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RALPH S. BARNABY. TLS: "Ralph S. Barnaby", 1p, 6½x10¼. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1971 March 3. On his personal imprinted letterhead to Mr. Richard Calow. In full: "I was pleased to receive your nice letter dated February 22nd. I do not happen to have any photographs available at the present time, but am enclosing a copy of a self-portrait pen-and-ink sketch I made not too long ago, which I have autographed for you. I hope you like it. It is an illustration I did for my book - 'How to Make and Fly Paper Airplanes' which was published a couple of years ago. I also hope that you 'shut-in' period will not be too long, and that you will be out and around again. With kindest regards, Sincerely". Enclosure not present. Ralph S. Barnaby (1883-1986), who was named an "elder statesman of aviation" by the National Aeronautic Association, designed, built and flew his first "hang-type" glider in 1909 at age 16. In 1930, Barnaby, who held glider pilot's license #1 and was a member of the "Early Birds" (pilots who received their flying licenses before 1916), made aviation history when his glider was launched from a plane some 3,000 feet above Los Angeles. Twenty years later, he was the Captain of the U.S. team in the first world soaring championship, held in Sweden in 1950. A founder of the Soaring Society of America, Barnaby also wrote a number of books on gliding. Serving in the U.S. Navy from 1917-1947, he was an advocate that every pilot should receive glider training, pointing out that even the X-15 became a glider when its fuel was spent. Slightly creased with folds, not at signature. Fine condition.

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