Posts Tagged ‘Model 4E Stearman’

The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Sarah Wilson, a former employee of AOPA and a modern-day barnstormer, has resurrected a kids flying club tied to a radio adventure show called “The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen.” The sponsor was the Richfield Oil Company, sponsor of air races and a beacon airway from California to Canada. The oil company used a now-rare 1929 Model 4E Stearman for publicity tours connected to the radio show. Actors Mickey Rooney and Shirley Temple were members. Wilson’s dream is to use the successful 1930s flying club, and that same Model 4E , also known as the Richfield Junior Speedmail (restored at Jim Kimball Enterprises) to attract kids and build support for general aviation. Jimmie was generally in trouble worldwide, with bad guys trying to sabotage his airplane and worse (gasp!). There’s a link to a sample of the old radio show at the top of this link. By 1937 the show was in decline and fewer kids were heading to Skelly gas stations to request their Jimmie Allen wings, so the actors involved moved to another boy hero, Captain Midnight. By the time the show reached television in 1954, Captain Midnight was an adult chugging his sponsor’s Ovaltine chocolate drink inside his Secret Club headquarters.