Sky King

Jim 1950s - 1960s

Aired: 1953-54

DAD: Skyler “Sky” King (Kirby Grant) / Single Guy (?)- Uncle

DAD’S JOB: Pilot-Rancher

KIDS: Penny (Gloria Winters)(12) / Clipper (Ron Hagerthy)(10)

WHERE’S MOM?: Unknown. (Please e-mail me if you know the answer)

STAND-IN “MOM”: Unknown

“Out of the blue of the western sky comes Sky King.”

I never saw this show, but here’s what I know about the series: Kirby Grant played a rancher named Sky King, who had a twin engine Cessna (named “Songbird”) to catch rustlers et al. on his big “Flying Crown” ranch in Grover, Arizona. Sky had a niece named Penny and a nephew named Clipper. Penny and Clipper were constantly getting into trouble with the bad guys, and Uncle Sky typically had to rescue the kids from all sorts of perils.

The echoes of Sky King ring through the decades, as shows such as Space Ghost, Flipper, and Jonny Quest toyed with the “two kids in peril” motif. Strange.
Update: Alert viewer Ray Crenshaw ( wrote in some more information about Sky’s aircraft: “Sky King had two different airplanes, though both were Cessna’s. The first plane was a ‘Bamboo Bomber’, it had two big radial engines and looked roughly similar to the plane Amelia Earhart flew and was subsequently lost in. Bamboo Bombers are exceedingly rare I’m told, probably even in the 1950’s. Cessna released the new twin-engine ‘310’ in around 1956… I wonder if they donated the new 310 for advertisement? This was, after all, just after WWII… it was commonly thought that almost *everyone* would fly airplanes in the (near) future. For a while it looked like it may happen… then the boom slowed down.”

A toot of the Fred MacMurray Memorial Saxophone to Ray Crenshaw for the aircraft info. Thanks, Ray!

An additional clang of the Hop Sing Memorial Dinner Triangle to Jim Hecht for the clarificaation of Skyler’s full name. Thanks, Jim!

I get more mail about Sky King than any other show in this entire website. What’s really amazing is how many little boys were in love with Penny! 🙂

Another update: Alert Viewer Martin McGowan checks in with more details about the ranch and the planes:

Your previous correspondent is correct, there were two “Songbirds”. The first, with the rotary engines, said to be similar to Emilia Eahrhart’s plane, was a Cessna 310-B. It would take a Cessna Freak to tell you what the second one was—-also a Cessna 310—-but the letter designation is the hard part. The C-310 was the base designation of the Cessna twin engine private plane. The letters designated the evolutionary incarnation, so to speak. Sky King’s ranch was called the “Flying Crown”. Get it? He drove around in Chrysler autos/station wagons with the FC logo/brand on the door.