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Sam & Paula Swift Nashville, Tennessee Sam: ■ Over 7,300 Hours Total ■ Commercial Pilot ■ ATP, CFI, CFII, & MEI ■ Tailwheel Instructor Paula: ■ Over 325 Hours Total (nearly all tailwheel) ■ Private Pilot

Sam and Paula share a passion for flying vintage aircraft. Along with being a commercial pilot, Sam is a tailwheel instructor specializing in Globe Swift and Maules and has also served on Board of Directors for Swift Museum Foundation. AUA has been our insurance agent for the 10+ years we’ve owned our planes. They have been wonderful to deal with and has always treated me like family. AUA is without a doubt the best to deal with for antique and tail-wheel aircraft!

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A I R P L A N E Vol. 39, No. 6




Straight & Level AirVenture 2011 by Geoff Robison




The Paulson-Poling-Teel Stinson Model 0 “Okay, so a Model 0 doesn’t exist... we’ll just have to build one.” by Budd Davisson


My Friend Frank Rezich


Part IX—An Aviation Celebration for Frank by Robert G. Lock


Skimming Cornfields: The Joy of Old-Time Flying by Philip Handleman


Light Plane Heritage Read, But Don’t Always Believe by Bob Whittier


Resurrection of an Alpine Stinson Stinson L-5 Sentinel restored in Switzerland by Stefan Degraef



The Vintage Mechanic Vibrations—Part 3 by Robert G. Lock


The Vintage Instructor Flight reviews—Part I by Steve Krog, CFI


Mystery Plane by H.G. Frautschy


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sure for each one it’s a different story, and for Mitch Poling, Jim Teel, and Jeff Paulson, the dream is solidified in one of the largest civilian parasol monoplanes ever built, the Stinson Model O. Read all about it in Budd Davisson’s article beginning on page 6. EAA photo by Phil High.

Interim Coordinator/Classified, Alicia Canziani Tel: 920-426-6860 Email:

BACK COVER: Roy Grinnell’s painting Lost in the Panhandle ser ved as a memor y jogger for our newest columnist, Philip Handleman. His first of what will be quarterly installments ruminating on various aspects of vintage aviation starts on page 18. For more on Grinnell’s outstanding work, visit his website at Painting reproduced courtesy of Roy Grinnell.



AirVenture 2011! AirVenture 2011 is coming up fast. June is here, and it’s time to start your preparations to participate in The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. Remember, you can now purchase your tickets and camping credentials for Camp Scholler online at The AirVenture website is also chock-full of information that will provide you with guidance on where to stay, camping fees, flying to Oshkosh (and a link to download the arrival and departure NOTAM), and all of the special events planned for this year’s fly-in convention. The opening day concert will feature the band REO Speedwagon, and the Lt. Dan Band with Gary Sinise will appear during the Salute to Veterans Day on Friday evening. You can also see Aaron Tippin in concert at the Theater in the Woods Saturday evening. And after all that fun, you have to be on the flightline Saturday night for the night air show. EAA has an unbelievable night air show planned for this year’s event, with even more fireworks and amazing night flying. Be there and “Feel the Heat!” This year is the 75th anniversary of the Lockheed 12. When was the last time you saw six or seven Lockheed 12s all parked together? That’s the plan we have; what a sight to behold! 2011 is also the 100th birthday of the U.S. Airmail service, and EAA, in cooperation with the Vintage Aircraft Association, has carefully planned a unique tribute to commemorate this important anniversary, including an airmail station building right on the

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flightline and the display of EAA’s newly completed Blériot monoplane reproduction. R.A. “Bob” Hoover will also be in attendance, and EAA has planned a very special celebration of “The Life of Bob Hoover”—war hero and legendary pilot. There will also be a special tribute to Burt Rutan, an aviation icon. The Commemorative Air Force’s legendary B-29 bomber is scheduled to attend and be on display on the main show ramp, and you can always catch a ride on EAA’s B-17 or Ford TriMotor any day of the event. The media releases are still going out on all of the attractions planned for this year, so be sure and browse the AirVenture website regularly. Site preparations continue in the Vintage area. The grounds are finally drying out enough to allow the turf rollers to begin their work. I spent the entire first week of May in Oshkosh, and things around here are really beginning to take shape. The VAA maintenance crew has now completed nearly all of its 2011 planned projects, so you will see some wonderful improvements. Having recently attended the VAA spring board meeting, along with the EAA board sessions, and the various other committee meetings that are scheduled during that week, I am now headed out to the West Coast to catch up with the B-17 Tour. I found the meetings both informative and productive. I am particularly pleased to report to you that your VAA division is in a sound financial position. We continue to experience strong financial support among our core supporters

of the Red Barn Fund. This fund, as many of you are aware, is a restricted fund that is only expended on the many initiatives that VAA brings to AirVenture each year. Without these critical dollars available, we would not be in a position to continue at the level of initiatives we fund today in the Vintage area during AirVenture. Many thanks to everyone who has supported the Red Barn Fund. I’d also like to invite you to become a volunteer in the Vintage area. There are myriad volunteer jobs available to the hundreds of volunteers who arrive at the event each year. For example, you can be a crossing guard on a taxiway, you can ride a scooter and park aircraft in the VAA area, you can assist us with aircraft flow control on the taxiway, or you can even help us cook breakfast for the hundreds of attendees in our Tall Pines Café’s kitchen. We go to great lengths every year to host our valued volunteers by providing a number of special amenities to make their efforts as enjoyable as possible. Our VAA volunteer party is a must-attend event, available only to those who dedicate their valuable time during AirVenture to the Vintage Aircraft Association. Remember, we cannot have a successful event without our volunteer group. Come join us and feel the full benefit of your visit to AirVenture 2011. We guarantee you will enjoy your experience with us. I hope to see you there July 25 through July 31, 2011!

VAA NEWS VAA Judging Categories

AirVenture 2011 With just more than a month to go before the summertime celebration of flight that is EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, we have a few items we’d like to share with you as you prepare to make your journey to Wittman Field. We’ll have more in the July issue of Vintage Airplane. There’s even more to come in our online newsletter, Vintage Aircraft Online. Subscribe to it by clicking on the Subscribe button at the top of the web page at vintageaircraft.

Type Club Information Type club representatives who wish to have a presence at a table in the Vintage Hangar during AirVenture 2011 should already have been in contact with VAA Director Steve Krog, the type club hangar chairman, at If you’ve not made your table reservation, please be certain to contact him as soon as possible. A number of type clubs have chosen to combine their annual AirVenture dinner with the VAA Picnic dinner held in the EAA Nature Center. Tickets go fast once the convention begins, so if your club would like to have its group get-together as part of the VAA Picnic on the Wednesday night of AirVenture, contact VAA Director Jeannie Hill at 815-245-4464. Tickets are to be purchased at the VAA Red Barn prior to the event.

VAA Awards Ceremony Like last year’s inaugural event,

Most of you reading this issue of Vintage Airplane have been members of the VAA for quite a while. But for those of you who are not yet VAA members and are planning on bringing an airplane to be judged during EAA AirVenture, you’re strongly encouraged to join the division. Why? VAA volunteers spend hundreds of hours parking aircraft, judging them, and making the VAA area the best it can be. VAA also covers the majority of the cost of the actual awards, so we’d appreciate it if you’d show your suppor t for the volunteers’ effor ts and VAA by becoming a VAA member. So it’s one less thing to deal with upon your arrival, give us a call at 800-843-3612 or join online at Dues are only $36 per year if you’re already an EAA member! Each year we receive inquires regarding the effective years for VAA’s judging categories. Here they are: ANTIQUE An aircraft constructed by the original manufacturer, or its licensee, on or before August 31, 1945, with the exception of certain pre-World War II aircraft models that had only a small postwar production. Examples: Beechcraft Staggerwing, Fairchild 24, and Monocoupe. CLASSIC An aircraft constructed by the original manufacturer, or its licensee, on or after September 1, 1945, up to and including December 31, 1955. CONTEMPORARY An aircraft constructed by the original manufacturer, or its licensee, on or after January 1, 1956, up to and including December 31, 1970.

the VAA aircraft awards ceremony will take place in the Vintage Hangar, just south of the VAA Red Barn. The ceremony, which will take place after the daily air show, starting at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, promises to be a great evening for winners and attendees alike. After the ceremony, we’ll host a reception for all attendees and the winners in the Vintage Hangar with soft drinks and snacks. Plan on being there to cheer on your friends and enjoy some vintage camaraderie before we all head home the next day.

