Page 1

APRIL 2003

VOL. 31 , No. 4


VAA NEWS /H.G. Frau tsch y and Ric Reyno lds
























Publisher Editor-in-Ch ief Executive Ed itor News Editor Photography Staff

Advertising Coordinator Advertising/Ed itorial Assistant Copy Editing



Executive Director, Editor VAA Administrative Assistant Contributin g Editors Graphic Designer



Chugging along in the one-of-a-kind Pasped Skylark are the owner, Buzz Penny and restorer Tom Brown . Years of use had taken its toll on the Pasped, but Brown has restored it to its original factory configuration . It was presented with t he Antique-Bronze Age Champion trophy at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2002 . EAA photo by Jim Koepnick, Cessna 210 photo plane flown by Bruce Moore.


One of our international artists in the 2002 Sport Aviation Art Competition was Michael Short, of Pflugerville, Texas. " Bob's Hornet" is the title of his oil painting of Bob Lee 's DeHaviliand DH 87B Hornet Moth, which is based just out side Bristol, England. The painting was awarded an Honorable Mention ribbon by the j ury. Michael also qualified as one of the Master Artists of the annual art competition . Artists who have had their paintings presented with Par Excellence rib足 bons th ree different years are so designated .



Serving members This issue of Vintage Airplane will be out during Sun 'n Fun in sunny Lakeland, Florida. I will be visiting with a number of you, and despite a little sunburn and dirt from the sandy, dusty soil, I'll be having a great time! One of the neatest things about attending fly-ins is seeing the wide variety of airplanes the Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA) recognizes in the three differ­ ent judging categories. Occasionally, we hear concerns that we placed a Cessna 172 or sim­ ilar "modern" airplane on the cover of your Vintage Airplane magazine. Our approach to vintage air ­ planes has always been broader than antique airplanes. We 've been reaching out to airplanes that are already acknowledged as vintage airplanes, whether they predate World War II or were built in the decade following the war. In the early 1990s we added the contemporary category for judg­ ing after being petitioned by you for an expanded postwar category. Recognizing that airplanes pro­ duced after 1955 were a "different breed of cat," we chose to add a third category rather than expand the classic section. A number of yo u related to me that our expansion of the Contem­ porary category is reminiscent of the time, early in the 1970s, when we added the classic category in 1971. There was a similar "hue and cry" about all owing Piper Cubs to park in the same area as the an­ tique airplanes. At that time, the Cubs were only 25 years old or so, and many felt that Cubs, Champs and their ilk were not worthy of the new judging stat u s. As those

airplanes aged and became treas­ ured airplanes, that sentiment was replaced with recognition of the excellent work being done to re­ store the postwar airp lan es. And enthusiasm for the ant iqu e air­ plane never waned; it continues to be a strong, integral part of our overall organization. A 172 built in 1966 ha s been maintained for over 35 years now, and many of you who petitioned us to create this judging category, plus the VAA board, feel it's appropriate to encourage the maintenance and restoration of airplanes from this era . When you read Vintage Airplane you will not find the pages filled with how to fly to a grill and buy a $100 hamburger because you can find that type of article in ten other aviation publications. We are about supporting members from a techni­ cal standpoint, setting judging standards that wi ll encourage peo­ ple to restore and maintain th e ir aircraft, and having programs that are tailored to o ur class of aircraft for the membership. That 1966 172 wi ll soon be 40 years old. The FAA has generally said that from their standpoint, an airplane that is 30 years old is con­ sidered an antique. As you would expect, we've found that individu­ a ls tend to be fond of the aircraft that was most popular when they became serio u s abo ut flying and aviation activities. On the other hand , th ere are those aviation enthusiasts of a ll ages who love the antiq u es and others who prefer the classics. I can totally understand why they fee l that way. We do o ur best to balance our

editorial coverage to include all areas of our judging categories, weighted towards those areas with the strongest following. In 2002, for instance , out of the 12 cover subjects for the year, 6 were an­ tiques (including Andrew King's Ryan M-l restoration and Buzz Kaplan's Sikorsky 5-38 reproduc­ tion) and 6 were classics. None were contemporary airplanes. As it happens, there have been a pair in the first part of 2003, the 172 you saw, and the Geronimo on this month's cover. A few folks have wondered why we do not advance our judging cat­ egory each year. Our experience does not indicate a need for it at this time. However, we review this matter each year, so the rules are not set in stone. I hope that I have helped you understand how the Vintage Air­ craft Association views the world of older aircraft. We are always open to your opinions regarding any matters that affect your Associa­ tion. We're also open to yo ur articles and thoughts on technical issues. Fee l free to contact your magazine's editor, H.G. Frautschy, if you have a technical article you'd like to submit. As a member you can help the VAA by asking a friend to join up with us . Let's all pull in the same direction for the good of aviation. Remember we are better together. Join us and have it all! ....... VINTAGE AIRPLANE



VAA Picnic and Type Club Din­ ners The VAA Picnic during AirVen­ ture Oshkosh 2003 will be held the evening of Wednesday, July 30, at the EAA Nature Center Pavilion. Because it is so early in the week, plan to purchase your tickets right after you arrive at Oshkosh. Tickets have "sold out" the last two years. Type clubs are again invited to hold their dinners at the VAA Pic­ nic. We will gladly reserve tables for your group so you can all sit to­ gether. To make plans for your type club, contact Theresa Books in the VAA office at 920-426-6110 or via e-mail at

Fire Destroys Poly-Fiber Office, Warehouse Manufacturing Operation Saved The office and warehouse building of Poly-Fiber Inc., a lead­ ing manufacturer of fabric covering materials for the avia­ tion industry, was destroyed by fire on Friday morning, February 21, at its location on the Flabob Airport, Riverside, California. Thankfully, there were no injuries caused by the blaze, which oc­ curred before work hours. Poly-Fiber employs 15 people. Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to Poly-Fiber's other building, which houses all manufacturing operations and additional warehouse space. General Manager Jon Golden­ baum writes that they are moving into their intact production facil­ ity, and that all is going well. They expect to be fully up and running by the time this issue goes to press. Distributors have ample stocks, so customers can expect little to no delay. "We still have full production capabilities, and we will continue to manufacture our products," he 2

APRIL 2003

added. "We ask our customers to please be patient and under­ standing if they encounter any delays in receiving products." Since distributors have a decent supply of inventory, and they can mix their own color topcoats in-house, the overall impact on the end-user should be minimal, Goldenbaum said. Officials suspect the cause of the fire was electrical, but no determi­ nation has been made. The company is open for business and is available for technical questions as usual. For more information, visit

Operation POP Readies for Third EAA AirVenture Operation Protect Our Planes (POP) is actively seeking individ­ uals (or families) to volunteer at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2003. POP volunteers are highly visible, energetic convention volunteers whose main responsibilities are to thank owners for flying their aircraft to EAA AirVenture, and to remind EAA AirVenture attendees about the Oshkosh rules regard­ ing flight line etiquette and activities around the airplanes. Created at EAA AirVenture 2001, Operation POP seeks vol­ unteers of all fitness levels and abilities for walking patrols and stationary assignments. At EAA AirVenture 2003, volunteers can cover the entire flight line, an aircraft community like home­ builts or warbirds, or focus on a specific aircraft, like the visiting Airbus Beluga or EAA's The Sprit of St. Louis. Volunteers between the ages of 14 and 17 must have written parental support. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Teresa Lauten­ schlager at or call 920-426-6131.

Continental Piston STC Issued Olde Thyme Aviation Inc. (OTA), known for the vintage aircraft collection they fly at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in Seattle, has been granted an STC for replacement pistons for the Continental radial engines W-670-6A and -6N often affectionately known as the venerable Continental 220's (220 hpj. Ken Hor­ witz, president of OTA, said that the STC project was an "effort of love" and couldn't possibly justify the $100,000 cost of engineering, engine, block run, fuel, labor, and consulting required to gain the STC approval. "I can see what prevents the enthusi­ ast from attempting this, and I'm doubtful that I would have pursued it if I truly knew how expensive it was going to be," says Horwitz, "But we fly six aircraft at the Museum of Flight that have this famous engine, and I didn't want to change from the original authenticity be­ cause the country was out of pistons. Also, had it not been for a collaboration of other individuals, we never would have gotten this done. Pete Jones from Air Repair Inc. contributed his entire file on his earlier efforts to have the pistons made as far back as 1987. Larry Lujan of Gold Coast Aviation was instrumental in providing consulting with the FAA and personally performed the stringent block run requirement." The STC pistons are re-engineered using the same alloy that is used on the P&W 985 radial engines and on locomo­ tive engine pistons. Although we had to engineer for a different thermal coeffi­ cient, we are confident we have a much stronger piston than the original using modern alloys." Says Horwitz, adding that, "After the very grueling FAA re­ quired bl ock run, we only had slightly less than a single thousandths of an inch of wear on one single ring land on the entire seven pistons. I've never seen anything like that before!" Pistons will have a retail price of $395 and are available through Air Re­ pair Inc. in Cleveland, Mississippi, who will PMA certify them. Horwitz also wants to thank the numerous Stearman and Waco owners who encouraged Olde Thyme to go ahead with this project at Galesburg and other vintage aircraft fly­ ins during the 1999 and 2000 season. U

VAA's "Friends of The Red Barn"

VAA 2003 Convention Fund Raising Program The Vintage Aircraft Association is a major partici­ pant in the World's Largest Annual Sport Aviation Event - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh! The Vintage Divi­ sion hosts and parks over 2,000 vintage airplanes each year from the Red Barn area of Wittman Field south to the perimeter of the airport. The financial support for the various activities in connection with the weeklong event in the VAA Red Barn area has been principally derived from the Vin­ tage Aircraft Association's general income fund. Starting in 2002, the Vintage Board elected to more properly underwrite the annual Vintage Red Barn area Convention activities from a yearly special conven­ tion support fund. This effort is the VAA's "Friends of the Red Barn" program. This fundraising program is an annual affair, begin­ ning each year on July 1 and ending June 30 of the following year. This year's campaign is well underway, with contributions already arriving here at VAA HQ. Our thanks to those of you who have already sent in your 2003 contributions. You can join in as well. There will be three levels of gifts and gift recognition: Vintage Gold Level - $600.00 and above gift Vintage Silver Level - $300.00 gift Vintage Bronze Level - $100.00 gift Each contribution at one of these levels entitles you to a Certificate of Appreciation from the Division. Your name will be listed as a contributor in Vintage

Airplane magazine, and on a special display at the VAA

Red Barn. You will also be presented with a special name badge recognizing your level of participation. During AirVenture, you'll have access to the Red Barn Volunteer Center, a nice place to cool off. Gold Level contributors will also receive a pair of certificates each good for a flight on their choice of EAA's Ford Trimotor or New Standard Biplane, re­ deemable during AirVenture or during the summer flying season at Pioneer Airport. Silver Level contribu­ tors will receive one certificate for a flight on their choice of one of the two planes. This is a grand opportunity for all Vintage members to join together as key financial supporters of the Vin­ tage Division . It will be a truly rewarding experience for each of us as individuals to be part of supporting the finest gathering of Antique, Classic, and Contem­ porary airplanes in the world. Won't you please join those of us who recognize the tremendously valuable key role the Vintage Aircraft Asso­ ciation has played in preserving the great grass roots and general aviation airplanes of the last 100 years? Your partiCipation in EAA's Vintage Aircraft Association Friends of the VAA Red Barn will help insure the very finest in AirVenture Oshkosh Vintage Red Barn programs. For those of you who wish to contribute, we've included a copy of the contribution form . Feel free to copy it and mail it to VAA headquarters with your donation. Thank you.

- -~------ - ---- - - -- -- -- -- - - - - ---- -- - -- ---- ----- --- - --------------- - --- - --- - -- --------------------- - --------- .

