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Clearing the cobwebs, and other springtime projects Spring has definitely sprung here in the Midwest now, and many of you have been busy with the spring rit­ ual of operating your personal flying machines all over this great country. Along with the milder temperatures that spring brings to my region is the real pleasure of actually being able to open the hangar door and enjoy the fresh air and mild breezes without the burden of utility bills dampening my spirit and desire to be there working on my personal flying machines. I hope that everybody took my earlier sugges­ tion and cleaned out the "cobwebs" that will naturally collect not only on our personal flying skills, but also on our aircraft. Most troubling to me has been the seemingly increasing number of incursions within areas of restricted airspace. Most prominent of course are the various tales of general avia­ tion aircraft being escorted out of the Washington air defense identification zone by military fighter aircraft. I re­ ally thought that when this particular area of restricted airspace was modi­ fied last year it would automatically add up to be less violations, but this does not seem to have been the case. Now, I could be wrong about this, since I have not undertaken any serious study of these types of events, but what I am again implying here is that these events seem to become more promi­ nent with the beginning of each flying season. Is this a lack of flight prepara­ tion, or is it more about just being care­ less pilots? I suppose both components are a part of the real problem, but one thing I am certain about here is what the results of these unfortunate events

could be. We all need to sharpen our pencils before we even think about engaging that engine starter. We sim­ ply need to be on our best game for all four quarters. The real fear for me has always been that if we prove our­ selves unable to properly police our­ selves, then the result will certainly be all of us experiencing more serious im-

Is this a

lack of fl ight

preparation ...

pacts upon our freedoms of flight by even more restrictive regulatory rules than we have today. I know none of us would like to watch such an event un­ fold right before our eyes, but I would be personally quite disappointed in my performance if my inappropriate ac­ tions were the cause of more restrictive regulations on recreational aviation. Doug Stewart's column each month is a great reminder to continually brush up on our flying skills. We all need to be sharp at all times when we climb in our aircraft for a cross-country trip or just a short half-hour flight around the area. Stay the course! By the time you read this column, your Vintage Aircraft Association board of directors will have met in Oshkosh on the last Friday in April. Along with the many routine agenda items, we will report on a small ex­ pansion of our headquarters building on the AirVenture grounds at EAA. This expansion will see an extension

of the sales area of the Red Barn head­ quarters, along with a covered patio area for our valued volunteer staff to take a break from their daily routine . This construction project is being overseen by VAA Director Bob Lum­ ley, in cooperation with our Volun­ teer Maintenance Committee headed by VAA Director Emeritus Bob Brauer. This project should prove to be of real value to our Red Barn sales area, and I'm sure it will also be greatly appreci­ ated by our Vintage volunteers. Just as this issue was being final­ ized, we learned of the passing of Steve Pitcairn. Steve's generosity and tireless work to ensure the legacy of his father's rich aviation heritage will be remembered for generations. Our condolences to Steve's wife of 55 years, Jocelyn, and to his many friends . For more on Steve's pass­ ing, please read the obituary written by H.G. Frautschy, with help from Steve's good friend for many years , John Turgyan. Please do us all the favor of invit­ ing a friend to join the VAA, and help keep us the strong association we have all enjoyed for so many years now. EM AirVenture Oshkosh 2008, the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration, isJuly 28 through August 3,2008. VAA is about participation : Be a member! Be a volunteer! Be there! Let's all pull in the same direction for the good of aviation. Remember, we are better togeth e r. Join us and have it all.




VOL. 36, NO. 5




Straight & Level Clearing the cobwebs, and other springtime projects by Geoff Robison




Hints for Restorers

Handy tidbits from homebuilders and restorers


Shuttleworth's Edwardians

The European pioneer era takes flight

by H.G. Frautschy and David Macready


One Jenny's Journey

Ninety years through time and place

by Sparky Barnes Sargent


The Sorge Stearman Speedmail Special

The Stearman what?

by Budd Davisson


Light Plane Heritage

The ugly duckling from Missouri

by Bob Whittier


The Vintage Instructor

Runway incursions

by Doug Stewart


Mystery Plane

by H.G. Frautschy


First Funk A glimpse of the first powered aircraft built by the Funk brothers by H.G . Frautschy




Classified Ads

COVERS FRONT COVER The Sorge Stearman Speedmail Special is actually a heavily customized PT·17 Stearman. With its beefy looks and growling 450-hp Pratt & Whi tney, it strikes an imposing pos­ ture when on the flightline or in the pattern. EM photo by Bonnie Kratz. BACK COVER: David Macready captured the Avro Triplane replica built for the 1965 movie Those Magnificent Men in Their Rying Machines. Flown in the movie by the boorish Sir Percy Ware­ Armitage (played by Terry Thomas), it proved to be an aeroplane with reasonably good flying capabilities , so much so that it's ftown on a regular basis as part of the flying section of the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden Aerodrome in the United Kingdom. For more information, visit their website at www.shuttleworth .org.


EAA Publisher Director of EAA Publications Executive Director/Editor EAA Art Director Executive Assistant News Editor Photography Advertising Coordinator Classified Ad Coordinator Copy Editor Director of Advertising

Tom Poberezny David Hipschman H.G. Frautschy Olivia P. Trabbold Jillian Rooker

Ric Reynolds

Jim Koepnick

Bonnie Kratz

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Daphene VanHullum

Colleen Walsh

Katrina Bradshaw

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EAA AirVenture to Feature 'Affordable Flying Center' EAA has always been about find­ ing a better way to do things through pooling and sharing knowledge and information. That's the idea behind the Affordable Flying Center, a new attraction to debut at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008. liThe EAA Affordable Flying Center will focus on ways EAA members can achieve and maintain their dream of flight, even on a limited budget, " said EAA's Ron Wagner, who is leading the effort to organize the center. "EAAers have lots of creative ways to get the most for their aviation dollar, and the idea is to collect those ideas and make them available to share with each other." Located in the former NASA build­ ing (north of the old control tower, adjacent to the Honda Forums Plaza), the Affordable Flying Center will fea­ ture a mini forum area, indoor dis­ plays , and examples of standard category aircraft like the Taylorcraft and Piper Colt/Tri-Pacer that may provide an economical pathway to flight. EAA's aviation experts and vol­ unteers will be on hand to answer questions and provide information to those seeking a less expensive way to pursue their aviation passion. Some of the subjects they'll be ready to discuss include; • Partnerships and flying clubs. • Owner-maintenance opportunities. • Plans-building, where the build­ er's time and sweat equity substitute for money to create one of the most cost­ effective ways to own a low-cost aircraft. • Sport pilot/light-sport aircraft and how this growing category can help enthusiasts pursue their passion for flight for less cost. Wagner is asking for EAA members who would like to share their story about innovative ways to affordably own, build, buy, maintain, or fly an aircraft. He's also looking for aircraft to display outside the Affordable Fly­ ing Center. If you have something to 2

MAY 2008

contribute or an aircraft to display, contact Wagner at

EAA AirVenture Airline Discounts Midwest and Northwest Airlines offer special airfare discounts for EAA members and others attending EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. The discounted fares are available courtesy of the air­ lines and are subject to restrictions. To learn about the discounts, visit discounts.html.

fies the spirit of research, development, or flight-testing in the flight-testing field. The award was first presented in 1997 by the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and Scaled Composites. Candidates should have flight-test experience, and should have shared their knowledge and experience with fellow EAA members through presen­ t.ations, written articles, or as an EAA Flight Advisor. The award will be pre­ sented at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008. To request a nomination form, contact the EAA Safety Programs of­ fice at or call, toll-free, 888-322-4636, ext. 6864. The nomination deadline is June I, 2008.

Hints for Homebuilders Videos a Hit

Get pumped for AirVenture by watching EAA's Oshkosh: Th e Spirit of Aviation, now available on DVD! Narrated by Harrison Ford, The Spirit ofAviation presents an insider's view at the people and airplanes that gather annually in Oshkosh to enjoy The World's Greatest Aviation Cel­ ebration. The DVD includes the 17­ minute 30-second video that's been viewed thousands of times via the AirVenture website, along with 30 additional minutes of bonus mate­ rial composed of special feature vid­ eos, AirVenture flashbacks, and daily news reports from 2007. Price for the DVD is $14.99. Order from the EAA Aeronautica online store or call, toll­ free, 800-564-6322.

EAA's new online Hints for Home­ builders videos are garnering rave reviews from EAAers. This series of short videos was developed by EAA staff and member volunteers to illus­ trate handy tips, tricks, and alterna­ tive methods for the various methods of aircraft construction, including composite, tube and fabric , sheet metal, and wood. "EAA has always been about shar­ ing knowledge among members, and these new video tips are just another way of doing that, taking advantage of the opportunities the Internet pro­ vides," said Charlie Becker, director of EAA's member programs. "We're plan­ ning to develop an entire catalog that will be valuable to EAA members." A new video "hint" is added each week and highlighted in e-Hotlin e. We're also asking members to suggest tips for the series. To submit ideas, e­ mail and please put "Hints" in the subject line. Meanwhile, visit html to view the videos.

Nominations Sought for 2008 Spirit of Flight Award

EAA Critical of FAA's ADS-B Proposal

EAA is seeking nominations for the 2008 Spirit of Flight Award, which hon­ ors an EAA member who best exempli­

EAA recently submitted comments that were highly critical of the FAA's

Oshkosh: The Spirit of Aviation Now Available on DVD

continued on page 4

Stephen Pitcairn (1924·2008)

Tom Poberezny and Stephen Pitcairn

Stephen Pitcairn, EM 109260, VM 4080, passed away Saturday, March 29, at the age of 83. Steve was the son of Harold Pitcairn, the founder of Pitcairn Aircraft and the original license holder to build auto­ giro aircraft based on the designs of inventor Juan de la Cierva. A subsid­ iary, Pitcairn Airways, was the founding company for what later became Eastern Air Lines. Building upon the Pitcairn legacy, Steve Pitcairn was a successful business­ man in his own right and an aviation enthusiast in the broadest sense. As his resources allowed, he began to collect and have restored many of the aircraft built by his father's company. An active participant in both the research and restoration of his aircraft, he worked tirelessly to ensure that the contribu­ tions of his family to aviation history would not fade from existence. The first to be restored was a PA-S Mailwing. Three of the aircraft built by his fa­ ther's company, a Pitcairn PCA-2 Auto­ giro called Miss Champion, a PA-7S Sport Mailwing, and a PA-39 Autogiro built for the Royal Air Force, are now part of the EAA collection. The Mailwing, NC9SW, is a movie celebrity, having been used in a number of Hollywood movies, including Blaze ofNoon starring William Bendix and Claudette Colbert.

The PCA-2 is one of only two remain­ ing examples of this unique aviation artifact. Formerly owned by the Cham­ pion Spark Plug Company, and used for promotional purposes, it was later placed on display in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. From there it went to a small museum and then a storage area in Vermont, where it was discovered by Stephen Pitcairn and re­ stored with the help of George Town­ son, one of the pioneers of the autogiro era. When Pitcairn flew it to EM Osh­ kosh 1986, it was the hit of the event. Steve Pitcairn was an active contrib­ utor to the EAA Aviation Foundation, on which he served as a director, and he continued to be an important and valued advisor and contributor to EM's programs. His generous underwriting of the construction of the Pitcairn Avia­ tion hangar at EAA's Pioneer Airport, which was dedicated in 1993, will long serve as a reminder of the legacY,of the Pitcairn family, and of the generous spirit of Stephen Pitcairn. After a childhood illness prevented him from serving in the military, Steve

flew patrols for the Civil Air Patrol dur­ ing World War II. Later, he built time in his Pitcairn Mailwing so he'd have enough high-powered experience to apply to the airlines. Flying as a DC-3 copilot for Eastern Air Lines, he'd some­ times fly by the family home in Bryn Athyn so he could wave to his mom. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh (he used to commute to school with a Bellanca Cruisair), he worked for Pittsburgh Plate Glass, and he married his hometown sweetheart, Jocelyn. He was a generous supporter of his local community and church. "Steve was a dedicated aviation his­ torian, and he exhibited a quiet passion for aviation," said EAA President Tom Poberezny. "He enjoyed sharing his passion with his fellow EAA members through his activities and when demon­ strating the Pitcairn aircraft he brought to our convention. His contributions to aviation history and his willingness to share his expertise will be missed." Thanks to Mike Posey, Steve's me­ chanic for many years, for his contribu­ tions to this remembrance of Steve.