Superflite to Sponsor Aircraft-Covering Presentations in Vintage Area Superflite, manufacturer and developer of paint systems for fabric-covered aircraft, will sponsor aircraft-covering workshops at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011. Aircraft-covering demonstrations presented by Superflite are part of the daily workshops offered by industry experts who help attendees learn and build their own skills through hands-on, step-bystep lessons. These demonstrations will be held in a special workshop


tent located just north of the Vintage Hangar near the VAA Red Barn Headquarters. “Superflite has been committed to the aviation community for over 60 years, and its commitment to EAA AirVenture will enhance the experience of everyone who participates in these fun, informative workshops,” said Jeff Kaufman, EAA’s director of business development. “We’re happy to host our friends from Superflite in the Vintage aircraft area, and we invite anyone interested in the fabric-covering process to stop by its tent and learn more about aircraft covering and finishing,” adds H.G. Frautschy, VAA’s executive director. Since 1949, Superflite has provided fabric-covering and finishing materials for a large number of experimental and certificated aircraft—continuing to manufacture the traditional butyrate dope in addition to a state-of-the-art ure-

thane system. Superflite’s System VI urethane topcoats have become extremely popular due to their easy application and high-gloss finish. More information is available at

Required Equipment: EAA AirVenture NOTAM If you’re planning to fly in to Oshkosh next month, it’s impera-

tive that you obtain a copy of the FAA’s 2011 AirVenture Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), which contains arrival and departure procedures for the 59th annual fly-in convention. These procedures are in effect from Friday, July 22, through Monday, August 1—one day earlier than previous years. (The event is July 25-July 31.) While the overall procedures are similar to past years, you should always review each year’s NOTAM and be familiar with the procedures so you don’t have to fumble around in the cockpit as you head down the railroad tracks from Fisk! You can download a PDF version at www.AirVenture. org/flying/2011_NOTAM.pdf, or call EAA Membership Services at 800-564-6322 and a printed booklet will be mailed to you, free of charge. (You can also order a booklet at airventure/notam_request.html.) Additional hints and tips for pilots arriving at and departing from EAA AirVenture 2011 are also available online at

Don’t Forget Your EAA Passport This Summer The EAA Museum Passport Program, in partnership with the Association of Science-Technology Museums (ASTC), was launched last year and has been renewed for the summer travel months until October 31, 2011. This fabulous member benefit provides free admission to more than 300 participating museums around the world. To use this benefit, you need to display the ASTC logo on the back of your membership card; current EAA membership cards have the logo conveniently printed on the back. Your EAA Passport will grant free admission to you and your immediate family into most participating museums on the list—as long as it is more than 90 miles from your home. (Additional restrictions apply in Wisconsin.) See the complete list at www.EAA. org/passport for the exact policy the museum of interest enforces.

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2011 VAA Friends of the Red Barn Campaign The VAA annual fundraising campaign fuels VAA action Don’t wait for a mailing from VAA HQ before you send in your contribution—to keep our administration costs as low as possible, we’re not sending out a mailingto each VAA member. Please send your donation today, while it’s fresh in your mind! Please help the VAA and our nearly 500 dedicated volunteers make this an unforgettable experience for our EAA AirVenture guests. Your contribution 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 Van and Radios • Caps for VAA Volunteers

• Flightline Parking Scooters and Supplies • Volunteer Booth Administrative Supplies • Red Barn and Other Building Maintenance • Tall Pines Café Dining Tent Diamond Plus $1250

Diamond $1000

Platinum $750

Gold $500

2 people/Full Week 2 people/2 Days

2 people/1 Day

Full Week

Full Week

2 Days

Tri-Motor Certificate

2 Tickets

2 Tickets

2 Tickets

1 Ticket

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

• Breakfast for Past Grand Champions • Signs Throughout the Vintage Area • And More! Silver $250

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Bronze $100

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: ■ Payment enclosed (Make checks payable to Vintage Aircraft Assoc.) ____ 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 ■ Please charge my credit card (below) Credit Card Number _____________________________ Expiration Date _________ Signature_________________________________________

Mail your contribution to:

VAA FORB PO Box 3086 OSHKOSH, WI 54903-3086

*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.

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.




Stinson Model O

“Okay, so a Model O doesn’t exist . . . we’ll just have to build one.” BY

6 JUNE 2011


“After presenting the plan to Jim over lunch, he said, ‘Let’s do it! Just two things: One, you take care of all the paperwork, and two, it has to be red.’” PHIL HIGH




Jim Teel, Brad Poling and Jeff Paulson pause for a few moments under the parasol wing of the Stinson Model O. We’ve all heard the cliché that aviation isn’t a pursuit or an avocation, but a disease. However, we should never lose sight of the fact that a cliché is a cliché because it’s built around a truth that is so pervasive that none of us can escape it. If you don’t believe it, ask Brad Poling and Jim Teel of Sacramento, California. They’ll be happy to explain how once the infection sets in, there’s no logical way of stopping it. There’s no such thing as an

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airplane-specific antibiotic. Brad says, “I’ve been nuts about airplanes since 1947 and have been part of the EAA homebuilding scene since 1978. I was building my Westfall Staggerwing in 1999 when the ‘O escapade’ began. Like everyone else, I’m constantly looking for neat projects to build, even though I know I’ll probably never build any of them. Then I saw an advertisement for a quarter-scale RC model of the Model O Stinson. I didn’t

even know such a beast existed, but man, I really liked the cut of its jib, so I bought the plans. That turned out to be the most costly set of plans for a model airplane that anyone has ever bought!” Models have been the pipeline through which many a homebuilder came into aviation, but for Brad, seeing that simple advertisement pointed him in a direction he hadn’t foreseen. Brad says, “I really got hooked on the Model O, and the more I looked, the more compulsive I became. Here was an absolutely gorgeous airplane out of aviation’s golden age, and I’d only vaguely heard of it. So I began researching it every way I could. I found that in 1933, Lowell Yerex was under contract from the Honduran government to buy training aircraft for the soon-to-be formed Honduran air force. He came to Eddie Stinson and laid out his requirements. Stinson told Lowell to come back in 90 days and they would have a prototype aircraft flying for him. Bob Hall (of Gee Bee racer fame) designed the new fuselage and modified existing SR-5 parts that were in inventory to come up with the

On the right side of the panel, the small storage capability of the glove box was given up to provide a tidy spot for the transponder, comm radio, ELT control panel, and the O’s circuit breakers. PHIL HIGH PHOTOS

The front cockpit of the O was done with great attention to the 1930s-era style of construction. Each of the instruments was carefully chosen so the airplane would maintain its outstanding replica feel both inside and out.

Each of the engine instruments is attached to this neatly executed manifold on the firewall. Period brass fittings with copper piping was used rather than the newer AN hardware. The structurally beefy and complex landing gear has a series of aluminum fairings for the wing struts and bracing wires, master fully created by Rob Wagner for Evergreen Aviation Services and Restorations.

prototype in 90 days. The first three production Model O’s were purchased by Honduras. “It was soloed from the front, not the back, so the back seat could be used for a variety of training missions, from instrument training under a hood to gunnery and bombing. They actually had it set up to mount a fl exible machine gun back there,

should a customer want it. “An instrument hood was added by Joe Prosser Aviation (in 1936 in Long Beach, California) after Prosser purchased the prototype aircraft, NC13817, from Stinson. The airplane was in Long Beach until December 7, 1941. It was then sold to a flight school at Love Field in Texas because all civilian A/C were grounded on the West Coast.



Flight instructor Joe Plosser’s Stinson Model O in Glendale, California, while it was being used for “under the hood” training in the Civilian Pilot Training program in 1939. Even then, it was the only one of its kind!

This airplane is big! No dinky little parasol monoplane with a 125-hp engine, the Model O is a big as a Stinson SR series cabin monoplane. (Those are SR-5 wings, after all). During its life, the O was owned by only three firms: Lycoming Motors, Prosser Aviation, and the Love Field Flight School. About a month before the first flight of our airplane, I obtained the complete FAA file on Stinson NC13817 from first flight sign-off to last record in 1944. “We keep hearing someone saw the prototype in such and such a place, but nothing has ever come of those stories. The FAA had no construction information like plans, but every so often I’d stumble into a photograph or two and that kept me fired up and searching. It went like this for about five years.” Finally Brad decided to do something about it, and that meant reaching out and infecting another unsuspecting soul with “Model O disease.” Brad knew exactly who would be a perfect host for that dis-

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ease: his airport buddy, Jim Teel. “In 2002, after the Westfall was completed and flying, I went to work in earnest on the O project,” Brad says. “In July 2007, after I had pulled most all of the information on the O together and located an SR-5 project, I called Jim. After presenting the plan to Jim over lunch, he said, ‘Let’s do it! Just two things: One, you take care of all the paperwork, and two, it has to be red.’ The deal was, and is to this day, sealed with a handshake. Jim is not one to waste words or time.” The two of them knew they were about to take off on a grand adventure, but grand adventure or not, it didn’t take too many more conversations before they realized that they needed another partner, one who was more adept than they were at projects of this size. Brad

The 300-hp Lycoming, the same one used in the big Stinson SR-5, hauls the 3,500-pound airplane through the skies with a 120-mph cruise speed.

had his baby Westfall biplane and Jim his EAA bipe, both of which would be dwarfed by the big Stinson. So they began looking around for another avaholic who had good hands, had experience building big airplanes, and would be easily convinced. They found him in the person of Jeff Paulson at Evergreen Aviation Services and Restorations in Scappoose, Oregon. Jeff explains his involvement this way: “I’m a sucker for unique old airplanes, and by that time, I’d restored a bunch of antiques for customers and had a long background building and modifying Pitts. All of that eventually morphed into coowning a flight service operation that also builds and rebuilds airplanes. I really love round-motored airplanes. Especially unusual ones, so when Brad and Jim showed up


with this harebrained scheme to build a Stinson no one had ever heard of and asked me if I would like to be a partner in the project, how could I refuse? Such a deal!” Brad estimates they had a couple dozen photos of the airplane, including a few while it was under construction, which proved invaluable in solving certain internal structural arrangements. Plus, we can’t forget the original model airplane that got this whole thing started. It made a lot of informational contributions. “When we really got serious about building it,” Jeff remembers, “we quickly realized that, when Stinson designed the airplane, they did what many aircraft companies of the times had done: They borrowed components from their other airplanes and recombined

them in different ways. Where Waco for instance made a fourplace, the QDC, out of their F-2 by just adding a wide fuselage, Stinson in essence made a two-place trainer out of their four-place SR-5. This is especially obvious when you look at the Model O and the SR-5 in plain view.” Jeff says, “Brad had already found an SR-5 project that had been stalled for years and included a 300-hp, ‘overhauled’ R-680 Lycoming, which was the exact engine we needed. From the beginning, we wanted to use the donor airplane more as a source of dimensional and structural information than parts, although we would be using the wings and part of the tail. Everything else was just used as patterns. We were as sensitive as possible to the rare nature of the project

airplane parts and didn’t want to use anymore than absolutely necessary. We still have a bare fuselage and lots of parts should anyone need them. “One of the most valuable photos Brad had discovered,” Jeff says, “was a view of the fuselage uncovered. It was a poor-quality, grainy photo, but it gave us a tremendous amount of information about structural layout, fittings, and seats. We had that digitized on CAD [computer-aided design]. Since we had the dimension between the landing gear mounts from the SR and the two airplanes shared the same gear, it automatically gave us the rest of the dimensions for the fuselage frame. “We then looked at the SR-5 that had a similar layout in terms of lengths, etc., and used that as


