Archive for May, 2023 May 2023 Wheels & Wings Newsletter

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

Welcome to the Kraemer Aviation/ Wheels & Wings Newsletter. This month our theme is tracked vehicles.

So what was the world’s first tank or tracked vehicle? The answer is Little Willie. Little Willie was the world’s first operational tank in 1915. It was developed to tackle the problems of trench warfare under the direction of Winston Churchill.

Little Willie

You can view past newsletters here.

Interested in living at an airport?  Visit our Aviation Real Estate page here. You can view price data for airport property in our Market Watch section of the Flymall. Here is the data for all airport property. You can refine the search by “state” simply by searching for the desired state under “Model”. We have added some features to our real estate section that allow users to submit information about their airport that they are selling and you can also send us information regarding what you are looking for in an airport or airport property.

Want to have your business highlighted on the Flymall???  We offer inexpensive rates to have your business featured on our Wheels & Wings page.  Contact us for more info.

The Flymall Team attended the annual Laytonsville Volunteer Fire Department’s benefit breakfast on Mothers’ Day. Click here for more pictures.

EAA’s Ford Trimotor will be at the Frederick Municipal Airport from June 15 to June 18. Rides are available. Kraemer Aviation Services is sponsoring a portion of the Frederick visit. We will be there on June 17 and June 18. Stop by and say hello. For more info on the Frederick visit, click here.

History Trivia: A flying tank? Many of the world’s military have experimented with flying tanks, either on paper or a scale mock-ups. Here is one such vehicle by the Russians.

The Antonov A-40 Krylya Tanka (Russian: “tank wings”) was a Soviet attempt to allow a tank to glide onto a battlefield after being towed aloft by an airplane. A prototype was built and tested in 1942, but was found to be unworkable. 

Here is a Russian Tupolev TB-3 Heavy Bomber carrying a tankette aloft to be dropped. The T-27 was a tankette produced in the 1930s by the Soviet Union. 

Mercedes-Benz was one of the major manufacturers of tanks and other armored vehicles for Germany during World War II. And this month we celebrate the birthday of Bertha Benz.

May 3, 1849: German automotive pioneer and inventor Bertha Benz was born Cäcilie Bertha Ringer in Pforzheim. She was the business partner and wife of automobile inventor Carl Benz, and she was the first person to drive an internal-combustion-engined automobile over a long distance, field testing the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, inventing brake lining, and solving several practical issues during the journey of 65 miles. In doing so, she brought the Patent-Motorwagen worldwide attention and got the company its first sales.

If you enjoy history we have a new aviation history fact each day at the bottom of our webpages.  Some days there may be more than one, just refresh the page.  And if you like Beatles history, checkout our Events Calendar and select the Beatles category.  This is a work in progress, we’re building the most comprehensive calendar of important dates in Beatle history.  For those that like to stick with current news, we have an aviation news ticker on our home page.  This is updated daily to show the current aviation news.

Achievements & Special Recognition: Earlier this month, Delaney passed her initial flight instructor checkride with Harry. This is an extremely long test, just the ground portion is usually about 7 hours of one-on-one questioning and explaining.

Delaney is also an accomplished motorcycle racer and sailboat racer. Delaney earned second place in the Mid-Atlantic Motocross Association in the women’s class in 2016. Very cool!

Delaney earned the prestigious Unsung Hero award (for her sailing skills) at her high school.

Instructors, what to highlight your students first solo or other achievement here?  Just send us a short write-up and a picture or two and we’ll post it here for you.  Click here for our contact info.

Aviation/Aviators in the news: Kraemer Aviation hosted the DC 99s 90th Anniversary. Click here for more pictures of the event. Click here for a presentation of the DC 99s Chapter 75th anniversary/history.

Guest enjoyed feeding our turtles.

The aviation section of the Flymall is full of aviation news, training info, and much more for the aviator.

To an army, tanks and heavy bombers are invaluable military assets. Combining the two should be a winning combination, correct? The answer is , NO! During the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force experimented with a seemingly crazy idea for dispersing the weight of their heaviest bomber across the tarmac of airports and bases. They would fit the bombers with tank tread-inspired landing gear. The aim was to eliminate the need for long, reinforced runways and to ensure operations could be conducted on rough terrain. Click here for an interesting story on these test.

