Page 1

t-!A"PPY t-!OLiDAYS!


VOL. 37, No. 12





2009 VAA Hall of Fame Inductee

Stephen Pitcairn


One Outstanding Stinson Flying Station Wagon .

. . . Soon to be joined by its sister ship

by Sparky Barnes Sargent


Peach State Aerodrome and Candler Field Museum

A tangible tapestry of time

by Sparky Barnes Sargent


A Country Boy's Dream

The story of Aircraft By Shue

by Dick Crensh aw


Light Plane Heritage

The Dormoy Bath Tub

by Jack McRae


What Our Members Are Restoring

Ray Lemmon's Stinson 108

by H.G. Frautschy

28 30

Chapter Locator


The Vintage Mechanic

EAA Publisher Director of EAA Publications Executive Di rector/Editor Production/Special Project Photography

Fuel and oil systems by Robert G. Lock 34

Mystery Plane by H.G. Frautschy


Vintage Book Reviews


Classified Ads

COVERS FRONT COVER: "Wouldn't it be neat to have two airplanes with consecutive serial numbers," wondered Richard Preiser of Delray Beach, Florida. The first airplane in his stable is this Stin足 son 108-3 restored by Gene "Pete" Engelskirger of Hinckley, Ohio. NC6364M was the VAA Classic Reserve Grand Champion in 2006. Now owned by Preiser, it wi ll serve as the sister足 ship of the airplane he is now restoring, NC6365M. See the story by Sparky Barnes-Sargent starting on page 6. EM photo by Jim Koepnick, photo plane flown by Bruce Moore. BACK COVER: A gentle snowfall on a winter's day just outside of Old School Aviation at Van Sant Airport in Erwinna, Pennsylvania gives us a beautiful background to admire Ray Lem足 mon's recently restored Stinson 108 and a Stearman destined to be shipped overseas. The photo was snapped by one of the Old School Aviation mechanics who worked on the Stinson, Christopher Cummings . Our thanks to Mssrs. Lemmon and Cummings for sending it to us to足 wards the end of last winter. See the article on Lemmon's Stinson 108 starting on page 26.

Advertising Coordinator Classified Ad Coordinator Copy Editor Di rector of Advertising

Tom Poberezny Mary Jones H.G. Frautschy Kathleen Witman Jim Koepnick Bonnie Kratz Sue Anderson Lesley Poberezny Colleen Walsh Katrina Bradshaw

Display Advertising Representatives: Specialized Publications Co. U.S. Eastern Time Zone-Northeast: Ken Ross 609-822-3750 Fax: 609-957-5650

U.S. Eastern Time Zone-Southeast: Chester Baumgartner 727-532-4640 Fax: 727-532-4630 U.S. Central Time Zone: Gary Worden and Todd Reese 800-444-9932 Fax: 816-741-6458 gary.;

U.S. Mountain and Pacific Time Zones: John Gibson 916-784-9593 Fax: 510-217-3796

Europe: Willi Tacke Phone: +49(0)1716980871 Fax: +49(0)8841 / 496012 willi@{ VINTAGE AIRPLANE

The Vintage Instructor Column The Vintage Instructor column will be taking a brief break during the winter months as we revise the edi­ torial calendar related to that fea­ ture. Due to the pressing needs of his business, Doug Stewart will no longer be writing the column. Doug began writing for our then-new col­ umn, The Vintage Instructor, in Janu­ ary of 2003. We thank Doug for his efforts as the "leadoff batter," and we wish him well in the future.

Vintage Airplane Magazine With the announcement by EAA of the ending of publication of Sport Pilot & Light-Sport Aircraft, and the incorporation of the content of that magazine into a new EAA Sport Aviation, a few VAA members have wondered aloud if there are any similar planned changes to the division publications, and in par­ ticular to Vintage Airplane. In short, the answer is no. VAA and its board of directors rec­ ognize that one of the most visible and anticipated member benefits is our monthly magazine, and that its publication as a printed maga­ zine is important to each member. While continuing to print Vintage Airplane, we will explore other tech­ nologies to further enhance mem­ bership, including EAA's online community at www.Oshkosh365. org, a members-only online archive of Vintage Airplane magazine , as well as electronic means to share slide show, video, and audio con­ tent related to information on the operation, restoration, and social aspects of being part of the vintage aircraft community. Adding to and enhancing the content of Vintage Airplane is our goal, not to replace it with online-only content. We will continue to pack it full of content from our regular contributors and from members who volunteer to share their knowledge with their 2


Treasurer Charles W. Harris Retires Citing personal reasons, VAA Treasurer Charles W. Harris has an­ nounced his retirement from the VAA board of directors, effective im­ mediately. Prior to making his retirement announcement, Charlie had advised the board he had not felt well for several months. On medical examination he was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that is being treated successfully, and a full recovery is expected. In a letter to his fellow direc­ tors, he wrote: "It has been a unique honor and rare privi lege to have served EAA, the Vintage Aircraft Association board, Paul, Tom , and the entire leadership and membership of EAA and VAA. I will be most happy to assist in any transitional matters with those elected or named to suc­ ceed me . .. ... My very best wishes to all of the officers and directors of the Vintage Air­ craft Association in the years to come. Vintage is the finest such organization in the world, and may it always be so." Harris, who has also stepped down from his volunteer efforts dur­ ing EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, has been a member of the board since being elected in 1988, and he has served as VAA treasurer since 1996. An inductee of the VAA Hall of Fame, Charlie has served the membership on a national and local basis for more than 35 years. We've been in regular contact with Charlie over the past couple of weeks; he is home and tells us he has had significant improvement on the road to recovery. We all wish him well!

fellow VAA members. If you have something you think would be of benefit to other members, feel free to drop us a line at vintageaircraft@ or via regular mail at VAA, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903.

Working on Better Wi-Fi for AirVenture

2010 Even with the best events, there's

always room for improvement, and that's the approach EAA headquar­ ters is taking toward improving Wi­ Fi coverage on the grounds at next year's fly-in. During lithe heat of battle" at Oshkosh last summer, the wireless Internet availability and connections were well below the high standards EAA members and visitors expect. That was confirmed in the comment cards and post­ event surveys. Your voices were heard and your

feedback noted. Those comments were exactly what EAA needed to take back to its wireless partners and sup­ pliers to make things better in 2010. We'll continue to survey EAA mem­ bers and AirVenture attendees to de­ termine the best way to meet the demand next year. Look for updates as we make progress over the winter and use your ideas to make things better on the Net next summer!

Members Aim to Resurrect Bugatti Racer Two Oklahoma EAA members­ Scotty Wilson, EAA snss, and Gregg Carlson, EAA 101S379-are hoping to create a true replica of the Bugatti Model 100 racer. The sleek machine was built by famed auto­ mobile maker Ettore Bugatti and en­ gineer Louis de Monge to compete in an air race before the outbreak of World War II, but it wasn't fin­ ished in time. When the German army marched on Paris in June 1940, the project was abandoned before the airplane ever flew. Even­ tually, it was brought to America by car aficionado Ray Jones to acquire its engines. In 1996, the aircraft was donated to EAA, and it's on display at EAA's AirVenture Museum. In mid-October Wilson and Carl­ son came to EAA to identify the plane's airfoil using a "Profiler," an electronic plotter that rolls along the wing's surface, transferring data to a computer for analysis. Because there is no comprehensive set of drawings covering the entire aircraft, "the only way to build one is to backwards en­ gineer it," said Wilson. "It is abso­ lutely essential that we be able to accurately determine what airfoil is on the plane," Wilson stressed. Some aviation enthusiasts insist that since the aircraft has never flown, it is not historically Significant, but Wilson vehemently disagrees. "Five patents were issued to Bugatti for the airplane-many of which appeared on other aircraft after the war," he said, including the dual drive train, the flight control tail that mixes the elevator and the rudder, and the au­ tomatic flaps system, which pre-dates

Scotty Wilson, left, and Gregg Carlson meticulously plot the original Bu­ gatti wing in attempts to determine its NACA airfoil. EAA has the airplane displayed in the AirVenture Museum.

the F-16's by 40 years. Construction of the replica started in May. The fuselage shell is finished, and Wilson expects to complete the empennage and fuse­ lage over this winter. The replica racer is being built to

accommodate the Bugatti SOB en­ gines modified for aircraft use, turn­ ing two metal, ground-adjustable, contra-rotating Ratier propellers, but the likely powerplants will be two late-1990s/early 2000s BMW engines. ......

Behind the Scenes Volunteer of the Year Award We ran out of space last month to include a photo of our two VAA Behind the Scenes Volunteers of the Year. Flanking VAA President Geoff Robison are Michael Blombach (left) and Archie James. The Indiana twosome oversaw the Vintage Hangar project and worked throughout the spring and summer to complete the hangar on time and under budget, which made it possible to enjoy the facility for the first time during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. Our thanks to Mike and Archie for their above and beyond the call of duty volunteer spirit!



Scouring the nation for at least one example of the Pitcairn Mailwing series of biplanes was one of Pitcairn's passions. Here he pilots the PA-8M Super Mailwing (right), with the PA-6 Super Mailwing, along the shore of Lake Winnebago in


Mike Posey and Steve with the Pitcairn PA-8M Super Mailwing in the background. As a young man Steve (right) spent some time working for the successor to Pitcairn Aviation's airmail operations, Eastern Air Lines. 4


tephen Pitcairn, the son of the aviation entrepreneur Harold Pitcairn, founder of Pitcairn Aircraft, preserved his father's legacy by restoring Pit­ cairn aircraft and donating to many aircraft endeavors. He had a deep love for aviation and attained his pilot certificate around 1940. Because of the effects of a child­ hood illness, Stephen Pitcairn was rejected from military service, but he was able to fly with the Civil Air Patrol along the East Coast of the United States searching for enemy submarines. For a short time he flew DC-3s for Eastern Air Lines. In the 1950s he was denied his FAA med­ ical certificate. During this time he put his energies toward antique cars. When he finally got his medical cer­ tificate back in the 1970s, he began buying and restoring Pitcairn aircraft. Stephen Pitcairn served EAA as a member of the EAA Foundation board of directors from 1982 through 1990. After the restoration of EAA's Ford Tri-Motor was completed, he made possible the construction of EAA's Pitcairn Hangar on Pioneer Air­ port. The hangar serves as the perfect place to tell the story of his father's company, Pitcairn Aviation, and stands as a grand location to display the other aircraft he has donated to EAA over the years: the PA-39 Auto­ giro, the PA-7 Sport Mailwing, and Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro, Miss Cham­ pion. He also made possible the res­ toration of the 1928 Pitcairn-Cierva PCA-1 Autogiro, donating the his­ toric rotorcraft to the National Air and Space Museum's collection. Pre­ ferring to keep his philanthropy quiet, Pitcairn donated to many mu­ seums, and he gave freely of his re­ sources to preserve the history of aviation, making his contributions with little or no fanfare.


Steve and his friend and mechanic for many of his projects, Mike Posey (left) of posey Brothers Aviation , as they assembled the Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro Miss Champion before it was flown for the last time and placed on display at the EM AirVenture Museum.

Mike Posey and Steve with the Pitcairn PA-8M

Super Mailwing in the background.

Mike Posey, his niece Kelly Posey, and Steve Pitcairn. Steve was no stranger to the Posey Brothers shop in Robbins­ ville , New Jersey, since he actually owned the shop build­ ing, and he was an active participant when Mike restored a PA-7, PA-6, PA-7S, and PA-8 Mailwings, plus the first produc­ tion Pitcairn Autogiro , the PCA-1, currently on display at the American Helicopter Museum in Brandywine, Pennsylvania .

A:-"":-~~--..J After regaining h·~F":";

c IS A medical certifi­ ate, Steve and his Mail . regular attende wings. became East and M·d es to many flY-inS in the I west.

