|Great Lakes 4-A-1 NC850K in the midst of an engine power run. It appears that|
this was being performed by company personnel rather than after-market maintenance
crews, based on the logo on the back of the coveralls facing the camera (see below)
|Compare with the logo on the left.|
To solve the problem, the next aircraft, NC850K (the subject of our two photos), was equipped with two Wright J-6 Whirlwinds; Aerofiles describes these as 300-hp engines, but that would make them the 7-cylinder R-760 or 9-cylinder R-975, and these are clearly only five-cylider engines, which would make them R-540s, in the 165-hp to 175-hp range. So either what is shown in our photos is an interim re-engining, or the 300-hp claim is overstated.
The original company was a victim of the Great Depression, like so many other small aircraft manufacturers. While the 4-A-1 amphibian, for what ever reason, was not built in quantity, Great Lakes built 264 Sport Trainers during the short time they were in business, and subsequent companies using the same name have continued to build more.
Readers with additional information on the 4-A-1 are invited to comment below!