VAA's 2008 Friends of the Red Bam Campaign First and foremost, our thanks to each of you who has already made your contribution for this year's VAA Friends of the Red Barn campaign! The Vintage Aircraft Association has , by necessity, elected to underwrite a portion of its yearlong activities with funds other than members' dues . The proceeds from this fund pay for all sorts of volunteer activities and improvements to the VAA area, as well as supporting VAA advo­ cacy efforts and educational endeavors. Your annual contribution made in the first half of 2008 will directly benefit this year's AirVenture activities and VAA pro­ grams throughout the year. By now most of you will have received your mailing regarding our annual fund­ raising campaign, and we ask that you consider actively partiCipating in the 2008 VAA Friends of the Red Barn campaign . Your donation may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law, and you can enhance your participation if you work for a matChing-gift company. You can do so by filling out, and then sending in the form included in the mailing that arrived in your mailbox; or by donating online at programs/ redbarn.html. If you desire more information concerning the VAA's Friends of the Red Barn campaign, feel free to give us a call at 920-426-6110 . We'd be happy to speak with you! VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Upcoming Major Fly-Ins

Golden West Regional Fly-In

Yuba County Airport (MYV),

Marysville, California

June 6-8, 2008

Virginia Regional Fly-In

Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ),

Suffolk, Virginia

June 14-1 5, 2008

www. Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In

Front Range Airport (FTG),

Watkins, Colorado

June 27-29, 2008 Arlington Northwest Fly-In

Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO),

Arlington, Washington

July 9-13, 2008 EM AirVenture Oshkosh

Wittman Regional Airport (OSH),

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

July 28-August 3, 2008 Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport (MFD), Mansfield, Ohio


Southeast Regional Fly-In

Middleton Field Airport (GZH),

Evergreen, Alabama



Copperstate Regional Fly-In Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ), Casa Grande, Arizona October 23-26, 2008 U.S. Sport Aviation Expo

Sebring Regional Airport (SEF),

Sebring, Florida

January 22-25, 2009 Aero Friedrichshafen

Messe Friedrichshafen (EDNY),

Friedrichshafen, Germany

April 2-5, 2009

www.Aero-Friedrichshafen.comlhtmllen Sun 'n Fun Fly-In Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), Lakeland , Florida April 21-26, 2009 For details on EAA chapter fly-ins and other local aviation events, visit


MAY 2008

AirVenture Large-Fonnation Arrivals Scheduled One annual AirVenture highlight actually occurs before opening day as large groups of similar aircraft arrive at Wittman Regional Airport in rapid succession and camp together in the North 40. Watching these group arrivals is one of many attractions for visitors who come early to AirVenture . The FAA pre-authorizes these formation arrival groups based on proven abil­ ity to increase overall landing efficiency and safety. Good planning and training are required, allowing these aircraft groups to arrive together in much less time than would be needed for separate approaches and landings. The groups stage at other airports so they can arrive in Oshkosh on a predetermined schedule. Some group arrivals require a pause in the normal flow of aircraft on the Ripon­ Fisk VFR arrival, but those holding times are generally brief. For EAA AirVenture 2008, six groups of aircraft have received the required FAA approval. Groups of Bonanzas (B20sh), Cessnas (C20), and Mooneys (Mooney Car­ avan) are scheduled to arrive at Oshkosh on Saturday afternoon, July 26. A group of Comanches is planning a late-morning arrival on Sunday, followed by Van 's RVs in the early afternoon and the AirVenture Cup racers in the late afternoon. Large-formation arrival groups do not have reserved camping spaces in the North 40. They camp together because they arrive together. If you want to camp with one of these groups, you need to register with the group organizer and par­ ticipate in its arrival. If you would like to form your own group, now is the time to start planning for AirVenture 2009. Groups must have at least 30 aircraft, a safety officer, a training officer, a practice plan, and a written Letter of Agree­ ment from the FAA. Call EAA Aviation Services at 888-322-4636 or e-mail info@ for the proper FAA contacts. plan to i mplem ent autom atic depen­ dent surveillan ce-broa dcast (AD S-B) as the central compon ent of the n ext­ gen eration (n ext-gen ) air tra ffic con­ t rol system. " Most of the b en efits cited i n the NPRM (notice of prop osed rul emak­ i ng) either do n o t apply t o gen eral avi ati on at all or ar e d eri ved f rom technologi es already bein g embraced and fi elded b y gen er al avi ati on p i­ lot s an d aircraft own ers on their own, su ch as GPS and mOVing-map tech­ nol ogies/' wrote D oug Macn air, EAA

v i ce pr esid ent of go v ernment r el a­ tions. " FAA did not consult with the general av iation indu stry in devel­ oping this implementation proposal, and it shows. II According to the NPRM, all aircraft operating in Cla ss A, B, and C air­ space, plus in airspace above 10,000 f eet MSL, would b e r equired to in­ stall ADS-B datalink equipm ent, or ADS-B Out, by 2020. This ex pensive equipment would transmit ai rcraft identification i nformati on as w ell as continued on page 38


Handy tidbits from homebuilders and restorers

An Important Safety Tip Flammable fluid lines leading to cockpit gauges should have restric­ tions incorporated into the lines so that line failure will not permit large quantities of the fluid to be dumped into the engine compart­ ment or the cockpit. These restric­ tions should be installed as near the source of pressure as pOSSible, and the orifice should not be larger than about .040 inches. This may seem a little elementary to the old pros, but we have a few mem­ bers who may not know that ... cylinder nuts or studs should not be used for mounting baffles, braces, etc. unless the piece being secured is made of the same material as the washers employed by the engine manufacturer. Other ma­ terials may cause cylinder failures due to the loosening of studs because of the baffle mounting material squeezing out from under the nut. In short, don't put an aluminum bracket under a cylinder hold-down nut. A.D. McLarty

Jacksonville, Florida

Propeller Precautions Many persons have been fatally injured by walking into whirling pro­ pellers. Painting a warning strip on the propeller serves to reduce the chances of such injuries. Approximately 4 inches of the propeller tips should be covered on both sides with an orange-yellow non-reflecting paint or lacquer. The drain holes in the metal tipping of

wood blades should be opened up after the tips have been painted . Wood propellers are especially susceptib le to damage from im­ proper handling. When moving an airplane, special care should be ex­ ercised to avoid bumping the pro­ peller. The practice of pushing or pulling on a propeller blade to move an airplane should be avoided; it is extremely easy to impose forces on a blade in excess of those for which the blade is designed. It is continu­ ally necessary to ascertain that the glue joints are in good condition and that the finish on the entire propel­ ler will protect the propeller from absorbing moisture. Two-bladed wood propellers should always be left or stored, whether on or off an airplane, in a horizontal position to prevent unbalance from moisture absorption. A good precaution is to cover the propeller with a well-fitting waterproof cover when not in use. It is very important to protect the shank section of wood blades from moisture changes to prevent swell­ ing and subsequent loosening in the metal sleeve. In the case of var­ nished blades, it is advisable to oc­ casionally apply varnish around the shank at the junction of wood and metal. In the case of the plastic-cov­ ered blade, repair cement may be applied around the same joint. In certain cases where the blade has been man u factured from lami­ nated planks of composition mate­ rial, longitudina l cracks or splitting between laminations have been ob­ served after several hundred hours of operation. These cracks dare not progress beyond definite limits as covered by the manufacturer's ser­ vice bulletin. FAA CAM 18

Keep That Tail Wheel Dry A good solution to tying down an

all-metal classic at the local airport. A persistent problem has been the sinking into the ground of the tail wheel-and the threat of rust freez­ ing up the assembly as a result of the wheel being immersed in water during periods of rain. This contributor solved the prob­ lem by purchasing one of the con­ crete drain blocks for house gutter drain outlets. Just remember to tilt the block slightly so it will drain. Ralph S. Ballard Saint Ann, Missouri

Keeping an Oil Spout Clean On the way back from Great Ma­ rana Raid, we stopped in Wicken­ burg, Arizona, for fuel. I needed oil and a spout to pour with. I found it in a very unusual container. For you guys that like Pringles potato chips-you've got it made. The rest will have to switch. Yep, the spout was kept in a Pringles can. It has a plastic lid to keep the spout clean (which also keeps the plane clean). You could even keep it in the trunk of your car, free from dust and dirt. This tip is courtesy of the fixed base operator at Wickenburg. EAA Chapter 163 Newsletter Las Vegas, Nevada ~ VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Shuttleworth's Edwardians

The European pioneer era takes flight BY




The Shuttleworth Collection contains one of the world's greatest flocks of flying pio足 neer era aircraft, those amazing aeroplanes flown prior to World War I. Thanks to the foresight of Richard Shuttleworth, some of the aircraft were preserved prior to World War II; still others are replicas built for the 1965 film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Ma足 chines. Here are a few of them as seen through the lens of VAA member David Macready. Blackburn Monoplane Type 0


MAY 2008

...... 1911 Avro triplane (replica) Look out, it's that nasty, boorish Sir Percy Ware-Armitage! Okay, not quite, but thanks to the work done in 1964-1965 to re-create the pioneer era aeroplanes for the movie Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, we have this sharp-looking replica of the Avro Triplane. Powered by a Cirrus four-cylinder engine, it comes complete with a bungee足 corded tailskid and quad-wheeled landing gear. You can clearly see the thin, undercam足 bered airfoil used by the replica builders, the Hampshire Aeroplane Club at Eastleigh, Southampton, who did their best to maintain the characteristics of the original aircraft while still building an aeroplane that proved to be flyable on a regular basis. When com足 pletely stripped down and rebuilt during the winter of 2000-2001, it was re-covered and painted in the markings it wore for the movie.




Bleriot XI A late afternoon in early October in England is the setting for this hop down the runway for a Bleriot XI. On July 25, 1909, when Louis Bleriot flew across the English Channel from France to Dover with his Bleriot monoplane, he needed a brief rain shower to cool the three-cylinder Anzani. This particular example, which is an original machine (constructor's No. 14), utilizes wing warping for roll control , just as the original did in 1909. Built in 1910, it is the world's oldest flying aircraft still equipped with its original engine. While now restricted to hops down the runway, it was flown by Richard Shut足 tleworth each year in the three years leading up to World War II.


MAY 2008

..... Bristol Boxkite This replica built by F.G. Miles Ltd. for the movie is of the No. 12A Bristol; not surprisingly, it's commonly referred to as the Boxkite. Like the Avro Triplane, it has four main wheels and a pair of skids. With the wheels located so close to the center of gravity, each landing would re­ sult in a nose-over. The Bristol uses a pair of horizontal stabilizers, with only the top half equipped with a hinged elevator. A pair of hinged rud­ ders mounted outboard of the vertical stabilizer give yaw control, with roll control on this replica being effected by ailerons rather than the orig­ inal wing warping. On some of the replica aircraft, it was found that wing warping gave only marginal roll control. Since the movie replicas would be flown in varying conditions, and sometimes in close proximity to one another, it was deemed necessary to modify the original designs on a few of the movie airplanes, including the Vickers-Bleriot, Demoiselle, Avro Triplane, and the Boxkite. Rather than the original 50-hp Gnome rotary, this replica is powered by a Continental C-90.





~~'M ~






1948 L USCOMBE 88

WHAT OUR MEMBERS ARE RESTORING Are you nearing completion of a restoration? Or is it done and you 're busy flying and showing it off? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Send us a 4-by-6-inch print from a commercial source (no home printers, please-those prints just don't scan well) or a 4-by-6-inch, 300-dpi digital photo. A JPG from . your 2.5-megapixel (or higher) digital camera is fine. You can burn photos to a CD, or if you ' re on a high-speed Internet connection, you can e-mail them along with a text-only or Word document describing your airplane. (If your e-mail program asks if you 'd like to make the photos smaller, say no.) For more tips on creating photos we can publish, visit VAA's website at www. Check the News page for a hyperlink to Want To Send Us A Photograph? For more information, you can also e-mail us at or call us at 920-426-4825.

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f your travels take you near the Kickapoo Downtown Airport in Wichita Falls, Texas, be sure to look up-for you just might see and hear an OX-5 powered Jenny flying overhead. The Curtiss IN-4D, historically significant in and of itself, is also entwined in Wichita Fall's own histo­ ry-and that's why the city council voted unanimously to appropriate a generous portion of its 4B Tax Board Funds to purchase the biplane in 2007. Let's journey back in time with this particular Jenny to learn how its 90-year flight plan was routed from Iowa to Oklahoma, Wiscon­ sin, England, and finally Texas.

Barnstonning Days The Jenny was built by the thousands during World War I (WWI), and many an aviation student learned to fly in 10

MAY 2008

these biplanes. Iowan Ray McWhorter soloed a IN-4D Cur­ tissJenny in 1918, and upon his return home from the war in July 1919, he and his brother pooled together their mus­ tering-out pay and purchased a 1917 IN-4D for $4,650 from Herring Motor Company. Together they formed McWhorter Bros. Aero. Co. and commenced barnstorming for several years. They promised their paying customers that they would do Anything to Please You-Straight, Smooth Plea­ sure Flights; Thrilling Stunt Flights with Loops, Spins and Turns; and Trips to Any Place You Want to Go." Their flying operation went along pretty well until they encountered competition from numerous barnstorm­ ers, which compelled them to create an air show act to draw more business. Their plan was to have a man trans­ fer from the wing of one Jenny to another, in flight, via a homemade suspended ladder. So they teamed up with a II

"There is no s"W'eeter sound in the "W'orld to a veteran aviator than the sound of a Curtiss OX-5 engine chuckling a"W'ay as it 1lVings by in an old biplane...." -ChetPeek

local barnstormer to practice this new act-but tragically, the maneuver went awry and both Jennys crashed. In­ credibly, Ray McWhorter, although badly injured, was the sole survivor of that August 11, 1921, crash. The twisted, tangled remains of his Jenny were hauled back to the fam­ ily farm near Burt, Iowa, where they were stored for nearly half a century.

Restoration Begins In November 1970, fellow Iowan Dean Gilmore visited Ray McWhorter, and together they looked over the Jen­ ny's remains. Then McWhorter made the bold decision to simply give the project to Gilmore, who was an expe­ rienced pilot and aircraft mechanic-because he believed that Gilmore would actually restore it to airworthy condi­ tion. The restoration process commenced-including the

tedious chore of locating replacement parts and obtaining airframe blueprints-and continued for a dozen years. Early on during the project, Gilmore contacted na­ tive Iowan Chet Peek about spare parts. Peek searched through his cache of Standard J-1 parts and generously delivered a variety of parts to a delighted Gilmore, in­ cluding a landing gear axle, turnbuckles, and an exhaust manifold. Gilmore also visited Ken Hyde in Virginia, to absorb knowledge from Hyde's own hands-on authentic Jenny restoration. The Jenny was slowly taking shape, with the fuselage and tail group mostly completed by 1979. Then, due to the sheer size of the wings (43-1/2 foot span), Gilmore and several other Jenny restorers made arrangements with the Wicks Aircraft Supply company in Highland, IllinOis, to fabricate the long spars (and a few other pieces) for their reVINTAGE AIRPLANE


Here's the Jenny, painted in Call Field training colors.

Close-up of the wrapped and glued cording on the wingtip's handgrip. You can clearly see the hand­ frayed edges of each section of fabric. Fraying the edges gave the dope more surface area to keep the edge of the fabric from lifting and pulling away while in flight. Later, a pinked edge gave the same effect, without as much handwork required.

spectiveJennys. As soon as these were completed, Gilmore's own wing work began and continued for two years. Yet tragedy would soon cast its shadow once more on McWhorter's old Jenny-for Gilmore died suddenly in 1982, and his family was resigned to advertising th e un­ completed Jenny for sale in Trade-A-Plane. It so happened that Chet Peek, who had relocated to Norman, Okla­ homa, had been searching for a Jenny project for decades. He saw the ad and inquired about it, but the price at that time was well beyond his slender billfold. 12 M AY 2008

Inside the Jenny's rear cockpit.

A New Home Then in February 1983, the famil y's estate attorney contacted Peek about purchasing the project at a reduced price. Peek, who had restored a variety of vintage aircraft, went to look at the Jenny project and, as he would later write in his book Resurrection ofa Jenny, described its con­ dition this way: "The bare wood of the fuselage and wings shone like fine furniture; the metal parts were a gleaming black lacquer; in all, a superb restoration. If at all possible, I wanted to own th is Jen ny! " Yet he also realized th at the restoration was only half­ way completed. So after some though tful consideration, and with the blessings of his wife, Marian, Chet made an offer, which the Gilmore family accepted. Once again, the Jenny landed in strong, capable hands that would faith­

In 1989, Marian and Chet Peek posed with their

Jenny with Marian in a period dress and Chet in a

U.S. Army Air Services uniform.

