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THE RESTORER'S CORNER Many stories have been written about finding antique airplanes in barns, garages, on mountain sides, in jungles, and even submerged in lakes. Each of these stories gives us antiquers renewed hope that we, too, will some day find the antique airplane of our dreains in some extremely unlikely location and will pack it up and cart it hqme to our garage to be restored and preserved for posterity and, incidently, to win us a few Grand Champ足 ionships along the way. While most of these stories which we hear and read are true, these finds are really becoming more and more infrequent. Let's face it. We can actually ascertain the number of aircraft built by each manufacturer from the start of Type Certification in 1927 up to World War II. This was only a span of fourteen years. If we were to total up the an足 tiques known to exist today (flying, in storage, or being restored) and then add a reasonable percentage factor for the aircraft totally destroyed, we would find that the difference, namely, those which have not as yet been found, is a very small number. Since we are attracting more people to our hobby all the time and want to continue to do so, what is the solution? How can we come up with enough old aircraft so that everyone who wants a vintage airplane can have one? The answer can be found in one word: REPLICAS. There is much to be said for the replica. First of all, it is usually a well proven design. Second, it is easily recognizable as a rare bit of aviation history, and only an expert can distinguish it from an original if the builder sticks religiously to the plans. Third, replicas come in all sizes, shapes and horsepower to fit all sizes of pocketbooks. Among the more exotic, and sometimes more expensive, replicas are the World War I fighters, especially so if the builder decides to use an original engine. There are several organizations devoted to fostering the construction of World War I replicas, and they are enjoying moderate success at the moment. Through these organizations information is available to help the prospective builder obtain plans and parts. We can expect these groups to grow to a much larger size as more interest is generated . There are several certificated aircraft of years ago which are now or have

by J. R. NIELANDER, JR.

been available in plans form. Examples are the Great Lakes Trainer, Heath Parasol and the Mooney Mite. The old familiar J-3 Cub has been brought back to life in both plans and kit form as the CUBy . Besides these there are many more which would make beautiful and relatively easy replicas to build if the plans were made available. To name just a few, there are the Aeromarine Klemm, Driggs Dart, American Eaglet, Aeronca C-3 and K, Curtiss-Wright Junior, Buhl "Bull Pup", Spartan C-2, Rearwin "Junior", Taylor Cub, and Wiley Post Model A. All of these designs have one common denominator. Their horsepower requirements are such that they can be powered by an engine of the Volkswagon class. If one wants to go to the next larger size aircraft with more horsepower, designs such as the Monocoupe, Savoia-Marchetti S-56B Amphibian, Fairchild 22, Kinner Playboy, and Sportwing, Rearwin Sportster and Speedster, Kari-Keen, Aeronca LC Davis 0-1, Inland Sport, Crosle Moonbeam, Mohawk "Pinto", Arrow "Sport", and Culver Dart and Cadet could also be very interesting replicas. There are also numerouS beautiful designs from Europe. The Chilton D. W. 1, Miles Hawk, Tipsy Sportster and Junior, and Klemm KL35D are just a few excellent examples. All that is needed to give impetus to the antique replica movement is the availability of good usable drawings. Many of us have partial or even complete sets of drawings for one or more of these old aircraft. We have them stored away in a closet or in the attic or basement. Some sheets are so faded as to be almost unreadable. However, in the hands of the right technicians with the proper equipment, the faded lines could be brought out, and using today's techniques, these plans could be copied and reprinted in an exceptionally legible form. Then they could be made available to those vintage aircraft enthusiasts who are unable to find the basket case of their choice to restore as well as to those who would just feel a lot better knowing that they, themselves, had built their own vintage airplane and that it had been constructed using all new materials. It's an interesting prospect for the future, isn't it?


OFFICIAL MAGAZINE

EDITORIAL STAFF

ANTIQUE / CLASSIC DIVISION of THE EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAF.T ASSOCIATION

AUGUST 1976

Publisher Paul H. Poberezny

Editor AI Kelch

ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC DIVISION OFFICERS PRESIDENT J . R. NIELANDER , JR . P. O. BO X 2464 FT . LAUDERDALE , FL 33303

VICE-PRESIDENT MORTON LESTER P. O. BOX 3747 MARTINSVILLE , VA 24112

SECRETARY RICHARD WAGNER P. O. BO X 181 LYONS , WI 53148

TREASURER E. E. " BUCK " HILBERT 8102 LEECH RD . UNION , IL 60180

Directors Term expires August '77

Term expires August '76

Claude L. Gray , Jr.

9635 Sylvia Avenue

Northridge , Cali fornia 91 324

AI Kelch

7018 W. Bonniwetl Road

Mequon , Wisconsi n 53092

James B . Horne

3840 Coronation Road

Eagan. Minnesota 55122

Evander M . Britt

Box 1525

Lumberton , North Carolin a 28358

George E. Stubbs

Box 113

Brownsb urg . Indiana 4611 2

M . C. " Kelly " Viet s RR 1. Box 151 Sti lwe ll. KS 66085

William J. Ehlen

Route 8, Box 506

Tampa. Florida 33618

Jack C . Winthrop 3536 Whitehall Drive Dallas. Texas 75 22 9

ADVISORS W . Brade Thoma s. Jr .

30 1 Dodson Mill Road

Pilot Mountain , North CArolina 27041

Robert A. White

1207 Falcon Drive

Orlando . Fl orida 32803

THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE is owned exclusively by Antique Classic Aircraft , In c. and is published monthly at Hales Corners , Wisconsin 53130. Second class Pos tage paid at Hales Corners Post Office , Hales Cor足 ners, Wisconsin 53130 and Random Lake Post Office , Ran d om Lake . Wisconsin 53075. Membership rates for Antique Class aircraft . In c. at $14 .00 per 12 mon th period of which $ 10.00 is for th e publication of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE . M embership is open t o all who are interested in avia tion .

