ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sorry, that's not James Stewart in a C-82 Packet but merely site designer
Simon Beck in a retired Bristol Mk. 31 Freighter of the RNZAF (s/n: NZ5903).
You might think I'm doing some sort of clever low-level flying but no,
that's how high the flight-deck actually is off the ground.
Photo: Christchurch NZ, 2009.
Simon Beck was born in Invercargill, New Zealand and has had a
life-long interest in aviation.
His first aircraft flight was in 1983 on a Boeing 737-200. Simon has since travelled on many other
aircraft types including the Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777, McDonnell Douglas DC-10, Airbus A320,
BAe-146-300, ATR-72, Fokker F.27 Friendship, BAe-748, Douglas DC-3, Consolidated
PBY-5A Catalina and one flight in a North American T-6G Texan.
Simon has a passion for all aspects of aviation history but his three main areas of interest are:
(1) USAF / US Navy military aircraft from World War II to the present day.
(2) Civil airliners from the post World War II era to the present day.
(3) Hollywood Aviation - Simon has published his first book on this subject
entitled: The Aircraft-Spotter's Film and Television Companion.
You can view Simon's website on US military aircraft at: www.uswarplanes.net
His interest in the C-82 Packet began as a younster watching his Father's Super 8mm film version
of The Flight of the Phoenix. Researching the aircraft and the film have since remained a favourite
pastime of the author having collected a large amount of photos, books, articles and other material
relating to the Packet, Fairchild aircraft in general and the C-82 civil contractor Steward-Davis Inc.
The fact not much has been written about the C-82, it's contribution to aviation development and
the challenge to unearth it's history was a main an inspiration in creating this website.
One of Simon's greatest accomplishments has been the identification of aircraft used in the 1965 film
version of Elleston Trevor's critically acclaimed novel The Flight of the Phoenix. Gathering 40 year old
rare photos and documents Simon has pieced together the histories of the aircraft used in this aviation
classic whose identities have, up to now, remained a complete mystery to movie and aviation fans.
These findings were published in the January 2006 issue of the renown British aviation magazine
Aeroplane Monthly as a feature article entitled Rising from the Ashes.
Simon's C-82 Packet book to be available 2017.
(Concept art only)
A C-82 Packet painted by my then (2009) 8-year old daughter.
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