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Frank Cronin
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Seversky S2 Racer, Flown by Frank Fuller, 1939 Bendix Race

January 1, 2014 · in Aviation · · 14 · 2.3K

First, let me say that this is a classic example for the motto of my Club "I Know Where the Mistakes Are and I'm Not Going to Tell You Where They Are" second, this is the very old kit of the Seversky S2 () which is, to be kind, a POS. I'm not even a fan of the P-35. I came across decals from "Flying Pappas" for this airplane and I wanted to build it to remind me of a time long ago when I had the opportunity to meet Frank Fuller.

During the mid Sixties in my past life I had occasion to assist a disabled chauffeur driven Cadillac with three very well dressed ladies aboard, south of SFO. The car was taken care of but the ladies and their luggage needed a ride to the airport to catch a plane. I told them that I would take them to SFO but they would have to put some of their luggage on their laps and it would be a very crowded but short ride. They agreed and we took off. Their airplane however was not at the main terminal but rather at Butler aviation which was the executive airport at that time. I told them to point out the plane they were to fly on and we would drive to it. As we neared the plane one of the ladies leaned out of the window and waved and giggled to a man standing by a plane calling him "dad". I knew of the airplane but never knew up to this point who owned it. It was a 1947 Pristine Grumman Mallard, N2945, in a three tone color of grey/ light blue/ dark blue. The man standing in front of it was Frank Fuller and the three ladies were his wife, daughter, and niece. He was quite surprised to see their livery and got a kick out of it. He was very cordial and gave me a cooks tour of the Mallard. He had bought it brand new and held possession of it for 28 years. He showed me his pilots license which was in the low three digits. I had no camera to take a picture of us nor did it really cross my mind to try to obtain one. They were busy and ready to go so that is how it ended. It was just a pleasure to meet and talk with him for a very brief moment. This is the only reason I built this model as a reminder to me of an interesting time long ago.

Reader reactions:
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4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

14 responses

  1. Always good to see an air racer. Cool story to go with it. Do you remember what you used for the green?

    • Al,
      I used an enamel from Model Master. It is labeled for car models as "color by Boyd". It is "Lime Pearl". It may not be the exact color that the original airplane was but it is close enough for government work and looks OK for my shelf.

  2. Great build Frank, excellent finish to the green. You can clearly see where the P47 Thunderbolt got it's heritage from.

  3. Hi Frank,
    Although that HC P-35kit is indeed a true "POS" your finished model is many magnitudes better than that! As I have suspected for a long time-you have the patience of a saint and posses great modeling skills. Great work on your S2 Racer and you’re other recent posts.
    Happy New Years

  4. Hi Frank,
    Wonderful job.
    It is the first time for me to see this plane with racing color.
    Beautiful realisation, congratulations.

    Eric from France

  5. Wow, great! I did not know that was racing Seversky))

  6. Great job Frank, nicer to see an old racer .

  7. i think that's one of my favorites really must update the website...your karma or energy has sure brought you into contact with some of the greats of aviation...i would hate to be your adversary...considering that burning desire

  8. It looks like a racer, Frank, great job, and an interesting story.

  9. Frank, a great job on this very flashy little aircraft. And the story really adds to the enjoyment of seeing it. What a tale! Many thanks!

  10. said on May 30, 2014

    Way cool, Frank! I was just looking online for some old photos of Frank's Mallard, which I first rode in in 1950, and ran across your item. Did he really paint it green (if so, it's too light as the family "Gravelly green" was darker than that [local knowledge...]) - but I think it was just polished aluminum. Anyway, great story that included his wife Adrian, daughter who I never met, and one of his two very attractive nieces.

    • John,

      Thank you for the kind remarks. Fullers Seversky was NMF at one point and the info I have shows it green for the Bendix race. I know it is not the exact green color but I did not want to get obsessive about it as I only wanted a reminder model. It is close enough for government work. I think you may know more about the family than I do. I am working from my memory from a long time ago. A memory that is older than this event. Are you related to Frank?

      One other little tidbit which I never knew until Frank and his wife had passed on, was that my niece went to their home on a regular basis to do Mrs Fullers hair.

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