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

Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130

NUMBER 8

The Restorer's Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Silver Eagle - Part II . . . ... .... . ... . ... . .. . . ... . ... .. . ,.... . Watsonville .... .... ....... ..... ... .. .. ..... . , .... . . .. ..... , .. , Vintage Album ... ... . ... . .. ..... .. ...... . .. . ... . . . ... . . .. .. .. Gates Flying Circus .... . .. ... .... .. ............... . . .. . ... .... Treasure Hunt . . ............ ... ....... .. ........ .. .. .. . . . .. ... Bill Menefee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. Early Bird Vignette - Bobb i Trou t . . .. . .. ..... ..... ... ... . . .... , Whistling In The Rigging ............ . ... . ..... . .. . ... . .. . ..... National Ercoupe Fly-In .. . . .. . .. . . ..... . . .. .. . .. .. ........ . ... Calendar of Eve nts ... . .. .. , .. ... ... ..... . . . ...... . ..... .. ... ..

Assistant Editor

Lois Kelch

Centributing Editors

H. N . " Dusty " Rh odes

Evand er Britt

Jim Barton

Claude Gray

Ed Escallon

Rod Spanie r

Da le Gustafson

Henry Wh ee ler

Morton Lester

Kelly Viets

Bob Elli o t

Jack Lanning

Bill Thumma

Glenn Buffington

VOLUME 4

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EAA ANTIQUE/CLASSIC DIVISION MEMBERSHIP o

NON-EAA MEMBER - $34.00. Includes one year membership in the EAA Antique/Classic Division , 12 monthly issues of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE; one year membership in the Experimental Aircraft Associa足 tion , 12 monthly issues of SPORT AVIATION and separate membership cards .

o NON-EAA o

MEMHER - $20.00. Includes o ne year membership in the EAA Antique/Classic Division , 12 monthly issues of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE; one year membership in the Experimental Aircraft Associa足 tion and separate membership cards. SPORT AVIATION not included . EAA MEMBER - $14.00. Includes one year membership in the EAA Antique/Classic Division , 12 monthly issues of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE and membership ca rd . (Applicant must be current EAA member and must give EAA membership number.

PICTURE揃 BOX (Back Cover)

FRONT COVER

Painting of 1918 Jenny by Ralph Steele. Jim Nissen's 1918 Jenny won Grand Champion a t Watsonville see Page 7. Copyright

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Curtiss Military Tractor. From Jack Rose collection 1918 pictures.

1976 Antique C lassic A ir craft . Inc . All Rights Reserve:! .

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A

SILVER

Eagle (~ PART II (Highlights of 1930) A BIOGRAPHY OF E. M. "MATTY" LAIRD

By Robert G. Elliott 1227 Oakwood Ave. Daytona Beach, FL 32014

Ed Escallon &

335 Milford Dr. Merritt Island, FL 32952

The highligh t of 1930 proved to be the design and construction of the "Solution" racer, which became the first and only biplane to win the coveted Thompson Trophy race for the fastest aircraft of the day. The "Solution" had been built in a record thirty days and was completed just one hour before the race. In the following year, Matty's newest racer, the "Super Solution" became the first aircraft to win the new Bendix Trophy, setting the trans-continental speed record of 11 hours, 15 minutes, under the very capable pilotage of Jimmy Doolittle. An Executive Transport biplane became the next challenge to be designed and fabricated at the Laird factory at Ashburn Field. Construction was mixed with an aluminum semi-monocoupe finely tapering fuse­ lage, fabric covered wood wings, and a steel tubing center section. The prototype was built to an order placed by George Horton, President of Chicago Bridge and Iron. Special features included an on-board lava­ tory and provisions for the eventual incorporation of retractable gear. Performance data of the 450 hp proto­ type included 180 mph cruise airspeed with over 200 mph at full power. While the "Sesquiwing" was begun in 1931, the ailing economy together with extensive fabrication details required for the aircraft, delayed it's roll-out until 1934. About the time that factory flight tests were completed, but just prior to their being submitted for ATC certification, Mr. Horton suffered a fatal heart attack. Subsequently the airplane was given to his Alma Mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Sadly, the aircraft's subassemblies were last seen undergoing various s tress tests for aero-engineering classes. Although no doubt of great educational value, it is a pity this one-of-a-kind Laird was not preserved instead of being destroyed. 3

E. M. (Matty) LAI RO The middle thirties saw the development of a huge airline industry in this country. Chicago became a major airline hub and drew heavily on the aviation talent in the area. Many of Mr. Laird's employees went with the airlines during the lean year that en­ veloped the Laird Company, and a few are still in­ volved in the management of this industry today. After a few years of operation, the DC-3, which had become the airlines workhorse, began to require refurbishment of the fuel tanks due to corrosion. Matty bid against the Curtiss Company for this work and won the contract offered by American Airlines. In the ensuing years, work on these tanks for Ameri­ can, United, TWA and Braniff provided steady in­ come for the Laird factory. Matty also contracted to build passenger loading stands for the airlines. Reminiscent of the early thirties period "Matty's race-to-the-race" continued into 1937, when Roscoe Turner brought in two projects just two months be­

fore the National Air Races. They were his damaged Wedell Williams, and a partially completed new racer. Matty's brother Harold was assigned to rebuild the Wedell, which had been a victim of carburetor icing, causing an engine-out landing in the wastelands of New Mexico. Its many flights as a basketcase hadn't helped the lightweight airframe either. Despite it's condition, Harold and his team were able to meet the time schedule and ready the golden racer for the upcoming National Air Races. Joe Mackey piloted this plane in several subsequent seasons under an agreement with Ros­ coe. Obsolescence and technical problems prevented it from ever again placing in a major event. Roscoe's second major project was a racer which had been designed by Messers. Barlow and Akerman of the University of Minnesota and whose subsequent


(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty' Laird)

ABOVE: Laird Solution, in which Speed Holman won the Thompson Trophy Race in 1930. This aircraft was thirty days old the day of the race, having been completed about one hour before the race began , allowing time enough for a short test hop and refueling due to a short postponement of the Thompson Race start.

(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty' Laird)

ABOVE: The Laird Sesquiwing under construction.

(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty' Laird)

LEFT: Jimmy Doolittle is congratulated by Matty Laird after winning the Bendix Race, September, 1931.