All the aircraft restored under his guidance were enjoyable projects , and the restoration of the PCA-2 Autogiro by George Townson and Steve seemed to be particularly pleasurable . Here, he ~repares the cockpit as he readies the Autogiro for one of its last flights . VINTAGE AIRPLANE


t was a fairly short hop from Antiquers Aerodrome in Del­ ray Beach to Sun 'n Fun for Richard Preiser and his Stin­ son, but it was a decades-in­ the-making journey for them to arrive there together. Richard was just a teenager when he started learning to fly in 1969. He soloed at Pompano Beach, but wasn't mak­ ing much money at the time and couldn't afford to continue lessons. So when he went into the Air Force, he flew with its aero club and earned his private certificate just three days before leaving for a tour of duty in Vietnam as a weapons mechanic, loading bombs in airplanes. After returning to the States, he bought two Corvettes, married, and




started a family. Being dO-it-your­ seifers at heart, he and his wife, Peggy, decided to go into their own printing business. The sale of the Corvettes funded that venture, and just as soon as the business was profitable, Peggy suggested he buy back one of the Corvettes. Instead, he decided to pick up flying again and bought a Piper Arrow-and later, a Cessna 150 for his son. Years later he was bitten by the vintage bug, after he struck up a friendship with fellow Floridian Kevin Proodian, who had been fly­ ing radio-controlled airplanes with Richard 's son, Brian. When Kevin bought a Stinson 108-3, he fre­ quently flew it over to Antiquers Aerodrome to visit the Preisers. Be­

1947 ad.

ing around that Stinson was all it took-Richard was hooked. "I told my son that I was going to trade the Cessna 150 for a Stinson," he said, chuckling. "Brian is now a captain on Colgan, flying for Continental.". Kevin, an airline pilot who is also a certificated flight instructor and an airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic, loves flying clas­ sic tailwheel airplanes. He good­ naturedly steered Richard away from buying an early-model Stin­ son 108 that hadn't flown in 20­

after a brief conversation, he sent Gene a deposit for the Stinson, sight unseen-and then asked Peggy for permission to buy it.

odd years, telling him, "If it hasn't run in that long, you're going to spend something like four times the purchase price to get it in flying condition. If you want a pristine air­ plane, let's look around for one. Just a couple of weeks later, NC6364M showed up on Barnstormers [web­ site]. It was an Oshkosh 2006 Clas­ sic Reserve Grand Champion, and I told him it would be a good air­ plane." Richard called owner and restorer Gene "Pete" Engelskirger of Hinckley, Ohio, in early 2007, and

Flying Station Wagon All told, more than 5,000 of the Stinson 108 series were manufac­ tured. According to FAA Aircraft Specification No. A-767, the Model 108-3 was similar to the 108-2, with the exception of "larger fuel tanks, structural changes for increased gross weight, revised vertical tail surfaces, and a controllable rudder trim tab, [which replaced the] rud­ der bungee." In 1947, a utility version of the Model 108 Voyager was introduced, and its attributes were marketed in

this manner: "New! America's first personal/cargo' plane! See the new Stinson Flying Station Wagon. Re­ inforced 24-cu.-ft. cargo compart­ ment in 2-tone plywood paneling equipped with tie-down straps. A side-loading baggage compartment offers an additional 11 cu. ft. of car­ rying space. Carries pilot and 600 cargo pounds, or pilot, one pas­ senger, and 500 cargo pounds. Two rear seats can be replaced in 5 min­ utes' time. Ideal 'utility' plane for ranchers, farmers, sportsmen, and flying businessmen." Powered by a 165-hp Frank­ lin 6A4-165-B3, the Flying Station Wagon measures 25 feet 2 inches from nose to tail, has a wingspan of 33 feet 11 inches, and reaches VINTAGE AIRPLANE


a height of 7 feet 6 inches in level attitude. It weighs 1,320 pounds empty and has a useful load of 1,080 pounds. Its maximum struc­ tural cruising speed is 126 mph, with a cruise speed around 108 mph-just right to enjoy some fresh air from its sliding windows. With a SO-gallon fuel capacity (a 25-gallon tank in each wing) and a 10-gph fuel burn, it offers a range of around 540 miles. If you look carefully at the Stin­ son's wings, you'll notice slots in the leading edges, which increase the airflow over the ailerons at high angles of attack, thereby providing greater stability and control. And the slightly offset vertical stabilizer (for the 1948 model) helps counter­ act the torque of the 165-hp Franklin engine. Slotted wing flaps enhance takeoff performance, and landings were cushioned by the cantilever gear's oleo-spring shock absorbers. The Model 108-3 Flying Station Wagon sold for $6,484 in 1948, ac­ cording to aviation historian Joseph Juptner (U.S. Civil Aircraft, Vol. 8). Touted as being roomy and soundproofed, with quick takeoffs and slow landings, Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation fur­ ther enticed its targeted share of the market by advertiSing that "be­ ginners can solo this spin-resistant Stinson in only about eight hours' flying time!" and thereby offered a "special flight plan for business and professional men ... your Stin­ son dealer will teach you to fly, free-up to and including solo." It was a winning campaign, appar­ ently, since another company ad proclaimed that" ... Stinson has become America's biggest-selling 4-place personal plane-especially with 'over-40' owners who fly for business and pleasure."

NC6364M Manufactured by Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation-Stin­ son Division in Wayne, Michigan, in April 1948, it took nearly two years for this particular Flying Sta­ tion Wagon to arrive in the hands 8


"About a month after I bought 64M, I thought, 'Wou Id n't it be neat to have two airplanes with consecutive serial ' " num bers..... -Richard Preiser

Kevin Proodian (kneeling) and Richard Preiser-these longtime friends are both aficionados of Stinson 108-3s.

of its first owner. Later, while Rich­ ard was focused on his family and printing business, NC6364M was doing touch-and-goes between var­ ious owners from Nebraska to Flor­ ida, and then on to Ohio, where it languished for a number of years. Gene Engelskirger, who restored the airplane, wrote this about NC6364M: "[It had] been around the Cleveland area since 1972 and was tied down next to my first res­ toration at Columbia Station air­ port 34 years ago. Bernie Ockuly bought the basket in 1987 and started the long process of bring­ ing her back to life. Bernie got the RV bug, and I picked up the project in 1995. It was going to be a quick one-to-two-year deal that was fi­ nally finished 11 years later." He also enumerated a few po­ tentially controversial and inter­ esting details derived from his restoration research: • "There are two holes on the un­ derside of the right gear leg. The

battery drain hose originally went through the empty hole, and a ser­ vice bulletin put it where it is now. This was to eliminate acid on the gear leg paint. • "Franklins had red lettering on the rocker covers. [But] not in the later production years, according to [the late Charlie Hart], a former em­ ployee of Franklin Aircooled Motors. • "A lot of Stinsons have cowling props on both sides. [But] per the Stinson parts book, they only had one on the right side for oil stick and cap access. • "The aircraft was delivered with a Scott 3-24 BS tail wheel, item 202 (a), which was a 6-inch hard rubber unit. It was replaced with a Scott 3200, item 202 (c), in July of 1950. • "The aircraft was delivered with a Sensenich wood propeller. In July of 1950, a metal McCauley was installed." Karl Engelskirger helped his fa­ ther with the restoration, and he shared some information about

Left: Stinson 4-The interior and panel of NC6364M. Below left and above: Close-up views of panel.

what is perhaps the Stinson's most unusual original fea­ ture-the low-frequency an­ tenna for shortwave radio. It stretches from the top of the fuselage to each wingtip and the tail, and surprisingly, its presence isn't discern able in flight. "The radio antenna in­ stallation was a joy," recalled Karl as he smiled. "That air­ plane was untouched from the time it left the factory; it had the original panel, radios, and interior. The only thing miss­ ing was the antenna, and a

gentleman in California who was parting out several Stin­ sons had one that still had the latches on the position lights. Then the only thing we were missing was the ceramic insu­ lator that goes on the tail, and I found one from another Stin­ son, so we were able to piece the whole thing together." To keep the panel looking as original as possible, Gene and Karl mounted a small sliding tray behind the old Hallicraft­ ers shortwave radio . This ra­ dio can be removed, thereby allowing easy access to the new radio, which is mounted on the tray. To make the air­ plane practical for cross­ country flying in present-day airspace, updated avionics VINTAGE AIRPLANE


The aileron hinge fairings are made of cast aluminum.

and other items include an Ameri­ King AK-350 encoder, a Bendix/ King KT 76A transponder, and a Whelen A650 navigation/strobe light system (in place of the origi­ nal Grimes navigation lights). A four-place Flightcom 403mc inter­ com was installed, along with an Ameri-King AK-450 emergency lo­ cator transmitter, and a Bendix/ King KLX 135A GPS/comm. According to Karl, the Stinson had been tied down outside for many years and corrosion had be­ gun in the wing spars. "That was difficult to deal with," he said, "be­ cause the stamped ribs and alu­ 10 DECEMBER 2009

Baggage capacity in this compartment is 100 pounds.

minum spars are riveted together, making it hard to replace the spars. But we finally got that cleaned up. The fuselage and wings were cov­ ered with the Poly-Fiber system, and the entire airplane was painted with Aerothane."

Current Caretaker Thirty-eight years after Richard first started taking flying lessons, and 59 years after NC6364M was manufactured, the time had finally arrived for the two to become ac­ quainted and begin their journey together. Richard and Kevin trav­ eled via airline to Ohio to pick up

the Stinson and fly it together to Florida . It was a memorable occa­ sion-especially since their return cross-country was encumbered first by low ceilings and then, as they flew farther south, by very thick smoke from intense forest fires in southern Georgia. But they made it successfully, and back in Florida, Kevin gladly stepped into his flight instructor role to help Richard learn how to fly the tailwheel airplane, as well as the nuances of coaxing the very best performance out of the Flying Station Wagon. Re­ calling those lessons with a chuckle, Richard said, "It took a while to

make the transition from tricycle to tailwheel, and Kevin actually made a pOint to go flying on windy days, be­ cause Antiquers has trees on one side and a tower on another side, so you really have to know how to handle the airplane." "The aircraft is very forgiving," said Kevin, adding, "I tell people it is like a four-place Piper Cub-the same wing planform, a Hershey bar with round wingtips. The takeoff and landing speed is 80 mph, and it stalls at 61.4 mph, with flaps down. It's a very hon­ est airplane, and very affordable." Richard's delight in flying his Wagon is obvious, as well as his dedi­ cation to keeping the airplane in top­ notch condition. Since he's owned it, it has been awarded the 2008 Best Restored Classic (101-165 hp) and 2009 Outstanding Classic Aircraft (9/1/45-12/31/55) at Sun 'n Fun.

All in the Details There are numerous fine details that make NC6364M's restoration an award winner-and since a casual observer may not even be aware of some of these items, Kevin shared his knowledge about them. "Everything is original to this airplane, minus the Cleveland wheels and brakes," he ex­ plained. "They came from the factory with Goodrich brakes. This airplane has the original-type split windshield, paint scheme, and polished alumi­ num trim. The headliner is complete with the original dome light and ele­ vator/rudder trim controls. The 108-3 was available in two colors-the Stin­ son Maroon or Blue only, with Diana Cream trim . The fabric and uphol­ stery were beautifully done [by Paul Workman of Ohio] and are correct for this model, and so are the mahog­ any veneer panels." If you stand underneath the wing and gaze up at the ailerons, you'll notice some rather large, stream­ lined covers for the aileron hinges. They are cast aluminum fairings, composed of two halves which are joined by two screws-and it's not often you'll see these anymore. The inspection plate covers are also orig­ inal, according to Kevin, who ex­

plained that they are different from most because they have two fastener strips on the back side and four small, raised vents on the front. Richard humbly confesses that, af­ ter he bought NC6364M and began thoroughly observing all of its de­ tails, "I told Gene that I didn't pay him enough for all the detailed work that was done on it-he is a super nice guy, and he got a chuckle out of that. I paid his price, but lowe him !z money-you know what I mean? To ~« see the work he did, I know he didn't ~ make a dollar an hour." ~ UJ


eli ~

Stinson Sister Ships ~ en Throughout their lives, the en Preisers have worked hard for what J:~ they have, and they derive a deep "­ satisfaction from achieving their hands-on goals-whether it's run­ ning a successful business, remod­ eling their home, or their latest endeavor-restoring an airplane . "My wife and I took a six-room house and made it into a gorgeous mansion," explained Richard, smiling. "My wife and I painted it inside and out, we did all the wood­ working together, and we bought 186 tons of bricks and made our own driveway. That took about six months of laying the sand and shell rock foundation, and then the brick with our own hands. " So it's just natural that Richard feels a bit uncomfortable accepting compliments for NC6364M. Now he 's determined to restore its sis­ ter ship with his own hands, and to that end, he's keeping his hand­ some Stinson hangared-and only flying it on nice days-so he'll have a pristine example to go by for his own restoration. Top: It's nice and clean under the cowl! This 165-hp Franklin runs strong, but parts are hard to come by. Middle: Close-up view of the controllable rudder trim tab. Bottom: Close-up view of the antenna attachment tab on the wingtip. VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Close-up view of the inspection plates.