Unlike most tandem open-cockpit airplanes, the Stinson Model O is flown solo from the front seat, with the center section having a deep V section to provide easier access to the front cockpit.


a guide to the size of tubing to be used in the different locations. Plus, we used 4130 rather than the original 1025, so we picked up a lot of strength there. “The landing gear was almost totally reverse-engineered around the SR-5 gear. It’s mounted out on a healthy tubing stub that protrudes from the fuselage, providing a pivot point. “With the exception of Stearman control stick yokes, the control system is completely scratchbuilt. The control stick, for instance, is laminated spruce and mahogany with a conduit for PTT wiring running down the middle. We steam-bent it to the configuration we wanted, then laminated and shaped it by hand. We really like the way it came out.” Brad and Jim came to Jeff with images of the original Model O burned in their brains. They wanted it to look as antique as possible but still be a fun airplane to fly. That meant it had to have just enough of the modern conveniences to make flying cross-country easy, but they definitely didn’t want that to detract from the airplane’s look, something that Jeff totally agreed with. “The airplane is flown from the front,” Jeff says, “which is a little unusual for a tandem airplane of this vintage, and we tried everything we could to hide radios and other modern stuff. We believe the original airplanes had a glove box up front, so we built that into this one and used

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it as a place to hide the radios and circuit breakers. The antennas are all behind the backseat with the GPS in the rear turtledeck under the fabric. We can’t detect any loss of signal for any of them.” Brad says, “Besides being a goodlooking airplane, it has some interesting features, one of which is the crank in the front seat that folks sometimes ask about. It runs a screw jack that’s just behind the firewall and is attached to—and I’m not kidding when I say this—the oil cooler. It is retractable! The crank lets the pilot run the radiator out into the wind to cool the engine off or bring it back in. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything similar. “All three of us agreed that there could be no modern instruments in either panel. That would ruin the look. Jeff, of course, knew what rocks to look under and came up with all Pioneer or U.S. Gauge instruments that we sent off to Instrument Pro in Hayward, California, for rebuild. We’re really pleased with the look. “Try as we may, we couldn’t find a photo of the throttle and couldn’t find one that we thought had the right look, so we just designed and built one that we thought looked like it was from the period.” When it came time to hang the supposedly overhauled engine, things unfortunately went south in a hurry. Jeff says, “We were told the engine was overhauled, but as soon as

I inspected it, I found some cracked cylinders. After talking to Brad and Jim, it was decided to send it out for a teardown and inspection. We sent it to Radial Engines Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When they tore it down, they found the rings were not only automotive rings, but they were on upside down. The valves had been rusty, and someone just took a wire brush to them. They were awful. When they broke the engine down they found that even the crankshaft was bad. The entire engine was junk! Garbage! So we bit the bullet and had them do a complete overhaul. And they built us a terrific engine and have given us outstanding support. We just couldn’t ask for a better-running engine. “We didn’t build the entire cowl, but started off with one from a UC78 Bamboo Bomber purchased from Radial Engines Inc. Being designed for a Jacobs, it was just a little too small, but the cowl bumps took care of that. On the original airplane, the cowling was basically one piece and didn’t give good access to the engine, so we built piano hinges into the top so the sides can be opened. “At the other end we used the SR-5 tail and subtly reshaped the outlines. It trims via an SR-9 screw jack on the front spar, which is operated by cable and pulley from the cockpit. It works extremely well.” The fuselage was an entirely scratchbuilt puzzle with lots of en-

gineering and head scratching. The wings, modified SR-5 panels, promised to be much easier because they had something to start with. However, building a center section to attach those wings to was another puzzle. Jeff says, “We had a good photo of the center section, and without that, we wouldn’t have come even close because it’s so much different than most center sections. For one thing, it has no fuel tank in it. Those are out in the wing panels and hold 35 gallons each. They couldn’t be in the center section because it is a jungle gym of steel tubing. The main carrythrough is a piece of tubing the size of your wrist. Two and three-quarter inches to be exact. And it’s 0.058! It looks like gas pipe. The curved cockpit clearance cut in the back of it goes so far forward that the trailing edge that is in the middle of it is over a foot forward of the rear spar. The trailing edge, that is usually a laminated wood structure, is a piece of half-inch steel and two healthy pieces of tubing cut across the whole thing, corner to corner. Then everything is hidden within built-up truss ribs made of 5/16 steel tubing. No way we would have arrived at that without the photo!” The SR-5 wing panels were totally disassembled because they needed complete rebuilding. Then they were shortened 2 feet and the flaps removed and the struts moved inboard by 19 inches. In the process they tried to stay as true to the photos as possible while also using 1930s techniques. Jeff says, “In the photos it’s obvious that all the cables and fuel lines run through the struts. This is one of the things that makes the airplane look so clean, but at the same time added a whole other level of complexity. At the same time, however, we used copper line and built up fittings from brass and sheet, silver soldering them together. It was a lot more work, but using the normal aluminum fuel line and AN fittings would have looked out of place. “This is also why there is no fiberglass used anywhere on the airplane. We wanted to keep it as

authentic as possible, so the wheelpants are original aluminum units and all the complex fairings were formed in aluminum. “We covered the airplane using the Air-Tech system, which worked well. Then it was time for paint.” Jim says, “When we caucused on the paint, we decided to go with the original scheme. I liked red, and everyone went along with that. We used claret red. Jeff didn’t like using pure white, so we went with manila beige and he talked us out of using a third color. Looking back at it, he was absolutely right.” “We wanted to use the original N number,” Brad says, “but it was already on an airplane. But the owner said he’d give us the number. He only had one condition: We had to buy his airplane. So we applied for 13817, which was only one digit off from the original. That came back as being reserved by the FAA for use on their own airplanes. However, it took only one letter from us, explaining our situation, and they gladly gave it to us.” As of this writing, the trio and their anachronistic creation have logged more than 150 hours, including flights to Oshkosh and up and down the West Coast to numerous fly-ins. Of course, the big question is, “How does it fly?” Jeff says, “It is a very stable airplane but heavy on the controls. The elevator trim is essential, but it does trim out really nice. Front seat visibility is limited even in level flight because of the center section. When flying in formation for photo flights, I have to be the lead aircraft because most of the time I can’t see the photo plane. On flights like that, I take a back seat pilot as an observer. “The airplane will cruise at over 100 knots. For landing I fly the approach at 80 mph and come over the fence at 70. In the flare, the speed bleeds off in a hurry and it stalls at about 50 mph. Like most airplanes of the time, when you pull the power back, you are going down immediately. I fly pattern altitude until final, then slip to get the nose out of the way. I have no problem getting it

down close to the threshold. In general, it’s really a lot of fun to fly.” With the project finished, Brad says, “I would like to thank my old friend, the late Jack Cox, for his advice and encouragement that helped start this project and kept it moving forward. Thanks to Bob and Brent Taylor of the Antique Aircraft Association for their networking help. My thanks also to Remo Galeazzi, Jim Smith, George Attman, Rex Hume, and the Sac. exec of the DGA group for sharing their aviation history and restoration skills with us. “Over the past 25 years I have scratchbuilt two experimental aircraft. A Keleher Lark and a Westfall Staggerwing biplane. Serial number 2. The O was my first foray into the vintage world. I knew from the beginning that I was way out of my element, but I thought I could pull it off if I took the time to research the aircraft, develop a game plan, and find the right people to pull together and make it work. Thankfully, for once in my baby life, I got it right on all three counts. The O has been a very satisfying and fun experience. I was particularly gratified at Oshkosh this year by the number of serious vintage restorers who thanked us for re-creating the beautiful O. Our O is, after all, not a restoration. To receive compliments from top-flight aircraft restorers was, I felt, an honor in itself. Jim and I look forward to a few more years of O flight. When the time comes for us to turn in our wings, we plan to donate the O to some worthy museum. Hopefully one that will keep it flying.” Jim’s final comment: “I have to give credit where credit is due. This project was Brad’s dream from the beginning. He had already done all the research required when he offered me the opportunity to participate. And, I have to say that Brad and Jeff did most of the work ,and I get to fly the plane. What a great partnership!” So, three minds come together, each bringing its own different skills and goals, and an aviation icon from another era is the result. A great partnership, indeed!