2003 VAA Friends of the Red Barn Name_____________________________________________ EAA#_______________VAA# ______________




Please choose your level of participation : _

Vintage Gold Level Friend - $600.00

Mail your contribution to:

_ _

Vintage Silver Level Friend - $300.00 Vintage Bronze Level Friend - $100.00


o Payment Enclosed

o Please C harge my credit card (be low)

Credit Card Numbe r _____________________ Expiratio n Date ___________ Signature____________________________


*00 you or your spouse work for a matching gift compan y? If so, thi s gift may qu alify fo r a matching donati on. Please ask your Human Re­

sources department for the appropriate form .

Name of Company _________________________

The Vintage Aircraft Association is a non-profit ed ucational orga ni zation under Jl{S SOl c3 rules. Under Federal Law, the deduction from Federal In­

come tax for charitable co ntributions is limited to the amount by which any money (a nd the value of any property oth er than money) contributed

exceeds the value of the goods or services provided in exc hange for the co ntributi on. An appropriate receipt acknowledging your gift will be sent to

you for IRS gift reporting reasons.






Getting the message out!


Editor's Note: Paul Gould of Sar­ dinia, Ohio, fli es his award-winning A eronca Chi ef all over th e eastern United States, and he often u ses a handheld radio to communicate. Here are his thoug hts on radio and an­ tenna installations.

to match ground planes to the an­ tenna on fabric-covered airplanes. When used in the airplane, the lit­ tl e "rubber ducky" antenna supplied with handheld radios works well when you are close to airport traffic. These two photos show the AAE antenna mounted just aft of the fabric baggage compart­ ment in Paul Gould's llAC Chief. Keeping the antenna far away from the fuselage tubing helps keep the radiation pattern from being too adversely affected.

I'd like to add to the article by Ev an McCo mbs regarding in­ stalling handheld nav/comm radios in vintage airplan es (tube a nd fabri c) . Here's m y two cents worth on antenna types, and how 4

APRIL 2003

Using an outside antenna con­ Siderably increases the reception and transmission distances. The lo­ cations for the antenna are the biggest problem . Regular antennas mounted on the outside of the air­ plane either detract from the original appearance or wind up in awkward-looking locations. Want­ ing to avoid either of those situations brings me to the instal­ lation of the dipole antenna that was developed for airplanes built with composite materials. Ad­ vanced Aircraft Electronics builds these antennas, which were origi­ nally intended to be installed in layers of composite materials of the airplane. One communications antenna is to be installed vertically in the tail fin of composite aircraft. Th e navigation antenna was in­ stalled horizontally in the fuselage in the layers of composite mate­ rial, and they were buried forever in the composite materials. In

oth er app lications th e navigation antenna was installed along the wing spar. Installing th e dipole antenna in tube and fabric airplanes is not an easy ta sk . Dipole antennas don't work well when placed near metals, such as the airframe tubing. That's a no-no. To even think about putting a dipole antenna in fabric airplanes wi ll req uir e a lo t of thought and planning. You ' ve got t o pull out seats and the baggage compartment just to get inside the fuselage, where you'll probably find there is no suit­ ab le place to in st all the dipole antenna. The supplier recommends vertical installation, with the opti­ mum ang le at 90 degrees to any metal structure. However, it can be mounted up t o a 45-degree angle away from the metal. If you do so, the antenna's radia­ tion pattern suffers. It becomes more directional if installed at 45 degrees. Still, I was able to fit a dipole into my llAC Chi ef, as the fuselage is la rge enough to permit installation of the 40-inch-long ante nna . The cost of a dipole is approx im ately $150, plus fabricating wood mount­ ing members. I used a piece of 1/4-in ch by P/4-inch by 46-inch sp ru ce in my l1A C. The locati on was really the only place I could in­ sta ll it, so it went there, but I did have some doubt as to how good the installation would radiate transmis­ sion and reception. I didn't want to spoi l the original factory lo ok of restoration and lose points when the airplane was jud ged. The ga mbl e paid off, however, and I have a very good reception and transmission us­ ing a battery-powered Icom A-22 handheld transceiver. I have coupled

to this a little cheap Pilot II inter­ com, which works very well. I made sure that if the dipole in­ stallation had not gotten the good results, that I was able to remove the wood member the antenna was glued to by removing one 3/4-inch 5/5 No.6 P.K. screw. It was worth the gamble, as my installation works better than I expected. I can receive the ATIS and AWOS transmissions at 20 to 30 miles out, even better on some days. I've transmitted and re­ ceived on frequencies that are not often used, 123.45, as far as 90 to 100 miles. Ask Ray Johnson how far away we've talked air to air. Ray has his stainless steel whip antenna lo­ cated on the left wing root fairing. The dipole technician told me that any large metal objects must be at least 12 inches away from the an­ tenna. The 11AC auxiliary gas tank was my main concern. I was able to install my dipole 78 degrees from vertical, staying 12 inches from the gas tank. Note that the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) is installed on fuselage tubing using Adel clamps. The masking tape was used as a tem­ porary measure until I was sure I was going to be pleased with the lo­ cation of the antenna. I later glued the dipole to wood with aircraft glue used for cowl seal material. The seat of the 11AC must be moved forward as far as it will go to inspect the installation and test the ELT. Plus, every two years I have to pull it to change the battery during the airplane's annual inspection. The supplier said I could return the antenna if it was not damaged, which was a plus if I was unable to install it. I'm very happy I made the choice for the dipole. It's out of the way, not seen, and no one can tamper with it like the antennas in­ stalled on the outside of the airplane. You can reach Advanced Aircraft Electronics at or write to it at P.O. Box 28, Ellwood City, PA 16117. Their telephone num­ ber is 800-758-8632.

ANOTHER AA E ANTENNA IN STALLATION AAE antennas have been used by a number of restorers who were look­ ing for a hidden antenna installation. The location in Paul's Chief has a lot of good points. First, while not super convenient, access can be gained by re­ moving the seat and flipping up the fabric baggage compartment. The ends of the antenna are a good distance away from the fuselage tubing. We've seen installations in]-3 Cubs where the an­ tenna was installed vertically just aft of the windows, laid right on top of the stringers and secured in place before the fabric was applied. In a ~imilar installation in the Aeronca Sedan I fly, an ME antenna was also installed just aft of the baggage compartment, with the ends of the 40-inch-long antenna curving with the interior of the fuselage. (See photos .) There are a couple of important differ­ ences between my installation and the one in Paul's Chief. First off, the baggage compartment of the Sedan has a pair of metal bulkheads, with the lower portion a section of sheet aluminum. Because of its relatively close proximity to the an­ tenna, that one difference has a major impact on the radiation pattern of the antenna. Since it was installed on the left side of the airplane (reasoning that most of the transmissions at airports would be made to the left of the airplane, since we fly a left-hand pattern more often), transmission and reception to stations located off the right front of the air­ plane are negatively impacted, sometimes so much that a change in heading is needed. The rest of the receive/transmit pattern seems to be quite acceptable, even while using a relatively weak transmitter such as a handheld comm. I'd imagine it would be much improved with a stan­ dard panel-mount radio, or even a hard-wired, 12-volt RF amplifier. The great folks at ME pointed out that some fiddling with the exact location of the antenna might be needed to get an acceptable pattern, so we're planning on mounting the antenna with an orientation similar to Paul's installation. The beauty of this antenna is that it is extremely effi­ cient in terms of its consumption of transmitter power-very little is wasted once it leaves the radio. Plus, since no holes had to be drilled in the airframe to install it, you can fiddle to your heart's content with the location to see if you can get it to work even better. Obviously, mounting the ME dipole antenna in an all-metal airframe won't work, but if you've got a fabric-covered airplane, I'd certainly con­ sider installing a dipOle antenna using the procedures outlined in the ME literature. -H.G. Frautschy ....... VI NTAGE A IRPLAN E


The one-of-a-kind Pasped Skylark BUDD DAVISSON

his thing is so big that I had to build scaffold­ ing to work on it," Tom Brown, noted air­ craft restorer, says. He's talking about Robert "Buzz" Penny's Pasped Skylark, one of the lesser-known antiques to grace EAA AirVenture 2002. Actually, it's one of the lesser-known antiques in gen­ eral, and as crowds moved past it, the most common comment heard was, "It's kinda neat, but what is it?" The Pasped is one of those mid­ 1930s contradictions that clearly shows that even though the country was in the depths of a depression, people refused to let that dampen their enthusiasm for aviation. In 1935 Skylark Industries of Glendale, Ca lifornia, decided it would design and build an airplane 6

APRIL 2003

and offer it to the military as a trainer and general-use airplane . The fact that its only aviation expe­ rience had been in manufacturing small parts for a variety of indus­ tries didn't slow Skylark down. In fact, it appears it didn't even ask the military if it was looking for an airplane because when the airplane was finished, the military had no interest in it at all. By that time the military was receiving far more so­ phisticated project proposals from established airframe manufacturers. Aviation was changing quickly, but Messrs. Pastorius and Pederson of Skylark apparently didn't notice that. Incidentally, the employees came up with the name Pasped (Pastorius/Pederson, get it?). The closest the Skylark came to fulfilling its designers' dreams of

military service was when it wore an Army paint scheme of "stars and bars" while being used in the film­ ing of the 1930s film Without Orders, starring Robert Armstrong. The air­ plane did, however, receive a Group Two type certificate (#2-546, issued October 31,1937), an indication of how serious Skylark Industries was about the project. Buzz Penny says, "Only one air­ plane was built, and it's a miracle that it survived all those years. Most of the credit for that, however, should go to Bob Greenhoe, who owned the airplane for more than 30 years beginning in 1960 and kept it flying. In fact, from day one, the airplilne was never allowed to go derelict. It was always flying. Also, Bob was heavy into the history of the airplane and collected a lot of

information about it./I Buzz's own enthusiasm for the airplane stems from a rather unusual aviation background that led him to the Skylark via a circuitous route­ where most pilots begin in Cubs or C-150s, Buzz started in hot-air bal­ loons. A manufacturer and cattle rancher from Versailles, Missouri, Buzz says, "My dad flew B-17s dur­ ing World War II, but he left aviation behind as soon as the war was over. I had some interest in it, but I didn't do anything about it until around 1970, when I was driving north of Chicago and saw a hot-air balloon. I tracked it down to Fox River Grove airport and asked them how you learn to fly one of those. "I started taking lessons and even­ tually got my commercial ticket in them. The checkride in those days consisted of an examiner coming out and standing on the ground while I took off and landed. "Ed Yost, one of the true hot-air pioneers, was my instructor, and I got pretty serious about it. By '75 I was competing in long-distance races and duration events that lasted as long as two or three days. Then, in 1980, I decided I had to get into something faster and started work­ ing on my fixed-wing license. "I bought a )-3, and Max Weaver, a retired airline pilot, started teach­ ing me. I never did have any interest in anything but vintage airplanes, so I never got into anything modern. I bought a Stearman from Air Repair around 1984 and still have it today. I had a Cessna 195 for a while, but it was too modern and too fast for me. "I first learned about the Pasped when Greenhoe had an ad for it in Trade-a-Plane. The pictures of the air­ plane made it look small. Or at least normal size. When I went down to visit him, however, its sheer size overwhelmed me. "It had been progressively main­ tained over the years and had also been progressively modified. Each of the original six owners had changed this and that until, when I decided

to do a ground-up restoration, it was going to take a lot of work to correct the changes. Besides the deteriora­ tion that needed fixing, the turtledeck and windshield had been changed, and the instrument panel wasn't anything like the original. I decided to take the airplane all the way back to the way it looked when it left the factory. The only modifi­ cation I would keep was the 165-hp Warner Super Scarab engine that was installed in 1955 to replace the original 125-hp Warner./I Tom Brown, from Unity, Wiscon­ sin, entered the picture after the

airplane had already spent some time in another shop, so it was to­ tally disassembled when he received it. Tom says, "O ne of the hardest things about putting the airplane back together was that I didn't know exactly what went where. All of the stuff was in bags, which were tagged, but there was no key telling me where the bag's contents went on the airplane. Plus there were several mechanical systems, like the trim, that were unique to this airplane, and it took a lot of head scratching to figure out./I

Tom Brown and the Pasped Skylark 's owner and pilot, Buzz Penny.