Air show season is always just around the corner.  Want to travel to air shows in your own aircraft?  Visit our used aircraft page on the Flymall to view our inventory.

Here are a couple of interesting aircraft, although they are not tracked vehicles, they’re interesting.

The Savoia-Marchetti S.55 is a double-hulled flying boat produced in Italy. All the passengers or cargo were placed in the twin hulls, but the pilot and crew flew the plane from a cockpit in the thicker section of the wing, between the two hulls. 

This odd-looking contraption was among many research experiments  conducted decades ago.  What you see is a small outboard-powered outrigger hull that is pushing that glider to maintain flight. The engine’s throttle was controlled from the glider cockpit.

Car/Motorcycle Show News:   The Laytonsville Cruise In is the place to be on a Friday night in Montgomery County.  The Laytonsville Cruise In was started by Harry in 2010. It has become one of the most popular cruise ins in the area. You can follow Harry on Facebook for daily updates during the many shows and events he attends.

The Laytonsville Cruise In Award Night is the third Friday of the month from May to October.

May 19 2023 was the official opening night for the Laytonsville Cruise In. Kraemer Aviation sponsored free ice cream for the drivers and one guest. Free dash plaques sponsored by Kraemer Aviation. Click here for pictures of the award winners from opening night.

Here is what we have for awards this year:
Debbie Grasso’s Choice Award
Flymall Choice Award
Mel Short Best Original Vehicle
TFR Choice Award
Best Of Show for the “Themed vehicle” – Debbie Roberts, MD/VA/DC/DE real estate expert
Judges Choice – Frederick Flight Center
Second Place (numerous) – Atco Tire of Laytonsville – Just Riding Along Bicycle Shop
First Place (numerous) – Dr. Bobby Mozafari / Integrated Sport, Spine & Rehab
Nina’s Choice
Best Classic by Blue Skies Aviation
Best Paint – Washington International Flight Academy
Best Engine – Maryland Auto Service
Best Sports Car – Great American Landscapes
Best Classic by Randy McPhillips / Trust Partners Insurance
Best Wheels – Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists / Joe Dale
Best Muscle Car – Black and White Kitchen and Bath
Best Custom – Andrew Hyman-BlazeCut Fire Suppression System
Best Corvette – Orthodyne Laboratories
Best Import – UPS Store Milestone
Best British Vehicle – DC Metro Aviation Services
Best German Vehicle – Café Sophie

Judging will start at 6:30 PM. Vehicles must be registered BEFORE 6:30 PM.

On May 19 we had a great turn-out. We gave away 27 awards, dash plaques, and lots of free ice cream. Click here for more pictures from the opening night.

Harry was busy giving rides on the 1886 Coventry Rotary Tandem most of the evening. Click here for more pictures of Harry giving rides that evening.

Below is the schedule for the Laytonsville Cruise In award nights:
May 19 2023 – American Muscle Cars – Best Of Show Award for American Muscle
June 16 2023 – Motorcycle night – Best Of Show Award for a motorcycle
July 21 2023 – Race cars – Best Of Show Award for a race car
August 18 2023 – Corvette night – Best Of Show Award for a Corvette
September 15 2022 – Imports – Best Of Show Award for Imports
October 20 2023 – British Cars – Best Of Show Award for a British Car

This is a 1937 Mercier Motor Chenille 350 cc 1 cylinder was commissioned by the French Army. The Mercier crawler motorcycle was equipped with a 350-cc OHV JAP engine, rating 10 hp. at 3000 rpm. Additional cooling of the cylinder head was provided by a fan, which was driven by the engine. The Mercier crawler motorcycles were started with a kick starter and employed a three-speed gearbox with manual gear shifting. The military found the prototype interesting and useful but didn’t order the motorcycle in industrial quantities. 

Our Events Calendar has the most current info regarding local and national car shows, air shows, and more.  With nearly 30 categories, there is something for everyone.  The Day Tripper section of the Flymall has dozens of day trip ideals and interesting places to visit.  Check it out here.

