Page 1


by Espie "Butch" Joyce

Hopefully, most of you will have this July issue of Vintage Airplane in hand before you depart for the Oshkosh Con­ vention this ·year. There have been some improvements to your area this year to better serve you while at the convention. The Antique/Classic Head­ quarters (known to all as "The Red Barn") has been enlarged so that we can display more A/C merchandise. The Type Club tent will be placed on an asphalt pad this year. We have had at least 21 clubs ask for space this year. This area continues to grow in popularity . I think that it is important to point out that this tent is provided to these clubs free of charge by the Anti­ que/Classic Division. Stop by and talk to the folks at the sign of your favorite airplane. You may just find out some­ thing you didn't know before! EAA Oshkosh '91 promises to be as busy and exciting as ever, so we need volunteers on an ever increasing basis. Please consider donating a few hours of your time to help out the convention operation. To volunteer, stop by our manpower booth, located in the shade of the tree on the corner, right in front of the Red Barn. Here's a list for you of the various Activities Chairmen. 2JULY 1991

1. Butch Joyce A/C Convention Management 919/427-0216 2. John Berendt



3. Art Morgan

A/C Parking


4. Dale Gustafson

Antique Awards


5. George York

Classic Awards


6. Gloria Beecroft

A/C Manpower

213/427 -1880

7. Steve Nesse

Parade of Flight


8. Kate Morgan

A/C Headquarters Staff


9. Geoff Robison

A/C Security


10.Larry D'Atillo A/C Press 414/784-0318 11 . Stan Gomoll A/C Maintenance 612/784-1172 12. Charlie Harris Interview Circle 918/742-7311 13. Joe and Julie Dickey Type Club Headquarters 812/342-6878 14. Jeannie Hill A/C Picnic 815/943-7205 15. Bob Lumley A/C Fly-Out 414/782-2633 16. Dean Richardson Hall of Fame Reunion 608/297-8801 17. John Copeland Participant Plaque 617/366-7245 18. Bob Brauer Chapter Booth 312/779-2105

19. Jack McCarthy A/C Photo Contest 317/371-1290 20. George Meade A/C Workshop 414/926-2428 21. Buck Hilbert A/C Flight Safety 815/923-4591 22. Jeannie Hill Pioneer Video 815/943-7205 23. Bob Wallace OX-5 Pioneers 301/686-9242 24. Thomas Auger Data Process 715/287 -4262 25. Phyllis Brauer A/C Aerogram 312/779-2105 As you can see just by th e Chairmen's List, there will be quite a lot of activity during the week of Conven­ tion. If you have something or a tidbit of information that could be of benefit to any of these Chainnen, you might want to contact them directly, or you can track them down by inquiring at the Red Barn. During EAA Oshkosh, there will be many Antique/Classic special events, including the A/C Picnic, which will be held on Sunday night of the Convention. The A/C Parade of Flight will take place on Monday of the Convention. The A/C Fly-Out is scheduled for Tuesday morn­ ing. We will have a representative from Aviation Underwriting Agency , the people who administer the Anti ­ que/Classic insurance program, at the Red Barn Friday through Tuesday from 2 PM until 5 PM. They'll answer any questions you may have concerning your aviation insurance needs. The pro­ gram is moving along very well and has reduced the cost of flying to a number of our members. I could go on and on but as you can see, we will have a fun filled week. Remember we are better together. Let's all pull in the same direction for the good of aviation. Join us and have it all!


Tom Poberezny



Dick Molt


Henry G. Frautschy


Golda Cox


Mike Drucks


Mary Jones


Norman Petersen Dick Covin


George A. Hardie, Jr. Dennis Parks


Jim Koepnick Carl Schuppel

Mike Steineke




President Espie "Butch" Joyce 604 Highway St. Madison, NC 27025 919/427-0216

Vice-President Ar!hur R. Morgan 3744 North 51 st Blvd. Milwaukee, WI 53216 414/442-3631

Secretary George S. York 181 Sloboda Ave. Mansfield, OH 44906 419/529-4378

Treasurer E.E. "Buck" Hilber! P.O. Box 424 Union,IL60180 815/923-4591

DIRECTORS John Berendt 7645 Echo Point Rd. Cannon Falls, MN 55009 507/263-2414 Gene Chose 2159 Carlton Rd. Oshkosh, WI 54904 414/231-5002 Philip Coulson 28415 Springbrook Dr. Lawton, MI 49065 616/624-6490 Charles Harris 3933 South Pearia P.O. Box 904038 Tulsa, OK 74105 918/742-7311 Dole A. Gustafson 7724 Shady Hill Drive Indianapolis, IN 46278 317/293-4430 Rober! Lickteig 1708 Bay Oaks Drive Albert Lea, MN 56007 507/373-2922

Rober! C. "Bob" Brauer 9345 S. Hoyne Chicago, IL 60620 312/779-2105 John S. Copeland 9 Joanne Drive Westborough, MA 01581 508/366-7245 George Daubner

2448 Lough Lane

Hartford, WI 53027


Stan Gomoll

104290th Lane, NE

Minneapolis, MN 55434 6121784-1172 Jeannie Hill

P.O. Box 328

Harvard, IL 60033


Rober! D. "Bob" Lumley 1265 South 124th St. Brookfield, WI 53005 414/782-2633

Gene Morris steven C. Nesse 115C Steve Court, R.R.2 2009 Highland Ave. Roanoke, TX 76262 Albert Lea, MN 56007 817/491-9110 507/373-1674 S.H. "Wes" Schmid 2359 Lefeber Avenue Wauwatosa, WI 53213 414/771-1545


7200 S.E. 85th Lane

Ocala, FL 32672


ADVISORS John A. Fogerty 479 Highway 65 Roberts, WI 54023 715/425-2455 Dean Richardson 6701 Colony Drive Madison, WI53717 608/833-1291

Jimmy Rollison 823 Carrion Circle Winters, CA 95694-1665 916/795-4334 Geoff Robison 1521 E. MacGregor Dr. New Haven, IN 46774 219/493-4724

July 1991 •

Vol. 19, No.7

Copyright © 1991 by the EAA Antique/Classic Division, Inc. All rights reserved.

Contents 2 Straight & Level

by Espie "Butch" Joyce

4 Aeromail 5 A/C News/compiled by H.G. Frautschy 8 Vintage Literature/by Dennis Parks

Page 8

12 Dwain Pittenger's Cessna UC-78/ by Norm Petersen 14 Pioneer Airport - The Meyers OTW/ by Norm Petersen 17 Pioneer Airport Opening Weekend/ by Norm Petersen

19 What Our Members Are Restoring! by Norm Petersen

Page 17

21 The Hendersons And Their Piper L-4/ by H.G. Frautschy 25 Pass It To Buck/by E.E. "Buck" Hilbert 26 Installing Shoulder Harnesses In Your Airplane/by Charlie Lasher 29 Vintage Trader 32 Calendar 33 Mystery Plane/by George Hardie

Front Cover...Up in the clear, cold (Honest!) atmosphere over central Florida, Dave Henderson (in the rear seat) flies his wife Paula's Sun 'N Fun '91 Reserve Grand Champion Antique Piper L-4. Photo by Jim Koepnick, shot with Canon EOS-1 with 80-200 lens. 1/500th sec. at F5.6 using Kodachrome 64. Photo plane flown by Bruce Moore. Back Cover..."1 think it's over there". Paul Borrows won a Merit Ribbon in the Sport Aviation Art Contest for his painting of a Ford Trimotor working it's way down to the city below through a cloud deck. It's done with oil on canvas. Paul hails from Mount Holly, New Jersey.

The words EM, ULTRALIGHT, FLY WITH THE FIRST TEAM, SPORT AVIATION, and the logos of EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION INC ., EM INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION, EMANTIQUEjCLASSIC DIVISION INC., INTERNATIONALAEROBATIC CLUB INC., WARBIRDSOF AMERICA INC. are registered trademarks. THE EM SKY SHOPPE and logos 01 the EM AVIATION FOUNDATION INC. and EM ULTRALIGHT CONVENTION are trademarks of the above associations and their use by any person other than the above associations is strictly prohibned. Edrtorial Policy: Readers are enoouraged to submrt stories and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in anicles are solely those of the authors. Responsibilrty lor accuracy in reponing rests entirely wrth the oontributor. Material should be sent to: Edrtor, The VINTAGE AIRPLANE, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903·3086. Phone: 414/4264800. The VINTAGE AIRPLANE (SSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by EM Antique/Classic Division, Inc, of the Experimental Aircraft ASSociation, Inc. and is published monthly at EM Aviation Center, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Seoond Class Postage paid at Oshkosh, WI 54901 and addrtional mailing onices.The membership rate for EM AntiqueiClassic Division, Inc. is $20.00 for current EM members for 12 month period of which $12.00 is for the publication olThe VINTAGE AIRPLANE. Membership is open to all who are interested in aviation. ADVERTISING· Antique/Classic Division does not guarantee or endorse any product onered through our advenising. We invrte oonstructive crrticism and welcome any report of interior merchandise obtained through our advertising so that corrective measures can be taken. POSTMASTER: Send address eIlanges to EM Antique/Classic Division, Inc. P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903·3086.


