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THE RESTORER'S CORNER Once again it is time for all of us to begin making our plans for participa­ tion in the annual pilgrimage to the world's largest aviation event, the 24th Annual EAA Convention and Fly-In at Wittman Field, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, from Saturday, July 31st, through Sunday, August 8th, 1976. This is the longest EAA convention in history, nine days beginning and ending with a full weekend. Your Antique/Classic Division has already organized a full schedule of activities ,for antique and classic aircraft and their owners including judging of the exhibit aircraft and the awarding of trophies in a multitude of classi­ fications, recognition of well known old-timers in aviation as well as out­ standing restorers at either the Interview Circle during the day or the Pavilion Evening Program, historical sequence air pageants, and forums on the various types of antique and classic aircraft. As in the past, these forums generally will include information on maintenance problems, parts avail­ ability and substitution, modifications, specific restoration techniques, flight characteristics, aircraft availability, etc., plus additional forums on techniques and procedures of restoration which are applicable to all air­ craft. They will usually be scheduled for a 1 % hour period and will be held in a large meeting tent located next to the Antique/Classic Division Head­ quarters Barn. The tent will be complete with blackboards, rostrum, public address system, electricity for projection equipment, and adequate seating. We are again this year inviting all type clubs to make the EAA Con­ vention one of their annual fly-in activities. Due to limited parking space available in the Display Aircraft Parking Area and even more limited man­ power, we do not plan to provide special parking rows for each type air­ craft as we have done in the past. However, we do have the aircraft type signs available, ' so if any type clubs do want their own row(s) we shall be happy to supply the signs, but it will be necessary for them to make arrange­ ments directly with the Antique/Classic Parking Chairman, M. C. "Kelly" Viets, RR 1, Box 151, Stilwell, Kansas 66085, before July first and to police their own rows with their own members starting on Wednesday, July 28th, and continuing through the entire convention period . While on the subject of the Display Aircraft Parking Area we would like to emphasize that the EAA Convention is somewhat different from the average fly-in which most of us usually attend . The basic theme of the EAA Convention is EDUCA nON, and the Antique/Classic Division tries to encourage this theme in both its forum programs and its Display Aircraft


Parking Areas. We would like to ask your cooperation in using the Display Aircraft Parking Area only for parking those aircraft of which you can be justifiably proud of your work or efforts spent in its restoration, recon­ struction, or continued "Tender Loving Care" brand of maintenance. This is the area for showing off that which we consider to be excellence in our field and that from which others can learn by close inspection, by example, and by conversing with the owners and restoers. This is the area where he who is planning to restore an antique or classic aircraft can look to see what he can expect to achieve and can thereby be fired with enthusiasm. This is the area where photographers can photograph the finest collection of the restorers' art. This is the area where he who comes just to admire historic beauty on wings can savour the excellence of workmanship. For those who are presently using their airplanes for transportation only and are not planning to restore them until next year or the year after or maybe never, we have a very large Member and Guest Parking Area along the E-W runway which is more conveniently located to the action than are many parts of the Display Aircraft Parking Area. It would be a big help to your overworked and undermanned Parking Committee if aircraft which fall into this latter category were parked in this Member and Guest Parking Area. Well, it had to happen sooner or later . Your officers and directors have made it as much later as they possibly could, but that old devil, inflation, finally caught up with us . After watching your Division expenses exceed . your Division income for some months, your officers and directors had to face the unpleasant task of increasing the membership dues. The fact that this was the first dues increase since the Division was founded didn't make them feel any better about it. At the Board of Directors meeting on April 24, 1976, they noted a dues increase and restructuring to become effective June 1, 1976. Effective that date Division dues will be $14.00 per year for EAA members and $20.00 per year for non-EAA members. The latter will receive the additional bene­ fit of non-subscription membership in EAA. This is a full membership in EAA with all of its rights and privileges, but minus the subscription to SPORT AVIA TlON magazine. The officers and directors hope that their action meets with the approval of the majority of you members and that you will understand the need for this increase.




JUNE 1976

Pub li sher Paul H. Poberezny

Editor AI Kelch



P. O. BOX 2464






P. O. BOX 3747




8102 LEEC H RD .

UN ION . IL 601 80

Directors Te r m ex p ir es Au gu st '77

Term ex pires Aug u st ' 76

Claude l. G ray. Jr.

9635 Sylvia Avenue

Northridge . California 91324

AI Kelc h

7018 W. Bonniwell Road

Mequon , Wisconsin 53092

James B. Horne

3840 Coronalion Road

Eagan , Minnesota 55 122

Evander M . Britt

Box 1525

Lumberton , North Carolina 28358

George E. Stubbs

Box 113

Brownsb urg , Indiana 46112

M. C. " Kelly " Viets RR 1. Box 151

Stilwell . KS 66085

Willia m J. Ehlen

Route 8. Box 506

Tampa. Florida 336 18

Jack C . Winthrop

3536 Whitehall Drive

Dallas. Texas 75229

Ass istant Ed itor

Lois Kelch

Centributi ng Editors

H. N. " Dusty" Rhodes

Evander B ritt

Jim Bart on

Clau de Gray

Ed Escall on

Rod Spanier

Dale Gustafson

Henry Wheeler

Morton Lester

Kelly Viets

Bob Elliot

Jack Lanning

Bill Th umma

ADVISORS W. Brade Thomas. J r.

301 Dodson Mill Road

Pilot Mountain , North CAro lina 2704 1

Robe rt A. White 1207 Falcon Drive Orlando . Florida 32803

THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE is owned exclusively by Antique Classic Aircraft , Inc. and is publi shed monthly at Hales Co rn e rs. Wisconsin 53130. Second c lass Postage paid at Hales Corners Post O ffice , Hales Co r颅 ners, Wisconsin 53 130 and Rand o m L ake Post Office. Random Lake, Wisconsin 53075. Membership rates for Antique Classic aircraft. Inc. at $10.00 per 12 month period of which $7 .00 is for the publication t o THE VINTAGE AIRP 路.ANE . M embership is open to all who.are interested in aviat ion.


The Res torer's Corner ............... . ... . ... . .... .. ..... , . . . . . . .. From "Sticks To Airplanes" ... , . . . ,. . . ... . ... . . .. .. ... ... ... ..... Early Bird Vignette . . . ...... ... , ... , .. .... ..... . . ... . . . .. .. .... . . Powder Puff Derby ............... . ........ _. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vintage Album ... ..... . .......... .. ... . ... ... ........... . ....... The Uptown Swallow .... .. . . . .. .. ... . ........ . . ... .. . . ... ... . . .. Whistling In The Rigging ... . ... _...... ... . . . .... ..... , ..... . ..... Calendar Of Events ...... . ... .. .... ... . ... _. . ... .. .... ... . ... .. .. I Remember When .. . . .. ..... .. . .... . .. ... .... . .. .. . . . . ......... Yaller's My Color . . .. ... ... ........... . ... . . ... .. ... ... ... .. . ... . The U.S. Mail . . .. . . .... .. ... . . .. .. ... . .... . ......... .. .. . ..... . .













Exception rule B are aircraft manufactured between years 1950-55,

but eith er model or make are no longer in production . These are eligible

for judging.

1. Models no longer in production but, manufactors still in business,

such as 190-195, 170 Cessnas, early Bellanca, etc.

2. Out of production manufactors su ch as SWift, Stinson, etc.



A tribute to Women in Aviation

Flying Returns to the North

See Vintage Album .