LEFT: Speed Holman. (Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty ' Laird)

Laird Super Solution in completed rig , ready for a race ,

(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty' Laird)

BELOW: Full view of completed Laird Sesquiwing .


.

(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty ' Laird)

photograph made at 1930 Chicago National Air Races wh ich were conducted at Curtiss-Reynolds Airport, Chicago . 'Speed' Holman is shown at right rounding a pylon in the Laird Solution . Upper center is what is believed to be the plane of Arthur Page , who was pulling out of race. Page m ade a crash landing and died of injuries, wh ile Holm an went on to wi n th e Thomp ­ son Trophy Race.

5

construction had been beg un by Lawr­ ence Brown o f Los Angeles . Va rious technical , pe rso nal and financial prob­ lems had e rupted during th e proj ect forcing Roscoe to ha ve the airplane' s assemblies shipped to Ma tty for com­ ple tio n . A review o f the d es ign re­ vealed a w ing co nfig ura tio n which was uns uitable for th e challe nges of the Be ndi x a nd Tho mpson. Th e wings w ere di sassembl ed to th e spa rs a nd rebuilt with the internal drag braci ng lig hte ned , as well as a grea tl y improved fu selage a ttach m e thod incorpora ted . Exis ting ailerons we re u sed , wi th th e fla ps ex­ te nd ed to cover th e spa n added to th e w ing. The resultin g loa ding of 50 po und s per square foot was a m o ng th e high est used in aircraft a t th at time, a nd much

technica l comm e nt centered abo ut it.

, Ac tuall y th e wi ng turn ed o ut to be o ne

of the rea lly o uts ta nding as pects of the

race r, and it's configura tion w as wid ely co pi ed in th e Secon d World Wa r's fighte rs. Additio nally, Matty add ed abo ut a squ are foot to the eleva tor surface area, a nd compl etely o utfitted th e fuselage sru cture almos t from scra tch . La rger fu el ta nks tha n Mr. Brow n had p la nned on us ing we re included . In ma ny re­ s pects th e re nova tio n o f th e Laird­ Turn er Racer was mo re difficult tha n build ing a comple tely n ew aircraft. Wh e n fini shed , a weight ch eck con­ firmed that Ma tty h ad elimin a ted over 400 p o und s o f weight jus t from the pa rts Mr. Brow n h ad s hipped him. The LTR-14 was tes ted success full y a nd accepted by Roscoe, w ho proceeded to Califo rni a in it .. . on its second fli ght. In succeeding years th e Laird -Turne r Ra ce r served to cha nge the fortun es of 'toug h-luck' Roscoe . During th e 1937 Th ompson , Roscoe, w ho was lea ding th e race, was m ome nta ril y blind ed by the sun while ro unding a pylon. Turn­ ing back to recircl e th e pylo n , he los t his lead to Ea rl O rtma n a nd Rud y Kling. In a las t minute burs t o f speed , Rud y drove the diminuti ve Folkerts racer p as t O rtma n to w in . Roscoe follo wed in third place.

H o we ve r, the fo llo wing yea r, th e Laird-Turne r, ra cin g as the PESCO SPECIAL , placed first in th e Th o mp­ son, brea kin g Micheal De troya t's record sp eed se t two yea rs previo u sly. Th e 1939 Natio n al Air Races w e re la rgely overs had owed by the grim turn o f events ta kin g place in Europ e. Roscoe, raci ng fo r th e las t time, again wo n the Thompso n , fl ying the Laird ­ Turn er, w hich fo r th e occasio n h ad becom e th e 'Miss Ch a mpio n'. This vic­ tory mad e h im the o nl y ma n to ever w in th e cove ted Thompson Trop h y th ree tim es . Desp ite th e credit due Mr. Lai rd, Roscoe never prop e rl y recogni zed him . Ma tty, however, never pressed th e issu e ... as "Th at's jus t th e way Roscoe was" . . . Turner's victories , p lu s th ose earli er in th e deca d es by the 'Solutio n' a nd 'S upe r Solu tion' gave th e Laird Pla nes; Th ree FIRST a nd two THIRD places in th e Th om pson Races, o n e FIRST in th e Be ndi x, a tra n s-contin ental a nd tri ­ Capitol sp eed record , in add itio n to a t least a d oze n differe nt inte r- ci ty record s . For a s mall civil based aircraft facto ry, th e E. M. La ird Company h ad wo n a la rge proportina te sha re of the records a nd races of th e thirties, due to the skill of th e em p loyees an d th e geniu s o f E. M . 'Ma tty' La ird . As this cou ntry's in volve m e nt in th e Wa r beca me m ore e mine nt, Ma tty rea­ lized it was going to be pre tty ' tou gh sledding' for a no n -milita ry ma nu ­ fac ture r. In a n a tte mpt to get subcon­ trac ting wo rk o n milita ry aircraft , a Chicago fri e nd pe rsuaded him to con ­ side r setting up an avia ti o n di vis ion fo r a m a nu fac turer o f m e tal door trim , a t La po rt, Indi a na. Ma tt y loo ked th e o pe ra­ ti o n ove r a nd elec ted to become Vice Preside nt o f th e Compan y (la ter be­ co min g th e La po rte Co rpo ra ti o n. ) H e bro u g ht w it h h im a ll hi s fac to ry m a­ chi nery , equipme nt a nd m a te rials, but re tained pe rsonally all his airplane designs. Th e La po rte Corpora ti o n s uc­ cess fu ll y me t the challe nges o f w artime ma te rials sh ortages with a la bor fo rce cons is tin g m os tly of wo me n . Alth o ug h untrain ed , a nd faced w ith schedu les


(Photo Courtesy Roger Don Rae)

ABOVE: Laird-Turner, Pesco Spec ial which Roscoe Turner

flew to victory in the Thompson Trophy Race in 1938.