GREAT LAKES AMPHmIAN (John Underwood, our fellow Anti­ que/Classic member and noted aviation historian, had this item to correct George Hardie and I on on a historical point sent in by Charley Hayes for the January Mystery Plane -HGF) Hi George and H.G., Why do you guys persist in fingering J.S. McDonnell (Jr.) as the perpetrator of the Great Lakes 4A-1? He had ab­ solutely nothing to do with it. It was Holden Richardson's project. Mc D. was busy with the Guggenheim Contest "Doodlebug" and did not go with Great Lakes until 1931. If you don't believe me, just ask his sons, lS. III or John, both high up at McDonnell Douglas. Incidentally, it was not a 4T. The "T" stood for Trainer; "A" for Amphibian. The "unidentified buyer" in Wiscon­ sin was Paul Trier of Mpls, and it al­ ready had Wright J-6-5s when he got it. Believe the original engines were Cirris Hermes of 130 hp or thereabout. Steve Wittman may have put one in his racer. Better ask SJW where he got the Her­ mes. It might not have come from the Great Lakes 4A-1. Hermes were very rare this side of the Atlantic. Cheers,

John Underwood, Glendale, CA

Thanks for clarifying the designer issue. I did indeed ask Steve Wittman about the Cirrus Hermes installed in "Chief Oshkosh". He recalled that he was told at the time he purchased the engine on the East Coast, that the en­ gine had come from a Sikorsky airplane. In the spring of 1962 the Journal ofthe American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) published an article on the Sikorsky S-39. So did Paul R. Matt in his Historical Aviation Album, Volume XIV Sure enough, the prototype S-39

had a pair of British Cirrus "Hermes Mark /" 4-cylinder engines of 115 hp. Urifortunately, it crashed on it 's third testflight after it was unable to maintain altitude following an engine failure. The S-39 would then be redesigned with a single rudder and a single 300 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. powerplant. The story that Steve Wittman was told when he bought his Hermes certainly makes sense, given these circumstan­ ces. - H.G.F. •

The Cirrus "Hermes Mark I" engine installed in Steve Wittman's "Chief Oshkosh" (below) came from the only twin-engine version of the Sikorsky S-39, the prototype that lasted only until its third flight, when it was unable to maintain level flight after an engine failure.

compiled by H.G. Frautschy

here's how the new hangar at Pioneer Airport looked in late June.

PIONEER AIRPORT NEEDS In order to furnish the new Airport Managers office at Pioneer Airport, we are looking for a few items from the 1920's and 1930's. If you can help lo足 cate any of the items below, please call Ron Twellman, EAA Air Adventure Museum Collections Manager at 414/426-3093. Here's what they are looking for: Desk or Wall Phone, Wall Clock, Calendar, Coat Rack (either a peg rack or a tree stand), Stove, Wood box or Coal

Bucket, Benches, Chairs, Stools, Coke Machine, Checkerboard/Checkers, Wood Table for checkerboard, Spitoon, File Cabinet (wood or old metal), Work足 ing record player with Records. Remember, these should be from the pre-war period, or a good reproduction of a piece from that time. Check out those attics and garages - todays clutter may be tomorrows exhibit! Here's a photo of the new building just prior to it's completion. By the time you read this, the structure will be com足

pleted. By EAA Oshkosh, aircraft will be moved in and furnishing the Airport Manager's office will have begun.

SOLAR MS-l RECREATION PROJECT Back in 1929, the Solar MS-l sesquiplane was designed and built in San Diego, California. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney Wasp C-l of 420 hp, the plane featured a corrugated aluminum skin and a wingspan of 56.5 feet. The economic events during the VINTAGE AIRPLANE 5

anniversary. Congratulations to the dedicated folks in Aurora, Colorado.

fall of that year would not allow the MS-l to go into production, but one component of the airplane, the stamped steel exhaust collector ring, would lead to a product line that grew to the current Solar Turbines company . During World War II, Solar would produce over 300,000 exhaust collector rings. In the archives at Solar Turbines, Inc., a complete set of drawings and specifications exist for the MS-l. In­ spired by this find, a group of ap­ proximately 50 Solar employees and retirees have joined together to form the Solar MS-l Restoration Club, with the goal of building an airworthy MS-l. Construction of the replica will take place at the Solar Harbor Drive facility in San Diego. For more information, contact the Solar MS-1 Restoration Club, P.O. Box 85376, San Diego, CA 92186.

place of prominence at their head­ quarters in Watertown, Wisconsin. If anyone has a Lewis propeller that they would be willing to part with, contact Jim Patton, HRD Manager, LEWISystems, at 1-800-999-TOTE, extension 320.

UNIV AIR ANNIVERSARY Just after the war, UNIVAIR started as a small parts manufacturer, and have now grown to become the largest manufacturer and supplier of parts for classic and vintage aircraft in the world. Parts and supplies for many aircraft, as well as the type certificates for the Er­ coupe and Stinson 108, allow Univair to keep our older aircraft flying. This year, Univair will celebrate their 45th

AERONCA SEDAN TYPE CERTIFICATE SOLD Earlier this year Aeronca sold the last post war Type Certificate they held, ATC No. 802 for the 15AC Sedan. Wil ­ liam (Brad) Mitchell of Anchorage, Alaska has bought the certificate, and is interested in hearing from people con­ cerning their needs. Specifically, Brad would like to know what parts Sedan owners are most in need of, modifica­ tions of the airplane, interest in purchas­ ing new aircraft, or any other suggestions they may have. Brad and his company are still examining the best course of action to pursue. You can send your suggestions to Brad Mitchell, P.O . Box 111510, Anchorage, AK 99511-1510. DON LUSCOMBE'S NIECE VISITS EAA HQ Cris Luscombe Kapitan, the niece of Don Luscombe, visited the EAA Air Adventure Museum recently, and was given a guided tour of the museum and Pioneer Airport by EAA Ford Trimotor Captain Dick Hill and Antique/Classic director Jeannie Hill. Mrs. Kapitan was visiting her son, who lives in Mil­ waukee, and was urged to visit the museum. In a note to Dick and Jeannie after her visit, she wrote her visit "brought back a wealth of memories about my uncle, Don Luscombe, and my early childhood.

OSHKOSH W AYPOINT Discount FuelfWing Camping will be available to EAA'ers at Watoma Municipal Airport, located 35nm west of OSH. The airport will be open 24 hours a day from July 25th through Aug 3rd. A 10% discount on all fuel, oil and merchandise is available to all EAA members. For more infOimation call 414/787-3030. LEWIS PROPS During the first half of this century, a number of established companies would test the aviation waters. One of these was the G. B. Lewis Company. Now nearly 130 years old, the company would like to hang one of the thousands of propellers they manufactured in a 6JULY 1991

Don Luscombe's niece, Mrs. Cris Luscombe-Kapitan visits with one of her uncle's aircraft, the Luscombe Phantom on display in the EAA Air Adventure Museum.



. . , / _ _0_'_'



M~",.""",O 'm




IT WON'T RAIN ON OUR PARADE The AIC Parade of Flighl starn lOday at 4:00 ;:> m .. and rt won 'I rain on our parade. ·We:II also nave fair winds and good wealhef.· predicled Phil Coulson, chairman of the evenl . ApprOXimately SOplOnes will lake part in the tty­ oyslartlngwrth Vem Dollmanlna 1911 era Lincoln Beachy reconstruction. Eddie Wagner who CNIf"; and pllols the aNy ftyIng Spartan C·31s al$O In the lineup along wrth Ed Sweeney's MOOfe Taylor Aerocoup. Ihe only one like rt in the world still flYing. Aircraft after a~craft will continue 10 tty-by in chronolQglcal order unlillale 3O's mOdels. Then planes are grouped by family and air speed so lhal Ihey are compartlble In lakeoH and landing. Phil Coulson has been an EAA member SIf'1Ce \972. a member of AIC Division since rts Inception. and Parade of RIght Chairman for the past 15 years.

WHArS YOUR TYPE? The Type Clubs located In the tenl just souIih of lhe AIC Red Bam invtteeveryone Interested in arl­ Ilque airplanes to visit.

Peaple who own antique airplanes can get in­

formahon about parts. maintenance. aircraft for

sale. and air worthiness requiremenls of the FAA Mosl of lhese clubs al$O hOVe news lefters 10 keep memoers informed about their favome planes. The Clubs at the tent this year are as follows : 3elionca. Aeronca. Ercoup . lntematlonal WACO ASSOCiation, Curtiss Robin. Short Wing Piper Club. 'nc .. Staggerwing Club. National BIplane As.IocIQ­ lion . Luscombe As.Iocialion. Cub Club (Piper), Fairc hild Club. and Inlematlonal Cessna As.Iocla­ tl on.

A HAPPENING. FAMILY REUNION ·We regara OshkOSl'l as a happenong and a family reunoon: said Gloria Beecroft AIC marc power chairman. Gloria explained that the marl-pawer commrt· tee supplies all of the volunleers tor lhe Might line whch Includes Ihe wrng walkers, bike nders . ana a~ne parkers. SecurTly guarcls for the AIC and Ultralight areas also come from the marl-pawer commrttee. Gloria and her husband Paul live in Long BeaCh. CA and tell everyone they know from Califomla to volunleer for A/C. Of course , anyone wha wonts to work is appt'eciated. and Gloria will find a job fO/' any WIlling soul. Uke many others Gloria and Paul keep coming back 10 OshkOSh because of the many gooc friends they hOVe mOde here. Several years ago they were ·adopfed" by a family from Michigan. and since then there has been some vISiting bock and forth with them. The Beecrofts 01$0 hOVe gotten to know Farther JoIY\ McGIIlvary wha says the masses at the Theo­ ler In the WoocLs. and they tty him bock 10 Michi­ gan after the convention. Paul al$O has a job at the convention gIVing out the plaques. They are earty aITTVers at the COl'\­ vention (a week ahead) not aNy to help wher­ ever they can. but also 10 see lhe many gooc friends they hOVe made here .

THE INltRVlEW CIRCLE THANKS The AIC Division and Chartle Hams would like to lhank the aircraft owners whO so far hOVe gener­ ously shared their accampllShiments and planes wrth us by pomcipartlng In Ihe Interview Circle . They are: Martin Probst of Jacksonville FL. 1946 Fairchild 24. Warner powered; Tom Collier. Jonesboro. GA. 1929 WACO ATO; SIeve Givens. 1941 CulverCadet; Bill Quinn. BuCher JungmelS­ ler; and Jim Rushing. 1947 Luscombe BE.

The pioneers of the aircraft industry were a special breed. Thank you for honoring them and keeping that spirit alive today in the EAA."

