• Air race pilot Bill Brenannd profiled in new book

    Posted on November 30th, 2011 John Dorcey No comments

    You’re in Cleveland, it is the end of August, 1947. You’re a 23-year old pilot from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. You’re competing in your first air race, in a borrowed airplane. Not just any race mind you, you are competing in the Goodyear Trophy Race. You are competing against some of the biggest names in aviation. Herman “Fish” Salmon is to your right, a little farther away is Tony LeVier. These Lockheed test pilots are flying aircraft designed and built by their co-workers.

    cover of book Bill Brennand: Air Racing and Other Aerial Adventures

    Cover of Bill Brennand book

    The white flag goes up and you along with the others start your engines. A green flag replaces the white one, just one minute to go. You ease the throttle forward and the engine responds, the aircraft strains against the brakes. Your ground crew, battling the wind behind the prop, hangs on to your tail, adding their effort to hold the airplane back. The flag drops, the crew releases their grip, and the race is on. Rounding the first pylon you are in the lead. You’ll maintain the lead for the entire race. You win, you win the race!

    Bill Brennand grew up on the family farm conveniently located next to the Oshkosh Airport. Like a lot of kids of the era he built stick and tissue model airplanes. A cold day in March, 1943, accompanied by several friends, Bill walked into the flight school operated by Steve Wittman. His life was about to change forever. The Brennand family still operates the farm adjacent to Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH). Bill still visits the airport. While his gait may have slowed, his eyes still sparkle when sharing highlights of his life story.

    Today Bill shares that story – he calls them aerial adventures – with you in the book, Bill Brennand: Air Racing and Other Aerial Adventures. Bill talks about his time with Steve Wittman, life as a corporate pilot, and his airport west of Neenah. You’ll learn about his 5-year restoration project of a Stinson tri-motor, his many fishing trips to Canada, and expeditions to Mexico and Central America. Finally, you’ll learn about Bill’s development of a swampy area along Lake Winnebago that became a seaplane base – you know it as the EAA AirVenture Seaplane Base.

    Bill told his story to writer Jim Cunningham. Jim captured both Bill’s words and his passion. Jim says, “This story is Bill’s, and he has called things as he’s seen them.” Order your copy by using this order form. You can visit the publisher, Airship International Press, at their web site or call Dave Smith at 309-827-8039.

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