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ROTORCRAFT PIONEERS


JOE


MASHMAN TEST PILOT


BY BRAD MCNALLY


missions in all corners of the world. However, this wasn’t always the case.


Today, helicopters conduct a wide variety of It took many dedicated


people to transform the helicopter from its meager beginnings, to the reliable and capable aircraft that it is today. There were many talented engineers who designed them, craftsman who built them and test pilots who flew them. However, one man more than any other was responsible for showcas- ing the helicopter’s abilities and expanding its pres- ence in both military and commercial aviation. For nearly 40 years, Joe Mashman traveled the world in a Bell helicopter. His masterful flying, engaging personality and keen insight into the aviation world helped introduce the helicopter to many new applications in new places. Joseph Mashman was born in Chicago, IL on


April 17, 1916. His parents were Russian immigrants who had come to the United States several years earlier. Mashman grew up in Chicago’s stockyards section. His father operated a newspaper distribu- tion business there. He attended Chicago’s Tilden Technical High School, where he was an average student with an interest in mechanical things. Mashman also developed an interest in music and learned to play the French horn. Although he was a standby French horn player for the Chicago Symphony, he didn’t see a future in music and decided to focus on his mechanical interests and become an engineer.


portive of him going to college, but had very lit- tle money to help finance it.


college, he took a job at the Chicago Yacht Club operating and maintaining the club’s ferryboat.


His parents were very sup- In order to pay for


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