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Articles written by Noel Allard


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  • Aircraft Museums and Collections of Minnesota

    Noel Allard|Jan 1, 2022

    Editor's Note: This new Minnesota Flyer series memorializes the state's current or past aviation museums and collections. For some of the long-gone museums and collections, it should be a nostalgia trip. Contributing writers have identified as many as 20 museums and collections and will present each in a separate article. Since the 1960s, successful businessman Johan M. Larsen of South Minneapolis dreamt of a flying museum of vintage and warbird aircraft, located at a huge private airfield...

  • Continuing the legacy-Part one

    Noel Allard|Jan 1, 2020

    Noel Allard shared this excerpt from his "Sherm Booen" files. He promises "more to come." Sherm Booen spent late 1943 and 1944 in Foggia and other US Air Corps bases in Italy. He served as a civilian tech rep of the Honeywell Corporation. Though not Air Corps, he was emplaced with the 5th Bomb Wing and wore an officer's uniform. His job was to instruct flight crews on the use of the Honeywell C-1 autopilot to control a bomber on its bomb run while linked to the famous Norden Bombsight.... Full story

  • Thirtieth Annual Hall of Fame Induction is history

    Noel Allard|Jun 1, 2019

    On the evening of April 27th, the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota was the scene of the thirtieth annual Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. The day of honors began in the afternoon with a get-together at Wings of the North Aviation Museum at Flying Cloud, where guests got the grand tour of the Hall of Fame’s 200 plus award plaques honoring past inductees. The display is awesome and bears your visit – be sure to take that in during the summer. Over 400 guests including Minnesota notables and aviation community mem... Full story

  • Christmas excitement drawn from past

    Noel Allard|Nov 1, 2018

    Going back in the old Mystery Plane Contest files from the days when I wrote the column, I was enthralled by a Christmastime event and the response I received from you FLYER readers. Let me explain. During the tensions of the Korean War, the US nuclear strike force included an awesome weapon, a high-altitude, long-range, ten-engine bomber which we were fairly certain could strike at the heart of the Soviet Union. The SAC B-36D aircraft was like nothing else. You only have to watch the opening... Full story

  • View from the dock

    Noel Allard|Aug 1, 2018

    A short time ago, historian, writer, 2010 Hall of Fame inductee, and Menahga, Minnesota resident, Noel Allard sent us the above image with the following comment: Interesting picture from a few days ago...DNR practicing water pickups for fighting grass and house fires, right out in front of our dock! Thank you Noel! We love when readers share photos!... Full story

  • Sherman P. Booen 1913-2011

    Noel Allard|Jul 1, 2018

    This is the final person in a list of the ten most important figures that have shaped Minnesota aviation over the years. In previous chapters, you have learned about Clarence Hinck, Shorty DePonti, Speed Holman, Ray Miller, Walter Bullock, Max Conrad, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Doyle and Jeff Hamiel. Each figure a giant in their field and known across the region for their accomplishments. Saving for the last of my top ten, the one person who really made General Aviation known and respected in... Full story

  • Minnesota's Ten Most Significant Aviation Persons

    Noel Allard|Mar 1, 2018

    As I mentioned in part eight of this series, my intention is to give the reader a knowledge of the top ten icons of Minnesota aviation through the years. No slights were intended among the state's wonderful pilots, promoters, and businessmen, but from a historian's prospective, to spotlight the headliners. I've previously thumbnailed Walter Bullock, Clarence Hinck, Shorty De Ponti, Speed Holman, Ray Miller, Max Conrad, Charles Lindbergh and the colorful Chuck Doyle. With this ninth chapter, I... Full story

  • Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame announces 2018 inductees

    Noel Allard|Jul 1, 2017

    The Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame board is proud to announce the names of the 2018 Inductees. Six persons will be inducted at a Spring 2018 Induction Banquet; they are: Darrell E. Bolduc, aircraft engine specialist and seaplane pilot. Bolduc represents half of the first Father-son inductee pair, as his father, Wilmer Bolduc was inducted in 2002; Roland J. “Ron” Fagen, aerobatic pilot, prominent ethanol production businessman, Vietnam veteran and aviation museum owner; Lt. Ralph D. Gracie, WWI fighter pilot and casualty, the first Min... Full story

