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 Civilian Aircraft

Songbird, The - Twin-engine Cessna airplane known as the "Songbird," flown by Skylar J. "Sky" King (Kirby Grant), "America's Favorite Flying Cowboy" and the proprietor of the Flying Crown Ranch on the western adventure SKY KING/NBC/ABC/1952-59.

Sky King's Cessna 310-B Airplane

 Sky, a former WWII naval aviator tuned rancher, used his plane to patrol his property and fight the bad guys who messed with his ranch and nearby neighbors.

The Songbird (I.D. #N87832 later #N5248A) was a Cessna 310-B with wing-tip tanks that provided fuel for more than a thousand miles of air travel. It cruised an average speed of 210 mph. The Cessna 310-B was flown during episodes 39-72 (1956-59)  During episodes 1-39 (1951-56), Sky flew a twin engine Cessna T-50 Bobcat. The Songbird was once referred as The Flaming Arrow in the 1952 episode "Designing Woman."

Skylar, Penny and Clipper - Cast of SKY KING
Sky king, Penny and Clipper

Assisting Sky was his niece, Penny King (Gloria Winters); his nephew, Clipper (Ron Hagerthy); local Bob Carey (Norman Ollestad); Jim Bell, the Flying Crown Ranch foreman (Chubby Johnson) and the local sheriff Mitch Hargrove (Ewing Mitchell) from the nearby town of Grover City, Arizona.

In real life, Kirby Grant had been an aviator who spent a WWII tour of duty as an Air Force flight instructor. Aerial footage for the series was shot by Paul Mantz, a one time advisor to Amelia Earhart.

The SKY KING program originated on radio where it ran from 1946 to 1954. Originally a daily fifteen minute serial, by 1947 it had become a twice-weekly thirty minute program sponsored by Peter Pan on ABC. It aired on Mutual from 1950-1954.

"Out of the clear blue of the western sky comes ...SKY KING!"

Announcer: Look! Here comes Sky King. Sky King, America's favorite flying cowboy. Presented by America's favorite peanut butter - Peter Pan peanut butter.
Female: Yes friends, this is the time to enjoy high adventure with Sky King but first, let me remind you that any time is a good time to enjoy creamy, smooth Peter Pan peanut butter. It's extra good because it's extra fresh.
Announcer: So, if you want the freshest peanut butter, get America's favorite peanut butter - Peter Pan. It's just 60 seconds old when you open the jar. And now your favorite flying cowboy ...SKY KING!
 

--Opening narration with commercial


Kirby Grant (a.k.a. "Sky King")


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