A lot of research and scrounging went into restoring the instrument panel and cockpit as close as possible to the original 1935. VINTAGE AIRPLANE


During Bob Greenhoe's three decades of ownership, he amassed a huge amount of material, including a lot of factory blu ep rints , all of which were put to good use. According to Brown, liThe blue­ prints were great, but they didn't include many details. We could use them on the major assemblies, but the tiny stuff wasn't there. What re­ ally saved us, however, were the 100 snapshots the previous shop took of the airplane as they disassembled it." Because the airplane had always been flying and hangared, Brown says the fuselage steel was in good condition. liThe fuselage is standard steel welded tubing with an attached cen­ ter section which spans over 9 feet. The center section is made of a cou­ ple of really big tubes running parallel to each other and separated, and connected, with smaller tubes in a web. When we repaired it, the fuselage was cut in half, with heav­ ier tubing tacked in place, and a lot of the webbing was cut out of the center section and replaced. All of 8

APRIL 2003

the fuselage formers that the stringers attach to were in pretty sad shape or missing, so all were made new. Once repairs were made to the forward part of the fuselage, the old original aft section was reattached as it was in very good shape. liThe little side door is interesting," Brown says, "because it cuts into the fuselage truss and is surrounded by lots of steel. The doors are aluminum, and they were missing, so we built new ones from pictures. The only alu­ minum we saved on the entire airplane was the compound pieces at the bottom and the front of the wheel spats and the wing root fairings aft of the front spar. All of the aluminum we saved required lots of work on the English wheel to iron out 60-plus years of lumps. "We had really good pictures of the instrument panel, but finding all of the right instruments turned out to be one of the harder parts of the project. Among other things, both the flap and gas gauge were 6­ volt electric units, and they were hard to match. We fabricated a new

panel that was exact to the photos, and when we finally found all the right instruments, we shipped them out to Kansas City Instruments and had them refinished and rebuilt. They are as exact as we could possi­ bly get them. "I did the interior myself and, here again, matched the material and stitching patterns in the photos as much as possible. liThe original drum brakes were a guaranteed-to-fail design , and since Buzz planned on flying the airplane quite a bit, we thought it was a good idea to replace them with some­ thing a little more modern that wouldn't give him any problems. We went with lO-inch wheels off a Cessna 310 and used Cessna 210 calipers. We saved all of the original parts and restored them, so they can

be put back on the airplane at any time to make it totally original. liThe original bubble-type wind­ shield had been changed to a flat wrap, but we found we could dupli­ cate the original by cutting down an Ercoupe unit. At the same time we built a new turtledeck structure to bring it back down to the original lines. You sit pretty low in the air­ plane, and a previous owner had raised the turtledeck in an apparent effort at increasing the visibility. "When we got ready to work on the trim system, we realized we did­ n ' t know exactly how it went together. It has two tabs and is com­ pletely cable operated with cables coming in through both stabilizers Looking like a pampered pooch anxiously waiting for a treat from its mas­ ter, the Pasped 's extensive metal work meant a lot of time was spent at the English wheel , eliminating dents and dings from the com­ z ~ pound curved surfaces. C<:


J: tZ


:<: U.J


to a mixer in the fuselage. Every­ thing had been taken apart, and the blueprints didn 't show much, but, again, we got enough ideas about how it worked from the photos that we eventually figured it out. It's amazing how much harder it is to put something together that you didn't take apart." Some work had been done on the airplane prior to Brown receiving it into his shop, including part of the woodwork for the wings. Tom says, "New spars had been cut and new ribs built, so I took all of the wing parts over to my brother, Steve, who has a wing shop about 3 miles from my place. He routed the spars and assembled the pile of parts into wings. He specializes in aircraft wing work, and he does all of mine. We trade labor back and forth and are constantly helping each other

A 165-hp Warner seems to be just the right amount of power for the Sky­ lark, giving it reasonable performance for an antique airplane. Although it looks similar to an Aeronca Le , it 's a much bigger airplane-looking at the photo of Tom and Buzz, you can see the tops of their heads only reach t o the middle of the cowl!

on our respective projects. The ribs were in good shape for the most part , and it took him about two months to finish the wings, which is pretty good considering how big the wings are. "He had to build new ailerons, which use box spars. The blueprints were a little help, but we had one aileron to use as a pattern, so that wasn't terribly difficult, but it did take time." From the day it was originally built, the airplane had been pho­ tographed quite a number of times, as it passed through various owners' hands. Those photos would pop up in magazines, and in each it is painted a dark red, which Tom says wasn't the original color. lilt came out of the factory painted white with black trim. A short time later, however, it was painted red, and that's the way it stayed for the next 50 years. Buzz wanted it original, so we went back to the factory colors." Tom worked on the airplane full time for two years, getting it ready for its first flight on July 8, 2002, with the goal of making Oshkosh barely two weeks later. Tom made the first flights and says it was no problem. liOn that first one I was a little worried because we didn't really know much about how the airplane flew, and I was taking off from my brother's little 900-foot farm strip, but there was no problem at all. The

airplane accelerated really well, and with all of that wing area, it sort of levitated into the air. The stall speed is well under 40 miles per hour, so it doesn't take long to get it in the air. "W hen it 's light, it climbs at about 800 feet per minute, and it usually cruises at about 110 mph, depending on how hard you want to push it. "In general, you might say it feels 'slow' because of those big wings. The ailerons are actually pretty nice, however. They have just the right amount of differential. There isn't enough elevator or rudder, however, and it takes a long time for the trim to have effect. liThe center section flap is over 9 feet long and 2 feet wide, so it really works. You come over the fence at about 45 mph and touch down at something under 40 mph. liT he landing gear is really soft and forgiving, and it's pretty hard to get in trouble when you're moving that slow as long as you are on grass. It changes personality entirely, how­ ever, when you put it on pavement." So, now that it's finished, was it worth all the work? Buzz Penny sums it up: "I wanted something unique that I could take to fly-ins and feel confident in it, and the Skylark is exactly that. It's comfortable and has great visibility. Plus, I'm absolutely guaranteed that I'm not going to find another one tied down next to m e no matter where we go, and I like that." ....... VINTAGE AIRPLANE


In 1928 I was flying two World War I airplanes at the old Poughkeep­ sie Airport, later replaced by the present Dutchess County Airport, where I still fly in 2003. The two air­ planes were a]N-4 "]enny" and a]-1 Standard. The latter, involved in the following event, was powered by a 220-hp Hispano-Suiza water-cooled V-8 engine from a SPAD, made in France in WW 1. It was a good engine for its day, but, well, just read 'n, see. On May 29, 1928, the day before Memorial Day, a group of American Legions came to the grass field, hangarless airport and asked a favor. A bronze plaque was to be dedicated in memory of Poughkeepsie men who had lost their lives in the Euro­ pean War, 1917-1918. The ceremony was to be held on Memorial Day, in­ stead of as originally planned for the November 11 Armistice Day, which would have been the 10th anniver­ sary of the signing of the armistice ending the war. The plaque had al­ ready been installed on the old City Hall on Main Street but covered by a shroud to be dropped during the cer­ emony, sponsored by the Legion. The men asked me to participate in the dedication by dropping from the air over the assemblage a large num­ ber of the little artificial poppies. The Legionnaires sold these flowers all over the United States to raise funds (poppies from In Flanders Fields). I was happy to do so. The men said that a very large crowd was expected to as­ semble in front of the City Hall at Main and Washington streets for the ceremony, including one or two Army generals, politicians, of course, and many veterans and the relatives of men lost in the war. There were to be several buglers who 10

APRIL 2003

would be standing in front of the plaque to play taps just before the shroud was dropped. As you who are old enough to remember the European War, later named World War I, the armistice was signed, according to leg­ end, at the 11th minute of the 11 th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Therefore it was planned to have the buglers sound taps and finish just at 11:11 a.m. They wanted the pop­ pies to start falling just as the 11th minute approached (at the 10th), as the last notes of taps were sounding. That required precise timing. I agreed to try, and since one of the men who worked for the railroad had an accurate Hamil­ ton watch, I synchronized my Waltham wristwatch with it. They then left a large box of the poppies. . The direct line distance from the field to the target was 4-1/2 miles, which would take just that number of minutes at the 65-70 mph cruising speed of the biplane against an ex­ pected 5 mph wind. However, I planned to take off early and try to time the pass exactly over the target. The plane had no airspeed indicator, and I had only the one opportunity to hit the target on time, so I had to time it accurately over landmarks, guessing the airspeed of the plane. Main Street and the course to the target were almost parallel, but con­ verged. The street was level to the target but then dropped downhill for a little more than half a mile to the 1/2-mile wide Hudson River. The Main Street trolley car tracks, with their overhead 600-volt wires, also led right down to the dock at the river. Remember that. The big iron railroad bridge is about 3/8-mile north of that point. My plan was to charge along Main

Street, descending toward the target in a silent power-off glide. This way I could get an accurate drop directly over the crowd at low altitude with­ out noise, which might drown out the sounding of taps. Of course that would bend the new air regulations, but they did not want the poppies spread all over the city, just the assemblage. It was to be a complete surprise event. After the drop, I planned to silently glide down the grade of Main Street for about a block or two, then resume power grad­ ually and flyaway over the river. That afternoon I made a practice flight at higher altitude to test the timing. Memorial Day turned out to be perfect weather, clear and cool with a light NW breeze. I had the plane out and ready for warm-up and was ex­ pecting another pilot friend to sit in the cockpit while I cranked the big 9­ foot, 2-inch left-hand Hamilton wood propeller (I still have it). I was 6 foot, 2-1/2 inches tall and 175 pounds and did not allow anyone else to crank it. It was not only bigger than most pro­ peliers, but left-hand propellers were rare and unsafe for an inexperienced person. All aircraft engines were started by hand-cranking the pro­ peliers in those days, a perilous art. I had another friend, non pilot, who was ready to ride in the front cockpit to dump the poppies overboard on my signal. In those open airplanes, the pi­ lot sat in the rear cockpit. The time came to warm up the engine, but the other pilot did not. Ample time was needed to warm up the big water-cooled engine, and I was getting desperate. Someone should be in the rear cockpit


even a choke. There brass primer cups with valves on the intake manifold. After putting about a thimbleful of gaso­ line in each cup, the valves were opened to drain the gas down into the manifold and then closed. To do all that, it was necessary to stand on one of the wheels to reach them­ first one side of the plane, then the other. The propeller was then pulled about two revolutions to take the prime into the cylinders. The priming charge would then be repeated to provide fuel for the starting engine. The person pulling the propeller would get one blade into the proper position and call "switch on" to the person in the cockpit, who would turn the magneto switch on and an­ swer, "switch on." The propeller would then be pulled through th e first compression briskly, and the en­ gine should start. Well , th a t did happen, but not every time by any means. If not, then the person in the cockpit ca ll ed "switch off," and it was then necessary to get the propeller into the proper po· si ti on for another pull. If not successful after two or three times, it was necessary to go through the entire priming and starting process again. This procedure continued until a suc­ cessful start was achieved. It could be rather strenuous work for even a husky person on the propeller. I had devel­ oped good propeller-pulling muscles, for it took a lot of strength . With my nonpilot friend at the pi­ lot's cockpit to work the switch, I started the above procedure about 30 minutes before the scheduled poppy drop, not too much time. So, I cranked that prop and cranked it again and again, priming in between . My heart

