AUA, Inc is a proud sponsor of the AeroShell Team for 2011. We want to invite you to stop at our booth B-57 at Sun-N-Fun and meet the AeroShell Team. We will post times when they can be available.
To better serve our customers and the aviation community, AUA, Inc., Greensboro, NC and Henley Insurance Agency, Birmingham, AL have joined forces.
Be sure and stop by our booth to meet our AUA team. We will have agents at the booth to give you competitive quotations for your aircraft insurance.
We look forward to seeing you at Sun-N-Fun!
AUA is Vintage Aircraft Association approved. To become a member of VAA call 800-843-3612.
Aviation insurance with the EAA Vintage Program offers: Lower premiums with payment options QAdditional coverages On-line quote request available QAUA is licensed in all states
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A I R P L A N E Vol. 39, No. 3
M A R C H
Straight & Level Planning ahead by Geoff Robison
VAA Friends of the Red Barn Campaign by H.G. Frautschy
Curtiss Robin . . . a few barnstormers. . .and a young girl named Pearl by Sparky Barnes Sargent
My Friend Frank Rezich, Part VI The Aerospace Years by Robert G. Lock
Wheel Landings Magnified Fine tuning an art by Eric Gourley
Light Plane Heritage The Ford Flivver by Robert F. Pauley
The Vintage Mechanic Landing gears and shock struts by Robert G. Lock
Mystery Plane by H.G. Frautschy
The Vintage Instructor Things learned on the first real cross-country by Steve Krog, CFI
It’s a Buyer’s Market . . . But what are you buying? by Norma Joyce
EAA Publisher Director of EAA Publications Executive Director/Editor Production/Special Project Photography Copy Editor Senior Art Director EAA Chairman of the Board
Rod Hightower Mary Jones H.G. Frautschy Kathleen Witman Jim Koepnick Colleen Walsh Olivia P. Trabbold Tom Poberezny
Publication Advertising: Manager/Domestic, Sue Anderson Tel: 920-426-6127 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 920-426-4828
Senior Business Relations Mgr, Trevor Janz Tel: 920-426-6809 Email: email@example.com
sion, now the Vintage Aircraft Association. Throughout the next two years we’ll highlight some of the people, airplanes, and events that have been a part of our history. This shot of Ed “Skeeter” Carlson’s Curtiss JN-4C Canuck, the Canadian version of the venerable Curtiss Jenny, was taken in front of the Red Barn while it was a part of the “Jennys to Jets” celebration during EAA Oshkosh 1989. EAA photo by Jim Koepnick. BACK COVER: Continuing our series of old magazine covers, this issue of Air Trails, like last month’s issue, features cover artwork by Frank Tinsley. Tinsley’s well-drawn art must be considered “interpretive”; the final details don’t always match the real aircraft! The Aeronca on floats on this July 1937 issue, like the illustration on last month’s issue, is a great example. It’s a combination of a C-3 nose and a pre-war Chief tail, with a bit of the K model mixed in. See page 34 for our attempt at identifying the airplanes on this issue. (Except for the little one on the left side, in the center. If defies identification!)
Manager/European-Asian, Willi Tacke Phone: +49(0)1716980871 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT COVER: 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of EAA’s Antique/Classic Divi-
Fax: +49(0)8841 / 496012
Interim Coordinator/Classified, Alicia Canziani Tel: 920-426-6860 Email: email@example.com
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 1
STRAIGHT & LEVEL GEOFF ROBISON PRESIDENT, VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION
Planning Ahead With the Centennial of Naval Aviation and of U.S. Air Mail service, EAA and VAA are putting together celebrations for AirVenture where you can visit some amazing displays of aviation history. The Centennial of U.S. Air Mail display will be set up in the Vintage area, and the lineup of aircraft will include everything from a Jenny to a Stearman mailplane. The Bleriot XI planned for this display is a recently completed replica aircraft built by EAA volunteers and staff, and it looks likely that we’ll have a second original Bleriot on display as well! There are plans being made to fly the EAA Bleriot during AirVenture; that will be a sight to see and hear! Other aircraft to be included in this display are EAA’s Pitcairn Mailwing, the Swallow, a Fairchild FC-2, and Ron Alexander’s C3B Model Stearman. We encourage owners of antique aircraft having a direct link to early air mail who may wish to participate in this event to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. These early aircraft played a significant role in the advancement of aviation. There will also be many other attractions and activities planned around this celebration with volunteers dressed in period clothing re-enacting the business of air mail. A special Theatre in the Woods program is also being planned to provide unique insight into the exciting world of early air mail activities. Our volunteer construction crew in the Vintage area is planning the construction of an early air mail station where young and old alike will have an opportunity to send a commemorative letter or card from Oshkosh to their family members back home via air mail that will
2 MARCH 2011
actually be flown in an antique air mail aircraft. Also on our list of celebrations this year is the 75th anniversary of the Lockheed Electra Junior Model 12 aircraft. This may well be the classiest aircraft to ever hit the skies. Seventy-five years ago the 12 flew for the first time in June 1936, and this milestone will also be celebrated at AirVenture 2011. Les Whittlesey of Chino, California, owner of one of these beauties (NC18906), is leading the effort to bring as many of these aircraft as possible to Oshkosh. Les tells us that he is hoping for an intrail mass arrival of 12s, and the goal is to convince anywhere from six to 12 of their owners to participate. Twelve 12s would be a pretty cool display. These guys will all be parked together in the Vintage aircraft display area, and I’m sure they will be easy to spot. Les’ L-12 was the 2006 Grand Champion Antique award winner at Oshkosh, and that same year it was also awarded the Paul Garber Trophy in Reno. Some significant amendments to Senate Bill 223, the FAA reauthorization bill, are being touted as good measures that deserve our attention. EAA is encouraging its members to urge their congressional representatives to support these initiatives. These amendments include measures to authorize through-the-fence agreements at GA airports based on local airport sponsor authorization, and call for a release of abandoned type certificate and STC data. The vintage aircraft data release legislation EAA and VAA have been working on is included in the Senate bill, and identical
language is in the House version. This language would authorize the FAA administrator to make available, upon request, engineering data for aircraft, engines, propellers, or appliances to a person seeking to maintain the airworthiness of an aircraft. The administrator can release the data after determining that: (i) The certificate containing the requested data has been inactive for three or more years; (ii) After using due diligence, the administrator is unable to find the owner of record or the owner of record’s heir of the type certificate or supplemental certificate; and (iii) Making such data available will enhance aviation safety. To ensure aircraft data remains available, the bills also include language to require the FAA to maintain the type certificate/STC data in its files. Contact information for your U.S. senate representatives is available at www.Senate.gov/general/ contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. Rep. Sam Graves (R-Missouri), chairman of the House GA Caucus, a n d To m P e t r i ( R - Wi s c o n s i n ) , chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, are working together to include language that is GA friendly in the House’s FAA authorization bill. Please participate in this initiative that will go a long way to realizing the success of these critical amendments. Do yourself a favor and ask a friend to join up with us. Remember, we are better together. Join us and have it all.
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EAA members are eligible for special pricing on Ford Motor Company vehicles through Fordâ€™s Partner Recognition Program. To learn more on this exclusive opportunity for EAA members to save on a new Ford vehicle, please visit www.eaa.org/ford.
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Les Whittlesey’s award-winning Lockheed Model 12A NC18906 will be at AirVenture to mark the type’s 75th anniversary.
AirVenture to Celebrate 75th Year of the Lockheed 12 One of the world’s classic airplanes, the Lockheed Model 12 Electra Junior, flew for the first time on June 27, 1936—75 years ago— and that milestone will be celebrated at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011. Les Whittlesey, of Chino, California, owner of an awardwinning Model 12A, is leading an effort to get as many L-12 owners as possible to bring their airplanes to Oshkosh this summer. “The plan is to get together, maybe even arrive at the same time in trail, and all park in the Vintage aircraft area,” said Whittlesey, EAA 409631. Special presentations at Oshkosh on the L-12 will be announced as they are confirmed. W h i t t l e s e y ’s M o d e l 1 2 , t h e product of an extensive three-year restoration, won the 2006 Grand Champion Antique award in Oshkosh as well as the Paul Garber Trophy in Reno that same year. Only 126 Electra Juniors were
4 MARCH 2011
made between 1936 and 1941, when production stopped at the outbreak of World War II. The allmetal, twin-engine planes were designed for use as small feeders for airlines, but most were used by companies for executive travel, as well as by government officials and wealthy individuals.
All Politics Are Local The FAA Reauthorization bills currently being drafted in both the House of Representatives and Senate will, once approved, authorize the revenue collection and activities of the FAA over the next period of years. Legislative initiatives as large and seemingly impersonal as the reauthorization bill represent significant efforts by EAA and lawmakers. Ultimately, these initiatives have a direct effect on you, your flying freedoms, and the aviation community. EAA is currently working many issues within the proposed FAA reauthorization bill.
Vintage Aircraft Data Release—One provision would require the FAA to retain data for early vintage aircraft and release that data to the public when the type certificate is no longer being supported. This will help vintage aircraft owners and restorers to maintain, repair, and restore their aircraft. EAA has been working closely with the FAA and Congress on this language for years. Through-the-Fence Agreements (TTF)—A proposed revision to TTF regulations, partially drafted by EAA, would allow residential (noncommercial) throughthe-fence operations at the discretion of the local airport sponsor (rather than at a national level) without compromising the ability of the airport to receive federal funds. Residents would be required to maintain the access at their expense and pay the going rate for similar on-airport access. Unleaded Aviation Fuel Research Program—EAA is helping Congress develop language that would raise the priority of the unleaded avgas research program at the FAA. This program supports all EAA members, regardless of aircraft or engine type by ensuring a viable and sustainable supply of aviation fuel well into the future. Volunteer Pilot Liability Protection—An EAA-supported amendment in the Senate version of the bill would provide personal liability protection for pilots conducting medical airlift and similar flights, affording protection to members who extend their talents and resources for the betterment of society. These initiatives have a direct impact on individual EAA members and large segments of the aviation community. EAA’s presence in Washington, D.C. advances issues like these that have significant local/individual impact.
Upcoming Major Fly-Ins Sun ’n Fun Fly-In
Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL) Lakeland, Florida March 29-April 3, 2011 www.Sun-N-Fun.org AERO Friedrichshafen
Messe Friedrichshafen, Friedrichshafen, Germany April 13-16, 2011 www.AERO-Friedrichshafen.com/html/en Virginia Regional Festival of Flight
Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ) Suffolk, Virginia April 30-May 1, 2011 www.VirginiaFlyIn.org
Fly EAA’s Ford! EAA’s 1929 Ford Tri-Motor heads back on tour in late spring, providing 12 cities in fi ve Midwestern states an up-close look at the iconic aircraft from the early days of commercial air travel. It begins in Racine, Wisconsin, on May 26, then continues through July 10 with additional stops in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan. The Ford Tri-Motor, nicknamed the Tin Goose, was built by the Ford Motor Company in the late 1920s. EAA’s airplane under went a 12-year restoration beginning in the 1970s and since the mid-1980s has been based at historic Pioneer Airpor t. Tour visitors can reser ve 15-minute flights aboard the aircraft at the Fly the Ford website, or call 800-843-3612 for more information.
Golden West Regional Fly-In and Air Show
Yuba County Airport (MYV) Marysville, California June 10-12, 2011 www.GoldenWestFlyIn.org Arlington Fly-In
Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO) Arlington, Washington July 6-10, 2011 www.ArlingtonFlyIn.org EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) Oshkosh, Wisconsin July 25-31, 2011
John H. Batten Airport
Colorado Sport International Air Show and Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In
Monroe County Airport
Terre Haute, Ind.