On May 21st, the Flymall team attended Classic Motorcycle Day. This is an outstanding local event with 100s of classic motorcycles. We had our 1974 Indian MX74 on display and our 1976 Honda XR75. Both of our motorcycles received an honorable mention award at the show. Click here for more pictures from the show.

Harry spotted one of these Action Trackchairs at Classic Motorcycle Day (it was especially cool to see one of these since our theme this month is tracked vehicles). The owner/operator wasn’t open to any pictures or video, so here’s a picture from their website. It moved along quite well over the grass and hilly terrain.

Inventor J. Lehaitre rides the Tractor-Cycle in 1938. This model of tracked motorcycle was invented in 1937-1938 by J Lehaitre from Paris, for off-road movement. This motorcycle uses a tractor-type transmission belt to travel on various kinds of terrain.

Barn Finds/Hangar Finds:  Need an appraisal on your barn find?  Visit our Appraisal Page for information on our appraisals. 

Tractors are often “barn finds”. Here’s a rare tractor that every tractor collector would love to find in a barn. This is a Hornsby tractor or Hornsby chain crawler. In 1904 David Roberts, Managing director of the firm Richard Hornsby & Sons of Grantham, patented a new form of crawler track which was applied to various prototype vehicles. One of these was tested by the War Office in 1907 and in 1909 this machine was ordered from Hornsbys for military use. It is said that the term Caterpillar was coined by soldiers who watched it moving along although the name was later adopted by an American company and is now world famous. In 1907 Hornsbys had fitted tracks to the 1905 military tractor that had proved so successful in the War Office trials as a wheeled vehicle. This makes it the first tracked vehicle to enter service with the British Army. It was powered by a two-cylinder Ackroyd heavy oil engine rated at 80hp and was also one of the largest vehicles built for military service at the time. Steering was by braked differential assisted by compressed air at 80 psi although the compressor had to be hand charged with a manually operated pump. Trials were conducted with the Hornsby tracklayer pulling what appears to be a sixty pounder gun.

There were also steam powered version of the Hornsby.

Here’s a scaled down “home made” version of the steam powered Hornsby. Click here for a YouTube video of this one in action. Here’s another YouTube video of an unusual “tracked” vehicle called the Dreschen mit dem Lanz Bulldog.

Visit our online store to search for hard to find car parts, aircraft parts, and much more.  You can pay online in our secure store, just click on the Store button on our home page.

Visit the Test Drive section of the Flymall for reviews on automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and more. Read about it before you buy it.  You can also research price info on a wide variety of vehicles, collectibles, and more in the Market Watch section of the Flymall. 

Here we have a B7 snowmobile. The B7 model was the first snowmobile mass produced by L’Auto-Neige Bombardier. It was designed for commercial use, and could carry up to seven passengers. 

Below, the B12 CS snowmobile (Chrysler Special) was equipped with a more powerful engine and was produced by Bombardier Snowmobile Limited in 1950. 

You can read about these historic Bombardier snowmobiles and other rare Bombardier items at

Museum of Ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier

If you’re restoring a fabric aircraft, Ira Walker of Walker Aviation is your resource.  Visit his page on the Flymall by clicking here

CFI / DPE Notes:  Visit Harry’s Practical Test page for information on his checkrides.  You will also find useful information there to help you prepare for your checkride.  You can also visit Harry’s Lesson Plan section of the Flymall for other flight training information.  Visit our Flight Training page for information on our aviation training classes.

Weather in the news: Next month is the start of hurricane season. The forecasters are predicting a total of 15 named storms, which is slightly above the 30-year average. They’re forecasting 7 hurricanes, including 3 intense hurricanes. The place to watch for a greater risk of a hurricane impact may be south Florida through the northern Bahamas.

Three Wheel Association (TWA) &  Harry started the Three Wheel Association in 2013 to promote/support the industry of three wheel vehicles of all types. Visit the Three Wheel Association page on the Flymall for more info on the association.

The  Sd.Kfz.2  or Kleines Kettenkraftrad HK 101 (shortened to Kettenkrad) was one of the most successful tracked motorcycle designed for military use. The Kettenkrad started its life as a light tractor for airborne troops. The vehicle was designed to be delivered by Junkers Ju 52 aircraft. The vehicle had the advantage of being the only gun tractor small enough to fit inside the hold of the Ju 52, and was the lightest mass-produced German military vehicle to use the complex Schachtellaufwerk overlapped and interleaved road wheels used on almost all German military half-tracked vehicles of World War II. Click here for Harry’s Kettenkrad page on the Flymall.