(Photo Courtesy E. M. 'Matty ' Laird) (Photo Co urtesy E. M. ' Matty' La ird)

Laird-Turne r on the line after being rebuilt by the E. M. Laird Airplane Company. Note the fam ilia r Laird trademark on th e tail.

that doubled every month , they rapidly grew into a skilled tea m unde r the able guidance of Matty. His tale nts in pro­ duction were direc ted to the producti on of B-24 and SB2C vertical fin s, complete e mpe na ge groups for Martin B-26's and numero us o th er items s uch as w ing flaps, radio cabinets, crew bunks and d e- icer tanks for th e Martin PBM. Matty n ever had any interest in Military aircraft, with the possible excep ti on of building a trainer for the Armed Services. He had lost a n early bid for a trainer in the La ird Swallow days, w h en Major Reuben Fleet, a procurement officer for th e Army, ve toed th e purchase. Major Fleet la te r resig ned from th e Service a nd orga ni zed the Consolidated Aircraft Company, who

BELOW: Matty Laird, center, surrounded by his fellow craftsmen at the Laport Corporation during WWII. The vertical fins of the B-24 behind are autographed by all members of his work force .

received the order for his training plan e. The wartime production of th e La­ porte Corporation was a credit to Mr. Laird' s inge nuity in training and mus­ tering every effort from his employees during th e critical time o f his country's n eed. At th e War's e nd, Ma tty res tudi ed th e designs h e had worked up for civilian airplanes before the War. One particu­ larly appealing mod el was a 4 place, high wing m o no plan e, with a semi­ monocoupe aluminum fusela ge and woode n w ings. Plans were .. . to use a new six cylinder in verted engi ne that Continental was developing. In con­ sideri ng th e cap italiza ti on cos ts in­ volved which had doubled since the thirti es, and knowi ng first-hand, th e 6


boom-bust market that followed the previous War, Matty decided to retire from the aviation business. An additional factor which prompted his decision was the fact that his daughter had contracted polio. At the time, the only known treatment was frequent immersions in warm water combined with physical therapy . Consequently, Matty decided to move to a warmer climate, choosing Boca Raton, a small com­ munity on the lower east coast of Florida. There, he and his lovely Elsie, whom he married in 1933, devoted th emselves to raising their son and daughter. In later years the Lairds purchased some land in the Lake Toxaway area of North Carolina where they built a home. The lake had been a millionaires hide­ away in the early 1900's until the dam supporting it burst in 1916, flooding many of the lower communities. Ironically, the lake was later re-damed after the Laird's built their home, and the high water level forced them to again move . Later they purchased an adjacent home on the lake shore. Currently they spend their summer months enjoying this beautiful mountain lake area, while wintering in their fifty year old Spanish style home in Boca . In 1967 Matty became President of the Early Birds, an International organization of pilots who made their first flight before December 17, 1916. Mr. Laird also became active in the Connecticut Aeronautical His­ torical Association's restoration of the 'Solution' beginning in 1964. He first became acquainted with the Florida Sport Aviation, Antique and Classic Association at the Remuda Ranch Fly-In during November of 1974, where he was an honored guest. There too, he joined the EAA. In recognition of his many achievements prior to 1940, Mr. Laird was awarded the coveted Silver Eagle Membership in the Association. Since then the Lairds have been very active in the EAA, being honored among the Aviation Greats at Oshkosh, 1975, and appearing at many EAA functions through­ out the State of Florida. His present work on the EAA's restoration of the 'Super Solution' has brought him back, full circle . . . to th e very work to which he devoted his life beginning in 1910 . . . that of building the finest air­ craft in the country. At eighty years on November 29th, 1975, Matty has been described by his friends as "a Volkswagen wi th 80 horsepower". The Florida Association and th e Experimental Air­ craft Association are very privileged to know and be able to work with people of Mr. Laird's background, energies and character. Mr. Laird ... a true ge nius and pioneer of Ameri­ can Aviation. 7

Earl W. Swaney

525 Saratoga Ave.

Santa Clara, CA 95050

The weather was perfect! The airshow was excellent! Ground and flying activi­ ties were varied and interesting! But, these variables only added to the luster. The real stars were the air­ planes. More than 400 of them . Reading down the rows of prop cards was like reading from volumes of avia­ tion history. All the names were there: Waco, Ryan, Stinson, Stearman, Travel­ The Laird Speedwing "Solution"

Air, Beech, Cessna, Great Lakes, Fleet, (Prat & Whitney Wasp Junior Engine)

Kinner, Davis, Fairchild, Standard, Winner 1st Place - Thompson Trophy Race ­ Curtiss, Pitcairn, Piper, Taylor, Har­ Chicago, III. Sept. 1, 1930

low, Spartan, Howard, Bucker, Meyers, Average Speed 201 .91 M.P.H. for 100 mile race

Aeronca, and even Ford. (20 laps around a five mile course)

The event was the 12th annual West Piloted by C. W. "Speed" Holman

Coast Antique Aircraft Fly-In and Air Show held at Watsonville, ' California over the Memorial Day weekend, May 28, 29 and 30. Each year the fly-in is co-sponsored by the Northern California Chapter of the Antique Airplane Association and the Watsonville Chamber of Commerce. The pilots these planes brought to the fly-in unanimously agreed this year's meet was " the best yet." They came from all over California and from Oregon , Washington , Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and even one from Minnesota. There were many full-fledged antique airplane buffs among the 30,000 visitors to the show. But most of them came to see the airshows put on each day. Highlighting the aerobatic routines were veteran performers such as San Francisco's Don Carter flying an au­ thentic Bucker Jungmeister, Jim Mandley in a homebuilt Steen Skybolt, Eddie Andreini in a stock Stearman, and Amelia Reid in a Bellanca Decath­ lon. Grand champion award went to Jim Nissen for his 1918 Curtiss IN-4 (Photo by Robert G. Elliott) Matty and Elsie Laird enjoy their mountain re­"Jenny". Nissen, from Livermore, CA, retired from his position as airport treat on the shores of Lake Toxaway, North manage r at San Jose Municipal Airport Carolina, and sat momentarily for this photo­ last Au gust and has spent the time since graph in July of 1975. th en res toring the Jenny . He purchased it in 1958 after a friend found it in a barn in Oregon and told him about it.


