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|Answer to Quiz #344
February 26, 2012
|Submitted by Quizmaster Perry Lamy.
|1. Between what two dates was this picture taken?
2. How many airplanes of this type were made?
3. Who is the man in the middle? What happened to his wife?
|Congratulations to Our Winners!
Alex Sissoev Arthur Hartwell
Steve Jolley John Thatcher
Marilyn Hamill Robert W. Steinmann Jr.
Donna Jolley Dennis Brann
Tish Olshefski Leah Mangue
Richard Olson Jim Baker
Janice Sellers Daniel E. Jolley
Richard Wakeham Evan Hindman
Tim Bailey Margaret Paxton
Kevin Beeson Carol Farrant
Nelsen Spickard Mary South
Debby Was Richard Wakeham
Collier Smith Margaret Waterman
Jim Kiser Gary Sterne
|Comments from Our Readers
|Good Quiz! Good God!, this poor kid! Who in God's name, names a child, Elvin Relvin
Gelvin. His parents must have had a good sense of humor! It's no surprise that he
named chose the "E.R." & "Dutch" moniker for himself and that he named his son just
plain old Russell. As far as Tibbs goes, with a first name like Orville, he must have been
a natural. By the way, Tibbs was featured on an episode of "What's My Line?" entitled
"Test Pilot For Jet Bombers"(-Episode # 228, Season 6 Episode 6) on 10 October,
1954, he donated his winnings to the City of Baltimore Community Chest. He later
became Chief test pilot for Southern Aircraft Corp., in Dallas, TX, as well as the Glenn
L. Martin Co., in Baltimore, MD. Hope all is well with you!
Robert W. Steinmann, Jr.
Elvin Relvin Gelvin. His parents must have hated him. (His dad's name was Lora!! lol
Lora's mother was Flora, so I think the male abuse in this family ran deep.)
This one struck close to home -- my dad flew was a turret gunner in a b17 (?) in world
War II. he was also an underage veteran. Tish Olshefski
I spent seven years in the Air Force working as an aircraft mechanic on Lockheed
C-5 Galaxy and C-141 Starlifter aircraft and from 1985 to 1990 as a C-5 Field Service
Rep working with a US Air Force Reserve unit at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, Texas
during my 30-year career with what is now Lockheed Martin. Since I still live near the
Lockheed Martin plant in Marietta, Georgia, I am constantly looking up to see C-130, C-
5 and F-22 aircraft flying overhead. As my wife has told me in the past, an airplane
never flies over without my looking up to try to identify it. Yeah, I like airplanes.
As for Dutch, I would like to have asked Dutch’s parents what they were thinking
when they named him Elvin Relvin Gelvin. Keep the aircraft quizzes coming.
I saw the roll out date as well, but discounted that somewhat because of the chocks on
the wheel behind the pilots. Also because the background didn't really match that in the
rollout picture (http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=2661)
although it might be possible because you can vaguely see the reflection of other people
in the plane's polished metal skin.
The reason for my last date, is that the picture appears elsewhere in the internet, labeled
1947 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/27862259@N02/6046662393/), and the plane had
a big problem in November of that year… the fire light came on, but E. R. Gervin
couldn't get the throttles to back off (they were set not to go below a certain level,
which was fixed later) and ended up in the mud flats around the field, with a collapsed
outrigger gear and damage to the flaps and elsewhere (http://en.wikipedia .
Not too severe, but I doubt that it was fixed before the end of the year, if at
all. I know it was used for parts later to fix the 586 prototype. John Thatcher
Interesting quiz. I initially pointed my son to the photo. He is quite good at recognizing
WWII airplanes and the history behind them. I saw that it was a XB-48, but he filled
me in on some of the specifics. Evan Hindman
1. Earliest date: between April 11, 1947 - July 26, 1947
(Probably June 22, 1947, the date of the first flight.)
Latest date: Summer 1949 when the plane was cannibalized for parts.