"About a month after I bought 64M, I thought, 'Wouldn't it be neat to have two airplanes with consecu­ tive serial numbers.' So I researched NC6363M, and found that it crashed. An 80-year-old man called me from Ohio and confirmed that information-he was there when it went into the trees. So then I looked for NC6365M, and I found it in San Marcos, Texas. I e-mailed the owner and found out everything was for sale. The project was in bad shape and wasn't complete-so I had to sleep on it and think about whether 12 DECEMBER 2009

I really wanted to buy it and re­ store it. It was missing a lot of parts, and some were damaged and mis­ matched. But I decided to go ahead with it," declared Richard with an optimistic tone of determination, "and I bought a third Stinson from California, just for parts. I've never restored an airplane, and I want to do everything on it I can, and I have an A&P who is guiding me through the project." Richard is making steady prog­ ress on his project. To date, he has had all of the instruments for

NC6365M overhauled by Keystone, he's completed the interior wood­ work, and he's started working on the wiring system and the fuse­ lage. He hopes to finish this Stin­ son in three or four years, if all goes smoothly. And when he does, it's likely that the two virtually iden­ tical Stinson sister ships will com­ pose quite an eye-catching display on the flightline in their deep, rich maroon paint scheme. And Richard will no doubt finally feel comfort­ able accepting compliments for his own restoration. ~

Photo of Stearman Model 6L Cloudboy flying, by Jeff Jeffares.

Patrons enjoying the cuisine in the Barnstormer's Grill.

A 1928 Stearman C-3B alights gently on the long grass runway at Peach State Aerodrome as a 1929 Curtiss Robin's Wright )6-5 coughs to life and prepares for takeoff. The

C-3B slowly S-turns past a field of colorful vintage airplanes, sun­ light glinting from its polished, hand-spun spinner. The stately bi­ plane winds its way toward a large

1930s-style hangar where an ami­ able crowd of folks has gathered. Children are leaning over a wooden picket fence, waving at all the pi­ lots, and antique autos, tractors, and even a horse-drawn carriage line the parking lot. Inside, melo­ dious notes from a player piano entwine with the hunger-stirring aroma of freshly baked pies straight from the ovens of the Barnstorm­ er's Grill, where a virtual smor­ gasbord, ranging from salads and sandwiches to seafood and filet mi­ gnon, is served. Laughter and chat­ ter resound through the eatery, spilling out onto the patio as locals and visitors alike join in the fun of reliving the era of early aviation, here in rural Williamson, just 30 miles south of Atlanta, in the heart of Georgia.

The museum is currently housed in this new building, which resembles the original American Airways Hangar at Candler Field. 14 DECEMBER 2009

Looking Back Back in 1909, a businessman b y the name of Asa Griggs Can ­ dler (who owned the Coca-Cola Company at the time) opened a new racetrack near Hapeville, Georgia. Situated in a wide-open field, it was also the perfect loca­ tion for aerial exhibitions, which were held there in 1910 and 1911. Eventually, more attention was fo­ cused on the practical aspects of aviation, and another gentleman from the local area, James H. El­ liott, decided to lease the racetrack and prep some additional acreage for airplane use. Elliott opened his flying business there in 1919 and sold the field in 1923. The following year, a couple of local aviators-Doug Davis and Beeler Blevins-began prevailing upon Atlanta's mayor, Bill Hartsfield, to recognize the business value of avi­ ation . Davis established his own flying circus, and he and Blevins each built their own hangars at Candler Field, thereby establish­ ing a base of operations for their separate flying businesses. And fi­ nally, in 1925, Mayor Hartsfield acknowledged that Candler Field was indeed a good location for At­ lanta's airport. Four years later, the city purchased the airfield, which eventually evolved into today's Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Interna­ tional Airport.

Candler Field Museum Ron Alexander is the man be­ hind Peach State Aerodrome and Candler Field Museum . A retired

Delta Air Lines pilot with a gentle and easygoing personality, he is also a highly driven entrepreneur. He's established numerous success­ ful aviation businesses (see sidebar), yet he wanted to realize at least one other ambitious dream-building an antique airplane museum that

"The overall objective is for you to walk into this museum and feel like you're stepping back into that era. e also want people to enjoy riding in an old car, in a horse-drawn carriage, and flying in an old airplane." - Ron Alexande would be just a bit unusual. For one, he wanted to pay tribute to a particular era of aviation and his­ tory-that being the late 1920s and early 1930s-in an operating mu­ seum. And that essential thread of

a "living" museum was necessary to create the tangible tapestry of time he desired. "With that in mind, some of the things we have are not going to be pristine or award-winning airplanes or cars, but they're going to be functionaV' Alexander explained. "The over­ all objective is for you to walk into this museum and feel like you're stepping back into that era. We also want people to enjoy riding in an old car, in a horse-drawn carriage, and flying in an old airplane./J Another key thread that adds depth and texture to this tapestry is Alexander's belief that "to make this kind of museum work, you've got to have other than aviation people come out and support it. You need to include those who are involved in antique automobiles, tractors, and even vintage cloth­ ing-and just include everything involved in that era." Since Atlanta is his home base, he decided that preserving its rich local history would be ideal. He knew that Davis, a 1920s aviator, was from the local area and had built the first hangar on Candler Field. "So I thought that a logical thing to do would be to develop Candler Field as it existed in the late 1920s and early 1930s/' he said, "and focus on that." That idea blossomed into a mul­ tifaceted project. Alexander re­ searched the history of Candler Field and found some photographs of what it looked like in the early 1930s. Then he started looking for an existing airport that could

Relaxing on the observation deck and patio VINTAGE AIRPLANE


1939 DC-3A, antique autos, and a Davis airplane .

Bird's-eye view of the Stearman C-3B and Curtiss Robin.

Candler f ield -'tuseum

Concept drawing of the Candler Field Museum complex.

physically accommodate a variety of hangars and buildings. "Peach State Airport, as it has been called, has been here since 1966," he ex­ plained, "and I finally discovered that the 100 acres adjacent to it was for sale at a fairly reasonable price. So I decided to purchase the entire package and develop a por­ tion of it as Peach State Airpark to help pay for the runway. We didn't have an architect put it together; I just visualized it in my mind, and then we started working to make that vision reality." The museum, which opened in September 2008, is currently housed in a new building that resembles the original American Airways Hangar, complete with observation deck , restoration workshop, restaurant, and ban­ quet facilities. An aviation re­ search library, named in honor of Jack Barbery, will soon be open to the public. "Much in the museum has been donated by Jack Barbery, who is a retired Pan Am flight en­ 16


gineer," said Alexander. "He has collected antique aviation mem­ orabilia and old airplanes , too. He's donated two KR-34 biplanes, which will be restored, and an OX-S Robin, which is currently undergoing restoration. We have a mechanic who works with vol­ unteers to help restore and main­ tain the museum airplanes." As a work in progress, the mu­ seum will continue to evolve, and the next building slated for con­ struction is the old Eastern Air Transport Hangar. It will be large enough to house the grand old lady of the airlines-the DC-3. A bed and breakfast for the aero­ drome, along with apartments for seniors, are also part of the over­ all plan, as well as a hotel and larger banquet facility in the guise of the original Candler Field art­ deco-style terminal building. Two smaller hangars will pay tribute to aviators Davis and Blevins and will also house a variety of 1920s and 1930s artifacts.

Rotating Exhibits Just as a shuttle carries new threads back and forth to weave fabric, Alexander plans to breathe vitality into the museum 's tangi­ ble tapestry by continually rotat­ ing the exhibits of airplanes, autos, and tractors. So at any given time, visitors will hopefully be able to see something they haven't yet seen­ and perhaps even be able to go for a ride or flight in it. "What we try to do is get people to put airplanes on loan to us for a while," explained Alexander, "and rotate them in and out. For example, we had a guy with an Aeronca Champ here for a while, and the Curtiss Robin is owned by a local pilot [Richard Ep­ ton] who flies it on a regular basis. " To date, airplanes in the rotat­ ing exhibits include a 1929 Curtiss Robin, a 1928 Waco CSO, a 1928 C-3B Stearman, a 1930 Stearman 6L Cloudboy, a 1939 Douglas DC­ 3A, and a 1941 Stearman PT-17 . Barbery's OX-S Robin will join the others when its restoration is com­ plete, as will a 1918 Curtiss IN-4D, which local craftsman Brian Karli is rebuilding. N28AA, which has recently been christened the Candler FieLd Express DC-3A, was originally delivered to Braniff Airways in 1939. "After Braniff, it went to Trans-Texas, and it's been in several different air­ lines, ending up in Provincetown­ Boston Airlines. A friend of mine ferried it up here from Tamiami Airport," said Alexander, "and at that time I owned Alexander Aero­ plane Company, so myself and several employees restored the air­

The Stearman C-3B.

plane in 1991. Right now we use it for training and some promotional work, but it doesn't fly more than about SO hours a year or so." Alexander acquired the Stear­ man C-3B about 10 years ago from antiquer friend Jim Friedline . "I had a PT-17 that was destroyed in a tornado, and I traded Jim my busted-up airplane for the C-3B. I flew it a couple of years, and at the time, I was one of the three own­ ers of Poly-Fiber Aircraft Coatings in California. We had a restora­ tion company that we had started out there at Flabob Airport," re­ called Alexander, "and a young man by the name of Brian New­ man did a large bulk of the resto­ ration on the airplane." Of the aircraft he has, Alexan­ der treasures one in particular-not only because it handles very nicely, but also because there weren't many built. Smiling, he said, "The most unique and rare airplane I have is my square-tail 1931 Stear­ man Model 6L Cloudboy, with a Lycoming 220. It was designed as a military trainer, and they only made 10 of those airplanes, which were later called YPT-9s. My par­ ticular airplane was called an XPT­ 912, and it was the test airplane for the YPT-9s."

A Gathering Place Today, the airstrip, Candler Field Museum, and Peach State Airpark are collectively known as Peach State Aerodrome. The fledg­ ling airpark has a separate, gated entrance, which offers residential privacy from the museum and

Even though they're on display inside, each of the antique autos are operational.

restaurant portion of the field. Walking trails wind through the airpark, and there are runway lots as well as a few lakefront lots on­ site. Owners design their homes and hangars to be constructed with a Vintage-style exterior, in keeping with Peach State's over­ all theme. Yet the aerodrome is home to more than just the museum and airpark residents-it's also head­ quarters for the Georgia chapter of the Antique Airplane Associa­ tion and EAA Chapter 468. The newly formed Georgia Cub Flyers have adopted Peach State as their home base as well; they held their first fly-in here in August 2009, with nearly 30 Cubs and more than a hundred Cub aficionados attending. Other groups also meet here-including the Flying Grif­ fins, which is a radio-controlled model airplane club, and shhh!­ the Quiet Birdmen. But that's not all. Since Alex­ ander's vision encompasses more than antique airplanes, the local Georgians have also found a place to call home . Many enjoy seeing the other antique conveyances in action, which include a 1909 Sears automobile, 1923 and 1925 Model Ts, 1928 Model A Road­ ster, 1929 Model A pickup truck, 1933 Chevrolet Master sedan, and a 1920 carriage. And they also en­ joy large gatherings there . "We have banquet facilities for up to 500 people, and that's the local community that comes to the banquets," explained Alexander, who is pleased to welcome the

neighbors. "We ' ve had a couple of aviation events, but we've also had a chorale, chamber of com­ merce meetings, and it's mostly general events like that. The lo­ cal community, including the county commissioners, has really embraced this museum. They're very pleased to have us here, and this is the very first museum in Pike County. They think it's great, and we get real good support from them. Ninety percent of the peo­ ple who visit here are non-aviation people." That means that more people are becoming familiar with grass strips and airplanes, which helps foster a positive public per­ ception of general aviation.