(see page 17).

Postmaste, : Send Form 3579 to Antique Classic Aircraft, Inc., Box 229,

Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130



1976 Antiqu e Classic Aircraft , Inc. All Right s Reserved .


A long time before I was eve n a gleam in my father's eye, my oldest brother was building the reputation of being one of the "youngest of the pioneer aviators." As a very yo un g boy, Orin Welch wanted to be a radio operator on a ship at sea until he saw o ne of the first airplanes in the sky. H e imm ediatel y wanted not only to fly them , but to build the m . Hammer a nd nails in hand, along with a few boards, marked the beginning of his aviation career. He built his "aero-plane" a nd had some of his friend s pus h him off the sh ed 's roof while h e was at th e "co ntrols". A very s uccess ful flight indeed! Th e year was probabl y 1916, at Orin's age of ten. Nevertheless, h e did not lose hi s interes t in avia tion. The last time I re member seeing my brother Orin, he was on his way to fl y the Hump . I didn't know th e n , a t my age of 15 a nd he a t 36, he was never to return to u s . H opefully, h e found hi s sha ngri-la in th e Hima­ laya n Mountains. Between 1916 and 1943, I believe Orin co ntributed much to aviatio n . I recall man y fam ily discussions about Orin's love of fl yi ng. He had been fl ying since h e was 12 years old, but his scra pbooks revea l from a news ­ paper article that he soloed on Novem ber 27, 1923, jus t s ~ortly after he turned 17. In the same article it reads, " h e is also quite a stunt fly er ... " In the early 20's, Orin train ed ma ny pilots fr o m all Left: The Welch Airplane Company in 1928 ...

over the world and did a lot of ba rnstorming in southern Ohi o and West Virginia . He and the famil y had several a irports and put on many air shows, but this did not sa tisfy Orin 's appetite for aviation. In the summer of 1927, Orin and the family were to move from Charleston, Wes t Virginia to acquire the airport in Anderson, Indiana . For being a s mall baby, I was a big problem during this move! Th e state of West Virginia h ad imposed a polio quaran tin e a nd no babies were to leave the a rea. Who would think a bout fl ying a baby o ut? Orin did, naturall y! "Mom," he sa id , "you and the baby get in the airplane and we'll fl y he r out." Thus, I've always claimed th e fame of being s muggled over the border' The Welch family took over the Anderson Airport, th e n ow ned by Fred Parker, who I believe designed and manufa ctured the Anderso n Biplane. Th e fami ly soon had to relocate th e airport, but still in Anderson . May of 1929 saw dedication of th e "Welch Field". This was a three-day air eve nt which bro ug ht many aviation giants to our airport, such as: Amelia Earhart, Ma jor Reed Landis, Eddie Rickenbacker, Mike Murph y, Oswa ld Ryan, Clyde Shockley, Harry White, Willie Goetc h , Weir Cook, Charles E. Wilson, Antho n y Fokker, Freddie Lund, and ma ny othe rs. The excitement and gaiety of the month s to follow were short lived, h oweve r. The the n fam o us " Welch

Field" - the ha ngar and man y airplanes - went up in flam es in November, 1929 . By thi s tim e, Orin had designed and built hi s own airplanes . They includ ed the Welch OWl , OW2, OW3, and OW4. Then ca me th e little Welch OW5 a nd several others, often mis­ taken for the Aeronca C3. Eventually, we found ourselves in South Bend, Indiana . With a lot of experimenting, testing, sweat, a nd no doubt tears, th e family began " m ass" pro­ duction of th e Welch airplane during the middl e 30's. I have many unfo rgettable, impressive memories as a sma ll girl watching the airplane on th e asse mbl y lin e. They started from little more than plain "sti cks" a nd sheets of wood, tubing, cloth, bars of aluminum, a nd sh eets of rubber. Soo n, these materials would begin taki ng shape. The wood was glued, the tubing weld ed, the cloth sewn, brushed, and s prayed with dope, the bars of aluminum melted, molded, and then made into e ngi nes, th e s heets of rubber cut, "stuck together", and baked into tires . The e ntire procedure was phe­ nominal' Finally, from what began as a "stick", the Welch a irpla ne wo uld roll out of the factory ready for a test ho p! Orin's contribution to design is worth no ting here. The "Welch Cushion Wheel " was a tubeless tire that Orin h ad patte nted in th e 30's . The tire was made

Below: This picture was taken in 1940. Four of the last few Welch airolanes that were manufactured . ..



Orin We lch is standing by the prop of the airplane that he used to solo in 1923.

around an aluminum hub a nd then baked. Many nig hts I would stay up late watching the tires being baked. The crucial moment would arrive when the mold cooled and was re moved from the newly baked tire, for if th ere were any blisters or air bubbles, the tire would be u se less . Many days , we had more failures than s uccesses! The Welch 02 e ngine was a 45 horsepower, two cylinder e ngine . I don' t know how many of these w ere made, but I certainly would like to see even a part of the Welch e ngine! I know of two Welch airplanes fl ying today. Another is bei ng rebuilt a nd there is a fourth one lice nsed , but I am not certain it's flyin g . The company had to s hut down production with the onset of World War II. With Orin 's experience a nd


knowledge, he was need ed elsewhere for his country. March 13, 1943, Orin Welch was officially " lost" while flying "cargo" over th e Hump. It was, of course, a tragic loss for all of us. For ma ny yea rs , I wouldn't go near a n airport or air足 plane. Recentl y, I found out that not o nly were his air足 planes s till flying, but that Orin is remembered by tho se wonderful people that are s till living, tho se wond erful people th a t gave us this grea t pioneer a via足 tion heritage. My childhood love ha s broug ht m e back into the world of aviation again and I hope, in the yea rs to come, I can be a part of " Keeping the Antiques Flying" and Sport Aviation alive.






Editor's Note

Souther California was one of the hubs of prime flying activities in the late '20s and one fledgling at that time was Vera Dawn Walker. She learned to fly with Standard Flying School at Los Angeles in an OX-5 Eaglerock in the fall of 1928, and was Dept. of Commerce licensed No. 5265 January 1, 1929; her F.A.I. license No. 7169 was issued July 24, 1929. She praises the Eaglerock as one of the best training planes of that era; her instructor was Lee Flanagin. Between her work as an extra in the movies and real estate sales, Vera managed to acquire enough flying time to qualify for and enter the First Women's Air Derby, flown Aug. 18-26, 1929 from Santa Monica to Cleveland. She flew a· Challenger powered Curtiss Robin, christened "Miss Los Angeles", racing No. 113 and was one of the more for­ tunate contestants to finish the grueling race. Earlier in the year, she had co­ piloted the Bach tri-motor, 8-passenger "Air Yacht" on its maiden flight from San Francisco to San Diego, then later on down into Mexico. A charter member of the Ninety-Nines, when Vera Dawn flew her Transport Pilot's test, Dec. 15, 1929, she was the eleventh woman in the country to be so licensed. She subsequently worked in the sales field demonstrating and representing different aviation com­

panies and agencies in Los Angeles, Denver and Kansas City. Known as the "pint-sized test pilot" because of her small stature - an inch short of five feet tall and tipping the scales at 94 pounds, Vera flight tested the Panther McClatchie powerplant. It was renowned for having far less moving parts in comparison with the conven­ tional engines of that day, and with it Vera set off for a tour of the (then) forty­ eight state capitals. She says she became the unofficia I forced -la nding-cham pion of the world but did get in lots of extra flying time. Carl Lienesch, one of the early-day air race directors, who now lives at Carson City, Nevada, recently wrote, "Vera Dawn always struck me as a sweet, little, trusting girl who could get herself into the dangest tangles (with an airplane, I mean) but could always extricate herself before the bomb went off!" Vera Dawn wrote of Lienesch, "Lenny was the managing flight director of the '29 Derby and in full command of flying instructions and he knew of all the troubles some of those gals got them­ selves into. He watched and worried over them like an old mother hen. Wiley Post was pilot of the manager' s plane, a Lock­ heed Vega." In the summer of 1930, Miss Walker entered the 1,575 mile Dixie Derby from Washington, D.C. , with a swing through

Amelia Earhart and Vera Dawn Walker at Denver. Spring of 1931, during AE's trans-continental, round-trip Pitcairn autogiro demonstration flight.