  • Minnesota's Ten Most Significant Aviator Persons #8 in a series

    Noel Allard|May 1, 2017

    When I began this series of spotlights on Minnesota's top ten most important aviation persons, my intention was to feature the ten persons whose names had been foremost in the news and made the largest impact on the aviation community of Minnesota. I've already thumbnailed the earliest; Walter Bullock, earliest of our barnstormers; Clarence Hinck and Shorty dePonti, gritty pioneer businessmen; Speed Holman, daredevil and first pilot of Northwest Airways; Ray Miller, father of the Minnesota Air... Full story

  • Minnesota's ten most important aviation pioneers – part 7 Charles Lindbergh 1902-1974

    Noel Allard|Apr 1, 2017

    If you have heard the name Charles Lindbergh, you already know why he is so well known. His May 20-21, 1927 solo flight, ninety years ago this May, from New York to Paris is perhaps the single most significant flight ever made. There is little more that needs be told that isn't readily available in a thousand books and newspapers. What may be interesting to note is exactly how he is related to Minnesota, other than having been raised in Little Falls. Lindbergh was actually born in Michigan... Full story

  • Minnesota's ten most important aviation pioneers - part 6

    Noel Allard|Jul 1, 2016

    This is the sixth in a series of thumbnails of the ten most important Minnesota aviation pioneers, from the files of the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame. All photos are from the Minnesota Aviation Hall of fame collection. Original photographers are noted where it is known. " Max Conrad was born in Winona, Minnesota the same year the Wright Brothers made their first controlled powered flight, 1903. As a young man, he ventured to Denver, Colorado and took flying lessons in the wake of Charles... Full story

  • Minnesota's ten most important aviation persons - part 5

    Noel Allard|Feb 1, 2016

    In the past, readers have met four of the most important Minnesota aviation persons, Clarence Hinck, Shorty De Ponti, Speed Holman and Ray Miller. Walter Bullock is another of those most important - virtually the Father of Aviation in Minnesota. To put him in perspective – he was the youngest person in the country to obtain a pilot's license (17 years old in 1916, at the Glen Curtiss School in Newport News, Virginia); gave Speed Holman his first flight, became one of the first Northwest A... Full story

  • Ten most important state aviation pioneers

    Noel Allard, Minnesota Flyer|Feb 1, 2015

    This is the fourth in a series of thumbnails of the ten most important Minnesota aviation pioneers, from the files of the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame. It would be hard to discover on a more important figure in the development of Minnesota aviation than Raymond Simeon Miller. Besides being the Father of the Minnesota Air Guard, Miller's career with the new Minnesota Aeronautics Commission brought him to the forefront of Minnesota's pioneer licensing and flying rules. Miller was born in Van... Full story

  • Ten most important state aviation pioneers: Angelo "Shorty" De Ponti

    Noel Allard|Apr 1, 2014

    This is the second in a series of thumbnails of the ten most important Minnesota aviation pioneers, from the files of the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame. In the first part of this series, we profiled Clarence Hinck. Like Hinck, Shorty De Ponti gets his claim to fame by virtue of being one of the most aggressive aviation business figures to color our State's past. De Ponti was born in St. Paul in 1909. He was born an entrepreneur! He began his business career at age nine as a paperboy and as a...

  • Ten most important state aviation pioneers: Clarence Hinck

    Noel Allard, Minnesota Flyer|Feb 1, 2014

    Noel Allard This is the first in a series of thumbnails of the important Minnesota aviation pioneers. It is my intention to profile the persons who had the greatest impact on bringing aviation to the public in our state from the files of the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame. Other profiles will follow in future issues. Part I - Clarence Hinck Minnesota owes much of its aviation heritage to an elite group of pioneers who put aviation on the front page, some even before Charles Lindbergh, and... Full story

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