1989 was a banner year for the Peeks and their Jenny. They were one of the featured airplanes during EAA's "Jennys to Jets" display during the annual EAA convention. With Marian in the front cockpit, Chet begins taxiing the Jenny as they prepare to fly for the appreciative crowd.

fully finish its restoration, beginning where Gilmore's ex­ cellent work had stopped.

Restoration Continues Chet and his aviation buddies carefully loaded the treasured project components and assorted parts for the 700-mile journey from Spencer, Iowa, to his hangar/shop in central Oklahoma-which was a tedious undertaking in itself. Next came the detailed inventory of what was ac­ tually there and parts that he would still need to acquire. It wasn't long before he found himself contacting Ken Hyde, just as Gilmore had, concerning all-things Jenny related. And since it hadn 't been previously registered with the FAA, he completed the required paperwork to register the Jenny as a Curtiss-Peek Model IN-4D, N2525, serial number 1917. The construction and assembly of the lower wings-in­ cluding the fabrication and installation of internal brac­ ing wires-was a time-consuming, complex process. And then there was the chore of locating Irish linen to cover Marian Peek, busy sewing linen fabric for t he wings and fuselage.

The Jenny was badly damaged in McWhorter's crash on August 11, 1921.

Chet Peek and one of the Jenny's wings during resto­ ration. You can clearly see the undercambered airfoil with its rather sharp leading edge.

November 2007- The Jenny flies over Wichita Falls, Texas .



.-------~~~------~_,,~'----~-N-_,---~ ~

Chet fabricated the aluminum cockpit cowling and

il: small windshields to authentic shape and form with the >­ i'5 help of patterns from Hyde, while Hyde built the engine



~ ~


Marian and Chet Peek in October 2007.

the airframe. Serendipitously, while on vacation in Eng­ land in 1983, the Peeks discovered that Whiteley Products Ltd. in London was a supplier, and they purchased a 100 meter roll of the fabric. Back at home, Marian sat down at her personal sewing machine to tackle the task of sew­ ing the heavy linen panels together-using the French fell-seam method-and into envelopes, which she did with professional attention to detail. Together, they rib stitched the large wings and delicately frayed more than 1,000 feet of finishing tape to cover the sewn seams. Chet and his friend Harold Maloy finished it with clear dope and applied the U.S. Army red, white, and blue star insig­ nias on the wings, with stripes on the rudder. 14 MAY 2008

cowlings. Ever striving to retain the Jenny's authenticity and originality where possible, Chet was able to make a complete set of Curtiss wing struts from collected parts. One of the next challenges was fabricating the Jen­ ny's numerous wire cables, and when that and miscel­ laneous other items had been completed, it was time to assemble and rig the Jenny. As Chet wrote in his book, liThe rigging proved more difficult than we imagined. It took Harold Maloy and me a full week to get it right. ... We found that when we adjusted the angle of inci­ dence, the stagger would change and vice versa. Harold and I would laugh at each other, because when making what we thought would be the final adjustment on one cable, we would find some wire on the other side of the plane had gone slack ... but we finally got all the ad­ justments right." Although the Jenny project came with an OX-5 engine, it clearly needed repair. So Chet, along with his buddy Har­ old, thoroughly researched all of the available informa­ tion they could find on Curtiss OX-5s. The next step was cleaning and meticulously inspecting the engine parts for defects and proper clearances. Then they had the cylin­ ders ground, installed new seats and valves, and installed a Miller overhead lubrication system-along with myriad other repairs-and the OX-5 was finally assembled. They methodically installed the engine and radiator, carefully connecting all the associated plumbing for fuel, oil, and water. After some initial tribulations with a faulty Scintilla magneto, they had the engine running smoothly. "There is no sweeter sound in the world to a veteran aviator than the sound of a Curtiss OX-5 engine chuck­ ling away as it wings by in an old biplane," wrote Chet in his book. "With its external valve action working up and down like a squad of metronomes and the low base notes of the exhaust revealing a lazy 1400 rpm, it typifies the best in antique aviation technology." October 6, 1987, was a memorable day for Chet and all

rectors approved the idea. The con­ cept soon evolved into the theme for the convention: "From Jennys to Jets." The Peeks, along with eight other Jenny owners, were invited­ six of whom attended. Chet and Mar­ ian were quick to accept, even though it meant dismantling the Jenny and reassembling it in the Weeks hangar at Wittman Field . They hired an Al­ lied moving van and drivers to haul ~ N2525 to Oshkosh a week before the ~ event. During the week at Oshkosh, iijJii~~ the Jennys were flown in addition to ~ being on display on the flightline, ~ where Jenny owners enjoyed sharing _"-___..:.-•.ci£~;:.;.,........:I~S;S~;..;.j ~ stories and answering questions.


David M artin , Chet Peek, and Tom Danaher with the Jenny.


Chet Peek flying his Jenny.

those who helped him complete the Jenny's restoration. Though he hadn't planned to fly that day, "everything felt right; so on the spur of the moment, I decided to go ahead .... It seemed so easy; I really didn't have to do much. The plane just lumbered along, climbing steadily. ... The Jenny was flying! ... I remember viewing with wonder for the first time those long wire-braced linen covered Jenny wings gently flexing in the slipstream," wrote Chet. No doubt McWhorter and Gilmore would have been quite pleased as well.

Making the Rounds N2525 received quite a bit of local publicity, and so it was that the Peeks were invited to debut their Jenny at Oklahoma City's Aerospace America show at the Will Rogers World Airport in June 1988, where it sat in stark contrast to an SR-71 Blackbird. Later that year, they flew the Jenny on a 60-mile cross-country to their Antique Air­ plane Association chapter's annual fly-in at Pauls Valley, Oklahoma-where it was awarded Grand Champion. Then a rare opportunity arose-to take the Jenny to the 37 th annual EAA convention at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 1989 . Ken Hyde had promoted the idea of a Jenny reunion during the convention, and EAA's board of di-

When the convention was over, the Peeks brought their Jenny back to Oklahoma and pondered the future of their rare aeronautical treasure. Insurance wasn't afford­ able, and Chet realized that there was a risk of damage to the Jenny each time it was flown . As he says in retro­ spect, "For me, the journey was the fun part-and that was finding and restoring the Jenny." He soon negotiated a mutually beneficial solution with the EAA AirVenture Museum, which serendipitously had space in its museum for a Jenny-and Chet was willing to lend them his for a while. And so the Jenny continued its journey by once again traveling to Oshkosh; it remained in the museum until 1998.

Engiand The Peeks advertised their Jenny for sale as "ready to be shown or flown" in Aeroplane, a British aviation maga­ zine, and in February 1998, Englishman Victor Norman seized the opportunity to purchase it. He met the Peeks at the EAA AirVenture Museum, where it took three days to dismantle and pack the Jenny in a container for sur­ face shipping to England. Chet was certain that he'd seen his Jenny for the last time. The biplane was deregistered from the FAA registry in March 1999 and registered in the United Kingdom's Register of Civil Aircraft as G-ECAB. Once in England, it was reassembled and based at Rendcomb in Gloucestershire-an old Royal Flying Corps base where Jennys were flown during WWI. Thus the McWhorter-Gilmore-Peek Jenny became the first authentic Jenny to exist in Britain since 1919. It was re­ painted in the McWhorter Bros. barnstorming fashion, with their surname on its fuselage, and was returned to flying status.

Return to the States In April 2004, G-ECAB was removed from the Brit­ ish registry. This well-traveled Jenny was on its way back across the Atlantic, finally arriving in June, where it reVINTAGE AIRPLANE


mained with Joe Ferraro of Indiana. Although Peek's origi­ nal registration number was no longer available, Ferraro had reserved N2525S specifically for the Jenny. Then in June 2007, N2525S embarked upon the final leg of its journey (to date) when it was purchased by the city of Wichita Falls and shipped to Wichita Falls, Texas.

Texas The quest for a Jenny began with local pilot Robert Seabury, who wanted to preserve the history of Call Field and the role it played in Wichita Falls' history. Named for 1st Lt. Loren H. Call, it was a WWI military training base for pilots and mechanics from August 1917 through July 1919. "During WWI, there were only five aviation train­ ing bases in Texas, and Wichita Falls had Call Field. The present-day Call Field Road is where the air base was, and there's a subdivision there now. There was nothing to commemorate the training base-and I thought there should be; 34 young men lost their lives out there, learn­ ing to fly the Jenny," says Seabury, adding, "I had been at Oshkosh and had heard about Joe Ferraro's Jenny. I thought that it could be the centerpiece of a museum to commemorate Call Field." Seabury was convinced he had a winning idea, so he went to the city council and presented his proposal. "They gave us a hangar right at the entrance to the Kickapoo air­ port," explains Seabury, adding, "and then I went to the 4B tax board, which allocates our sales tax funding, and persuaded them to purchase the Jenny. Then everything kind of fell into place; Tom Danaher was instrumental in obtaining the Jenny's airworthiness certificate, and David Martin helped with the rigging of the plane. We had to get it back to Call Field training colors [olive drab], and it took a month to carefully remove the McWhorter name from the fuselage. Now it's identical to the photograph we have of Call Field trainer number 46." N2525S will serve as a living reminder of the role that Call Field fulfilled, and to that end, Danaher and Martin have been named as pilots on the biplane's insurance pol­ icy. The two men soon contacted Chet Peek (who today, at 87 years young, is a longtime aviator, author of half a dozen aviation books, and a 2007 inductee of the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame) and informed him that his old Jenny had found a new home in Texas. What a surprise! Quite naturally, Chet and Marian were easily enticed to take a day trip to visit the Jenny, where it was temporarily hangared at Danaher's own Lake Wichita Falls Airport. Eighty-three years young Danaher, who was named as one of the "Living Legends of Aviation" in 2007 by pub­ lishing company Airport Journals, flew Chance-Vought Corsairs and Grumman Hellcats during World War II and F3D Skynights during the Korean War. He's also flown as a crop duster, ferried Air Tractors internationally, flown aircraft for two-dozen movie productions, and has logged more than 23,000 hours in the air. With that kind of fly­ ing experience, it was still a first for him to fly N2525S. 16

MAY 2008

"Flying the Jenny was just like driving a truck," smiles Danaher, adding, "it was nearly exactly what I thought it was going to be, and I was very pleased with it. It's not unstable-it's just that when a gust hits you, it takes a lot of work to get it back to where you want it. I've got seven or eight hours in it, in mostly gusty, windy weather." The other pilot, Martin, is captain of the U.S. Unlim­ ited Aerobatic Team, won a gold medal in the World Aero­ batic Championships, and was U.S. National Aerobatic Champion in 2001. The Jenny is quite a contrast to the CAP 232 he flies competitively. Yet Martin was absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to fly the Jenny, and says, "My grandfather flew Jennys a little bit in the 1930s, and that's why I've always been interested in them. It flies like a big, heavy Cub and seems to be real easy to take off and land on grass. I've done basic stalls and wingovers, and it's an honest airplane. If you let loose, it'll go off on a wing, but it's amazing that it flies as well as it does for as old as it is. It doesn't have a lot of power, and it's heavy on the controls, but other than that, I was surprised because it flies a lot better than I thought it was going to fly-it's really fun!"

One Jenny's Journey The WWI Call Field Living History Museum at Kicka­ poo Downtown Airport (sponsored by the Museum of North Texas History) should be completed in early 2008, and in addition to the Jenny, it has purchased a 1916 Model T Ford that will be painted in military colors. "On special occasions, the museum will come to life and the Jenny will be flown," explains Seabury, adding, "we want it to be an educational experience for children, and we plan to give a child a carrier pigeon in a cage, put them in the Model T and drive them to the opposite end of the airport, where they'll write a note to their friends back at the hangar. Then we'll let the pigeon fly the note back to their friends, so we can show them what communication was like before cell phones!" Reflecting upon the significance of the Jenny to Wichita Falls, Seabury says, "Others could have bought the Jenny, but it wouldn't have the meaning for them that it does for us-because as we say, our skies were full of Curtiss Jennys from 1917-1919, just as today our skies are still full of air­ planes training young men to fly-except now they're fly­ ing T-38s at Sheppard Air Force Base. Speaking of which, Sheppard had an air show this fall, and Tom flew the Jenny over to the base, where it was parked near the F-22 Raptor. Tom, David, and I were all dressed in WWI uniforms, talk­ ing with visitors, and the Jenny really stole the show!" And so it seems that this particular Jenny has, after a 90­ year journey, finally found a long-lasting niche in today's aviation world. Each time it flies, it will pay a special tribute to the history of aviation-both military and civilian-as the sweet percussive voice of its OX-5 hums its priceless song. If you're interested in seeing this Jenny at the living history museum, you may contact Robert Seabury at 940­ 696-8783 for more information. .....

walked around the airplane three times while trying to keep the questioning look off my face.