Terre Haute International Airport – Hulman Field
Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC) Denver, Colorado August 27-28, 2011
Frasca Field Airport
Greenwood Municipal Airport
Columbus Municipal Airport
Grimes Field Airport
Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ) Casa Grande, Arizona October 20-22, 2011
Cincinnati Municipal Airpor t – Lunken Field
Akron-Canton Regional Airport
Middleton Field Airport (GZH) Evergreen, Alabama October 21-23, 2011
www.COSportAviation.org Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In
Grimes Field Airport (I74) Urbana, Ohio September 10-11, 2011 http://MERFI.com
June 30-July 4 Sandusky, Ohio
Griffing Sandusky Airport
Jackson County Airport – Reynolds Field
Elkhart Municipal Airport
Southeast Regional Fly-In
www.SERFI.org For details on hundreds of upcoming aviation happenings, including EAA chapter fly-ins, Young Eagles rallies, and other local aviation events, visit the EAA Calendar of Events located at www.EAA.org/calendar.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 5
VAA’s Friends of the
Red Barn Campaign by H.G. Frautschy ach year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh the largest single space for the display of enthusiasts’ aircraft is the Vintage parking and camping area. For four decades it’s been not only a picturesque scene of the finest restored airplanes in this country, but also a gathering place for aviation people and their magnificent machines to share knowledge and friendship. Each day during the convention, we get to see the widest variety possible of airplanes, including a few one-of-a-kind aircraft. Don’t forget the special Type Club parking area, where we host many examples of a particular manufacturer’s airplane. From replica race planes to the American Barnstormers Tour, the amazing colors and outlines of the golden age of aviation are on display for all to see each year. All of this is possible through the efforts of the nearly 500 VAA volunteers, the volunteer VAA board of directors, and the VAA staff. It’s why so many visitors and aviation enthusiasts come back year after year to work, relax, and enjoy aviation’s premier event. It’s a place to rekindle old friendships and make new ones. A time to relax and enjoy aviation, learn something new, and rub elbows with our fellow aviators. As you can imagine, it takes some fairly substantial financial resources to underwrite such an event, and the Vintage area at EAA AirVenture is no exception. The Vintage Aircraft Association has, by necessity, elected to underwrite a portion of its yearlong activities with funds other than members’ dues. The proceeds from this fund pay for all sorts of volunteer activities and improvements to the VAA area, as well as supporting VAA advocacy efforts and educational endeavors. It serves as working capital for improvements such as the Vintage Hangar, the new VAA Flightline Safety Operations Center as well as for upkeep of many structures. There’s never a shortage of windows that need caulking, doors that need to be replaced, and
6 MARCH 2011
roofs that need to be repaired. To be certain, almost all of the labor involved is performed by our dedicated and talented volunteers, but what about the cost of supplies and hardware? That’s where our Friends of the Red Barn campaign comes in—it provides all of us, who wish, the opportunity to assist in the vital financial support of the VAA’s activities. We’re most appreciative of the contributions made by hundreds of VAAers who see the tangible benefits of supporting their fellow VAA members in this manner. As a critical part of the VAA budget, the fund pays for such diverse items as VAA awards presented during the annual EAA Vintage aircraft awards program, special recognition for our many volunteers, and expenses associated with our special displays, forums, and educational areas such as the VAA Workshop and Type Club areas in the Vintage Hangar. Your annual contribution made in the first half of 2011 will directly benefit this year’s convention activities and VAA programs throughout the year. Please consider actively participating in the 2011 VAA Friends of the Red Barn Campaign. Your donation may be taxdeductible to the extent allowed by law, and you can enhance your participation if you work for a matching gift company. You can do so by copying and filling out the form included on these pages or by donating online at www.VintageAircraft. org/programs/redbarn.html. If you desire more information concerning the VAA Friends of the Red Barn Campaign, feel free to call us at 920-426-6110. We’d be happy to speak with you! Many services are provided to vin-
tage aircraft enthusiasts at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. From parking airplanes to feeding people at the Tall Pines Café and Red Barn, volunteers do it all. Some may ask, “If volunteers are providing the services, where is the expense?” Glad you asked. The scooters for the flightline crew need repair and batteries, and the Red Barn needs paint, new windowsills, updated wiring, and other sundry repairs, plus we love to care for our volunteers with special recognition caps and a pizza party. The list really could go on and on, but no matter how many expenses we can point out, the need remains constant. The Friends of the Red Barn fund helps pay for the VAA expenses at EAA AirVenture, and it’s a crucial part of the Vintage Aircraft Association budget. Please help the VAA and our nearly 500 dedicated volunteers make this an unforgettable experience for our many EAA AirVenture guests. Your contribution now really does make a difference. There are seven levels of gifts and gift recognition. Thank you for whatever you can do. Here are some of the many activities the Friends of the Red Barn fund underwrites: •Red Barn Information Desk Supplies •Participant Plaques and Supplies • Toni’s Red Carpet Express and Radios •Caps for VAA Volunteers •Pizza Party for VAA Volunteers • Flightline Parking Scooters and Supplies •Breakfast for Past Grand Champions • Volunteer Booth Administrative Supplies • Membership Booth Administrative Supplies •Signs Throughout the Vintage Area • Red Barn’s and Other Buildings’ Maintenance • Tall Pines Café Tent Rental and Kitchen Updates •Flightline Safety Operations Center •And More!
Please help the VAA make EAA AirVenture Oshkosh an unforgettable experience for our many guests.
Become a Friend of the Red Barn Diamond Plus $1250
2 people/Full Week 2 people/2 Days
2 people/1 Day
Breakfast at Tall Pines Café
2 People Full Wk
2 People Full Wk
2 People Full Wk
1 Person Full Wk
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
EAA VIP Center VIP Air Show Seating Close Auto Parking Two Tickets to VAA Picnic
Special FORB Cap Two Passes to VAA Volunteer Party
Special FORB Badge Access to Volunteer Center Donor Appreciation Certiﬁcate Name Listed: Vintage Airplane Magazine, Website, and Sign at Red Barn
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Loyal Supporter $99 & Under
★ ★ ★ ★
VAA Friends of the Red Barn
Name______________________________________________________________________EAA #___________ VAA #___________ Address______________________________________________________________________________________________________ City/State/ZIP________________________________________________________________________________________________ Phone___________________________________________________E-Mail______________________________________________ Please choose your level of participation: ____ Silver Level Gift - $250.00 ____ Diamond Plus $1,250.00 ____ Bronze Level Gift - $100.00 ____ Diamond Level Gift - $1,000.00 ____ Loyal Supporter Gift - ($99.00 or under) ____ Platinum Level Gift - $750.00 ____ Your Support $_______ ____ Gold Level Gift - $500.00 ■ Payment enclosed (Make checks payable to Vintage Aircraft Assoc.) ■ Please charge my credit card (below) Credit Card Number _____________________________ Expiration Date _________ Signature_________________________________________ *Do you or your spouse work for a matching-gift company? If so, this gift may qualify for a matching donation. Please ask your human resources department for the appropriate form.
Mail your contribution to:
VAA FORB PO Box 3086 OSHKOSH, WI 54903-3086
Name of Company __________________________________________________________________ The Vintage Aircraft Association is a non-profit educational organization under IRS 501c3 rules. Under Federal Law, the deduction from Federal Income tax for charitable contributions is limited to the amount by which any money (and the value of any property other than money) contributed exceeds the value of the goods or services provided in exchange for the contribution. An appropriate receipt acknowledging your gift will be sent to you for IRS gift reporting reasons.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 7
Relegated to the back of a large hangar full of old airplane parts in Georgia, N3277G’s once-brilliant red paint was nearly camouflaged by a mottled coating of opaque dust. Nevertheless, it was the first Curtiss Robin that David Mars had ever seen outside museum walls, and it won his heart instantaneously. That was fortuitous, for the Robin had been destined for static display in the foyer of the Merrill Lynch office building in New York. Mars had no inkling of it then, but his deep affinity for the old Curtiss monoplane would lead him to fulfill a significant role in sharing the inspiring story of Pearl Carter Scott, a Chickasaw girl who learned to fly in a Robin and became the country’s youngest certificated pilot. 8 MARCH 2011
SPARKY BARNES SARGENT
avid Mars discovered the 1929 Curtiss Robin (serial number 237) during an estate sale a couple of years ago. He says, “It was about as near to a ‘barn find’ as any airplane I think I’ll ever find. I purchased the plane, took the plugs out, cleaned it up pretty good, and changed the oil. Then I flew it out of there.” In his genteel, southern bass voice, David explains, “I’ve always been enamored with the Curtiss Robin, because I grew up within 30 miles of where the Key brothers set their endurance record in a Robin, and I actually knew one of the brothers. I really fell in love with it; it’s not very much of a performer and doesn’t fly very responsively, but I kind of like the Art Deco looks of it, and this is the era of aviation that I’m most interested
in. This originally had an OX-5, then it had a Challenger engine installed, and then this 220-hp Continental R-670 was installed. It was registered in Mexico, and I can only imagine what exotic thing it was used for down there!” The Robin was designed and built by Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Company of Garden City, New York, and manufactured at Curtiss-Robertson Airplane Manufacturing Company in Anglum, St. Louis County, Missouri. In 1929, Curtiss Aeroplane and Wright Aeronautical merged and became the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. All told, more than 750 Robins were manufactured before production ended in 1930, and today there are 51 Robins listed on the FAA Registry. The Robin was touted for its durable construction, along with its in-flight stability and ease of han-
a Few Barnstormers… . . . and a young girl named Pearl
dling. Ground operations were facilitated by a steerable tailskid.
Aviation Heritage David is proud of his familial aviation heritage, which is a bit unique in several respects. Elaborating on it, he shares, “My dad was a bombardier on a B-17 in World War II, and then he bought a J-3 Cub when he got out of the service, so I grew up in the 1950s flying off a grass strip in Mississippi. And one of the reasons I’ve always been a fan of Curtiss is because I have an ancestor, named J.C. ‘Bud’ Mars, who was an exhibition pilot for Curtiss.” Indeed, J.C. “Bud” Mars was taught to fly by Glenn Curtiss, and he made numerous first-time flights in a wide variety of locations during 1910, including Curtiss biplane flights in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in May; Sioux City, Iowa, in June; and Hawaii in December.
One of David’s outstanding childhood memories is his first time at the controls of a Cub—without proper supervision. “Now this is a true story,” declares David, explaining, “in 1953 my dad was going to take my sister and I flying in this Cub. I tell people that I have the world’s record for being the youngest person to ever fly a plane. I know they think there was an older person in the plane when it took off, and I was just manipulating the controls—so then I tell them that the older person was my 5-year-old sister. My dad propped off the Cub, and I was standing in the front seat. The stick was secured in the aft position with the seat belt, and he reached his hand in the window and idled the throttle up, before he went back to untie the tail. Apparently the minute he got the tail untied, I gave it the power, and they
say the Cub went about 20 feet and jumped off the ground. One wing dropped, and it cartwheeled a couple of times and ended up in a pile of wreckage maybe a 100 yards from where my dad was. When he got to the wreckage, my sister said, ‘Well, Dad, I thought you were going with us!’” Since that time, David has continued to have many adventures in aviation. He has owned a Cessna 180 for 35 years and has flown it frequently in his business ventures—but if you ask him what his profession is, he’ll simply state that he is a barnstormer. “I’m in my fifth decade selling rides in biplanes— ranging from a Stearman in the late 1970s and 1980s, and in a Travel Air in the 1990s and this decade. I’ve been flying with the American Barnstormers Tour for a few summers now.”
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 9
SPARKY BARNES SARGENT PHOTOS
David Mars with his Robin, which was the “leading aircraft” in Pearl.
The Robin’s tail is rather angular.
