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Gallaudet Chummy Flyabout
Edson Gallaudet and David Dunlap in the cockpit.
Gallaudet took advantage of the tremendous public fascination with flight and came up with an unusual twin-pusher prop sport plane with a pair of 18 horsepower engines called the Chummy Flyabout.
The little two-seater, built in the Warwick factory, was priced at $3,500, a hefty sum for the day. A 1919 glossy marketing brochure suggested the plane could “be flown to the golf or country club and landed on the fairways.” Readers were tempted with “the joy of flying is to be had for the asking” and “weekend trips to neighboring estates.” Owners could fly “around the ranch or commute to the office by air.” A newspaper advertisement offered the plane as an alternative to courting by automobile and suggested “imagine calling for your young lady in a Flyabout and soaring above the clouds.”
The Chummy was only eighteen feet, seven inches in length, with a 33-foot wingspan. The cockpit was a tight fit for two adults. The Chummy Flyabout was a two-seat biplane, powered with two 18 hp Indian motors driving pusher propellers. Either or both of the air-cooled engines could power the twin 48-inch props through complicated shaft and bevel transmissions. The whole plane weighed only 600 pounds empty (the literature does not indicate how much weight it could carry).
Gallaudet’s company even offered to provide plans for a complete aviation club, including flying lessons, hangars, fuelling station, tools, and a support staff. But only a handful of the little planes were ever built.
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