1966 H-295 Helio Courier

The Helio Courier was designed in 1949 as a light C/STOL aircraft with emphasis on off-airfield operations. 500 Helio Couriers were made and manufactured in Pittsburg, Kansas from 1954 to 1974. N6919V was donated by Lowell Thomas Jr. who acquired the plane in 1969. Lowell used the plane to visit small villages throughout interior Alaska while filming for lectures about Alaska and articles for National Geographic Magazine. During the 1970s, Lowell flew around the state while campaigning for the state senate, then later for the office of lieutenant governor (as running mate of Jay Hammond). From 1979-1999 this plane, now equipped with a turbo charger, served mountain climbers in the Alaska Range, primarily off Denali. This plane also carried a number of famous people on flight seeing tours, including Walter Cronkite, arctic explorer Bernt Balchen, and Charles Lindbergh. During some 7,000 hours of flight, this plane experienced several forced landings but never a crash or any damage. N6919V was donated to the museum by Lowell Thomas Jr. in May 2010.