And I know I wasn't alone. Lots of other longtime Oshkosh flight­ line warriors who pride themselves on their airplane identification skills were undoubtedly stumped right along with me. What was this? This was an intriguing airplane because it had so many identifiable features that went together in such a familiar way, yet something about it wasn't right. It said Speed mail Special on the tail, which didn't help one bit. What's a Speedmail Special? We all 18

MAY 2008

know what a Speedmail is, and this isn't it. The lines were sort of Stear­ man or maybe Pitcairn, with the "Big Stearman" heritage like the Model 4s hard to miss. But the airplane was the wrong size. It was like someone left a Pitcairn Mailwing or a Stearman 4-CM out in the rain and it shrank. It was a handsome airplane, but what was it? Our erstwhile leaderH.G. Frautschy came to the rescue and showed great restraint by not wringing his hands

with glee because he knew something the rest of us didn't. The airplane was, according to him, what some in the hot rod or custom car field call a "phantom." It's a custom-crafted design that never existed, but eas­ ily could have. Like a '35 Ford road­ ster pickup that Ford never built yet many are driving around, the Sorge family's Speedmail Special was an air­ plane that Stearman could have built, but didn't. Steve Sorge, however, did. Before we get any deeper into this,

let 's hit head-on what may be sore points for some folks: technically, this is a homebuilt airplane that at its heart is a Stearman PT-17. A few folks are going to decry what they see as the desecration of a historic airframe . Others are going to ask what a homebuilt airplane is doing in these pages. If they want answers to their questions and rebuttals to their comments, however, all they have to do is stand by the taxiway at Oshkosh or Bartlesville and see

the pleased looks on so many knowl­ edgeable faces. This is a very cool airplane and represents something many of us wished we had done but didn't. The purists have their choice of hundreds of look-alike PT-17/N2S Kaydets. The rest of us can smile and wish we had the talent and imagina­ tion to build an airplane like Steve's Stearman Speed mail Special so we could mess with people's heads, too. Incidentally, Steve says, "I expected to get some grief from a few folks, but

so far not one person has openly criti­ cized me. I guess a lot of us agree that the world doesn't really need another impeccable PT-17." Steve was born in, of all places, Hales Corners, Wisconsin . For that reason alone, there was no possible way he could avoid being involved in some off-center parts of aviation. Raised in the shadow of the EAA's birthplace he even took piano les­ sons from Paul Poberezny 's ne xt­ door neighbor. VINTAGE AIRPLANE



"I was your typical kid in that I spent a lot of time trying to hurt my­ self on minibikes and motorcycles," Steve remembers. "However, at the age of 12, I did try to build a Rogallo wing with Visqueen covering, but was never successful with it." Graduating from the Milwau­ kee School of Engineering (MSOE) with a degree in mechanical design, Steve moved to another hotbed of aviation activity. liMy first job took me to Ce­ dar Rapids, Iowa, right next door to Blakesburg, so I went from the home­ building capital to the antique capital of the U.S." He was never far from unusual air­ planes, but he didn't start learning to fly until he was 25 years old. lilt was during my freshman year in college that I borrowed money from my girlfriend, bought an ultralight, and started flying out of the Hartford 20

MAY 2008

airport, which by the way is the same airport where I would eventually meet Jim and get my Stearman project. "Two years later, I borrowed some more money, this time from one of my college roommates, and bought a Cessna 150. I started taking les­ sons out of Hunfield , now known as Guntly Memorial. The owner and A&P/IA, Tom Guntly, had an old Vag­ abond, and he said if I would rebuild it, I could fly it. It was also about that time that a Stearman landed for gas, and I was totally knocked over. I wanted a Stearman, and that was that. I didn't know how or when, but eventually, I knew I was going to own a Stearman." His first vintage airplane was about as far from a Stearman as you could get-a Tri-Pacer-and he flew that air­ plane for quite a while before buying another classic he knew well. "In 1985 I bought the very same

Vagabond that I had helped rebuild while I was working on my license. Still, biplanes kept pulling at me, and I bought a modified Pitts S-1 C called the Sanderson Special. I flew that to Bartlesville, then took a little trip through Texas and as far west as Las Cruces, New Mexico. All the time I was at Bartlesville, I told anyone who would listen that I was looking for a Stearman project. I couldn't afford a flying airplane, and besides, I really wanted to do the work myself. It was during that first visit to Bartlesville that I learned about a hangar full of Stearmans in Lubbock, Texas. So, on my way to Las Cruces, I stopped off down there and looked at a bedraggled old spray plane that was parked on a duster strip with the only thing in sight for miles around being an oxidized Airstream trailer and an old Cadillac. We were definitely in the middle of nowhere. II

Above and below: Steve included some whimsical artwork in tribute to his friend Jim Miles on each side of the fin and on the fuselage.

........ ....~ ,-

,.. ...

- I"

-'. - ..."'to"!'; . . , =......,. -_ -,,~

~I. . . _ .;.:.'"~~

~.~~ /



1~-..... .>/,.... " I'



~ .. ,.. .::..-~\, . .'~-.-

.' ;

__ f ___

• ­



"It was also during that same Bar­ tlesville fly-in that I met Hap "Leroy" Stein, from Watertown, Wisconsin. Hap had rebuilt a Navy N3N with the help of a local spray pilot, named Jim Miles. At the time, Jim had two buildings full of Stearmans in vari­ ous stages of disrepair. Having heard about my desire to own a Stearman, Hap volunteered to introduce me to Jim when we returned to Wisconsin. "Jim Miles was one of the legend­ ary, old-time duster pilots who had gotten into ag flying right after World

War II (WWII) when there were no specialty spray planes. He had been an instructor in AT-6s at Ponca City, Oklahoma's No.6 British Fly­ ing Training School, and when he came out and decided to go spray­ ing, the Stearman, or some varia­ tion of it, was all there was. "Jim had sprayed his entire life and had amassed an amazing mess of Stearman parts and airframes. I don't how know many he actually had, but it looked as if he had five hundred wings sittin g around in various states of disrepair. "As I was getting started in my search for a Stearman, Jim decided that he'd stop spraying and started selling off his stuff. But, that wasn't an easy decision. Jim was really emotionally attached to his air­ planes. I bought my Stearman from him a piece at a time over a two-year period, as the money became avail­ able. I'd buy the tail, then a couple of wings, and so forth. Finally, on the morning of July 4, 1992, I was driv­ ing down the highway, the deck lid off of my Chevy Cavalier and the tail of the last complete fuselage Jim had strapped down and trailing behind. It was a 50 mile ride home, and I was feeling good, but I'll never forget the look on Jim's face as I drove off pull­ ing his last fuselage behind me. That must have been when I deci ded to somehow make this airplane a little

monument to him and his life. Steve didn 't originally think in terms of modifying the airplane. He just knew he wanted a Stearman, al­ though the urge to do something different must have been flittering around the edges of his mind, be­ cause it didn't take much to get his imagination going. " I had just taken the fiberglass off the fuselage and removed the 19 pounds of lead from the tail post when I saw a pair of Pitcairns at Osh­ kosh. One of them was a PA-8, and I loved the long nose and the way the windshield said 'speed.' I decided to put the pilot back where the baggage compartment was in my airplane, and the entire project took off in a different direction . That's when I re­ alized I didn't want to build another PT-l? I wanted something special. " One of the two Pitcairn biplanes Sorge saw was brought to Oshkosh by Steve Pitcairn, son of the original designer/builder. Those two Pitcairns were masterpieces of the restorer's art. They inspired a lot of people that year, but once Steve Sorge decided to go in an "old timey" direction, he kept his antenna up for design ele­ ments that contributed to the "look" he was trying to capture. "Tom Lowe's C3R had a lot to do with the direction I went, including the design of the rear fuselage. The tail is very much C3 R right down to VINTAGE AIRPLANE


ike a '35 Ford roadster pickup that Ford never built yet many are driving around, the Sorge family's Speedmail Spe­ cial was an airplane that Stearman could have built, but didn't.


The Pratt & Whitney R-985 sits out in front of a 4-foot-diameter firewall. Coupled with the carefully faired fuselage, it lends a prewar transport biplane look to the Spe­ cial , somewhat reminiscent of the Pitcairn Mailwing.

The pilot's cockpit has been moved aft of the PT-l7's original location. The windshields were in­ spired by the rakish windscreens on the Pitcairn mail planes of the 1920s and '30s.

The forward cockpit is wide enough to accommodate a pair of skinny teenagers.

A pair of Fischer 36-inch-diameter wheels looks just right when in­ stalled at the ends of the outrigger landing gear.

the rudder cables coming out mid­ height and the tail shape." The fuselage of those old airplanes combined the pilot-in-the-rear look of a racer with a long-in-the-nose look of an early transport or mail plane. "I used up a lot of cardboard and string trying to get the fuselage shape just right. I made the firewall 4 feet in diameter, which would look right with the R-98S, and started pulling strings and cutting cardboard. I wanted an integral turtledeck and headrest and just kept trying different shapes un­ til it looked right. All of the old air­ planes contributed in terms of looks, but none of their dimensions or pro­ files would work exactly, because the scale and proportions were different. It was very much one of those, 'I'll know it when I see it' things." When he was mocking up the fu­ selage, part of the design goal was to make the old Stearman's front cock­ pit accommodate two people.

"The front fuselage is the same width as it was originally, but I had to relocate some tubing. It's tight, but I can get two of my four teenagers in the front seat, although I don't think they'd be happy flying very far in it." The multifaceted, heavily sloped rear windscreen is obviously part Pitcairn and part C3R, but the wide front windscreen, while looking fa­ miliar, isn't readily identifiable. "While I was working on the air­ plane, Mike Posey was restoring a Pit­ cairn autogyro that had belonged to Amelia Earhart. He had pictures of Amelia standing by the airplane, and I just copied that shape and scaled it to fit my fuselage ." The dishpan section behind the engine owes its existence to a chain restaurant. "I had seen the cowling Steve Wolfe had made out of an air duct cover for Sampson and started keep­ ing my eyes open. I was just driving

along and noticed the vent covers on top of a Pizza Hut that turned out to be exactly what I needed. "The duct cover was made out of 1100 series aluminum, which is pretty soft and welds great. More important, it forms well, too. This helped a lot when I hand-formed the air duct on the bottom. I made up birch form blocks and started hammering. I also made up my own louver punches. "When I tell people how we made the dishpans, they often ask if we're looking for a duct cover I can convert to a cowling for the engine. I usually laugh and say, 'This airplane is never going to have a cowling. Never!'" It would seem that Steve didn't want anything to hide the finely detailed R-98S that was built up by Tulsa Aeromotive. However, the brut­ ish, engine-in-the-breeze look adds to the aura of the airplane, and a cowl­ ing would take part of that away. The PT-17 had what was, and is, a

22 MAY 2008

unique approach to a landing gear. Unless a person looks at it closely, it's easy to miss that the gear legs are rigid and the struts telescope inside them. Plus, the entire gear is a single unit, axle to axle, that bolts to the bottom of the fuselage. The gear is so identi­ fiable that replacing it with anything would have changed the airplane's identity, but Steve wanted that area to have a certain look. li The gear is definitely Model 4 Speedmail. Although none of the di­ mensions are the same, I copied it as closely as I could, including hav­ ing the outriggers inclined at a 10­ degree angle. I did, however, go en­ tirely modern in the suspension sys­ tem, and rather than using bungees, as the originals did, I simply found a coil-over automotive racing shock absorber that would do the trick and used that. Being automotive, I had a lot to chose from, and it gives damp­ ing going in both directions, so the gear is really nice." Part of the "look" of those old air­ planes is the way their general lines combined with the outrigger land­ ing gear, but none of it would work if the airplanes were wearing puny little 6.00 by 6 tires. Big old airplanes need big old tires. "Dick Fischer makes a kit that in­ cludes all the rough castings to build up the big wheels. I bought a set for the 30 by 5s, and they were all fin­

ished before I realized I should actu­ ally have gone with the larger 32 by 6s. The difference in appearance be­ tween the two is dramatic, and the airplane just wasn't going to look right with the smaller ones. The brakes are ll-inch Hays units that look and work just right." The only visage of PT-17 styling that's identifiable is the plan form of the wings, but even there minor items like detailing around the gas tank makes them different. "The airframe I got from Jim Miles had led a pretty rough and tumble life including three unusual accidents. The first was when Jim was flying un­ der some wires and bounced off the top of a truck. The second was when he was taking off in a ground fog and didn't see an old Buick parked at the end of the runway. Some good old boys were sleeping off the night be­ fore. Jim saw it at the last moment and again skipped off the top of it. The damage was minimal to the Stearman, the Buick, and the guys inside. Then, when they were hand­ propping the airplane, it ran off on its own and hit a truck. "There was a crewman standing on the wing loading the hopper when it happened. He wasn't hurt but the bottom right wing was torn up, so they replaced it with a metal one. I re­ placed that wing with a wooden one that I built up from all new material. "Incidentally, the truck the air­ plane hit was owned by Joe Nor­ ris, who at the time was a cranberry grower, but is now with the EAA." It is said that bad things happen in threes, in which case Steve Sorge should have trouble-free flying ahead of him. There are a number of special fea­ tures about the Sorge Speedmail Spe­ cial besides the unique nature of the airplane. First, the fact that it's a done­ at-home airplane, rather than being constructed by a hired gun, is highly unusual. Secondly, the airplane truly is a family project. Steve says, "Everyone got in on this. I have three daughters, Kendra, Kelly, and Claire, and one son, Kory. They range from 11 to 20 years old.

When we were covering and painting the airplane, they got right in there with Tracy, my wife, and helped with the rib stitching and wet sanding. In addition, Tracy sewed the covering envelopes. The entire thing wouldn't have happened if my family hadn't been totally behind it. This kind of project takes unbelievable amounts of time, and besides jumping in to help, they understood what kind of commitment it took on my side." Now that the airplane is done and flying, what kinds of modifications or improvements does he have in mind? "Improvements?" he laughs. "I'm done working on it! We're going to fly its wings off and enjoy it. "I do, however, want to say a lot of thank-yous to a lot of people. Cer­ tainly to my family, who for 15 years put up with airplane parts in every room of the house, including the shower while rinsing paint remover off the stabilizer trailing edge. Then there are those who, without their help and support, this project would have never seen the light of day, let alone a stiff breeze through the fly­ ing wires. "Tom Guntly, who in addition to offering up his Vagabond, taught me all about restoring rag and tube air­ craft. Tom Hegy, one of Jim's closest friends and contemporary spray pi­ lot, was there to answer any questions, offer a bit of advice, and connect me to the right people, when needed. Tom was also generous enough to let me fly his Travel Air biplane around the patch nine times before I first flew my Speed mail. liThe most Significant supporter of this project was Sam Taber, owner of Tabair, a restoration and mainte­ nance facility specializing in WWII aircraft. Sam was always willing to take time out of his busy day to drive 20 miles to my hangar at the Palmyra airport to have a look at my work, lend me a hand, or lend me a tool. We went so far as to tear down my original engine for a firsthand look before we decided to have it over­ hauled. As is always the case with air­ planes like this, it's the people who made it worthwhile." ....... VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Oshkosh. 2008. July 28-August 3.

The Spirit ofAviation.

