What was “Sky King"?
A: Sky King was an American radio and television series.
Who was its lead character?
A: It was Arizona rancher and aircraft pilot Schuyler "Sky" King.
The series may have been based on what true-life personality of the
A: Jack Cones, known as the "Flying Constable" of Twenty Nine Palms in San Bernardino County, California, although this notion is unverified.
What did King usually do?
A: He captured criminals and spies and found lost hikers, though he did so with the use of his airplane, the Songbird.
How many twin-engine Cessna airplanes were used by King during the course of the
The first was a what?
A: A Cessna T-50.
What was the second?
A: A Cessna 310B was used till the series' end.
The 310's make and model type number was prominently what?
A: Displayed during the closing titles.
Where did King and his niece Penny (and sometimes her brother Clipper) live?
A: On the Flying Crown Ranch, near the fictitious town of Grover, Arizona.
Penny and Clipper were also what?
A: Pilots, although they were inexperienced and looked to their uncle for guidance.
Penny was an accomplished what?
A: Air racer, rated as a multiengine pilot, whom Sky trusted to fly the Songbird.
When did the radio show begin?
A: In 1946 and was based on a story by Roy Winsor.
It was the brainchild of Robert Morris Burtt and Wilfred Gibbs Moore, who also created what?
A: Captain Midnight.
What were offered to listeners, as was the case with many radio shows of the day?
A: "Radio premiums".
For example, the Sky King Secret Signalscope was used on November 2, 1947, in what episode?
A: The "Mountain Detour" episode.
Listeners were advised to get their own for only 15 cents and what?
A: The inner seal from a jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, which was produced by the sponsor, Derby Foods.
The Signalscope included what?
A: A glow-in-the-dark signaling device, whistle, magnifying glass, and Sky King's private code.
With the Signalscope, one could also do what?
A: See around corners and trees.
The premiums were innovative, such as the Sky King Spy-Detecto Writer, which had what?
A: A "decoder" (cipher disk), magnifying glass, measuring scale, and printing mechanism in a single package slightly over two inches long.
Other notable premiums were the Magni-Glo Writing Ring, which had what?
A: A luminous element, a secret compartment, a magnifier, and a ballpoint pen, all in the crown piece of a "fits any finger" ring.
The radio show continued until when?
A: 1954, broadcasting simultaneously with the first portion of the television version.
The television version starred whom as Sky King?
A: Kirby Grant.
Who played the part of Penny?
A: Gloria Winters.
Another regular character included Sky's nephew Clipper, played by whom?
A: Ron Hagerthy.
Mitch the sheriff was portrayed by whom?
A: Ewing Mitchell.
Mitch, a competent and intelligent law enforcement officer, depended on his friend Sky's flying skills to do what?
A: To solve the harder cases.
Who was Jim Bell?
A: The ranch foreman.
Many of the storylines would parallel those used in such dramatic pot-boilers as what?
A: Adventures of Superman with the supporting cast repeatedly finding themselves in near-death situations and the hero rescuing them with seconds to spare.
Whom would particularly often fall into the hands of spies, bank robbers, and other ne'er-do-wells?
Sky never did what to the villains as with most television cowboy heroes of the time?
A: Killed them, though one episode had him shooting a machine gun into his own stolen plane.
Sky King was primarily a show for whom?
A: Children, although it sometimes broadcast in prime time.
The show also became an icon in what community?
A: The aviation community.
Many pilots, including American astronauts, grew up doing what?
A: Watching Sky King and named him as an influence.
Plot lines were often simplistic, but Grant was able to bring a casual, natural treatment of technical details, leading to a level of believability not found where?
A: In other TV series involving aviation or life in the American West.
Likewise, villains and other characters were usually depicted as what?
A: Intelligent and believable, rather than as two-dimensional.
The writing was generally above the standard for contemporary half-hour programs, although sometimes critics suggested what?
A: That the acting was not.
Later episodes of the television show were notable for what?
A: The dramatic opening with an air-to-air shot of the sleek, second Songbird banking sharply away from the camera and its engines roaring, while the announcer proclaimed, "Out of the clear blue of the Western sky comes Sky King!" .
The short credit roll which followed was equally dramatic, with the Songbird doing what?
A: Swooping at the camera across El Mirage Lake, California, then pulling up into a steep climb as it departed.
The end title featured a musical theme, with the credits superimposed over a what?
A: An air-to-air shot of the Songbird, cruising at altitude for several moments, then banking away to the left.
The show also featured low-level flying, especially with what?
A: With the later Songbird, highlighting the desert flashing by in the background.
When was the television show first broadcast?
A: On Sunday afternoons on NBC-TV between September 16, 1951, and October 26, 1952.
These episodes were rebroadcast on ABC's what?
A: Saturday morning lineup the following year from November 8, 1952 through September 21, 1953 when it made its prime-time debut on ABC's Monday night lineup.
It was telecast twice-a-week in August and September 1954, before ABC did what?
A: Cancelled it.
New episodes were produced when the show did what?
A: Went into syndication in 1955.
The last new episode, "Mickey's Birthday", was telecast when?
A: On March 8, 1959.
"Mickey" was a kinsman of Sky King portrayed in three 1959 episodes by whom?
A: Child actor Gary Hunley.
Thereafter, Sky King surfaced on the CBS Saturday schedule in reruns until when?
A: Until September, 1966.
The CBS reruns were sponsored by whom?
King originally flew a Cessna T-50 Bobcat, a twin-engine wooden-framed airplane some called what?
A: The "Bamboo Bomber".
The craft was a what?
A: A World War II surplus UC-78B, owned by legendary Hollywood pilot Paul Mantz and flown by employees of his Paul Mantz Aerial Services for filming the flying sequences.
At least two other T-50s are known to have been used for what?
A: On-ground and in-the-cockpit scenes.
The T-50 was grounded after episode 39 due to what?
A: Rot in the wooden frame.
What was the best-known Songbird?
A: It was a 1957 twin-engine Cessna 310B used in episodes 40 through 72.
It was the second production 310B (tail number N5348A), provided by Cessna at no cost to the producers and piloted by whom?
A: Cessna's national sales manager for the 310, Bill Fergusson.
Fergusson got the job after the motion picture pilot already selected was what?
A: Deemed unqualified to land the airplane at some of the off-airport sites required.
Cockpit sequences were filmed using what?
A: The static test fuselage, also provided by Cessna.
What happened to the original 310B?
A: It was destroyed in a crash at Delano, California, in 1962, which killed its owner-pilot.