Making—and Revitalizing—History As David mentioned, brothers Al and Fred Key set an endurance record over Meridian, Mississippi, in 1935. They flew Ole Miss, a highly modified Robin, and stayed aloft for 653 hours and 34 minutes. Their record far surpassed Dale Jackson and Forrest O’Brine’s 1929 record of 17.5 days aloft in the St. Louis Robin. Additionally, Douglas
10 MARCH 2011
A glance at the Robin’s front seat and panel. “Wrong Way” Corrigan made history while flying a Robin in July 1938, when he flew from New York across the Atlantic to Ireland. N3277G has made its own mark in more recent history—at least twice. The first occasion was about 17 years ago, just after Glenn Cruz had completed a partial restoration of the monoplane at Gillespie Field in San Diego. He and his bride just couldn’t resist the opportunity
to fly the grand old Robin to their own wedding reception. The second event was its role as lead airplane in the movie Pearl, which was independently produced by the Chickasaw Nation and Media 13. It all started during 2008, when the Chickasaw Nation decided to produce its first feature film— a movie about Pearl Carter Scott’s early flying career. Pearl was born in 1915 and learned to fly a Curtiss Robin in the late 1920s, in Marlow, Oklahoma. She had her very first flight with Wiley Post when she was 12, and he sensed that this passionate and inquisitive young girl was a natural-born flier. After hearing Wiley’s observations, along with repeated insistent pleas from his daughter, George Carter, a successful blind businessman who dearly loved Pearl, declared that if Wiley would find an airplane and hire a good teacher for her, he’d build a landing strip and a hangar on his property. It wasn’t long until Wiley found an OX-5-powered Curtiss Robin (which Carter purchased) and a teacher for Pearl. After learning to fly, she earned her way as a barnstormer and stunt pilot at local air shows. (In 1995, she was inducted in the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame.) Hence, Donna Carlton, head screenwriter for Pearl, started a modern-day quest for a Robin that could be flown for the movie. Donna and her husband conducted some online searches, and then she contacted the American Barnstorm-
ing Tour about shooting some footage of their airplanes, with the pilots and bystanders dressed in period clothing. “We contacted Clay Adams,” recounts Donna, in her soft, gentle tone, “and he indicated that another movie was supposed to be shooting their barnstorming tour that summer. So I checked back with them a few weeks later, when I was sure that we had the green light for the project. Clay said they hadn’t heard from the other movie company and invited us to come on up. And still at that point, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to pull it off—but as soon as [our production people] went up there and saw all the planes, they knew this was a done deal!” David recalls that the producers met the American Barnstorming Tour in Great Bend, Kansas. “They asked if we had a Curtiss Robin in our midst, and it was known that I had the only Robin in our group— I don’t barnstorm in it, but I did have it, so it worked out fine,” he says. “And that fall, we went to El Reno, Oklahoma. Ted Davis and Chris Price brought their New Standard, and Clay Adams brought his 1929 Travel Air 4000, and I took my Robin there, where we filmed the
scenes that required flying.” Ted Davis explains that the New Standard’s role in Pearl was that of portraying Wiley Post’s airplane. “I took the actress up in it, with a cameraman in the front, and since the New Standard holds four people in the front cockpit, it was great. The cameraman could shoot back and get some footage of the actress riding in it, and the pilot as well, so I think that worked out real well for them in that respect. Chris Price did a little flying in the Robin, with a wig on to look like Pearl, and he flew in the Standard a little bit. I did most of the New Standard flying, and Dave did quite a bit of the Robin flying. It was neat, it really was. It’s a neat movie, and it’s a neat story.” Perhaps only the discerning antique airplane buffs will detect a misstatement in the movie, when an actor gestures to the Robin’s 220-hp Continental engine and refers to it as an “old reliable OX-5.” Donna shares that even though she and the director, King Hollis, knew that David’s Robin didn’t have the OX-5, “He wanted to use the line as written because it accurately described the plane that Pearl flew.” Donna talked with literally
SPARKY BARNES SARGENT PHOTOS
Ted Davis takes actress Angela Gair and head writer Donna Carlton up for a ride over Blakesburg, Iowa, in his New Standard.
Ted Davis flew his New Standard biplane for the movie. hundreds of aviation enthusiasts at the Pearl booth during AirVenture this past summer, gleaning insight from them about the movie and the nature of aviation itself. “Some of the people that came to our booth at Oshkosh have said that aviation people are very passionate about flying—but you can only go so far with a bunch of planes in the air; you have to have a story, and there’s a real story here that is touching people,” shares Donna. “Those who have seen Pearl tell us the final scene
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 11
of the whole movie is their favorite; it’s ver y touching. We worked on that scene the longest— t h a t ’s h o w i m p o r tant it was to get the final scene right.”
Bringing the Story to Life The experience of flying his Curtiss Robin for the movie and helping to bring Pearl’s story to thousands of individuals has been extremely rewarding for David. “The thing I’ve enjoyed the most,” he shares, “is bringing Pearl’s story to life. All of us in the movie are really passionate about this era of aviation, and we want to keep aviation history alive—whether it’s about the airplanes or the pilots. I consider myself somewhat of an aviation historian, and I’d never heard of Pearl’s story. And when I heard that a Curtiss Robin was involved, that was great! So I enjoy helping keep history alive by bringing this story to life, and of course, I enjoy the camaraderie of being there and flying with my friends in the movie. That was a lot of fun; I enjoyed it so much.” As an interesting side note, when the movie premiered on May 4, 2010, at the historic Warren Theatre in Moore, Oklahoma, David flew his Robin to Moore, and the airplane was showcased in the theatre’s parking lot. “They found a 750-foot patch of grass close to the cinema that they thought I could land in, so I went up and looked at it, but it was just too unsafe. We found a fi eld 3 miles south of there, where I could land and then taxi on the highway with a police escort to the cinema parking lot. As preparation for the landing, Chet Peek [a local pilot and aviation historian] and I walked over the field. We marked all the bad spots in the field with toilet paper, but there was one spot that was a foxhole—so we agreed that Chet was going to stand in that
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in Blakesburg, Iowa, during the 2010 Antique Airplane Association/Air Power Museum Invitational Fly-in, and pilots David Mars, Ted Davis, Chris Price, and Clay Adams attended with their airplanes, along SPARKY BARNES SARGENT with Donna and acfoxhole when I landed, so I’d be tress Angela Gair, who played Lucy sure to miss it. I turned final, and I Carter. Now that the movie is nearkind of fishtailed a couple of times ing the end of its promo tour, Pearl when I landed, and I planned to should be available on DVD by roll out just to the east of him. early November. As an extra perk I thought I was doing just fine,” to the AAA/APM fl y-in screening, says this southern aviator with a David’s Robin won the Antique laugh, “until I looked out the side Pre-1936 Sweepstakes Award. window and I saw Chet bolt and run, leaving the field. So then I’m Phenomenal Aviation on my rollout, and I’m thinking Community maybe I’m going in the hole, since Just as the spirited young Pearl he’s running away! So I kind of put discovered more than 80 years ago, it into a right turn and got it to powerful and transformational a stop—I think he thought that I events can unfold when one’s life was going to run over him. I saw is touched by aviation. Donna dishim; he just didn’t know that I saw covered this for herself during the him!” Defending his actions with production and screenings of the characteristically good-natured movie and conveys this message: “I humor, Chet explains, “When you have to say that the aviation comsee a big Curtiss Robin headed munity has been absolutely phestraight at you from a hundred nomenal: fun-loving, passionate, yards away, you don’t ponder the genuine, warm, welcoming, and situation . . . you bolt and run!” generous. I never knew such a large, For screenwriter Donna, the unified group of good-hearted peocreation of Pearl was an especially ple existed. It’s very encouraging gratifying experience. “It was very to know that there are so many special, and the pilots spread the people like this at the core of this word about the movie, and now country. They love God, America, everyone wants to see it. We want and the principles on which it was to have family movies that we can founded. My trips throughout the show that are educational, that Midwest have brought me so much are true, and are a good story. joy, because the aviation enthusiPearl had a real passion for avia- asts I’ve met seem to stand for all tion, and we did receive her fam- that’s good and right. How unforily’s stamp of approval for the tunate for the future of our country film,” shares Carlton. “In fact, the that the mainstream media, by and family came on the set as well, large, ignores this huge segment of and they’re actually extras in the our population.” movie. We were excited about A refreshing and uplifting exscreening Pearl at Oshkosh, be- perience yielding new perspeccause some of the staff and the t i v e s — t h a t ’s j u s t p a r t o f t h e crew joined us there, and it was transformation that occurs when like ‘old home’ week for us.” you bring together a Curtiss Robin, Additionally, the Taylor family a few barnstormers, and a young invited the crew to hold a screening girl named Pearl.
Conveying Pearl’s Passion for Aviation
MONTE WILS ON, www.W ils
.com m - © the Ch ickasaw
earl was filmed in Oklahoma during September and early October 2008 and has marvelous cinematography depicting the era of the 1920s and 1930s. The scenes easily transition from the Carter family’s everyday life to colorful flights aloft. At times tender and touching, the film illustrates Pearl’s special relationship with her father, as well as her flying mentor, Wiley Post. The cast was carefully selected, and lead actress Elijah DeJesus looks remarkably like the historical photographs of Pearl, a Chickasaw girl who at 13 became the youngest certificated pilot in the United States. Elijah (who, coincidentally, was 13 years old when the movie was filmed) easily conveys Pearl’s contagious enthusiasm and exhilaration—passionate feelings with which most aviators will identify. In Pearl’s own words, “Once you have known the freedom of flight, it never leaves you— even with your feet on the ground . . . .” Pearl was independently produced by the Chickasaw Nation and Media 13, and several key figures involved in the movie’s production are Chickasaw, including the producer, David Rennke; the head screenwriter, Donna Carlton; and several actresses and actors. Though Angela Gair (who plays Lucy, Pearl’s mother) E lijah DeJes us masterf isn’t Native American, she received the th ully portrays e daredevil Pearl as th high honor of being specially recognized a e young viattriix grow s into adult as Best Supporting Actress at the Interhood. national Cherokee Film Festival for her didn’t. We called that the ‘Pearl portrayal of a Native American woman. Many of the staff wore several dif- mojo.’ Many people sacrificed a lot for ferent hats throughout the production. it, there were a lot of things we did on Donna smiles warmly as she explains, our own, and a lot of obstacles that
SPARKY BARNES SARGENT
we faced. But we never worried about it, because we knew the ‘Pearl mojo’ would kick in, and we’d get around that obstacle.” Their efforts culminated in an inspirational movie about a young girl whose heart soared high in the sky on Robin wings. Pearl has won nine awards to date and has been shown at nearly two-dozen film festivals across the country—in addition to screenings at aviation venues including AirVenture and the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in. While each award is significant, Donna, in her eloquent manner, shares, “The two awards we brought home from the Trail Dance Film Festival in Duncan, Oklahoma [Best in Festival, Best Native American Film], were deeply meaningful because we were in the hear t of ‘Pearl Car ter countr y.’ Many people at that screening already knew who Pearl was, and a good percentage of the audience had personally known her. As the head scriptwriter, that was a validation that touched my heart. When you pour your heart and soul into a project, as we all have, there’s no better feeling than being told by the people fee who w were closest to Pearl that they approve of the final product.” For a more information about Pearl, visit m www.PearlTheMovie.net. ww
“We all did a lot of different things; I helped facilitate the pre-production process, I was head writer and a photographer, and I did whatever else needed to be done. First of all, Pearl was just an amazing person, and after she retired from aviation, she helped the Chickasaw people as a community health representative and as a legislator. Through her work with the tribe, she got to know Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby really well, and the governor always wanted her story told. A few years after Pearl passed away in 2005, we finally had the resources and staff in place to produce this movie. There was a lot of research involved, and we visited with the family. At first, it was supposed to be a nice little movie to show in our cultural center, but it got such a warm reception, and people were asking to see it, that we brought it to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where more than 3,000 people came to watch it. During production, everybody was pulling triple duty, because we all believed in the project. So much could have gone wrong but
Donna Carlton, head writer for the movie Pearl. VINTAGE AIRPLANE 13
Frank Rezich Part VI
The Aerospace Years BY
ROBERT G. LOCK
PHOTOS COURTESY OF REZICH FAMILY COLLECTION
R EZICH WAS ABOUT TO become a member of the Mach 3 team at North American Aviation (NAA). In 1959, a concept proposal was being developed for a manned bomber that could cruise at 80,000 feet at a speed of around 2,000 mph. Now known as the XB-70, two test vehicles were constructed by the El Segundo, California, factory and eventually assembled at North American’s new Plant 42 facilities in Palmdale. The XB-70 was an advanced bomber concept that featured new technology of stainless steel/brazed honeycomb structural components. When Frank arrived at the Palmdale facility, he was told about a small group of people working on a black aircraft located in one corner of the hangar. It was somewhat like a clandestine operation. Nobody but the people involved knew exactly what was going on. This project turned out to be the North American X-15 that was being assembled for the first time. For the XB-70, cruising at 80,000 feet for extended periods of time on long missions required pressurization of the cockpit area, which was unique. Frank said the NAA pressurization requirement was for 13.0 psid (pounds per square inch differential). In other words, the maximum pressure inside the cockpit would be 13 times greater than the pressure outside (ambient presRANK
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sure). If the cockpit was pressurized to 8,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) and the aircraft was operating at 80,000 feet, then the differential pressure would be slightly more than 11 psid. To assure design integrity, the cockpit section of the aircraft had to be proof-tested. This is where Frank enters the picture, and his story of this proof-testing is both serious and funny. It all took place at the Palmdale NAA plant. The focus of this story is the nose section that houses the pilot and copilot. Take a look at Photo 2. The escape capsules are another story, and Frank was not involved in that. Picture the small forward fuselage section that included the windscreen; this is the section we are talking about. A full-scale cockpit section was constructed and moved to the Palmdale plant for testing. The story of pressure testing the crew cabin goes something like this. Frank recalls the incident like it happened yesterday. “It’s a funny thing how that generated. I had been assigned as assistant to the vice president of manufacturing. And we used to go down to the shop every day. He was a ‘floor’ man. “He was basically an electrician that had come up through the ranks, so he was a hands-on guy. We’re down on the floor one day and we’re checking progress and the nose section was by itself. And
we had what we called the ‘six pack,’ that was in another building [the engine bay and engines]. Well, the general foreman [responsible for] the crew building for the nose section got sick. “The boss said to me, ‘Frank, you go to Palmdale tomorrow morning. You take over the nose and finish building it.’ Okay, so the next morning I go up there and started going through all the manufacturing orders. Now the airplane has got two capsules, not just seats, but capsules, and we had to install the rails. We were just finishing up the rails, and the boss comes by one day to check the progress. For some reason the pilot’s rails are different than the copilot’s rails, and he said, ‘What the heck did you do?’ I said it looks like we screwed up, but we got it approved. ‘Okay,’ he says, ‘Get it done—get it ready for pressurization check.’ “I guess a couple days later we moved it to where we had hangar doors we could open. Of course engineering is all over there, so we started the pressurization. And they only let us do it from midnight until 6:00 in the morning—‘Safety’ would only allow this test at night and the doors had to be open. So we put a wire screen around it [ac-
Top photo: The Mach 3-capable North American XB-70 on takeoff, possibly from the Palmdale Plant 42 facilities.