EAA OSHKOSH CONVENTION NOTES Convention goers can keep informed about A/C activities and people by read­ ing AEROGRAMS, the daily news sheet issued in the Antique/Classic area, and edited by Phyllis Brauer and Janet Bennett. Copies are free and contain no advertising, and may be obtained at the Chapter membership and Information booth, the Red Barn sales area, the Type Club tent, the Airline Pilot's Tent, the OX-5 tent, the A/C division's hospitality building, and the show plane camping registration building. The AEROGRAM staff will also mail anyone the current week's issues

When your are looking for Bill Marcy, Volunteer, this is the man you're looking for!

for a $3 .00 donation to the A/C division. This can be done by contacting Bob Brauer at the Chapter Membership and Information booth or writing to him at 9345 S. Hoyne Av., Chicago, IL 60620.

EDITOR OFFSIDE I made a couple of errors in the past two issues that I'd like to correct. First, in last months news, the photos for Dave Bennett and Dave Marcy were swapped, and both wound up with new identities. The pictures on this page show you how Bill and Dave really look! Second, Budd Conyers wrote to point out that the fine restoration of his Aeronca L-3 Defender was ac­ complished by the outstanding crew of Jim Kimball and his gang at Zellwood, Florida, not Joe Hindall and his people. Jim and his gang also restored Bob and Anne Lindley's Great Grand Champion Stinson SR-8E, as well as the Best Biplane Stearman PT-17 of Bill Childers. Joe Hindall and his crew res­ tored the IlBC Aeronca Chief on floats flown by Bob Everts. My apologies to all, and thanks to Bob and Phyllis Brauer and Budd Conyers for gently pointing out the errors . •

The maLOave Bennett, Co-Chairman of the Antique/Classic Membership and Information Booth . VINTAGE AIRPLANE 7

VI~TAf3~ LIT~VATUV~ by Uen nis Va'-ks~ ~ Lib.-a.-y/ A.-chives Ui.-ect().­


lawrence Brown designed and built the B-2 for the 1934 Nationals where it won the 550 cubic inch Shell Speed Dash and placed second in the Thompson.

1933 was not a banner year for air racing. First there was the confusion of three large race meets in one year - two sanctioned ones and one maverick race that resulted in pilots being suspended. Few new aircraft appeared and not many records were broken, and the only trend in design seemed to be in mount­ ing higher horsepower engines. The same year the air racing com­ munity suffered two fatalities in com­ petition and two more non-racing accidents. After a decade of good press, racing was starting to see criticism in the aviation publications. In 1933 and 1934, articles with such titles as: "Air Race Racket," July 1933; "Air Race Controversy," December 1933; "Death Stalks the Air Racers," March 1934; and "Dire Tragedy Attends the Races," Oc­ tober 1934 appeared in POPULAR AVIATION.

GREVE TROPHY A bright spot in 1934 was the an­ nouncement of the Greve Trophy. The trophy was established by Louis Wil­ liam Greve, president of the Cleveland Pneumatic Tool Company, who in 1929 8JULY1991

Gordon Israel, who helped design the Howard racers, designed and builtthe "Redhead" powered by a 544 cubic inch Menasco engine. It was originally built with an inverted gull wing which was revised to the straight wing root you see here for the 1934 season.

had established the Aerol Trophy Race, the first of its kind for women pilots. The 1934 Greve Trophy was a token of Mr. Greve's desire to encourage greater speed and efficiency in the lower power groups. The trophy was for the pilot who had accumulated the greatest number of points during the three races for the 550 cubic inch displacement group. The winning pilot must have continuously flown the same ship in each of the three races which made up the award. The distance of the race was 50 miles, 10 laps over a five mile course. The contestants must have established a qualifying speed of 200 miles per hour or better in order to be eligible for each event.

A QUARTER CENTURY OF COMPETITIVE AVIA TION In the 1934 National Air Race pro­ gram, Clifford Henderson gave his thoughts on that year's events. 'The 1934 National Air Races have been con­ ceived and are being developed to fit­ tingly commemorate 'A Quarter Century of Aviation Progress' - to properly portray the significance of this milestone of aviation advancement ­ to emphasize the colorful inception ­ to recognize the now firmly established utility of the airplane in the field of transportation and its pre-eminent prominence in the world of sport. "Aviation is no longer a 'game.' It has proven itself a useful and vital factor in a thousand lines of business - in a thousand details, requiring SPEED in transportation and UTILITY in moving THINGS and MEN. Cleveland­ often the focal point of epochal aviation achievement - again assumes the role of host to the major aviation competi­ tion - the fourteenth annual National Air Races. "The true objective and hope is that the 1934 National Air Races will serve as a pleasant and profitable rendezvous for the pilots, aviation technicians and laymen public interested in this great industry; that it will build a broader confidence and acceptance of aviation - that it will serve as a convincing factor of englightenment and inspira­ tion to the American public." TEN DAYS

Roscoe Turner failed to start the Bendix with his No. 57 racer in 1934, but he would win the Thompson Trophy at 248.13 mph .

Steve Wittman won both of the 200 cubic inch races with the Pobjoy Special.

INTO FOUR In 1934 Cleveland again furnished the setting for the National Air Races held August 31 to September 3, 1934 over Labor Day weekend. The normal 10 day program, as in 1933, was con­ centrated into four days of intense ac-

The Menasco Super Buccaneer (C-6-S) installation on the Brown B-2. It was super­ charge to produce 300 hp at 2,900 rpm. VINTAGE AIRPLANE 9

The brutish looking business end of Roscoe Turner's racer carried the most power of any racer until that time, the 1,000 hp Pratt & Whitney Hornet.

tivity, providing according to an ad in AERO DIGEST, "more grueling com­ petitions - more numerous innova­ tions - and a greater concentration of the newest creations in racing craft ever before seen." The ad continued, "This year's clas­ sic will be the most pretentious ever staged. The program included Free-for­ All competitions in all cubic inch motor classifications - and demonstrations of every phase of aviation. Land Plane Speed Classics - Massed Flights ­ Foreign Flying Aces - Night Spec­ tacles - Autogiro, Blimp and Parachute Jumping contests, etc. $35,000 cash prizes and valuable trophies will be awarded. "Here, new world's land plane speed records are destined to be shattered. Here, the industry will again receive inspiration for future progress and development. Everybody in aviation will be in attendance." CROWDS The October 1934 issue of A VIA­ nON remarked that the crowds were a surprise. "Race Habitues who foregathered at Cleveland in an atmos­ phere of skepticism amounting almost to pessimism were due for a shock. The surprise came not from design novelties unveiled at the barrier, nor from star­ tling performances put up by last year's revamped racers, but from the crowds 10JULY1991

\ \~

The Miles & Atwood Special was cleaned up for 1934. Uncowled wheels were replaced by smaller panted wheels and the struts faired into the pants. Lee Miles won the Greve Trophy and the Shell Speed Dash for its class at 227.95 mph.

The Hansen Baby Bullet No. 3 powered by a Continental A-40.

- crowds that choked all roads leading to the field (25,000 cars counted on Labor Day) - crowds that elbowed

through turnstiles to fill the huge stands to capacity (close to 60,000 was the reported peak) . •


Aug. 31 -Sept. 1-2-3 CLEVELAND Again Cleveland furnishes the setting for the National Air Races. Again-this world's premier sports classic will serve as the rendezvous of the industry. A ten intense -more tion of seen.

day program concentrated into four days of activity, presenting-more gruelling competitions numerous innovations-and a greater concentra­ the newest creations in racing craft ever before

This year's classic will be the most pretentious ever staged. The program includes Free-for-All competitions in a.1I cubic inch motor classifications-and demonstrations of every phase of aviation. Land Plane Speed Classics­ Massed Flights-Foreign Flying Aces-Night Spectacles -Autogiro, Blimp and Parachute Jumping contests, etc. $35,000 cash prizes and valuable trophies will be awarded.

Sanctioned by

Nat ional A eronautic Ass' n.


Here, new world's land plane speed records are destined to be shattered. Here, the industry will again receive inspiration for future progress and development. Every­ body in Aviation will be in attendance_ For information and details write, Clifford W. and Phillip T. Henderson, Managing Directors, National Air Races, 103 Terminal Tower Arcade, Cleveland, Ohio.


"They came not only from Cleveland - urged on by posters, window dis­ plays, downtown ticket booths - but from elsewhere in Ohio and from many neighboring states. Over 40 percent of cars counted came from outside of Cuyahoga County. On Labor Day, over 4,000 foreign licenses were recorded." SCHEDULE The AVIATION article also men­ tioned 1934's ability to keep events on time - a real problem with the 1932 Cleveland event. "A strictly enforced system of fines worked wonders in keeping the program of events on schedule. After the management had cracked down on several delinquents on the opening day, the news spread like wildfire among the contestants and from that time on there were no further interruptions during the entire meet. The continuity was far better this year than it has ever been at any previous National Air Race; it is not un­ reasonable to expect that, with judicious selection and careful control, some de­

gree of overlap could be introduced and some closer approach be made to the interest holding qualities of the two- or three-ring circus." THE RACERS The lack of new aircraft was also discussed in A VIA TION. "Airplane designers seeking new ideas for in­ creased performance were keenly dis­ appointed, as almost all of the ships in evidence had been seen at previous meets and came to Cleveland for the most part without modification. Mis­ fortune seemed to have followed several of the new planes designed par­ ticularly for the races. "The Granville, Miller and De­ Lackner ship flown by Lee Gehlbach in the Bendix Transcontinental Race, which had been entered without benefit of sufficient test flying, and is listed among the entrants in the McRobertson race, was forced to withdraw before reaching Cleveland, but arrived at the airport after the e xpiration of the specified time limit for the Bendix race.

