter tactics as well as a way to titillate the public. Spectators at air shows across the South saw three airplanes performing loops, spins, and chandelles in synchronization.

Tactically, some of the moves were startling and of little use for real combat. Such was the case with one that Chennault described as "a squirrel-cage effect in which each plane rolled around the other while doing an individual barrel roll."

However, Chennault's passion for stunt flying was all part of a deep belief that fighter tactics had to move toward greater concentration of force to keep control of the air in the next war. He later wrote that the Trapeze act proved Boelcke's theory that "fighters could battle together through the most violent maneuvers of combat.""
Marker Name: Three Men on a Flying Trapeze

Marker Type: Urban

Addtional Information::
Three Men on a Flying Trapeze The Flying Trapezers, the Air Corps' first aerial demonstration team, was established under Maxwell's Air Corps Tactical School in 1932. Led by Capt Claire Chennault, members included Lt Haywood Hansell, Sgt John Williamson, and Sgt William McDonald. Chennault used P-12Cs to perfom loops, rolls, and figure eights to show his fellow officers that three planes could execute with precision the violent and difficult maneuvers necessary to attack and destroy invading bombers. The team played a key role in developing pursuit tactics and in discrediting the "bomber invincibility" theory before being disbanded in 1936. Sponsored by the Montgomery Area chamber of Commerce Erected by the Alabama Historical Association 1994


Date Dedicated / Placed: 1994

Marker Number: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Alabama history please include that in your log.
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