Virgil Adair Congratulates Jim Nissen (on left). ~

Watsonville Grand Champion Jim Nissen 's 1918 Jenny

Nissen has restored th e Jenny to its original configuration as a train er used by the Army Air Services at Love Field in Dallas, TX. It is painted an ochre color and has a brightly polished brass radiator for its OX-5 e ngin e: The stru ts and oth er woodwork is finished natural and highly va rnis hed . The fuselage wood was in such good condition that Nissen was able to use about 90 p ercent of it in his restoration. Mayor's Trophy winner, a 1929 New Standard NT-I, Navy trainer, (D-29A civilian) is owned by George Dray of Concord , CA. This New Standard is one of six built for the Navy and is believed

to be the only o ne of its kind flying today. Bes t Homebuilt Award in the show went to a Bede BD-4 owned by Don Phillips of San Jose, CA . 76-year-old Virgil Adair flew his Ranger-powered Ryan PT-22 from Lewiston, Idaho, and took the award for th e oldest pilot. Adair's original pilot's licen se was signed by Orville Wright. Robin Reid, 17, of San Jose, took honors as th e youngest licensed pilot. The varied activities for participants included an Oktoberfes t party Satur足 day night, a lumberjack breakfast Sun足

day morning, and the Awards Dinner Sunday night. Of the 428 display aircraft, 86 were antiques, 74 warbirds, 160 neo-c1assic, and 105 homebuilts . In addition about 500 modern aircraft brought flying spectators to the event. Co-chairmen for this year's fly-in were Bob DeVries for the Antiquers and John Payne for the Watsonville Chamber of Commerce. In the flying contests, Russ Weil of Sunnyvale, CA, pulled his J-3 Cub into the air after a run of 150 feet to take first place in the short field takeoff con足 test for planes under 100 horsepower.

In the over 100-horsepower category, Richard Collins of Portola Valley, CA, coaxed his Swift off in 250 feet. Rate of climb under 100-horsepower winner was Phil Garris of Reno, NV, in a Piper L-4 climbing to 200 feet in Over 100-horsepower 19 seconds. award went to Orrin Anderson, River足 side, CA, in a Cessna 170, also 19 seconds. The Antiquers plan to use their share of the proceeds toward establishment of a museum to dis play these rare birds and other aviation history memorabilia. 8


...

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1929 Travel Air NC 8719 Owner: Max Robertson , Vancouver , WA

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Travel Air 2000 NC 6130 Owner: Gregg Caldwell , Vancouver, WA

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1941 Vultee BT 13A N55642 Owner: Gary Giannandrea , Areada , CA

_____ , -­ - ,1::.1 " -, . ~ I i

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~~ ...

Vintage ':%~ -........ ~.......~ ~.,.,.~ ,:', . . .r

Men and Their .,.J' ~ , ":' .......

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1936 Stinson SR8B Owner: Ernie Fillmore, Los Gatos , CA

Ole Fahlin says , " This prop has got to go ".

,

Jim Nissen receives the Grand Champion award for his Curtiss IN-4 Jenny from fly-in queen Amelia Reid.

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1931 Travel Air 12K Owner: Paul Lawrence, Battle Ground, WA

Ford Tri-Motor Owner: Irv. Perch, Morgan Hills, CA

1930 Stearman N788H - Owner: Ray Stephen & Gabby Hansen, Santa Clara , CA

Gail Turner added a touch of glamour to he homebuilt Fly Baby. Gail took first place hor. ors in the rate of climb contest for homebuilt~

WA T S ( , ~

1934 Krider Risner 831 N Owner: John Reid, San Jose , CA

1929 Davis V3 # 848H - Owner: Clyde Bourgeois, Santa Barbara, CA

Gail McCullough has worn out 5 engines for a total of 5800 hours on her Cessna 190.

If you want to meet a group of congE just must attend one of the WatsonvillE 28th - 31 st, and came away impressed all, the comaraderie of the people , fror who come out by the thousands to ae cluded Fly-Bys , Contests , Aerobatic S The grand finale was a beautifully organ we 're coming back,


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Album

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~ tage Machines ~' .-v~ ~-:: ~~ ~,~......-v~ ~ . ~~

Winner of a Special Award for Golden Age through Neo-classic was this Harlow PJ2C owned by Mel Heflinger of Redondo Beach , CA.

I

Vew Standard D-25A , 5-place open cockpit '

)wned by Irv Perch of Morgan Hill, CA. " The =Iying Lady", is for Irv 's wife Jan who is the lying member of the family .

1929 Pitcairn Mail Wing - Owner: Don Clause, Astoria , OR, passenger brother Terry.

First place winner in the Classic age open monoplane category was this Fairchild 22 owned by Kal Irwin of Pasadena , CA.

Second place winner in the Golden Ag~ open biplane category was this Fleet 7 owned by R. Von Willer of Spring Valley , CA.

1929 New Standard # 155M Owner: Geo. Dray, Concord, CA

John Reid, who was the official announcer and did an admirable job.

Fairchild 24 N81386 Owner: Claude Gray, Northridge, CA

1929 Student Prince N10471 Owner: James Turrell , Sedona , AZ

Ruth Spencer's " Baby Stearman " _ parked beside hubby's big job. """Q

~VILLE hard working flying enthusiasts - you ifornia Fly-Ins . We did just that on May the airplanes ,the weather, and most of participants to the enthusiastic public the beautiful airplanes. The activity in足 , and even a " lumberjack " breakfast. \wards Banquet. Keep the sun shining (Lois Kelch , Asst. Editor)

1935 Fairchild C8C won a special award for the Golden through Neo-classic ages . It is owned by D. Cullum and George Pearson of Vallejo, CA.