My Friend

Frank Rezich Part IX—An Aviation Celebration for Frank BY




o continue this biography of my friend and older brother Frank (we have decided that Frank should be my older brother and I should be his younger brother—it’s a long story), an update is necessary. On April 2, 2011, Frank celebrated his 88th birthday and received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. Surrounded by 70 of his friends and admirers, Frank now has both the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic and Wright Brothers Master Pilot awards from the FAA, and in my humble opinion there is no person more deserving than my good friend Frank Rezich. A s F r a n k ’s d a u g h t e r, K a t h y, searched the files for early aviation history of Frank, she located the military separation record from

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when Frank was discharged from the Army Air Corps at the conclusion of World War II. It’s fascinating to note all the achievements that occurred during Frank’s service from April 11, 1944, to December 21, 1945.. What he did in this time period is amazing. On the second page of the document you can also see that Frank was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with two clusters. He participated in every theater of operation of the war—Pacific, American, and European. A proud member of the greatest generation is Frank Rezich. Although all of Frank’s original pilot logbooks have been lost (particularly upsetting is the fact that his first log showing his official solo flight is nowhere to be found), the FAA maintains a paperwork file on

all airmen in Oklahoma City. Using this file (the FAA calls it the “Blue Ribbon File”), Frank’s pilot paperwork was recorded, except for his original student certificate dated November 8, 1943. Fortunately, Kathy found the original certificate, thought to be long lost. Working with FAA Safety Team (FAAST) member Fred Kaiser, who is based in Lakeland, Florida, there was enough paperwork in the Blue Ribbon File to qualify Frank for the award. With FAA approval in hand,

Above: Frank and Kathy share a moment together at the conclusion of Frank’s celebration of flight. Frank is proudly holding the VAA’s plaque presented on behalf of the Vintage Aircraft Association and created by the VAA staff.

Above, the tattered remains of Frank’s original student pilot certificate found by daughter Kathy in a box in Frank’s office, showing a solo date of January 19, 1944, when he flew a Piper J-2 Cub, thus the endorsement of from 0-80 hp. After the war ended brother Nick endorsed Frank for 0-450 hp.

Frank gives his thanks to all those who attended from near and far. A master craftsman and aviator is Frank.

Frank and your humble author together displaying both Wright Brothers Master Pilot and Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award plaques. The many years of experience in the aviation industry have been good to us, but I am no match when compared to Frank. Like the Frank Sinatra song says, “I Did It My Way.” VINTAGE AIRPLANE 15

The center of attention is Frank Rezich, weaving tales of welding stainless steel honeycomb panels on the North American XB-70 or pressure testing the cockpit structure. it was time to organize a long overdue celebration for Frank. Even though Frank’s health is not as good as in the past, he and Kathy decided to make the long


pending celebration, scheduled for Saturday, April 2. The rain (10 inches over four days) made the runway soggy, and the several airplanes scheduled to attend could not get in, except for Paul Fuller and his Great Lakes Special. As friends assembled, the program started at 5:30 p.m., emceed by my good friend and former FAA official Ben Coleman, who provided information about the Master Pilot award, followed by a flight biography presented by me, detailing Frank’s career as both a pilot and mechanic. Those in attendance included Frank’s nephew, Jim Rezich (Nick’s son), and his two sons, Nick and Bug. Many other special guests came to wish Frank well. Frank is now the proud holder of both the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic and Wright Brothers Master Pilot awards given by the FAA signifying at least 50 years of faithful service to the aviation community. Additionally, a special award was presented to Frank

n April 2, 2011, Frank celebrated his 88th birthday and received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. trip from San Miguel, California, to Flanders Field, near Lakeland, Florida, during the Sun ’n Fun flyin. Arriving on March 30 after an all-night flight, Frank was ready for action. However, heavy rains and tornado warnings were present and caused considerable damage at the air show, but it did not dampen the

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from the Vintage Aircraft Association and signed by H.G. Frautschy proclaiming Frank as a “National Aviation Treasure.” An outstanding buffet of food was prepared by Sandy Lock, Lucinda Schwenker, and Sharon Lust. A special birthday cake was the final presentation with the traditional toast provided by me: “May the icing on your birthday cake never cave in from the weight of the candles!” Plenty of food and refreshments were provided to guests, and the party went on until well after dark, with Frank holding court just like the old days, telling stories of his days at Howard Aircraft when he set up the assembly line for military-contract Howard DGAs at age 19, an amazing achievement. Editor’s Note: Frank and Kathy had a marvelous time during the celebration, and he continues to enjoy a strong recovery from his recent illness. So for now, this article will conclude the ongoing saga of Frank Rezich, master mechanic and aviator, and truly a “National Aviation Treasure.”—H.G. Frautschy

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Skimming Cornfields: The

Joy of Old-Time Flying


ne of my favorite aviation paintings depicts a lone Curtiss d JJN-4 Jenny nestled fforlornly on the rambling prairie land that b defines the Texas Panhandle. The scene is of a flier lost amid the monotonous landscape, accented only by a gaunt windmill in the distance and the dust cloud of a cattle drive on the horizon. You can tell that the biplane is a barnstormer’s ship,

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for she is decked out in a purposely garish color scheme that sports the markings of a flying circus. In the background, an itinerant mechanic fetches water from an advantageously located well to abate an overheating radiator. Meanwhile, a cowpoke, adorned in suspenders, bandana, and chaps, has dismounted in the middle of the herding operation to pore over outspread maps with the pilot, himself an icon of occupational fashion,

clad in leather jacket, matching tall boots, and jodhpurs. Close to the shadow of a drooping aileron, a couple of wranglers remain comfortably ensconced in their saddles, debating between themselves the appropriate direction of flight for their newfound visitors. The horses show stoic detachment from their masters’ banter about the route the air travelers should take. One of the men points boldly into the great out-yonder

as if he knows the right course for the pilot to get back on track to make his scheduled air show performance on time. When I first laid eyes on this masterful oil-on-canvas in the late 1980s, I might have perceived it simply as a fine piece of work, a lovely portrayal of aeronautical life in the early golden age of flight, and nothing else. But when I saw Roy Grinnell’s fittingly titled Lost in the Panhandle, it had a mirror effect; in its understated gritty majesty there was my biplane with me at the controls on the way to a flying event, enduring impediments that were assuaged by strangers, the good people of the land. Indeed, I’m sure there are many pilots who would see themselves reflected in the image, for who is so adroit as

to never have had doubt about his position, or who is so equipped to have escaped dependence on others during a cross-country trek? Indubitably, the artist could just as well have captured my similarly fortuitous experience at a little grass airstrip tucked into an all-but-forgotten corner of the great Midwest. In the time that preceded the advent of readily available GPS receivers, I navigated the Stearman by reference to checkpoints that I had circled in pencil on a sectional chart. I gripped that rumpled piece of paper in the unforgiving slipstream during the journey as if life or death hung in the balance. From my home field in southeast Michigan I headed westward for a highly touted gathering of like-minded antiquers in Iowa. The first fuel stop happened to be in the flat infinitude of Indiana’s farm and pasture belt. Luckily, the sod runway came into view exactly where it appeared on the chart. I throttled back and uneventfully touched down on the nicely tended bed of grass. Quite to my surprise, the airport gave every appearance of being abandoned. Without another aircraft in sight, either on the ground or in the air, I taxied to the far end of the runway only to feel even more isolated. Unsure of what to do, I taxied back whence I had come; at least there was a stately clapboard house on the other end. Maybe the idling engine would rustle up a bystander or two. Sure enough. Members of a sizable extended family cascaded down the back porch, one after the other, all exuberant and attired in distinctive Amish garb. Mom, dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins (or so I imagined), both young and old, even a radiant woman with a baby coddled in her arms, filed out to gander at the bright yellow double-decker that had dropped into what constituted their backyard. The Stearman’s arrival must have been the most excitement the quaint hamlet had had in a long while. I didn’t dare shut the engine off,

since I was having voltage regulator problems. Although I was warmly welcomed, this wasn’t the place to risk a failed restart if there was no fuel for the uptake. So I shouted over the din, “Do you have aviation fuel?” One of the older men signaled he would have to call the airport owner. A minute later, word came that the airport’s fuel drum was empty. Clearly, I would have to stop elsewhere along the route to quench my engine’s thirst. My impromptu hosts quickly sized up the situation and independently came to the same conclusion. Without solicitation, a few of the men in the ever burgeoning crowd edged closer to the fuselage aft of the port wing and called out directions to the nearest airport that was certain to have fuel. “Turn left after takeoff, pick up the interstate. In minutes you’ll see Valparaiso and the airport on your right.” As they rattled off instructions, each verbalized leg was accompanied by brisk corresponding hand motions aligned with the recommended direction of flight. Just then I was, in a way, like the pilot in the painting. No, the patchwork quilts of Indiana aren’t the sun-baked prairies of Texas. And I wasn’t actually lost. But a halfcentury after the original barnstormers had enlivened the countryside, infusing it with the romance of flight, I unexpectedly relived a slice of that old-time flying at an unfamiliar waypoint in a wide-open realm that seemed to stretch forever. The magic of the moment was shared with strangers who wore grins from ear to ear as they groped to provide guidance to a modern vagabond of the air. I gave my Amish friends, who had waved a fond farewell, a gentle wing rock while skimming the cornfields upon departure. It was a modest thank-you for their heartfelt tidings and an acknowledgment of the instantaneous bond that often springs from the well of goodwill at waypoints along our most ambitious wanderings.


Light Plane Heritage published in EAA Experimenter September 1991

This photo of the Longster clearly shows a fourth, rearmost flying wire. Omission of this important detail in Figure 1 is clearly an artist’s error.