You're Invited! A variety of special events are held throughout the year at the museum, and aviators as well as the general public are warmly wel­ comed. A first-time vintage week­ end was held in September 2009, complete with visitors in period costume, music provided by a men's chorale group, and an 1899 calliope. "We'll sell homemade ice cream that's been mixed us­ ing a hit-and-miss engine, have a cake walk and a mime group, and generally just have a good time," shared Alexander, "and we'll get all the old cars out and fly the old airplanes-plus, we'll have a horse and carriage for people to ride in. This will be the first year we've had the vintage weekend." Other events include a visit for children from Santa Claus and continued on page 38 VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Ron Alexander and his Stearman C-3B, inside Candler Field Museum.

n Alexander just can't imagine life without flying. When he was a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol at age 14, he took a ide in a C-119 Flying Boxcar and knew he was meant to be a pilot. He soon soloed an Aeronca Champ near his home in Bloomington, Indiana, and earned his flight instructor rating. By the time he entered the Air Force in 1964, he had already logged 800 hours . His five years in the Air Force included one tour in Vietnam, flying the C-7 Caribou. In 1969, he started flying for Delta Air Lines (based in Chicago) and eventually gave instruction and checkrides in the Boeing 737 before retiring in 2002. During those years, he again became active in general aviation when he bought a J-3 Cub for $3,000 in 1974. Unfortunately, a summer storm got the best of the Cub just as he was relocating to Georgia. "Then I got real interested in restoring antique airplanes," he said, chuckling, "so I restored a Cub first and then a Stearman PT-17-and I discovered that we had a lot of difficulty getting airplane parts. So in 1979, we started Alexander


Aeroplane Company out of our hangar at Cedar Ridge. I also bought a Stits distributorship from a local person, because Ray Stits wasn't sure he wanted me to be a distributor. Then in 1992, I bought Stits-I owned it outright myself for a few years. Then I had a partner-Jon Goldenbaum, who still manages Poly-Fiber足 and we ended up merging Ceconite into it, so there were three of us that owned it." He also started a technical center in Griffin, Georgia, during that time. "When I owned Alexander Aeroplane, I discovered that the best way to sell products was to teach people how to use them. So we started a workshop program, formally teaching people how to do fabric covering, composite and sheet metal work, welding, and so forth. Ultimately it became the SportAir Workshops, and I sold it to EAA. And in 1996, I sold Alexander Aeroplane to Aircraft Spruce." His recent endeavors include his composite repair company, Atlanta Aerospace Composites, which he started in 2002. Today, the company repairs corporate and regional jet radomes, in addition to doing sheet metal and composite work on regional jets. Alexander also has interest in a couple of other companies, though he didn't start them. He owns "a major part of the Accessory Overhaul Group, which is an overhaul facility for regional jets, and a separate machine shop." When asked if he ever feels overwhelmed, he laughed gently and replied, "Most of the time!" Then he explained his secret: "Well, actually, you know what has made it work are the people I hire.

I guess my 'thing in life,' if I have to have 'a thing,' is to start something, and then once I get it up and running, let somebody else have it." Reflecting for a moment, he laughed again and commented, "Sometimes it's not all successful! I enjoy taking risks; it's partly the challenge, and it's also because I enjoy creating something from nothing. What makes it possible is the people who work for me. I hire my people based entirely on their attitudes-not their resumes at all. I want to know them, spend some time with them, and I want them to have good, positive attitudes. We do build every single business based on customer service." Alexander's primary passion, above all else, is simply flying. Smiling and laughing wholeheartedly, he declared, "It's my life! You know, I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't fly. To me, there's nothing better than taking one of these biplanes out and flying it in the evening or early morning-I mean, that's the greatest thing in the world! I clear my mind by doing that. I have 24,000 hours of flying time, and I still enjoy it. Flying is very important, and I love these old airplanes-I just like that era of time. To me, the 1920s were a fascinating time, and I enjoy studying it and learning more about it-and doing things to help re-create it." .....

The story of Aircraft By Shue BY DICK CRENSHAW

terprise that started with a dream and grew as a result of perseverance, dedi­ cation, and patience. In his youth John was a typical boy, riding his bicycle to a grass­ strip airport and hanging on the fence , dreaming about the day he could fly. He fulfilled that dream by working as a line boy at Valley Air­ ways in York, Pennsylvania. His dream didn't come easy, as he earned just 65 cents an hour, 20


and his dual-instruction lessons cost $6 an hour. That meant 10 hours of work to pay for one hour of dual flight instruction. It seems that the 10-to-l ratio is still with us today. Working for $13 an hour to pay for flight instruction at $130 an hour seems quite commonplace; the aspiring aviators of today seem to have the same challenges we had 60 years ago. Sixty-five cents at a time, John kept adding to his logged time, and he soloed in 1947. Prior to the formation of Aircraft By Shue and his dedication to Waco aircraft, John restored several aircraft

with his brother Charlie and other family members. His aircraft projects included a Taylorcraft BC-12, Ercoupe, Piper Tri-Pacer, Piper 180 Comanche, Piper Clipper, and Aeronca K. John was not the only Shue bit­ ten by the aircraft restoration bug. His brother Charlie restored an L-2 Taylorcraft to military specifi­ cations and a 1929 Kreider Riesner KR-31 (NCI0054) to flying condi­ tion. The KR-31 is powered by an OX-5 engine and is now part of the Hagerstown Aviation Museum in Hagerstown, Maryland. Hager­ stown was the home of Fairchild

Left: Prior to being covered, this is the completed structure of AI Shimer's UMF-5.

The interest in Waco airplanes be­ gan in 1964 when John purchased his UPF-7 basket case. He was still working at AMP at this time, and the restoration became a seven-year, part-time weekends and nights proj­ ect. In May of 1971, the plane flew for the first time since 1946.

Grand Champion at the National Biplane Association Expo in 2007 and Reserve Grand Champion in 2003, 2005, and 2006. It was Best In Class-Waco open cockpit at the AAA National Fly-In in Blakesburg, Iowa, in 2004,2005, and 2007. Also listed were five other awards re­

John's UPF-7 was the first of five EAA Oshkosh award winners. The five airplanes so honored at the annual EAA fly-in are: Year 1972 1986 2000

Model UPF-7





NC32183 NC32084

John Shue Dr. Criss Kidder





The awards were not limited to Os­ hkosh; Jack Hill's UPF-7 won best in show at the Burlington, North Caro­ lina, fly-in and was also Grand Cham­ pion at the 2009 Sun 'n Fun Fly-In. All of the above aircraft were based on the East Coast at the time they were displayed at the EAA Fly-In in Oshkosh. That had me wondering if there were any Shue-restored Wacos west of the Mississippi River receiv­ ing recognition. I contacted Gary Pe­ tersen in Walton, Nebraska, and got quite a surprising response. Gary's UPF-7, NC39743, won Aircraft, and Kreider Riesner was a subsidiary of Fairchild. Charlie was also heavily involved in recovering one of the more unique airplanes to come through the Shue shop. It was a 1937 VPF-7 Waco owned by Al Shimer. This aircraft was one of six VPF-7s shipped to the Guate­ malan Army Air Corps in 1937. It is powered by a 240-hp W-670 Con­ tinental engine and is presently on loan to the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum. John retired from his electrical engineer position with AMP Incor­ porated in 1987. His son Scott left the company in 1990; however, at his young age it was a career change rather than a retirement. Together, they formed Aircraft by Shue.

Loel Crawford


Dick Ash


Jack Hill

ceived in the Nebraska area. To date the Shues have restored 10 Wacos, and many of these air­ craft have been winners at regional air shows and fly-ins. It is hard to keep track of the awards since many of these planes are not located in the Pennsylvania area. Scott learned the aircraft restora­ tion trade by working with his fa­ ther. By the time they reached Loel Crawford's UPF-7 (NC32084), he was pretty much the lead man. Scott has restored and completed the last three winning aircraft on his own

One of only four built, and the last one to survive, this is a 1935 8-17E 8eechcraft Staggerwing, serial number 49. John Shue spent a consider­ able amount of time restoring the cabin biplane.



John retired from his electrical engineer position

with AMP Incorporated in 1987. His son Scott One of the many UPF-7 restorations done by the Shues, this is NC29996, a UPF-7 owned by Sion Bass of Georgia.

left the company in 1990; however, at his young age

it was a career change rather than a retirement.

John Shue's UPF-7, the one that started him on the path to becoming an acknowledged expert on the aircraft, was first restored in 1972. The father-and-son team is now restoring it for the second time.

with technical advice and final as­ sembly help from his father. Scott is known as "Mr. Detail." Wings, in addition to complete restoration projects, are his particular specialty. A complete restoration means all new wood. Scott will cut and shape new spars from Sitka spruce; build new ribs, tip bows, wing walks, etc.; and assemble new wings from scratch. All formers and stringers in the fuselage re­ ceive the same expert attention. He replaces all sheet metal parts that are not in perfect condition with new metal fabrications. He re­ stores and re-upholsters cockpits. Scott rebuilds and reinstalls orig­ inal engine and flight instruments to maintain the authenticity of the 22 DECEMBER 2009

aircraft. To keep the FAA happy, the emergency locator transmitter is there, but not in plain view-an­ other effort to keep the airplane's appearance as original as possible. When you see a finished Waco coming out of the Shue shop, you can't help but marvel at the beau­ tiful finish and attention to detail. The fabric surfaces appear to be painted with a modern-day finish; however, they are hand rubbed and polished dope. The UPF-7s are not the only Waco models that have been restored. Just recently Scott finished a 1930 Waco RNF, NC859V, for Joe Kamin­ skas. The first fly-in for Joe was May 2009 at Horn Point, Maryland. He received both the AAA President's

Award and PAAS Antique Grand Champion award. Since originally writing this article, EAA AirVenture 2009 has come and gone. Joe and his RNF won the Vintage Aircraft As­ sociation Antique Grand Champion award, which left him extremely proud but also humbled when he realized he had competed and won against some of the best restorations in the country. (See a video of Ka­ minskas' RNF at videos. Click on the AirVenture tab and you'll see the video.) Congratulations, Joe, and to Scott Shue and his dad. Scott and his father are pres­ ently restoring a 1935 UMF-5 for Al Shimer. John has rewired the aircraft and fabricated engine baffles and the

Jack Hill's Waco UPF-7 serves as the backdrop for John (left) and Scott Shue, the father-and-son duo responsible for some of the most beautiful Waco restoration in recent memory.