An airplane representing the most ad­ vanced stage of Ben O. Howard's design philosophy had been damaged in trial flights and could not be repaired in time to get to Cleveland. "The time honored practice of clip­ ping wing area was very much in evidence, the chief example being S. J. Wittman's Chief Oshkosh in which the area had been successively reduced from 78 square feet to 42 square feet. Control surface areas also had been reduced in many cases and several of the smaller airplanes were perceptibly un­ stable longitudinally as a result of the close coupling and reduced stabilizer area. "The Chester Special built for Art Chester by the Airplane Sales Corpora­ tion of Glenview, Illinois, and the Brown Special built for Roy Minor, by the Lawrence W. Brown Aircraft Com­ pany of Los Angeles, both Menasco powered, were notable for excellence of finish ." • VINTAGE AIRPLANE 11

Uwain Ce~~na



Dwain Pittenger looks over the cockpit of his restoration project before he gets started on his effort. 12JULY1991

by Norm Petersen Few items in this world will cause the pulse rate of a true "antiquer" to skip a few beats and then go into "fast" rhythm than a nicely restored aircraft that you just know is one of the surviving few. This story is about just such an airplane, a genuine Cessna Bobcat, nee: Crane, nee: Bamboo Bomber, that is fast ap­ proaching its 50th birthday. Restored by a Texas ag pilot named Dwain Pittenger (EAA 353900, AIC 15435) from Hereford, Texas, who operates a firm called Deaf Smith Aero, Inc. at the Hereford Municipal Airport, the big Cessna twin took over three years of hard work to bring into show condition. The firm name is not neces­ sarily related to a person hard of hear­ ing; the county in which Hereford is located is named Deaf Smith county. Originally built in 1943 as a World War II twin-engined trainer, Dwain's Bamboo Bomber was located in Jules­ burg, Colorado, where it had been owned by Mrs. Floyd Daniels for overl5 years. Licensed N64120, SIN 6185, the big twin required two full weekends of hard work to make it ferri­ able back to Texas where the rebuild

could begin. The trip was completed without incident in four hours of flying time on September 25, 1986. Not content with the old registration number, Dwain had the Cessna re­ registered N78UC, denoting the Army Air Corps designation of UC-78, which stood for Utility Cargo, Model 78. (N64120 has since been taken up by a distant relative - a Cessna 172 in Aurora, Oregon!) The extensive restoration took three and a half years to complete with the first flight taking place on January 14, 1990. As is so often the case with really good restoration work, the big "double breasted Cub" flew like a homesick angel according to Dwain. The Razorback fabric covering was not removed during the restoration, but due to an A.D. note, the rib stitching had to be replaced. All the old stitching was removed before new rib stitching was carefully done and the ribs were re­ taped. Both fuel cells were removed for wood inspection and both wing walks were rebuilt and recovered. To bring the fabric to painting stage, it was filled and sanded at least three times before the surface was ready for the final coats of Irnron "Moon Dust" and medium blue trim. The resulting color scheme is very pleasing to the eye, being accented by chrome plated spin­ ners and polished propellers on the 245 "Shaky Jakes". A new interior was tastefully done in blue and grey tones that combined to quiet the interior of the airplane and a new instrument panel was fabricated to allow a better positioning of the instru­ ments and the modern radios. All new water transfer decals were ordered from Noel Allard in Chaska, MN and in­ stalled on the panel to give it that finished look. All controls and control wheels were refurbished to where the view from the pilot's seat is one of a brand new airplane. In addition to new glass and windshields being installed, the landing gears were completely dismantled, cleaned, re-lubricated and retraction systems re-rigged. The grand total of hours used in the restoration was in ex­ cess of 3000 plus untold hours on the phone locating parts and pieces. As Dwain says, "It has to be a labor of love!" Apparently the work has not been in vain because the 'Bomber has been taken to three airshows so far and it has returned with a trophy each time! It is hard to beat a 100% winning combina-

The aft seat shows off the neatly done new upholstery.

Resplendent in it's "Moon Dust" with blue trim , the UC-78 brightens the ramp at Deaf Smith Aero in Hereford, Texas.

tion. The Cessna is one of only 100 remaining on the U. S. register out of over 5000 built. Dwain Pittenger's present project is the restoration of a

Stinson V-77 "Gullwing", so you may rest assured that he still has something to keep him busy on those long winter nights! • VINTAGE AIRPLANE 13

Pioneer Airport

The Meyers OTW Labor Day weekend back in 1961 was CA VU for all three days in southern Minnesota. I remember the circumstan足 ces well. Our newly recovered Tay]orcraft BC-12D ($610 - complete job!) was available to make the flight breakfast at Estherville, Iowa. The 60 mile jaunt from St. James, MN took about 45 minutes on the cool, clear, crisp morning. Nary a touch of the con足 trol wheel was necessary for the trip, once the T -Craft was trimmed out. Parked on the flightline at Estherville was an interesting old biplane called a Meyers OTW, NC34311. The owner, Art Daniels, was doing his best to sell the old girl. He pleaded with me to take it off his hands for $2150. Somehow, he could teU I liked the looks and fea足 tures of the Meyers. I examined it closely, right down to the Warner 145 Super Scarab engine . The all足 aluminum fuselage was unique and the wide landing gear looked like a winner in the ground-loop department. 14 JULY 1991

by Norm Petersen I finally finished my pancakes and went over to inform Art that $2150 was too much money for "that old hunk o' tin", and proceeded to fly home in the

T-Craft. Needless to say, I have regretted that decision many times since 1961! A month or two later, Dick Martin

Norm Petersen begins to let the tail drop after a smooth wheel landing at Pioneer Airport.



Designed by AI Meyers to be a forgiving primary trainer, the OTW shows off its simple lines.

(EAA 62813, AIC 3099) bought the Meyers with two other pilots and flew it to Green Bay, WI. To this very day, nearly thirty years later, Dick still has NC34311 and is presently building a new set of wings (with its Modified RAF-15 airfoil) for it. (At least there is one wise man among us!) When the EAA Aviation Foundation decided to activate their Meyers OTW­ 145, NC34357, SIN 102, for Pioneer Airport duty, I was asked if I wanted to get checked out in the neat, old biplane. (Do Norwegians eat lutefisk?) I had a very difficult time waiting for the mo­ ments to pass until our check pilot, Gene Chase, could run me through the takeoffs and landings. The long-throw shock struts really cushion the landing jolts - it's almost uncanny how you can plant the wheels on the grass, and then put the weight of the airplane on the gear. Obviously, the airplane was designed with ham-fisted students in mind. Conceived in the fertile mind of Allen H. Meyers, the OTW was probab­ ly influenced by the thinking of noted aircraft designer, Martin Jensen (EAA 100450), who barnstormed with Al Meyers in the early 1930's. (Although along in years, Martin Jensen still resides in El Cajon, CA). There is little doubt that Al Meyers came by his talent honestly; his father was a graduate of the ETH engineering school in his na­ tive Switzerland. (This same school produced noted aeronautical engineer, Chris Heintz, of Zenair fame.) The design and construction work on the OTW was done from 1933 to 1936 with the first flight of the prototype taking place on May 10, 1936 at Wayne County Airport in Michigan. Working towards CAA certification required another three years of hard work before the A TC #736 was issued in 1939. About this time, a group of investors invited Al Meyers to relocate his bud­ ding aircraft company to Tecumseh, Michigan, southwest of Detroit. Once the move was made, the name of Meyers Aircraft Company became synonymous with the town of Tecum­ seh, Michigan. Al Meyers and his small, but hard­ working crew, built just over 100 OTW biplanes during the 1939-1943 period with most of them going to the Civil Pilot Training Programs around the u.S . The rugged OTW was often used for aerobatic training and acquitted itself well in that role. VINTAGE AIRPLANE 15

Among the many dedicated workers at Meyers Aircraft Company were three notables who made significant con­ tributions: Ray Betzoldt, Pard Diver and Otto Meier. Both Ray and Pard have been working on Meyers aircraft for fifty years! Four different powerplants were used on the OTW (which stands for Out To Win) models. The Warner 125 hp and 145 hp models were most common with one OTW powered with a Ken-Royce 120 hp engine. The later models used a Kinner five-cylinder engine of 160 hp. As the surviving Meyers OTW aircraft have been restored over the years (the FAA Register lists 55 Meyers OTW aircraft), many have been upgraded with Warner 165 hp engines for a little more sprite\y performance. The OTW is a two-place, tandem, open-cockpit biplane with an oval­ shaped, fully monocoque aluminum fuselage. The wings are constructed of spruce spars with wooden ribs and covered with fabric . Total wing area is 262 square feet which gives a very low wing loading of 6.5 pounds per square foot. All controls operate on ball bear­ ings which exude a unique feeling of smoothness to the pilot. The large ailerons arelilstalled on the lower wings on ly and are quite adequate for the aircraft. One has to be careful on crosswind landings as the lowered wing had a limited amount of ground clearance and the wingtip can often be very close to the ground! Perhaps the finest part of the entire airplane is the long-throw landing gear that really does its job to absolute per­ fection. Not only is it wide enough to limit the groundloop tendency, but the soft cushion of the internal spring in the long shock strut allows soft takeoffs and supersoft landings. Perhaps the term, "landing on a pillow" is the closest ver­ nacular, as the normal hard bumps of landing any airplane are just not there. In addition, the wheels (6:50 X 10) and brakes were made by the Meyers Com­ pany to their own specifications and help the soft landing gear in the perfor­ mance of the airplane. The harmony between the various parts of the aircraft serves to make flying the OTW such a delight. It is obvious to the pilots that AI Meyers knew his "onions" when he designed the OTW. The EAA Aviation Foundation 16JULY 1991

Dick Martin of Greey Bay, Wisconsin with AI Meyers during the annual fly-in at Meyers Airport, about 1965.