The typical modern sport aviation enthusiast reads current magazines and books to keep himself well informed on the present-day aviation scene. He also loves to ferret out and devour copies of very old magazines, reprints of them,

and flea market aviation books printed long before World War II. Nostalgia obviously has something to do with the strong appeal of older literature. But it’s also quite true that while much of the material published in recent years deals

with the faster and more sophisticated types of homebuilt aircraft now so popular among those who can afford to build them and have the skill to fly them, older literature contains much information and inspiration for those whose inter-

Figure 1: This drawing of a Longster shows only three flying wires running from lower longeron to the wing spars. (From 1933 Flying and Glider Manual, pages 56 to 57) 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

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Publishers were eager to rush est lies in simpler, slower aircraft books into print to capitalize suitable for recreational flying. on the fame of aviators such as After all, there’s the trite but Lindbergh, Byrd, Chamberlin, true saying, “To know where and quite a number of others. we’re going, we must know Since these famous people were where we’ve been.” busy becoming aviation masters, On the whole it can be said it was common for ghostwriters that ferreting out and reading to be assigned the task of writing older material is both enjoyable copy that would be published and informative. However, all under such famous names. who do this should realize very A few ghostwriters knew that clearly that everything one finds airplane wings aren’t covered in old books and periodicals with canvas and that rudders shouldn’t be accepted naively as don’t make airplanes turn. Othbeing the whole truth. ers didn’t know a thing about airPeople engaged in the pubplanes and solemnly informed lishing business sometimes say readers that the radial engine to one another, “Paper will stand that powered some famous flyer’s anything.” By this they mean plane was a “radical” engine. Or to acknowledge to one another they’d have him say something that it’s possible to publish both like, “That’s the best plane I ever golden truths and scandalous drove!” Such books were considuntruths. It’s important for the ered good enough for the mass aviation enthusiast to develop a market, but today they should be knack for recognizing what inforread with this awareness in mind. mation is sound and useful, and Be cautious of plans that are ilwhat is dubious and sometimes lustrated with artists’ drawings of dangerously misleading. Most people never have an Figure 2: Some airplanes used ver tical the finished plane in flight. The opportunity to become well ac- bolts through wing spar roots to attach absence of actual photographs of quainted with editors. Adver- wings to center sections or fuselages. the finished plane could mean that no prototype was ever built tisers like to quote what some This method had serious faults. and test-flown! editor printed about their prodAs the demand for aviation uct, knowing that many people Be cautious of plans books grew, publishers often went even in this sophisticated age still that are illustrated to lengths to find something to believe that if something appears in print, it must therefore be the absowith artists’ drawings print. It’s a fact that many people who are excellent pilots and technilute truth. of the finished cians are poor at writing. Much of But it’s a fact that just as in every this hastily prepared literature was other type of business, in the pubplane in flight. done by chaps who were sure to lishing field, one finds all kinds of characters. Sometimes the editor of you pay $3 for a magazine, most of make chumps of themselves if they a particular magazine is a real ex- this money is divided up between ever grasped a welding torch or a pert in the field his magazine covers. the newsstand owner, the news control stick. They’d skim through But it’s useful to keep in mind that distributor, and the printer; not a pile of magazines and books writif he’s that good, he might be of- much goes to the publisher. Most ten by other hacks to make themfered a better-paying job elsewhere. of a publication’s income is derived selves into self-appointed experts If he leaves in a hurry, the magazine from paid advertising. Ad rates are and then get to work. Here’s how owner’s son-in-law might be made based on circulation. Editors are one of these whizzes described the the new editor, for the sake of keep- thus under pressure to increase cir- tailspin: “The tailspin is one of the ing things going and meeting print- culation. Some will print anything most difficult stunts. You perform ing deadlines. This new chap might that strikes them as being useful it by getting the machine to slide know how the magazine is run…but in grabbing the attention of news- backward and then putting on opposite bank and rudder, as in a forhe might not be an authority on the stand browsers. Yet another thing to remember ward spin.” field it covers! It’s also good to keep in mind is that a lot of old aviation literHe went on to describe anthat publishing is a business. When ature dates from the late 1920s. other maneuver thusly: “The Im-


built in the upper Midwest and melman turn, invented by saw in them some attentionthe famous German war ace, catching material. Between is merely a sideslip from a 1929 and 1933, articles from stall and has the advantage this magazine were reprinted of bringing the plane around in the form of the now-famous in the opposite direction to Flying and Glider Manual. which it was going.” Because this material was Books written by or about available and interesting in f a m o u s a c e s d u r i n g Wo r l d its special way, EAA reprinted War I have to be read with these annuals in the 1950s (and the awareness that many again in 1990). Well versed were rushed into print for the in airplane construction, EAA purpose of boosting civilian Founder Paul H. Poberezny morale and promoting recruitnoted in his introductory statement more than giving readers ment that “These old designs a realistic picture of the sensations and techniques of com- Figure 3: This type of wing root fitting was ad- in many cases lack the technibat flying. In these books the opted to overcome the shor tcomings of the cal progress made between the heroes never experienced fear, type shown in Figure 1. Easier to make with 1930s and today.” Readers of these manuals never worried about naviga- accuracy, and pivoting action of the bolt altion, and never hurried home lows for spar flexing. (From Vintage Airplane, who possess similar knowledge can easily spot poor design feawith an urgent case of the trots June 1981, page 22) tures as they look over those brought on by breathing castor old plans. But what of newcomers oil fumes emitted by their planes’ Paper will stand anything! Most books or magazines repre- who have scant knowledge of good rotary engines. Most articles published during the war years were sented the efforts of not one but and poor aeronautical practices? heavily censored so as not to in- several persons. Editors decided What follows will give them a firm advertently put sensitive informa- which articles submitted by hopeful introduction to the kinds of things tion in the hands of the enemy. freelancers to accept and publish. to beware of. Figure 1 shows a side view drawThey were often very lacking in A typist might redo a famous aviathe kind of practical “this is how tor’s hastily scribbled or dictated ing of the Longster that appeared we do it” information for which copy, misspelling some unfamiliar in the 1933 Flying and Glider Manaeronautical terms in the process. ual. Note that it shows only three today’s aviation fan is searching. In the early 1930s peoples’ ma- A nonflying assistant editor would flying wires running from the jor concern was to somehow earn mark the typed manuscript with lower longeron to the front and a living as the nation slipped symbols telling typesetters the de- rear wing spars. This is clearly an deeper into the economic depres- sired style and size of type to use. art department error that wasn’t sion of those times. Garish paint- Proofreaders who knew spelling caught or corrected by the editors, ings of weird new aircraft designs and punctuation well but nothing likely in the rush to meet a deadappeared on magazine covers as at- about aviation might take it upon line. In the photograph of this airtention getters. One magazine pre- themselves to change “the French- plane, and you can clearly see a sented its trusting readers with a built Salmson engine” to “the fourth, rearmost wire running up straight-faced account of a man in French-built Salmon engine.” Some to the rear gear. Figure 2 shows a method of attachArizona who had invented a mag- of this old literature has to be read ing the inboard ends of wing spars netized steel runway that would with a little skepticism! Nonflying draftsmen and artists to fuselages and center sections that grab at a speeding plane’s cast-iron tailskid shoe and brake it to a safe would prepare illustrations. With was used on a number of factoryhalt. In another issue the magazine all these people rushing to meet built airplanes of the 1920s. Note described another imaginative in- a printer’s deadline, it was always that the bolts pass vertically through ventor’s proposal or a new train- possible for unfortunate things to the butt ends of the spars. On paper this looks simple and secure. ing plane designed to cope with find their way into print. All airplane wings flex, howHere are some tangible examthe growing number of people who wanted to learn to fly. It had ples. In the late 1920s a magazine ever slightly, from engine vibraa huge open cockpit able to seat called Modern Mechanics was being tion on the ground and rough air a whole class of student pilots. At published in Minnesota. The edi- in flight. This rigid type of vertithe forward end of this pit there tor heard about some interesting cal-bolt attachment couldn’t yield was even a lectern and blackboard. homebuilt planes that had been easily to spar flexing, and in time

22 JUNE 2011

Figure 4: At top, a drawing of the wing rib for the Ramsey light plane. Note absence of diagonal in the trusswork ahead of the rear spar. At bottom, similar rib for Northrop glider has a diagonal in this space. Text explains uncertainties involving the Ramsey design. (Top drawing from 1932 Flying and Glider Manual, page 66; bottom drawing from 1930 Flying and Glider Manual, page 54) the bolts would elongate the upper and lower portions of the long holds in the spar butts. This loosening couldn’t be seen by pilots or mechanics conducting preflight and periodic inspections. Sooner or later a heavy stress would allow one of the bolts to tear through the remaining wood and send the plane crashing to earth. As you inspect this drawing, the realization will come to you that in this layout the grain of the wood offers very little resistance to the bolt tearing through it. Steel reinforcing plates helped, but in this example they can offer negligible strength; they will tear out of the wood easily. After hard lessons had been learned from failures in fittings of this type, it became standard engineering practice to never use wood screws in load-carrying structures. When this type of attachment was attempted by homebuilders working with minimal shop equipment, another weakness showed up. It was often hard for them to drill such long holes in wood with the necessary accuracy. A gradual change was made to the type of fitting shown in Figure 3. It was much easier to accurately drill the short holes needed for the wing root fitting, and the horizontal bolt that attached the fitting to the fuselage offered enough pivoting action to easily accommodate wing flexing.