Light Plane Heritage

The ugly duckling from Missouri BY BOB WHITIIER

Editor's Note: Longtime aviation enthusi,asts will recognize the byline of Bob Whittier. Bob has been a regular contributor to EAA publications since the founding of the organization, as well as a knowledgeable author for other aviation and boating magazines. Bob's Light Plane Heritage series in EAA's Experimenter magazine often touched on aircraft and concepts related to vintage aircraft and their history. Since many of our members have not had the opportunity to read this series, we plan on publishing those LPH articles that would be of interest to VAA members. Enjoy!-HGF OdaY's aviation magazines carry the advertisements of several companies that sell aircraft construction and maintenance items by mail order. We take their existence for granted and in so doing overlook the histori­ cal fact that companies of this type have been in existence from the early days of aviation . They are very much a part of aviation's heritage. Founded in 1921, the Nicho la s­ Beazley Airplane Company of Marshall, Missouri, was one such organization. Principals were Russell Nicholas and Howard Beazley. War-surplus military


aircraft sold off at low prices by the gov­ ernment began to scatter far and wide over the country in the hands of barn­ storming pilots. These airmen landed in a great many small towns far from the few real airports then in existence. When ]ennys and Standards cracked up or their Curtiss OX-S and Hisso engines broke down, pilots could seldom just jump into a car and fetch needed repair items from deal­ ers at nearby airports . They'd have to phone or wire orders from sup­ ply houses such as Nicholas-Beazley. Since Marshall lies on the route be­ tween St. Louis and Kansas Ci ty-


EAA Experimenter

Above: The Nicholas-Beazley NB-8G of 1931 and 1932 flew well and was an economical sport; training plane-but it never won any beauty contests! This exam­ ple, at the time owned by John Van Andel of Flushing, New York, attended an EAA fly-in at Rockford a couple of decades ago.




A clutter of struts, pushrods, bracing cables, and gas line did little for the Nicholas-Beazley's appearance. But visibility was very good indeed.

both centers of aviation activity-the Nicholas-Beazley firm was well lo­ cated to serve barnstormers roaming the vast plains of the Midwest. Knowing that stranded gypsy pi­ lots demanded good new parts and supplies and wanted them as quickly as possible, firms like Nicholas-Beaz­ ley had no choice but to quickly de­ velop good reputations for prompt service. In those days bus lines and airlines were in their infancy and the national railroad system was very alive and flourishing. So shipments often reached stranded pilots with agreeable swiftness. By 1930 Nicholas­ Beazley had eight stock depots scat­ tered around the United States as well as one each in Canada and Mexico. In the course of locating and pur­ chasing a wide assortment of aircraft parts and supplies, it made many valu­ able contacts. By the late 1920s, prac­ tically all the war-surplus planes and engines had been bought up and were in advanced stages of deterioration. New airplane manufacturers were thus appearing on the scene in numbers. Having in stock everything needed to build airplanes, Nicholas-Beazley nat­ urally entered this aspect of aviation. Its first venture was a light, low­ wing monoplane designed by its chief engineer, Walter Barling, whose name was well-known in the aeronautical­ 26

MAY 2008

engineering profession. Powered by Velie, LeBlond, and occasionally other small radial air-cooled engines in the 60- to 65-hp range, it performed fairly well and could carry a pilot and two passengers on that modest power. Designed with light weight and ease of servicing very much in mind, it was a squared-off, angUlar, awk­ ward-looking craft. It sold in small numbers to such customers as were looking for economy. But in the 1920s, fuel economy wasn't much of a seIling pOint, and there was strong competition from other better-known and better-looking airplanes. Sensing that this ship wasn't going to win any sales sweepstakes, Nicholas-Beazley began to consider other designs. By now it was 1930, and the stock mar­ ket crash of the preceding October sudden ly turned the spotlight on economy aircraft. Meanwhile, Barling had left Nicho­ las-Beazley to go into business for him­ self, and Thomas A. Kirkup took his place. On his own, Kirkup had been designing just such a plane, and when he took Barling's place, Nicholas-Beaz­ ley took a close look at it. Designed to be a light, economi­ cal trainer, it differed markedly from other trainers of its time. Instead of having the usual tandem cockpits, it had a single wide one in which in ­

structor and student sat side by side. By 1930 flying schools were begin­ ning to realize that students did not really have to sit on a plane's center­ line in order to judge nose position in right- and left-hand banks. Kirkup felt also that the "two funnels and a h ose" speaking tubes then in common use did not afford the easiest and most understandable communication be­ tween instructor and student. He rea­ soned that if communication could be improved, instruction would prog­ ress easier and faster, allowing airports to offer flying courses at lower and therefore more attractive costs. And students who got their licenses on a side-by-side trainer would find it easier to get accustomed to flying the four­ seat cabin monoplanes then begin­ ning to replace open-cockpit biplanes. Kirkup's design was named the Nicholas-Beazley NB-8, and serious development work was undertaken. For its type, the ship was larger and heavier than some other light two­ seaters also appearing on the scene. It had a wingspan of 37.5 feet, a wing area of 183 square feet-fairly great for any two-seater-and its weights were 660 pounds empty and 1,160 pounds gross. A 36-hp, two-cylinder Aeronca en­ gine was installed on the prototype, and performance was soon shown to be unacceptably sluggish. So a 45-hp three-cylinder Szekely (pronounced "Saykay") engine was tried. Perfor­ mance was not usefully improved. The Aeronca C-3 flew nicely on 36 hp because it weighed only 409 pounds empty and 875 pounds loaded. The Szekely-powered Alexander Flyabout at 573 pounds empty and 962 pounds gross flew acceptably well on that en­ gine, as did the American Eaglet at 467 pounds empty and 867 pounds gross and the Curtiss-Wright Junior at 570 pounds empty and 975 pounds gross. The NB-8 clearly wanted some­ what more power. When viewing antique airplanes at fly-ins and in museums, we have to keep some things in mind in order to understand and appreciate them use­ fully. We ask ourselves such questions as, How much knowledge and expe­

The Nicholas-Beazley NB-8 was quite a large plane with its 37.5-foot wingspan. With wings folded it was only 10 feet 4 inches wide. This is the prototype fitted with the 45-hp Szekely engine for early tests.

rience did the designer of this plane have? Where and under what circum­ stances was h e working? What tools, materials, and engi nes were avail­ able to him? And , what was h e try­ ing to accomplish when he designed this plane? Any plane we happened to be looking at didn't just pop into existence-there is bound to be some kind of story behind it involving al­ most any mixture of variables yo u could think of-and also luck! The Fairchild company on Long Is­ land had been developing a two-sea t, low-wing, open-cockpit ship called the F-21. If anythi n g, it was more angular and homely th an Walter Barling's low-wing. When the Depres­ sion struck, the Fairchild company changed hands, and the new owners decided to drop the F-21 project.

Probably because no similar Ameri­ can engine was then available, Fairch­ ild had imported around 60 Armstrong Siddeley "Genet" five-cylinder, 80-hp radial engines from England to use on the planned F-21s. (A genet is a small catlike animal found in countries bor­ dering the western Mediterranean.) Through its well-developed grapevine Nicholas-Beazley lea rn ed that this batch of engines was available at an attractive disposal price. So it bought these engines, in­ st alled one on the no se of th e test ship, and watched it taxi out for its first flight with crossed fingers. With about doubl e the power hauling it forward, the ship now prod uced sat­ isfyingly crisp performance. The rate of climb is given as 750 fpm in one reference book and 900 in anoth­

er-better than the 400 fpm typical of popular 40-hp ships . DeSignated the NB-8G, the low price of Genet en­ gines obtained from Fairchild enabled it to be sold for the reasonable price of $1,790 compared to the $1 ,500 typically asked for 40-hp jobs. A lot more was asked for the heavier, more powerful biplane trainer of its day. In 1931 and 1932 about 60 were built and sold. That used up the original stock of Genet engines. Armstrong Siddeley would surely have asked a higher price per engine for another supply of Genets. Also, by 1932 the Depression was at its worst. So that was the end of NB-8G production. As an aside, there is one on display today in the museu m section of Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome at Rhinebeck, New York. The ship had good and tractable flying and h andling qualities, at least for its time, and it served owners well both as an economical trainer and as a weekend flyabo ut. Early examples had rigid landing gears and depended on the then -new low-pressure Good­ year "airwhee l" tires for shock ab­ sorption . These worked all right on paved runways, but Nicholas-Beazley was not the only company to dis­ cover they had a qu irk. When a plane fitted with them gained speed while taking off from an unpaved and not very smooth runway, it could develop a bucking or porpoising action as the soft tires an d firm gro und fought a duel. So later models were fitted with oleo shock struts. These tamed takeoff runs along with the airwheels made the ship a good one for rough fields . Structurally the NB-8G was entirely conventional for 1931. The fuselage, tail, and landing gear were of welded chromoly steel tubing, the wing was built up with spruce spars and ribs, and the entire frame was covered with fabric. It cannot be said that the ship was a beauty, for its overall appearance was one of awkward ungainliness. It's true that one could not see this when sitting in the cockpit and so could forget it was an ugly duckling while airborne. But poor styling while on the ground has n ever been an effecV INTAGE AIRP L A NE




_JL ' ­



Figure 1: The NB-8 used this RAF-34 airfoil , which featured small center-of-pressure travel and also good depth for light but strong spars.



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MAY 2008

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tive sales feature. It's not possible for us to know what the designer's thoughts were as he drew plans for the NB-8 more than 60 years ago, but perhaps his motto was I/Form follows function." What we now callI/indus­ trial designers" were a novelty then and had not had much impact on the styling of products. Automobiles were still rather angular and boxy-looking. So, working in remote Marshall, Missouri, it's possible he gave little thought to sleek looks. Then, too, it's a fact that some designers have a good sense for lines and shapes and others simply do not. Since he had chosen the not-exactly compact span of 37.S feet, it must have occurred to him that folding wings would make the plane easier to store away in a hangar to protect it from sun­ light and rain when not in use-and private planes often sit on the ground for weeks on end as owners tend to business and family matters. To achieve folding, he used B-type wing struts arranged in such a way that the front ones angled back to join the rear ones at a common fu­ selage fitting on the lower longerons. This fitting and that of the rear spar where it attached to the center sec­ tion were on a common pivot line. As the inboard trailing edges of the wings would foul the center section when folded, the center section had a large flap that could be folded up out of the way. The wing struts were made of round rather than streamlined steel tubing. Perhaps Nicholas-Beazley had a lot of it in stock, or bought a lot of it cheap from some bankrupt company, or perhaps it was just less expensive than streamlined tubing. Balsa wood fairing was taped to these struts to give a streamlined shape, which gave



-~ -F-~~;~ BRACOCLT


Figure 2: Left to right, "elephant ear," Friese , and paddle-type aileron balances.

the struts a stout and also I/heavy" look that clashed aesthetically with the spindly center section and land­ ing gear struts. The center section flap was in­ stalled so that when in flight, its trail­ ing edge could be raised or lowered slightly so as to make it work as a trim tab. This seems like a huge trim tab because we have become accus­ tomed to small ones located on tail surfaces. But, it was located so close to the center of gravity and had so much area that it could in fact alter trim just as is the case with landing flaps mounted on the wings of mod­ ern planes. When the wings were folded the ship was 10 feet 4 inches wide. This enabled an NB-8G to be tucked hand­ ily in among other planes in a han­ gar, but it was still too wide to fit through a standard garage door. But apparently Kirkup did not visualize owners trailering their planes home behind cars. If anyone had tried that, he would have encountered a dis­ couraging problem-folding wings back along a fuselage also shifts the plane's center-of-gravity apprecia­ bly aft, and this would put too much down load on the trailer hitch. This would ca u se the car and plane to I/fight" each other when operating on a rough road. The center of gravity problem is why trailers are often used to move small planes over the high­ way. Also, the small wheels of a plane would revolve much faster than the larger ones of the tow car at highway speeds, bringing on tire, bearing, and perhaps brake difficulties.

Figure 3: Planes of the 1930s used a combination of thick and strong plus light and slim tubing.

The wing was set surprisingly high above the fuselage, and this contrib­ uted to the ship's gawky look. Be­ cause there was a door on the right side of the cockpit, this high mount­ ing probably was not simply to facili­ tate cockpit entry and exit . Perhaps the high location was the outcome of the designer's stress analysis. If it had been positioned lower for better appearance, the angle between the V­ struts and lower surface of the wing would have become more acute. Any­ one who understands graphical anal­ ysis of forces can demonstrate on paper that this would have resulted in higher tension and compression loads on the struts and spars. The wing was built around the RAF-34 airfoil (Figure 1) developed in England. We can only conjecture why. It was one of the earliest airfoils to have little or no center-of-lift travel, which was a help in designing light­ weight wing structures. It also had a gently rounded top to its lift curve, suggesting docile stall characteristics.

The "paddle"-type aileron balance reduced stick loads as explained in this article.

Early examples h ad plain ailerons with no ba lan cing of an y kind . This type was easy and inexpensive to man­ ufacture, but often resulted in a heavy control stick fee l. Figure 2 shows three aileron balancing methods. Th e left­ hand sketch shows the "elephant ear" type m uch used during Wo rld War I an d on so me 1920s pl an es. Wh en NB -8G pil ots compl ain ed of h eavy aileron feel, in corporatin g this type of balance would have required com­ plete rebuild of the wingtips. Besides, th is type was n otorious for catching

on h angar doors when ships were be­ ing moved in and out. The middle sketch sh ows the now­ common Friese type of balance, named after its developer. This type red uces both stick forces and adverse yaw ten­ dencies, but it takes much flight testing to find just the right slot and aileron leading edge shapes, and there are more operations involved in manufacture. The easy fix thus adopted by Nich­ olas-Beazley was the paddle-type bal­ an ce sh own in the th ird sketch. It was easy and quick to find exactly the

Fairchild F-22 by Bob WhiHier The Fairchild F-22 also built in the early 1930s was, like the Nicholas-Beazley, a two-seat general-purpose training and sport plane. But it was a much more attractive ship for assorted reasons . The NB 's landing gear was of the tripod type and had a spindly look due to the wide spacing of the wheels. The F-22 also had wide wheel spacing, but the different strut arrangement-including the widths and masses of the various struts-were so much different as to be more attractive. Wh ile the F-22 was certainly well-engineered, it also incorporated enough feeling for line and proportion to create a much better-looking plane. If you saw an NB-8G and an F-22 standing side by side on a flightline , which one would attract you the most?