and it was now 11 :04 a.m. I had to get into the air by 11:05 a.m. to make the drop on schedule. In desper­ ation I gave it another swing, then another, and suddenly the engine came to life. I dove behind the revolv­ ing propeller on hands and knees and pulled the two chocks from the wheels. They were tied together by a rope, so a single pull did it. The plane rolled forward and I rolled on my back as the lower wing passed over me . Then I jumped for the rear cockpit as my friend scrambled to get into the front cockpit. No time for any cere­ mony, seat belt, warm-up, magneto check, just go! With the engine and its gallons of cooling water stone cold, you can imag­ ine how reluctant it was to respond to the open throttle. Accelerating pumps had not been invented . The engine burped, snorted, backfired, and popped as the plane slowly accelerated, lifted off, and barely got up over the trees with the help of "pucker factor." A gentle turn toward Poughkeepsie and a bare climb with the weak engine put us on our way just over the tree­ tops. The engine gave intermittent bursts of power between noisy pops and bangs. I had a naked sensat ion without my safety belt, but there was no time to let go of the controls to fas­ ten it. I just had to keep the engine running until it warmed and gained some precious altitude. I intercepted Main Street at about 400 feet and fol­ lowed it. With the target about a mile and a half ahead I finally reached about 700 feet altitude. About a mile from the target I had the engine going well but then had to start my fast glide to the target. So I throttled it to id le for the silent approach. I knew that I was late but was too busy to look at my wristwatch while judging the steep

almost closed, and proceeded down the grade of Main Street toward the river. About a block past the target, I dared to start using power. But the en­ gine was cold again and started backfiring. With the windmilling pro­ peller turning, it gave precious little power. I was descending steeper than Main Street and getting closer to those deadly 600-volt trolley wires, trying to coax some power out of the engine. Of course the carburetor had iced up, and there was no carburetor heat on those engines. The only way to get rid of it was to pump the throttle and cause the backfiring to blow the ice out of the carb venturi. I was just able to keep above the wires . As the en­ gine banged and snorted down to the river, I tried to figure how to get be­ yond the wires and over the dock to dunk my plane into the water. It looked like I would barely clear the dock in a stall and then get wet. I could see th e spot wh ere we would hit. We cleared the wires by a few feet and then down to the water, still with intermittent power. I held the plane barely above the surface in ground ef­ fect. Wo nd erful ! Good o ld ground effect! We floated out over the water, only about four feet above it, farther and farthe r away from shore still try­ ing to coax more power o ut of the engine. I was determined to save my beautiful airplane, which had cost me six months of hard work rebuilding it from the wreck I had bought. I seemed to have no th oug ht of the probability of drowning. Suddenly, all eight cylinders started firing! I made a slight right turn into the light northwest breeze, passed under the railroad bridge, then made a shallow VINTAGE AIRPLANE



climb to a few hundred feet over the water, and finally turned back to the airport. On the way I got myself calmed down a little but was shivering from ex­ citement. I was elated at saving the airplane but disappointed at fouling up the poppy drop timing. An hour or so after landing, as I ex­ pected, I saw the big, open touring car with the group of legionnaires come speeding toward the airport to berate me for fouling up their carefully made plan. The car slid to a stop in a cloud of dust. All four doors swung open, and the six or eight legionnaires burst out and ran toward me. I braced myself for their as­ sault. They jumped all over me, shaking both of my hands and all talking to me at once, enthusiastically thanking me for such a perfectly timed "bombing./I They said that as the buglers were playing taps, they did not hear me com­ ing and were disappointed that all of their precise plans and timing were wasted. Then, just as the final notes of taps sounded, the poppies silently rained over the crowd as a complete surprise. They had not heard the whistling wires of the biplane over the sounding of taps. And since they were looking at the buglers and standing at attention, they did not see the plane pass overhead. I had flown it slightly to the right of Main Street, slightly behind them, to allow the NW breeze to drift the poppies to the crowd. They could not thank me enough nor understand how I could have timed the drop so well and silently. Little did they know nor did I tell them of my "professional secret. They said that the notes of taps and the pop­ pies silently snowing down from the sky was so impressive that thousands of people had tears in their eyes, the emo­ tion was so intense. Yes, little did they know! I wish I could have been there much more than where I was. I can still plainly see those deadly 600-volt wires under the wheels, the tails kid barely clearing the dock, and the wheels al­ most rolling on the water! Did I ever learn from that expe­ rience! That same J-1 Standard still ex­ ists in 2003 . ........ II


APRIL 2003

T Go Around To flare , or not to flare? DOUG STEWART NAFI MASTER INSTRUCTOR

The storm had been intense, weather conditions, one could tracking up the stationary front easily see the way the wind was along the East Coast, but now it caused (I didn't say cussed, al­ was being chased out into the though it often was) to rotor as it North Atlantic by a strong high blew over these trees. The powder that was building into New Eng- snow that had been dumped in land. With the high pressure the trees during the storm could came blue skies that are normally be seen as it first blew up, and saved for the desert southwest, then rolled rapidly down, in the and visibilities that are rarely vortices that the trees created. matched here in But it was sumMassachusetts, To ADD TO THE MIX mer now, and if a especially now, in 'pilot was not the summer. A ROW OF PINE well versed in But the isobars reading the ter­ were jam-packed TREES LINES THE rain, it was easy together, and the to get lured into wind was howlAPPROACH TO a low approach ing. The winds to the runway. To THE NORTH OF some pilots the were gusting more than 35 knots, 2,600 feet of runcoming across the way seemed very THE EXTENDED runway at a 70- to short, and thus 85-degree angle. they could be CENTERLINE OF It was not the fooled into trying kind of day to be a low approach in RUNWAY 29­ landing here un­ an attempt to less you had your "put it on the crosswind landing techniques numbers./I This type of approach mastered. In the pattern, an in­ rarely worked because the low­ structor was teaching those level wind shear created severe techniques to a student. We prefer turbulence on a low approach. to teach a sideslip approach in The best approach in these con­ crosswind conditions to fledgling di tions was a high slipping students. That way they do not approach, with an aim point have to deal with the transition about 500 feet down the run­ from a crab to a slip as they also way. This way a pilot could stay try to figure out how and when to out of most of the turbulence, commence their flare. and although the slip could lead To add to the mix, a row of pine a pilot to think that the cross­ trees lines the approach to the wind capabilities had been north of the extended centerline exceeded, it was rare that this of Runway 29-the runway in use would continue all the way to this day. In the winter, in similar the runway. As an aircraft got

past the trees and close to the ground, surface friction usually slowed the wind enough to al­ Iowa pilot to straighten things out and land without incident. Also coming from the west, along with the high pressure, was a small homebuilt hot rod. it was a tandem taildragger, with short stubby wings and large empen­ nage and rudder. In the rear seat was the owner, who had yet to obtain his tail wheel endorsement, and thus had been along for the ride all the way from the West Coast. Sitting at the controls in front was the pilot in command. His tailwheel time had been grandfathered, as years ago he had flown as a commercial pilot in a Beech 18. But before flying this aircraft, he had never flown a small, single-engine, tailwheel air­ plane. It was also rare that he ever landed "three point," usually "wheeling on" the twin Beech. They arrived just as the wind was at its peak. Making their downwind an­ nouncement over the UNICOM, the voice on the other end of the UNICOM warned them to be on their toes. Their approach was not too high, and not too low, but a little too fast. As they tried to bleed off speed the turbulence was bouncing them all over the place. They decided to go around. The second approach was higher, but this time too high, and it was obvious that a go­ around would be needed again. The voice from the UNICOM op­ erator admonished them yet again

to be careful. They knew that many eyes were on them. On their third approach they decided to come in low ... and fast. Ap­ proach speed for this aircraft is about 80 knots. They were doing at least 100 knots. As they flew through the turbulence the little aircraft was bounced around like a cork in rapids. The plane floated and floated down the runway, bleeding off all the excessive speed. It finally touched down with less than 600 feet of runway remaining. It was still too fast. I know that a little extra speed is sometimes used in a wheel landing, but this was ab­ surd. As the end of the runway loomed, the plane drifted off the right side of the runway, tail still up in a level attitude. If braking had been poor on the pavement, it was going to be worse in the gravel the wheels were now on. The runway ends in a steep drop-off of about 20 feet. To the right of the runway, at the top of the drop-off, were two poplar trees. One of them had about a 10-inch diameter, the other was approximately 6 inches. As the leading edge of the wing hit these trees, they were snapped as if a karate master were demonstrating his skill. The airplane spun 540 degrees and crashed into the hol­ low going backward. Coming to a stop upright, the two souls aboard scrambled out of the plane, with the pilot collapsing only a few steps from the wreckage, his back badly broken. J've often told my students that any landing you can walk away from is a good landing. If you can use the plane again, it's a great landing. This one was only going to count as a good landing. And just barely, at that. To this day a question remains unanswered in my mind. Why did they not go around a third time? Why didn't they fly to an airport less than 16 miles to the west that had a runway aligned

almost directly with the wind, and that was also twice as long and twice as wide? Get-there-itis? Pride? Only the pilot in com­ mand that day can answer those questions. My mentor, and friend, Safety Program Manager Bob Martens, has often said that the go-around is the most neglected maneuver in flying. How right he is! I have personally witnessed several acci­ dents, that miraculously were not fatal, that were the direct re­ sult of go-arounds gone bad. In more than one instance get­ there-itis or prid e played a large role. Why do we get the mental­ ity that we "have to land at this airport"? I remember one blus­ tery New Year's Day when I went to four different airports before finding a runway where I didn't run out of crosswind capability, in a T-tailed Arrow. Pilots do some pretty dumb things when they think their peers are observing them. One of them is trying to force a landing gone bad, thinking that they will be thought of as less than com­ petent if they have to go around . But the opposite is true. It shows cautious good sense. I have fre­ quently told students just learning to land that they should not be reluctant to go around, thinking that I will think poorly of them. I tell them , quite hon­ estly, that I won't remember how many times they might have to go around, but I will never forget the one time they fail to go around, and crash! So next time you're flying, why not practice some go-arounds? Re­ member, it's power first. Full power, smoothly and steadily, not slammed in. Then clean up the configuration as necessary as you transition to best angle climb speed. If you have the good sense to go around, when necessary, and the skill to do it properly, you will be more than a good pilot ... you'll be a great pilot. ...... VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Taldn Off

There is no paint like the air sit by the east window watch­ ing the clouds made red and blue by the sun that sets be­ hind me, with a cup of Earl Grey tea, warm and gold with local honey. I smell it sweetly min­ gling with the scent of avgas and engine oil, which drifts up from my blue jeans, as I think of where I've just been. Mostly I am bent over a computer or my watercolor table painting, rushing under the weight of deadlines, absorbed in the small world of color on a flat piece of French paper, with hands stressed from the tension of working tiny brushes. There is little room for error with watercolors.

I 14

APRIL 2003

But if I stop painting to look up and out, the yellow nose of an air­ plane is right there, poking out of the long metal machine shed hangar, right there to remind me of the larger picture.


So when I can take a break, if the weather is good for it, we go flying. The 1946 Piper J-3 Cub is perfect for an escape. Simple and old-fash­ ioned, it goes even slower than the little aluminum Cessna I learned to fly in. Its small tail wheel gives it an eager, nose-high stance. It is the color of school buses with an ele­ gant black lightning bolt from nose to tail. With the wings overhead it makes good shade for a lawn chair and is a big yellow umbrella when it's raining. Best of all, in the air there is nothing to block the view of the earth. It's light for an airplane. Even with its 35-foot, 8-inch wings, wider

than a New York City brownstone, and Continental 90 horse engine, it weighs only 884 pounds with both tanks full. Its angular steel armature is stretched drum-like with shiny fabric resilient to the touch-almost like a big 3-D canvas primed yellow and ready to go. But this is no painterly illusion. And it's not that light. I can lift the tail wheel up for a few seconds if necessary, but I mostly move it around by rolling large slow semicircles. I savor the preflight inspection and let it take a long time. Partly be­ cause even with lots of exercise, carrying firewood and piling bales of hay, and eating as much ice cream as possible, I am still not as tall or strong as most of my male pilot friends. To check the wing tank and wash the windshield, I need a ladder, and I have to slow down to position it without scraping the landing gear or, in winter, the newly painted yel­ low skis. Climbing down I press my

hands against the cowling, warm from the engine heat er, to limber them for reaching inside to unplug its long orange extension cord. Looking up I can examine the aileron cables and pulleys while un­ tying the wings. I love the feel of ropes and knots and remember the old-timer who showed me the spe­ ciallore and cleverness of their invention.

without me. Standing in front of the right wheel, I get set to start the engine by flipping the propeller. Some of my taller friends can wedge their left foot under the front of the tire and reach up to grasp the back edge of the prop, but being smaller, I don't have the same wingspan they do, so I use two rubber chocks strung to­ gether with ropes.

