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New Very Scarce Tri-Tiered Fletching 1939-1940 Wing


mtnman
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It must've been Palo Alto School of Aviation. They started out at Goddard Airport on Stanford University grounds. The school was run by Norman A. Goddard. The locals thought the airport was dangerous being so close to the schools and neighborhoods so the airport and school were moved in January 1935 to the Baylands. During the war the Palo Alto Airport was home to the 3rd Flying Training Detachment under the 36th Flying Training Wing and operated by the Palo Alto School of Aviation Airport.

 

Also of note is that from what I've read the Mesa Del Rey airport in King City was built by the Palo Alto Airport Inc. Was the PASA (Palo Alto School of Aviation) the predecessor of Palo Alto Airport Inc?

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Bingo!

 

A big thanks to both Russ and Patrick for solving a wonderful mystery!

 

And a special thanks to Mike and Mel for planting the seeds.

 

"Palo Alto School of Aviation" is painted on the roof of one of their hangers...

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Okay gentlemen and lady collectors, I have a new development on the Tri-Tiered Fletching (TTF) wing front. I have been studying for the past 5 months,
a different version of this wing. First there was the V-shaped base to the shield of the TTF wing and these wings had named pilot origins
and were quickly included in the wing authentication anthology. Then there came the flat shield-base wing which is a TTF wing with a smooth
surface to the rear, and comes with a problematic ancillary group of fakes which tends to obscure the veracity of this beautiful wing to the untrained eye. The fakes typically have an arch shaped, all capitals ORBER maker’s mark set in intaglio in the sterling and these are a smooth back wing… stay away from these.
Courtesy of MGHCAL on our forum, an Intrepid and very astute wing collector,
we have the opportunity to look at 2 examples of the flat base shield TTF wing which he was able to procure with a keen insight into period wings. The silver plated brass wing pictured first, is named to and documented as the wing of a World War II pilot, the 2nd is a sterling version of the flat base shield wing, just as clearly an authentic wing after observations of both over the past 5 months.

I will start with the pictures of the named silver plated brass flat shield-base TTF wing. When Looking at the History of These Wings, Orber is a company associated with the original dies which were eventually procured by AMCRAFT (American Metal Crafts). The V-shaped shield base wings were made with
a snowflake, or starburst, covered back and so these wings utilized, at position of the pin hinge, an extender platform, raising up the pin hinge to its target height on the rear of the wing. The pin hinge itself is identical between the V-shaped shield base wing and the flat base shield wing, the only difference being the extender platform. The smooth back Flat Based Shield Wing pictured first, as ALL FLAT BASED SHIELD VERSIONS, Silver Plated Brass (unmarked) and STERLING, are smooth surfaced on the posterior/back of the wing.
The tiny U-shaped platform on the V-shaped shield base wings seems to give additional height to the pin hinge so that the braze or solder has a little reservoir to pool in and the 2 roundels that make up either side of the pin hinge have the walls to "sit" on, composing the edge of the tiny reservoir, raised above the height of the snowflakes in the vicinity of the pin hinge so as to sit superior to the
snowflake/starburst backing of the V-shaped shield base wing.

 

 

The pin itself, at its base which fits in the pin hinge, there is a flat surface created on both sides of the pin base
where it rounds off to a circle with a hole in the middle for the fastening pin to fit through the center hole. The reach up the pin body from the base, regarding
the flat surface on either side of the pin at its base, is a little longer on the V-shaped shield base versus the flat base shield.

The locking mechanism in the pin clasp can be a fold-over design or solid shape but at the very least, the fold-over construction locking mechanism design is common to both the flat base and the V-shaped base shield wings from what I have observed.

 

The length on all the wings are perfect at 3 1/8 inch....NO CASTING EVIDENCE

The flat base shield wings have a very interesting characteristic. I did a study at the micro level, of the formation of the flat base shield wings
relative to the later World War II Orber designed wings. The fletching design has very similar characteristics of rounded off ends and layered fletching as well as the actual end result of the dye stamp being more “liquid” than the earlier V-shaped base wings which were marked by a smooth precision at all points.
There is a similarity at the micro level that one cannot convey adequately without viewing the object in tandem with the hearer but I will say this, the similarity
is evident and the design characteristics bear the same style at the foundation of their origin in the die. That is the most subjective aspect of my observations and so
I leave that to you regarding the evident similarity of a single artisan's work. I believe it was one artisan who constructed, at the very least, the flat base shield wing and the later World War II Orber wing dies, if not the entire group of wings from V-shaped shield to later war Orber designs. Enjoy ladies and gentlemen collectors!

 

I present FIRST, the Silver Plated Brass Flat based shield which comes from a solid named grouping which MGHCAL, of our forum community, procured with an astute eye to the excellence of the grouping he had followed and obtained. I will leave to him if he chooses to reveal the details of the storied pilot behind this beautiful wing.....

post-76516-0-31334100-1461214087.jpg

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Side view. Look at the tiered fletching rising up to the pronounced solid shoulders framing the squared off masculine shield.

Beautiful and exquisite artistry. Notice how the shoulders have a heavy and solid presence, later I will reveal comparison shots of the

very early World War II, flat base shield wing, with the Orber wings utilized throughout World War II

post-76516-0-59564400-1461214994.jpg

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Pin hinge/rear shot, notice there is no pin hinge platform as evident on the earlier shots of the snowflake back V-shaped shield base wings.

The pin hinge is soldered directly to the smooth surface on the rear of this silver plated brass wing

post-76516-0-32480800-1461215534.jpg

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If you will look at the locking mechanism you will see a seam right down the middle where it was folded over from a butterfly shape origin.