1926 Travel Air J4 NC3945 - Owners : Ray & Larry Stephen , San Jose , CA

Driggs Skylark NC64K Owner: Don Burkhart, Orangevale, CA


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The Gates Flying Circus had five air­ craft carrying passengers at Pough­ kepsie Airport. The airport was nothing but a cow pasture with a stone fence at one end and some trees to the right of us. Saturday was a very successful day - all five aircraft were busy all after­ noon. They carried something like 200 passengers. We stopped our operations just before dark and checked in one of the best hotels in Poughkepsie. We were all tired and dirty, but quite rich. All of the pilots opera ted on a 20% basis and we were making anywhere between $75.00 to $100.00 a day. The following day, Sunday, we all got out to the airport abo ut 9:00. Our sta ndard procedure was go up and do a little stunti ng and looping on the ou tskirts of the city every morning. (I had forgotten that after the previous day - all the step ladders and stunt paraphernalia was stored in my ship.) 1 took off with my parachute jumper in the front sea t and climbed up to 3000 ft. and commenced looping. We of the Gates Flying Circus were using Hisso Standards modified to take 4 passengers in the front cockpi t. All Standards were powered by 150 to 180 engines. While looping 1 had ap­ parently drifted over the cen ter of the city. On one of my final loops I hung the airplane in an upside down position and stalled it. Things began to fall out of the cockpit including my parachute jumper, w h o desperately hung onto a couple of struts. 1 saw bundles of tools, our step ladder and other things leaving the cockpit. After the flight was over, I landed and pro­ ceeded carrying passengers as though nothing happened. A couple of hours later, a couple of men appeared on the field carrying a bundle under their arms. They asked to see the manager of the Flying Circus - he was Clyde

LEFT: Joseph R. James and Marion Wells - Gates Flying Circus at Green­ field, Mass. 1927.

Pangborn' our Chief Pilot. The men in­ quired if the bundle belonged to one of us pilots. Clyde Pangborn acknowledged that this was our folding step ladder used for stunt flying. Pangborn ap­ proached me and asked if 1 had these things in my ship. 1 admitted seeing things fall out of my plane while in a loop in an inverted position. The two men informed us that this particular package crashed through the Orpheum Theatre ceiling and landed about 20 feet from the orchestra. The Orchestra was rehearsing and were astounded by the crash and all the glass falling on top of them. They threatened to sue the Circus but Pang somehow reimbursed them and sent them back to town. 1 was fined $25.00 for this in­ cident bu t on this same night, I recovered more than the $25.00 in a poker game. This was not a very happy incident for me. After a weekend at Troy, New York we proceeded with seven ships to Pitts­ field, Mass. The whole town was plas­ tered with great big placards "Gates Flying Circus - the World's Best Pilots" . Our advance man had made a deal with the local newspaper - he was to pro­ vide us with about 50 papers that we were to drop off close to the field. Who­ ever picked up a paper with a lucky tick­ et in it went for a free ride in one of our ships. We started flying early in th e morning about 9:00. The more we flew, the more passengers came ou t, to line up for rides. Mac McKay was flying a Curtis R, a three cockpit job powered by 450 hp 12 cylinder Liberty engine. We were using straigh t commercial gas as supplied by Texaco Company. Mac's Curtis R was bouncing over th e bumps for take-off and belching black smoke out of both sides. Mac was leaning out one side to see where he was going and getting his face full of the black soot. That day Mac said "the blacker I am the richer I am" which was very tru e. We kept flying without hardly a stop - the more passengers we carried, the

Lee Mason - With Gates Flying Circus 1927 This is another incident of the Gates more came. $3.00 and $5.00 passengers Flying Circus the same au tumn of were shoved into the same airpla ne 1927. The Gates Flying Circus had four and had the same kind of ride. The aver­ aircraft at Troy, New York airport. It age ride was about a minute and a half long. At 3:00 in the afternoon, five planes was a successfu l 3 day stand. We carried were down with some trouble or other. something like 500 passengers the 3 There were only 2 ships left. At 8:30 days. Monday morning we were getting ready to leave for Pittsfield, Mass. p.m. it was getting dark - we quit fly­ ing and there were still a number of Things were kind of dull. passengers in the corral. The boss said A pilot, who I was instrumental in Joe why don't you take one more load? getting to join Gates Flying Circus by Reluctantly I took off with 4 people. th e name of Ray Ahern, approached On the way back 1 could hardly see the me and made a deal. He said "Joe, field. I took my glasses off and unfor­ you see that little flag on top of the tent tunately a bumble bee hit me in one eye. where all our supplies are stored and 1 made a blind landing from about 50', where our manager, was still asleep." overshot the field and knocked off a 1 said "Yes 1 see the flag" . He said ''I'll couple of headlights of a nearby car with bet you $25.00 that you can't knock that my wing tip. It was a rather sad ending flag down in two at tempts". I said ­ "You're on" . I took off and circled to my record passenger carrying day. the airport and dove for the flag, attempt­ I broke the record for the year - carried ing to knock it off with the landing gear. $700 .00 worth of passengers in o ne My first pass was unsuccessful and I ship in one day. On the other hand, the made a second attempt, which was also next day 1 spen t repairing my wing tip, unsuccessful. The third pass 1 really wondering if I cou ld catch up wi th the had to do it. 1 took half of the mast and rest of the circus. 12


Johnnie Runger, Parachute Jumper

GATES FLYING CIRCUS, 1927

the flag leaving only a shred sticking out on top of the tent. Ahern, in th e mean­ time made another proposition . "Joe, I'll bet you $25.00 I can knock the res t of that flag in three attempts". Naturally , I agreed. Ahern , in his second attempt knocked down the balance of th e fla g . In the meantime, with all this noise going on , we woke up th e ma nager, who rushed out of th e tent and was shaking his fi st up at th e sky while w e were diving at his te nt. Here is another incid e nt with Gates Flying Circus in September 1927. Five of our ships desce nded on Ithica, New York . Our fi eld was a narrow s trip be­ tween tall trees on both sides a nd o n o ne e nd was o ne of the Finger Lakes. As ususal we h ad the field covered with paying pa ssengers, who were waiting to get a ch a nce to get in the air. Our normal load was four passengers in front ju st be hind the 150 Hispana e ngin e J1 s ta nda rd. I complained to Clyde tha t my ship was somewhat 13

out of rig and I couldn't make th e turn to the left as was our pattern. He sa id Joe, go a head and take only two passe ngers a nd see if you ca n make it. I agreed to that. I took off with two passengers, climbed up to a bout 500 ft., started my turn and found out th e left wing was s till real heavy , a nd I had to use all o pposite rudd er in ord er to keep it from turning to th e left. I was skidding all over the place and was losing altitude. I realized I couldn't make th e fi eld a nd I had to co me down at right a ngles to th e strip. I picked two of th e bushiest trees a nd pu t the nose of th e Standard right in between th em. All four w ings crumpled and we were s uspe nd ed abou t 20' in th e air. I climbed out of th e fuselage a nd helped the passengers down o ut of th e trees. I re turned th e tickets to the two gen tl e m en a nd told the m to go a head and take th eir ride with one of the other planes. They agreed.

