8, 1965, at Buttercup Valley AZ.
On July 6, 1930, in a Fleet 2 [NC725V] over San Mateo CA,
Albert Paul Mantz set an international record of 46
consecutive outside loops, a most punishing trial for a
pilot, which stood for almost 50 years. About that time he
headed for Los Angeles, where he founded United Air Services
at Burbank, and made his entry into motion pictures as a
stunt pilot. There he became popular for his flying skills
and dependability in a busy career that lasted until he was
killed while filming the final sequences of "Flight of the
At United, his charter service was equally popular with the
Hollywood crowd, and his legendary "Honeymoon Express" was
in almost continual use by stars heading for Las Vegas
marriage (and divorce) parlors. As technical advisor for
Amelia Earhart, Mantz contributed his expertise to
meticulously plan her pioneering flights in the '30s—sadly,
to cut weight, she insisted on removing his long-range radio
on her last flight.
As a USAAF Colonel in Special Service Motion Picture
Division during WW2, he produced training films for aviation
cadets and morale-boosting films for the public with his
team of soldier-actors that included Clark Gable, Alan Ladd,
Ronald Reagan, and George Montgomery. At war's end, he
invested $55,000 in 475 surplus bombers and fighter planes,
much to the amusement of his friends—at the time he owned
something like the world's sixth largest air force! However,
when he drained the fuel in their tanks and resold it for
much more than he had paid for the lot, the laughter quickly
Mantz's air racing career, like the man, was also legendary.
He came in third in the 1938 and 1939 Bendix races with his
old Lockheed Orion, than came roaring in to become the first
ever to win the Bendix Trophy three times in a row,
1946-1948, with his red P-51B. In the 1960s he teamed up
with another popular movie pilot, Frank Tallman, to form
Tallmantz Avation at Santa Ana Airport and supply their
Movieland of the Air museum with a combined fleet of working
Notable film involvement: "Air Mail" (1932), "Blaze Of Noon"
(1947), "The Bride Came COD" (1941), "Ceiling Zero" (1935),
"China Clipper" (1936), "Cinerama" (1952), "Flight of the
Phoenix" (1965), "Gallant Journey" (1946), "Men Against the
(1940), "Men With Wings" (1938), "Spirit of St Louis"
(1957), "Test Pilot" (1936), "Twelve O'Clock High" (1949),
"West Point of the Air" (1935), as well as many other lesser
features, serials, and short subjects.