On the earlier V-shaped base shields, there was no solder or binding substance set in the center when it was folded over but in these later versions

it appears there was a binding substance used to set fuse the locking mechanism into one piece once folded and where it seems one part of the

locking mechanism below the finger grips, on the right side of the seam as we look at it, seems longer... That is an optical illusion.

It is a light coming through the opening where the pin sets to be locked.

post-76516-0-27921400-1461215655.jpg

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Notice how the pin catch does not sit high off a bed of solder like the snowflake/starburst backed V-shaped base shield wings. It is not necessary

because of the smooth surface. Another observation I failed to mention earlier is that it was the exact same die utilized to stamp

the sterling flat base shield wings and the silver plated brass flat base shield wings which can be seen quite evidently by the precise

shaping of the fletching. This is especially evident on the Dexter wing far ends of the fletching design which are similar to looking at an ascending staircase

in its squared off endings identical on both the silver plated brass and sterling wings. I will note this and later pictures.

post-76516-0-37471900-1461216156.jpg

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Notice how the pin hinge sits directly upon the flat surface and you can see how the rounded off base of the pin is squared off on the sides

to give flat surfaces for flush coherence with the pin hinge design. This is identical across both the silver plated brass here,

and the sterling wing version of the flat base shield TTF wing.

post-76516-0-51972600-1461216519.jpg

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An overall rear view of this beautiful silver plated brass named flat base shield TTF wing. I will leave it to MGHCAL, as I said,

to give name and history behind the wing if he so chooses to do so. I want to thank MGHCAL for his excellence in collecting, his astute

dedication to authenticity and to preserving as many groupings with the individuals name preserved, as possible. I respect his collecting

style and am a more knowledgeable collector for being blessed to know him and learn from the fruit of his efforts.

 

I will be presenting the STERLING flat base shield wing pictures next as I do not have time right now....

Blessings in your collecting as always gentlemen and lady collectors....

post-76516-0-40591100-1461216656.jpg

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The following is a TTF FLAT BASE SHIELD wing on a WWII 1st Lieut Pilot captured in this picture revealed earlier in the thread...We cannot discern whether it is the silver plated brass vs STERLING version, BUT it most certainly IS a FLAT BASED SHIELD TTF WING.

post-76516-0-54875400-1461262607.jpg

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Today I will give pics of the TTF flat base shield STERLING example of the wing...

It is identical to the Silver plated brass wing except this one has been cleaned up a bit from its

highly tarnished state...These wings have DISTINCT heaviness to them with the quality construction, that is evident when held

and a clear three-step up fletching pattern which gives a pleasing three-dimensional feel to the face of the wing and sets

the beautiful and very masculine shield in high relief, projecting strength and the dedication to righteous ends which

World War II America used its strength to uphold and defend.....

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Today I will give pics of the TTF flat base shield STERLING example of the wing...

It is identical to the Silver plated brass wing except this one has been cleaned up a bit from its

highly tarnished state...These wings have DISTINCT heaviness to them with the quality construction, that is evident when held

and a clear three-step up fletching pattern which gives a pleasing three-dimensional feel to the face of the wing and sets

the beautiful and very masculine shield in high relief, projecting strength and the dedication to righteous ends which

World War II America used its strength to uphold and defend.....

post-76516-0-00841700-1461265132.jpg

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Notice the more rounded ends of the fletching instead of the precision angles and surfaces of the V-shaped base shields with the snowflake back.

This is what I believe this wing design is an intermediate design along the line of development for Orber/AMCRAFT, of a single artisan from the precision angular type

design cut of the V-shaped base shield wings to this more organic, imprecise surfaced and elliptical feel to these flat base shield wings,

and finally to the same organic, rounded feel of the Orber style wings which spanned all of World War II. I will be doing comparison imaging

later on, regarding the 3 design styles.

post-76516-0-52635400-1461265211.jpg

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Notice the fold-over locking mechanism in the pin catch, this has been seen in both the flat base shield and V-shaped base shield wings.

If you will look at the edge of the fletching on the rear edge of the Dexter (right) wing, you will see a pattern of angled fletching ends

which looks similar to a staircase. At the micro level this is unmistakable and it is identical on both the STERLING and silver plated brass

versions of the flat base shield wing. The same die was obviously used to stamp out both wings

post-76516-0-75954100-1461266037.jpg

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A shot of the top of the pin hinge. As you look down on the base of the pin, you can see where the base of the pin was squared off to fit

in between the 2 roundels on the hinge. That "squaring" of the pin goes up the pin just a tiny bit shorter of a distance than

the earlier V-shaped base shield wings but the pin hinge itself is identical.

post-76516-0-62733400-1461266296.jpg

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As you see in this picture, the difference in the pin hinge of the flat base shield versus the V-shaped base shield, is the fact that

the pin hinge sits flush upon the rear of the smooth back of the flat base shield wings; where the V-shaped base shield wings, with

the starburst/snowflake backing presents with a tiny platform made of an elliptical "wall" upon which the pin hinge roundels sit.

I presume this is to create a more solid connection to the wing because of the snowflake backing potentially weakening the bond.

post-76516-0-41951100-1461266457.jpg

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A clear shot of the pin catch with the fold-over design, roller locking mechanism. As you see the pen catch sits flush to the wing

because of the smooth backing of the flat base shield wing as opposed to the V-shaped base shield wing which sits higher up with a taller

pin catch, but I have seen no clear evidence of any added platform to the rear of the wing to help support the pin catch, only a sizable

pool of solder.

post-76516-0-02051100-1461266675.jpg

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