I live well into the country, where keeping mice in their place and not in my stuff is a constant battle. I re­ trieve the old pair of pantyhose, toes heavy with mothballs, which hang down inside the tail. Then I pull off the quilted cowl cover and the mice­ hunting cat or two who sleep there. On wheels, it is just possible by rocking the Cub a bit to get it to roll out of the hanga r almost by itself. Then with a rope and the banner tow release, I loop the tail to the doorpost, so it doesn't go flying

From painting, there are no rings on my right hand, and no untucked scarves or baggy sleeves to get caught. I pull the propeller through from the back, my left hand in the cockpit by the mixture control. Five times. Then I switch on the magnetos and give one more sharp pull to start it. With the satisfying clicking of the engine at idle, with its wind in my face, I get in. Every time I sit in that Cub I start to grin, and can't stop until I get out again. VINTAGE AIRPLANE


A fat red folding cushion on the back seat lets me reach the rudders and heel brakes. Underneath is a piece of nonskid carpet pad that keeps it from wobbling. Careful not to hit the throttle, I bend over the front seat to release the tow lever, fish the chocks inside, and poke them into the back to nestle with my purse and the extra quart of oil. People offer their help, and I have met many nice men, but I need to be able to do everything myself even if it takes more time, because here


APRIL 2003

there is usually no one else around. The hilltop runway is a roller coaster, wide but short, with an average elevation of 1,993 feet. When it is too windy to fly, or the clouds scrape by too low, the ter足 rain has become familiar with walks and mowing. When my Cub and I finally taxi out, run up, and depart upward over the edge of the hill to the north, Ot足 sego Lake shows suddenly below off the left wing. Writer James Fenimore Cooper

called it a glimmer glass. It is a long sliver of shimmering mirror reflect足 ing up versions of the hills and clouds and the little yellow Cub above. And when completely frozen, it's an endless new runway. Henry David Thoreau wrote, A lake is the landscape's most beauti足 ful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature." I long for this escape from the close-up perspective of life at the computer and the drawing table, and for the humility of becoming tiny in a big space. The view of the lake makes the transformation complete. It also provides points for practicing maneuvers. Wings line up against its serene length to measure 360-degree turns and a series of lazy-eights. The blue ignition harnesses quiver against the yellow cowling as the cylinders' black heads brush along the wide peaceful circle of horizon. 1/



I like going so slowly too, as air足 planes go. Only a dive can get us going more than 80 mph. Looking down, the farm melts into the undulating grid of fields and hedgerows. Especially in the evenings with the cool lattice of shadows stretching. With each sea足 son a fresh pattern is woven in appropriate threads of color. The freedom is complete. Just by working the stick and rudder I can go up, down, left, or right-any足 where. I am not attached to


APRIL 2003

anything but the Cub. I am always amazed to see my own shadow surfing across the fields beneath me. I like being an aerial spy. I watch tiny tractors drawing stripes in deep brown fields, and boats pulling triangular white wakes. I discover new destinations for walks: traces of old roads through the woods, green-gray boulders dropped by the glacier in its re­ treat. I see weather coming, and feel it as the wind changes against the thin fabric of the fuselage. I notice where the cows have grazed paths, and who drives up to see me while I'm gone. Coming back, I watch the lime green flag at mid-field, and a bright orange windsock at the north end. Sometimes there is no clear best landing direction. The wind often swirls from both ways at once. To the east are more hints: wood smoke from the house or milk room studio, or the pond with its surface scum un­ ruffled or pleated up at one end or the other. On the downwind leg the field always looks way too short, tilted and windy to use. When I first moved here from Connecticut, where th e run­

ways are mostly long, flat, and paved, I could not imagine that I would ever be able to land here in one piece. The local Cub pilots teased relentlessly. All the second spring I was here, I practiced shortening landings on longer runways until I felt ready. Finally when I did come home solo, it was almost easy, and I wondered what had taken me so long. Now I relish the short, slow ap­ proach at 55-60 miles an hour, watching for deer and turkeys. It's a quiet idling glide in sum­ mer, but with power in the winter to keep the exposed cylinders warm enough to go around if necessary. Each touchdown is ex­ hilarating. Back down the lumpy lane, we go, the Cub and I-plump tires bouncing me in the red seat, door open if it's warm enough, wings just missing the leaning hops barn and the bright gas tanks, past the milk house and its grand old hay

barn with three silos, and sending cats running every which way. In his journal in September of 1851, Thoreau wrote, "I wish to see the earth through the medium of much air or heaven, for there is no paint like the air." How could he have known? It's uphill into the hangar. If I shut down as close as possible fac­ ing the entrance, I can walk the tail around in perfect alignment for the winch. It's a manual one with a long cable. To pull the Cub in it takes turn ­ ing the crank forever. If I were strong enough to pick up the tail and lift it all of the way in, it'd be done in half a minute. Instead the winch winds up as the sun slips down the western ridge. The barn is illuminated in a red satu­ rated moment. I begin to think again of the pain tings on my table. The clicking resounds out into the hay fields to the ends of the silos' blue shadow. Each time I put the Cub away, I think of the time I've spent. Next time, I'll take even longer! Lonni Sue Johnson, watercolorist and cat wrangler, aLso serves as the secretary of EAA Chapter 1070 in Cooperstown, New York. ...... VINTAGE AIRPLANE



BY E.E. " BUCK" HILBERT, EAA #21 VAA #5 P.O. Box 424, UNION, IL 60180

Tail wheels

No mistake, taildraggers are here to stay. Builders like American Champion, Maule Air, and Waco Classic are still building new air­ planes, and there are a number of the old Champs, Luscombes, T-Carts, Cessnas, and others, still out there being restored and flown by both old and new generation pilots. Despite Phil Boyer's (AOPA) expe­ rience in learning to handle a taildragger, they can still be a lot of fun. There is no doubt they require a certain amount of finesse and knowledge of basic airplane han­ dling that isn't required of the tri-gear installation . The tri-gear takes a lot of the sweat out of opera­ tions. It eliminates the uphill climb into a seat on the modern airliner, puts better visibility over the nose, helps in a maximum braking situa­ tion, and gives the pilot something to put on the yellow taxi line. The nose over tendency of early airplanes put skids up front, so if they did get the tail high, the skid would help to prevent damage to the pro­ peller. Witness the wing tip skids on Curtiss JNs and DHs, in the event of a ground loop. Look at the accident and mishap pictures some of the old mag­ azines publish, and you'll see the reason for these skids. The taildragger does have an in­ nate tendency to ground loop. Just try shoving a tricycle backwards and watch how quickly it ground loops. On the other hand, going forward is a little more stable and predictable. Since we are talking tail wheels, let's get back to them. Look at that little wheel back there. It doesn't look like much, but it is one third of your landing gear, yet it does 90 percent of the work at low speeds in controlling the air­ 20

APRIL 2003

plane on the ground. As insignifi­ cant as it looks, it drags through the mud and dust, snow and water, on pavement or dirt; it does its job. It keeps you in control, provided you make sure it's connected and func­ tional with the steering cables and springs attached, properly inflated, lubricated, and equipped with rea­ sonably decent tread on the tire. The first thing that tells you it's working right is the wear on the tail wheel tire. If your main gear is out of whack and the airplane dogtrots or crabs while running on the ground, uneven wear will show in the tail wheel tire quickly. Especially in one of the 6-by-2-inch hard rubber tires . Also, if the tread is down to where you see a crack along the center, get a new tire. In side that rubber molded tire is a cable ring that re-enforces the tire . If you see a crack, there is a good chance that tire is about to come apart and jam itself between the wheel and the yoke, and you'll lose control. The money spent on a new tire is a mini percentage of what it will cost to re­ pair your airplane and overcome the embarrassment that goes with break­ ing an airplane. Don't let the phrase "taildragger" intimidate you. Learning to use it and use it properly is just another phase of flight . Literally millions of words have been written about how to use the tail wheel, and I'm not about to reiterate any or all of them. I'm just going to ex­ plain how they work, what they are made of, and how to take care of them. As with most man-made contrap­ tions, there are many varied ideas in how to produce them and how effec­ tive they are. Back in the "Jenny" days there were skids, some fixed and some partially steerable. The technique in those days was to shove the stick for­

ward to take the weight off the skid and fly the tail around using a combi­ nation of power and rudder alone. The rigid skid didn't give much and it imposed side loads on the structure. With no brakes, the biplane reqUired a pretty large turning radius. The next dev elopment was a bungee shock absorber that also swiveled some fifteen degrees. This gave some leeway and made the turn­ ing radius a little smaller. The side forces and drag were still there. Then someone put a wheel in place of the skid plate. Now they could move the airplane a lot easier, but that complicated things because the drag of the skid was all they had for braking. With the slick steel plate, that friction was gone. So some kind of brakes had to be installed on the main gear. Next that little wheel on the end of the skid had to swivel so we could really turn short. Various deSigners came out with designs. Heath Airplane Company came out with one of the first steer­ able tail wheels. Other manufacturers followed suit, and that function cou­ pled with individual brakes made ground handling much, much easier. Experiments followed with various types of installations, including a trail­ ing spring similar to automotive design, which was secured to the tail longerons. It is common on Cessnas, Aeroncas, Taylorcrafts, and Pipers. The telescoping tail post type like the instal­ lation on the Aeronca K, Fleet, and others, and the articulated and hinged installations all came about and all worked with varying degrees of success. A lot depended on the weight and support the little tail wheel had to

carry. Look at the DC-3 and the B-17. On these heavier aircraft, the tail wheel design had to follow the re­ quirements. North American had their own design, so did Stinson and Fairchild. They all had their unique problems and solved them. Some were successful, others with some­ what less than pleasant results. I used to think that the old time pi­ lots, like Amelia, and Post, and some of those other early record-setting pio­ neers were lousy pilots because they ground looped on occasion. In reality, they did a terrific job considering the equipment they had to work with . Their mishaps were the proof needed to improve the design and function of this little wheel in the back. The steerable was soon improved even further by adding a full swivel feature . Now we could really turn around in a tight radius. Furthermore, the airplane could now be pushed backwards without lifting the tail off the ground or disconnecting the steer­ ing cables. This free wheeling feature could also be a trap if the operator wasn't aware of it. How does it work? Good question. All the designs have common con­ trols, usually an arm or steering tiller that transfers the rudder input to the tail wheel assembly. Done either with solid arms or cables and usually incor­ porating some sort of shock absorbing device, such as springs, it gives it a lit­ tle slack so as not to overpower the rudder action. Pushing rudder will direct the steer­ ing in the direction you want to go. Once headed that way, you neutralize the rudder input until you want to change direction. Neutralizing or cen­ tering the control will then allow the tail wheel to trail and you'll proceed in a straight line. The swivel feature allows the wheel to trail and has some free movement on either side of neutral. This soaks up little variations in the runway or sod surface, and still allows you con­ trol if your input asks for more. To prevent the unit from going into full swivel, a monkey-motion cam arrangement in all the designs