2. Only two.
3. Elvin Relvin (E. R. or Ducth) Gelvin.
Winnie Gelvin died 16 January 2005
from injuries she sustained during a robbery in Hagerstown, MD.
|Clues about the Earliest and Latest Dates
Since the fuselage of the plane in this photo is
marked AAF, it was definitely prior to 26 July,
1947. Prior to that, all that flew in the United States
that were not naval was owned by the US Army.
The National Security Act of 1947 became law on
26 July, 1947. It created the Department of the Air Force, headed by a Secretary of the
Air Force. Under the Department of the Air Force, the act established the United States
Air Force, headed by the Chief of Staff, USAF. The Martin six-jet XB-48 was ordered
in 1944 as part of a design competition for a postwar jet bomber. An odd mixture of the
conventional & the innovative, it lost out to Boeing's swept-wing B-47 and was destined
only to become one of aviation's brief oddities. It pioneered the use of bicycle-type
tandem main landing gear, which lived on in many other aircraft designs. To the best of
my knowledge this plane was only photographed on two occasions, once on 11 April,
1947 after roll-out during ground testing leading up to its first flight on 22 June, 1947,
and on 22 June, 1947. But in any case, the photo was taken prior to 26 July, 1947.
Robert W. Steinmann, Jr.
|U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet
Type Number built/converted Remarks:
XB-48 2 Six-engine jet bomber prototype
Armament: Designed for two .50-cal. machine guns in a
radar-controlled tail turret and up to 22,000 lbs. of bombs
(one 22,000-lb. "Grand Slam" or 14 1,000-lb. bombs
Engines: Six Allison J35-A-5 axial flow turbojet engines of
4,000 lbs. thrust each maximum
Maximum speed: 495 mph
Cruising speed: 437 mph
Range: 2,500 miles with 8,000 lbs. of bombs
Service ceiling: 43,000 ft.
Span: 108 ft. 4 in.
Length: 85 ft. 8 in.
Height: 26 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 102,600 lbs. (maximum takeoff weight)
Crew: Three (pilot, copilot-radio operator-gunner,
Serial numbers: 45-59585 and 45-59586
Not too severe, but I doubt that it was
fixed before the end of the year, if at
all. I know it was used for parts later to
fix the 586 prototype.
Note reflection in the metallic aircraft body of
a line of people (right) and a couple of vehicles.
The following description is from a June
1947 press release issued by the Glenn L.
Martin Public Relations Department:
" ... the six-jet Martin XB-48, newest
Army Air Forces high speed jet bomber
made its initial flight Sunday (22 June
1947) from the Glenn L. Martin Company
airport in Baltimore to the Patuxent River
(Maryland) Naval Air Station, remaining
|Note that E. R.
Gelvin is wearing
a flight suit. He
have been wearing
something else on
the occasion of the
After some reflection (no pun intended), I have concluded that the structure to the left
must be the airplane hangar - as seen in one of the other photographs:
After some reflection (no pun intended), I have concluded that the structure to the left
is part of the main group of buildings at the Glenn L. Martin Airport in Baltimore. It's
possible the white building in the reflection is a hangar like the one in the photo on the
right (taken after rollout during ground testing on April 11, 1947, leading up to its first
flight), but the one in the reflection has trees or other buildings around it. The one in
the photo has nothing to its right.
The reflection in our quiz photos is quite different. The background looks emply -
indicating that this side of the plane was away from the main buildings.
The blob to the left may be a small plane. The smaller blob directly to its right could be
a car. There seem to be a few people lining the tarmac and then to the far right a
structure that could be a plane or a hangar.
It seems that there are a few buildings along the horizon, especially to the far left, but I
cannot identify them.
The two pictures, the quiz photo and the photo with the group of men with their backs
to the camera, may have been taken on the same day. The aircraft could have moved
between the photos, but if it was in the same place, the photos were taken from
aloft 37 minutes. Powered by six General Electric J-35 gas turbine engines housed three
in each wing, the Martin XB-48 has a speed of over 480 miles per hour and carries a
bomb load of more than 10 tons. It employs a new type "bicycle" landing gear, because
of the difficulty of retracting heavy gears into extremely thin wings required for high
speeds. Two pairs of main wheels are located tandem-style under the fuselage, and two
smaller "outrigger" wheels farther out under the wing, to give stability during ground
operations. The large main gear folds into the fuselage and the smaller wheels retract
into the wings."