Vera Dawn Walker and the Curtiss Robin in which she was an entrant in the First National Women's Air Derby, 1929.

Dixie, to Chicago and the National Air Races. Flying an Inland Sport, she en­ countered engine trouble the second day out, while flying a close second to Phoebe Omlie. It was necessary to with7

draw at Birimingham and after il car­ buretor overhaul, she flew directly to Chicago. There she entered two of the 25-mile (5 lap) pylon races for 500 cu. in. , open ships. She won one race and in

the other finished a scant three seconds behind May Haizlip; both flying identical planes - Warner powered Inland Super Sports.

Nov. 4-18, 1929 brought Vera Dawn what she considers the highligh t of her flying career - the First Annual Cali­ fornia Goodwill Air Derbv in which twenty-five fliers were ent~red. About half of th e entrants dropped out, how­ ever Vera Dawn finished the course and during the tour she learned to fly forma­ tion with Major Mike Doolin in the lead. This Derby was flown up the Coast, across the north end of the State and back down the other side of the State. She flew a Whirlwind J-5 Swallow, which had been flown by Ruth Elder in the '29 Women's Air Derby and was sponsored by James Granger, West Coast Swallow Distributor at Clover Field, Santa Monica. Vera recalls, "I do remember big crowds meeting the caravan at most of the land­ in g sites, and the tour was under the a uspices of the All-Western Aircraft Show". A subsequent flight took her x-c up into Canada. The spring of 1931, she went to Den­ ver to fly one of three planes, a P&W powered Stinson, to Guatemala for a private fl ying service there . A big under­ taking for that day , all misgivings turned to delight after the flight was underway over varied terrain - desert , water, uncharted jungle gorges and ravines and a flight over an active volcano. One forced landing on a canyon lake beach required a week to retrieve the plane. Although she was able to fly enough to validate her license another year, it was four years before she regained her health and the flying desire had begun to wane after the Central America episode. In reminiscing of past history, Vera reports, "You know the years play strange tricks on us" and quotes Louise Thaden, '46 years is a heck of a long time!' Vera Dawn admits to h aving set no special records during her flying days but flew for the sheer love of flight and the desire to do something different, just as so many others did during those formative years. Today, she ejoys the Arizona sunshine in the Phoenix area and takes an occasional holiday "South of the Border" .



. . .. *

{29u;: .. ,.. ..............


Left: Eight of th e 1929 Women 's Air Derby contestants with " ground escorts " at San Bernardino , the fi rst stop in the historic air race : (Front L to R) Vera Dawn Walker , Louise Thaden , Maude (Chubby) Miller, Ruth Elder and Edith Foltz. (Rear L to R) Thea Rasche , Margaret Perry and Neva Paris. Below: A 1930 National Air Race photo taken shortly after Vera Dawn Walker had won a 25-mile closed course race . (L to R) Hoot Gibson and Sally Eilers , Hollywood personalities of the era , Clema M . Granger, James E. Granger and Vera Dawn Walker .

ADDENDUM Durin g a visit wi th Carl Lie nesch a nd his w ife, Rosema ry, at Ca rson City, April 17, 1976, he info rmed m e h e fl ew the Unio n O il Com 足 p a ny J-5 Travel Air over the '29 De rby race course, a n d Wilev Pos t flew some of th e o th er race offi cia ls. Ca'rl h eaded up th e U nio n O il Avia tio n Dept. a nd as passe ngers, d uring the race, h e carried hi s sis ter, Ruth , a n d Pa tt y Willis, Los Angeles fli e r, w ho doubl ed as hi s secre ta rv. Ano the r interes ting note - Neva Paris, o ne of the race rs in th e San Berna rd ino pi cture, was o ne of fo u r perso ns w ho s ig ned th e "ca ll 足 to -th e -co lo rs" le tter p rio r to th e time th e N inety- N ines o rganized. The oth ers were Fay G illis (Wells), Fra nces H a rrell (Marsa li s) a nd Marge ry Brow n . 8

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Who Sell

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Taken From The Curt

he up-to-date Curtiss-Wright version of last year's T maxim "Sell the woman, sell the plane" is "Let the woman sell the plane." And so she has and is right new responsibilities, a husband, a

pilot's license and a job as a Curtiss-Wright saleswoman

at their Alameda. Calif., base

Dallas, Texas. base

Helen Cox, newest woman transport pilot, is stationed at the home base airport at Valley Stream, L. 1., to demonstrate and sell Curtiss­ Wright products

Lorraine Defren is the Boston base's sales­ lady, as well as president and or­ ganizer of the Women's Wing and Prop Club of New England

Frances Harrell, transport pilot, formerly demonstrated ships for "Brownie" at Valley Stream. L. 1. Now she is selling the flying qualities of Curtiss-Wright ships all over the country by the sure way in which she manipulates them with the Curtiss-Wright Exhibition Company

@ .­

briskly at several of the Flying Service bases. At least a dozen women are employed in various sales capacities by Curtiss-Wright. They sell not only ships but flying courses and accessories to men as well as to women, and by their presence in the industry they undoubtedly have considerable influence in selling the idea of flying to landlubbing members of both sexes. It is quite important in making a sale if she who sells the plane can demonstrate its talking points in person to him or her who buys. Most of the women who sell Curtiss-Wright planes have pilot's licenses. Those who haven't are well on their way to getting them. Two of the women have transport licenses, two have limited commercial licenses and the others are private pilots. Women have sold stocks and bonds, real estae and life insurance, and automobiles, as well as sub­ scriptions to magazines and ribbons and hosiery over the counter. Now they are selling airplanes, €lying lessons and accessories. They are particularly successful in the sale of flying courses. Eight of the dozen Curtiss­ Wright saleswomen learned to fly at Curtiss-Wright Flying Service bases. And who other than a graduate of a school is better equipped to tell a prospect about

EDITOR'S NOTE: A tribute to the many w(


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Who Sell



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. Wright Review 1930

the merits of his flying alma mater? Another point at which women are invaluable is to talk flying togs to prospective women students. It is interesting to note what the former professions of some of these twelve women were before they became flying salesladies. One of them was credit manager of a furniture store, another taught mathematics and geo­ graphy, and still another taught in a high school. A fourth is a recent high school graduate. One left the University of California to take up flying and still another failed to turn up on registration day at Michigan State College for the same reason. Secretarial work was done by some, and one of them was an advertising woman. Another of the Curtiss-Wright saleswomen turned her back cold on a training school for kinder­ garten teachers, and one of them taught physical train­ ing in a fashionable girls' finishing school. It is a far cry from anyone of these professions to sky stuff, yet they are all doing it, and obtaining excellent results. If you have ever been carrying on a nice gossipy chat with one of them and seen the glint in her eyes as she broke off suddenly with, "So long, here comes my Moth prospect," you know how bussinesslike and how resolute they can be in the matter of making a sale.