right size and position and to install. As you can visualize from the photo, wh en the aileron goes down, the pad­ d le located ahead of its hinge line develops lift and thus lightens the contro l stick feel. While this was a technically logical solution, it added anot her awkward-looking detail to an already cl uttered plane. Later NBs were fitted with Friese ailerons. Wh en this plane was designed, it was standard practice to build tail sur­ faces as shown in Figure 3. A triangle of stout steel tubes provided the needed strength , while both the ribs and out­ line were of m uch lighter tubes. Tubing used for the outlines could thus read­ ily be bent to nice curves on a simple jib, and as a result planes of that time displayed all kinds of both handsome and ugly tail surface outlines. Fabric tension easily pulls straight tubes out of shape, but curved ones resist such deformation well. So the NB's vertical tail had an ap­ p reciably curved shape. The reason why it was so ta ll was to get some of its area well out of turbulent air fl ow­ ing back from the large open cockpit. Large rudders were an advantage on planes having tails kids and n o brakes, for one then did not have to open the throttle too m uch to get enough rud­ der fo rce to turn around at runway's en d . The trouble was, this curvy tail clash ed wi th the angularity of some other parts of the ship. Th e la nd in g gear cons isted of r ig ht a n d left tripods made of ro un d stee l tu bing. To provi de ad ­ eq ua te propeller gro u nd clearance an d enoug h stability to wit h stand wind forces on the h igh -mou nted win g when taxiing crosswi n d, the gea r had to be both high an d wide . So wide and spindly, in fac t, that it looked frag il e despite Kirkup 's reas­ suring st ress calculations. Laugh at the NB if you will, but the fac t remains that today we can learn something useful from analyzing it. It could be ca lled a good example of the tru t h of the old saying that air­ plan e design is part science and part art. It came on too strong in th e sci­ en ce department and rather too weak in art! ...... V IN T A GE AIRP L ANE



Runway incursions

As I monitored the UNICOM fre­ quency I heard the following in my headset: "Anyone on base or final, please announce." Looking toward the arrival end of the runway I saw a sleek composite, glass-paneled air­ plane taxiing onto the runway. The only problem was there was a NORDO (no radio) Luscombe 8A on about a quarter-mile final. And it was obvious that the pilot taxiing onto the runway was unaware of the arriving airplane on short final. Not only had he not heard the pilot of the Luscombe reply on the radio, be­ cause the 8A did not have a radio, but also the Luscombe didn't appear on the big lO-inch screen showing traf­ fic to the pilot of the TAA (technically advanced aircraft) because a tran­ sponder in the Luscombe would have been as useful as an empty gas tank, as it didn't have any electrical system whatsoever. It was obvious that the pilot of the TAA was relying solely on his electronic equipment for his traffic avoidance and not on the best piece of equipment he had in his cockpit...his two eyes. And thus yet another runway incursion occurred. For those who seek a definition of "runway incursion" I offer the Inter­ national Civil Aviation Organization (lCAO) definition: "Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incor­ rect presence of an aircraft, vehicle, or person on the protected area of a surface designed for the landing and takeoff of aircraft." But I shouldn't be too harsh on the pilot of that sleek new airplane, 30

MAY 2008

for I must confess that I, too, had once inadvertently pulled out onto an active runway, right in front of an airplane on short final. In my de­ fense I will state that I had listened on my radio and scanned the final approach path, but somehow I had missed the airplane on final. Was I tired? Was I in a hurry? Was my radio volume turned down? Was I tuned to the proper frequency? Was I dis­ tracted by my passenger? Was the approaching airplane in a blind spot to my vision? I don't really know. But I do know that I was terribly em­ barrassed that I had done such a stu­ pid thing and vowed never to allow that to happen again. Runway incursions have been happening as long as there have been airports in existence. And they usually have nothing to do with pilot skill or lack thereof. It could happen to the best of us. A friend of mine who is an excellent, safety­ conscious, and diligent pilot re­ counts the following incident: "Twenty-five years or so ago, I was flying my non-electrical system tail­ dragger out of Danbury airport in western Connecticut. One morning, I taxied out and did the usual commu­ nications with the ground controller as I taxied to Runway 17 for depar­ ture. It was a clear spring day without any traffic in the area, and I stopped short of the hold line, did the run-up and aircraft checks, and switched to tower frequency on my STS handheld radio. I informed him I was ready to depart, and then it happened .


"To this day I don't recall exactly what the clearance was, but accord­ ing to the controller he later told me he had cleared me to Taxi into posi­ tion and hold.' " I'm certain the reason was for a potential departure on the cross runway, although I didn't know it at the time . It wasn't unusual for someone to do a fairly quick turn­ around at one of the FBOs on the east end of the field, where a taxi for departure was hardly 100 yards. As I said, there was no other traffic in the pattern, and no communi­ cations from other aircraft on the tower or ground frequency, but it didn 't take long for that to change at that airport. "I don't recall having been issued a 'taxi into position and hold' clear­ ance in a very long time, and I sus­ pect I 'heard' what I wanted to hear, rather than the actual clearance is­ sued by the tower controller. In any event, I taxied out onto 17, applied power, and took off. I was just clear­ ing the cross runway when the tower controller looked up and realized I'd departed rather than hold short. I can still hear his rebuke. 'That could have been a very serious situation,' he barked . 'Roger, understood,' was my weak response. "Up to that point in time, that controller was always a very nice, rea­ sonable fellow who had never said a cross word while I was listening in on frequency. I always felt poor about the fact I'd contributed to him hav­ ing a bad day.

"I asked him if he'd like me to call him when I returned, and he said no, that we'd both learned all we were going to by that point. I've never for­ gotten how badly I felt about that incident. It was really the first time after a decade of flying that I'd made an error that was in direct conflict with a controller's clearance, and I've never wanted to have to go to bed again with that crummy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Long before it was announced as required on ATIS broadcasts, ever since that inCident, I've been a maniac about repeating 'hold short' and 'taxi into position and hold ' or 'land and hold short' clearances . I wouldn't want to con­ tribute to anyone else having a bad day, including the other person who might be in the pattern with me." Twenty-five years ago, if that con­ troller had wanted to file a violation on the errant pilot, there would not have been much the pilot could have done to protect himself, but that is not the case now. There is a program in place today known as RIIEP (Runway Incursion Information Evaluation Pro­ gram). It is similar in many respects to the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System. Basically it is a FAA program developed to help gather and analyze facts about runway incursions . The benefits to pilots, above and beyond the obvious data gathering to pinpoint the causes of runway incursions and create training scenarios to help com­ bat them, is that the FAA will forego legal enforcement action against the pilot who participates in the program. Any pilot is eligible to participate in the program as long as: 1. The event was an inadvertent act; 2. The event does not require a re-examination of certificate privileges; 3. The pilot did not display a substantial disregard for safety; 4. The event was not indica­ tive of any trend of noncompliance with FAA regulations; and,S. The pi­ lot displays a constructive attitude. Sounds like a win/win situation to me. (Fo r more information about RIIEP go to{ic/ airports/runway_safety/riiep. Another good source of informa­ tion about the ca uses of runway in­

curs ions as well as best practices to avoid them is Advisory Circular (AC) 91-73A: Single Pilot Procedures During Taxi Operations. (It is quickly down ­ loaded from the web­ site.) It includes numerous tips and suggestions to reduce the incidence of runway incursions. Some of these include proper, thorough planning, coordination, and communication; the use of airport diagrams to mon­ itor your movement about the air­ port; writing down taxi instructions; the clarification of air traffic control instructions, if not understood, in­ cluding proper read-back/hear-back using standard phraseology; the proper knowledge of airport signs, markings, and lighting, as well as the airport diagram, to keep the aircraft on its assigned taxi route; maintain­ ing a sterile cockpit during taxi op­ erations; not engaging in any other cockpit duties (like programming a GPS) while taxiing; and monitoring UNICOM frequencies at nontowered airports. The list goes on, with many

more great suggestions, so I highly advise a reading of that AC. I know that we would all like to think that the incidence of runway incursions is on the decline, but un­ fortunately the opposite is true. In the FAA's fiscal year 2007, there were 40 more runway incursions than in the previous year, and indicators for FY '08 indicate the numbers are ris­ ing. All it takes is one moment of complacency, of distraction, of con­ fusion to create a runway incursion. Everyone of us could be susceptible. We all need to do our best to help re­ duce the frequency with which they occur. Without due diligence it could ruin the day for anyone of us. A day that might otherwise have . .. blue skies and tail winds. Doug Stewart is the 2004 National CFI of the Year, a NAFI Master Instruc­ tor, and a deSignated pilot examiner. He operates DSFI Inc. (www.DSFlight. com), based at the Columbia County Airport (IBI). .......

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Send your answer to EAA, Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your answer needs to be in no later than June 10 for ·inclusion in the August 2008 issue of Vintage Airplane.


You can also send your response via e-mail. Send your answer to Be sure to include your name, city, and state in the body of your note, and put "(Month) Mystery Plane" in the subject line.


February's Mystery Plane, the Ben Jones 5-125.

Here's one of the answers for Feb­ ruary's Mystery Plane: liThe February 2008 Mystery Plane is the Ben Jones S-125 . The aircraft was designed and built 32

MAY 2008

by Ben Jones (Ben Jones Inc.) at the Schenectady County Airport, New York, between 1935 and 1937 as C/N 1 [NX16791]. The engine was a four­ cylinder, inverted in-line Menasco

C-4-125 (military designation L-365; engine TC No. 67) of 125 hp at 2175 rpm. Accommodations for two in tandem were provided under a slid­ ing cockpit cover. The aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff on its first flight, reportedly due to crossed aileron controls. Mr. Jones, who also had as­ sembled and sold five New Standard D-series biplanes for which he held the type certificate, sold his five re­ maining, unassembled D-series com­ ponents, their type certificate, and the remains of the 5-125 to White Aircraft Co. of Le Roy, New York. Jack Erickson State College, Pennsylvania We'll give Wesley R. Smith of Springfield, Illinois, double credit for the Mystery Plane . Wes also an­

swered the December Mystery Plane correctly. Here's his answer related to the February MP: "The February 2008 Mystery Plane is the Jones Aircraft Co. Inc. 1937 S-125 (later, White S-125/S­ 150). The photo which appears in Vinta ge Airplane is identical to that which appears on NASM La­ ser Videodisc I, Side B, Frame 8075 ("Jones," Frames 8060-8077). "The aircraft was probably de­ signed by Benjamin Jones in 1937 and was built at Schenectady, New York. It was originally powered by a 125 hp Menasco C-4 and was reg­ istered as X16791. The span of the Jones S-125 was 31 feet 0 inches, and the overall length was 24 feet 3 inches. The useful load was reputed to be 750 pounds, and the maximum speed was 151 mph, with a cruise of 136 mph, apparently in its later incarnation with an up-rated 150 hp Menasco C-4 (a C-4 with the bore increased to 4.75 inches. Gun­ ston, William. World Encyclopae­ dia of Aero Engines, p 97) . In any case, the sole S-125 was badly dam­ aged during its maiden flight. "Jones also purchased around 10 New Standard D-25s from the Met­ ropolitan Aircraft Corp. of Sara­ toga, New York, in 1938. Five of the D-25s were completed (19155/57 and 19197/98) , and five were un­ completed prior to the sale of the Jones Aircraft Company's assets to the White Aircraft Co. (Donald G. White, owner) of Woodward Airport, Le Roy, New York (also in 1938). White completed the five unas­ sembled New Standards; four deliv­ ered in 1940 as D-25Bs with 285 hp WrightJ-6 radials, and a final aircraft as a D-25A. Two of the D-25Bs were destroyed in a hangar fire at Mon­ roeville, Alabama (NR25317/18). Two were sold to the Department of Agriculture in 1941 (NR25319/20), while the D-25A was finally com­ pleted as NR25 313 in 1942. "White then appears to have re­ built the Jones S-125 (in 1938), as the aircraft subsequently became known as the White S-125. When White re­ built the aircraft, he also apparently

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soon installed an up-rated 150 hp Menasco C-4, and then may have changed the designation to S-150 . In addition to the assets of the Jones Aircraft Co., White acquired the as­ sets of the Argonaut Aircraft Inc. O. LeRoy Sutton, of North Tonawanda, New York) in 1939 and modified (and redesignated) the Argonaut H-24 flying boat as the White Gull, which was retrofitted with a Mena­ sco C-6. During 1938, White also constructed the 165 hp Ranger­ powered White A-R, and in 1940 he purchased the rights to the Ver­ ville Sport AT (a point I neglected to mention in connection with the November 2007 Mystery Plane-I must be slipping). Fitted with a 200 hp Warner Scarab, White's version of the Verville Sport AT had a span of 31 feet and a length of 24 feet 3 inches (oddly, the same dimen­ sions as the S-125, and not the same as other Verville Sport ATs) . White had planned to produce the Verville Sport AT for the Civilian Pilot Train­ ing Program (CPTP) as the PT-7 (this was White's designation and was not an official U.S. Army Air Corps designation). By this time, (1940) White had relocated to Palmer, Mas­ sachusetts, and only one White­ buil t Vervi ll e Sport AT (PT-7) may have been constructed. About this time, White also changed the name of his company to the White Air­ craft Corp. "Sometime around 1942, White turned to the manufacture of com­ ponents for military gliders. With the end of hostilities, the White Air­ craft Corp. ceased to exist. Unfortu-

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nately, the fate of the S-125 remains something of a mystery. In April of 1938, Flying Aces magazine published photographs and possibly a set of model plans for the aircraft (which may still be available through the Academy of Model Aeronautics. NASM Laser Videodisc IB Frame 8061 has a crude three-view draw­ ing, and au offers plans for a 495 mm span model) Little else seems to be known about this elusive aircraft, and I am indebted to for most of the information I have been able to unearth." Correct answers were also re­ ceived from Bub Borman, Dallas, Texas; Wayne Van Valkenburgh, Jas­ per, Georgia; Joe Tarafas, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; and Doug Rounds , Zebulon, Georgia. V I NTAGE AIRPLANE


First Funk

A glimpse of the first powered aircraft built by the Funk brothers

by H.G. Frautschy, with acknowledgements to The Funk Flyer Newsletter edited by Thad Shelnutt and G. Dale Beach's book, It's a Funk! The Funk brothers, Joe and How­ ard, had been building and flying gliders of their own design for seven years, ever since they converted the back portion of their produce store into a workshop where they could re­ pair and eventually build gliders. By 1931, the boys had been adding time to their glider logs and had started flying fixed-wing aircraft when they joined a flying club in Akron, Ohio. An OX-S powered American Eagle bi­ plane was the airplane they flew, but with the cost of flying a powered air­ plane significantly higher than their budget really could allow, the next couple of years dragged on with only a few hours added to their logs at an agonizingly slow pace. They ex­ plored the idea of buying their own airplane project and rebuilding it, but the airplanes available for the price they could pay were a step backward in both ability and mechanical reli­ ability. They began to think about the idea from a whole new perspective. By the end of 1933 , the Funks began to solidify their plans about building a powered airplane. Joe rec­ ognized that the experience they had building and repairing gliders would go a long way toward giving them 34