Want a reproduction vintage 3 wheeler.  Walker Aviation can scratch built from pictures or drawings.  Visit his page on the Flymall.  

Earlier in May, the Flymall team attended the Reed Martin collection auction in Frederick Maryland. The stars of the auction were two 3 wheelers. They were a 1900 Knox that sold for $80,000.00 and a 1898 DeDion Bouton that sold for $136,000.00 USD. Click here for more pictures from the auction.

Knox & DeDion Bouton

Prototypes: Here is the Corvette Stingray that never was. This stretched version of a 1963 Corvette has rear seating and was built as ordered by Chevrolet chief Ed Cole. Here’s the story on

Pontiac also had a 2 seater that they experimented with and made a 4 seater. Here’s a 4 seat Pontiac Fiero. The car was built to demonstrate the flexibility of modifying the spaceframe chassis design with independent non-structure body panels. Click here for the story on

Nautical Notes: How would you like a boat that can travers almost any terrain on land? A French company has just that. Iguana Yachts has developed a powerful boat and while on land, uses tracks to travel over almost any terrain.

Riding The Rails: While this looks like a steam locomotive, the Lombard Steam Log Hauler is actually used off of the rails. The Lombard Steam Log Hauler, patented 21 May 1901, was the first successful commercial application of a continuous track for vehicle propulsion. The concept was later used for military tanks during World War I and for agricultural tractors and construction equipment following the war.

Native American Indian Transportation: Have you ever wondered why United States Army helicopters are named after Native American Indians? The tradition of naming helicopters after Native Americans was once an official regulation. The regulation no longer stands, however the tradition continues. Click here for the story on

Apache Helicopter

Animals in the headlines: To continue with our theme of tracked vehicles, here are a few “dogs” of a different flavor.

The Snow Dog. Designed to travel almost anywhere, over ice, snow, through the forest, and in the fields. It is basically a tracked vehicle that you stand behind.

The Tinder Dog is similar to the Snow Dog, however, the Tinder Dog offers some more accessories, such as a snow plow as seen below. Very cool setup.

In 1928, Buddy, a German Shepherd, becomes the 1st guide dog for a US citizen Morris Frank. Morris Frank was a blind man from Nashville. His father read him an article by Dorothy Eustis, a woman living in Switzerland who had seen shepherds training dogs to lead blind people get around. Excited by the idea, Frank wrote a letter to Eustis and received a response letter 30 days later inviting him to come see for himself. Frank then took a ship to Europe and trained extensively with a dog that had been bred specifically to lead a blind person. The training was hard, but after weeks with the dog, Frank could get around the nearby Swiss village holding tightly to a harness to which Buddy was strapped.

Morris Frank returned to America. From the day he got off the ship, he was successful. At one point, in front of a group of dumbfounded reporters, Buddy led Frank safely across a busy New York street. “I shall never forget the next three minutes, Ten-ton trucks rocketing past, cabs blowing their horns in our ears, drivers shouting at us. When we finally got to the other side, and I realized what a really magnificent job he had done” Frank later wrote. When Frank returned to Nashville, people were amazed at the sight of the blind man and his dog successfully navigating busy sidewalks and couldn’t believe that it was the same blind boy they had so recently taken pity on. What amazed people the most was that Buddy had an ability best known as “intelligent disobedience,” which meant that he would obey Morris except when executing that command would result in harm to his master. If there was a low hanging branch ahead on the sidewalk, for instance, Buddy knew how to navigate around it to the point where Morris wouldn’t hurt his head on it.

About this time, Frank, Eustis and several others cofounded The Seeing Eye, an institution set up to train guide dogs and their blind masters. Today, the organization reports that it has, in its 80-year history, trained 14,000 dogs. Buddy is considered the first. In 1978, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the school, the U.S. issued a commemorative stamp in honor of The Seeing Eye.

We close this newsletter with these words: Compliment at least three people everyday.

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