The XB-70 nose section. to the floor. We made that modification, put it back together, and go to the next time. I think we blew a side window. “And the boss kept pestering me about making the test go faster. The only thing I knew—maybe we can get some ping-pong balls to fill the cabin. So he goes to Safety and Safety says no—the ping-pong balls would come out of there like they were shot from a cannon. Okay, we’ll see what Safety will say about Styrofoam. We could get
8-foot planks of Styrofoam; we can cut them up to fill the cabin. That will lessen the volume and may cut down the time. Well, that’s what we did; we cut them up and stuffed them in the cockpit area. “When we pressurized again we were watching the transit point and now the top hatch looks like it’s going to blow. Sure enough, the fuselage expanded enough so the top hatch blew out. When the hatch blew, all that foam came out. Styrofoam got strained through the wire
NORTH AMERICAN AVIATION
tually a heavy chain link fence]. Before we started pressurizing we all got behind a row of stock bins. We had transits set up with ‘dobs’ on the fuselage so we could see how far things bend and expand. Well, it would take almost all night to pump it up, and the boss would come in about 3:00 a.m. and ask if we were done yet. ‘No.’ “The first time, we blew the windshield out. “Engineering had to make a change to tie the windshield roof
To get an idea of the volume inside the cockpit, an NAA photograph shows the XB-70 cockpit arrangement. This is the volume with which Frank was dealing and why it took so long to pump the compartment with compressed air. VINTAGE AIRPLANE 15
Look at this photograph of the XB-70 taxiing and look where the nose gear is located on the aircraft. Then look at where the cockpit is located in relation to the nose wheel. and blew all over the hangar like snow! Have you ever tried to sweep up Styrofoam? It’s almost impossible. It moves away from the broom.” Frank remembers, “We tried vacuuming, but finally settled the problem by spraying water on the foam from Hudson sprayers; then we swept it up. It was a mess. We never reached the 13-psid requirement.” Now, that’s a funny story. As Frank recalls, to build an aluminum structure that could withstand 13 psid back in those days was unheard of: “I don’t remember what we finally got to, maybe around 11 or 12 psid. But we kept blowing something. I just knew the airplane was supposed to fly at 70,000 to 80,000 feet.” At 80,000 feet the atmospheric pressure is just a fraction of 1 psi. Frank couldn’t remember what altitude the crew cockpit cabin was pressurized to, but if it were 10,000 feet the pressure differential would be around 10. The North American XB-70 was rolled out of the Palmdale Plant 42 facility May 11, 1964. Although the contract to build 60 aircraft had been canceled, the flight-test program continued, first by the Air Force and then by NASA. The first flight was September 21, 1964. The first Mach 3 flight was January 3, 1966. A mid-air collision June 8, 1966, destroyed the
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number 2 air vehicle, killing two pilots over the Mojave Desert. The Air Force lost interest in the XB-70, and the remaining aircraft was turned over to NASA for continued flight-testing for data that could be useful for the future supersonic transport (SST) design competition. The final flight for NAA XB-70 was February 14, 1969, when the first aircraft was flown from Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) to Wright-Patterson AFB for display in the Air Force Museum of Flight. The NASA test pilots were Fitz Fulton and Don Mallick. As a side note, Fitz is a personal friend, and I can recall I asked him what the most unusual trait was of the XB-70. He said, “. . .it was when you taxied the airplane. You sat so far in front of the nose wheel that it took an army of vehicles and ground people to guide me to the runway. When we made a turn the nose was way over the edge of the taxiway. If you turned too short the nose gear would go off the taxi way into the sand.” I was attending A&P mechanic training at Northrop Institute of Technology in Inglewood, California, from May 1960 to April 1961, and the talk around campus was this new Mach 3 bomber that was being built at nearby North American Avia-
tion, on the southwest corner of the Los Angeles International Airport. There were stories of large heattreating ovens and a new stainless steel honeycomb structure. I also remember my uncle, Earl Lock, an aeronautical engineer for Goodyear Aerospace, coming to the area from Akron, Ohio, on a business trip. When we met he said he had seen the most amazing airplane. He said it was top secret, and he couldn’t discuss any details. He drew a simple sketch of a rectangular box and said it was the engine inlet and that a man could stand inside it. He had seen the mock-up of the XB-70! When the XB-70 contract was canceled, Frank was reassigned to Rocketdyne, a division of North American Aviation. Rocketdyne was a sprawling complex that began in Canoga Park as North American’s Technical Research Laboratory after World War II, funded to develop guided missiles and to test Germany’s V-2 rocket designed by Werner von Braun. The company was later renamed Rocketdyne, and a secluded area in the Santa Susana Mountains became the country’s first liquid-propellant, high-thrust rocket engine test site. Here they designed, built, and tested Atlas, Thor, and Jupiter engines. The massive F-1 rocket engine was later used in the Apollo program.
In this photograph, one last look at the North American XB-70A on a flight out of Edwards Air Force Base on the Mojave Desert. Fitz Fulton and Don Mallick are in cockpit. Chase aircraft is in background.
The inside of the F-1 and J-2 engine build-up center in Canoga Park, California. During this phase of Frank’s career, as any person who worked in the aerospace industry can attest, layoffs became a way of life. There were periods when he was out of work for up to two years. The Rezich family moved from a home in Canoga Park to nearby Woodland Hills, both cities located in the San Fernando Valley, where summers are warm and winters are mild. Frank recalls, “There was a time when I was laid off for two years that I managed an engine overhaul facility and built boat engines to keep money
flowing into the family.” Frank was there during Apollo 8 through Apollo 13 launches. Apollo 8 launched December 21, 1968, and Apollo 13 launched April 11, 1970, so he was at Rocketdyne during the Apollo 13 crisis. Frank recalls, “I ran the test lab that did all the around-the-clock battery testing. Our battery engineer was a great big gal about 6 feet tall; she was up for 24 hours making calculations on how to conserve power to get them back safely.” When Rockwell bought out
North American Aviation, Frank stayed with Rockwell. They transferred him from airplanes to space, back to airplanes, then back to space. Frank didn’t like that very well, but it brought in money and he was living in a very desirable spot on the West Coast. Frank recalls, “Near the end I didn’t have a lot to do, and Rocketdyne was having a problem with the company who manufactured the turbo pump for the space shuttle main engines. They were building and testing the big engine for the shuttle but couldn’t get the turbo pump. So Rockwell management knew I had a manufacturing background, so they sent me to see what was wrong, to find out why the pump was not being delivered on time. I did a lot of traveling, working with contractors to locate and solve problems.” Frank recalls spending much of his time in Rockford, Illinois, representing the Rockwell B-1B program at the Sunstrand Corporation. “They were manufacturing the mechanism for the B-1 wing swing mechanism.” Next month, we’ll feature another interesting story about Frank’s career with Rockwell. Frank retired from Rockwell and Sunstrand to enjoy life to its fullest with the airplanes he loves.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 17
Magnified Fine tuning an art BY PHOTOS SUPPLIED BY AUTHOR, CREDITED
ast summer I had the opportunity to hop 221 rides in Rod Magnerâ€™s gorgeous 1929 Travel Air D-4000. After 50 years of flying tailwheel airplanes, I learned to fine-tune the art of the wheel landing as never before. It is more effective to land some tailwheel airplanes on the main wheels instead of a three-point, fullstall landing. The Travel Air is one of those airplanes, as is the Twin Beech. There are certain advantages to this technique. One is that it gives the pilot a better view over the nose during the landing and early portion of the rollout. In many tailwheel airplanes such as the Travel Air, there is little to no view over the nose in the three-point attitude. This improved
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SANDY KENYON, COURTESY RON MAGNER, WWW.MAGICAIR.COM
view over the nose aids the pilot in judging and correcting for any sideways drift that is occurring during the landing. It also allows the pilot to push forward on that stick and maintain a negative angle of attack, keeping the aircraft firmly planted on the ground so it will not want to pop into the air again, especially in a gusty wind. Most importantly, there is plenty of airflow over the rudder, giving it maximum effect. All of this is well and good until the airflow over the rudder decreases and it has to come down. It is at this moment when the wheel landing becomes the most challenging in an aggressive crosswind. There are many other facets to landing taildraggers than the ones addressed here. It is the tail-up to tail-
down transitional phase that concerns us in this article. Whatever kind of landing a taildragger pilot chooses to make, as much as possible he should always land into the wind. The most important goal is to keep airflow over the rudder to maintain directional control to the very last second. Because the center of gravity (CG) is aft of the main gear, its moment greatly exacerbates the need to stay on the rudders and keep the plane going straight. Maintaining directional control is paramount. On some taildraggers the rudder is less effective during the transition from tail high to tail (rear wheel) on the ground. Remember, in crosswinds, it is imperative that the pilot maintain a straight line. When the rudder is high in the air it is more
effective because of increased airflow. In the three-point attitude the fuselage and wings block airflow past the rudder; in some cases the airflow blockage renders it totally useless. When the rudder becomes ineffective, the tail wheel must be down for directional control or some other means of control becomes necessary. At some point even full rudder may not be enough corrective action. This is where rapid corrections with differential braking may save the day. On taildraggers this period between when the tail comes down and touches terra firma is critical. The rudder will become ineffective at some point. If it is a prolonged period of nanoseconds before it does, in a direct crosswind, the pilot has a serious problem to deal with. Unable to maintain directional control, the plane will begin to weather vane and swerve into the wind. If left uncorrected for too long, then the impending ground loop becomes the real deal, impossible to get under control. A wingtip may hit the ground, or worse yet, the side load on the gear may cause it to collapse. In more
forgiving airplanes the critical moment is brief enough that it may result only in a tailwheel shimmy and some embarrassing zigzagging down the runway. Then how does the hapless pilot keep the tail from swerving during this phase? Pulling back on the stick rapidly and forcing the tail to come down may cause the plane to lift off again barely under control. It may also cause damage to the tail wheel, especially on heavier aircraft. The solution is to maintain directional control during this phase by using differential braking when rudder is simply not enough. Braking in such a manner is an art. It adds a dimension to aircraft control that requires quick attention to not only steering straight but also applying judicious use of the elevator. For example, in a right crosswind, the pilot must not only be using more left brake and rudder to counter the yaw (tail swerve), but also be careful not to let the nose pitch forward. This requires not only the correct amount of brake action but also careful attention to what the at-
titude of the nose may be by correcting with elevator. Too much braking and inattention to the nose pitching forward may cause the plane to catch the prop or, worse yet, nose over. The Stearman, which has a lighter tail than the Travel Air, is particularly prone to this condition. On the other hand, even with very effective brakes, the Travel Air has more aft CG and is less likely to pitch forward suddenly. It is a delicate balanceâ€”a crucial moment for the pilot. The Travel Air actually behaves better if steady forward pressure is kept on the stick, as the tail will come down anyway. Sudden up elevator will result in a resounding â€œbangâ€? on the tail wheel. The Stearman needs to have the stick coming back as the tail wheel touches. This peculiarity made for a challenging transition for this pilot when flying the Travel Air for the first time after many hours in the Stearman. Add to all of this the fact that as the tail comes down, that magnificent unobstructed view of the runway disappears. In the Travel Air,
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 19
