by Joseph K.
I am a Baltimore Polytechnic graduate. As a young aviation enthusiast, I was thrilled to be hired as an inspector in the experimental department where the largest seaplane in the world was being built. I was given the opportunity to progress from detail inspection to final assembly and flight test. The Navy test flight crew insisted that the flight inspector who approved the airplane for flight, fly in with them. This was a most gratifying experience for me.
There are many interesting stories that could be told. Among these are flight testing the Wright R-3350-8 piston engines when an additional oil pump had to be installed. There were many outstanding people in the construction of this airplane. I would like to recognize a few who greatly impressed me. They are James Sterhardt, project engineer; Joe Barnickle, manufacturing superintendent; Art Schaefer, quality general foreman; Frank Kline, an outstanding quality control foreman and a great boss; William Perry, an experienced and highly competent Navy inspector; Benny Zelubowski, shop general foreman and flight engineer; Commander William Coney, Navy test pilot; and Herbert Kelch, an outstanding electrician.