The tandem landing gear arrangement was initially tested on the Martin XB-26H, a
modified B-26 with the basic tandem main landing gear with outriggers arrangement.
Because of the urgency of the jet bomber requirement, the two four-engine bombers
competed against each other (XB-45 and XB-46) for an immediate production contract.
The XB-45 won this competition. The XB-48 lost to the Boeing XB-47 in a
performance fly-off of the two six-engine bombers. The XB-47 with its swept wing
had much better performance. Only two prototype XB-48s were completed for flight
testing before the entire program was canceled.
|Martin XB-48. Note the cooling air
tunnels between to engine nacelles.
(U.S. Air Force photo)
|Martin XB-48 forward fuselage
detail. Note the flight test probe.
(US Air Force photo)
|Aft view of Martin XB-48. Note the
tail armament rough-in. The large
hemisphere was for the twin
.50-cal. turret, and the smaller one
was for the fire control radar
antenna. Also note the Martin
Mariner flying boat parked in the
background (with the V-shaped
twin tail). (U.S. Air Force photo)
|Martin XB-48 (S/N 45-59586, the
second XB-48 built) in flight with
landing configuration. Note the
"production" nose (no test probe)
and the .50-cal. machine guns
installed in the tail. (U.S. Air Force
|Note that nothing is mentioned in this
press release about the tires being
|For a video of the MB-48 in motion,
The Martin XB-48 (Martin Model 223)
was the last of four designs (XB-45,
XB-46, XB-47, XB-48) evaluated by the
Army Air Force for a 1944 all-jet bomber
requirement. It was a medium jet bomber
developed in the mid-1940s. It never saw
production or active duty, and only two
prototypes, serial numbers 45-59585 and
45-59586, were built.
In 1944, the U.S. War Department was
Data from "Encyclopedia of US Air Force Aircraft and
Missile Systems, Volume II"
Crew: 3 (pilot, co-pilot, and bomber-navigator)
Length: 85 ft 9 in (26 m)
Wingspan: 108 ft 4 in (33 m)
Height: 26 ft 6 in (8 m)
Wing area: 1,330 ft² (123.5 m²)
Empty weight: 58,500 lb (26,535 kg)
Loaded weight: 92,600 lb (42,000 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 102,600 lb (46,540 kg)
Powerplant: 6 × General Electric J35 axial flow
gas-turbine, 3,820 lbf (17 kN) each
Maximum speed: 454 kn (523 mph, 841 km/h) at 35,000 ft
Cruise speed: 361 kn (415 mph, 668 km/h)
Range: 1,566 nmi (1,802 mi, 2,900 km)
Combat radius: 795 mi (1,280 km)
Service ceiling: 39,400 ft (12,009 m)
Rate of climb: 4,200 ft/min (21.3 m/s)
Guns: 2 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M7 machine guns in tail turret
Bombs: 1 × 20,000 lb (9,980 kg) or 36 × 250 lb (113 kg)
aware of aviation advances in Germany and issued a requirement for a range of designs
for medium bombers weighing from 80,000 lb (36,287 kg) to more than 200,000 lb
(90,718 kg). Other designs resulting from this competition, sometimes named the class
of '45, included the North American XB-45 and the Convair XB-46. Production orders
finally went to the B-45 Tornado and even this airplane only served for a couple of years
before again being replaced by the much more modern Boeing B-47 Stratojet.
In retrospect, the class of '45 were transitional aircraft combining the power of turbojets
with the aeronautical knowledge of World War II. The XB-48 was no exception, as its
round fuselage and unswept wings show a distinct influence of the Martin B-26 medium
bomber. Still, where the B-26 had enough thrust with two massive 18-cylinder radial
engines, the XB-48 needed no less than six of the new jet engines.