as with many older taildraggers, it all but disappears. The Stearman affords a trifle more view. While this is happening, the pilot must be keenly aware of any yaw. This is much easier said than done. It helps to have a runway wide enough to have some side view of the small piece of pie visible on each side just forward of the leading-edge wing root. Keeping this symmetrical, i.e., each piece looking identically the same, will help. Failing all else, the pilot must feel the tail swerving and/or the plane drifting. More than at any other phase of flight, it is here that the person at the controls must fly by the seat of his pants. It is also another reason the Federal Aviation Regulations mandate that pilots must make all three landings to a full stop when maintaining their 90-day currency for conventional gear aircraft. During this phase of the wheel landing, tail up to tail down, the pilot must be acutely aware of yaw and sideways drift. In a phase where nearly imperceptible changes in
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yaw are hardest to see (feel), the pilot must step up to the plate quickly. Performed correctly, taildraggers that have greater lag time until the tail wheel touches can be wheel landed effectively in a crosswind. If the pilot is unaware and not deft on all the controls, then the proverbial ground loop may well occur. A word on drift here. Drift and yaw corrections must be caught and made instantaneously. The greater amount of correction necessary to overcome excessive yaw or drift will almost always end up in increasingly greater corrections, and it is best to go around if this starts to occur. It is not a pretty sight to see a resplendent antique starting to sway back and forth getting more and more “phugoid” every second, ultimately ending in a nasty ground loop. Even the best brakes in the world will not save the day. Better to be ahead of the game all the time or go around. The post phase after the tail wheel touches is also critical. Make sure to keep the stick back so the tail stays on the ground for direc-
tional control. This is also requires finesse, for some aircraft need just enough up elevator to keep the tail on the ground without shimmying. Others require that the stick be firmly planted in the gut to maintain positive steering. And in a strong, gusty crosswind, the pilot should not forget to continue using those differential brakes. This is the phase where the pilot all too often relaxes with the early thought that “Ah-ha, it’s down,” and a gust of wind, a pebble, or a divot on the runway can send them briskly into the weeds. It is prudent to S-turn during taxi and position the controls correctly for that gusty wind. If the rudder and brakes are not sufficient enough to accomplish the mission, then cancel flying until the wind backs off. The pilot flying the airplane must never relax his vigilance until the aircraft is tied down. Double-check to make sure the mixture, mags, and master are off before calling it a day. Then breathe a sigh of relief.
Light Plane Heritage published in EAA Experimenter April 1991
First Ford Flivver powered with the Anzani engine.
THE FORD FLIVVER BY
In January 1927, the Ford Motor Company displayed its Model 2A Flivver in the New York showrooms, the prototype for a single-seat private airplane. The press devoted a lot of copy to this venture into the field of private flying by Henry Ford, and the Flivver was hailed as the “Model T of the Air.” “Old Henry,” they said, “would have America flying their own plane the same way he had put wheels under us with his Model T.” Ford insisted that he
ROBERT F. PAULEY
was merely interested in proving to his satisfaction if a plane of that type had any future, and he was especially anxious to avoid creating the impression that it was ready for production. The public knew better! Soon everybody would be flying! Rumors began to spread that Ford had plans to put the “Air Flivvers” into quantity production! The Ford Motor Company had entered the aircraft business in July 1925 when Ford bought out
the Stout Metal Airplane Company. This aviation division was kept as a separate organization under the parent company and under the direction of William B. Stout, who built the singleengine Ford 2-AT transport plane. Later, in 1927, the company Stout founded built the familiar 4-AT Tr i - M o t o r, a n d p r o d u c t i o n o f America’s first successful airliner began on a larger scale. One day in 1926 Henry Ford came into Stout’s office and sug-
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 series, we plan on publishing those LPH articles that would be of interest to VAA members. Enjoy!—HGF
22 MARCH 2011
gested that they build a small plane that anybody could fly— a model of the air. Stout wasn’t too receptive toward this idea and asked Mr. Ford, “How would it be possible to teach anyone to fl y in a single-place airplane without killing himself?” As an alternative he proposed a two-seat plane as more practical, one in which the owner could be taught to fly. Ford dropped the subject, and no further discussions with Stout were held. Sometime later, Maj. Schroeder, then Ford’s chief test pilot, recommended to Mr. Ford that a friend of his be brought in to head the Flivver project, and so, in early 1926, Otto Koppen was hired. This young engineer, who had designed several gliders while a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, started work on the project in great secrecy behind locked doors in the old Ford tractor building. Mr. Ford’s specifications for the new plane were a record of brevity—he merely said that he wanted a single-place airplane that would be the size of his office. Koppen began the project
by actually measuring the office! In August 1926 the finished product was first seen by the public during the Ford Reliability Tour that originated at the Ford Airport. It was a chubby-looking little plane with a low wing of cantilever design. The fuselage was of wooden construction with steel wire bracing, fabric-covered, and with the pilot’s seat located so that he sat up high, which gave excellent visibility. The wings used wood spars and ribs, employing the thick, high-lift Gottingen 387 airfoil section, and were fabric-covered. The unique full-span ailerons served as flaps when landing and were operated by pulling back on the stick, which not only raised the elevators in the normal manner, but also depressed the ailerons to serve as fl aps. This arrangement compensated for the change in center of pressure location caused by lowering the flaps, which still operated differentially as ailerons. At a later date this design was changed from the fullspan aileron to the 6-foot-long inset type.
The landing gear was supported by a steel tube divided axle, hinged at each side of the fuselage, plus vee struts attached to the main and rear wing spars. The vertical member of this vee took the landing loads through fi ve rubber discs in compression. These discs were molded to brass rings, to take wear, and were similar to the shock struts used on the tail wheel of the big tri-motors. A large-diameter Palmer tail wheel was used that incorporated a friction device to serve as a brakewas used, and this wheel was connected to the rudder to give ground control. Power was supplied by a threecylinder French Anzani engine that developed 36 hp at 1700 rpm. At first the lubrication system of this powerplant gave a lot of trouble, but the addition of a scavenge pump solved the problem. The propeller, specially designed by Otto, was carved by James Lynch, who was responsible for building the major portion of the plane. A great deal of development work was conducted in an attempt to si-
Second Ford Flivver powered by the special Ford engine. VINTAGE AIRPLANE 23
lence the engine. One experiment involved an inverted “U” exhaust manifold that led from the three cylinders to two outlets below the wing leading edge. At each outlet a standard Ford Model T muffler was fitted, and this reduced engine noise by 50 percent. No records are available indicating how much power was lost! Test flying the Flivver was the responsibility of Harry J. Brooks, the 25-year-old chief test pilot for the aviation division. Brooks had learned to fly in his teens and later toured the county fairs circuit in his Jenny, selling rides and doing parachute jumping. Tiring of barnstorming, he joined Ford as a riveter, did engine assembly work, and eventually became a company pilot flying the airmail routes to Chicago and Cleveland. Eighteen months after being hired, Brooks replaced “Shorty” Schroeder as Ford’s chief test pilot. In December 1927 he was assigned to fl y Lindbergh’s mother t o M e x i c o C i t y i n a F o r d Tr i Motor, where she joined her son, who was touring Central America in the Spirit of St. Louis. Brooks did a considerable amount of spectacular flying in the Flivver, demonstrating it whenever possible. He often commuted between his home, where he kept the plane in his garage, to the Ford fi eld in Dearborn, proving the practical, everyday use of the plane. He raced Gar Wood in the Miss America V on the Detroit River during the Harmsworth Trophy Races, to show the plane’s speed. When Lindbergh visited the Ford Airport in August 1927, after his famous flight, he was given permission to fly the Ford product. He found it necessary to remove his shoes to reach the rudder bar without his knees hitting the instrument panel, but fly it he did! Aside from Lindbergh, however, no other person except Brooks ever fl ew the Ford Flivver. The plane was reported to be easy to fly, landed slowly due to the
24 MARCH 2011
Ford Flivver 35-hp span length wing area empty weight gross weight top speed range fl aps, and had good visibility because of the high seating position. The top speed of the 500-pound ship was approximately 90 mph, and the landings were made at 30. During 1927 a second version of the Flivver was built, specifically designed for an attempt to break the world’s long-distance record for lightplanes in the third
Anzani 22 feet 16 feet 100 square feet 350 pounds 580 pounds 85 mph 250 miles category (single-seaters with an empty weight between 440 and 880 pounds). This new plane had a greater wingspan with wing struts, a rounder and more shapely rudder, and a longer nose with a new Ford engine. This engine, designed by the chief engineer of the aviation division, Harold Hicks, was a two-cylinder,
opposed, air-cooled four-cycle design using parts from a Wright Whirlwind. The bore and stroke were 4.50 inches, giving a displacement of 143 cubic inches, and it weighed 118 pounds dry. The overall width was 35 inches, and it was 25 inches long. The crankcase and cylinder heads were made of aluminum, while the cylinder barrels were of steel with turned fins. Forged magnesium pistons were connected to the crankshaft through tubular connecting rods, and the crankshaft ran on a roller bearing at the rear end and had a Babbitt front bearing that also took the thrust. The overhead valves were pushrod operated, while dual ignition was supplied with the two Scintilla magnetos. This engine was designed to deliver 40 hp at 2000 rpm, but it developed only 26 hp on the dynamometer. Nevertheless, this proved to be sufficient to lift the plane, pilot, and more than 50 gallons of fuel necessary for the nonstop record attempt. On January 24, 1928, Brooks took off from the Ford Airport at 7:15 a.m., with a total weight of 1,008 pounds. Henry Ford, who had taken great interest in the young pilot, was present that morning to wish him luck. The destination was Miami. After running into bad weather and strong head winds, Brooks was forced to make a landing near Asheville, North Carolina. On the return trip to Dearborn he stopped at Naval Air Station Anacostia in Washington, D.C., where the plane received a lot of favorable publicity. Finally back in Michigan, a second attempt at the record was planned. On the morning of February 21 Brooks again departed for Miami, taking off with 52 gallons of fuel aboard. Edsel Ford, Henry’s son, was at the airport to wish him Godspeed while Mr. Ford waited in Florida for news of the fl ight. Again trouble plagued the trip. A leak in the fuel line made it necessary to land at Titusville,
Florida, 200 miles short of Miami, but the record had been broken! The Flivver had flown 1,010 miles at an average speed of 78 mph and had consumed 42 gallons of fuel during the trip. While landing, the tip of the propeller had been broken, and even though the fuel leak was repaired, Brooks could not resume the flight until a replacement propeller arrived. Four days later, with a new propeller installed, Brooks departed for Miami at 5:30 in the evening. He passed over Melbourne a short time later at a very low altitude and appeared to be looking for a place to land, then eventually headed out over the ocean. Witnesses reported that the plane swooped down, almost recovered, and then plunged into the water. Although it was dark by then, several boats headed out to the spot where the plane had disappeared, but all they found were a few small pieces of wreckage. A few days later
the remains of the Flivver were washed ashore 10 miles south of Melbourne, but the body of Harry Brooks has never been recovered. Investigation of the wreckage disclosed that a matchstick had been plugged into the gas cap vent hole, causing the engine stoppage. It is assumed that someone (perhaps Brooks himself) had inserted it into the vent hole to prevent the wind from blowing sand into to the fuel tank and had forgotten to remove it! The tragic loss of Harry Brooks was a great shock to Henry Ford, and he immediately stopped all work on the small planes. Later in 1928 the remaining Flivver, the Anzani-powered prototype, was retired to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, adjacent to the Ford Airport. It can be seen there today along with one of the twocylinder Ford engines, a fitting tribute to Harry Brooks and his pioneering efforts to perfect a Model T of the air.