MAY 2008

the skills they needed to construct a powered airplane, and Howard read­ i1yagreed. As describe d in G. Dale Beach's book, It's a Funk!, "On the evening of January 31, 1934, Howard sat down at his makeshift drafting table and shortly after had completed a three­ view layout of the airplane they would build ." The brothers would also attend Akron University special­ izing in aircraft design, and among the engineering texts studied by the brothers, Howard and Joe had been relying primarily on books authored by noted aeronautical engineer and professor Dr. Alexander Klemin. In particular, the books published by the professor on stress analysis and aerodynamics were recognized as the authoritative texts on those subjects. Joe paid particular attention to the aerodynamics of their airplane, while Howard concerned himself with the structural aspects of the design. They planned on powering the two-place, side-by-side airplane with a three-cylinder Szekely engine, one just like the engine mounted on the front of the Buhl Pup that was part of the flying club's fleet. There was one other reason for the choice of the

Szekely-they knew someone who would sell them one for what they thought was a fair price. What Howard sketched on that chilly January night was a side-by­ side airplane that had a slightly chubby appearance in its aft fuselage, a bit like a foreshortened Fairchild 24, an airplane the brothers had ad­ mired. The fuselage was of fairly stan­ dard construction, with a steel tube fuselage faired by a set of plywood formers and milled wood stringers. The 3S-foot wing was braced by a pair of wing struts on each side, and the cabin door on the starboard side of the fuselage was mounted between the two struts. A conventional land­ ing gear used an oleo strut on each side for shock absorption, and the Szekely was neatly faired into the fu­ selage and sloping windshield. When it was finished by midyear 1934, they hauled it out to the Ak­ ron airport for its final assembly and flight testing. On July 2, 1934, How­ ard sat down in the cockpit, and he and brother Joe ran through the starting ritual as Joe pulled the prop through to start the Szekely. Joe must have been a good student of professor continued on page 37

Kent Misegades

Cary, NC

• Started flying at age 15 ­ first soloed on 16th birthday • Flew gliders while working as an aerodynamicist in early 1980s • Approx. 750 hours flight time • Participant in fAA's Speaker's Bureau Program;fast officer of fAA Chapter 111 , Apex, NC

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This VAA Calendar of Events is a fraction of those posted on the newest page on the EM website. To submit an event, or to view the most up to date list, please visit the EM website at www.eaa.orgjcalendar. During 2008, we 'll publish this calendar as we transition to an all-web based calendar for 2009. This list does not constitute approval, sponsorship, involvement, control or direction of any fly-in, seminar, fly market or other event. May 16-18 - Kewanee, IL - 6th Annual Midwest Aeronca Festival. Kewanee Municipal Airport (Ell). Seminars, flying contests, food, camping and music. Showers on field . Bring your tail draggers. All aircraft welcome. Lot's of grass to land on and to park/ camp Start Time: 8:00am End Time: 10:00am Contact: Jody Wittmeyer, Phone: 309-854-2393, Email: May 17 - Beloit, WI- Spring Fling Pancake Breakfast and Fly-In. Beloit Airport (44G). This is Chapter 60 's annual fund raiser for chapter projects, scholarships, etc. that includes a full pancakes and eggs breakfast, fly-in , classic auto show and other fun activities for the whole family. Start Time: 0700 End Time: 1100 Contact: Ken Brooks, Phone: 815-985-0717, Email: May 17 - Delaware - EM Vintage 27 Fly-in Breakfast. Delaware Municipal Airport (DLZ). Fly In breakfast Start Time: 08:00 End Time: 10:00 Contact: Woody Mcintire, Phone: 6145652887, Email: May 17·18 - Blaine, MN - Blaine Aviation Weekend . Anoka County Airport (ANE). 26th annual EM Chapter 237 Pancake Breakfast, 7a.m. to noon . Lunch follows . Golden Wings Museum and American Wings Air Museum. 8th Annual Big Band Hangar Dance Sat. evening. http://www. eaachapter237.orgContact: Lyle Peterson, Email: May 17·18 - Hampton, NH - Hampton Fly Market. Hampton Airport (7B3). VAA Chapter 15 pancake breakfast. Drawing for three prizes, David Clark headset, leather jacket, and a ride in a C-172. 08001800 Contact: Mike Hart, Phone: 603-964-6749, Email: May 18 - Brodhead, WI - EM Chapter 431 Community Pancake Breakfast. Brodhead Airport (C37). Brodhead Airport EM Chapter 431 annual Community Pancake Breakfast. Serving from 7:00 am to noon. Homebuilt and antique aircraft on display. Start Time: 7:00 am End Time: 12:00 noon Contact: Mike Weeden, Email: May 23-25 - Watsonville, CA - 44th Annual Watsonville Fly-In & Airshow. Watsonville Airport (WVI). Friday May 23 Noon to 8 PM. Saturday & Sunday May 23 & 24 9 AM to 5 PM. Vintage and Homebuilt aircraft display & judging. Aerobatic airshow. Vintage and current military warbird display and airshow. Food and camping available on field . EM Chapter 119 Pancake Breakfast Sat. & Sun. Start Time: 9 AM End Time: 5 PM Contact: Dave Brockmann, Phone: 831-763-5600, Email: May 24 - Newton, IA - First Annual Ray Hill Memorial Flight Breakfast. Newton Municipal Airport (TNU). The newly created EM Chapters of Central Iowa invite you to the First Annual Ray Hill Memorial Flight Breakfast. Ames Chapter 1452, Marshalltown Chapter 675, Des Moines Chapter 135 and Newton Chapter 456. Breakfast - adults $6, kids under 12 $3, PIC free. Start Time: 0700 End Time: 1100 Contact: Jim Jones, Phone: 641.792.9764, Email: May 24 - St. Louis/ Sauget, IL - Midwest Regional Fly-in. St. Louis Downtown Airport (CPS ). Fly-in sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum and EAA Chapter 64. Something for everyone! Start Time: 0800 End Time : 1600 Contact: Bob McDaniel, Phone: 618-337-6060 , Email: May 30·June 1 - Poplar Grove Airport , IL - (C77) - Army Wings and Wheels 2008 Vintage Wings and Wheels Museum L-bird fly-in and living history re-enactment. Flying events, pancake breakfast, awards . See website at www.ArmyWingsAndWheels. com or call Museum at 815-547-3115 for further details. June 1 - Central City, NE - 10th Annual Fly In. Central City Muncipal Airport (07K). 10th Annual Fly In Breakfast. Fly Ins eat free. Start Time: 7 am. Contact: Don Shorney, Phone: 308-946-3450 June 1 - Greenwood, IL - Vintage Aircraft Fly-in Picnic. Galt Airport (lOG). Fly-in picnic. All vintage aircraft welcome. Serving chicken and ribs. Food served around 1:00 pm. Bring a dish to pass. Donations accepted for Chapter 932 scholarship program. Fly-in fuel discount. Reservations suggested ­ email Start Time : 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Contact: John Roach , Phone: 815-444-7784, Email: June 5·7 - Bartlesville, OK - 22nd Annual Biplane Expo. (BVO). Biplanes at Their Best -Grand Champion Biplane Exhibits­ Biplane Center Museum Cornplex Open to PubliC- OO Type Club

36 MAY 2008

Gatherings " -Forums & Seminars-Aircraft Judging by Vote of Attendees-Major Aviation Notables-Biplane Rides Available for the Public See website for more info ., Phone : 918-622-8400 June 7·8 - Troy, OH - WACO Reid (lWF) VAA Chapter 36 Wings and Wheels Strawberry Festival Fly-In. 9am - 6pm Airplane rides , Aviation Safety Tearn Seminar, Military reenactments , cash prizes. June 6-8 - Columbia, CA - Bellanca-Champion Club West Coast Fly-In. Columbia Airport (022 ). The biggest and best gathering of Bellancas - Cruisair, Cruisemaster, Viking, Citabria, Decathlon, Scout, Champion. Technical seminars, owner roundtables, food service and a great time in a superb location. On-site camping w/ showers, short walk into town . Contact: Robert Szego, Phone: 518-731-6800, Email: staff@ June 7 - Troy, OH - VAA Chapter 36 Wings and Wheels Strawberry Festival Fly-In. (lWF). Airplane rides , Aviation Safety Team Seminar, Military reenactments, cash prizes Start Time: 9am End Time: 6pmSunday, June 8 - Jackson, MI. EM Chapter 304 40th Annual Fly In Cruse In Pancake Breakfast. Jackson County/ Reynolds Reid (JXN). Dash plaques to first 100 aircraft and cars. Start Time: 7AM End Time: 12PM Contact: John Eiler, Phone: 517-474-4878, Email : June 8 - Jackson, MI - EAA Chapter 304 40th Annual Fly In Cruse In Pancake Breakfast. Jakcson County/ Reynolds Field (JXN). Dash plaques to first 100 aircraft and cars . Start Time: 7-12 pm Contact: John Eiler, Phone : 517-474-4878, Email: June 8 - Lansing, IL - Wings and Wheels Breakfast/ Lunch. Lansing Municipal Airport (IGQ). EM Chapter 260 and Joliet Model A Restorer's Club will host Wings & Wheels 2008 Breakfast and Lunch . Lunch after11:30 am. Visit historic Ford Tri-Motor hangar and hear about it's history. 7-1:30 pm Contact: Glenn Leszczak, Phone: 708672-9865, Email : June 8 - Meadville , PA - EAA 1194 11th Annu al Fly In . Port Meadville Airport (GKJ ). 11th Annual Fly-In / Drive In Breakfast. Featuring the Carolinas Aviation Museum ' s Piedmont Airl ines Douglas DC-3. 7-3pm Contact: Rich Starn, Phone : 814-382­ 9080, Email : rwstarf1371 June 12·15 - Middletown, OH - Hook Municipal Airport (MWO). 14th National Aeronca Association Convention . See more Aeroncas in one place than you'll see anywhere in the world. Tours, forums and lots of fellOWShip, fun and flying will make this a weekend event you won't want to miss. For more information : email nationalaeroncaassociation@yahoo.comorcall 216-337-5643. June 12·15 - Stauning, Denmark - 41st International KZ-rally and fly-in. Stauning Airport (EKVD). 41st annual international KZ-rally. Fly-in and annual meeting of EM 655 started 41 years ago and is the oldest aviation event in Denmark, and the ONLY civilian annual event here (others are bi-annual or air force) Contact: Erik Gj0rup Kristensen, Phone: +45 30 49 11 72 , Email : June 13·15 - Gainesville, TX - Texas Antique Aircraft Fly-in . Gainesville Municipal (GLE). North Texas Antique Aircraft Fly-in. Come and join in on the fun. Start Time: 10:00 End Time: 18:00 Contact: Terry Wallace, Phone: 817-706-3173 , Email : June 15 - Hanson, MA - EM Chapter 279 Fly-in Breakfast. Cranland Airport (28M). EM Colonial Chapter 279 Hanson, MA. 0800-1100. All you can eat for a $5 donation. Children up to and including 12 years of age are half price accompanied by an adult parent. Contact: Cart Patturelli , Email: June 15-30 - Midwestern United States. American Bamstormers Tour. The 2008 American Barnstormers Tour showcases as many as 20 meticulously restored vintage aircraft from the 1920s and 1930s in an exceptional collection of airplanes and aviators. A nostalgiC salute to the daring young men and women who ventured across America during the 1920s seeking fame and fortune in their biplanes dubbed

Klemin.s published work, because the new monoplane flew in perfect trim right from the first flight. There was only one problem of note with the airplane. The Szekely. It was a good thing the boys were trained glider pilots, beca use they could count on the Szekely quitting just about every 10 hours of flight . In Dale Beach's book, Joe quipped that it was liThe most reliable engine we ever used! We could absolutely rely on it to break down by at least every tenth hour of flight!" Finally, an engine failure during their trip to the Detroit Air Show forced the brothers to make a deci­ sion. They needed an inexpensive, re­ liable powerplant for their lightplane, and there just wasn't anything avail­ able in the horsepower range they wanted. So, they made the decision to build their own. The story of how the brothers en­ gineered and built their first engine could fill a small book (in fact, it

does take up the better part of a cou­ ple of chapters of It's a Funk!) , and we're not going to cover it in this article, but thanks to the remark­ able intuitive engineering done by the Funk brothers, their new engine not only was built, bu t also set t h e standard for water-cooled lightplane engine installations that wo uld not be equaled until the advent of liq­ uid -cooled insta ll ations on ultra­ light and light-sport planes in the 1990s. Light, efficient, and powerful for its size, it was cited by Dr. George Lewis, then the director of the gov­ ernment's National Advisory Com­ mittee for Aeronautics (NACA, the predecessor of today's NASA), as the first example of a fully tunneled, liq­ uid-cooled system in an airplane. The photo we've included on page 34 was supplied to us by the Funk Flyers Club. It shows the first Funk airplane, X1400, at the airport in Elmira, New York, on July 12, 1937. It's not clear if this is the airport on top of Harris Hill, a location with a

continued "Barnstormers," will journey through America's Heartland on a nine-city tour. Admission is free - Biplane rides available. 11()(}'1800 each day. Contact: Mike Tharp, Phone: 319-356-5045, Email: June 17·21 - Lock Haven, PA - 23rd Annual Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven. William T. Piper Memorial (LHV). The 23rd Annual Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven Fly-In June 17th - 21st. Featured airplanes: J-5, PA-25 Pawnee and PA 36 Brave. Camping fees: $12.00/ night, RVs $15.00/ night. Contact: Sentimental Journey, Inc., Phone: (570) 8934200, Email: June 19·20 - St. Louis, MO - American Waco Club Fly-In. Dauster Flying Field (lHO). You can also contact Jerry Brown at 317-422-9366 or Contact: Phil Coulson, Phone: 269-6246490, Email: June 21 - Porterville, CA - Eagle Mountain Air Show at Porterville Airport Aerobatics, Warbird fly-bys, vintage, military and civilian aircraft on display. Awards for display planes. Gates open at 8 AM Flour bombing and spot-landing in the morning. Food, beverage, crafts vendors Contact: (559) 289-0887 . June 21 - Delaware, OH - EAA Vintage 27 Fly In Breakfast. (DLl). Fly In Breakfast Start Time: 08:00 End Time: 10:00 Contact: Woody Mcintire, Phone: 6145652887, Email : June 21·22 - Gaylord, MI - 2008 Gaylord Air Fair. Gaylord Regional Airport (GLR). Held to awareness of aviation in the community. Sat. only, static displays and fly-bys of U.S. military aircraft, vintage jet fighters, experimental aircraft and radio controlled aircraft along with exhibits and vendors. June 22 - Gaylord EM Chapter annual fly-in breakfast and Young Eagles flights. Start Time: 10Q0.1700 Contact: Scott Woody, Phone: (989) 732-4218, Email: swoody@ gaylordregional.comJune 26-29 - Mt. Vernon, OH - Wynkoop Airport (6G4) 49th Annual National Waco Club Reunion. For more info contact Andy Heins at 937-313-5931 or email June 28 - Gardner, KS - Greater Kansas City Vintage Fly-in . Gardner Municipal Airport (K34) . Pancake Breakfast starting at 7:00am. Lunch on the field and BBQ cookout Friday and Saturday evening. Enjoy Old Tyme Aeroplane movies Friday and Saturday nights. Camping permitted on-field and motel transportation provided tol from the airport. Start Time: 0700 End Time: 2200 Contact: Jeff Sullens, Phone: (816) 729-3151, Email:

long gliding history, or at the Elm· ira airport located below the airport nearer the city. It's not surprising that the Funk brothers would be in Elmira; after all, it is the birthplace of soaring in the United States and has long been the home of the National Soaring Museum. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say by looking closely at the landscape in the distance that this is at the air­ port on top of Harris Hill. With the tightly cow led Funk Model B engine based on the Ford four-cylinder au­ tomobile design, it presents a sleek form that on ly the inline air-cooled Menasco and Ranger engines could equ al. The radiator's cooling lou­ ver on the port side of the cowl can be clearly seen, as can the oleo strut landing gear coupled with a pair of shock-absorbing tires. The color of the airp lane was not defined , but it certainly looks as though it is in silver paint. If anyone has positive identifi· cation regarding the paint color, we'd appreciate a note. ......