In Figure 4 we have an example of what could be either poor design or human error in a publishing office. It shows the wing rib for the Ramsey “Flying Bathtub,” plans for which appeared in the Flying and Glider Manual for 1932. There is no diagonal member in the truss bay directly ahead of the rear spar. One can study plans for a hundred other planes without finding another truss like this. The basic rule of aircraft framework design is to use triangles everywhere, because a triangle is the only geometric shape that has an inherent resistance to deformation. Leaving out the diagonal member in this particular rib creates a readily deformed rectangle. It’s possible the designer, W.H. Ramsey, performed calculations that satisfied him that the diagonals in the two bays aft of the front spar would give a rib adequate strength for this admittedly light and slow airplane. But how is a Ramsey replica builder of today going to know who Ramsey was and how much he knew about aircraft engineering? Remember, most of the planes for which plans were published in magazines were built by amateur designers. Some knew airplane design surprisingly well—and others didn’t. It isn’t unreasonable to surmise that this unusual design repre-

sents an error made by the artist who prepared Ramsey drawings for publication. He might simply have forgotten to draw in the diagonal. Or someone in the art department who lettered the drawing might have obscured it. Figure 4 also shows the rib design for the Northrop glider, which appeared in the 1930 Flying and Glider Manual. There’s a diagonal in the truss bay just ahead of the rear spar. This glider was lighter and slower than the Ramsey. It comes down to this—before starting to build a reproduction of any early aircraft, it’s wise to go over the plans with people who thoroughly understand airplane design and construction. By all means enjoy reading old aeronautical literature. Doing so will vastly broaden your aeronautical general knowledge. But do it with the realization that you have to be constantly aware that the material can contain confusing and therefore potentially dangerous misinformation and mistakes! Editor’s Note: What old aviation history books are your favorites? For fun? Or accuracy? Both? Let us know, and we’ll share it with the rest of the membership. Drop us a note at, or send us a note or card via the mail at: Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.


Resurrection of an Stinson L-5 Sentinel restored in Switzerland BY


Stinson L-5 Sentinel s/n 42-99186, manufactured by the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation in 1942, received the Swiss A-96 military serial number and flew until 1950 as a lightweight liaison and observation aircraft in military service. If you look to the top of the rudder, you can see that HB-TRY still has its extendable radio antennas and airflow cone mounted on the tail. Once the antenna was deployed by the airstream, the military crew was able to transmit their observation data. 24 JUNE 2011

Alpine Stinson

On April 6, 2006, a nimble Stinson L-5B Sentinel approached the rural and modern business and general aviation airport of Grenchen in northwestern Switzerland. At first glance that seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary, as various Swiss “warbirds,” mostly Bücker Jungmann biplanes, are based at Grenchen.


Having interned its USAAF aircrew and repaired the battle damage to the aircraft, the Swiss impressed Stinson L-5 Sentinel 42-99186 into its air force; the aircraft then received its new A-96 serial number and the Swiss white/red neutralitymarkings. In March 1950 the Stinson was auctioned by the Swiss air force, becoming HB-TRY in the process. Nowadays the pristine Stinson L-5B Sentinel HB-TRY, formerly A-96, is based at Grenchen in northwestern Switzerland.

The back seat of HB-TRY is an exact copy of the World The spacious design of the Sentinel cockpit optimized the War II-era “office” of the aerial observer, including small aircraft’s wartime observation role, offering an almost bags to store maps. unrestricted all-around view around the aircraft. However, Stinson Sentinel HB-TRY, wearing full-color Swiss World War II-era red/white neutrality markings, returned to its home ground after a two-year-long in-depth restoration at Kaposvar (Hungary). This lightweight observation aircraft had started its operational career with the 324th Fighter Group in France during the final years of World War II. Built in March 1944 by the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation near Detroit, Michigan, this Stinson L-5B Sentinel, se-

The overall restoration of the Stinson L-5B Sentinel included an immaculate installation of original cockpit instruments. 26 JUNE 2011

The Sentinel HB-TRY is frequently flown by Paul Misteli, owner of Bücker Jungmann HB-UVU and team leader of the “Old Eagles Squadron” display team, flying a mix of five Bücker Jungmann and Jungmeister biplanes. rial number (s/n) 42-99186, was shipped to Europe to support the Allied drive through France as an observation and artillery-guidance spotter aircraft. During one of its observation missions on December 10, 1944, near the French-Swiss border in adverse meteorological conditions, U.S. Army Air Forces’ pilot Roy Gordon Abbot and his aerial observer, Robert H. Hubbard, mistakenly trespassed the Swiss border and were almost immediately targeted by the anti-aircraft artillery of the vigilant Schweizer Flugabwehr defense forces. Hit in the engine cowling by a small caliber shell, the aircraft’s Lycoming O-435-A “flamed out,” forcing its pilot to obey Newton’s law of gravity and to make an emergency landing in a small forest clearing near Vacherie in the Swiss Jura region, less than 500 meters from the well-defended border. Most likely not certain of their whereabouts and fearing capture by German forces, the crew hid itself in a local forest but were finally captured by the Swiss Polizei the morning after their forced landing. As Switzerland vigorously retained and defended its political and military neutrality during World War II, the unfortunate American aircrew was interned in one of Switzerland’s Internierungslager and

their Sentinel confiscated for military use by the Swiss air force. After being inspected on site and transported by train to Dübendorf (near Zurich) for repair, Stinson L-5 Sentinel s/n 42-99186 received the Swiss military serial number A-96 and flew until 1950 as lightweight liaison aircraft by, ironically, the U.S. military attaché in Bern, Switzerland’s capital. In March 1950 the aircraft, becoming surplus to the Swiss air force, was auctioned and bought by its new civilian owner, being registered HB-TRY in the process. Until 1968, the aircraft was based at Bern-Belp and Thun airfields in central Switzerland, used as a pilot training aircraft and towing tug for gliders. In need of overhaul, the aircraft was stored for many years, gradually becoming non-airworthy

and a soon-to-be-forgotten aviation artifact. Fortunately old soldiers never die, and the stripped remains of HB-TRY were purchased by its present owner, Hansruedi Dubler, in October 1979 and stored for future restoration. A quarter of a century later in October 2004, the Stinson L-5 was sent for repair, restoration, and rebuild to Kaposvar (Hungary). The old aircraft was completely dissembled and stripped to the bone, its metal frame immaculately repaired, and its structure and wings re-covered. The immaculate resurrection of the fully restored and shining HB-TRY eventually came to completion in June 2006. To highlight this long-awaited resurrection, HB-TRY is decorated with shining red/white neutrality markings, worn by Swiss military aircraft during World War II to prevent attacks from Allied or Axis fighters while patrolling the Swiss border. The 180-hp strong Lycoming O435-A six-cylinder boxer engine offers its pilot sufficient engine power to swiftly fly the 668 kilo empty mass of this “flying Jeep,” able to carry a maximum load of 332 kilo. The aircraft was flown from Hungary to Grenchen, near Solothurn in northwestern Switzerland, which soon became its permanent home base. At Grenchen, the reborn HBTRY taildragger is frequently flown by its owners and Paul Misteli, owner of Bücker Jungmann HBUVU and leader of the “Old Eagles” Bücker demonstration team.


Vintage Mechanic



Vibrations, Part 3 e’ve been discussing vibration for the past couple of columns, so it stands to reason we should also cover flutter. While many of the very early ships didn’t go fast enough for this problem to occur, if not properly treated, flutter can and will lead to structural failure. A designer’s major problem concerning flutter is to determine, in the early stages of design, the lowest velocity at which a structure will flutter. Then the designer must incorporate features which will ensure that this critical velocity will never be reached—that’s one of the criteria used to set the maximum velocity of the airplane (VNE ). Flutter is defined as an oscillation of definite period but unstable in character. It may be caused in a part of an aircraft by a sudden disturbance and maintained by a combination of the aerodynamic, inertial, elastic, and damping characteristics of the member itself. Flutter is an explosive type of unstable vibration. It may start with small amplitude, caused by some transient force such as a maneuver or gust load. This amplitude, fed by the limitless aerodynamic energy of the airstream, builds into a large amplitude vibration. When the rate of absorption of energy from the airstream exceeds that which the structure is capable of withstanding, structural failure is imminent. Illustration 1 describes


28 JUNE 2011

a divergent unstable type of motion; that is one with ever-increasing amplitude. The amplitude of this vibration damps out and becomes zero after a period of time. In aircraft structures these self-excited motions appear as flutter, wing divergence, or buffeting.