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800-362-3490 VINTAGE AIRPLANE 25
BY ROBERT G. LOCK
Landing gears and shock struts In this issue of the column we’ll discuss aircraft landing gears and shock struts, with hopes of putting forth some interesting information. Many older aircraft, particularly biplanes, used the “split-axle” type of landing gear and utilized rubber shock cords to absorb landing shocks. Other aircraft used a spring/ oil-type shock strut, while others used a true air/oil or “oleo” shock strut mounted to an outrigger-type gear tripod. So first let’s discuss the rubber shock cord-type gear. Figure 1 is taken from the aircraft shock cord listing in the 1946 Air Associates catalog. Diameters are from 3/16 inch to 5/8 inch, and it sold for as little as 5 cents per foot. Made in accordance with U.S. Army Specification 20-23-G (Type 1) and U.S. Navy Specification 49C1, the use of this cord required that a loop be fabricated on each end of the cord, usually done with a banding tool. Two layers of woven fabric yarn protect the rubber strands. Petroleum products, such as oil from the engine, deteriorate shock cord; therefore,
FIGURE 1 26 MARCH 2011
cords should be further protected. Shock cord rings are manufactured for a specific aircraft and are sized according to cross-section area and inside diameter. Common cross-section areas range from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. Installation of these rings required skill, as they are under tremendous tension. A shock cord installation tool is required, and great care should be taken, as serious injury can occur if the tool slips. Figure 2 shows a typical shock cord ring.
FIGURE 2 Figure 3 shows a method of installing shock cord rings on a landing gear. There are various installation tools currently available. I’ve even heard of folks installing these rings with a modified bumper jack, but that sounds too dangerous for me. Some aircraft left the factory with a spring/oil shock strut. These struts were very simple, consisting of an outer cylinder made from steel tubing. Inside was a heavy coiled
FIGURE 3 spring. On top of the spring was a close-fitting piston drilled with small orifice holes that was welded to a long shaft. When the aircraft left the ground the strut extended and oil was displaced through the orifice holes into the bottom of the strut. When the aircraft lands, the landing shock is absorbed by oil being displaced back through the orifice holes until the piston rests on top of the spring. It was a simple arrangement that used a pump seal on the top under the gland nut. It is necessary to use heavyweight oil in these struts, much heavier than 5606 hydraulic fluid. I use 90-weight gear oil, which gives a better shock-absorbing action because the oil displaces through the orifice holes much slower. Unless the rope packing below the gland nut leaks, these struts do not need servicing, only at the 100hour inspection, or annual inspection interval. This particular strut is on a New Standard D-25 aircraft and has a very long stroke, making for very soft three-point landings. Take my word for it, as I have almost 5,000 landings on this type of strut. Photograph 4 shows a typical spring/oil-type shock strut.
PHOTO 4 The next revolution in landingshock struts was the air/oil or “oleo” shock strut. This strut was similar to the one shown above except it had no spring inside but rather hydraulic fluid and air. Inside the strut was a fixed orifice and a tapered metering pin. With air removed, the strut would f u l l y c o m p r e s s . To c h e c k t h e fluid level, one must first deflate, then remove the high-pressure air valve (Schrader valve), and fill the strut with fluid until it is level with the air valve hole. Then, reinstall the air valve and inflate the strut until the correct extension can be measured. In Photograph 5, you can see a rare Curtiss-Wright Travel Air B14R with split-axle landing gear and oleo shock struts. In this installation, the bright piston can be seen below the outer cylinder. The Schrader valve is the small dark circle about halfway up the strut. The strut was inflated by use of a high-pressure “strut pump” that boosted line pressure of 80-100 psi to whatever was required to properly air the strut. Some of these type struts used nitrogen in place of compressed air, but most old aircraft used compressed air. Figure 6 is a section drawing,
PHOTO 5 showing the fixed orifice (7) and the tapered metering pin (8). The highpressure Schrader valve is identified as (11) in the diagram. In the left view of the sketch, the strut is completely deflated (all air removed). With the air valve (11) removed, the strut is filled with 5606 hydraulic fluid until the fluid is level with the air valve hole. The air valve is reinstalled and the strut pumped with air to the inflated position shown to the right of the sketch. It is suggested that both struts be aired to the same length so the ship will sit level on the ground. Also it is not a good idea to take off, land, or taxi with deflated struts. Air/oil shock struts can always be identified by a high-pressure (Schrader) air valve, usually located at the top of the strut. These shock struts can be serviced with high-pressure air or nitrogen. Servicing these struts
FIGURE 6 VINTAGE AIRPLANE 27
FIGURE 7 requires a special high-pressure air pump that will boost compressed air to a higher value than what the compressor is rated. Landing-gear alignment is important for good ground control.
A very small amount of positive camber with toe-in from 0 to 1/4 degree is the norm. Most landing gears are welded solid, and both camber and toe-in cannot be adjusted after installation; therefore
FIGURE 8: Cleveland Pneumatic Tool Company â€œAerolâ€? shock strut.
FIGURE 8A: Gruss Air Spring shock strut. 28 MARCH 2011
it is of the utmost importance to get the landing-gear alignment correct before welding together. Figure 6 shows typical early landing-gear installation. Next, in Figure 7, early spring/oil and air/oil shock struts were primarily manufactured by the Cleveland Pneumatic Tool Company and the Gruss Air Spring Company. Figures 8 and 8A are sketches of air/oil and spring/oil shock struts from each company. The drawings were copied from Aviation Handbook by Warner and Johnston, dated 1931. Figure 9 is an interesting comparison of the action of rubber shock absorber cords and an air/oil shock strut. It is easy to see that the air/oil shock is superior to rubber shock cords. Figure 10 is a sketch showing a section drawing of the spring/oil strut (left view) and the air/oil strut (right view). The spring/oil strut uses displacement of oil through an orifice to absorb landing shock while the spring takes the taxi loads. In the air/oil strut, displacement of fluid through a small orifice takes the landing load while compressed air absorbs taxi loads. For the spring/oil strut the packing material was usually a rope type seal commonly used on water pumps or a series of chevron seals. If the seal failed, it was necessary to jack up the ship, tighten the packing gland nut, and re-safety. For the air/oil seal it was a series of chevron seals or a specially designed seal developed by the manufacturer. If the strut leaked, it was necessary to jack up the ship, remove the strut, and replace the seals. It is important that the landing gear be maintained to the highest quality. If the shock struts are leaking, remove and disassemble them to locate the source of the leak. Most likely it will be the chevron packing rings. Snug the packing gland nut to tighten the rings. If that does not do the trick, then replace the seals. Finding new seals that are not old stock can be a difficult problem to solve. Consult your type club to find sources for parts.
FIGURE 9 Shock cords weaken with age and deteriorate when soaked with engine oil or solvent. It is always best to keep the shock cords covered, or at best cover the cords when you are washing down the engine with solvent. Photo 11 is a Command-Aire factory photo showing a split-axle landing gear. Note the aluminum fairings neatly covering the landing-gear shock cords, an important addition to keep the cords dry and away from the damaging fluids from the engine. Replace the shock cord rings when the landing gear feels soft and there is noticeable negative camber in the wheels, indicating the shock cord has stretched. The landing gear is a critical structural component of the aircraft. I recommend at each annual inspection that the aircraft be hoisted so the gear clears the hangar floor. One should carefully inspect attachment points for wear by gently shaking the gear. It may be necessary to bush attach holes and/or replace hardware. I use a nylon strap and wrap around it one side of the engine mount. Then, using a forklift, I raise the ship un-
FIGURE 10 til one gear is off the hangar floor. Then I shake, looking for any looseness. The process is repeated on the opposite side, any looseness is noted, and if severe, itâ€™s repaired.
Have a comment or question for Bob Lock, the Vintage Mechanic? Drop us an e-mail at email@example.com, or you can mail your question to Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903.
PHOTO 11 VINTAGE AIRPLANE 29
by H.G. FRAUTSCHY
MYSTERY PLANE This month’s Mystery Plane comes from W. Duffy Thompson of Lakeland, Florida. The photo was part of a collection of shots given to Duffy by Don O.W. Emerson.
Send your answer to EAA, Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your answer needs to be in no later than April 15 for inclusion in
the June 2011 issue of Vintage Airplane. You can also send your response via e-mail. Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to in-
clude your name plus your city and state in the body of your note and put “(Month) Mystery Plane” in the subject line.