Meyers OTW, N34357, SIN 102, was assembled as a personal airplane for Al Meyers, himself, in 1944. It was made up from parts on hand, including two fuselages that were riveted together,just behind the rear cockpit. It remained at Tecumseh during the next 25 years and was always the host airplane for the Meyers Fly-In each year, when pilots would return to Tecumseh for a gather­ ing of the cIano Al Meyers flew the biplane until illness caught up with the designer in the late 1960's. He passed away in 1968. His lovely wife, Nydia Meyers, was instrumental in helping the estate to donate N34357 to the EAA Aviation Foundation in 1972. At the time, the airplane was out of license, so Harold and Janet Lossner (EAA 74313), long time Meyers aficionados from Des Moines, Iowa, volunteered to disas­ semble and transport the OTW from Tecumseh, Michigan to Hales Corners, Wisconsin. The wings and tail surfaces were recovered in the EAA restoration shop and the OTW was placed on dis­ play in the former EAA Museum. Once the aircraft was moved to Osh­ kosh in 1983, it was gradually readied

for its stint as a Pioneer aircraft. The center section was recovered and the cylinders on the 145 Warner were over­ hauled. In addition, the aluminum fuselage was polished until it matched the polished aluminum landing gear strut fairings. With the orange wings and horizontal tail surfaces, it is a most attractive biplane. Dick Martin of Green Bay reports that most OTW airplanes left the factory with some shade of yellow on the wings, all the way from lemon yellow to orange in color. It is nearly impossible to point to a particular aircraft and say it is fac­ tory original in color, because there were so many different shades used. Having formerly been Al Meyers personal airplane, N34357 does have some extras on it that are very nice. An electrical system with a push button starter is real class. It also has a wobble pump for building up fuel pressure and a retard system on the left magneto for starting the engine without the usual kick-backs. Perhaps the only drawback to these niceties is the reduced useful load - only 296 pounds left for the pilot and passenger - so one has to watch the size of your passenger! Flying the OTW is a most pleasant experience as the performance is first rate and the handling qualities are smooth and predictable. The Warner 145 (499 cu. in.) is a very willing engine and pulls the Meyers along at about 105 to 110 mph cruise. Yet the airplane can slow down easily and the good handling characteristics continue right on down to the stall at about 45 mph. Landings are almost anti-climatic as the soft gear soaks up the impact and makes the pilot look like a "pro". The sound of the Warner, with its low-pitched radial rumble (much akin to a hibernating bear), makes the OTW sound like an airplane is supposed to sound. A perfect airplane for the Pioneer Airport crowd to observe and listen to, the Meyers OTW was the product of a young farm lad turned airplane builder, who followed his instincts to build a better airplane. The perfection of design has been coming to light ever since. Fifty years later, we all realize that AI Meyers was a genius in his own beautiful way. Like I told the guy in 1961, "$2150 is too much money for that old hunk a' tin!" •

Pioneer Airport

Opening Weekend

by Norm Petersen The "Weather Gods" smiled on EAA's Pioneer Airport as the crowds gathered on May 11 and 12, 1991, for the Grand Opening of the 1991 season. Unseasonably warm and mild tempera­ tures brought on by bright sunshine and southerly breezes allowed the two-day event to expose the excitement of a 1930's airport scenario to a crowd that was estimated between three and five thousand excited folks. Highlighting the "antique" effect was a rather large display of expertly res­ tored automobles from the 1920's and 1930's, and even a restored Indian "Chief" motorcycle, complete with sidecar. The Fox Valley Classic Car Club did a fine job in making a sig­ nificant contribution to the weekend festivities. Saturday, April 27th was spent clean­ ing the huge Pioneer Airport hangars and carefully re-arranging over 50

aircraft to present a good appearance to the public, yet allow the flying aircraft to have easy access to the flight line. A most willing crew of EAA volunteers responded well to the c9mmands of (Master Sergeant) George Blechel, who not only volunteers huge chunks of time throughout the year as a museum docent, he also works part time during the season as the Pioneer Airport Opera­ tions Chief. George has that innate abil­ ty to get the job done in spite of all-volunteer help. He is a master at urging people on, to where they literally look forward to enjoying the job at hand! To give you some idea of the magna tude of the effort, here's who was there to lend a helping hand: Ken Ap­ pleby, Len Mirkes, Jeanne and Dick Hill, John Medved, Nat Perlman, Susie Kading, Don Vogel, Elmer Richardson, Bob Lumley, Gene Chase, George Danfman, Bill Mitchell, Wayne Johnson, Otis and Mark Lokken, Paul

and Nick Coletti, Randy Hytry, as well as a crew from EAA HQ including Bob and Paul Mackey, Vic Goyke, Norm and Loretta Petersen, Vern Lichtenberg, Kyle Barnhart, Greg Anderson, Carl Swickley, H.G. Frautschy and Ron Twellman. With that many hands, quick work was made of the task at hand, even with the rain showers that tried to drench us all. That's quite a cast! Many of these same folks would be there to lend a hand for the opening weekend, in addition to Dorthy and Buck Hilbert, Roger Gomoll, Jeff Plitt, Ron and Phyl­ lis Anderson, Vincent Weisensel, Carl Eichenauer and his son, Helen Lord Burr, Kathy Weinzierl, Jim Grist, Mary Leivian, Henry Kimberly, Tom Kriege, Virginia Kruse, Harvey Moss and Jayme Olson who all volunteered to help on opening weekend. A special announcer's stand was con­ structed for the EAA Public Relations crew to keep the crowd informed as to VINTAGE AIRPLANE 17

what was happening during the entire weekend. John Burton and (01' Silver Tongue) Steve Buss, both complete with carnival barker's costumes, did an outstanding job, especially for their first exposure to such a diverse crowd, inter­ spersed with airplanes taking off, people-mover trams rolling by and youngsters hollering for more ice cream. VINTAGE AIRPLANE editor H.G. Frautschy helped out with addi­ tional announcing duties. An additional star attraction for the Pioneer Grand Opening was the prototype Aerocar I, designed and cer­ tified by Molt Taylor of Longview, Washington. Recently restored to flying condition by the Emil Buehler Trust in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, the bright yellow and polished aluminum machine was a unique addition to the weekend festivities. And to add credence to the occasion, Molt Taylor and his lovely wife, Neil, were on hand as very special guests to accept plaudits from the entire crowd and answer at least a million questions about the Aerocar. This fas­ cinating couple has spent a lifetime in aviation and can only be spoken of as "the salt of the earth". Married for 52 years, Molt and Neil began their life together by ferrying two Luscombes at a time from New Jersey to their Long Beach, CA dealership in 1939! Other activities at the Pioneer Grand Opening included a hot air balloon, parachute jumpers with Gerry Walbrun making smoke rings with his T -6, a musical jazz band and an old fashioned ice cream social. Veteran EAA pilot, Gene Chase, made the fly-bys with the Aerocar as well as the newly completed "Spirit of St. Louis" replica. Paul Poberezny inaugurated the Ford Trimotor rides from Pioneer Airport, personally signing many of the flight tickets. Captain Dick Hill made many

Vintage planes and vintage cars set the atmosphere for the opening weekend of Pioneer Airport.

This area will be dedicated to the memory of John L. Vette, Jr., one of Oshkosh's early aviators. A $30,000 contribution in honor of Dale Crites for the construction of the Airport Manager's office had been pledged by David Lau and Aunt Nellie's Farm Kitchens. Other contributions to this exciting new addition to this area of Pioneer Airport include a $10,000 con­ tribution from Bill Rose, $10,000 from R.W. Kaplan and $10,000 from John and Dick Bergstrom. The Board of Directors of the Antique/Classic Division voted to approve a $5000 con­ tribution towards both new buildings at Pioneer Airport. Workspace for the museum staff will definitely improve with the new addition and a new "Barnstorming Theater will add to the color of the weekends. All in all, the excellent weather and the mood of the large crowd combined to make a memorable weekend. We look forward to the many weekends coming up and encourage any and all folks who would like to help out for a spell, please volunteer your services. It will give you a real feeling of satisfac­ tion. See you at Pioneer Airport! Pioneer Airport at the EAA Air Ad­ venture Museum is in operation every weekend (weather permitting) throughout the summer and faLL, with flying ending on the 1st weekend in Oc­ tober. Full size aircraft fl ying is suspended during the Giant Scale RIC model contest the weekend of Septem­ '5u ber 22, and no flying takes place during the EAA Convention. We look forward The EAA Aviation Foundation's Ford Trimotor completes another flight with a planeload to seeing you there! • of happy passengers. 18JULY 1991

of the passenger flights with his lovely wife, Jeanne, selling the tickets. This was a first for the Foundation Ford, and it has been announced that weather per­ mitting, the Ford will be available for rides every weekend throughout the Pioneer Airport flying season. Other vintage aircraft flown each hour in­ cluded the Meyers OTW, Lincoln PT­ K, Piper J-4 Cub Coupe and Ed Wegner with his immaculate Spartan C-3 biplane, as well as Charlie Bell and his former Grand Champion Fairchild 24W. Mark Lokken and his Heath Parasol showed the crowds what the word "ultralight" meant in the early 1930's. A new artifacts storage hangar with an attached manager's office is being constructed on the Pioneer Airport site and should improve the area a great deal. Janet Vette and the SNC Foundation is sponsoring the Pioneer Airport Artifact Storage Facility with a pledge of $50,000.

Waco 10 (GXE), NC3807, S{N 1197 This photo of a sharp looking Waco 10 with a bright red and dark blue paint

scheme was sent in by Harold Salut (EAA 92575, AIC 1772) of Bemidji, Minnesota. A former PBY "Black Cat" pilot from WW II, Harold restored the Waco and enjoyed its company for twenty years, 1955 to 1975. The Waco is presently registered to George Dray of Dallas, TX and is one of 41 GXE models still on the U. S. Register. Harold Salut is the author of the book, "Fragile Wings and Gentle Giants", a beautiful book about the barnstorming and airshow days of the 1930's in the western U. S. and Canada. This 75足 year-old pilot has had a fantastic career in aviation that spanned sixty years and over thirty thousand hours of flying .

Piper Super Cruiser, N3461M, S{N 12-2316 These two photos of a pristine PA-12 Super Cruiser were sent in by owners Mike and Nancy Murphy (EAA 298870, AIC 12541) of Columbus, MS. Mike reports the PA-12 was purchased in 1989, following another party doing considerable restoration work on the bird from '85 to '87, including the addi足 tion of PA-18 stabilizers and elevators. The Murphys added a new interior, avionics and overhauled the instru足 ments. The Cruiser still has the original 108 hp Lycoming 0-235C and both aircraft and engine have 1280 hours since new! They report the airplane flies very nicely and the transition to tailwheel flying was relatively painless.