The solution to control surface flutter is to statically balance the surface. For low-speed ships with never-exceed speeds below 200 mph, static balances are generally not necessary. For greater airspeeds, static balance for moveable surfaces is essential. Illustration 2 shows

Illustration 1

typical balancing for a control surface. Balanced control surfaces feature the addition of weight forward of the hinge line. Dynamic balance requires that the center of gravity of the aileron be ahead of the hinge line. The necessary redistribution of mass is accomplished by the addition of balance weights at the leading edge of the surface. To statically balance a control surface, the manufacturer’s instructions must be closely followed. When I taught assembly and rigging at Reedley College, we balanced ailerons and elevators as a practical project, a requirement of an FAA-approved A&P curriculum. Balancing of a surface will prevent instability and will prevent flutter. Illustration 2 shows three means to balance a control surface. Note that the balance weights are placed forward of the hinge line. This weight will redistribute weight mass of surface behind the hinge line. Not to be confused with flutter is control surface “buzz.” On higher-speed aircraft control surfaces, particularly ailerons, the buzz can produce high-frequency, lowamplitude vibrations that will be felt in the control stick or yoke. This is normally caused by worn attach points or worn bearings. A preflight inspection should always include shaking the flight controls, including the flaps, to check for any looseness or wear in attach fittings. Not only can the control surfaces flutter, so can the lifting surfaces, specifically manifested in wing flutter. When I was instructing at Reedley College, we had a cooperative work experience program with NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert of California. In 1982 I took a sabbatical and worked at Dryden for five weeks. One of my assignments was to work on the DAST (Drone for Aerodynamic and Structural Testing), a converted Ryan Firebee drone fitted with a supercritical wing—an ongoing NASA experiment at the time. After I left the desert the craft was flight-tested

Illustration 2 and crashed on the first flight. Later, I was able to watch real-time video of the craft. I saw it flying formation with a NASA F-104, and then it suddenly disappeared. When the video was slowed, one could see a piece or the left wingtip come off, followed by the up and down motion of the outboard wing until the structure failed. The wingtip had

fluttered, and structural failure happened so fast you couldn’t see it at real-time speed. It was amazing to see, but everyone involved with the program agreed that fortunately it was a drone and not a piloted craft! Illustration 3 shows our method to conduct a weight-and-balance calculation on the craft. The last week of my six-week

Illustration 3 One item of note is the bucket of bolts hanging from the nose boom, used for ballast calculations. The supercritical wing was constructed from fiberglass; it didn’t take long for flutter to destroy the right wing panel. VINTAGE AIRPLANE 29

I saw it flying formation with a NASA F-104, and then it suddenly disappeared.

Illustration 4 Illustration 4 shows a sketch of what happens when wing flutter rears its ugly head. Wing flutter involves aerodynamic forces, inertia forces, and the elastic proper ties of a sur face. This phenomenon usually occurs at high airspeeds perhaps above VNE (redline). However, if the aileron begins to flutter, it may induce vibration into the wing structure. This scenario is apparently what happened to the DAST aircraft, a classic case of wing flutter. work program with NASA was spent at the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, California. Here I was able to familiarize myself with the Bell XV-15 Tilt Rotor aircraft and the NASA/Army Sikorsky RSRA (Rotor Systems Research Aircraft) helicopter. The

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aircraft was designed to explore various types or experimental rotor systems (blades specifically) and to push the speed envelope of the helicopter. This craft was designated as a “compound” helicopter because it had an airplane wing and two nacelle-mounted

turbofan engines to increase the forward speed of the craft. They were looking at various main rotor airfoil shapes and testing for vibration and flutter at the higher speeds. The photos on the next page show the RSRA helicopter at NASA Ames Research Center when I was there in 1982. The craft featured a pilot/copilot ejection system that shot the crew out the top of the helicopter. The rotor blade shanks contained explosives, and if the crew needed to eject, the explosives would first sever the main rotor blades. With the blades gone the crew seats would eject out the top of the cabin section. There were a number of newly designed experimental rotor blade types I saw, including swept and drooped tips and a couple of really advanced rotors to reduce noise. It was a very interesting program in a very interesting time. Early helicopters were “vibration machines,” but the work on isolation mounts and other inventions to reduce vibration from all those rotating components have made the aircraft a smoother flying machine. And so this ends our three-part discussion regarding vibrations. I hope you’ve found it interesting. The information presented i s f r o m a m e c h a n i c ’s p o i n t o f view and knowledge. Vibration is a very technical subject, but the more a mechanic can learn, the better the decisions on airworthiness can be made.

Resources Elements of Technical Aeronautics, 1942. Samuel B. Sherwin, New York National Aeronautics Council Inc. (Illustration 1). Airplane Design Manual, 1958. Frederick K. Teichmann (Illustration 2). Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators, 1965. H.H. Hurt Jr.

The Sikorsky RSRA helicopter during testing at NASA’s Ames Flight Research Center.

Have a comment or question for Bob Lock, the Vintage Mechanic? Drop us an e-mail at, or you can mail your question to Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903.

What Our Members Are Restoring

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


Vintage Instructor THE

BY Steve Krog, CFI

Flight reviews—Part I “I just looked at my logbook, and I need a BFR by the end of the month. Can you squeeze me in today? Or tomorrow at the latest?” “Sure,” I reply. “Meet me at my hangar at 2:00 p.m.” Promptly at 2:30 p.m. the flight review candidate “Rock” rolls to a stop in front of my hangar. As the prop stops, he jumps out of his plane stating, “Sorry for being a bit late. I had to find my license and flight physical.” Hmmm, this is going to be an interesting afternoon. I suggest to Rock that he might want to chock his airplane, as it is quite breezy. He replies, “No need. The parking brake will hold just fine.” A quick glance at his airplane indicates that the parking brake may not be as good as he might think, based on the number of repairs and the 12 different colors of yellow and orange paint displayed on the fabric surface. I offer Rock a set of wheel chocks and suggest he put them to good use before we begin the fl ight review. Not wanting to upset me, Rock obediently complies. As soon as we are comfortably seated in my hangar office, Rock asks, “Will this take long? I need to get back for my bowling banquet. Happy hour starts at 5:00 sharp, and I don’t want to miss it. I used to go to a guy who just flew around the patch, and it only took 15 minutes.” I busy myself for a moment, checking my files to keep from saying something I may regret. After regaining my composure, I remind Rock that this will take as long as we need, but it will take at least two hours. This gets Rock’s attention. He doesn’t want to miss out on

even a minute of the banquet. After being asked to show his pilot certificate and flight physical, Rock removes the plastic card and folded piece of paper from his shirt pocket and hands them to me. After undoing all eight folds of the paper, I see that Rock does have a current physical. We then move on to his airplane. “Do you have the logbooks for your airplane with you,” I ask? “Uh, yah,” he replies, “but I’ll have to dig them out of the airplane.” Several minutes later he returns with two armloads of paper. After sorting through the miscellaneous papers, Rock produces the airframe and engine logs. The airplane does, in fact, have a current annual, and all seems to be in order. I subtly suggest that Rock might want to invest in an expanding folder in which to place all of the paperwork, so that he doesn’t lose it. He agrees it would be a good idea. I then ask Rock if he has a current sectional chart with him, and he replies that he does, but it is in the plane. Several minutes and another trip to the plane later, he produces a sectional chart. When asked if it is current, Rock begins to unfold the map. Several more minutes pass, and finally he discovers the expiration date—May 1, 2005. “It’s been expired for nearly six years, Rock. You need to invest in a current chart,” I tell him. He replies that he never fl ies more than 10 miles from his private strip, so he sees no need to invest in a new chart. “What about all the new windmills and new

Before continuing the taxi, I also ask him to explain aileron and elevator positioning when taxiing with a stiff breeze. “I never worry about that,” he replies.

32 JUNE 2011

cell towers that have been built in the area in the past two years? Don’t you think you might want to know where all the obstructions are located?” I offer. Begrudgingly, he agrees and purchases a new sectional chart. For the next hour we review the chart, covering all of the new symbols followed by a discussion of currency and flight rules. At the conclusion Rock comments, “Gosh, I didn’t know so much had changed!” After an hour and 30 minutes we’re ready to move out to the plane and prepare for the flight portion of the fl ight review. Rock immediately removes the chocks and jumps into the plane. Noting my hesitation to get in he asks, “What’s wrong, you afraid to fly in this old crate?” “No, I’m not, but let’s first do a preflight. I want to make sure all the parts and pieces are connected. I don’t want anything falling off when I’m in your airplane,” I state firmly. After an “Ah darn,” Rock exits the airplane and begins conducting a prefl ight. Frustrated, he says, “I don’t see a need for this. We’re wasting time.” “This airplane has been left unattended for nearly two hours,” I point out. “Who knows what might have happened to it while we were in the offi ce?” He agrees and completes the preflight. Once we’re both in the plane, Rock starts the engine and begins to taxi toward the turf runway. I ask him to stop and remind him that he might want to be more diligent before starting. What if there were kids around? Before continuing the taxi, I also ask him to explain aileron and elevator positioning when taxiing with a stiff breeze. “I never worry about that,” he replies. The clock continues to tick and the engine continues to run while we have a fi rm discussion about proper control placement when taxiing a tailwheel airplane. Finally, we’re ready to move. I suggest using the hard-surface runway, because I want to see him perform a crosswind takeoff. Again he balks at the idea. “I haven’t used a hard-surface runway since I got my license 15 years ago,” he states. “All the more reason to use it today,” I offer. Taxi and pre-takeoff checklist complete, we’re ready to go. Observing a panel-mounted radio, I ask, “What about making an announcement so others who might be in the pattern know where you’re at and what you plan to do?” “Never use the darn thing,” he replies. “Well, let’s use it today,” I suggest. Nervously, he punches the “push to talk” button and stumbles through an announcement that we’re taking off on Runway 11 and departing the traffi c pattern to the north. It goes something like this, “Ah, ah, this is 1234X taking off ‘what was the runway again?’ Runway 11, and we’ll be headed north.” I calmly state that there is a fair amount of activity at our airport, and his announcement will


