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  Sky King

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Picture Credit: Fifties Web


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> Description 
Sky King was a 1940s and 1950s American radio and television adventure series featuring Arizona rancher and airplane pilot Schuyler or Skyler King. Although it had strong cowboy show elements, King always captured criminals and even spies as well as finding lost hikers using his airplane. The plane he flew was called the Songbird and the ranch he lived on the Flying Crown. The radio show, the brainchild of Robert Morris Burtt and Wilfred Gibbs Moore, who also created Captain Midnight, first aired in 1946. Several actors played the part of Sky, including Earl Nightingale. The radio show ran until 1954, being aired simultaneously with the television version.

The television version starred Kirby Grant as Sky King and Gloria Winters as his teen-aged niece Penny. Other regular characters included his nephew Clipper, played by Ron Hagerthy, and Mitch the sheriff, played by Ewing Mitchell. Mitch was always coming to Sky for help.

At the beginning of the television series, Sky flew a Cessna T-50 twin-engine "Bamboo Bomber," actually owned by Grant, who in real life was a pilot. The plane was made of wood and eventually became unsafe to fly. The plane was sold and later in the series he flew a twin-engine Cessna 310B.

The show was filmed in black-and-white during three periods as sponsors changed: 1951-52, 1955-56 and 1957-62. It continued in syndication for years afterward. There are 72 episodes still in existence. A vault fire destroyed 64 others.

Like most TV cowboy heroes of the time, Sky never killed the bad guys.

Largely a show for kids, although it sometimes aired in primetime, Sky King became an icon in the aviation community. Many pilots who grew up watching Sky King name him as an influence.

The television show was notable for its dramatic opening with the Songbird banking sharply away from the camera and its engines roaring. The credit roll was equally dramatic, with the Songbird swooping at the camera.

Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
 
> Airing History & Information 
Last Airing Sep 12, 1954
Premiere September 16, 1951
Episodes 136 (72 in existance)
Network NBC/ABC
Format/Time Black & White / 30 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
 
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