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continued from page 6

position, altitude, and speed. A major benefit of next-gen cited by the FAA would be to reduce airline de­ lays and capacity constraints that are the norm today, especially at the 35 busiest airports known as Operational Evolution Partnership (OEP) airports. EAA suggests that ADS-B should there­ fore be tested on a limited basis with the air carriers to see if it works before requiring wholesale installation on general aviation (GA) aircraft. EAA further contends that the equipment, as now priced, would be beyond the means of thousands of small-aircraft owners and hinder GA. Similar equipment requirements over the past 30 years each had the same flaw: They kept many airplanes and pilots from flying because of time and expense involved. "By failing to get GA's input and simply mandating wholesale instal­ lation of ADS-B Out for nearly 80 percent of the GA fleet, the FAA has unnecessarily turned the recreational and general aviation community against what could well be a very use­ ful and helpful technology if properly and appropriately implemented," Macnair said. "Under this proposal the agency is dramatically shifting the costs of the NAS (national air­ space system) from FAA ownership and operation of ground-based ATC surveillance technologies to the in­ dividual aircraft owner to the tune of many billions of dollars. "EAA is urging FAA to meet with the general aviation community be­ fore finalizing this rule."

international organization that is dedicated to the spirit of aviation. Under the agreement, EAA will provide extensive promotion and coverage of the Arlington Fly-In and also will serve as a major sponsor of aviation educational activities, such as forums and workshops, during the event, among other considerations. The two organizations had oper­ ated under a more informal agreement over the past 20 years, which did not provide specific definitions of each group's commitments and responsi­ bilities. The new agreement, which is in place for this year's Arlington Fly-In on July 9-13, reflects the evolving avi­ ation community in the 21st century. As part of the agreement, the Ar­ lington Fly-In will use the EAAJudging Standards in its aircraft awards pro­ gram, and it will host two EAA Sport­ Air Workshops on the fly-in grounds at other times of the year. Along with the increased visibility and promotion of the Arlington Fly-In, EAA will have a major presence at the event to pro­ vide member services, host forums, and encourage its members to serve as volunteers at the fly-in. More information about the Ar­ lington Fly-In, including admission prices, accommodations, and sched­

ule information as confirmed, is avail­ able at The Arlington Fly-In is owned and operated by Arlington Fly-In, an orga­ nization that is independent of EAA. EAA does not own or control any part of the event or organizing body.

VAA Chapter 16 We had a few goof-ups in the captions for March's article on the VAA Chapter 16 fly-in. This beauti­ ful Luscombe belongs to Bill Brad­ ford of Independence, Missouri, not Duane Oosterhuis. Bill's Luscombe is a 150-hp custom airplane. We also swapped the captions for the two Aeroncas shown on the bot­ toms of pages 23 and 24-Steve Law­ lor's airplane is actually on page 23, while Marvin Story and Ken Smiley's pre-war Aeronca Chief is on page 24. My apologies to all concerned . .......


EAA, Arlington Fly-In Sign New Sponsorship Agreement EAA and the Arlington (Washing­ ton) Fly-In, one of the nation's top recreational aviation events, have signed a new working agreement that brings higher visibility to the Arling­ ton event and clearly defines EAA's role in the popular fly-in. The agree­ ment underscores the shared mis­ sions of the Arlington Fly-In, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2008, and EAA, the 170,OOO-member 38

MAY 2008

"'10U GO GiQL"

Something to buy, sell , or trade? 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 : 10t h of secon d month prior to desired issue date (i .e., 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 acce pted via phone . Payment must accompany ord er. Word ads may be sent via fax (920-4264828) or e-mail ( using credit card payment (all cards accepted). Include name on card , com plete address , type of card, card number, and expiration dat e. Make checks paya ble to EAA. Address advertising correspondence to EM Publ ications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.




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gdallbner@eaa. org

secretary Steve Nesse

Treasurer Charles W. Ha rris

2009 High l and Ave. Albert Lea, M N 56007 50 7-373-1674

72 15 Ea st 46th SI.

Tulsa, OK 7414 7

9 18-622-8400

cwh@h vsu .co m

DIRECTORS Steve Bender

Dale A. Gustafson

85 Brush H ill Road Sh erborn , MA 0 1770 508-653 -7557

7724 Shady Hills Dr. Indianapolis, IN 46278 317-293-44 30

sstl O@comcast.11et

David Bennett

Jeannie Hill

375 Ki lldeer Ct Lincoln, CA 95648 91 6-645-8370

antiquer@;nreacl1. com John Berendt

7645 Echo Po int Rd.

Ca nn on Fall s, MN 55009

507-263 -2414

{chld@bevcomlll ." et

Jerry Brown 4605 Hicko ry Wood Row Green wood, IN 46 143 3 17-422-93 66

P.O. Box 328

H arvard, IL 60033-03 28

81 5-9 43-7205

dillglwo@' Espie " Bu tch " Joyce 704 N. Regio n al Rd. Green sboro, NC 27409 336-668-3650 windsock@aoi .col1l

Dan Knutson 106 Te na Marie Ci rcle Lodi, WI 53555 608-593-7224

Dave Clark

635 Vesta l Lane

Plainfield, IN 46 168

3 17-839-4500

Steve Krog 1002 Heather Ln. Hartfo rd, W I 53027 262-966-7627


sskrog@ool .com

John S, Copeland

Robert D. "Bob" Lum ley 1265 South 124th Sl. Broo kfield, WI 53005 262-782-2633

l A Deacon Street Northborough , M A 01 53 2 508-393-4775 copeland i

Phil Coulson

Dea n Richa rd son

2841 5 Springbrook Dr. Law ton , M I 49065 269-624-6490

1429 Kings Lynn Rd Stough to n , WI 53589 608-8 77-8485 da

5. H . " Wes" Sch mid 2359 Lefeber Avenue

Wauwatosa, W I 5321 3 41 4-77 1-1 545




Robert C. Brauer 9345 S. Hoyne Chicago, IL 60643 805-782-97 13

E.E. " Buck " Hilbert 8 102 Leech Rd . U nio n, lL 60180 815 -923-459 1 buck7ac@dls. llet

Ge ne Chase

Gene Mo rris

2 159 Ca rlto n Rd . Oshkos h, WI 54904 920-23 1-5002 GRCHA@charter." et

5936 Steve Court Roa n oke, TX 76262 81 7-491 -9 110 gm emorris@Cllarter.lJet

Ro nald C. Fritz

John Turgyan PO Box 21 9 New Egypt, NJ 08533 609-7 S8-29 I 0 jrturgyan4@aol .com

1540 1 Sparta Ave. Kent C ity, M I 49330 6 16-678-5012




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

Phone (920) 426-4800

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Sites: www, vintageaircra{t,org, www,airventure,org, www, eaa,org/memberbene{its

E-Mail: vintageaircra{t@eaa,org Flying Start Program , , , , , , , , , , , ,920-426-6847 EAA and Division Membership Services Library Services/Research """, .920-426-4848 800-843-3612 .. . , """ , , .FAX 920-426-6761 (8:00 AM-7:00 PM Medical Questions, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,920-426-6112 Monday- Friday Technical Counselors , , , , ' , , ' ... 920-426-6864 oNew/renew memberships: EAA, Divisions Young Eagles .... , , , , , , , . , , , , .. 877-806-8902 (Vintage Aircraft Association, lAC, Warbirds), National Association of Flight Instructors Benefits (NAFI)

AUA Vintage Insurance Plan, , , , .800-727-3823 °Address changes

EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan " ",866-647-4322 °Merchandise sales

Term Life and Accidental , , , , , , , ,800-241-6103 oGift memberships

Death Insurance (Harvey Watt & Company) EAA Platinum VISA Card, ,800-853-5576 ext. 8884 Programs and Activities EAA Aircraft Financing Plan, , , , 866-808-6040 EAA AirVenture Fax-On-Demand Directory EAA Enterprise Rent-A-Ca r Program , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,732-885-67 11 , . , . , , , , , , . ,. , , , " , , " , , " 877-GA1-ERAC Auto Fuel STCs , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,920-426-4843 Editorial. . . "" ", , , , , , " ' ,., ,920-426-4825 Buildlrestore information , , , , , , , ,920-426-4821 VAA Offi ce. , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,FAX 920-426-6865 Chapters: locating/organizing" " 920-426-4876 Education"" " "" . " """ , ,888-322-3229 ° EAA Air Academy EAA Aviation Foundation ° EAA Scholarships Artifact Donations , , . . , , , , , , , , ,920-426-4877 Flight Advisors information , , , , , ,920-426-6864 Financial Support, , , , . , , , , , , " 800-236-1025 Flight Instructor information , , , , ,920-426-6801



EAA Membership in the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is $40 for on e year, includ­ ing 12 issu es of SPORT AVIATION, Famil y m embership is an additi on al $10 annu ally, Jun ior Membership (under 19 yea rs o f age) is available at $23 annually, All m ajor cred it cards accepted for membership, (Add $16 for Foreign Postage,)

EAA SPORT PILOT C urrent EAA m embe rs ma y a dd EAA SPORT PILOT magazine fo r an additional $20 per year, EAA Membership and EAA SPORT PILOT magazine is ava il abl e fo r $40 p er year (SPORT AVIATION m agaZine n ot in­ cluded), (Add $16 for Foreign Postage.)

VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION C urre nt EAA memb e rs m ay jo in th e Vinta ge Aircraft Associatio n a nd receive VINTAGE AIRPLANE magaZine fo r an ad­ ditional $36 per year, EAA Membership , VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine and one year membership in the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association is ava ilable for $46 per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not in­ cluded), (Add $7 for Foreign Postage,)


C urre nt EAA m e mb e rs ma y jo in th e Interna tio n a l Aerob a ti c C lub, In c. Divi­ si o n a nd rece ive SPORT AEROBATICS magazin e fo r a n additio nal $45 p er year, EAA Membership, SPORT AEROBAT­ ICS magazine a nd o n e yea r m embership in th e lAC Div isio n is ava il abl e fo r $55 p e r yea r (SPORT AVIATION ma gaZin e n o t includ e d ) , (Add $18 for Foreig n Postage,)

WARBIRDS Current EAA members m ay join the EAA Warbirds o f Am erica Divisio n and receive WARBIRDS m agazin e for an addition al $45 per year, EAA Membe rship , WARBIRDS ma ga ­ zin e a nd o n e yea r m e mb e rship in th e Wa rbirds Div isio n is avail able fo r $55 p er year (SPORT AVIATION m agazin e n o t in­ cluded). (Add $7 for Foreign Postage,)

FOREIGN MEMBERSHIPS Pl ease submit yo ur re mitta n ce with a ch ec k o r dra ft dr awn o n a United Sta t es bank p ayable in United States d ollars. Ad d required Foreign Pos tage am o unt fo r each m embership ,

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

Copyright C2008 by the EM Vinlage Aircraft Associalion. All rights reserved. VINTAGE AiRPLANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by the EM VinlageAircraft Association of the Experimenlal Aircraft Association and is published monthly al EM Avia­ tion Center, 3000 Poberezny Rd .• PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903-3086, &-mail: Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of Vinlage Airplane magazine. is $36 per year for EM members and $46 for non-EM members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 and at additional mailing offices, POSTMASTER: Send address changes 10 Vinlage Airplane. PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. PM 40032445 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses 10 World Distribution Services, Slation A. PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5, &-mail: FOR­ EIGN AND APO ADDRESSES - Please allow at least lwo months for delivery of VINTAGE AI RPLANE to foreign and APO addresses via surface mail. ADVE RTISING - Vinlage Aircraft Association does not guaranlee

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 POUCY: Members are encouraged 10 submil stories and photographs, Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely lhose of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting resls entirely with the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material should be sent 10: Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086. Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800. EM® and EM SPORT AVIATION®, the EM Logo® and Aeronautica'· are registered lrademarl<s, trademarks, and service marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Inc. The use of these trademarks and service marks without the permission of the Experimenlal Aircraft Associalion, Inc. is striclly prohibiled.


MAY 2008

THE 2008 MAZDA RX-8 • lo3l RENESIS 2-rotor rotary engine • 232 hp @ 8,500 rpm 6 speed MT • 159 Ib.-ft @ 5,500 rpm • 9000 RPM red line • "One of the 10 Best Road Trip Vehicles," Kelley Blue Book • Unique "freestyle" doors • Optional performance packages

ENJOY THE PRIVILEGE OF PARTNERSHIP EAA Members who are considering the purchase or lease of anew Ford Motor Company vehicle should be sure to take advantage of theFord Partner Recognition Program. Your membership benefits qualify you for X-Plan pricing, which could save you as much as $1977 on a 2008 Mazda RX-8.

EXCLUSIVE PRICING, EXCEPTIONALLY SIMPLE! Ford Motor Company, in association with EAA, is proud to offer members the opportunity to save on the purchase or lease of vehicles from Ford Motor Company's family of brands.

identificlltion number (PIN) and learn about the great value of Partner Recognition/X-Plan at WWVI'.fordDarbBerlillJD


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