Scott Shue has a special affinity for building wings. These are just a few of the wings he's built for Waco restorations.

exhaust system. He is also restoring the two cockpit interiors, including the rebuilt engine and flight instru­ ments. In addition, he is fabricating sheet metal panels and the bump cowl, which is a major undertaking. Scott has built a complete set of new wings . The next step will be covering the entire aircraft and the finishing process of doping and sanding, doping and sanding, un­ til the desired result is obtained. This aircraft is powered by a 210-hp Continental R-670 engine. Complete restorations are not the only thing happening at the shop . They will build any wooden pi ece found in a Waco. This in­

cludes any individual piece or com­ plete assemblies such as wings, vertical fins, center sections, fuse­ lage formers, and stringers. John is also set up to repair and rebuild the UPF-7 landing gear. Now just because he 's not the prime restorer in the shop now, I don't want you to think John is out to pasture. He has spent a great deal of time restoring a 1935 B-17E Beechcraft Staggerwing, serial num­ ber 49. There were only four of this model built by Beech, and this is the only survivor. Two have been destroyed and the third was con­ verted to a B-17R. Unlike most Staggerwings fly­

ing today, this aircraft is powered by a W-760-2 Wright engine, not the R-985 Pratt & Whitney. This aircraft passed through a series of owners who had hoped to restore it, but for the most part it remained in storage until it came to the Shue shop in 1986. The frame-up restoration was accomplished using new wood throughout the aircraft. One of the Shues' hard and fast rules is that they never use or repair old wood; it has to be new. A new mohair interior has been installed, along with a complete panel of restored instruments from that time period. The instrument panel is a thing of beauty unto itself. All aluminum sheet metal parts have been newly fabricated using the original pieces, when available, as patterns. Presently John is again restor­ ing his personal UPF-7, the aircraft that started it all back in 1964. It has been close to 40 years since its original restoration was completed, and John felt it was time. In addition to his Waco project he is restoring a J-3 Cub for an old friend, Bob Bittner. If this was not enough, there is a second]-3, John's personal plane, which is about half­ way to completion. John also spends a great deal of time on the telephone helping out fellow Waco owners with techni­ cal information and personal ad­ vice based on his experience in the restoration business. He is always ready to help anyone with aircraft problems or questions. For those of you who do not know John Shue, he is an aviation romantic. Some might even call him an aviation maniac. In either case, John is an aviation enthusiast of the first order. If you ever have the opportunity to visit his shop in Emigsville, Pennsylvania, I am sure he will gladly show you his library, complete with a stamped metal cathedral ceiling and a spiral staircase. It's located on the second floor. It contains more than 2,500 volumes of aviation literature and history, including a complete set of Ernest Gann's books. ....... VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Light Plane Heritage


EAA Experimenter

FEBRUA RY 1957 , MAY 1989




The Dormoy Bath Tub was one of the simplest and probably least expe nsive successful lightplanes ever built. This airplane was de­ sig ned and built by Mr. Etienne Dormoy, then of the Engineering Division of the Air Service at Mc­ Cook Field near Dayton, Ohio. It was flown in the lightplane events at the 1924 and 1925 National Air Races by Mr. Dormoy in competi­ tion with the Driggs Dart, Powell Racer, and Mummert Sportplane. The m ain purpose of the design was to obtain a practical light­ plane with the utmost in simplic­ ity and economy of construction . As can be seen from the drawings and photographs, the fuselage of the original airplane consisted of a small nacelle in which the pilot and e n gine occupied nearly all available space. The tail surfaces were supported on three steel-

tube longerons with diagonal wire bracing. The cockpit space was very small, and for the 1924 Races the tachometer was mounted in

the winds h ield . The nacelle was of steel-tube, three-Iongeron con­ struction, with sheet aluminum covering. The tail surfaces were of

Harry Thompson 's modified Bath Tub, powered by a Franklin engine, was on the flightline at Oshkosh a number of years ago. His control levers are ... what else, old-style plumbing fixtures.

Editor's Note: The 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 se­ ries, we plan on publishing those LPH articles that would be of interest to VAA members. Enjoy!-HGF 24 DECEMBER 2009


This Is the Dormoy Bath Tub in its original form when It was Introduced by Etienne Dormoy in 1924. Power was a Henderson four-cycle motorcycle engine.

steel tubing, covered with fabric. The wing was of conventional two-spar wood and fabric construc­ tion. The wing bracing was unusual in that the lift truss consisted of a single steel tube on each side with two additional flying wires per side to resist the torsional loads. The lift struts and center-section struts were round tubes with balsa fair­ ing. The fuel tank was mounted in the wing section. The aileron con­



trol system was unconventional in that the aileron balance cable went forward from the aileron horn to the top of the wing where it entered a small, curved tube that guided the cable outside the wing to the leading edge of the wing. The cable then continued inboard along the outside of the leading edge through several fair leads to a turnbuckle located at the center­ line of the airplane.

The landing gear consisted of a hinged-axle member and a com­ pression strut on each side with rubber-cord shock absorbers. Drag loads were taken by two struts on each side running fore and aft from the axle to the single lower longe­ ron of the nacelle. The engine was a converted four­ cylinder Henderson motorcycle engine that developed about 20 hp at 2300 rpm. An air scoop was mounted on the left-hand side to provide better cooling of the cyl­ inder heads. This engine installa­ tion proved to be very reliable at the 1924 National Air Races, where the Bath Tub competed in all three lightplane races and won the Rick­ enbacker Trophy Race of 140 miles at an average speed of 70 mph and with a fuel consumption of 40 miles per gallon. The ship finished second and third, respectively, in the other two lightplane races. The Bath Tub had a gross weight of 425 pounds and a wing area of 85 square feet. The light wing loading of 5 pounds per square foot made the little ship difficult to fly in rough air. The wing span was 24 feet, and the length was 13 feet 5 inches. After the success at the 1924 National Races, Mr. Dormoy rede­ signed the fuselage for better per­ formance at the 1925 Races. The tail booms were done away with and the fuselage was extended aft in a more conventional arrange­ ment. Jury struts were also added to stabilize the long lift struts. However, even with these im­ provements the performance in 1925 was not enough to match the speed of the Powell Racer, which was the winner. Mr. Dormoy later became as­ sociated with the Buhl Aircraft Company in Michigan, and in 1931 he designed the Buhl Bull Pup lightplane, some of which are still in service. ...... VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Ray Lemmon's Stinson 108



or back cover photo and the photos you see on these pages were sent to us by member Ray Lem­ mon, EAA 42686, VAA 717946 of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Ray is a longtime EAAer and re­ tired United Airlines captain with a number of airplane projects to his credit, including a Piper Super Cruiser, which he rebuilt in 1973­ 74, and a Beechcraft D-17 Stag­ gerwing, which he flew for more than nine years back in the 1960s and '70s. This particular project, a 1948 Stinson 108-3 Voyager, NC6183M, serial number 4183, out of more than 5,000 built, was manufac­ tured by Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Company at its Wayne, Michigan, factory. The airplane was owned by Sherman Oxford for many years, until it was sold to Bob Coates in 2001. Unfortu­ nately, it was involved in a wreck on its second test flight after a






Above: A quick run down the snow-covered runway shows the Stinson is ready for flight when the weather breaks.

It was a beautiful winter day, with the snow falling in big flakes, when the Stinson had to be rolled out to be repositioned when rearranging the air­ planes in the hangar at Old School Aviation. Mechanic Christopher Cum­ mings snapped the shots at Van Sant Airport near Erwinna, Pennsylvania.

The post-World War II pe­ riod was a time of great op­ timism in general aviation, and the advertising of the day often showed dapper owners/pilots using their new aerial station wag­ ons to further their busi­ ness interests. It was no coincidence that names such as the Sedan, Sta­ tion Wagon, Super Cruiser, and other automotive-style names were added to airplanes of the day. The expectation that the airplane was expected to replace the car for many businessmen, combined with the marketing that flying was nearly as easy as driving a car, made great fodder for the advertis­ ing industry.

restoration was com­ pleted in 2004, a tragic accident that resulted in Coates later passing away due to his injuries. Ray Lemmon bought the airplane and be­ gan work. The dam­ age to the airplane was confined mostly to the front of the fuselage, re­ quiring weld repairs to the fuselage, a new fire­ wall, and a new engine mount for the Franklin engine, plus all of the sheet metal forward of the baggage door. The right wing also required repairs, as did the land­ ing gear. When the welding repairs were done and it came time to start adding parts instead of taking them off the air­ Two views of the Stinson showing the neat plane , the Stinson was workmanship as it was being restored by Ray moved into his home Lemmon. Now at the "add the parts " portion shop, which, from all of the restoration, it would soon be moved to appearances, has all the Old School Aviation for completion. comforts of u pstairs,"

including a parquet wood floor Airport in Erwinna, Pennsylvania.

They got started on the final leg

and an easy chair! After three years of work at of the project on Valentine's Day home, Lemmon decided that the 2008. While he could also work on project could be finished quicker if the project at Old School, Lemmon he turned it over for completion to was able to see the work acceler­ George Taylor's fixed base operator, ate thanks to the efforts of the air­ Old School Aviation at Van Sant plane's chief restorer, Larry Stangil. II

A close-up view of the repaired section of the fuselage, including the back of the instrument panel and cockpit controls. The box on the left is the glove/map box, while on the right the box has been converted to serve as a position for the radio. The two verti­ cal channels in the foreground are the mounts for the battery holder.

Once the 108-3 was moved to Old School Aviation at Van Sant Airport, covering work could be completed. Here the tapes are having the edges set on the lower fuselage prior to final silver and finish coats.

The beautiful etched-aluminum lower panel combined with the blue stand-off panel containing all the instruments makes for a lovely cockpit. The Stinson had not been modified over the years, making its restoration a bit easier to complete in that regard.

Ray thinks so highly of Stangil's effort that he had a special plaque honoring his work installed in the interior of the faithfully restored Station Wagon. ...... VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Chapter Locator and Info

Visit the VAA chapter nearest you and get to know some great old-airplane enthusiasts! You don't need to be a pilot to join in the fun, just have a love of the great airplanes of yesteryear.



Hayward, CA, VM 29 Meeting: 2nd Thurs., 6:00 p.m. Hayward Airport Executive Hangar William Field, President Phone: 925-463-0589 E-mail:

Lansing, IL, VM 26 Meeting: Contact President Peter Bayer, President Phone: 630-922-3387 E- rna iI:

INDIANA CALIFORNIA Sacramento, CA, VM 25 Meeting: 2nd Sat., 9:00 a.m. See chapter website for location. David Magaw, President Phone: 916-488-0455 E-mail:

Auburn, IN, VM 37 Meeting: 4th Wed., 7:00 p.m. Auburn Airport Chapter Hangar Drew Hoffman, President Phone: 260-693-9747 E-mail: drewhof! Website:


28 DECEMBER 2009

Walnut Cove, NC, VM 3 Meeting: Contact President Susan Dusenbury, President Phone: 336- 591-3931 E-mail:

Overland Park, KS, VM 16 Meeting: 2nd Fri., 7:30 p.m. Contact president for location. Ronald Wright, President Phone: 913-451-1255 E-mail:



Lakeland, FL, VM 1 Meeting: Contact President Jon Baker, President Phone: 863-676-0426 E-mail: Website: http:///

New Iberia, LA, VM 30 Meeting: 1st Sun., 9:00 a.m. LeMaire Memorial Airport Hangar 4 Roland Denison, President Phone: 337-365-3047 E-mail:

Albert Lea, MN, VAA 13 Meeting: 2nd Thurs., 7:00 p.m. Albert Lea Airport FBO Paul Stieler, President Phone: 507-377-2291 E-mail:

NEBRASKA Plattsmouth, NE, VAA 31 Meeting: 1st Sat., 10:30 a.m. Plattsmouth Airport Term Bldg. William Kroeger, President Phone: 402-331-3887 E-mail:

NEW HAMPSHIRE North Hampton, NH, VAA 15 Meeting: 2nd Sat., 11:00 a.m. Hampton Airfield John Maloney, President Phone: 603-580-2590 E-mail:

NEW JERSEY Andover, NJ, VAA 7 Meeting: 1st Sun, 10:30 a.m. Aeroflex-Andover Airport Joe Tapp, President Phone: 908-8]2-3821 E-mail:



Columbus, OH, VAA 38 Meeting: 2nd Sun., 1:00 p.m. Contact president for location. Perry Chappano, President Phone: 614-496-3423 E-mail:

Tulsa, OK, VAA 10 Meeting: 4th Thurs., 7:00 p.m. Hardesty South Regional Library Joe Champagne, President Phone: 918-257-4688 E-mail:



Delaware, OH, VAA 27 Meeting: 3rd Sat., 9:00 a.m. Delaware Municipal Airport Terminal Building Martin Mcintire, President Phone: 740-362-7228 E-mail: Website:

Spring, TX, VAA 2 Meeting: 4th Sun., 2:00 p.m. Dry Creek Airport Fred Ramin, President Phone: 281-444-5309 E-mail:

OHIO Troy, OH, VAA 36 Meeting: Contact President Richard Amrhein, President Phone: 937-335-1444 E-mail:

WISCONSIN Brookfield, WI, VAA 11 Meeting: 1st Mon., 7:30 p.m. Capitol Drive Airport Office James Brown, President Phone: 262-895-6282 E-mail:

Want to Start a VAA Chapter?

