Down to Rio with the GHQ

Everybody in the manufacturing business should have a happy New Year in 1940 but it might be a good idea to pause for a moment in celebrating the current boom to reflect on the problem of making future New Years just as happy. It is a grand and glorious feeling to know that customers are so anxious for your products that they are willing to advance funds for new factories, but remember it's not only the first cost but the upkeep that should concern you. Before letting contracts for new floor space it is well to think about what you are going to do with it a couple of years from now. And that leads us directly to consideration of the South American market.

There will be no better time than the present to lay the foundation for future sales to the south of us. With European manufacturers concerned primarily with their own problems we have a better opportunity than ever before to build good will and demonstrate the high quality of our equipment below the Equator. There is no better method of merchandising than to exhibit the product in the flesh.

The GHQ has been performing an incomparable service to the industry in its recent South American expeditions. The February flight of B-17s to Buenos Aires and the November flight of the Flying Fortresses have done much to prove the caliber of our equipment and our ability to operate it. They have made an important contribution not only to the industry, but to the security of the Western Hemisphere. In terms of good will and promotion of American products these expeditions are worth many times their cost.

This article was originally published in the January, 1940, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 39, no 1, pp 28-29.
The PDF of this article [ PDF, 4.8 MiB ] includes photos of personnel and a nose-on shot and a takeoff shot of B-17Bs.
Photos credited to GHQ, International.


Note

A Wright Aircraft Engines ad documents this same flight, showing 4 of the B-17Bs over Rio de Janeiro.