August 14, 1964: Fast Coin Program Execution

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

A Helio Aircraft Corp. U-10B liaison and light cargo aircraft began a series of high altitude takeoff and landing performance tests as part of the Fast Coin program. The tests were conducted at Edwards Air Force Base, at the Air Force Flight Test Center’s High Altitude Test Site near Bishop, California and Leadville, Colorado.

In 1958, Aderholt heard of a short takeoff and landing aircraft developed by Otto Koppen and Lynn L. Bollinger, who’d formed the Helio Aircraft Corp. Aderholt arranged for a demonstration at Friendship International Airport, Md. — today known as Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport — and test-flew the high-winged, fixed-gear Helio.

Beginning in 1962, CIA operatives Aderholt and Larry Ropka introduced the Courier to Laos, where the U.S. was increasing its military involvement. Aderholt’s biographer Warren A. Trest wrote that the Courier could operate from crude airstrips where the De Havilland L-20 Beaver (redesignated U-6 that year) and Westland Lysander could not.  Aderholt demonstrated that the Courier could land and take off in a village that had no runway or road of any kind. Soon, a handful of CIA Couriers belonging to the agency’s airline, Air America, were carrying out clandestine missions in the Laotian hinterlands.



News Search