Grover C. Loening
Grover Loening & Orville Wright
Courtesy of the CHIRP, 1969

Grover C. Loening
Wings Club Awards Silver Wings Plaque, 1966

     At an interview, Grover C. Loening declared, "Anything man can dream of, he can accomplish", and Loening has lived a life time of dreams and accomplishments. His book, "Takeoff into Greatness", is his intimate view, as a participant, of the growth of American aviation. Copies can be obtained direct from the Southgrove Book Agency, P.O. Box 5412, Miami, Florida 33011, at $5 per copy including postage.
     Born September 12, 1888, at the United States consulate in Breman, Germany, Loening was the first aero-engineering graduate, receiving a civil engineering degree with a major in aeronautics from Columbia University.
     It was during his student days that he met the Wright brothers, when they were workintg at Governor's Island in New York. He paid a visit to their air field with an introduction from a banker friend. From that time on, Loening was intimately involved in the developement of aviation. He became assistant to Orville Wright and observed at close hand the developement of the Wright Company. He was chief aero-engineer for the Army Signal Corps in World War I and became the head of his own aircraft company in 1917.
After learning to fly in 1911, Loening became an accomplished pilot, as well as an aircraft designer. He remembers a few forced landings due to engine failure, including one in New York's East River.
     Loening was an adviser to the United States Maritime Commission in 1937-1938 and aircraft consultant to the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, predecessor to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, before World War II. He later became a director of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Company, the Flight Safety Foundation and the New York Airways.
     Still energetic and alert, Loening now lives in Key Biscayne, Florida, and is a regular commuter to New York and Washington, and an active booster of progress in aviation.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP
January, 1969, Number 75

from Ivan C. Jones, 8-25-07
Dear Mr. Cooper,
As a close friend of Grover Loening for many years while residing in Miami, FL I appreciate viewing any information relating to his career in aviation. Although our long and extensive discussions relating to his career and aviation in general over our relationship from 1958 until his death in 1976 I am sure there is much we never explored. I spent 25 years with Eastern Airlines and traveled with Grover on several occasions both inside and outside the US. Since neither of us were much interested in recording events in photographic images I have only a few photographs taken on one of our fishing expeditions in and around Biscayne Bay. I have several of his books which he autographed and which occupy a prominent space in my library. If I can offer any insight into Grover's legacy or his contributions to aviation I would be pleased to do so.
Sincerely, Ivan C. Jones
Editor's Note: I thank Ivan very much for sharing this insight into the career of Grover. These kinds of anecdotes add so very much to our understanding and appreciation of the pioneers.

     If you search for "Grover C. Loening", using the Google search engine, (8-30-06), you will find about 80 links. Among the most helpful are the following. As time permits, you will be well rewarded by sampling some of the others.

     You will find both a brief summary of his contributions as an engineer, as well as a rather complete resumé of his entire life and career, on this website. You will also find a list of supplementary links for further investigation. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

Aviation Pioneer Loening Worked for Orville
     You will find a fascinating story of the relationship of Grover with the Wright brothers on this website. You can access the article by clicking on the title above. If time permits, I think you will enjoy sampling some of the other episodes in this continuing story. You can tap this very valuable resource by going to the homepage which can be reached by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.

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