It's easy to start a VAA chapter. All you need to get started is five Vintage enthusiasts. Then contact the EAA Chapter Office at 920-426-6867, or e-mail to obtain an EAA Chapter Starter Kit. EAA has tools to help you get in touch with all your local Vintage members, and they'll wall< you through the process of starting a new chapter. VINTAGE AIRPLANE



Fuel and oil systems

Our subject for this issue is fuel and oil systems. So let's get started with some basics. There are two types of fuel systems-I) gravity feed and pressure feed (both can be carbureted), and 2) injected (always pressure feed). Unless modified, all older aircraft used a carbu­ reted system. There are two types of oil systems-wet sump and dry sump. Most older aircraft used dry sump systems because they were powered by radial engines. Dry sump systems carry the oil in an external tank, while wet sump systems carry the oil in the main crankcase of the engine.

systems are similar to gravity feed but operate at a higher carburetor fuel inlet pressure. This pressure is boosted by an engine-driven, vane-type fuel pump . The pump pressure is adjustable; I usually set the pres­ sure to the middle of the range of operation. Most sys­ tems of this type operate at 3-5 psi, so I set the pressure at 4 psi . There must be an emergency backup pump, which may be hand-operated (wobble) or electrically driven. When the pump is op­ erated it should not raise fuel pressure above the maximum al­ lowed. There will be a bourdon­ type fuel gauge to indicate fuel flow pressure . Gauge pressure should be taken at the inlet to the carburetor. Now, let's start at the top of the system and work down.

Gravity feed

GRAVITY FEED FUEL SYS­ TEMS: Gravity feed fuel systems are the most common among older aircraft. They are simple in operation and require no engine­ driven or auxiliary fuel pump. Gravity feed systems operate at a very low carburetor inlet pres­ sure, generally 0.5-1.0 psi. The pressure depends on the height of the fuel tank above the car­ buretor inlet; 39 inches will give the system 1.0 psi of positive fuel pressure. Therefore, no engine­ driven fuel pump is necessary. Pressure feed systems use an engine-driven pump with an auxiliary hand (wobble) or electrically driven pump . These systems normally operate at a pressure of 3-5 psi. Therefore, fuel flow is greater in a pressure feed system over a gravity feed sys­ tem . It is important to note that g rav ity f eed carbu­ retors w ill not work on pressure feed systems, and pressure feed carbs won't work on gravity feed syst em s.

carburetors will not work on pressure

feed systems,

FUEL TANK: Originally made from Terneplate and soft-soldered together, these tanks were heavy when compared with aluminum. Terneplate is thin steel sheet coated with lead for corrosion protection. Because these materi­ als are weldable, it is common to remanufacture tanks using alumi­ num alloys 3003 or 5052. Tanks have internal baffles for structural support and to keep fuel from sloshing around in the tank. Tanks are con­ structed to withstand an internal pressure of 3 psi. Tanks have sumps to drain water and sediment from the lowest portion of the tank. They are vented to the atmosphere; if two tanks are interconnected, their vent lines are also interconnected.

and pressure feed

carbs won't work on

gravity feed systems.


FUEL ST RAINER: Usually mounted on the for­ ward side of the firewall (but some were mounted in

the rear cockpit), the gascolatorlstrainer will remove sediment before it enters the carburetor. There is a means to drain water condensation from the unit. It mayor may not be the lowest point in the system. The correct nomenclature for this unit is gascolator.

diameters for radial engines up to 225 hp are 3/8 inch, and for engines to 450 hp, 1/2 inch. I use the Boeing Stearman as an example when there is no factory data on fuel line size. The Stearman used fuel lines that are 1/2 inch in diameter.

SHUT-OFF/SELECTOR VALVE: Located on the aft side of the firewall, the fuel valve directs and shuts off fuel to the carburetor. The valve should be plainly marked to show fuel quantity in each tank, and the pointer should show from which tank the engine is drawing. The valve must positively shut off the fuel. There must be positive detents in the valve so the valve feels as though it "snaps" into place. Remove the fuel line to the carburetor and ensure there is no flow of fuel with the valve in the "off" pOSition. If automo­ tive fuel is used, check the inside diameter of the flex­ ible hose from the gascolator to the carburetor; I use a 3/8-inch or l/2-inch wood dowel rounded on one end to accomplish this task. Because of additives to the gasoline, automotive fuel can cause swelling of flexible lines. This check should be done at each annual inspec­ tion. Swelling of the inner-tube diameter can cause fuel starvation to the engine, with disastrous results.

TROUBLESHOOTING: Other than checking screens and looking for leaks, there isn't much to look for. Always check lines for chafing; chafing can even­ tually cause a hole to be rubbed into the line. Sump drains may continually leak as seals wear or debris col­ lects in the drain seat area. Pressure systems should be monitored on the pressure gauge for any changes in operating pressure. A lowering of the pressure could indicate pump wear.

CARBURETOR: Often overlooked during restora­ tion is the type of carburetor to be installed. Gravity systems use a carburetor capable of operation at low fuel pressures. Gravity systems often work at fuel pres­ sures up to 1.0 psi. The carburetor overhaul manual will tell you which part-numbered carburetors are gravity feed and which are pressure feed . As the fuel enters the carburetor, it is again strained. At the fuel inlet there is another small screen that sho uld be periodically inspected, particularly during the an­ nual inspection. ENGINE-DRIVEN FUEL PUMPS: Pumps are usu­ ally a vane-type pump, the sliding vanes producing a low positive pressure. A means to adjust pressure is included on the pump. The drive shaft has a "shear" section to protect the engine in case of pump seizure. EMERGENCY FUEL PUMP : A common type is a hand-operated "wobble" pump. Later installations may use an electric boost pump. There should be a means to adjust output boost pressure to the carbure­ tor. Some pumps have a small screen incorporated to further strain the fuel before it enters the carburetor. LINES &: FITTINGS: Fuel lines are commonly made from aluminum alloy 5052 tubing. This alloy is easily bent and flared. The flaring angle is 37 degrees (not automotive type, which is flared at 45 degrees). Aluminum AN fittings are to be used; blue anodizing on the fittings identifies them as aluminum . The tub­ ing should be clamped every 18 inches. Common tube

OIL SYSTEMS: All radial engines were equipped with dry sump oil systems. Dry sump systems had an external oil tank, while wet sump systems had the oil contained within the engine case. Now, let's look at the system components in detail. ENGINE-DRIVEN OIL PUMP: These pumps were gear type and had two functions: 1) to provide positive oil pressure to the engine, and 2) to scavenge oil from the engine sumps and return it to the tank. Therefore the scavenge side of the pump had twice the capacity as the pressure side. The engine-driven pump contains a suction inlet check valve, the purpose of which is to block oil from entering the pump when the engine is not running. However, it seems that if the oil tank is mounted above the pump inlet, oil will seep around the check valve and flow into the lower cylinders, creating the dreaded hydraulic lock. Always turn the prop at least 14 blades before starting. If in doubt, remove one spark plug from the lower cylinders, start and run the engine with the plugs out, then shut down and reinstall the plugs. Then clean the engine and fuselage of all the oil that was blown out of the lower cylinders! OIL TANK: Most small, single-row radial engines carried from 4 to 8 gallons of oil. The amount of oil carried is determined by th e airframe designer. Tanks were designed to withstand an internal pressure of 5 psi, so they were well baffled and made of heavy Terne­ plate or aluminum . Some aircraft were equipped with an oil shut-off valve to keep oil from entering the en­ gine when not running. But this was always dangerous if the pilot forgets to turn on the oil prior to starting.

"Y" DRAIN: The "Y" drain is installed at the lowest point of the system and allows oil to be drained from the tank. Some "Y" drains had a built-in fuel dilution port that allowed the pilot to introduce fuel into the oil system to dilute the oil for cold starting. OIL COOLER: If installed, the oil radiator is used to VINTAGE AIRPLANE


cool the oil before it re-enters the engine. Oil coolers are equipped with a thermostat valve that directs oil through the cooler when a certain temperature is reached. Oil coolers are best repaired by sending them out to a repair shop for overhaul and test. Coolers were made of brass and soft-soldered together during assembly.

ing some type of failure. J've heard stories of metal con­ tamination in a newly overhauled engine, only to be found that it came from the tank or cooler and not the newly overhauled engine. A flexible line should always be installed from the engine to the firewall to sense oil pressure. A synthetic rubber hose is recommended.

TROUBLESHOOTING: Once the pressure has been LINES, FITTINGS, &: HOSE: Since they carry lit­ set at the pressure pump, it should only vary in pres­ tle or no pressure, oil lines are made from 3003 alu­ minum tubing usually 1 inch in diameter. The ends sure due to temperature. The oil system in an engine are beaded to accept hose and clamps. The fittings is complex, and on Single-row radials, only one pump are brass or aluminum and are coded AN840, AN842, is used to pressure and scavenge the oil. Oil will seek and AN844. Hose is Mil-H-6000, which is fuel- and the path of least resistance, so if a clearance between two parts increases, the oil will oil-resistant. Clamps are stain­ be pushed through at this point. less-steel worm-type clamps. This will cause a drop in oil pres­ Worm-type clamps tend to stay sure. Rather than adjusting the round when tightened, while pressure, one should investigate the older clamps will move to and locate the real problem. This an out-of-round condition when could be easier said than done, as over-tightened. Note: Use only oil lines some disassembly of the engine enough torque on the clamps to may be required. stop seepage, and no more . Do not over-tighten clamps. Normal

CHOOS ING OIL : The fol­

torque for clamps is a mere 20-25 lowing represents my opi nion. inch-pounds. When assembling There will be other opinions, and the aluminum tubing, the tubing all lines should not touch and the maxi­ one should choose what he or she mum separation should be one thinks best for the engine. J have always broken in a newly over­ tube diameter. hauled engine with pure mineral INSTRUMENTATION: Pres­ oil, either SO or 60 weight, what­ sure and temperature gauges are ever the overhaul manual recom­ provided in the cockpit to mon­ mends. Assuming the engine had itor oil. These gauges are bour­ some test-stand time, I generally don-tube type, the pressure gauge run the new engine long enough being connected to a pressure port on the engine case by to check for operation and leaks. Then test flight at a a flex line to the firewall, then to the instrument by alu­ high power setting for one hour; then check all screens minum tubing. The temperature gauge has a shielded for contamination. At 10 hours of time I drain and re­ line filled with a liquid, which vaporizes and expands as place the oil, check the screens, and do a cylinder leak­ the oil temperature increases; this is what is known as a age check of the engine and also a close inspection of vapor-pressure indicator. Methyl chloride is a common the engine and controls. The next oil change is done fluid used in the sensing bulb. The sensing bulb at the at 25 hours of time. The oil is drained, cylinder leakage end of the line probes heat either in the crankcase or the checked, and a close inspection made of the engine oil line. Never cut the capillary line to shorten it! The and controls. liqUid will turn to a gas under atmospheric pressure. If One should keep a close accounting of the oil that there is excess length of line, it will have to be coiled must be added to the tank during run-in. When oil and clamped, preferably behind the instrument panel. consumption decreases, the rings have seated, and at this point the engine can continue on mineral oil or MAINTENANCE: The chafing of oil lines can cause be switched to ashless dispersant (AD) oil. My prefer­ failure with disastrous results. Check all lines for secu­ ence is to run the engine another 25 hours on mineral rity, chafing, and leaks. Tighten hose clamps to about oil, then switch to AD oil. Having said that, I have just 20-25 pounds of torque. Once a hose is saturated with completed the break-in of a Continental W-670 engine oil, continued tightening of the clamp will not stop using SO-weight AeroShell ashless dispersant oil, with excellent results. However, always follow the recom­ the seep; replace the hose. If the engine is to be re­ placed for any reason, remove and flush the oil tank mendations of the overhaul shop. Perhaps this could and cooler (if installed). This is especially important if be a future column. Most overhaul shops still recom­ metal is found in the main or sump oil screen, indicat­ mend engine break-in using straight mineral oil. ~

The chafing



cause failure

with disastrous results. Check

for security, chafing, and leaks.