kicks in if you reach the extreme limit of the steerable travel. Once this limit releases that cam, you have a full swiveling wheel. To put it back in the steerable mode, the wheel must again trail, which releases the cam action and centers itself. This sounds confusing, but in real­ ity it's like there is a notch in the trail position; jump out of that notch and you 're freewheeling. To get back into the notch, roll straight ahead a little ways and it'll snap back in. To get out of that notch, you need a full rudder application and a side load. Some airplanes have a manual tail wheel lock. The Boeing Kaydet, com­ monly known as the Stearman, which the Navy used for primary training, had a reputation for belittling pilots. It was a real ground looper, so they in­ stalled a manual tail wheel lock. This would not allow the tail wheel to go into the full swivel position. The 15­ or 20-degree steering input was still there, but the full swivel was locked out. Some of the Waco aircraft also have this feature. It works, but the one caveat is don't forget to unlock it to make a sharp turn at the taxiway. The locking mechanism will break and then enhance the mechanic's job security. Ask any DC-3 , B-17 or T-6 maintenance technician. Routine preflight of the tail wheel assembly should take real precedence while doing your walk around. Again, this is your primary control! Are the cables attached? Are the clips that hold the springs to the steering arms worn? Does the tire look good? Infla­ tion? Unusual wear? Wiggle the rudder; do the cables actually steer the wheel? Push a little to impose a side load; make sure the attach paints are tight. No excess movement. Does it lean or show signs of sloppiness? Does it look right? From the side, is the pivot line perpendicular to the ground; does everything look right? Is the spring sagging? One can't be too picky preflighting this little monster. It can spell disaster if it isn't control­ lable, and we don't want that! So now we finish the preflight and count the wings and wheel. The cock­

pit check is complete and we have the engine running. If it 's clear ahead, open the throttle and move off the tied own, using rudder in the direction you want to turn. Once the turn is es­ tablished, neutralize the rudder. Now you can test the brakes and see that they are working and then forget them. A good steerable tail wheel will respond without braking. Now we get to the basics of how to handle the controls. If you are a sea­ plane pilot, you've already mastered this business of flying the controls. If you have a headwind, you hold back pressure on the stick to keep the tail wheelan the ground. In a tail wind, forward pressure, again to keep the tail wheelan the ground. In a direct crosswind, neutralize the elevator and aileron into the wind. For a quarter­ ing headwind, aileron into the wind and place back pressure on the eleva­ tor. For a quartering tail wind, stick AWAY from the wind and place for­ ward pressure on the elevator. All this is to keep that tail wheel firmly in contact with the ground to assure control. Flying the ailerons in a crosswind keeps pressure on the down aileron and keeps the upwind wing down. Taxiing crosswind and in a crosswind takeoff, aileron into the wind and opposite rudder to keep it going straight. Practice this . Taxi around on the ground until you get the feel of how effective the rudder and the tail wheel steering is. Be a little aggressive and experiment a little, preferably on a wide grass runway where a little slip­ page can give you a margin for error. If visibility over the nose presents a problem, then 1/5" turn. 1/5" right, look left down your route of taxi. 1/5" left and look out the right side. If you see it's clear, then no need to make an 1/5" of yourself over and over again. Only when you want to be sure noth­ ing is in front of you. Place the centerline markings of the taxiway and the runway between your feet and keep them there. There is a parallax error and if the line is between your feet, then you are on center and you are assured of wing tip clearance. VINTAGE AIRPLANE


To turn around on a narrow strip, plan your turn so the wind will help you. Taxi along the downwind edge ofthe strip and make your 180 into the wind. The weathervane effect on your airplane will help to initiate the turn. Ease up a little on the back pressure as you start into the turn, and this will make the tail come around more easily. You are working that tail wheel to your advantage. Keep that in mind and visualize the forces your control input is accomplishing. Use the brakes sparingly, and only as an aid if you aren 't turning as sharp as you like, or to avoid a problem. After a sharp turn and the tail wheel has fully swiveled, roll straight ahead for a bit to get it back in the notch or steerable position. Feel the resistance in the rudder pedals when it's in the steerable position. The rud­ der will feel loose and ineffective if it's swiveling. The roll straight ahead and a neutral rudder will again en­ gage that centering device. Practice those "S" turns and the 180s on th e runway and the strip. Play the elevator and the ailerons, and again visualize and practice the effect you're looking for. Half an hour of taxi time practice won't hurt a bit. Once those feet wake up to the fact that THEY control the airplane on the ground, your flying will come easy. Don't go out and try this on a day when the wind is blowing up a frenzy. Not until you've had enough practice at light crosswinds and tail winds. Moderate to heavy winds can really play tricks. For example, taxi­ ing downwind in a heavy wind can have a reverse effect on the controls. You poke in left rudder, the rudder swings in that direction, the wind pushes against it, and you get a re­ verse effect. Your ailerons also have a reverse effect going downwind. Sometimes it's absolutely necessary to have a wing walker on the upwind side to hold that wing down. I don't advocate operations in winds strong enough to lift a wing. Wait until con­ ditions improve and then go fly. K Over to you



APRIL 2003


• • I


A l r e r _ 1t Co_ tl ng _

Workshop Schedule April 26-27. 2003 Watsonville. CA SHEET METAL COMPOSITE CONSTRUCT. FABRIC COVERING ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS & AVIONICS May 16-18. 2003 Oshkosh. WI RVASSEMBLY May 16-18. 2003 Griffin (Atlanta). GA TIG WELDING June 6-8. 2003 Corona. CA RVASSEMBLY June 21-22.2003 Frederick. MD SHEET METAL COMPOSITE CONSTRUCT. 1-800-WORKSHOP



GAS WELDING June 27-29. 2003 Griffin (Atlanta). GA Visit

RVASSEMBLY TIG WELDING for a complete listing of workshops.


The following list ofcoming events is fllrnished to our readers as a matter ofinformation only and does not constitllte approval, sponsorship, involvement, control or direction ofany event (fly-in, seminars, fly market, etc.) listed. To submit an event, please log on to Only if Inter­ net access is unavailable should you send the information via mail to:, Att: Vintage Airplane,

P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Informa­ tion should be received fOllr months prior to the event date. APRIL I9-Fort Pierce, FL-EAA Ch. 908 Fly-In Pancake Breakfast, Ft. Pierce Int'I Airport. Info: Paul, 772-464-0538 or 772­ 461-7175. APRIL 27-HalfMoon Bay, CA_13 th Annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, Half Moon Bay Airport. 10am-4pm. Admission $15 adults, $5 (age 5-14 & 65+), free for kids age 4 and under. Parking included in price of admission. Info: 650-726-2328, APRIL 2-8--Lakeland, FL-Sun 'n Fun EAA Fly-In. Info: 863-644-2431, MAY 2-4-Burlington, NC-VAA Ch . 3 Annual Spring Fly-In, Alamance Cty Airport. All welcome. Info: 843-753-7138. MAY 4-Dayton, OH-EAA Ch. 48 40 th An­ nual Fly-In, Moraine Air Park (1-73). Info: Dennis 937-878-264 7 or Mike 937-859­

8967, MAY 4-Rockford, LL-EAA Ch. 22 Fly-In Drive-In Breakfast, Greater Rfd. Airport, Courtesy Aircraft Hanger. Info: 815-397-4995. MAY IO-Kennewick, WA-EAA Ch. 391 Fly-In Breakfast at Vista Field. Info: 509­ 735-1664. MAY I6-I8--Kewanee, IL-Midwest Aeronca Fest (and old fashioned taildragger) Fly-In, Kewanee Municipal Airport KEll. Info: 309­ 852-2594, e-mail: MAY I7-Sla ton, TX-South Plains Airshow, Texas Air Museum, Cap rock Chapter. Info: 806-632-0063 or www.tex­

EAA's Countdown to Kitty Hawk Touring Pavilion presented by a;a~'?kn/'fln,,;

Ford Motor Company

Key Venues in 2003 • April 2-8 - Sun 'n Fun EM Fly-In, Lakeland, FL •June 13-16 - Ford Motor Company's l00th Anniversary Celebration, Dearborn, MI •July 4-20 - Inventing Flight Celebration, Dayton,OH •July 29-Aug. 4 - EM AirVenture Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI • August 23-September 2 - Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA • December 13-17 - First Flight Centennial Celebration, Kitty Hawk, NC

MAY I8--Romeoville, IL-EAA Ch. 15 32 nd Annual Fly-In Breakfast, Lewis University Airport (LOT), 7am-Noon. Info: George 630-243-8213 . MAY I 8--Troy. OH-VAA Ch. 36 Old Fash­ ioned Barbeque Fly-In, WACO Field (1 WF), 11am-4pm, Young Eagle Flights. (Rain date for Young Eagle flights , june 22, Ipm-4pm) Info: 937-335-1444, e-mail:, or 937-294-1107 e-mail ' MAY I6-26-Fayetteville, NC-Festival of Flight 2003. Info MAY 24-Fort Pierce, FL-EAA Ch. 908 Fly­ In Pancake Breakfast, Ft. Pierce Int'I Airport. Info: Paul, 772-464-05 38 or AI, 772-461-7175 . MAY 30-June I -Columbia, CA-Bellan ca­ Champion Club West Coast Fly-In. BBQ Friday, steak dinner/ mtg Saturday. Advance registration strongly encour­ aged. Info: 518-731-6800 or

AUGUST I-Oshkosh, WI-Bellanca­ Champion Club Banquet, 6 pm at Hilton Gardens. Tickets available in late April, $27 including dinner. Info: 518-731-6800 or AUGUST 30-Prosser, WA-EAA Ch. 391 20 th Annua l Labor Day Weekend Prosser Fly-In. Info: 509-735-1664. AUGUST 30-SEPTEMBER I -Cleveland OH-Cleveland Nat'l Air Show. Info: 216­ 781-0747 or AUGUST 29-3I-Saranac Lake, NY­ Centennial of Flight Celebration Air Show. SEPTEMBER I9-20-Bartlesville, OK­ 47th Annual Tulsa Regional Fly-In . Info: Charlie Harris 918-665-0755, Fax 918­

665-0039, SEPTEMBER 26-28--Pottstown PA­ Bellanca-Champion Club East'Coast Fly­ In at Pottstown Municipal Airport (N47). Info: 518-731-6800 or

JUNE I -Tunkhannock, PA-Pancake Breakfast, Skyhaven Airport, 8am-1pm. Info 570-836-3884 or JUNE 6-7-Bartlesville, OK-17th Annual Biplane Expo. Info: Charlie Harris 918­ 665-0755, Fax 918-665 -0039,

SEPTEMBER 27-28--Midland, TX-Fina­ CAF AIRSHO 2003, Midland Int'l Airport. Info: 915-563-1000,

EAA FLY-IN SCHEDULE 2003 JUNE 6-8--Alliance, OH-Mid-Eastern FUNK Aircraft O.A. Fly-In, Alliance-Barber Airport, 2D1. Info: 216-382-4821. JUNE I4-I 5-Toledo, OH-EAA Ch. 582 Fly­ In, Metcalf Field (TDZ). Pull-A-Plane contest, Young Eagles, food, aircraft and auto displays. 9am-5pm. Info: john 419­ 666-0503 or JUNE I8-2I-Lock Haven, PA­ Sentimental journey '03, William T. Piper Memorial -Airport. Info: 570-893-4200 or

www.sentimentaljourneyfiy-in .com. • EAA Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In

June 28-29, Longmont, CO (2V2)

www.rmrfi·org • NortItwest EAA Fly-In

July 9-13, Arlington, WA (AWO) • EAA AirVenture Oshkosh August 22-24, Marion, OH (MNN)

440-352-1781 '

JULY I7-20-Dayton, OH-Vectren Dayton Air Show, Dayton Int'I airport. Info: 937-898-5901 or

www.swrfi·org • Golden West EAA Regional FIy-ln

June 20-22, Marysville, CA (MYV)