I told th e passengers that one of my wings was too heavy and I los t control of th e ship. Th e next morning th e newspapers in Ithica had a headline " Two engineers escape dea th in a disabled airplane". The rep orte r mis­ interrupted my statement on th e fi eld and said the pilot admitted that h e flew off the wing (?) The passen gers happened to be two e ng ineerin g pro­ fessor s at Cornell College. It was miraculou s that th e fu selage didn ' t ha ve a crack and new wings were shipped in from H ac ke nsack . The fuse­ lage was hauled down , th e new se t of wings a~tached a nd new propeller ins talled and th e aircraft continued to barnstorm its way d own to Florida. Thi s incident finished me w ith Gates Flying Circus. The crates w e re ge tting o ut of rig and were s how ing signs of lack of maintenance. I collected what was coming m e from Irwin Gates and re turned to Hacke nsack, NJ . It was amazing that in this incide nt n eith er the passengers or myself even got a scratch. I told my passengers h ow safe it w as to crash an airplane betwee n th e trees.

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TREASURE

HUNT

Many old timers like Joseph R. James have interesting' ma­ terial hid away in dresser drawers. It is fun finding it and bringing it back to life.

HAVE AT IT.

MENEFEE

The article on the following page is printed as a posthumous tribute to Bill Menefee , who was killed, along with the owners of a four place airplane that crashed July 24, 1976 at Fredricksburg, VA. This article had been written .a nd submitted prior to the accident. Bill . Menefee was a pilot for United Airlines :-:.: and he was active in the " Potomac An­ tique Aero Squadron", EAA and AAA. His many friends will miss him as will :: :: the numbers that saw him fly at the FL YING CIRCUS AERODROME at Beal­ ton, Virginia. Bill was an accomplished pilot and a dedicated antiquer.


(Photo by. Lou Davis)

KCA Balloon Festival. Bill Men efee 's WW I Replica Sopwith Pup in fore足 ground.

T

hi s Sopwith Pup, a re plica of Britia n's World War I fi g hter was built by Bill Petrone, a professor at th e Uni versity of Iowa. It took nea rl y seve n (7) years to comple te and was built fr o m origi nal Sopwith plans. The Pup loo ks every bit th e original , the o nly exce ptio n being th a t it d oes n o t carry a n actu al factory se rial numbe r. Th e p ro to ty pe Sopw ith Pup a ppea red in France in May of 1916 with the Royal Naval Air Service and shortly the rea ft er, with th e Royal Flying Corps . It was inte nded to be a high altitude fighter and was more th a n a match against th e German Albatross Vll1 at 16,000 ft. The aircra ft re mained in service thru th e s umme r and a utumn of 1917. The Sopw ith was also th e pioneer aircraft to be based o n a n aircraft ca rrier .

By E. A. " Rick" Rokicki 365 Ma e Rd . G le n Burnie, MD 21061 1820 EAA Antiq u e/Classic Division In this case, th e w h eels were removed a nd skids were installed. La te r, th e P up went back to England w h ere it was used success full y as a d efe nse against th e gia nt Go tha bombers . The Zepplin too was a favorite ta rge t of the Sopwith Pup . There's no de nying it was a grea t ai rplan e in its day. Bill M en efee, a United Airlines Ca ptain (DC-8) , bought the Pup immedia tel y a fter completion in Octo足 be r of 1973. It was purcha sed prima ril y beca u se of hi s involve me nt in the FLYING C IRCUS ac tivity a t Beal足 to n , Virginia . The origin al aircraft was built with either th e 80 hp Clerge t o r th e 80 hp Gnome. Later models had th e 100 hp G nom e . Bill's Pup ha s a more

mod ern engin e, that is, if you ca n call a 40 yea r old en gi n e " m odern". The 125 hp Warner radial tha t powers the Sopwith remains the favo rite of WWI builders beca use of its smalle r dia m e ter and relatively low weight. The torque values o f the original rotary engines and th a t of the Warn er a re quite compa ra ble. Futher, the gross weight of the replica Pup is within 100 lbs. of th e original. Additional d evia tio ns from th e original were m ad e as a result o f fli ght tes ting. The rudde r bar, tail s kid a nd lack of brakes, necessita ted som e changes . Th e rudder ba r was re placed by th e m ore s ta ndard pedals. The tail s kid had to go for ob足 viou s reasons and was replaced by a small tail wheel. The additio n of cable o pera ted brakes was the las t big change. 14


(Photo by Lou Davis)

Bill Menefee doing his thing for the FL YING CIRCUS at Bealton, Virginia , in his world War I Fighter (Sop with Pup) .