Mildred Harrington is using her experi­ ence as an advertising woman to sell Curtiss-Wright equipment and courses, particularly to the women of Bridgeport, Conn.

Madeleine B. Kelly sells for Curtiss­

Wright Flying Service at the

Alameda base in California

J ane W . Willis was a physical traInIng

teacher at Denver, Colo. Then she

became the star pupil at the Curtiss­

Wright base there: and now she is

Dorothy Pressler, operations clerk at the Oklahoma City base, is a licensed pilot and does her share of Curtiss-Wright sales-talking

Betty Russell is just eighteen, enough to be a limited commercial pilot. She is 011 the Alameda, Calif., sales staff

n who help make EAA such a success. Air



May 1974 issue of Vintage Airplane has the story of the Swallow's discovery in the uptown section of Chicago.

See March 1975 issue of Vintage Airplane for the story where they decided to re-enact the Cuddeback flight that initiated air mail 50 years ago. The January 1976 issue of Vintage Airplane carries the story of the original flight by Cuddeback. This issue carries the GRAND FINALE, a successful completion of the re-enactment by "Buck" Hilbert. By Edward D. Williams (EAA 51010)

713 Eastman Drive

Mt. Prospect, Illinois 60056


h e Swallow that Toffinette, Hilbert and Schroeder T unearthed in a garage in uptown Ch icago, has climaxed its s hort two year career. The restored Swallow biplane on April 6, 1976, re­ e nacted one of the significant flights of aviation his­ tory, but not without a lot of luck in completing the ' res toration of th e plane in time, and not without con­ siderable flying skill and courage by the pilot in the fli g ht itself. Th e flight was made from Pa sco, Wash­ ing ton to Boise, Idaho by E. E. "Buck" Hilbert, of · Union , Illin ois, a United Airlines DC-8 captai n . It was made exactly 50 years after a flight from Pasco to Boise to Elko, Nevada, in a Swallow by Leon D. Cuddeback, chi ef pilot for Varney Air Lines. Cudde­ back's fli g ht marked the beg inning of p e rm a nent sched uled airline service in th e United States. Having purchased th e Swallow two years before United's 50th birthday, there see med to be a lot of time to compl e te ly restore th e Swallow, but, as it turned out, th e deadline was jus t barel y met. The Hil­ bert-Toffenetti-Schroeder biplane is a Swallow Com­ mercial just about identical to th e Swallow Mailplane flown by Cuddeback. Edward E. McConnell , a Fed­ era l Aviation Administration certified in s pector and an a ircraft res to rer, specializing mostl y in Piper Tri Pacers, wa s assigned the res to ration job. With Mc­ Connell doing mos t of th e res toration work by him­ self, while Hilbert scoured th e country for par ts, the work went very slowly. Hilbert went to Oakland, Cali­ fornia to visit Cuddeback a nd discu ss details o f the future re-enactment, and Cuddeback strongly recom­ mended that Hilbert install at leas t a Wright J-4 or not even attempt the re-enactment. The original K-6 en­ gi ne was completely out of th e question , Cuddeback sa id , even if one could be found . Hilbert, in California, located one of the few re­ maining J-4s in existence and traded his OXX-6 for it. He then had th e J-4 sent to Memphis, Tennessee, for a complete overhaul and sent to South Bend to get what might be the only existing J-4 engine carburetor in th e world . He also went to Iowa to get the propel­ ler and to the s tates of Vermont, Washington , Kansas and New York to get miscellaneous but vital parts . The instrum ents posed less of a problem beca use th e few instruments available to pilots in 1926 didn' t fill up much of an instrument panel. A much needed re placement was a reliable compass for the one in the Swallow, which Hilbert sa id " probably told the pilot only if he were in the Northern Hemisphere". It looked for a while like Hilbert would not be f1y­

ing the Swallow a t all on April 6, 1976, becau se restora­ tion work hit several s nags as tim e sped by. Hilbert ex plained that ea rl y biplanes like the Swallow were not mass produced as modern planes in which every part for one plan e is identical to the sa me part on anot he r plan e. " They were a ll pre tty much cus to m made," he said. So a part that could be used on one Swa ll ow did not necessarilv fit ano ther Swallow. Fee ling th e pressure O'f th e d ea dline, Hilbert be­ ga n s pending almos t all his free time a t Seneca, work­ ing with McConnell. H e also pressed into service a lo ngtime friend , Michael X. Drabik, of Chicago, an EAA member and a retired United Airlines mechanic. The a lmost impossible ta sk of loca ting vital parts long since out of any aircraft firm 's inventory put th e work more behind sched ule . Hilbert ap p ea le d for h e lp to United , which as­ signed two more of Hilbert's antique-expert friends fulltime to th e work at Seneca. They were Richard Moen of Dundee, illinois, a United pilot also flying out of O'Hare, and Michael Branand of River Forest, Illinois, a furl oug hed United pilot who was working as a mechanic a t United 's San Francisco Maintenance Center while waiting reca ll to flying status. McCon­ nell, Drabik, Moen and Brana nd all hold current FAA airframe and powerplant mechanics licenses. Hilbert had originally planned to complete the restoration at Seneca in time to test fly th e Swallow a nd then fl y it to O'Hare for shipment by United DC­ 8F Cargoliner to Boise. But the silver and blue plane was rolled out of McConnell 's hangar on March 22, too late for any test flying . On that day the Swallow was disasse mbled and trucked up to Chicago, about 80 miles to the northeas t. On March 23, the 90 mile-an­ hour biplane was loaded into the Cargoliner and flown to Boise at a speed of .8 the speed of sound. The United Cargoliner normally flies daily from Chicago nonstop to Seattle, Was hington, but it was flown March 23 with very little other cargo, with a s pecial s top at Boise, to accommodate the Swallow. The 32-foot long wings and the tail assembl y were loaded easily in the Cargolin er's 106 foot long cargo compartment. But the 24-foot-long fus ela ge, on its own landing gea r, barely clea red the top of the 85" by 140" main cargo door opening. Inside, the top cylinder of the J-4 engine came within two inches of touching the ceiling of the cargo compartment, even after the Swallow's tires were partially deflated . Although the DC-8F could have carried 80,000 pounds of cargo, the Swallow - with an empty weight

