Maiden Detroit  
  The completed Liberty-engined Stout plane.
The first one was dubbed the Maiden Dearborn
This is the second one, known as the Maiden Detroit.


Stout built a larger all metal plane, a high wing monoplane with a Liberty engine that would carry eight passengers. The pilot and co-pilot sat in front of the passengers in an enclosed cockpit.
     I made several solo hops across the field to check the balance. On the first flight, I took off heading north. At the edge of the field, at 200 feet, one carburetor cut out. I landed in a small field OK. They had to tow the plane back to the field.
     The next day I took off north over a frozen lake. At about 1,000 feet, the windshield blew in, jamming the control wheel. I put the plane in a 30 degree glide. I had my parachute on; in fact, I'd had the mechanics rivet a handle on the lower side of the wing near the window to help if I needed to pull myself out.
     (General Billy Mitchell had visited the field several days earlier and told Stout to make me wear a chute.)
     I decided to let the plane get to 500 feet before bailing out. I got my arms and shoulder under the windshield and finally managed to pull the wheel out from under the windshield and land on the ice. My legs were shaking.
     The gang drove out on the ice and I started to taxi the plane back to the field, but we came to a crack in the ice too wide to get over. Bill talked me into flying the plane back after they braced the windshield with boards.

Stout Air Pullman Passes Initial Tests
Epoch in Aeronautics Marks Successful Flight of New Machine

The new Stout Air Pullman, Detroit's first bid for commercial aviation, has just completed its tests at Selfridge Field, under the guidance of Walter E. Lees, a test pilot of Dayton.
     Although fitted with only one Liberty engine, the plane carried a load of 2,379 pounds, and climbed the equivalent of a mile in 12 minutes, making with this load, 116 miles per hour in a straight-away flight.
     Since general aeroplane work in Detroit stopped on Armistice day, this city has been trying to come back in an aeronautic way. The successful results of the tests of the Stout plane mark therefore, an epoch in Detroit's developement in the transportation industries.
     When it is remembered that former planes constructed of wood and cloth, with two Liberty engines carried less load than this plane carried with one, and that with half the horsepower, it travels almost 40 miles per hour faster with the same load, the importance of the plane as an engineering development is easily seen.


Party Lands at McCook After Fast Trip From Detroit
Eight Men in Ship Enjoy Every Comfort on Flight Here.

On an aerial jaunt to test the cross-country features of a new Stout all-metal plane, a party of eight Detroiters landed at McCook field, Wednesday morning.
     The plane was flown from Selfridge field, Mount Clemens, Mich., to McCook field, a distance of 220 miles in two hours and 19 minutes.
     In the party were William Stout, designer and builder of the ship; Roy Pellitier, H. V. Wilcox, of the Detroit News; C. E. Planck of the Detroit Free Press; George H. Pruden; Stanley Knauss; Edward Hamilton and Orie Fryman. Hamilton is the pilot and Fryman is the mechanic.
     The plane has all the conveniences of a modern home. Hot and cold water, toilets, a kitchen, dining facilities and convenient lounging chairs. On the Dayton trip, the eight men in the ship, whiled away the hours by playing cards and reading.
     At Detroit, where the plane was built, it is regarded as a mechanical missionary. The venture is backed by several manufacturers of automobiles who will give it a thorough trial in actual service conditions. What plans are after the plane has been tried, were not divulged, but it is reported that an airline between several important industrial centers is being planned.
  Harold Harris  
  Lt. Harold R. Harris.  
Lieut. Harold R. Harris, chief of the McCook field flight test section, made a trial hop in the plane Wednesday.
     At 2:30 o'clock, the plane took off for Detroit on the return trip. It is to be brought back to McCook field and subjected to army tests at a later date.
     The flight to Dayton Wednesday was the first cross-country trip ever made by the Stout plane. Most of the distance was covered at an altitude of approximately 3000 feet and the passengers aboard declared they could see the rain below, although they were not in it themselves.
     All members of the aerial cruising party said the trip was delightful, being devoid of the rocky, jumpy sensation usually accompanying an airplane trip loaded so heavily.
     The Stout plane is powered with one Liberty motor and has a normal speed of more than 110 miles an hour with full load.
     It was given its preliminary tests by Walter E. Lees, pilot for the Johnson Airplane and Supply Co.


About this time, Gar Wood was running up and down the river with a Liberty-engined racing boat called the Miss Detroit. To paraphrase his beginnings, and to perpetrate a bad pun, we called our first plane the Maiden Detroit, and so it was finally christened.
     It was a great day when we first took the plane out to Selfridge for its trial flights. The new field al Ford's was not ready yet. It was early spring and ice was still on the lake. Walter E. Lees, was the test pilot. He took off against a light wind and headed out across the lake. Then, something happened. A couple of dips and down he came, landing on the ice which was fortunately thick enough to hold.
     It took us ten minutes to run out to where the ship stood on the ice and find what was the matter. Walter was furious.
     The windshield had blown in against his control wheel and he had to push the celluloid back in place with his foot before he could free the controls to land. Windshields, from then on, were made much stronger.
     A few days later he took off again---this time over land.
     Frost in the carburetor brought him down once more---in a swamp! All was safe, but the ship had to be taken apart to get it out on dry land again.
     On the third try, off it went, and there was no further trouble. Control was exceptional and everything was in balance. Walter loaded sandbags in the seats and the plane took off with ease carrying its full design load.
     As soon as they took the sand out after landing, Alma and I climbed into the ship for a ride. Behind us came Jim Devoe and his wife. They had stood around the field with us for days, and had made many trips the thirty miles out to Selfridge to see the flights. So we invited them to come along and the four of us went for a ride around Selfridge and over Detroit itself.
From William Bushnell Stout's book, SO AWAY I WENT!
To Walter Lees, whose skill and quick thinking saved the day --- and him too., Sincerely, Bill Stout, Nov. 1952

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