Saturday, April 30, 2016

"The World's Only Steam-Powered Airline"



CXXII


White sheep stay home, while black sheep are adventurers who travel the world!  --- Dudley P. Fudpucker Jr. 



Even while aviation heroes like Charles Lindbergh and Wiley Post and Jimmy Doolittle broke records and conquered the terra incognita of the sky, and another, different, kind of hero like Juan Trippe or Eddie Rickenbacker tried to make flying through the ether like a Greek god an everyday occurrence, other, somewhat less dramatic men looked to the skies as well, and dreamed. Even if dreaming was all they could do, they made aviation accessible to the masses. 

In the years in-between the Curtiss Jenny and the Martin M-130 Flying Boat, an inventive, enterprising solo flier by the absurd nom de plume of Dudley P. Fudpucker Jr. founded the mostly-make believe Fudpucker World Airways in Hicksville, New York.   

Claiming that FWA was “The World’s Only Steam-Powered Airline” and further claiming that it had been “Navigating The World Since It Was Square” Fudpucker promoted his tall-tale airline by selling pilot memberships and Fudpucker insignia and caps to those who took to the air for their own sense of accomplishment. Later, other entrepeneurs, including a restaurant chain, adopted the Fudpucker persona.

Although the actual identity of the original Dudley P. Fudpucker, Jr. is lost to history, Fudpucker World Airways remains an amusing urban legend among recreational pilots to this day. 


6 comments:

  1. Call me crazy but this would make an amazing movie

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  2. I recall seeing the advertisement in old aviation magazines, Dang ! I wish l had joined the happy band of puckers

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  3. As I recall, the restaurant was called Fuddruckers, not Fudpuckers. It was located in Westbury near the western border of Eisenhower Park.

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  4. There was a Fuddrucker's chain and a Fudpucker's chain of restaurants and undoubtedly many a food fight over bragging rights to the airline. :)

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  5. Not related to the restaurant chain, Dudley Fudpucker was the alias of John Schafhausen (sp). He was the owner and pilot of WWII warbirds, notably a Corsair used in the TV series Baa Baa Blacksheep, and a 1970’s West Coast Air Show regular P-51D Crpes A’ Mighty 3rd. FWA started as a joke and just kept growing.

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