of on ly 1,570 pounds - and some miscellaneous boxes a nd cra tes were the only cargo. Previou s to the completion of the Swa llow at Seneca, Hilbert made a preliminary trip to Bosie to determine what facilities might be available for the Swallow si nce there was s till so me work to be done before it could be flight tested. It also needed hanga r space . At Boise, Hilbert met with Dean Wilson , head of th e Bradley Air Tra ns porta tion Museum owned by Josep h L. Terteling, Idah o indu s tria li s t. In a move s tagge rin g for its ge nerosi ty, Wilson told Hilbert tha t Terteling offered th e use of a flat bed truck to transport th e Swallow from th e Boise airport on ar­ rival in th e Cargoliner and th e n the use o f h angar s pace in his museum northwest of Boise for reassembly a nd other work needed for the plane for as long as needed . Without these faciliti es, th e Swallow project would not ha ve been completed in time for the April 6 flight. As it wa s, the United crew o f Hilbert, Moen, Bra­ nand a nd Drabik worked long hours every day to get th e old plane read y. Finally, six days after its arrival by Ca rgoliner, th e Swallow was tes t flown by Hilbert on March 29. The J-4 operated perfectly, and after a 15 minute flig ht, Hilbert foll owed with another for 30 minutes. The next da y, o n one of the tes t flights from Ter­ teling's private s trip, Hilbert was forced to land the Swallow at an abandoned dirt strip nearby because of fuel s tarvation . After so me rea djustments, the Swal­ low was flown again the nex t da y, and what appeared to be a final blow developed. The J-4 was eating itself up and developed con­ side rable rou g hn ess in flight, forcing Hilbert to set it down as quickl y as possible on Terteling' s strip. Close inspection showed that there were metal par­ ticl es inside the e ngine , indicating that complete failure would probably occur shortly if the Swallow were flown again with the J-4. But luck was with the Swallow project, and again Terteling's people came to the rescue. Dean Wilson pointed out that the museum 's L-13A had a 220 horse­ power Continental engine built in 1942 that weighed about the same as the J-4 and could easily be inter­ changed with it. Wilson put his crew of 10 museum employees working on the project, and th e United crew, which had been joined by McConnell a few da ys earlier, worked through the night. The J-4 had failed , and some authenticity was sacrificed, but at least Hil­ bert now had a more powerful and more reliable en­ gin e for the flight. 12

FIFTY YEARS APART - Two pilots stand beside their planes il­ lustrating the Similarity between a historic flight made in 1926 and a re-enactment flight made April 6, with the Swallow biplane.

STURDY SKELETON - Waiting to be covered is the fuselage of the Uptown Swallow. E. E. "Buck" Hilbert kneels on the front seat while Edward E. McConnell, who is restoring the old plane hands him the instrument panel.

The J-4 engine was something of a historical item in its own right. It was one of three that powered th e Fokker tri-motor monoplane flown by Adm. Richard E. Byrd and Fl oyd Bennett May 9, 1926, when th ey b ecame the fir s t me n to reach the North Pole by air. Hil­ bert said his research on the se rial num­ ber of th e J- 4 e ngine s howed it to be delivered to Byrd for in stalla tio n on th e Fokker airplane, the "Josephine Ford", for th e his toric Polar flight. Altho ugh there is no record of what finally happ e n ed to th e " Jose phin e Ford", the engine turned up with a pri­ va te a ntiqu e a ir craft owner in Ca li ­ fornia , from whom it was ob tain ed by Hilbert. 13

Hilb ert h ad located o nl y three J-4s th a t were o p erab le, and two o f th e m were in th e Smithsonian In s tituti o n . He said th e J-4 was orig ina lly manu­ factured fo r th e U.S. Navy and that on ly 199 were built . It also was th e fore­ runn e r o f th e e n g ine tha t C harles A . Lindberg h used to fl y so lo across the Atla ntic. Hilbert had sa id a t th a t time that he con sid ered himse lf ex tremely fortunate as h e was not aware of a ny o th er fl ya­ ble J-4 e ngine in existence . Acknowledg­ ing the his torical value o f the J-4, the Smithsonian loaned the e ngin e restorer This photo at Seneca shows United pilot E. E. " Buck" Hilbert with a restored Swallow that made the Pasco-Boise re-enact­ ment Flight April 6.

a parts manual and a manufacturer's brochure on the J-4 from its files. Appreciating all that Terteling and Wilson had done for the Swallow project and realizing the his­ torical significance of his J-4, Hilbert donated it to the museum after it was taken off the Swallow. How­ ever, a fter its use in the re-enactment flight, the Con­ tinental 220 was due to be returned to the muse um or be put back on the L-13A. The important thing was that the Swallow was able to be test flown immediately with the new en­ gine, a nd the re-enactment was only two days away. On Sunday, April 4, Hilbert ferried the Swallow to Pasco for positioning, and he reported that all went well.

Although Cuddeback on April 6, 1926, had flown from Pasco to Boise and on to Elko, the schedule called for Hilbert to fly only the Pasco to Boise leg on April 6 and the Boise to Elko leg on April 7 because of civic celebrations planned on those days by the communi­ ties involved. Matching as closely as poss ible the details of Cud­ deback's flight, Hilbert carried 9,285 pieces of mail in six sacks in the front compartment, which also can be used as a second cockpit. However, the weather situation was reversed. On Cuddeback's flight, he had good weather between Pasco and Boise but ran into thunderstorms between Boise and Elko. For Hilbert, the weather on April 6 between Pasco and Boise was terrible but between Boise and Elko

Hundreds of persons greeted E. E. "Buck" Hilbert on his wet arrival. The most in­ terested of the spectators was Leon D. Cuddeback (being escorted under an um­ brella). One can only speculate that he is recalling his flight of 50 years before.

The warmth of Cuddeback's greeting to Hil­ bert at Boise showed one pilot's appreciation of another.

the next day was good. Hilbert got up at 4:15 A.M. on April 6 and went right to the airport without any breakfast. Although hundreds of persons showed up later to watch his take-off at 6:23 A .M., Hilbert found himself alone at the airport at first. The weather was menacing. "I called flight service to get a weather briefing and the FSS man told me, 'I wish I could tell you that the weather will be better than it is' ," Hilbert recalled. "He said the weather was so bad over the Blue Moun­ tains in Oregon that he didn ' t think 1 would get through the pass." By 5:45 A.M., special ceremonies with United and Pasco officials got underway, and Hilbert fired up the Swallow at 6:10 A.M. Rich Moen, who propped the plane, sa id later he gave it five primes, " just like the book says", and one more for luck, " and she popped right off". At 6:23 A.M., the sa me time of Cuddeback's take­ off, Hilbert was off the ground. He s wung around and made a low pass in front of the crowd, waved, and headed the 244 miles to Boise. A fleet of photo planes and antique aircraft, in­ cluding Dick McWhorter and Ed "Skeeter" Carlson, both in Stearman C-3Bs, took off to escort him , but most of them dropped off soon after as the weather worsened rapidly . Within minutes, he reached the Blue Mountains, which were smothered with low hanging, thick clouds . "Three planes, all with extensive instrumenta­ tion , were still with me," Hilbert recalled. "There was Dan Toeppen in his Cessna 182, Clay Lacy in his Fairchild Turbo-Porter and Jack Loeffler in his Cessna 180." All three are United pilots. "Seeing them still with me, 1 said to myself, 'What the heck am I trying to navigate for'?" Hilbert said. 14

Although the early history of Hilbert's Swallow is not known, the original factory plate showing its company serial number was still attached to the old biplane before the restoration work began .

