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Bowlus Road Chief

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  • Member since
    September 2012
Bowlus Road Chief
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 12:13 AM

William Hawley Bowlus came up in research I'm doing for a presentation of non-powered flight in California during the 1920's.

Per usual I will not repeat what's readily accessible online, but...

Chas. Lindberg and his wife Anne were very proactive in non-powered aviation in San Diego, at Point Loma and just north of there at Torrey Pines Glider Port.

Hawley Bowlus designed the "Paper Wing" which flew in 1928. He also was the configuration engineer of the Spirit of Saint Louis.

California was a rich environment for industrial design in the early 20th C. In 1934 he designed the Road Chief; the first aluminum camper trailer.

Only about 80 were produced, and the surviving examples go for mid six figures.

Airstream took the concept and invented an entire recreational sector.

Hawley Bowlus is one of my heroes in ID.





 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.


  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, December 31, 2020 8:36 AM

I can remember, back in the forties and fifties, when flying models were the rage, sailplane kits were very popular.  Jasco was a big sailplane kit maker (later renamed Jetco).  Cleveland had several also.  The pod and boom style was real popular.

I built a few.  Thought RC sailplanes would be easy to fly- wrong!  Many had sharp LE airfoils.  Boy, when they stalled, they STALLED!  I never could keep them out of spins when they stalled- high aspect ratio wings spin easily with the least bit of yaw.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Friday, January 1, 2021 1:46 PM
Nice last name John Hawley. Aka. TJ



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