William G. (Bill) Rheams’ first ride aloft was in a Ford Tri-motor in 1929. He flew the B-17 in World War II, again in Air Rescue - with a 35 foot boat slung under it - and on the Atlantic Missile Range in support of the missile launches from Cape Canaveral. He flew several thousands of hours all over the world in dozens of aircraft types, primarily heavy, four to ten engine bombers and transport aircraft. Bill owned the XC-99, the cargo version of the B-36, with six engines on the back of the wings pushing. It had multiple decks and would carry 100,000 pounds of cargo 8,000 miles non-stop. At the time, the XC-99 was the largest aircraft ever to fly operationally. Bill has spent a lifetime in aviation: as a pilot and as a specialist in the recovery of people, missile capsules, nose cones, and various things dropped in the ocean--not always where they were supposed to be. He has acted as a consultant to several airlines in the United States and in Latin America, and has owned, at one time or another, a couple of his own airlines. [+]
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