" So I call ed Toe ppen on my porta bl e radio a nd told him to lead and I wo uld follow. The n I jus t sat there a nd e n­ joyed myself. " Simple as Hilbert makes tha t sound , hi s co ura ge in fl yin g a bipl a n e 1,000 fee t abov e th e te rra in with wall s of m o untain s and thick w hite clo ud s all around him got him throug h . " On ce w e go t pa s t th e m o untain s and into Treasure Valley, it sta rted to rain , a nd the rain ran down from the top o f th e win g rig ht int o the co ckpit, " Hilbe rt said . " Th e n , fo r th e first time , I got cold ." Hilbe rt sa id the re maind er of th e two h o ur a nd 31 minut e fli g ht w as " n o sw eat" as he follo w ed a four-la ne high­ w ay to Boise . " I found tha t I wa s go ing to a rri ve ea rly, so I circl ed a whil e to kill time a dis ta nce fro m th e airport, but th e w eath e r began d e te riorating , w ith a fo g bank moving in towa rd th e airport. 15

I thought to m yself that 'I be tter bring thi s thin g in soo n ' o r I wo uld b e in tro uble, so I w e nt in a nd landed." Hundred s of p e rso n s w e re o n ha nd to gree t Hilbert, just as they did w ith C udd e bac k, a nd th ey ru s h e d towa rd th e Swallow as Hilbe rt ta xied in. " I was rea lly wo rried abo ut tha t," he sa id. Hilbe rt quickl y sto pped th e e n gin e, "w ith it ra inin g cats a n d dogs", a nd th e first one to gree t him w as Cudde­ back . H e ca me up to me w ith tea rs in hi s eyes an d sai d, "By dan g it, yo u mad e i (1"

Hilb ert pl ayed d o wn hi s o wn e mo­ tions but sa id tha t "Th e te nsio n o n the g ro und mu s t h ave bee n g rea t beca u se th ey couldn ' t see m y pl a ne until I wa s ve ry cl ose in ." Bv that time, offi cial s h a d rece ive d wo ;·d that m os t o f th e chase a nd escort pl a nes had to la nd be­ ca u se o f th e ba d we ath e r a nd we re sca tt e re d a t va ri o u s airp o rt s b e twee n

The Swallow being loaded into the DC-8F at O'Hare Interna­ tional Airport on March 23, 1976.

Pasco and Boise. Hilbe rt la nded about 14 minutes ea rl y as his a rri va l w as sch edul ed for 10:10 A .M. , Boi se tim e, a n h o ur la te r than Pasco tim e . But he h ad m ade it, and in th e process had falle n in love w ith the Swallo w. " Tha t plan e is a bea uty," he sa id . " It is o ne o f the nicest old biplanes I ha ve eve r fl ow n . It is s mooth a nd respo nsive but h as one h abit - it won' t s tall. Wh en yo u ge t d ow n int o g round e ff ec t, it jus t w o n ' t sit do wn. " Hil be rt a nd C udd e b ac k we re ce n ­ te rs of a ttra cti o n at more ce re m o nie s a t Bo ise, a nd Unit e d A irlin es a ft e r Hilb e rt' s a rriv a l chri s te n ed a Boe in g 727 in C udd eba ck's na m e . Earl y the nex t m o rnin g, Hilbert was o ff aga in , thi s time o n th e 200 mil e fli g ht to Elko . Th e wea th e r w as be tte r, bu t th e hig h m o untains o n thilt ro u te w e re wo rth no tin g w ell. " I had to ge t up to

10,500 feet to get over a 9,300 foot ra n ge," Hilbe rt said . Even tho u gh he mad e a n unsch eduled " ba throom" s top at Pe ta n Ra nch a irstrip, he arrived ea rly a t Elko. " That particula r leg, however, proved to me tha t the me n like Cudd eback w h o pi o n ee red those routes w e re g ia nts," Hilbe rt said . " It was th e tou gh est I have ever fl own . It w as miles and miles a nd miles of no thing, a nd I never had s uch a feeling of insecurity in m y life ." Hilbert aga in was greeted by crowds, a ba nd and civic official s, an d his tory fo r a bri ef two d ays was reli ve d . But Hilbe rt's Swa llow fl y ing d ays a re s till fa r from ove r. After a tour of cities th a t will brin g him bac k to the Mid west a nd th en o n to Eas te rn cities e nding in Jun e, th e S wa llow will be o n ex hibit a t th e Day ton Air Fair 76, Jul y 24 a nd 25 , a nd , th e n , o n to O s hkos h fo r the EAA Fly­ In , Jul y 31 - Au g us t 8th.


Tom Poberezny

How do you rate yourself as a pilot? Ask yourself the following questions: - How do you rate your pilot ability? - What is your knowledge of your airplane's fly­ ing characteristics? - What is your knowledge of aircraft regulations? - Do you exercise common sense during pre-flight and while in the air? - Do you respect weather? - Are you the pilot-in-command or do you depend heavily on air traffic control? There are numerous questions I could add to this list, but the main purpose is to get you to take a good look at yourself in your role as a licensed pilot. The answers to these questions are going to depend a great deal on the number of hours per year you fly, whether you own your own airplane and whether or not you are a professional pilot. But, I am sure that after a review of your flying activities, you probably will rate yourself too low. Pilots, in many cases, are not giving themselves enough credit. A strong case in point is your Annual Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Throughout the day you will see a mixture of aircraft in the traffic pattern varying from small business jets and light twins to Bearcats, Mustangs, Taylorcrafts, J-3 Cubs and a host of single engine airplanes. The traffic is handled safely and pro­ fessionally. Common sense by controllers and pilots alike allows Wittman Field to be the world's busiest airport for one week each year - Without mishap . I

am sure there is yet to be a visitor to Oshkosh who has not been completely amazed with th e magnitude of traffic and the efficiency with which it flows. Yes, credit should go to the FAA Controllers (Witt­ man Tower a nd Gypsy Controllers) who work long h ours. They rank with the best in the business, ex­ emp lified by the professional, efficient and courteous manner in which they handle the air traffic. Instruc­ tions are concise and to the point. But what about that pilot up there in that busy traffic pattern? He or she must react quickly to constantly changing conditions a nd insure proper spacing with other aircraft of widely varying flight characteristics and speed ranges. The pilot must monitor other traffic and be prepared to extend or shorten his pattern at a moment's notice. And most important, the pilot must be constantly exercising good judgment as to any unsafe situations that may arise. Pilots . . . give yourself enough credit. Many of you are better than you think you are. For the few who may think they are better than they really are .. . be careful. In all cases, exercise good common sense. Remember, yo u are the captain of the ship. Good , safe flying technique rests solely on your shoulders. Don ' t ever forget that. Speaking of pilots, what is being done today to encourage people to learn to fly or remain in aviation? Aircraft rental costs are becoming prohibitive for the non-aircraft owner to learn or remain proficient. What enticement is there for aircraft ownership, considering all the regulations, taxes, landing fees, and radio re­ quirements which have driven aircraft costs and prices sky high. This is not to mention the inconveniences many aircraft owners face trying to get to their aircraft because of overzealous and costly airport security. What incentive is there for the Flight Instructor, A & P Mechanic of Fixed Base Operator? Hours are long and pay is short. I am sure you have not heard of too many A & P's or CFI's retiring at age 60 with a full benefit program. It's getting harder and harder to build new airports

because of e nvir onmental rules. Development of existing airports must compete with highways, educa­ tion and so forth .. . hence, in many areas little is done to the local airport. Much of it depends on the personal energies of the FBO/Airport Manager. I am proud of the work that is being accomplished by EAA members and chapters, deSignees, the Antiquel Classic Division, International Aerobatic Club and Warbirds. You are providing a reason to fly ... utiliza­ tion of the airplane. Through yo ur efforts the public is becoming more aware of aviation. Local chapter meetings, fly-ins and your enthusiasm has rekindled a strong interest in aviation. As I have said before, there is hardly an aviation event today where you don't see an EAA cap in the crowd. Much has been accomplished, but we've only scratched the surface. Your Headquarters staff is con­ tinually re-evaluating programs and looking for ways to promote a healthy aviation picture. Let's continue what is being done right and take action on what is wrong or not being done at all. To the Federal Aviation Administration, I ask: "What are you doing to foster and promote aviation in the United States?" I am asking this in a sincere, non­ sarcastic manner. Take a good look at your policies and regulations and then look at the problems and condition of the aviation industry today. Enough said. It's hard to believe that the Annual EAA Convention in Oshkosh is only 60 days away. Though much has been done there still is a great deal of preparation facing all of us for this year's event. We need volunteers to help prepare the site. If you can donate an hour, a day or a weekend, contact Convention site Foreman, Vern Lichtenberg at 414/233-1460. For those of you who will be flying non-radio air­ craft to the Convention, please keep in mind that no non-radio arrivals will be permitted after 4:00 p. m. The reason for this is the air show and the heavy traffic that results after its completion . Please plan your flight accordingly. 16