Although the pictures make it look like the aircraft has three engine gondolas under each
wing, the jet engines were actually clustered in a pair of flat three-engined gondolas with
an intricate system of air canals between the engines providing cooling. At the time of
the XB-48's design, jet propulsion was clearly still in its infancy.
The XB-48 was the first aircraft designed with bicycle type landing gear, which had
previously been tested on a modified B-26. The wing airfoil was too thin to house
conventional landing gear mechanisms. The main landing gear was in the fuselage and
small outriggers located on each wing were used to balance the aircraft.
The XB-48 made its first flight on 22 June 1947, a 37-minute, 73 mi (117 km) hop from
Martin's Baltimore, Maryland plant to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, but blew all four
tires on its fore-and-aft mounted undercarriage on landing when pilot Pat Tibbs applied
heavy pressure to the specially-designed, but very slow to respond, insensitive
air-braking lever. Tibbs and co-pilot Dutch Gelvin were uninjured.
Tires look good in the quiz photo. Must be taken before the test flight, or after the tires
had been replaced. The clipboard makes it look like it is just before the test flight. I
haven't seen many ground pictures. They were probably taken before the test flight.
[June 22, 1947].
|Consensus indicates the photo was
taken June 22, 1947 before the first
test flight that day.
|Woman's death being investigated
January 16, 2005
by JULIE E. GREENE
WASHINGTON COUNTY - The death on Thursday evening
of a Washington County woman who was assaulted almost
two weeks ago during a robbery is under investigation by the
Washington County Sheriff's Department.
Winnie Gelvin, 86, of the 100 block of Hebb Road, died at
Washington County Hospital on Thursday evening, according
to Investigator Greg Alton and her son-in-law, Gary Meihls.
Alton is awaiting the results of an autopsy by the state
medical examiner's office in Baltimore and consulting with the
Washington County State's Attorney's Office to determine if
Gelvin's death will be ruled a homicide.
When Gelvin arrived home around noon on Tuesday, Jan. 4,
she was pushed down as a man grabbed her purse and fled,
Alton said Gelvin had not been at the hospital the entire time
since the robbery.
Meihls said his mother-in-law had been in "perfect health"
before the robbery.
Gelvin, who was conscious after the robbery, was
discovered immediately by a passer-by who helped and called
911, Alton said.
Alton said anyone who might have seen what happened or
was in the area at the time may call the Washington County
Sheriff's Department at 301-791-3020.
The man who robbed Gelvin was described as a light-skinned
black man in his 20s. He is 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10 with a
medium build and was wearing a light-colored jacket and a
cap resembling a skull cap, Alton said.
Meihls said Gelvin is survived by her daughter, Shelia "Shelly"
Meihls, who lives in Fresno, Calif.
Gelvin's son, Russell Gelvin, died in April 1992 after his
motorcycle hit a Mercedes head-on in Washington County,
Meihls said. Russell Gelvin's girlfriend also died in that
Winnie Gelvin had lived on the outskirts of Hagerstown since
the death of her husband, Elvin "Dutch" Gelvin, who died
about 20 years ago, Meihls said. Dutch Gelvin was a Fairchild
test pilot, along with the late Richard Henson.
The couple had a wartime romance after meeting in Texas
during World War II, Meihls said.
In a 1976 interview with The Morning Herald, Winnie Gelvin
said she met her future husband when he was stationed at
"I met him and married him six weeks later," she said. "But
we've been married 35 years so it just proves that old theory
about love at first sight."
The couple moved to Greensburg, north of Smithsburg, in
the late 1940s, although they left several times when Dutch
Gelvin got jobs elsewhere, the article states.
Meihls said the couple had farms and orchards.
Meihls said Winnie Gelvin often gave or loaned money to
"When you see a need, you should respond to that need,"
Gelvin told The Morning Herald about renting clean,
comfortable apartments to young people and mothering her
"Everyone that ever met her was inspired by her," Meihls said.
Gelvin, who had two dogs, loved animals and enjoyed
dancing on Saturday nights, Meihls said.
"This lady was just unbelievable," Meihls said. "Not many
people talk about their mother-in-laws that way, but I can."