• EAA Mid-Eastern Fly-In

JUNE 28--Prosser, WA-EAA Ch. 391 fly-In Breakfast. Info: 509-735-1664 JUNE 28--Quincy, CA_6 th Ann ual Antique Wings & Wheels, Pre 1950 air­ craft & automobiles, 8am-3pm, Gansner Field (201) . Info: 530-283-4312 or

May 16-17, New Braunfels, TX (KBAZ)

July 29-August 4, Oshkosh, WI (OSH)

JUNE 2I-22-Howell, MI-4th Annual Great Lakes Fly-In, liVingston County Airport (OXW). Hands-on workshops, seminars, and more. Info: 517-223-3233

• EAA Southwest Regional FIy-ln

• Virginia State EAA FIy-ln

September 20-21, Petersburg, VA (PTB) • EAA East Coast Fly-In

September 13-14, Toughkenamon, PA (NS?) • EAA Southeast Regional Fly-In

October 3-5, Evergreen, AL (GZH)

www.serfi·org • Coppentate EAA FIy-ln

October 9-12, Phoenix, AZ (A39)


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Since we missed having a January Mystery Plane, I've got an extra tidbit of information concerning a previous Mys­ tery Plane. Pete Bowers was kind enough to send these additional shots of the Ey­ erly Lee 7D Comet monoplane, two of which were taken at Boeing Field. The airplane was active in the mid-to-Iate 1930s, and even flew out of state. The Eyerly Lee was first built with an OX-S as the powerplant and then a Kinner was installed, with the final engine a 130-hp Comet. (Above) The Eyerly Lee as it appeared equipped with an elongated nose to offset the lighter weight of the five-cylinder Kinner, which re­ placed an OX-5. The top of the cabin section is covered with corrugated aluminum , all the way back to the pilot's open cockpit. Just behind the tail you can see the blurred image of a wa­ ter-cooled biplane fighter on its takeoff roll. In this shot, the rather grubby-looking Eyerly Lee has a Comet engine bolted to a much shorter engine mount. The 130-hp Comet , readily identifiable by the overhead rocker arms for valve actuation, was the final engine used in the high-winger.







15, 2003,






APRIL 2003

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Danny Carroll .. . ................. Newcastle NSW, Australia

Scott A Stamp ..................... North Delta, BC, Canada

John B Bakker ..... .. .. ........... Sebringville, ON. Canada

Joseph Terry O'Dacre ......... Rocky Mountain House, ON, Canada

Denis Lussier .............. . . .. ....... Prevost, Po, Canada

Derek Doyle ..... .. ... ......... . .... Lucan, Dublin, Ireland

Khaled Alzeedi .... ......... ..... . Casablanca-Anfa, Morocco

Enold Johnsen ............................ Askim, Norway

Calixto Fortes ... ................ Sta. Cruz De Tenerife, Spain

Claudio Marin Garcia . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. Ontigola Toledo, Spain

Ian Pentz ............. . ....... Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Bruce Ray ....... ...... . .................. Enterprise, AL

James 0 Atkinson .......... . ... ................ Mena, AR

Homer GEllis .... . ............... .. ....... Fort Smith, AR

Jack Cole .... .. ....... ... . .... . ........ Sun City West, AZ

Mark Hawkins ..... .. .. .......... . ... .... Queen Creek, AZ

Shy Bourgeois .. ...... . .... . ....... .. ..... Santa Ynez, CA

Birch N Entriken ........ .. ................... Truckee, CA

Jerry 0 Finney ... ... ......... .... .......... Riverside, CA

Jerry 0 Finney ............................. Riverside, CA

Jaye L Matthews ..... ... .................... Ramona, CA

Richard McKay ... ..... .. .......... Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Darrell Meeks ........ .. .................... Modesto, CA

Robert W Preiss ....... . . ... ....... .. .... Palm Springs, CA

Stan Rutiz ..................... .. ........ Templeton, CA

James S Spitzley ............ .. ............... Cambria, CA

James E Hocut ........................ Powder Springs, GA

Jay McClure .... . ......... ..... ......... .... Atlanta, GA

John Neely ...... .. ......... .. .. ... . .. .... Savannah, GA

Richard Van Iderstyne .. ................... Jekyll Island, GA

Jack Else ....................... . ... .... Cedar Rapids, IA

Dale E Standley ............... . . ........ Council Bluffs, IA

Don M Simmonds .................... ... .. Sand Point, ID

Ron Cates ... . . ...... . . .. ........ . .. ......... Tallula, IL

Bruce S Fine ............ .. ................ Northbrook, IL

James M Wissemes .... . .. .. ............... Carol Stream, IL

John Anderson III ...... . .. ..... ............... Olathe, KS

Linda M Hanna .. ....... ... .. ... .. ........... Gardner, KS

Ken Balch ......... .. ...................... Ashland, MA

Michael Kramer ... . ........ .. .... . ....... .... Olney, MD

John Ness ...................... . .. .... White Marsh, MD

Robert A Parrack ................ .. ... .. ...... . Elkton MD

o Dale Hey ....... . ....................... .. Stanton, MI

Kenneth E Davey ...... ......... .. .. ..... Lake Crystal, MN

Lenny Wollitz . ........ ........ . .. ... .. ..... Bemidji, MN

Lynn Larry Pitts ......... .. ............... Webb City, MO

Cecil Austin ........ . ............ ... ........ Winona, MS

Roy Griffin ...... ...... ... ...... . .......... McComb, MS

David Heath...... . ................ . ........ Winona, MS

Mike Spalding ...... . ... ........ ....... ...... Ahoski, NC

Alan Larter ... .... . ...... ..... ........ .. ... Franklin, NH

George F Bigge ........ .... .. . ......... . ....... Elmer, NJ

Michael Harris . .. . ... . . .... .......... ......... Hazlet, NJ

Ken J House ................. . ........... . .. Cranford, NJ

Robert A Kite ......... . .... . ... ... .. . ... Lawrenceville, NJ

Matthew Miller .. . .... . ... .. .. . . ...... . .... . Manville, NJ

Jack Effron ....... ... ..... .............. Poughkeepsie, NY

Eugene T Leavy ......... ... . . . ...... ... East Northport, NY

Frank AVan Skiver ........................ Gloversvi lle, NY

Clyde C Fox .............................. Mansfield, OH

Ralph Goodman .... .. ................. Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Thomas Inglin ..... .. .. ......... . .... ..... Hamilton, OH

William Mack ................... . .. . ..... . Hamilton, OH

Dolivio Cetrangolo ........................... . .. Ada, OK

Brad Mendenhall .................. . ....... Woodburn, OR

Terence J Connor ............... .... ..... West Chester, PA

James R Dugan ....................... . ...... Lansdale, PA

Gary G Hartle ......... ...... .... .. .. ... . . Greencastle, PA

Frank Lipovsek ....... . .................... South Park, PA

Joseph L Campbell ......... . .. .... . ............. Dale, TX

Ray LEnder........ .... .. .. . . ............ San Marcos, TX

Dewey Magee ... ......... . ................. Portland, TX

Scott Sackett ....... . ..... . .................... Krum, TX

Robert Daniels ....... ... ............... .. .... Oakton, VA

Jimmy Mcwhorter. .......... . ................. Louisa, VA

Kristian Ljungkvist ......................... Burlington, VT

Gerald P Mahoney . ..... .. . . ..... . ........... Sequim, WA

Todd A Mason ............................. Centralia, WA

Alfred L Schulz .................. . ........ . . Spokane, WA

Richard E Studebaker ........ .. .... . ........ . .... Bow, WA

Michael Zyskowski ... ... . .......... . ....... Redmond, WA

Tom G Holz ..... . .......... .. ............ West Bend, WI

Mark L Langenfeld ..... . . .... .. .. .... .. .. ... Madison, WI

Gene Seprish .. . .... ... ... ........ .. ...... . Waukesha, WI

Patrick R Walsh ...... . .. ..... . ..... .... . ... Brookfield, WI

Jerry Nelsen . ....... .. ... ... .... .. . ......... Dayton, WY





Relive tIle Golden Age of Air Racing! n.e Omalla AIr Races 1931·1934

Something to buy, sell or trade? 1he use of Dacron or similar modern moleriak os a substitute for coHan is a

It was a 5-mile course with eight to L~~~~~ ten home-built planes-----speeds up to 200 mph flying only 100 feet off the ground! Each pilot had to race around the pylons-­ the tall poles that marked the course in Omaha, Nebraska. Rediscover the era of this popular American pastime in

PYLON! by Wallace Peterson.

dead 9iv..... y10 Ihe knowing eye. They \imp~ do nOllook righl on vinloge oircroh: from Robert Mikesh, former curolor of Ihe Nolionol Air ond Spoce Museum, in his book Resloring Museum McraN.

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27 Years Experience

15 different engines for fitting

FAA Certified Repair Station XHYR068L



Antiques, Warbirds, Cropdusters 304-466-1752 Fax 304-466-0802

10,000+ IMPRESSIONS. 920-426-6127

For Sale - 1939 Spartan Executive, 3500TT, 10 SMOH. 214-354-6418_

Write an article for


Editor, Vintage Airplane

P.O. Box 3086 Oshkosh, WI 54904 For pointers on fonnat and content feel free to call 920·426-4825




For sale, reluctantly: Warner 145 & 165 engines. 1 each, new OH and low time. No tire kickers, please. Two Curtiss Reed props to go with above engines. 1966 Helton Lark 95, Serial #S. Very rare, PO-S certified Target Drone derivative. Tri-gear Culver Cadet. See Juptner's Vol. S-170. Total time A&E 845 hrs. I just have too many toys and I'm not get­ ting any younger. Find my name in the Officers & Directors listing of Vintage and e-mail or call evenings. E. E. "Buck" Hilbert

Aviation Art favorites: WW-I, Golden Age, WW-II to present.


Send your submissions to:

Airplane T-Shirts

150 Different Airplanes Available


Flying wires available.

1994 pricing. Visit

www.f/ or call 800-517-9278.


We're always looking for technical articles and photos of your latest restoration . We can 't offer you money, but we can make you a hero among fel­ low Vintage Aircraft enthusiasts!

BABBITT BEARING SERVICE - rod bearings, main bearings, bushings, master roos, valves, pis­ ton rings Call us Toll Free 1-800-233-6934, e-mail Web site VINTAGE ENGINE MACHINE WORKS, N. 604 FREYA ST., SPOKANE, WA 99202.



www.aviation-giftshop_com A Web Site With The Pilot In Mind (and those who love airplanes)



Classified Word Ads: $5.50 per 10 words, 180 words maximum, with boldface lead-in on first line. Classified Display Ads: One column wide (2.167 inches) by 1, 2, or 3 inches high at $20 per inch. Black and white only, and no frequency discounts. Advertising Closing Dates: 10th of sec on d month prior to desired issue date (Le., January 10 is the closing date for the March issue). VAA reserves the right to reject any advertising in conflict with its poliCies. Rates cover one insertion per issue. Classified ads are not accepted via phone. Payment must accompany order. Word ads may be sent via fax (920-426-4828) or e-mail ( us­ ing credit card payment (all cards accepted). Include name on card, complete address, type of card, card number, and expiration date. Make checks payable to EAA. Address advertising corre­ spondence to EAA Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.


Ohio Aircraft Interior

is a future piece of

aviation history.