Calendar of Events June 16-20 - 1976 Staggerwingrrravel Air International Convention , s pon so red by Staggerwing Museum Foundation and Staggerwing Club, Tullahoma , Tenn. Contact John Paris h, do Staggerwing Museum Foundation, P.O. Box 550, Tullahoma, Tenn. 37388. Phone: 615-455-0691 (business) or 615-455-2190 (home). June 18-20 - Pauls Valley Oklahoma ­ Greater Oklahoma City Antique Airplane Assn. Fly-In. Contact Alan Brakefield, Rt. 3, Box 301A, Okla. City, OK 73127. June 23-27 - Hammondsport, New York ­ Flight of the June Bug, a replica of the 1908 aircraft built and flown by Glenn H. Curtiss, in conjunction with Bicentennial Celebration. Contact Bill Fox, Pleasant Va lley Wine Co ., Hammondsport , New York 14840. Phone: 607-569-2121. June 26-27 - Wisconsin Chapter AAA Grass Roots Fly-In, Clearwater Resort , Clearwater, WI. June 26-27 - Wellsville Aviation Club, Inc ., Great Wellsville Air Show Poker Rally Air Race. Spot Landing Contests, Flour Bombing, Best in Class Aircraft prizes and trophies . Wellsville Municipal Airport, Wellsville, NY. (Raindate July 10). July 3-4 - Gainesville, Georgia - 9th Annual Cracker Fly-In . Sponsored by North Georgia Chapter of AAA, Antiques, Classics, Homebuilts and Warbirds welcome. Contact Bill Davis, 2202 Willivee Place, Decatur, GA 30033. July 10-11 - Annual EAA Chapter 62 Fly-In, Hollister, CA. Contact D. Borg, 6948 Burning Tree, San Jose, CA 95119 . July 10-11 - 17th Annual AAA Fly- In, DuPage County Airport, West Chicago, Illinois. Phone 312-763-7114. July 31 - August 8 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin ­ 24th Annual EAA International Fly-In Convention. Start making yo ur plan s NOW! August 29-September 6 - Blakesburg, Iowa ­ 6th Annual Invitational AAA-APM Fly-In . August 30 - September 3 - Fond d u Lac, Wisconsin - 11 th Annual EAAIIAC International Aerobatic Championships. Spon­ sored by International Aerobatic Club . September 17-19 - Georgetown, South Carolina - Second Annual Spirit of 76 Fly-In at Georgetown County Airport, South Carolina. Sponsored by Chapter 543 Antiquel Classics, Warbirds and Homebuilt s. For infor­ mation contact Herb Bailey, P.O . Box 619, Georgetown, SC 29440 . (803) 546-2525 days; (803) 546-3357 nights and weekends.



It was a warm spring day, just like today. The temper­ a ture climbing up to seventy. The first warm clear great day when nature comes alive all around you. I remember crossing the open fields toward the corner s tore near the railroad tracks. Seeing signs of new life beginning in all varieties of wild flowers . Dandelions, pussy willows, and early flight of the bumblebees. What a great part of the year this is in the north after the cold days we have all come through during the past winter. Suddenly, an awful roar fills the air. Glancing over­ head my eyes fix toward the sound and out of the sky comes an airpla ne; twisting, and turning all the time straight down! The engine sounds like it quit but he continues to turn around seven, eight times. I notice as he comes closer and closer to the gro und during each revolu­ tion the plane has two wings and it is a brick red color. Then, just as it seems it would crash, the pilot gets control of it and flies along the tracks twisting the airplane in a roll as he flies further away. At first I thought he must be crazy to make an airplane do that; but as he appeared again over and over during the summer months , he always began his routine over the neighborhood with the roar of the engine and the descending spin. Through the year we all began to learn his repertoire of spins, loops, slow rolls and the like; as this young bird exercised his new wings in flight. The year as best I can remember was 1937 and the aircraft must have been an American Eagle which was leased at the local airport called "York Tip" , short for York Township Airport, which was operated by the Mil­ ler brothers just south of Lombard, Illinois. The pilot was Jack Brissey, and the neighborhood was an area called Belmont Station, which is just west of Downers Grove , Illinois . Jack became a captain forT .W.A . and regrettably died of a heart attack while on approach to Los Angeles Air­ port at the height of his ascending career. I talked to Jack many times after I learned he lived near my home, and still attribute my flying fever to his efforts. I still have a partial set of an early aeronautic magazine course which he said was, "All the important parts of learning how to fly." To me the air above has never been the same since Jack first made that spin into my life many spring days ago. Alfred F. Campbell 913 Riedy Road Lisle, Illinois 60532 Antique/Classic Division 109 (Restoring 1946 Ercoupe) P.S. If you don ' t use the story, it won't make me feel any different about spring.


Springtime and dandelions are as synonymous as apple pie and coffee, bacon and eggs. Some people hate dandelions. How could anyone hate a (Cub yellow) flower like that? As soon as the green fields are dotted with dandelions r dream of the days when the sky was full of yellow Cubs. Come spring, I walk my grass strip daily, testing for firm enou gh ground to ge t the Cub out and literally wallow around in that blue sky full of Spring air. Every yellow dotted pa s ture just beckons for a touch and go (careful now, don't crush the dandelions) full throttle and back you go into that ocean of blue floating on spring green landscape. Yep, there ain't nothin ' like it nowhere no how! A Cub is just the most flying fun wrapped in a pretty yaller package! Some call it an old man's airplane. Careful there sonny boy - if it gets to feeling playful it might throw you. Guess they forgot to tell you young fellows you fly it, don't drive it. A gentle touch and it will do anything. Stand on its tail for instance, do somersaults, fly sideways. With a Spring zepher (one of those solid breezes that's' like something shot out of a hose) you can fly backwards. Just don't get the idea yo u are going anywhere, for that it won't (very fast that is). Yet for those old enough to have learned patience, it is contentment. A slow sightseeing trip is sheer ecstacy. A panorama of interesting sights awaits you: A farmer working in the field, his wife hang­ ing out clothes; a constant stream of cars passing (forward that is) to watch; a bread truck passes making a delivery at the next town and passes again. You just smile and wave from your 500 foot perch. Looking back, the farmer's wife is already taking down the wash (dry that is) . Better start looking for a field - the plane'S tank is as short as mine. No airstrip in sigh t! Tha t farmer down there has a tractor and that must be gas in those cans on the wagon. Nice of him to leave a long strip unplowed. (Downwind you say sonny?) Whatszat? Tractor gas you say sonny? That's dynamite compared to the 70 octane this thing was weaned on. Now you see we can just turn around and take off - upwind that is. Don't ever get any ideas of trying this on your tricycle - they just ain't pasture airplanes. Now if you want to go from point A to point B in a hurry, just sweat it o ut on your tricycle. If you would rather go from point A to point G, there is a slice of golden age waiting for you on any little grass patch that has a pretty yellow Cub sitting among those pretty yellow dandelions . When I get too o ld to fly, I'll just turn my Cub out to pasture to graze among the dandelion s. Percy Bricker (EAA 15612) Saxton, Iowa 54110