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help others by knowing where to look for him. Once airborne it becomes immediately apparent that Rock is a rather timid pilot and is demonstrating flight coordination (or lack thereof) as if he were operating a skid steer loader. After leveling and establishing cruise flight, I ask Rock if he has ever practiced Dutch rolls. “I don’t do aerobatics in this old bird,” he replies. I demonstrate Dutch rolls and explain that it is a great maneuver to develop a good coordinated feel for the airplane. A few minutes of practice and skidding all over the sky later, he mentions that no one had ever shown him Dutch rolls before, but they sure seem like a good thing to do. Medium and steep turns are next. Anything over 15 degrees of bank seems to bother Rock. I can see he is quite skeptical when I keep suggesting he add more bank. Finally he states, “I never turn more than 15 degrees. I scared myself real good a while back when, while I had the airplane in a steep turn, I was spotting some deer on the ground. “All of a sudden the airplane shook real bad, and I knew I was about to stall. I got it back level and haven’t done steep turns ever since.” We discuss the importance of control coordination, and then he follows me through several medium and steep turns left and right. Rock seems to relax, and soon he is able to perform the turns without scaring himself. “I never had to do those for a BFR before. They really aren’t bad if you do them right. Thanks for showing me how,” he states. Next we move on to slow fl ight and stalls. Rock handles slow flight okay, but when I ask for a poweroff stall, I really don’t know what to expect. At the first hint of a buffet, he punches the nose over and adds full power. Diving at the ground at about 0.4 Mach, he levels off and asks, “How was that?” I take control of his plane and begin a climb. While doing so, we discuss the importance and recognition of the stall followed by smooth control inputs for the recovery. Rock’s legs quit shaking by the time we level off, and he is ready to try a few more power-off stalls. Much to his amazement, they are no longer scary. We proceed to power-on stalls with similar results. Again, we practice a few of these and discuss and demonstrate the procedures for entry and recovery. Rock comments, “I used to be really afraid of doing stalls. In fact I haven’t done a single stall since my last review. But they really aren’t all that bad if you understand what you’re doing.” After another 30 minutes of air work, including some ground reference maneuvers, we are ready to head back for the airport and try some pattern work. To help calm Rock, I suggest he enter the traffic pattern and show me whatever type of ap-

34 JUNE 2011

proach and landing he is most comfortable doing. He demonstrates a very nice three-point landing on the turf runway. I then ask for a short- and soft-field takeoff from the same runway, followed by a shortfi eld 50-foot obstacle landing. Rock performs both flawlessly. He smiles and says, “My strip is short, and there are trees on one end. I have to do this every time.” “Okay, well done,” I comment. “Let’s move over to the hard-surface runway and try some crosswind takeoffs and landings.” “Man, I haven’t done those in a long time. I never fly if there is a crosswind. You better keep an eye on me, and don’t be afraid to help out if you see fi t,” he nervously comments. The takeoffs are not pretty, but they are safe, and after three or so, Rock is beginning to get the feel back. The landings are quite a bit more interesting. Not having done any crosswind work on a hard-surface runway for a long time, Rock is a bit intimidated. However, after squealing the tires on the first two or three landings, he begins to perform the landing quite well. “I was always afraid of doing crosswind takeoffs and landings, especially on a hard-surface runway, so I never did any,” he offers. “But after trying them with you, I realize they aren’t that bad.” At the conclusion of what turns out to be a twohour flight, we taxi back to the hangar. The taxi speed is slow, and the controls are positioned properly every time we make a turn. When the engine stops, Rock jumps out and places chocks under the wheels. As we complete the paperwork, I ask Rock what he thought of the flight review. He confidently states, “I always loved to fly, but I’d have to admit I was afraid of it a lot of times. I scared myself a few times and that made it even worse, but I was never ready to give it up. I learned a lot today; you really increased my confidence level. I’ll be back to try some more hard-surface work one of these evenings. No one ever ran me through the things you had me do today!” As Rock leaves the hangar I apologize, saying, “I’m sorry that you’ll miss a part of your bowling banquet.” He laughs and says, “Oh, and it was worth every minute, even if I do miss the first hour of the banquet.” Can any of you reading this article identify with Rock? No matter how much or how little we each fly, we can all improve our skills, sometimes by correcting faults that we’ve taught ourselves. If we as pilots all approached the flight review as an opportunity to enhance pilot skills, rather than a necessary evil required every two years, safety records would improve, as would the fun of flight. To communicate with the author or editor, send a note to Please put “Vintage Instructor” in the subject line.

It’s gonna be a big year at Oshkosh.

Join us for a week-long celebration of the Centennial of Naval Aviation, including a special air show Wednesday. See the hottest naval aircraft in historic colors all week on ConocoPhillips Plaza.

B-29 Superfortress “FIFI”

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Tribute to Bob Hoover

The first visit since 1995 for the world’s only airworthy B-29 Superfortress

Oshkosh rocks Monday during the opening day concert, presented by Ford Motor Company

Innovation will be on display and in the air with the Electric Flight Prize Competition

Tuesday afternoon air show featuring aircraft and maneuvers he made legendary

Tribute to Burt Rutan

Super Saturday

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His aircraft designs changed the face of AirVenture–and aviation. Special air show on Thursday

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MYSTERY PLANE This month’s Mystery Plane comes from Jon Schwamm of Carefree, Arizona. It is a true mystery; we don’t have a positive identification for it. Send your answer to EAA, Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your answer needs to be in no later than July 10 for inclusion in the September 2011 issue of Vintage Airplane. You can also send your response via e-mail. Send your answer to Be sure to include your name plus your city and state in the body of your note and put “(Month) Mystery Plane” in the subject line.

March’S MYSTERY ANSWER Our March Mystery Plane came to us from W. Duffy Thompson of Lakeland, Florida. Here’s our first answer, from Jack Erickson of State College, Pennsylvania: “The March 2011 Mystery Plane seems to be the rare Curtiss Model 20 Crane, powered by a 160-hp Curtiss C-6 liquid-cooled, inline engine. The Crane was a 1924 amphibian version of the Curtiss Model 18 Seagull flying boat of 1920 with the same engine. The Seagull was, in turn, a converted civilian version of the Curtiss Model 18 MF, which saw limited production for the U.S. Navy late in WW I with several different engines. All of these were two-place aircraft with ancestry dating back to the 1913 Model F. The M in the MF was for ‘Modernized.’ “Was that Glenn Curtiss climbing into the Crane? (Editor’s Note:

36 JUNE 2011

No, the pilot remains unidentified in the photo. — HGF) “My reference for this identification is Peter Bowers’ Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947, which includes only half a page, including a photo and a three-line sentence about the Crane. The earlier models

mentioned above were described in much greater detail, however.” Other correct answers were received from: Larry Knechtel, Seattle, Washington; Wayne Muxlow, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Wes Smith, Springfield, Illinois; and Tom Lymburn, Princeton, Minnesota.

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$19.99* $41.95* Telephone Orders: 800-843-3612 From US and Canada (All Others Call 920-426-5912) *Shipping and handling NOT included. Major credit cards accepted. WI residents add 5% sales tax.


VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION OFFICERS President Geoff Robison 1521 E. MacGregor Dr. New Haven, IN 46774 260-493-4724

Vice-President George Daubner N57W34837 Pondview Ln Oconomowoc, WI 53066 262-560-1949

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

Treasurer Dan Knutson 106 Tena Marie Circle Lodi, WI 53555 608-592-7224


Steve Bender 85 Brush Hill Road Sherborn, MA 01770 508-653-7557

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

David Bennett 375 Killdeer Ct Lincoln, CA 95648 916-952-9449

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 Dave Clark 635 Vestal Lane Plainfield, IN 46168 317-839-4500 John S. Copeland 1A Deacon Street Northborough, MA 01532 508-393-4775 Phil Coulson 28415 Springbrook Dr. Lawton, MI 49065 269-624-6490

Espie “Butch” Joyce 704 N. Regional Rd. Greensboro, NC 27409 336-668-3650 Steve Krog 1002 Heather Ln. Hartford, WI 53027 262-966-7627 Robert D. “Bob” Lumley 1265 South 124th St. Brookfield, WI 53005 262-782-2633 S.H. “Wes” Schmid 2359 Lefeber Avenue Wauwatosa, WI 53213 414-771-1545

DIRECTORS EMERITUS Robert C. Brauer 9345 S. Hoyne Chicago, IL 60643 773-779-2105

Charlie Harris PO Box 470350 Tulsa, OK 74147 918-622-8400

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

E.E. “Buck” Hilbert 8102 Leech Rd. Union, IL 60180 815-923-4591

Ronald C. Fritz 15401 Sparta Ave. Kent City, MI 49330 616-678-5012

Gene Morris 5936 Steve Court Roanoke, TX 76262 817-491-9110

John Turgyan PO Box 219 New Egypt, NJ 08533 609-752-1944


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:,, E-Mail:

EAA and Division Membership Services (8:00 AM–6:00 PM Monday–Friday CST) 800-564-6322 FAX 920-426-4873 •New/renew memberships •Address changes •Merchandise sales •Gift memberships EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 888-322-4636 Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Hotline 877-359-1232 Programs and Activities Auto Fuel STCs 920-426-4843 EAA Air Academy 920-426-6880 EAA Scholarships 920-426-6823 Library Services/Research 920-426-4848 Benefits AUA Vintage Insurance Plan 800-727-3823 EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan 866-647-4322 EAA VISA Card 800-853-5576 ext. 8884 EAA Hertz Rent-A-Car Program 800-654-2200 VAA Editorial/Executive Director 920-426-4825 VAA Office 920-426-6110

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: 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 JUNE 2011

Proud Partners with EAA Why would anyone buy anything else?

The Privilege of Partnership

When my wife and I started shopping for a new vehicle we considered many options but Ford was consistently at the top of our list.

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

After discovering Ford’s partnership with EAA provided an amazing discount on a new vehicle, it made the final decision easy. The process took less than an hour. We simply picked out the vehicle that we wanted, gave the salesman the pin number, the discount was applied and the deal was done. It was a great experience and I urge all EAA members to take advantage of the savings. Jason D., EAA # 756508


Va vol 39 no 6 jun 2011

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