After building about 320 S-1 Cadets of various designations, in 1942 the Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Company sold the Cadet manufacturing rights to the Harlow Aircraft Company. Harlow had just purchased Alhambra Airport, near Los Angeles, for US$350,000 (around US$5.5 million in today’s terms) and intended to build the Cadet there. However, business clearly did not proceed as hoped and Harlow did not manufacture a single Cadet, selling the rights in 1946 to the Call Aircraft Company – usually and colloquially known as CallAir – for the princely sum of US$5,000 (about US$65,000 in todays terms).
CallAir too suffered pressure in the market place, primarily from the burgeoning Piper company and the glut of post-war military aircraft coming on to the market. As a result, they manufactured but two CallAir Cadets, only one of which survives – N2922V. And this is being restored from the bare metal up by Alex Nelon, who describes himself as a ‘retired but unrepentant corporate pilot, inveterate tinkerer and sandspur farmer’, sharing his time between Florida and North Carolina in the USA.
Alex runs an excellent blog – Let’s Go Flying! – which has a wealth of information about aircraft of various types, many in the vintage category. In particular, he is recording the progress of his Cadet restoration, in between flying trips in a J-3 Cub and, more recently, a Woody’s Pusher, although from the latest post on his blog, it looks like Woody is moving on to new adventures with a new owner…
Alex seems like a man after my own heart – Interstate/CallAir Cadet, open air flying and old aircraft. And he writes a nice turn of phrase in his blog, which you can access by clicking either the picture above or here: Let’s Go Flying!