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November 20, 2016

Amazing Photos of Wally Timm Performing As a Wing-Walker in 1920

Wally Timm (1896–1978) was an American aircraft designer, pilot and manufacturer. He started in aviation as early as 1910. Along with his brothers, Otto and Reuben, he first moved to San Diego, California before relocating in Venice, California.

Timm began to work as a mechanic, servicing aircraft for Al Wilson, an exhibition pilot, in exchange for flying lessons. He briefly became a wing-walker, but mainly flew when Wilson performed as a wing-walker.

In 1920, Timm's piloting skills were noted for flying an outdated biplane with a Curtiss OX-5 engine from Los Angeles to Bishop California over the mountains and desert. Trying his hand at air racing, Timm entered the Winter Air Tournament held in December 1920 at Daugherty Municipal Field in Long Beach. The events included a 100-mile free-for-all and a 60-mile handicap race in which Timm took third place in a 1916 biplane built by Eddie Barnhart.

Timm joined Mercury Aviation in 1920 as an instructor, although he began to be in demand to fly for the nascent Hollywood film industry. In 1922, Timm and Ruel Short dismantled and relocated one of the Chaplin Airfield buildings to Santa Monica Airport to serve as a hangar for Timm's next ventures.

(Images: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive)


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