Faust 301, NS901V, SjN 301 Here is an airplane to stump the ex­ perts! This rather neat looking machine is a cross between a PA-12 Super Cruiser and a Fairchild 24. It was con­ structed by Elmer Faust of Cody, Wyoming, back in the 1950's (It was featured in the May 1957 Experimenter magazine). It is presently owned by Al Peterson of Wasilla, Alaska, who sent in the photos. The fuselage and wing are PA-12, but the additions include PA-14 flaps, PA-18 tail feathers, Fairchild 24 landing gear (with extended PA-12 gear legs), five-gallon oil tank behind panel and a 165 Warner Super Scarab cowled with a Cessna Airmaster ring. Two of the upper cylinder baffles are plastic which help the visibility during landing and taxi work. The three place aircraft does a good job of hauling a load, gets in and out of small places and, of course, sounds like an airplane is supposed to sound! Al Peterson reports he is looking for a new home for this unique bird as he would hate to see it end up on a forlorn sandbar in the Alaskan bush. If you can give the Faust a good, safe home, call Al Peter­ son at 907-376-0146 in Wasilla, AK.

This pretty Piper Pacer, N 1620P, SIN 22-2434, (converted Tripacer) is owned by Ron Willke (EAA 122098) of Ed­ wards, CA. While he was off flying F-16 fighters in Korea, his friend, Brian Bristol (EAA 93121), a flight test en­ gineer at Edwards AFB, flew the Pacer to Oshkosh for the big EAA convention. This photo was taken during a stop over at Ainsworth, NE. Brian, who at one time worked for INA V in Oshkosh, reports the Pacer is a dandy cross country machine and he enjoyed the long trip to Oshkosh and back. 20 JULY 1991

The Hendersons And Their Piper L-4 by H.G. Frautschy During World War II , the light airplane would contribute to the war effort in a way that many would not have believed just a few naive years before. At a Washington meeting, Wil足 liam T. Piper, Sr. remarked that the light airplane had not been given the chance to show what it could do for the military. Later, he and representatives from Aeronca and Taylorcraft would agree to put on a demonstration for the Army. A few forward-thlnking individuals both in and out of the services could see the usefulness of a low and slow aircraft for the purpose of artillery spotting, includ足 ing Lt. Colonel W.W. Ford, a field artil足 leryman and a light plane pilot, who wrote a thought provoking discourse proposing the use of a light plane for artillery spotting and aerial observation. His efforts, as well as the work of W. T. Piper, Sr. and others finally paid off in an invitation to light plane manufac足 turers to participate in the u.s. Army maneuvers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, in the early summer of 1941. The use of the light airplane would be proven in these and subsequent trials. As told by Mike Strok, the edi tor of the "L-4 Grass-






A two-place plane used also for primary training.






c: o





c: o


True to every detail, the stenciling on the side of the boot cowl show the amount of care taken by Dave and Paula Henderson in the restoration of their l-4.

hopper Wing Newsletter" of the Cub Club, the Grasshopper got it's name early on. At the maneuvers held that fall at Fort Bliss, Texas, Major General Innis P. Swift looked out the flap of his tent at a Piper 0-59 bouncing through the mesquite and grass clumps of the west Texas hills. After the landing, he remarked to the pilot, Piper employee Hank Wann, "You looked Like a darn grasshopper when you landed that thing in the boondocks and bounced around! " The name stuck for the dura­ tion, and would be adopted by the Army field artillery and infantry as the unoffi­ cial title of the light plane class. The order for the L-4 was cut in February, 1942 and on June 6, 1942 the die would be cast, setting the standard by which all other liaison aircraft would be judged. On orders from the Secretary of War, Frank Knox, Brigadier General l.H. Edwards would send a memo to Lt. General Lesley J. McNair, the Commanding General of u.S . Anny ground forces. In the memo, after authorizing the inclusion of 2 liaison aircraft to each Field Artillery unit, as well as other assignn1ents, he said, "The airplanes will be commercial low performance aircraft ofthe "Piper Cub" type . .. ". The little "Grasshopper" would earn its keep in the military in WW II for many of the same reasons that it worked so well in civilian hands - it was slow and maneuverable, generally very reli­ able and easily maintained and it was, in 22 JULY 1991

the hands of highly skilled and specially trained pilots, able to land in small unimproved strips. It would enable these pilots to perfonn their assigned missions, as well as many more that would be improvised as the situation demanded. The Piper Cub would be destined to be the most prolific Grasshopper in the second World War. Almost 5600 of the L-4 family would be delivered to the u.S. Anny Air Forces, with 200 serving with the u.S. Navy. Others in the Piper Cub line would serve, including the Piper HE-1 air ambulance, a variation of the J-5C Cruiser. The L-4 would be the Iightplane that would earn the affection

of many servicemen and women during the war. It would be put on floats, skis or wheels, meeting the Army's needs when called upon. Many people are not aware of one other launch and retrieval method, one that many thought went out with the Curtiss Sparrowhawks on the airship Macon. Everybody remembers the stubby little fighters that were launched and recovered in mid-air by using a hook on the airplane and a trapeze on the airship. How many of you know about the "Brodie Device"? This ingenious contraption consisted of a cable and hook system that allowed the launch and recovery of an LA without it ever having to touch the ground. A Navy LST (Landing Ship, Tank), rigged with poles and the cable, could support naval shelling with LA's that were launched and recovered with the "Brodie". Other LSTs would be modified to become "Poor Man's Flat­ tops", with the addition of a wooden flight deck. With a 10 knot wind on the nose, and a slightly downhill ramp, the Cub could be off the deck in 50 yards. From there they would proceed to small strips along the beachead to land after accomplishing the mission. Stories about L-4 exploits are legen­ dary. From the delivery of blood plasma to the pounding of Gennan tanks with bazookas mounted on the wing struts, the Cub in war clothes performed whatever task it was called upon to ex­ ecute. In "The Stars And Stripes" newspaper of November 6, 1944, writer Earl Mazo detai led the exploits of Major Carpenter of Moline, Illinois, known sometimes as "Bazooka Charlie", who

too rotted out to use. Other than that, all of the parts came on the aircraft." Its not too often you get an aircraft these days without it having some parts replaced. But wait. It gets better. This LAB has the original Sensenich five laminate prop, which, Dave tells me, is a very rare prop to see with the Lititz, Pennsylvania decals on 'em. Sensenich has long since moved their operation to Lancaster, PA. The authentic color scheme on the L-4 is accurate too. The aircraft has markings for the 82nd Airborne. Dave's research indicated they had a contingent of eight aircraft in England, France and Germany during World War II. They were used for special purposes as well as artillery observation. Dave and Paula painted it with the original factory type colors - olive drab with the gray on the bottom, and invasion stripes that were used during the Nor­ mandy invasion to identify the aircraft so it didn't get shot down by friendly fire. One of the only changes for the sake of longevity is the covering. Its covered with Ceconite and finished with Randolph dope, and they've matched the colors. Randolph was the original producer of the paint for Piper and they matched the paint exactly to the old specifications. About the only other change they made was also made in the interest of keeping the airplane in one piece - they installed a full swivel tail wheel! The full swiveling action also makes it a lot easier for Paula to handle the airplane as she "woman­ handles" the L-4 in the hangar. Paula? The L-4 is Paula's airplane, and fly it she does. According to Dave, she flies

How about an original checklist in the original plastic holder? The panel for the L-4 should look very familiar to any Cub pilot. had 4 tanks to his credit. The L-4 could that one had 195 hours of actual combat also help ground troops out of a time on it. We learned a lot of things desperate situation. According to this about what was authentic and what was same story, Lieutenants Egbert Peters not on that one, so we carried those over and John Cramer "saved a Sherman tank to this one here." Dave explained. The crew by dropping a hastily-sketched Henderson couple make their living at situation map enabling the tank to get the Henderson Air Ranch in Felton, Delaware. They specialize in the res­ into position to beat off attacking Ger­ man armor." Until the advent of the toration and repair of Piper J-3 Cubs, helicopter, few aircraft could offer the and usually have a bevy of Cubs waiting low speed utility the L-4 could boast. to get their wings in the hangar. They The LA would serve in both theaters both gave me the tour as I checked out of operations throughout the war, until it their handwork. "It's got a Continental was slowly augmented in some areas by A-65-8, which is the original engine the the Stinson L-5, which had a better load airplane was delivered with. All the carrying capability, as well as a better components of this airplane are the performance at higher density altitudes. original components of it, with the ex­ ception of the stabilizers, which were It's 49 years later and as I walk down the showplane line at Sun 'n Fun '91, Dave and Paula Henderson have just arrived. With just a glance you could almost hear the crackle of radio calls and the sharp crack of field artillery back in 1943. Built in 1942, the Henderson's L-4B is one of the most original liaison restorations seen anywhere, right down to the 800x4 Cub tires and the trailing wire antenna com­ plete with wind cone. This particular L-4B, one of the first 100 built, was delivered in July of 1942 at Ft. Sill, Oaklahoma. Used for flight training of Army Air OP (Operations) pilots, it would remain in the USAF inventory until May of 1956 when it was trans­ ferred to the Civil Air Patrol. It was finally surplused in 1973. This is Dave and Paula's third L-4 restoration. "We had done an L-4H before this one, and Dave and Paula Henderson of the Henderson Air Ranch in Felton, Delaware.


it well and as often as she can. The restoration is complete, with the entire airframe stripped and all hardware replaced, including the con­ trol cables. Even on a simple airplane like a Cub it's not a task to be taken lightly, and particular attention was paid to the steel tube fuselage. With a "regular" restoration, you nor­ mally only have to worry about finding airplane parts, but with an L-4, you have to contend with finding items like a field artillery radio. That's when you start scouring the military memorabilia col­ lectors and surplus sellers, hoping to find just the right item to make your restoration complete. In Dave's case the search was on for a BC659A2 radio set. As Dave explained: "They produced these aircraft at the factory with HF radios, and they found that they worked fine in the States but nobody that the L-4 pilots wanted to talk to were on the same frequency! All the artillery units were on different frequencies, so, instead of getting new radios with new frequencies, they simply grabbed all the radios out of the jeeps, bolted'em down on the back deck and threw the whip antenna up through the roof, and they had their radio! The battery pack was mounted underneath the front seat. Later, that seemed to be a field modi­ fication that was done on all the LAs." Details usually will determine how successful a restoration is, and the Henderson's L-4 is loaded with them. How about an original silk parachute used now as a seat cushion, or the check­ list carefully contained in an original plastic holder? The stencils marking the servicing requirements of the engine are flawless. But the one detail that stands out the most is the cone on the radio trailing wire antenna. Dave agrees. "The cone is probably the most unique item on the aircraft. You can see that the cone is a real fragile piece and so during the war you imagine flying around with that cone back there, it's going to get tom up quite easily. As far as we know, we've never seen another one in existence - never heard of another one in existence! We're scared to death that somebody will wal k by and grab it and play with it or something, but it does need to be on the aircraft for display purposes." Made out of a semi-clear transparent plastic, the cone has a metal beading around the outside, with a small fitting for the wire in the center. According to D ave, th IS styl e was th e fiIrs t·IUS tall ed on O