Award Winning Vintage Interiors Paul Workman


Parr Airport (421)

Zanesville , Ohio 43701


UC-1 Republic Twin Sea Bee , Serial No. 020, Approval No. A6EA. Reported details: Ly­ coming 10-360-BID engines - total time since new 726.6 hrs. (each) . Hartzell HC-C2YK­ 2RBF propellers. Total airframe time - 605.0 hrs. The aircraft is reported to be functional , however, the certificate of airworthiness is not in force (since June 17, 2001). Purchaser to verify condition of aircraft and documenta­ tion . TO BE SOLD BY SEALED BIDS. (The highest bid may not necessarily be accepted.) For further details and viewing by appoint­ ment, contact Ian H. Clement Solicitor to the Personal Representative #1 -105 Rainbow Road Salt Spring Island, BC Canada V8K 2V5 Phone: 250 537 5505 Fax: 250 537 5099 Email:

Membership Services VINTAGE




EAA Aviation Center, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh WI 54903-3086

OFFICERS President Espie ' Butch' Joyce P.O. Box 35584 Greensboro, NC 27425 336-668-3650 Secretary

Steve Nesse 2009 Highland Ave. Albert Lea, MN 56007 507-373-1674

Vice-President George Daubner 2448 Lough Lane Hartford, WI 53027 262-673-5885 vaaflyboy@msn_com

Treasurer Charles W. Harris 7215 East 46th St. Tulsa, OK 7414 7 918-622-8400

DIRECTORS Steve Bender 815 Airport Road

Roanoke, TX 76262


Dale A. Gustafson 7724 Shady Hilis Dr. Indianapolis, IN 46278 317-293-4430

sst I ()()

David Bennett

Jeannie Hill

P.O. Box 328

Harvard, IL 60033


P.O. Box 1188 Roseville, CA 95678 916-645-6926 John Berendt

7645 Echo Point Rd_

Cannon Falls, MN 55009



Steve Krog

1002 Heather Ln.

Hartford, WI 5302 7


Robert C. ~ Bob n Brauer 9345 S. Hoyne Chicago, IL 60620 773-779-2105

Robert 0_ "Bob" LumJey 1265 South 124th 51. Brookfield, WI 53005 262-782-2633

Dave Clark

Gene Morri.s

635 Vestal Lane Plainfield, IN 46168 317-839-4500

5936 Steve Court Roanoke, TX 76262 817-49 1-9 110

John 5. Copeland l A Deacon Street Northborough, MA 0 I 532 508-393-4 775

Dean Richardson 1429 Kings Lynn Rd

Stoughton, WI 53589



Geoff Robison

1521 E. MacGregor Dr_

New Haven, IN 46774


Roger Gomoll

8891 Airport Rd, Box C2

Blaine, MN 55449



S.H. "Wes" Schmid 2359 Lefeber Avenue Wauwatosa, WI 53213 414-771-1545

Phil Coulson 28415 Springbrook Dr. Llwton, MI 49065 616-624-6490



Gene Chase 2159 Carlton Rd. Oshkosh, WI 54904 920-231-5002

E_E_ ' Buck" Hilbert P.O. Box 424 Union, 1L 60180 81S-923-4591 buck7ac@mc_net

ADVISOR AJan Shackleton P.O. Box 656

Sugar Grove, IL 60554-0656

630-466-4 193

Phone (920) 426-4800 Fax (920) 426-4873 Web Site: http://www.eaa,org and http://www, [ ·Mail: vintage

EAA and Division Membership Services 800-843-3612 ............ FAX 920-426-6761 (8:00 AM-7:00 PM Monday-Friday CSn • New/renew memberships: EM, Divisions (Vintage Aircraft Association, lAC, Warbirds), National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI)

• Address changes • Merchandise sales • Gift memberships

Programs and Activities EM AirVenture Fax·On·Demand Directory ......... ................. 732-885-6711 Auto Fuel STCs . ........... .. 920-426-4843 Build/ restore information ... .. 920-426-4821 Chapters: locating/ organizing .. 920-426-4876 Education ... . ..... ... ...... 920-426-6815 • EM Air Academy • EM Scholarships


Flight Advisors information ... . 920-426-6522 Flight Instructor information ... 920-426-6801 Flying Start Program ... .. ..... 920-426-6847 Library Services/ Research . . . .. . 920-426-4848 Medical Questions ........... . 920-426-4821 Technical Counselors . .... . ... 920-426-4821 Young Eagles ................ 920-426-4831 Benefits AUA ..... ... .............. 800-727-3823 EM Aircraft Insurance Plan ... 866-647-4322 Term Life and Accidental ...... 800-241-6103 Death Insurance (Harvey Watt & Company) Editorial ..... ........ . ..... 920-426-4825 ...... ... ............. . FAX 920-426-4828 • Submitting article/ photo • Advertising information EM Aviation Foundation Artifact Donations ........... 920-426-4877 Financial Support ... .. ...... 800-236-1025


EAA Membership in the Experimental Aircraft Associ· ation, Inc. is $40 for one year, including 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. Family membership is available for an additional $10 annually. Junior Membership (under 19 years of age) is available at $23 annually. All major credit ca rds accep ted for membership. (Add $16 for Foreign Postage.)

VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION Current EAA members may join the Vintage Aircraft Associaton and receive VINTAGE AIR­ PLANE magazine for an additional $36 per year. EAA Membership, VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine and one year membership in the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $46 per yea r (SPORT AVIATION magaZin e not in­ cluded). (Add $7 for Foreign Postage.)

lAC Current EM members may join the Interna· tional Aerobatic Club, Inc. Division and receive SPORT AEROBATICS magaZine fo r an addi­ tional $45 per year. EAA Membership, SPORT AEROBATICS magaZin e and one year membership in the lAC Division is available for $55 per year (SPORT

AVIATION maga zine not included). (A dd $15 for Foreign Postage,)

WARBIRDS Current EM members may join the EM War· birds of America Division and receive WARBlRDS magazine for an additional $40 per year. EAA Membership, WARBIRDS magazine and one year membership in the Warbirds Divi­ sion is available for $50 per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included). (A dd $7 for Foreign Postage.)

EAA EXPERIMENTER Current EAA members may receive EAA EXPERIMENTER magazine for an additional $20 per year. EM Membership and EM EXPERIMENTER magaZine is available for $30 per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included). (A dd $8 for Foreign Postage.)

FOREIGN MEMBERSHIPS Please submit your remittance with a check or draft drawn on a United States bank payable in United States dollars. Add required Foreign Postage amount for each membership.

Membership dues to EAA and its divisions are not tax deductible as charitable contributions,

Copyright ©2003 by the EM Vintage Aircraft Association All rights reserved. VINTAGE AIRPLANE (ISSN 0091-6943) IPM 40032445 is published and owned exclusively by the EM Vintage Aircraft Association of the Experimental Aircraft Association and is published monthly at EM Aviation Center. 3000 Poberezny Rd.. PO. Box 3088. Oshkosh. Wisconsin 54903-3086. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to EM Vintage Aircraft Association. PO. Box 3086. Oshkosh. WI 54903-3086. Return Canadian issues to Station A. PO Box 54. Windsor, ON N9A 6J5. FOREIGN AND APO ADDRESSES - Please allow at least two montha for delivery of VINTAGE AIRPlANE to foreign and APO addresses via suriace mail. ADVERTISING - Vintage Aircraft Association does not guarantee or endorse any product offered through the advertising. We invite constructive criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained through our advertiSing so that corrective measures can be taken. EDITORIAL POLICY: Readers are encouraged to submit stories and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests entirely with the oontributor. No renumeration is made. Material should be sent to: Editor. VINTAGE AIRPlANE. PO. Box 3086. Oshkosh, WI 54903-3088. Phone 920/426-4800. EAA~ and SPORT AVIATION<!', the EM Log~ and Aeronautical" are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association . Inc. The use of these trademar1<s and service marl<s WIThout the pennission of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited. The EM AVIATION FOUNDATION Logo is a trademark of the EM Aviation Foundation. Inc. The use of this trademark WIThout the pennission of the EM Aviation Foundation. Inc. is strictly prohibited.



VAA Merchan This medium-blue shirt has the VAA on the back yoke. SM MD LG XL

Vl1183 V11184 V11185 V11186

totes are embossed on one side with airplanes and the VAA logo. Washable. SM LG

VOO250 V00249


$17.95 $18.95

Ladies and Men's Stonewashed Denim Shirt A classic for any season, this denim shirt is great for all aviation activities. LADIES' $31.95 SM V11147 MD Vl1148 LG V11149 XL V11160

Ladies' Navy Polo Shirt $32.95 This ladies' polo shirt made of 100% cotton can be machine washed and dried. It sports an all-navy VAA logo and white stripe collar and cuffs. MD V11165 LG V11166 XL Vl1167


This 100% cotton golf shirt sports the VAA logo on the sleeve. SM MD

Vl0134 Vl 0135

$18.95 Ladies' Yellow Golf Shirt This comfortable golf shirt is 100% cot足 ton, machine washable. Tone on tone VAA logo on front. SM MD


V10130 Vl0131

APRIL 2003


V10132 Vl0133


MEN's $32.95 MD V11161 LG V11162 XL V11163 2X Vl1164

Denim Golf Shirt This short sleeve shirt is a classic for warm weather. MD LG

Vl1135 Vll136


Vl1137 Vlll38

V10136 Vl0137

Men's Burgundy Golf This golf shirt is 100% cotton with tone on tone VAA logo on chest. It sports a three color collar. MD LG XL

V10151 $34.95 V10153 V11133

2X V11134 $36.95

$68.95 USA Fleece Jacket This plush jacket will show your USA and VAA pride. Made of 100% acrylic it washes easily. MD LG

VOO913 VOO916


VOO917 VOO929




Hooded Jersey Shirt ~ong-sleeved shirt features a tone-on-tone VAA logo. Grey or Perfect Blue. Perfect Blue Grey SM



Flag Jacket $66.95 This jacket is a winner! 0 better way to show your American Pride. MD VOO877 XL VOO879

V11177 V11179 V11180 V11181

V11173 V11174 V11175 V11176






This cast metal pin is about 3" wide. A great way to show your VAA pride.

Travel Mug VOO342 $12.95 Classic stainless steel mug with plastic handle and cap. Standard base fits most car cup holders.

Mini FanIFlashlight


This set of 4 clear glasses with etched design is a classic way to display the VAA logo.


SALE $4.95 This clever gadget features both a fan and a flashlight. Batteries included.

VAA Logo Decal Shiny metallic VAA logo decals are great in showing your VAA pride. The image is printed on both sides so you can stick the decal on the inside or outside of your window.

Small VAA Logo Pin VOO258 $3.99 This small metal pin can be displayed on your clothes, then easily removed. (Tie tack style pin.)

Flat VAA Patch V00257 $1.99 This VAA logo patch can be ironed on your shirts, coats or other accessories.

Blue/Gold Marbled Mug V40240 $5.95 Enjoy your morning coffee with this marbled coffee mug.

3-D VAA Patch $3.99 This 3-dimensional patch is well tailored and will look great on your clothing and accessories. VINTAGE AIRPLANE



$64.95 Ladies' Stone Micro Fiber Jacket This classy jacket for women is soft to the touch, water repellent, and light weight with inside zipper pocket. SM V11168 MD V11169

lG Xl

V11171 VI1172

lG VI0006

Xl VI0007

$71.95 $72.95

This classy navy jacket is soft to the touch, water repellent, and light weight with inside zippered pocket. Machine wash, gentle cycle. 32

APRIL 2003







FROM US AND CANADA (All OTHERS 920·426·5912)

Men's Navy Micro Fiber Jacket MD VI0005 2X VI0009

Sweatshirt Blankets These blankets are extra soft, S4 in. x 84 in ., and machine washable.


PO BOX 3086

OSHKOSH, WI 54903·3086

390 horsepower can be very intimidating. Best say something nice.

"The powertrain and suspension refinements are so good that you ... need to look at the speedometer to gauge your.. .speed."

"The S-TYPE R asserts itself between [the competition] with authority-and a measure of elegance [the others] lack." ~

- Automobile Magazine

Motor Trend

"Yet it also has tremendous reserves of performance--enough to give you an ear-to-ear grin when you drive it hard. " . Sports Car International


Vehicle Discount