Building on the CNAC and the Consolidated Commodore post I made yesterday, a few weeks ago, Jerry Butsko, a volunteer archivist at the San Diego Air and Space Museum who’d read China’s Wings, called me and brought to my attention the likelihood that Moon Chin is the last Consolidated Commodore pilot left in the world.
Only fourteen of the Commodores were built, and none of them survived their years of service. But in 1963, a Commodore that had caught fire and sunk in a remote Canadian lake was discovered in only 100 feet of water, instead of the 600 feet that had previously been thought. Two salvage attempts have failed to raise the plane, but a modern effort fronted by the San Diego Air & Space Museum is underway in order to bring the plane to the museum, which makes good sense since Consolidated Aircraft did much of its manufacturing in San Diego. Here’s the The Last Commodore Recovery Project website.
Best of all is the short film they’ve posted about the Commodore project, which includes black and white footage of Commodores in action spliced in at several points.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum has a fine Consolidated/Convair Online Exhibit posted, with lots of interesting photographs.