DECEMBER’S MYSTERY ANSWER Our December 2010 Mystery Plane came to us from John Underwood of Glendale, California. Here’s our only answer, from Wes Smith of Springfield, Illinois: . . . The photo in Vintage Airplane . . . may depict another design by E.G. Bahl, as alluded to in Aerofiles (based on the newspaper research of John Jarratt; see below). An interesting side note: Erold G. Bahl, a noted barnstormer, bought the
30 MARCH 2011
airplane which Charles Lindbergh had been taking flying lessons in, but had failed to solo. Nevertheless, Bahl allowed Lindbergh to accompany him on a barnstorming tour in May-June 1922 (Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado). It was at the Nebraska Aircraft Corp. plant that Lindbergh had met his friend Harlan A. “Bud” Gurney and was being taught to fly by Ira Biffle. Ray Page, who owned the aircraft, sold the airplane before Lindbergh soloed. During the tour, Bahl allowed Lindbergh to try wing walking, which he never grew to like. Ira Biffle, who had been an instructor in the United States Air Service United States Army Air Service during the Great War, had lost his taste for flying after a good friend was killed in an accident. Biffle flew only eight hours with Lindbergh in Nebraska. Like Lindbergh, he went on to fly for the U.S. Air Mail and flew Charles Walgreen and his dog, Peau Doux, around to store openings in a Sikorsky S-38. He also made the first commercial aircraft landing at Chicago’s Midway airport (in a Boeing Model 40) on December 12, 1927. He died of heart disease at age 44, in 1934, practically destitute. He was also nearly blind. While nothing is known to this writer of Harding and Zook, in 1929-30 Erold (sometimes spelled with two R’s) Grover Bahl was flying the Ford Tri-Motor Union Electric for the Union Electric Light and Power Co. between the Bagnell Dam project on the Osage River in the Ozarks and St. Louis (Miller County Museum and Historical Society website, www. MillerCountyMuseum.org). He was killed in October 1930 in a St. Louis auto accident. The story of our mystery plane, the Lark, begins with the purchase of the I.B. Curtiss-Humphreys Co. by Harding, Zook, and Bahl. The aircraft was apparently flown in the 1921 Pulitzer at Lincoln, but it
did not fly very well, despite winning the efficiency prize. Fitted with a 40-hp Lawrance radial, the aircraft was known as the Lark B. (It is unclear if there was a Lark A, but this may be the aircraft depicted in the photo.) Sold in 1922, the Lark B was moved to Richards Field, Kansas City, Missouri, where it was badly damaged in a landing accident. It was next purchased by Lawrence Dewey Bonbrake and Bert E. Thomas in 1924, and simply renamed the Lark, after extensive alteration and rebuilding. It was flown at the 1924 Wichita Air Meet by Blaine M. Tuxhorn, who appears to have participated in the redesign. During the rebuild, the Lawrance radial was replaced by the 60-hp Wright L-4. At the time, Mr. Bonbrake was employed as test pilot and engineer of the Unit Motor and Airplane Co. of Kansas City, Missouri. He would later be involved in the design of the trigger mechanisms of the first two American atomic bombs. In its rebuilt form, the BonbrakeThomas Lark (or Tuxhorn Sport, if you prefer) monoplane had a span of 28 feet, a height of 7 feet, and an overall length of 19 feet. A fuel tank may have been added to the dorsal center section of the wing (this is unclear). The empty weight was 615 pounds, and the useful load was 430 pounds. The VMAX was 95 mph, with a VMIN
of 32 mph. Initial climb was 500 fpm. With 15 gallons of fuel, the endurance was 2.5 hours. The ceiling was 17,000 feet. It isn’t entirely clear if the ailerons were altered, but those fitted to the Lark had an inverse taper, rounding at the tip. The wheels were also covered. The flying display given by Mr. Tuxhorn at Wichita was quite spectacular (Aviation. November 17, 1924. Airports and Airways. The Tuxhorn Sport Plane, p 1310). An additional photo, history, and description was published in the December 15, 1924, issue of Aviation (Bonbrake, L.D. Regarding the Lark Monoplane, p 1403). According to Aerofiles, the aircraft was registered as the Tuxhorn Lark in 1924 and appeared at the 1928 Los Angeles National Air Races, being flown by L. “Gene” Gebhart (932Y). By then, it was refi tted with a 60-hp Anzani, and possibly a 55-hp Velie at a later time. It was then re-registered to L.D. Bonbrake in 1929, again as the Lark. Aerofiles goes on to mention that elements of the design appeared in the Inland Sport S-300. According to Juptner (U.S. Civil Aircraft Vol. 3, pp 171-172) the aircraft flown at the Nationals was actually the 1927 Inland Sport prototype, a new design by L.D. Bonbrake, and was not the same airplane as the Lark. There is a good deal of confusion surrounding the history and disposition of this airplane.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 31
Vintage Instructor THE
BY Steve Krog, CFI
Things learned on the first real cross-country Over the Christmas holidays I spent a day with a college fl ying buddy. We had both learned to fl y at the same time years ago in South Dakota and, coincidentally, had been pursuing the same college degree. While catching up on activities from the past year, my buddy Stephen DeLay (Step for short) mentioned that he had read my articles in Vintage Airplane and suggested doing an article about “things we learned while fl ying together.” We had a lot of good times flying but also managed to scare ourselves a few times as well; from these situations we learned a great deal. Before sharing “things we learned,” you need to know a little about Step and me. Step took and passed his private pilot checkride two days before I took and passed mine; for the remainder of our college days we did a lot of flying together. We were both airport bums spending every free moment at the airport. Once or twice a week we’d pool our vast financial resources and rent a Cherokee 180 for an hour, splitting the flying time and cost. Airplane rental was $18 per hour wet then—minuscule by today’s standards, but a lot of money to both of us then. One evening, weeks after getting our certifi cates, we began talking about taking a trip. Step suggested that we fly to California, as his parents would be there in a couple of weeks for a convention and they could feed us once there. Several of the usual college refreshments later, we agreed this was a great idea and decided to approach the FBO the next day. As neither of us had acquired no more than 45 hours of flying time yet, we expected him to say “No,” which would get us off the hook. Who in their right mind would rent an airplane to two guys with minimal flight time wanting to fly a 2,400-mile round-trip cross-country flight over mountains to California? The next day, after classes, we headed for the airport. Timidly approaching Marv, the FBO, we told him of our plan. Without hesitation he commented that it was a great idea and that we could even rent his newest Cherokee 180 for the trip. With his positive reply, we were committed and
32 MARCH 2011
began acquiring maps and planning the flight. Our departure date was picked to coincide with the first day of spring break. Departure day arrived, but fog and snow squalls delayed our departure until around noon. Finally in the air, we both looked at one another and shared the same thought—are we really doing this? After dodging a few snow squalls and some head wind, we arrived in Casper, Wyoming, just before dark. Later that evening, while sitting in a very cheap motel room we discussed the day’s flight. Dealing with the snow squalls wasn’t bad, though they did cause a moment or two of apprehension; we’d encountered them before in our vast 45-hour experience.
Lesson No. 1: Get a good flight briefing. Day two found us at the airport at sunrise and ready for our fl ight to Ontario, California. The sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky. Our first fuel stop of the day was to be Salt Lake City, Utah. Outwardly we both demonstrated confidence, but inwardly we both had butterflies in our stomachs. Having learned to fly in the Midwest flatlands, we were about to encounter our first taste of mountain flying.
Lesson No. 2: Talk to some of the local pilots for advice. The last mountain ridge before Salt Lake required that we climb above 10,000 feet for about 30 minutes. Neither of us had been that high before. The looming mountain peaks were huge, and from a distance, it didn’t appear that we could clear them. Finally, after coaxing the Cherokee ever higher and over the last ridge, we began a rapid descent into Salt Lake. Talking on the radio was not a problem, but we’d previously flown in only one other towered environment. Practicing our best 10,000-hour captain’s voice, we contacted Salt Lake Approach. The control-
lers were kind and fi t us in among all the airliners. That was quite an experience for both of us, mixing it up with 727s, 737s, and a DC-8.
Lesson No. 3: Think about what you want to say and practice it before hitting the “transmit” button on the microphone. After topping off the tanks and downing the usual pilot lunch of a Coke and a Snickers bar, we were off and headed for Delta, Utah. This leg was uneventful, as well as a real confidence-builder. Another Coke and Snickers bar and we launched from Delta on our last leg to Ontario. Approaching the last mountain range, we knew we were almost there. Another hour or so of flying, and we’d be on the ground in warm, sunny California. What a shock awaited us. After clearing the last ridge, we faced what appeared to be IFR fl ying conditions. A few moments of panic later we settled our nerves after realizing it was sunny. Vertical visibility was unlimited, but horizontal visibility was no more than 1 or 2 miles. Neither of us had ever experienced flying in what is known as “California VFR” conditions before. Our previous limited cross-country experience had provided us with visibility never less than 20-30 miles. Winter flying weather in South Dakota, where we had trained, was usually severe clear, visibility unlimited, and cold. We agreed that Step would concentrate on flying, as this was his leg, and I would search for landmarks, watch for traffic, and attempt to find our location on the VFR sectional chart. Everything looked the same, and then a beautiful Beech Staggerwing passed immediately below us. Simultaneously, we agreed to try contacting Ontario Approach and get some help. They were helpful in trying to identify our location, but we were too far away to get good radar contact (no transponders in those days). After a series of 90-degree turns, Ontario Approach finally directed us to continue on a westerly heading until we were over a north-south four-lane highway, then turn north until spotting a large Union 76 gas station. We spotted a Union 76 sign and contacted Approach, who then told us to contact the tower. A left turn to 270 degrees was called for, and we should see the airport in 3 miles; contact tower when spotting the runway. Three, 4, then 5 miles passed and no runway! Tower directed us to keep looking and report the airport in sight. Nearly 15 miles later we spotted another north-south four-lane highway and Union 76 sign. Confusion reigned in the cockpit, but Step continued flying while I searched for the airport. We contacted the tower again, and they directed us to
keep looking and report the airport in sight. Finally, after what seemed like an hour (but was probably no more than a minute or two), we spotted the runway, reported it in sight, and stated in a noncaptain voice that we were landing! Once on the ground, Tower told us to contact Ground—and to call the tower after shutting down. We thought we were in real trouble. The call to the Tower was uneventful once we explained our situation and our level of experience. They did mention that we had caused a large military cargo aircraft practicing instrument approaches to make a go-around, though.
Lesson No. 4: When in need of help, don’t hesitate to contact someone for assistance. Lesson No. 5: Stay calm and keep flying the airplane. Before making the return trip, we did do some local VFR fl ying to better acclimate ourselves with “California VFR” flying. The return trip to South Dakota wasn’t quite as
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VINTAGE AIRPLANE 33
eventful, except for two instances. After landing in Provo, Utah, for fuel, we were concerned about density altitude, as we had never done any takeoff practice at high elevations. We sought out a local fl ight instructor, and he thoughtfully explained what to expect. “It will take a lot of runway, and you’ll swear you’re only getting about half-power from the reliable Lycoming 360 engine,” he stated. We calculated our takeoff distance from the POH and determined everything was fine. After obtaining our weather briefing, we were both dejected. The mountains were socked-in, but it was clear on the eastern side slopes. Again, we sought out the helpful fl ight instructor and explained our new dilemma. He looked at the weather reports and charts with us and then asked if either of us had experience flying “VFR on top.” It was clear above the mountains, and we would be in the clear after flying about 50 miles. He also provided us with the two VORs and headings that we’d need to use. The instructor made it quite clear that he was not telling us to go but rather just explaining the options. He did add that this weather phenomenon was quite common, and he often made this type of flight. Step and I discussed the situation and decided we would give it a try. We could always turn around if we felt too uncomfortable.
Lesson No. 6: If fl ying in unfamiliar conditions, don’t be
afraid to ask for advice from those who have experience with these conditions. We departed Provo and began our climb, finally reaching an altitude above the approaching clouds. Checking and double-checking the two VORs on board, we established our heading for the fi rst VOR. I don’t think you would ever see two less-experienced pilots do a better job keeping the needles centered! After crossing the fi rst VOR and getting comfortably established on our course for the second, we could see the clearing ahead. Our first experience of flying VFR on top was both successful and satisfying. Our final fuel stop was planned for Rock Springs, Wyoming. However, FSS was telling us that a solid line of snow was approaching from the northwest. Calculating our groundspeed and distance, we fi gured we would arrive minutes before the snow, so onward we proceeded. Unfortunately, the snow arrived minutes before we did and it was back to one person flying and the other looking for landmarks to find the airport. Thankfully we flew in the heavy snowfall for only a couple of minutes before turning final and landing. The next morning was severe clear once again, and the final leg home was uneventful. Together, Step and I learned a great deal from this trip. We had flown just minutes short of 20 hours’ total time but had gained hundreds of hours of experience. It was a trip neither of us would have attempted solo, but together it became a flight of a lifetime that we still talk about to this day.
Back Cover Art Identification From upper left, clockwise: 1) Aeronca on Floats; 2) Rearwin Sportster; 3) Arrow Sport; 4) Taylor J-2 Cub; 5) Porterfield; 6)Waterman Aerobile, and 7) Unknown.