preservation , and " 10 & behold" you have dealt us a low blow . Seriously, I do hope that you return to the old standard magazine type format . I do hope that you take this good natured but serious critique to heart and either return to the old format , or retain the present format for quite some time to come . (Hopefully, return to the old format) . Regards, Carmen D. Perrotti Jr., No. 22 38 Mt. Hood Terrace Melrose, Mass. 02176 Editor 's Note : I have mine bound too .

We will probably keep this format for some time.

Info on binding will be forthcoming .

Mr. AI Kelch : Enclosed check for Antique/Classic membership , I enjoy your magazine. I don 't think many of the tricycle pilots really realize the debt of gratitude they owe the old pioneer pilots that flew new air routes , and the risks they went through to perfect the equipment and aircraft they now take for granted. I'd like to see a monthly article like the "50th anniversary of Commerical Trans足 portation " as per Jan. 76 issue. There were many distance or endurance flights in the 20s & 30s. I believe some articles of those flights would be of interest to some who were too young to remember or flight records they never heard of. You have a good magazine and I enjoy it.

Oran Barber , 66833

P.O. Box 244

Safety Harbor, FL 33572

March 3, 1976 Gentlemen : I received the Jan . 1976 issue of The Vintage Airplane and note that it was sent to my bUSiness address. Please send all future issues to my home address . Incidentally, I was a bit dismayed with the new " oblong " format of the Jan . 1976 issue. You are probably not aware of this , but many of we Antique/ Classic members have our issues of The Vintage Airplane hardbound for easier reference and long term

January 5, 1976 Dear Buck: I never did find any original wheel parts for my J-3, so I am going to get a pair of plastic ones and try to pound out some from aluminum which I hope will turn out well. I did some of this sort of thing when I was at the Boeing School in Oakland back in the 1930's. You said in your last note that you wished you were retired. Well, I will have been away from the airline 4 years next month . The first couple of years I just didn 't seem to like it and wished I was back at work . Gradually I got use to it, and now I do like it and enjoy it. I have two planes , the J-3 with a 90 hp Continental and a good Cessna 170-B with a 145 hp Continental in it. This makes it every nice as the engines are alike in so many parts. I keep spare cylinders, pistons, valves, etc ., and I can use them in either plane . I have my A and P license and do some of the work myself. I enjoy getting SPORT AVIATION and The Vintage Airplane magazines , also the ones from the AAA. In some ways I think the AAA is more on the right track than the EAA , especially in not trying to have a field day for everyone. I suppose there are many pro 's and con 's. I am also very strong in my opinion that the antique ought to be flown straight and level not wrung out. It seems to me this should be a constant theme song . I feel so badly when I read , now and then, about the failure of some antique that was being asked to do something that it probably wasn 't designed for in the first place, and that many yea rs ago . I also think Wag Aero is on the right track in making the plans available for the CUBy . Now wouldn 't it be something if we had plans to say nothing about kits , for the Wacos , Travelairs and so forth? That , to me , is something that would really keep the antique movement alive and bring in the younger builders , who are what we must have eventua lly in both the EAA and the AAA. Seems to me there

must be some way to get these plans and specifications. I'd sure like to build a new Bellanca or Fairchild. Personally , I enjoy each issue of The Vintage Airplane very much . I think the stories are good, and I think it is well worth the money. In fact , I think it is so good that it seems to me it could be sold for a higher price . I really like what Tony Bingelis writes in SPORT AVIATION . Seems to me if we had something like that in The Vintage Airplane it would help. If we had the plans on how to home-build a Waco UPF or some other very good plane, and ran it as plans in serial form , it would be a way to get EAA members to want the antique magazine enough to join the division . There are probably better answers than I can think of , but there are answers. Well Buck , I've rambled on and not said much , but in closing I want to thank you again for trying to help me find those original pants for my J-3. Yours truly ,

Howard C. Holman

Wayne, Maine 04284

Dear Sirs : Thank you very much for your letter dated Feb . 28 , 1976. We would like to tell you that our work on the VilMA-plane is going rapidly forward . As far as we know, we aren 't short of a single piece to that aeroplane and it is being put together now. We look forward to have it test-flown before midsummer '76 . We can also tell you that we have taken photos every now and then during the work. Unfortunately they all are color. We understood that you wanted to have black and white photos, or do you have any use of color ones. The opportunity to write an article to your magazine is wonderful and we are more than pleased to be able to send you that story of our VilMA. We hope that you can wait to the end of summer, because after that we will have some experience and something to write about. Then we will send you all the facts , history and other things concerning this type, - and probably some photos taken when the VilMA is in the air! We enclose with this letter a card showing you what ki nd of aeropl ane it is and how it was painted earlier . VilMA is as a type copied from the famous Focke-Wulf Stieglitz . The motor is the same one , Siemens足 Hal ske Bramo SH 14 A 4. There are , according to my knowledge , three Stieglitz 's flying around in Finland . We look forward to com pair these two types sometime . Wi shing you all the very best and a happy Spring , Yo ur' s Mr. K. Mu stonen and Mr. J. Ahlstrom

Dear Sirs: I'd like to order your Vintage Airplane magazine for 1976. If it is possible I'd like to have also the first numbers of 76. You can send the bill and the magazine to :

Mr. John Ahlstrom

Bergmansgatan 5 A 8

00140 Helsingfors 14


Very many thanks in advance , Johan AhlstrOm In regard to " Breath of Life " in Feb . 1976 issue of Vintage Airplane. Mr. Richard Connoley of Ridgefield , Connecticut, kept NC 11 Y at Danbury , Connecticut during 1940-1941 . He flew it regularly on business. Its big fuel tanks were a ready source from which to " borrow " gas when the Cub trainers went dry and Texaco was late with deliveries. We washed her down with " gunk " 'til the aluminum glistened and nursed sore muscles from pushing in and out of the hangar. For details write : Cliff Sadler, Manager, Danbury Airport, Danbury, Conn . 06810. Have photo taken at Danbu ry if you want. Charles Steffens, Jr. 37 Coleman Road Glastonbury, CT 06033

WANTED : 1941 Stinson 10-A. Mu:" u" ferriable. Prefer one with 90 hp Franklin , but will consider any , including the 1939 model , HW-75 . Wayne Alsworth , Sr., Port Alsworth, Alaska 99653 . FOR SALE: Waco S.R .E. Basket Case. Cabin biplane with 450 hp , P&W engine . Blue prints available , $27 .00 . Ted Voorhees, 6778 Skyline Drive, Delray Beach , FL 33446 . WANTED: Antique wood propeller for my den . W . N. Schultz , Jr., P.O . Box 386 , Madison, NC 27025. 919/548-9648 , days ; 548-2496, nights.