An airplane, you’d think, however small, would be conspicuous enough to be noticed sitting around somewhere outside of an airfield. – And yet, some time between 1958 and today, we managed to lose one.
When I was looking in the SHS archives for materials about an airplane crash in Sunnyvale, I came across some photos with a note from late archivist Jeanine Stanek, which had an intriguing provenance:
In December 2016, the museum received a request for information about a cougar jet plane that had been donated to the City of Sunnyvale in December 1958. The Sunnyvale Standard newspaper printed a photo of the plane in the Christmas parade of 1958, including the caption: “Moffett Field’s gift to the children of Sunnyvale, a cougar jet for use as playground apparatus, wheels by the Civic Auditorium reviewing stands as one of the high points of Saturday’s Christmas Parade.”
Standing on the wing of the plane is Ned A. Pendleton, formerly in the Navy. One photo shows the plane at Sunnyvale Plaza on Taaffe Street.
Intensive research of the City’s Parks Department has not yielded any information about this mysterious gift, not do the archives of the SHS contain any mention of it other than the original request from 2016. – Maybe our readers and members can help? The cougar may be a small aircraft, but it certainly is big enough to be noticed tucked away somewhere. It could not just disappear into some storage facility, could it?!
Has anyone seen this airplane?
By Katharina Woodman