What Our Members Are Restoring
Are you nearing ng completion c of a restoration? Or is it done do and you’re busy flying and showing it off? If so, we’d like to hear from you. Send us a 4-by-6-inch print from a commercial source (no home printers, please—those prints just don’t scan well) or a 4-by-6-inch, 300-dpi digital photo. A JPG from your 2.5-megapixel (or higher) digital camera is fine. You can burn photos to a CD, or if you’re on a high-speed Internet connection, you can e-mail them along with a text-only or Word document describing your airplane. (If your e-mail program asks if you’d like to make the photos smaller, say no.) For more tips on creating photos we can publish, visit VAA’s website at www.vintageaircraft.org. Check the News page for a hyperlink to Want To Send Us A Photograph? For more information, you can also e-mail us at email@example.com or call us at 920-426-4825.
34 MARCH 2011
S o m e t h i n g t o b u y, sell, or trade? Classified Word Ads: $5.50 per 10 words, 180 words maximum, with boldface lead-in on first line. Classified Display Ads: One column wide (2.167 inches) by 1, 2, or 3 inches high at $20 per inch. Black and white only, and no frequency discounts. Advertising Closing Dates: 10th of second month prior to desired issue date (i.e., January 10 is the closing date for the March issue). VAA reser ves the right to reject any adver tising in conflict with its policies. Rates cover one insertion per issue. Classified ads are not accepted via phone. Payment must accompany order. Word ads may be sent via fax (920-426-4828) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 adver tising correspondence to EAA Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.
www.aerolist.org, Aviationsâ€™ Leading Marketplace.
SERVICES Always Flying Aircraft Restoration, LLC: Annual Inspections, Airframe recovering, fabric repairs and complete restorations. Wayne A. Forshey A&P & I.A. 740-472-1481 Ohio and bordering states. Biplane Builder Ltd. Restoration, fabric, paint, fabrications, paperwork with 53 completed projects, Wacos, Mothâ€™s, Champs, Pitts etc. Test flights and delivery. Indiana 812-343-8879 email@example.com, www. biplanebuilder.com.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 35
It’s a Buyer’s Market… But what are you buying? BY
NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR, AUA INC.
hen comparing policies for aircraft insurance coverage, you will see sometimes widely varying levels of coverage and price. Agents have several markets to shop for the most competitive price. However, a good price doesn’t mean it will be the policy that will fit your activities. Carefully comparing policies will avoid the nasty surprise of having purchased a policy, only to find a particular activity or situation isn’t covered and you have to bear the complete cost of a loss. When you buy in-flight liability and hull coverage for the aircraft, it specifies certain requirements that you will have to adhere to for the coverage to be available in the case of a loss.
Examples You have a friend who has more total logged hours than you do, and more time in type. You are sure he would be fine to fly the aircraft. You may be right, but read your policy to ensure you have an “open pilot warranty”; underwriters require specific amounts of logged hours for a pilot to qualify for the open pilot warranty. The most misunderstood term is when the policy says “make and model” time. This does not mean “time in type”; it means actual make and model. For instance, having 300 hours in a Bellanca 7ECA Citabria will count toward the pilot’s total tailwheel time, but if he does not have an appropriate amount of time in a 7KCAB Decathlon, he
36 MARCH 2011
will most likely be required to get a checkout from a current certificated flight instructor in the aircraft before he would be covered. You can most likely have the qualified pilot added as an approved pilot; it only means that the underwriter, after reviewing the pilot’s experience, will have to approve him before he can fl y the aircraft. Are you covered if your vintage aircraft has skis on it for the snow months? The FAA says that an aircraft equipped with skis does not change the configuration of the aircraft; it is still a land plane. Insurance policies do not always follow the FAA rules for defining their coverage of an aircraft, and their restrictions regarding operations can be more restrictive. Several of the aviation insurance companies that commonly write policies for vintage aircraft do not approve of skis and would deny a claim if the aircraft were damaged while operating on skis. This year we have had the most snowfall in the United States since 1995, and I am sure some of you will want to put skis on your aircraft for the rest of this season, and perhaps next winter. Just check with your agent to confirm your policy has you covered when operating the aircraft on skis. How about fly-ins? Are you covered if you take your aircraft for static display, flybys, and formation flying (not for hire)?
Some of the aviation policies do not exclude these uses, but in other policies you will have to have approval from the underwriter for some or all of these activities. They can be endorsed onto your policy. If you are not sure, always check with your insurance agent. At times pilots are asked to give rides to the public for donations to a local nonprofit agency. Most of the insurance markets do not have a problem with this, but to be on the safe side, check with your agent prior to the event. Where you fly, are you covered? There are policies that have broad territory limits. Some are worldwide; some include the Bahamas, Canada, and Mexico; and some may go up to Alaska and include the Caribbean. You will find the territory limits usually in the definitions portion of the policy. If you’re embarking on a crosscountry outside of the lower 48, it would be prudent to check the limits with your agent. I hope this short article will help you understand just what you’re paying for when it comes to aviation insurance, and make you a bit wiser in understanding how different policies can offer different values for the premium paid. AUA Inc. has specialized in aviation insurance since 1986 and knows how valuable it is to the consumer to be able to talk to experienced agents who are knowledgeable with the needs of the market and the customer.
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. ketsets c i t re rg/tick u t n e e.o AirV entur
our at AirV y n e oline now v a S y on Bu
Make your plans now to celebrate July the 59th. Back in 1953 we started getting together each year with a few of our ﬂy-in friends. Now it’s AirVenture,® the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. It’s gonna be a big day. And night. All week long. Monday, July 25 Opening Day Concert
Tuesday, July 26 Tribute to Bob Hoover
Wednesday, July 27 Navy Day
Thursday, July 28 Tribute to Burt Rutan
Friday, July 29 Salute to Veterans
Saturday, July 30 Night Air Show Returns
Sunday, July 31 Big Finale, the Military Scramble
Advance tickets made possible by
VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION OFFICERS President Geoff Robison 1521 E. MacGregor Dr. New Haven, IN 46774 260-493-4724 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice-President George Daubner N57W34837 Pondview Ln Oconomowoc, WI 53066 262-560-1949 email@example.com
Secretary Steve Nesse 2009 Highland Ave. Albert Lea, MN 56007 507-373-1674 firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer Dan Knutson 106 Tena Marie Circle Lodi, WI 53555 608-592-7224 email@example.com
Steve Bender 85 Brush Hill Road Sherborn, MA 01770 508-653-7557 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale A. Gustafson 7724 Shady Hills Dr. Indianapolis, IN 46278 317-293-4430 email@example.com
David Bennett 375 Killdeer Ct Lincoln, CA 95648 916-952-9449 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeannie Hill P.O. Box 328 Harvard, IL 60033-0328 815-943-7205
Jerry Brown 4605 Hickory Wood Row Greenwood, IN 46143 317-422-9366 email@example.com Dave Clark 635 Vestal Lane Plainfield, IN 46168 317-839-4500 firstname.lastname@example.org John S. Copeland 1A Deacon Street Northborough, MA 01532 508-393-4775 email@example.com Phil Coulson 28415 Springbrook Dr. Lawton, MI 49065 269-624-6490 firstname.lastname@example.org
Espie “Butch” Joyce 704 N. Regional Rd. Greensboro, NC 27409 336-668-3650 email@example.com Steve Krog 1002 Heather Ln. Hartford, WI 53027 262-966-7627 firstname.lastname@example.org Robert D. “Bob” Lumley 1265 South 124th St. Brookfield, WI 53005 262-782-2633 email@example.com S.H. “Wes” Schmid 2359 Lefeber Avenue Wauwatosa, WI 53213 414-771-1545 firstname.lastname@example.org
DIRECTORS EMERITUS Robert C. Brauer 9345 S. Hoyne Chicago, IL 60643 773-779-2105 email@example.com
Charlie Harris PO Box 470350 Tulsa, OK 74147 918-622-8400 firstname.lastname@example.org
Gene Chase 2159 Carlton Rd. Oshkosh, WI 54904 920-231-5002 GRCHA@charter.net
E.E. “Buck” Hilbert 8102 Leech Rd. Union, IL 60180 815-923-4591 email@example.com
Ronald C. Fritz 15401 Sparta Ave. Kent City, MI 49330 616-678-5012 rFritz@pathwaynet.com
Gene Morris 5936 Steve Court Roanoke, TX 76262 817-491-9110 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Turgyan PO Box 219 New Egypt, NJ 08533 609-758-2910 email@example.com
Membership Services Directory Enjoy the many benefits of EAA and EAA’s Vintage Aircraft Association
EAA Aviation Center, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh WI 54903-3086 Phone (920) 426-4800
Fax (920) 426-4873
Web Sites: www.vintageaircraft.org, www.airventure.org, www.eaa.org/memberbenefits E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
EAA and Division Membership Services (8:00 AM–6:00 PM Monday–Friday CST) email@example.com 800-564-6322 FAX 920-426-4873 www.eaa.org/memberbenefits •New/renew memberships •Address changes •Merchandise sales •Gift memberships EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 888-322-4636 www.airventure.org Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Hotline 877-359-1232 www.sportpilot.org Programs and Activities Auto Fuel STCs 920-426-4843 EAA Air Academy 920-426-6880 www.airacademy.org EAA Scholarships 920-426-6823 Library Services/Research 920-426-4848 Benefits AUA Vintage Insurance Plan 800-727-3823 www.auaonline.com EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan 866-647-4322 www.eaa.org/memberbenefits EAA VISA Card 800-853-5576 ext. 8884 EAA Hertz Rent-A-Car Program 800-654-2200 www.eaa.org/hertz VAA Editorial/Executive Director 920-426-4825 www.vintageaircraft.org VAA Office 920-426-6110
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
EAA Members Information Line 888-EAA-INFO (322-4636) 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)
MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION EAA Membership in the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is $40 for one year, including 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. Family membership is an additional $10 annually. All major credit cards accepted for membership. (Add $16 for International Postage.)
FOREIGN MEMBERSHIPS Please submit your remittance with a check or draft drawn on a United States bank payable in United States dollars. Add required Foreign Postage amount for each membership.
VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION Current EAA members may join the Vintage Aircraft Association and receive VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine for an additional $36 per year. EAA Membership, VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine and one year membership in the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $46 per
year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included). (Add $7 for International Postage.)
WARBIRDS Current EAA members may join the EAA Warbirds of America Division and receive WARBIRDS magazine for an additional $45 per year. EAA Membership, WARBIRDS magazine and one year membership in the Warbirds Division is available for $55 per year (SPORT OficAVIATION magazine not included). (Add $7 for International Postage.)
Current EAA members may join the International Aerobatic Club, Inc. Division and receive SPORT AEROBATICS magazine for an additional $45 per year. EAA Membership, SPORT AEROBATICS magazine and one year membership in the IAC Division is available for $55 per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included). (Add $15 for Foreign Postage.)
Membership dues to EAA and its divisions are not tax deductible as charitable contributions
Copyright ©2011 by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association, All rights reserved. VINTAGE AIRPLANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association of the Experimental Aircraft Association and is published monthly at EAA Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Rd., PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903-3086, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of Vintage Airplane magazine, is $36 per year for EAA members and $46 for non-EAA 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 submit 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: Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800. EAA® and EAA SPORT AVIATION®, the EAA Logo® and Aeronautica™ are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. The use of these trademarks and service marks without the permission of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited.
40 MARCH 2011
Proud Partners with EAA Why would anyone buy anything else?
The Privilege of Partnership
My husband, Rick, introduced me to sport aviation when we got married. At my ﬁrst Airventure, I was impressed with the presence that Ford had at the show. When I was ready for a new car, I chose a 2011 Ford Taurus because of the quality, styling and safety features.
EAA members are eligible for special pricing on Ford Motor Company vehicles through Ford’s Partner Recognition Program. To learn more on this exclusive opportunity for EAA members to save on a new Ford vehicle, please visit www.eaa.org/ford.
Our dealer treated us like royalty, helped us ﬁnd the exact car we wanted and it was the best car buying experience we had ever had. I would encourage anyone considering the purchase of a new car to take advantage of this membership beneﬁt. Debbie P., EAA # 677793
VEHICLE PURCHASE PLAN