Jim Ostrich La Mesa, Co

• Pilot since 1980 • Also has a Beech T-34, North American T-28C, L-29 Delfin Jet and a North American built L-17A

Norma and the folks at AUA Insurance are friendly, helpful, and most importantly they get the BEST RATES out there for antique / taildragger insurance. They worked with me to get a check pilot in the local area to where I purchased the aircraft, to get me safe and competent in the aircraft (Beech 18) and have been great ever since. I have owned the C-45 (BE-1 8) for two years and love flying it.

- Jim Ostrich ky"

. land "Airport in the S 18) at Catalina fo his 0<:-3. . Jim's C-45 (BE William wrigley r Here IS . ' 1930'5 by I built In the


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Send your answer t o EAA, Vintage Airplane, P.O . Box 3086,

Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086 . Your answer needs to be in n o later t han January 15 for inclu sion in the March 2010 iss u e of Vintage A i rplane.

You can also send your re­ sponse via e-mail. Send your answer to Be sure to inclu de you r name p lus your city and st at e in the bod y of your not e and put "(Month) Mystery Plane" in the su b ject line.


Mexico, before attend­ ing St. Peter's College at Jersey City, New Jersey, where he studied engi­ neering for three years. "Radical" is, per­ haps, the best word that describes the 1921 Remington-Burnelli RB-1 (T. T. Remington was Burnelli 's partner). Thoroughly described in the pages of Aerial Burnelli's second "lifting body," the RB-2. Age Weekly and Flight, he September Mystery Plane the RB-1 was, like the Lawson C-2, a was of such an unusual pro­ giant for its day. In an obvious depar­ file I wasn't surprised that ture from conventional design prac­ many of you experienced tice, the "lifting fuselage" feature of "vintage airplaners" spotted it right the RB-1 was, to say the least, unique. away. Here's Wes Smith's answer: How Burnelli came to the conclusion Vincent Justus Burnelli (spelled that the fuselage could be aerody­ "Buranelli" in early aeronautical lit­ namically useful (the lift generated by erature) was born at Temple, Texas, the fuselage was said to be about 40 on 22 November 1895. He attended percent of the total) is unclear. He was school at Temple and at Monterrey, certainly an original thinker, although

T 34


the concept of "blended wing-bod­ ies" dates at least as far back as 1909, when Dr. Hugo Junkers proposed the notion. In any case, the RB-1 (built by the Remington-Burnelli Aircraft Corp. at Amityville, Long Island, New York) was powered by two 420-hp Liberty V-12s buried inside the fuselage. The biplane wings spanned 74 feet, and the 14-foot wide (at the front) fuse­ lage, when added to the elevator and propellers, gave the RB-1 an overall length of 41 feet 2 inches. The airfoil cross section of the fuselage is only described as "special," while the wing used an M-2 airfoil. A maximum height of 18 feet and loaded weight of 14,637 pounds made the RB-1 truly a "large" airplane. Life of the RB-1 was relatively brief. It was destroyed in a storm on Staten Island in 1923. In­ terestingly, the engines of the RB-1 ended up in the Sikorsky S-29A, ac­ cording to an interview conducted with Burnelli by Harvey Lippincott.

(Harvey was the official historian for United Aircra{t/United Technologies for many years.-Ed.)

countered trouble over Rhode Is­ land when it ran out of fuel and crash-landed in a swamp. The wicker cha irs, mounted only temporar­ ily, created havoc during the "land­ ing" when passengers where tossed about the cabin. Luckily, they only suffered minor injuries. After repair at the Broad Street location, the air­ craft was returned to Brainard Field. Photos taken of the interior appear to show that at least one Ford auto was carried by the RB-2. Another source states that the aircraft toured the United States carrying an Essex coupe and eight passengers. In 1964, the sign of the Garvan-Burnelli Air­ craft Corp. was found on the prop­ erty. Unfortunately, the fate of the RB-2 is unknown to this author. After the RB-2, Burnelli continued to refine his concept and built sev­ era l more "lifting fuselage" designs through the end of World War II. Burnelli died on 22 June 1964 at the age of 69, on Long Island, New York. For many years Chalmers H. Good­

lin took up where Burnelli left off, complete with conspiracy theories on who was trying to kill Burnelli's work. In more recent years, aI/12th scale flying model of the RB-2 has been successfully flown, and plans for a radio-controlled model of the RB-2 are being offered for around $25. Perhaps not the bonanza Bur­ nelli had hoped for, but still an inter­ esting model airplane. Regards, Wesley R. Smith Springfield, Illinois

Burnelli did not quit with the destruction of the RB-l, although Remington had enough by 1924 and pulled out of their partnership early in the construction of the RB­ 2. Burnelli's second "lifting body," the RB-2 (the September 2009 Mys­ tery Plane), was an incremental im­ provement over Burnelli's original design. The fuselage, now covered with corrugated duralumin, had a volumetric capacity of 14 feet by 15 Other correct answers were re­ feet by 6 feet 6 inches. The rectan­ gular construction of the Burnelli ceived from Toby Gursanscky, Syd­ ney, Australia; Glenn Robinson, fuselage was also considered to be Lagro, Indiana; Wayne Muxlow, an advantage in case of a crash, due Minneapolis, Minnesota; Alan Bu­ to the added structural strength. chner, Pine Mountain Lake, Cali­ Relocating to Hartford, Connecti­ fornia; Joe Stamm, Chagrin Falls, cut, Burnelli now joined forces with Ohio; Russ Brown, Lyndhurst, Ohio; Thomas Garvan, of the Garvan Pa­ Wayne Van Valkenburgh, Jasper, per Company. Designed as a cargo Georgia; Tom Lymburn, Princeton, aircraft, and dubbed The Flying Show­ Minnesota; and Ev Cassagneres, room by flying with a Ford Model T, Cheshire, Connecticut. .... the RB-2, now a product of the Gar­ van-Burnelli Aircraft Corp., was even l-~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~­ larger than the RB-l. With a span of 80 feet, a length of 46 feet, and a height of 19 feet 6 inches, the RB-2 weighed 9,800 pounds empty and 16,500 pounds loaded. Powered by two British Galloway Engineering Atlantic engines of 500 hp, the RB-2 had a VMAX of 102 mph. A subsidiary of Beardmore, the Galloway Atlantic was a V-12 based on BHP cylinders and a twin Puma block. It first ran in October of 1917 and was built in the It's called rejuvenation, and it works great with real dozens for the de Havilland D.H . 15 dope finishes. Spray our rejuvenator over aged dope; and Handley Page V/1500. In fact, it soaks in and restores flexibility for years of added it was the most powerful British en­ gine at the end of the Great War. The life. It can even hide hairline cracks. And no finish four-wheel undercarriage of the RB-l has the foot-deep luster of was also refined, being replaced with twin wheels. authentic polished dope. Only detail parts of the RB-2 were built at the Garvan-Burnelli Aircraft Roll back the calendar on Corp., located at 1840 Broad St., in your plane's finish! Hartford. The aircraft was actually as­ sembled in a hangar at Curtiss Field on Long Island and was initially test­ flown there before being flown to Brainard Field near Hartford, where it was based. Flown by Lt. George Pond, U.S. Navy, the RB-2 soon en­

Well, for fabric-covered airplanes, anyway... we got the idea from Ponce.




beyond aviation. These women have been there, they've done it, and you get to "hear" it in their own words. One lesson that rings loud and clear throughout this book is that with hard work, determination, and commitment, you can do anything you set your sights on.-Kristy Hemp

A Hunger for the Sky By Sparky Barnes Sargent A Hunger for the Sky recounts the paths of nine women from age 28 to 98 who, through desire and passion, found their own unique way into the world of aviation. Each story begins at childhood and finishes with what the women aviators are doing today. Sparky Barnes Sargent takes you on a journey through their trials and tri­ umphs to reaching their goals. You'll find yourself connecting with and rooting for each woman. This book explores the different aviation careers each woman chose, the path she took, and in some cases, the path she paved . Some found aviation early on, but oth­ ers discovered it late in life. You'll get to know Evelyn Bryan Johnson, who learned to fly when World War II was coming to an end and has logged more than 57,635 hours of flight time; Sandy Mercandetti, a single mother who started flying in her mid-30s and went on to be an airline pilot; Suzanne Asbury-Oliver, the only professional female sky­ writer in the nation; and six other amazing women in aviation. A Hunger for the Sky should be on the must-read list for every woman today, especially young women. It not only covers career options, but also teaches life lessons that stretch 36


(Editor's Note: I enjoyed reading Sparky's book as well, as [ do all her articles, but one biography really got my attention. The story of Vi Blowers was delightful. She is a la, _/ from Ohio whom [ first met over a decade ago at Oshkosh when she displayed the KR-21 she owned with her friend Brown Dil­ lard. It was as fun to read as it is to sit and chat with Vi in personf-HGF)

Harold F. Pitcairn-

Aviator, Inventor, and Developer of the Autogiro by Carl R. Gunther I realize it's a cliche to say that a book represents "a lifetime of work," but in this case it fits the project perfectly. Carl Gunther's father, Ariel C. Gunther, learned to fly at Pitcairn Aviation in 1925, and Carl can't remember a time when he wasn't interested in avi­ ation. The story of Pitcairn was meant to be preserved by him, for Carl knew both Harold Pitcairn

and his son, Stephen. Thanks to his dedication to the history of early American aviation on the East Coast of the United States, and to the story of Pitcairn in particular, he was asked by the Pitcairn family to thoroughly re­ search the records of Pitcairn's avi­ ation companies, beginning with the fixed base operator founded by Harold, all the way through the arduous patent litigation that finally ended years after Harold Pitcairn's untimely passing. The book, comprised of 729 pages, is an in-depth review of the correspondence by Harold and his contemporaries in the industry, both as an operator of a pioneer­ ing airmail line and as he founded the Autogiro business in the United States. In reading the correspon­ dence it's clear that Harold Pitcairn was a man dedicated to the prom­ ise of safety the Autogiro seemed to possess, and that despite financial and legal hurdles that often would have stopped others cold, he kept at it until his end. Harold F. Pitcairn-Aviator, Inven­ tor, and Developer of the Autogiro isn't a "quick read," and it isn't intended to be so; it's a deep historical refer­ ence that is quite readable thanks to Gunther's smooth transitional text and the conversational style of Pit­ cairn's letter writing, with a gener­ ous sprinkling of sharp photographs from the Pitcairn files and the au­ thor's collection. The combination makes it quite enjoyable, and gives insight to a time when the ability to express oneself well via a letter was considered not only a necessity, but an art.-H.G. Frautschy Published by the Bryn Athyn College Press; distributed by the Sweden borg Scientific Association. Order by calling 215-914-2986 or online at www.newphilosophyonline. org. Available in both cloth and softcover editions. ISBN: 978-0-910557-75-7 ........

Drive one.


And People Like What We're Saying."

2010 Ford Fusion "America's most fuel efficient mid-size sedan" "The four-cylinder Ford Fusion S is certified at 34 mpg highway and 23 mpg in the city, topping the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord." "The Fusion 1-4 joins the all-new 41 mpg Ford Fusion Hybrid, already at the top of the mpg tables." "The 2010 Ford Fusion Sis powered by a new 2.5-liter Duratec mated to a fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission." "The Ford Fusion is the only AWD V6 sedan in its class."