24 JULY 1991

than a Cub! When it was all over and the prizes had been awarded for this year at Sun 'N Fun '91, Dave Henderson and his pretty pilot/wife Paula had been honored with the Reserve Grand Cham­ pion Antique award. Trying to keep at least one step ahead of the weather, they were already working their way up the East Coast towards their home base in Delaware, looking forward to the next project. I'll bet you can all guess what that will be! A Cub, of course! •




~ ~

Myriad details in the aft cockpit earned the Reserve Grand Champion Antique Award for the L-4 at Sun 'N Fun '91.

the L-4. It proved to be a bit more expendable than the military preferred. They would later go to a fabric windsock, and then to a plastic cone with a hole all the way through, con­ figured like a rigid windsock. Like any other Cub, the L-4 holds 12 gallons of fuel, and goes very slow ­ 73 miles an hour. But it climbs well as Dave and I found when we went out for a late afternoon photo mission at Sun 'n Fun. We climbed up to almost 7000 feet to get on top of the haze layer, and the L-4 probably would have kept right on going a bit higher, but we both were getting cold. Even in the Florida heat, you can still find a place where its nice and cool! Dave got the worst of it in the back seat where the L-4 shares another, less prestigious trait of the Cub. Few doors on light airplanes leak air more

We'vejustscratched the surface ofthe liaison aircraft's contribution to the war effort, and the diverse group ofmen who prevailed upon the Army to let them show what a lightplane could do, given the chance. If you'd like to read more about the Piper L-4 and other liaison aircraft in WWII, the new book "The Fighting Grasshoppers" by Ken Wakefield was a great resource in preparing this article. The book is available from EAA for $29.95 plus $4.50 S&H. Call 1-800/843­ 3612for ordering information. Another book that was a big help in the writing was Devon Francis' "Mr. Piper And His Cubs". It is no longer in print, but per­ haps your local library or a friend has a copy. Finally, my thanks to Mike Strok, the Editor ofthe L-4 Grasshopper Wing Newsletter" ofthe Cub Club for his ex­ pertise. Mike was a Piper employee and was called up to active duty from the reserves in 1942. He was one ofthe first 50 Artillery Air OP pilots trained and qualified by the U.S. Army. He proved to be a very resourceful L-4 pilot during the war. Once, in order to drop supplies to stranded troops, he and his crewjury rigged a bomb drop mechanism to his L-4 and then made supply bombs" to get the much needed supplies to the Marines on the ground below. Even with altered flying characteristics, the Cub and Mike were able to complete their mission. I'd urge anyone who would like to learn more about liaison aircraft to read these books, as well as the L-4 Grasshopper Newsletter To join the Grasshopper Wing ofthe Cub Club, contact: L-4 Grasshopper Wing, P.o. Box 2002, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48804-2002. Duesare$lO.ooperyear. Another newsletter covering a wider range ofaircraft types is Bill Stratton's "International Liaison Pilot and Aircraft Association Drop an SASE to Bill at 16516 LedgestQne, San An­ tonio, TX. 78232 for more information. U








~ In addition to the 82nd Airborne markings, the L-4 features this original trailing wire antenna cone.


--1] An information exchange column with input from readers.

by Buck Hilbert (EAA 21, AIC 5) P.O. Box 424 Union, IL 60180-0424

Talk about a dilemma! What do you do about answering letters like the two I have printed here? I'm flattered to know that VINTAGE AIRPLANE is being read as far away as Nigeria, but what credence can I grant to either of these individuals? I haven't yet decided how to approach this one . Any psychiatrists out there? If so, Pass It To Buck! Dear Buck Hilbert, I am very happy how I saw your picture and your name in 1990 VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine, very interesting. My main opinion of writing to you is to tell you about my need, I will like to be your friend, I like to be a pilot, but I don't have any body that will help me and give me advice about it. Since you are a member of EAA, I hope you will help me in that. Please Sir, I want to beg you some足 thing important to me. Can you send to

me that EAA cap or any thing from EAA even their magazine. My interest is much more in aviation, if it is not possible you live it. I will like to tell you something that is bad which I don't like. Three boys living near me at Nsukka saw me when I was reading VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine and they told me to give them to read and I gave them and they took it to run away and I hold one of them and they started biting me. Then they went and copyed all the ad足 dress in it and then they gave me back the magazine and they told me that they are going to write to you for you to send them the magazine and publish thier name in the VINTAGE AIRPLANE or in SPORT A VIA nON magazine. Their names are (Vicent Ogbolu and Basil Okoje) please don't reply their letter please I beg you . How about EAA center I know every thing is allright. I hope I will visit their one day in my life send my greetings to everyone of them

also send my greetings to every member of your family. Thanks. I love you especially your plane, Yours Friend, Solomon U. Maduagwuna. "Write soon" Dear Buck, I hope you will not be too surprised to receive this letter. Although I have never written to your company before, my name is Arinze Charles, a 17 year old boy, I am in senior secondary 5. I got your address from my when I gone through your magazine, and I am interested knowing about your com足 pany. Please endeavour to send me your magazine and any other sendable thing that will please me. I will be greatful if my request is granted. Thanks for your co-oporation. Yours faithfully, Ukwe Arinze. VINTAGE AIRPLANE 25

Installing Shoulder Harnesses

In Your Aircraft

by Charlie Lasher, EAA 281386 The author ofthis article, Charlie Lasher, is well known within the circle of Aeronca enthusiasts as the man who ran the Aeronca Club for many years. An aeronautical engineer and an A&P with an Inspection Authorization, Charlie has been involved in light aircraft for nearly 50 years. Shoulder harnesses are, of course, not required by regulation on older aircraft, but I cannot imagine why anyone would not want to install them. Since 1978, new aircraft are required to have them installed, including a properly designed attach fitting that will transfer harness loads into the airframe; older aircraft do not. To approve harness installations in older aircraft, the FAA issued a revision to Advisory Circular 43 .13-2A which illustrates typical examples of harness installations. These are of a general na­ ture and since each aircraft model is different, there are some grey areas in which the A&P must improvise.

One typical example, illustrated in figure 9.8 of the Circular, is used fre­ quently because it is the easiest to in­ stall, and is automatically FAA approved by virtue of the AC. This installation, however, should not be used, because it only straps the occupant to the seat, and not to the primary struc­ ture. Piper, Aeronca, Taylorcraft and many homebuilts do not have seats designed to take 9G forward impact loads. The AC states that the harness should withstand an impact load of 9 to 12 G's, but there is no practical way to load test a seat to 2040 pounds.


:; ~




;'i ~L-______________________________________~__~~__~~______~

As explained in this article, this installation shown in Advisory Circular 43.13 may cause additional injuries in an impact. See the next illustration. 26 JULY 1991

In a forward impact with an installa­ tion such as Figure 9 of the AC, the seat back would fail under the loads imposed by the harness attached to the seat back only. All forward restraint would be lost. The occupant would go forward to sustain head injuries, and with the har­ ness still bolted to the seat bottom, the harness will compress the torso of the body causing spinal injuries. (The Ad­ visory Circular details some of this in­ formation in Chapter 9. - HGF) Any harness installed in a cabin airplane should pass over the shoulders, aft and upward at an angle of no less than 45 degrees, in accordance with in­ dustry standards. When this is not pos­ sible, as in the case of an open cockpit, the harness should go over the shoulders, straight back, (not down), and bolt to a longeron cluster or a major structural member. All attachments should be metal to metal. Wrapping the harness straps around the tubing is not an acceptable method of attachment. If an owner goes to the trouble and expense to install harnesses, he should install the best type he can. In my opinion, the aerobatic type harness, with the straps connecting to the seat belt at the center of the lap is best. Shoulder straps should pass over both shoulders, connnecting at the center of the lap belt. This is the best insurance policy you can buy; if you are going to go, go first class. The single diagonal chest strap illustrated and recom­ mended in Figure 9.1 if the AC is an automotive type and is O.K. if you are only planning to have half an accident. Most accidents and accompanied by a side load component; a side load would throw an occupant out of a single strap harness. This type will impose twice as much pressure on the chest as would a double strap, cracking ribs with a 35 mph impact. The FAA has been re­ quested to delete the seat type harness from AC 43.13-2A. Each aircraft model presents dif­ ferent installation problems. Some are more difficult than others, and they should be studied very carefully to give

should be used. Because I am mainly involved in Aeroncas, I will send instructions to Champ and Chief owners showing the best attachment methods. Send a stamped, self addressed envelope to this address: Charlie Lasher 4660 Parker Ct. Oviedo, FL 32765

In this modified drawing, the noor mounted inertia reel could compress the spine, and the lap belt secured to the seat pedestal would be of little use should the seat structure fail.

the best protection, and to avoid weakening the airframe structure. I have seen harnesses bolted directly to 1" tubes by 3/8" bolts, with the hole for the bolt dirlled directly through the tube!

This seriously weakens the structure. I've also seen straps simply wrapped around tubing, which can slip or slide, as well as fray. When attaching the harness, standard seat belt attach fittings

The seat belt/shoulder harness dilem­ ma has been discussed many times during the past years within the pages of SPORT AVIATION. Tony Binge/is wrote an article published in the January 1974 issue of SA that also ex­ plains the installation criteria. For a list of other articles and letters to the editor printed in EAA publications during the past 30 years that deal with this issue, send a stamped, self ad­ dressed envelope to the Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, EAA Aviation Center, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Please mark the outside of your request with the words "Shoulder Harness Info Request".


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July 27-28 - Schiocton, WI, Air­ port. Annual Fly-In. Food both days, raffle, Skydiving, and band Saturday night. Free camping to EAA members during week of convention. Contact Joyce Baggot 414/986-3547. July 26-Aug.l - Oshkosh, WI 39th Annual EAA Fly-In and Sport Aviation Convention. Wittman Regional Air­ port. Contact: John Burton, EAA Avia­ tion Center, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086 414/426-4800. For housing informa­ tion, contact Housing Hotline, 414/235­ 3007. August 3-4 - Schenectady County, NY Airport. NORTHEAST FLIGHT '91 AIRSHOW, sponsored by The Em­ pire State Aerosciences Museum & Schenectady County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Robert W. Schuhl, Director, Northeast Flight '91, Suite 419, Mohawk Mall, Schenectady, NY 12304-2301; 518/382-0041. August 18 - Pewaukee, WI, Capital Airport. Antique/Classic Chapter 11 6th Annual Ice Cream Social. All you can eat ice cream sundaes, vintage aircraft display. Contact: George Meade, President, A/C Chapter 11. 414/962-2428. August 23-25 - Sussex, NJ Airport (Route 639). 19th Annual SUSSEX AIRSHOW '91. Gates open 8am, show starts 1:30pm. Information, contact Paul G. Styger, Sussex Airport Manager, P. O. Box 311, Sussex, NJ 07461,201/702-9719 or 201/875-7337. September 7 Chico, CA Municipal Airport. Chico Airshow and Antique Fly-In commemorating 50th Anniversary of the Flying Tigers. Hospitality package to all registered pilots includes Friday evening BBQ, Dance tickets, Saturday Pancake break­ fast. Antiques, homebuilts, military & all others welcome. Chico Airshow and 32 JULY 1991

Antique Fly-In Committee, 236-A W. East Ave., Box 166, Chico, CA 95926, 916/894-3218. September 13-15 - Jacksonville, IL. Seventh Annual Byron Smith Memorial Stinson Fly-In and Reunion. Seminars on Stinson 108s and Franklin engines, Saturday banquet. Fly-outs, contests, camping at field. Contact: Loran Nordgren, 4 W. Nebraska, Frankfort, IL 60423, or call 815/469­ 9100. September 13-15 - Eagle River, WI. Union Airport. Flying Apache Fly-in and general membership meet­ ing. Contact: Flying Apache Associa­ tion,715-479-7333. September 13-15 - Tahlequah, OK Municipal Airport located 50 miles east/southeast of Tulsa. 34th Annual Tulsa Fly-In. Contact Charlie Harris, 3933 South Peoria, Tulsa, OK 74105, 918/742-7311. ALSO lith Annual Na­ tional Bucker Fly-In. Contact: Frank Price, Route 1, Box 419, Moody, TX 76557,817/772-3897 or 817/853-2008. September 14-15 - Rock Falls, IL. 5th Annual North Central EAA "Old Fashioned" Fly-In. Workshops, forums, exhibits, swap meet, and awards. Camping on field, Pancake Breakfast Sunday only. Contact: Dave Christianson, 815/625-6556. September 20-21 - Coffeyville, KS. Funk Aircraft Owners Reunion, celebrating 50 years of Funk Manufacturing Company history in Coffeyville. Contact: Ray Pahls, 316/943 -6920. September 21-22 - Mercedes (BA) Argentina. 10th National A/C Fly-in, sponsored by A/C Chapter 12. Contact: Abel Debock - c.c. 2752930 San Pedro - Argentina, or phone 0329-24307

September 29 - Simsbury Airport, Simsbury, CT. Antique Aeroplane Club of Connecticut's Annual Fly-In. Antiques, classics, Warbirds, awards! Food and refreshments available. Co-spon­ sored by EAA Chapter 324. For info, call 203/623-1823. Rain date: October 6. October 4-6 - Prescott, AZ. 20th Annual Copperstate Fly-in. For more information, call 1-800-477-0046. October 4-6 - Santa Ynez, CA. 1991 Western Waco Reunion Banquet Barbeque Saturday night, Pancake breakfast Sunday morning. Basic camping, motels in Solvang, CA. October 5-6 - Sussex Airport, Sus­ sex NJ. Quad Chapter Fly-In and Fly market sponsored by EAA Anti­ que/Classic Chapter 7, and EAA chap­ ters 238, 73 and 891. Construction demonstations. Contact: Konrad Kun­ dig 201/361-8789 or Paul Steiger 201/702-9719. October 5-6 - Titusville, FL. Ar­ thurDunnAirpark. Smilin' Jack Fly-in, sponsored by EAA Chapter 866. Clas­ sics, antiques, homebuilts, ultralights, food, fun. Contact: Sam Beddingfield, 407/267 -4262. October 6 - lola, WI, Central County Airport. Annual Fall Colors Chili Dinner Fly-In. Serving lOam­ 3pm. Come and enjoy the beauty of Central Wisconsin in autumn. Info, 414/596-3530. October 10-14 - Tullahoma, TN, Regional Airport. Staggerwing, Travel Air, Howard Club, Spartan Owners Twin Beech Assoc., and Twin-Bonanza Association National Convention. For information, write: Staggerwing Museum, P.O. Box 550, Tullahoma, TN 37388 or call 615/455-1974.


By George Hardie

This month's Mystery Plane bears the name of a well known manufacturer during the Golden Years of aviation. The photo was submitted by 'Pete Bowers of Seattle, Washington . Answers will be published in the Oc­ tober issue of VINTAGE AIRPLANE. Deadline of that issue is September 5, 1991 . The April Mystery Plane was familiar to a number of readers. John Underwood of Glendale, California writes: "It is the the Columbia Triad, a Lee Worley design financed by the in­ famous Charles Levine. They built three if them and the project had pos­ sibilities, according to Roger O. Wil­ liams, the test pilot. At other times Roger referred to it as a 'Clunker'. The Traids were all stored in a big hangar at Roosevelt Field, along with 'Uncle

Sam', another Levine monstrosi ty. It was no surprise to anyone when the hangar burned down, reducing Charlie's aeronautical holding to ashes. He is thought to have attempted to col­ lect insurance money, but the claim was rejected. He subsequently did a couple of years in a federal pen for smuggling." Pete Bowers of Seattle, Washington adds: "This is the Columbia 'Triad' con­ vertible amphibian built by the Colum­ bia Airlines, Inc. of Long Island City, New York. The unusual feature of the design was the removable pontoon that fi tted to the underside of the fiat fuselage of a conventional four- pas­ senger cabin monoplane to make it an amphibian. The retractable landing gear was wide-track to allow this, and when operating as a seaplane or am­ phibian, wing floats were added on

struts just outboard of the wing struts. Columbia's catalog lists a 300 hp Wright J-6-9 or a 280 hp Columbia C engine, but the photo of the prototype shows a 220 hp Wright J-5. This engine was mounted very high by normal standards to provide clearance between the propeller and the pontoon at the cost of the pilot's forward visibility. The 'Triad', so named because of it ability the operate in the three elements of the land, sea and air was one of seemingly good ideas tha never caught on due to the diasterous effect of the Great Depression on the aviation industry." The Triad was flown in the 1929 Ford Reliability tour, October 5th thru the 21st, piloted by Roger O. Williams with passengers T . Burgess and 1. Friend. It was not entered as a contestant. Other references can be found in the March, 1929 issue of Aero Digest, and an article VINTAGE AIRPLANE 33

titled "Russian Refugees" by Walt Boyne, magazine not indi­ cated. Answers were also received from Bob Clark, Channel Is­ lands, California, Marty Eisenmann, Garrettsville, Ohio, Char­ ley Hayes, Park Forest, Illinois, John Grega, Bedford, Ohio, and Randy Barnes, Peoria, Illinois. A three-view drawing showing the high thrust line of the engine, as well as the pontoon that is reminiscent of the loening Air Yacht.

lee Worley's design, the Columbia "Triad", was destined to be a one-of-a­ kind ship with no future. Test pilot Roger O. Williams thought the project had pos­ sibilities, though sometimes he would refer to the ship as a "clunker". The plane would be lost in a suspicious hangar fire at Roosevelt Field in New York City.

WElCOME NEW MEMBERS The following is a partial listing of new members who recently joined the EM Antique/Classic Division. We are honored to welcome them into the or­ ganization whose common interest is vintage aircraft. Succeeding issues of VINTAGE AIRPLANE will contain addi­ tional listings of new members. Lyman, John W. Warner Springs, CA Johnson, Stephen Charles Grand Rapids, MN Butler, William L. Friendswood, TX Lund, Mark A. Jewel, IA Bonney, Sr., William W. Iowa City Gordon, Paul W. Helena, MT Peace Dale, RI Nunes, Peter A. Warfel, Richard D. Wheaton,IL Piccoli, GiovarUli ITALY Robbs, Franklin D. Baldwin City, KS Carnevale, Reynolds Fayetteville, NC Hemphill, Thomas E. Warrensburg, MO Orlando, FL Baldwin, Thomas R. Kugler, Mike A. McCook, NE Verueren, Denis BELGIUM Lewisville, TX Smith, Paul S. Wallace, Jr., Eben Scituate, MA Goebel, Frank Joliet,IL Fuller, William E. West Hartford, CT Downs, Jolm R. Spencer,IA Payne, Howard H. Cambria, CA Stembridge, James F. Kernville, CA Cunningham, Jr., Charles W. New Albany, IN Burkhart, James R. Franklin, IN Gamble Robert O. Rockhill, SC Hodson, Mike Camarillo, CA Waldron, Robert J. Stillwater, MN Hatch, Donald A. Ontario, Canada Martens, Henk NETHERLANDS Kronberger, Warren Oak Park, IL 34 JULY 1991



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