Peach State

EM calendar of Aviation Events Is Now Online EAA's online Calendar of Events is the "go-to" spot on the Web to list and find aviation events in your area, The user·friendly, searchable format makes it the perfect web-based tool for planning your local trips to afly·in. In EAA's online Calendar of Events, you can search for events at any given time within acertain radius of any airport by entering the identifier or a ZIP code, and you can further define your search to look for just the types of events you'd like to attend. We invite you to access the EAA online Calendar of Events at http://

continued from page 17

the Easter Bunny, various air­ plane gatherings (Aeronca, Cub, 70 mph fly-in), and a Veterans Day fly-in. Alexander himself is a Vietnam veteran who received the Distinguished Flying Cross for a resupply mission he flew for Spe­ cial Forces. "SO that's a real pas­ sion for me," he emphasized. lilt's real important that the veterans be recognized from World War II on up. That's the main event we have here, as far as I'm concerned. And we get a big response from locals with that, and that's what we're looking for. We're here for everybody, and that's the crux of it-we are not exclusive to avia­ tion people." Captivated by the intrigue of a bygone era, visitors both young and young-in-spirit find themselves drawn to Peach State Aerodrome, home of Candler Field Museum. Once there, they each contribute their own richly textured threads to this tangible tapestry of time­ whether their interests are antique wings or wheels or just old-time family fun. Rides are available (by prior arrangement) in a Waco YMF-5 on the weekends from June through September, and for those who crave just a bit more time in the air, Tim Preston offers on-site tailwheel instruction in his J-3 Cub and Stearman. All are welcome to visit and fly through the Georgia skies, or simply relax and let the southern breezes caress their coun­ tenances as they trade at least a few moments of today for a few mo­ ments of yesteryear. For more information, visit www. or contact Ron Alexander by phone at 770-467­ 9490 or e-mail at ronalexander@ The aerodrome (GA2) is located just inside Atlanta's 30-nm veil in Williamson, Georgia, and has a 2,400-foot by 100-foot grass runway, with a field elevation of 950 feet mean sea level. Avgas is available (pilots are advised to ver­ ify fuel availability). ....... 38


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October 21-23, 2010

www, For details on hund reds of upco mi ng aviation happenings, incl uding EAA chapter fly-ins, Young Eagles ra ll ies, and oth er local aviation events, visit the EAA Calendar of Events located at,


Vintage Tires Something to buy, sell, or trade? Cl assified Word Ads : $5.50 pe r 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. Adve rt ising Closing Dates: 10th of second 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 accepted via phone . Payment must accompany order. Word ads may be sent via fax (920-426-6845) or e-mail (c/ using credit card payment (all cards accepted ). Include name on card , complete address , type of card, card number, and expiration date . Make checks payable to EAA. Address advertising correspondence to EAA Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh , WI 54903-3086 .


Flying wires available. 1994 pricing. Visit or call 800-517-9278., Aviations' Leading Marketplace

New USA Production Show off your pride and joy with a fresh set of Vintage Rubber. These newly minted tires are FAA-TSO'd and speed rated to 120 MPH. Some things are better left the way they were, and in the 40's and 50's, these tires were perfectly in tune to the exciting times in aviation. Not only do these tires set your vintage plane apart from the rest, but also look exceptional on all General Aviation aircraft. Deep 8/32nd tread depth offers above average tread life and UV treated rubber resists aging. First impressions last a lifetime, so put these bring back the good times ..... New Gener al Aviation Sizes Available:

500 x 5, 600 x 6, 700 x 8

Desser has the largest stock and selection of Vintage and Warbird tires in the world. Contact us with


TIRE &: RUBBER COMPANY Of Aviallon Since 1920....




Telephone: 800-247-8473 or 323-721-4900 FAX: 323-721 -7888

6900 Acco St. , Montebello, CA 90640 3400 Chelsea Ave, Memphis, TN 38106

AIRPLANE T-SHIRTS 150 different airplanes available. WE PROBABLY HAVE YOUR AIRPLANE! or call 1-800-645-7739. We also do Custom T-shirts and Caps for Clubs.


Southern Utah # 1 Airpark in Southwest. Grassy Meadows Sky Ranch UT 47. Rare Find: Mega home with 7,000 sq ft Hangar, runway access, on 2.6 Acres. Nice selection of Hangar/Homes & Lots on 1 to 2.5 Acres for Sale. www.s/ or Call Nick Berg 435-668-3800.


Always Flying Aircraft Restoration, LLC: Annual Inspections, Airframe recovering, fabric repairs and complete restorations. Wayne A. Forshey A&P & I.A. 740-472足 1481 Ohio and bordering states

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 Check the News page for a hyperlink to Want To Send Us A Photograph? For more Information, you can also e-mail us at vlntagealrcraft@ or call us at 920-426-4825. VINTAGE AIRPLANE


Membershi~ Services Directory VINTAGE



~ TM

OFFICERS Preside nt Geo ff Robiso n

Vice· Preside nt

George Daubner

152 1E. MacG regor Dr.

N5 7W3483 7 Pondview Ln

New Haven , IN 46774

Oconomowoc, W I 53066



sec retary

262·560- 1949


Steve Nesse

2009 Highl and Ave.


C ha rles W. Harris

72 15 East 46th SI.


cwh@hv5u. com

Albert Lea, MN 56007

507·373·1 674

Tulsa, OK 74147



Steve Be nder

85 Brush Hill Road

SIJerborn, MA 01 770


Jean nie Hill

1'.0. Box 328

Harvard, IL60033-0328


ss t 1O@COIncas l .lIet

David Be nn ett

375 Killdeer Ct

Lincoln, CA 95648


Espi e "But ch " Joyce

704 N. Regional Rd .

Greensboro, NC 27409


Qntiquer@inreacll .co1ll

Jerry Brow n

Dan Knutso n 106 Te na Ma rie Circle



4605 Hickory Wood Row Greenwood, IN46 143 317-422·9366 Dave Cla rk

635 Vesta l La ne

Plainfield, IN46168


Lodi, WI 53555 608-592-7224 Steve Krog

1002 Hea ther Ln .

Hartford, WI 53027 262-966-7627

Phone (920) 426-4800

EAA and Division Membership Services (8:00 AM-7:00 PM Monday-Friday CST) 80()'564·6322 FAX 920-42&4873 www.eaa.orglmemberbenefits •New/ renew memberships •Address changes • Merchandise sales ' Gift memberships

EM AirVenture Oshkosh 888-3224636 www.airventure.or,{ Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Hotline 877-359-1232 www.sportpilot.o'i Programs and Activities Auto Fuel STCs 920-42&4843 Education/ Aeroscholars 920-426-6570 • EM Air Academy 920-426-6880 www.airacademy.or,{ • EM Scholarships 920-426-6823 Right Instructor information 920-426-6801 www.eaa.oJ:&L!1afi Library Services/Research 920-42&4848 Benefits AUA Vintai!e Insurance Plan 80()'727·3823 EM Aircraft Insurance Plan 866-6474322 www.eaa.o!SL.memberbenefits EM VISA Card 80Q.853-5576 ext. 8884 EAA Hertz Rent·A-Car Program 80().654­ 2200 www.eaa.orglhertz EM Enterprise Rent-A-Car Program 877421-3722 www.eaa.orglenterprise Editorial 920-42&4825 VAA Office FAX 920-426-6579

do vecpd@a tt .lI £'l

sskrog@aoi .com

Northborough, MA 01532 508-393-4775

Robert D. "Hob" Lumley 1265 South 124th SI. Brookfield, WI 53005 262-782-2633

copela nd l @jw

Illmpf.'f(g~xecpc . com


S. H. "Wes" Schmid

Membership in the Experimental Aircraft AssociatiDn, Inc. is $40 for one year, inelud­ ing 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. Family membership is an additiona l $10 ann uall y. Junior Membership (under 19 years of age) is available at $23 annually, All major credit cards accepted for membership. (A dd $16 for

Ph il Coul so n

284 15 Springbrook Dr.

Lawton, MI 49065


rCDu/son S I

2359 Lefeber Ave nue

Wauwatosa, WI 5321 3

414-77 1-1 545

sIJscf/mid@smail. com

Dal e A. Gu stafso n

7724 Shady Hills Dr. Indianapo li s, IN 46278




9345 S. Hoyne Chicago, IL 60643 773-779-2 105

Robert C. Brauer

E.E. "Buck" Hilbert 8102 Leech Rd. Union, IL 60180 815-923-459 1

pllotopiiot@aoi .cotll

buck 7ac@g m

Gen e C hase

Gen e M o rris

5936 Steve Court

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

Roanoke, TX 76262

81 7-491-9 110

GRCHA @cirarter. lIet

gellem orris@Cil art f'

Kent City, MI 49330 616-678·50 12

Ro nald C. Fritz

15401 Spart a Ave.

J~~nB~~rft~n New Egypt, NJ 08533 609·758-29 IO

r Fritz@path waYllel .com

j r tll rgya'14 @aoi. com


dwalker@eaa.or tdeimer@eaa,org membership@eaa.orJ!.


Foreign Postage,)

tia le(a)'t'€Pm s" .com

888-EAA-INFO (3224636)

EAA Members Information Line Use this toll·free number for: information about AirVenture Oshkosh; aeromedical and technical aviation questions;

chapters; and Young Eagles. Please have your membership number ready when calling.

Office hours are 8:15 a.m .. 5:00 p.m. (Monday· Friday, CST)

John S. Copel. nd 1A Deacon Street

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Sites: www.vintngeaircraf/.org, www.ain', E-Mail: vintageaircra{

EAA SPORT PILOT Current EAA members may add EAA SPOR T PILO T magazine for an add itiona l $20 per year. EAA Membership and EAA SPOR T PIL OT magazine is availab le for $40 per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not ineluded). (A dd $16 for Foreign Postage.)

VINTAGE AIRCRAFf ASSOCIATION Current EAA members may joi n t h e Vintage Aircraft Association and receive VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine for an ad­ ditional $36 per year. EAA Membership, VINTAGE AIRPLANE magaZine and one year membership in the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $46 per year (SPORT AVIATION magaZine nDt ineluded). (A dd $7 fo r Foreign Postage.)


Current EAA members may join the International Aerobatic Club, Inc. Divi­ sion and receive SP OR T AER OBATICS magaZine fo r an additional $45 per year. EAA Membership, SPOR T AER OBAT­ I CS magazine and one year membership in t he lAC Division is availab le for $55 per year (SPOR T AVIATION magazine not incl u ded) . (A dd $18 f or Fore ign


WARBIRDS Current EAA members may join the EAA Warbirds of America Division and receive WARBIRDS magazine for an additional $45 per year. EAA Membe rship, WA RBIRDS maga­ zine and o n e year membersh i p in the Warbirds Division is available for $55 per year (SPORT AVIATION magaZine not ineluded). (A dd $7 for Foreign Postage.)

FOREIGN MEMBERSHIPS Please submit yo u r remittance with a check or draft drawn on a United States bank payable in United States dollars. Add requ ired Foreign Postage amount for each membership.

Membership due s to EAA and its divisions are not tax deductible as charitable contri butions

Copyright 1:12009 by the EM Vintage Aircraft Association, All rights reserved.

VINTAGE AIRPlANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by the EM Vintage Aircraft Association of the Experimental Aircraft Association and is published monthly at EM

Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Rd., PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903-3086, e-mail: Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of Vintage Airplane

magazine, is $36 per year for EM members and 546 for non-EM members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Vintage Airplane, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. PM 40063731 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Pitney Bowes IMS, Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5. FOREIGN AND APO ADDRESSES - Please allow at least two months for delivery of VINTAGE AIRPlANE to foreign and APO addresses via surface mail. ADVERTISING - Vintage Aircraft Association does not guarantee or endorse any product offered through the advertising. We invite constructive criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained through our advertising so that corrective measures can be taken.

EDITORIAL POLICY: Members are encouraged to subm~ stories and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests entirely with the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material should be sent to: Ed~or, VINTAGEAIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800. EM®and EM SPORT AVIATION®, the EM Logo® and Aerooautica'" are registered trademar1<s, trademari<s, and service mar1<s of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. The use of these trademar1<s and service marks wrthout the permission of the Experimental Aircraft Associatk>n, Inc. is strictly prohibited.


D ECEM B E R 2009


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