Taxi tes ts s ta rted out as fa s t taxi, the n tail lift th en off the d eck for a few feet and back again . Th e maiden flig ht was atte mpted after the 4th such tes t. According to Bill, th e Pup leaped into th e air with less th a n a 200' run in very lig ht w ind. It felt a littl e tail h eavy a nd n eed ed rig ht rudd e r correctio n th ro ug h o ut th e fli ght to compensa te fo r ail eron drag. Eleva to r press ures seemed lig ht in comparison to ail eron feel. Furth e r testing sho w ed the aircra ft to be qui te ma n eu vre足 able and it side-slips bea u tifully. Bill Me nefee says the slip is a very necessa ry thing in th e Pup, sin ce th e aircraft is quite blind in a head o n approach . Th e rudd er is effective to the degree tha t prop e r ailero n input is extre m ely important, o th erwise th e mac hin e simply will no t turn. Wha t ha ppe ns in such a n uncoordin a ted turn is that the wing will drop in the direc tio n o f th e turn but the nose will yaw in th e oth er directio n. Th e 15

Pup will jus t ha n g th ere a nd se t u p a s hudde r. The first la nding was a bit o f a n ex pe rie nce since th e cl ose - co upl ed d esig n makes it a prime ca ndidate for g ro und loops. H owever, a grassy to u ch d ow n a nd abo ut 150' la te r it ca me to a s to p . Pre pa ra tio ns fo r th e fli g ht ho me were s ta rted immedia tely. Be fore se tting o ut fr om Ames, Iowa, Bill worked o ut a bungee cord arrangem e nt on th e contro l s tick to compe nsa te fo r th e slig ht tail-h eav in ess a nd rig ht rudde r co rrectio n . It has been so su ccess ful tha t it rema ins in use w ith o ut cha nge. Th e fli ght from Ames to Bea lto n includ ed five (5) s to ps a nd a to tal o f 12 fl ying h o urs . The ai rs peed indica tor was s us pected of rea ding low sin ce th e aircraft wo uld "slo w fl y" a t 38 to 40 mph before it wo uld stall o ut. Th e second day out of Columbu s, Ohio, w hil e o n a co urse for Fa irmo unt, Bill s melled gasoline. A cons ide rable loss

sh owed o n th e q ua ntity ga"tlge, a nd w hile th e replica Pup h ad a 30 ga ll o n ta n k (th e original had o nl y 20), it was obv io u s h e wo ul d have to se t it dow n before lo ng. Cla rksburg, Wes t Virgin ia was th e place, h e d ecided since th e re were m ainte na nce facilities th ere. H e climbed to 6,000' a nd bega n a slow spiral d own . The new tower was not ye t ac ti va ted, but so m eon e saw h im a nd gave him a green lig ht to la nd. Win ds we re 25 to 30 mph w ith g us ts . Re m e mbering tha t the bra kes we re no t th e best even unde r id eal conditio n s, Bill decide d to line up on th e ru nway a nd take a ligh t crossw ind. Ju s t a fter to uch-down , a severe gust tossed th e Sop w ith Pu p back into th e s ky like a lea f. Power o n fo r a go-a round ... a q uick look at th e fu el qu a ntity showed th e ta nk to be empty. On th e d ownwind leg, h e decided to land o n a grassy area between th e runway and taxi s trip . The la nding roll wa s less than 40 feet. It didn't take long to rapidly reach th e conclu sion that crosswind landings with this machine w ould lea d to the inevitable ground loop. Insp ectio n of th e gas tank s ho wed that the tin had a seam crack and it didn ' t take much to solde r it up and get back into th e air. H elped along by a good tail wind , he mad e th e FLYING CIRCUS AERODROM E in just under two (2) h o urs . Some interesting notes o n the Pup . It cruises easil y at 80 mph . At an indica ted airs peed of 125 mph , one of the wires s tarts to "sing". When thi s happe ns, he will back off on th e throttle and set up his air足 speed just unde r th e audible w a rning. Bill intends to kee p it tha t w ay . Wh e n first fe eling out the aeroba tic ability o f th e airplane, h e found out that it did not slow-roll well at all. Ailero n drag slows up the Pup wh e n inverted and it becomes n ecessary to ge t th e nose d o wn quickly to get e nou gh a irs peed to comple te th e roll-out. Th ere is no inve rted fu el or oil syste m ins ta lled a nd the e ngine w ill cut o ut if left upside d o wn too lo ng. In additio n to that, th e a irfoil is not at all s uited to that kind o f fl ying . It rolls to th e le ft beautifull y, but not too well to th e right, althoug h it is acco mpli sh ed as pa rt of th e aerial patte rn h e d oes . A sh o rt loo p a nd Cu ba n 8's a re a pa rt of th e ro utine. On la nding, th e Pup feels fairly s ta bl e th rou gho ut th e fla re a nd w ill set u p a li ght shudd er just be fo re th e three-po int s tall. To q uo te Bill Me n efee "a t th a t time, if th e gro und is in th e right place, yo u 'll h ave a pre tty d ecent la nding ." At thi s w riting, th ere a re six (6) know n Sop with Pups in fl ying co nditi o n . On e is in Ca nada, a no th er in Rh einbeck, N Y a nd an oth e r on th e w est coas t. These a re repli cas just as N4781 T . Th e re m aining tw o a re in th e S huttleworth Coll ectio n in Engla nd a nd a re th e o nl y re maining origin als.


BOBB I TROUT One of the Southern California Ninety-Nines charter members who helped call attention to women in flying circles was Bobbi Trout who took the lead in promoting the Golden Eagle aircraft by chalking up a number of impressive record flights. She learned to fly in early 1928 and then became a factory demonstrator pilot for Golden Eagle. She acquired Transport license 2613, the fifth woman in the USA to do so, and was probably the Country's first woman test pilot. Miss Trou t flew one of the early Golden Eagles at the dedication of the Los Angeles Metropolian Airport at Van Nuys, December 16, 1928. While the endurance flight of the Army Air Corps' Fokker "Question Mark" was underway, Bobbi tookoff for her first non-refueling endurance attempt from Van Nuys Airport. Using a LeBlond 60 hp Golden Eagle, she remained aloft 12 hrs. 11 min., Jan. 2, 1929. Using the same plane and flying from Mines Field (now Los Angeles International), she boosted the women's non-refueling rec­ ord even higher Feb. 10-11 with a flight of 17 hrs. 5 min. While setting this rec­ ord she made the first all-night solo flight by an aviatrix. 1929 continued to be a stellar year for Bobbi Trout. She flew a 90 hp Golden Eagle to 15,200', a new women's altitude record for that particular category. In latter summer she entered the Golden Eagle, 90 hp Kinner, R223M, in the First Women's Air Derby from Santa Monica

to Cleveland, Aug. 18-26. Although a forced landing near Yuma put her out of the competition, she managed to fly the course and finish at Cleveland a few hours after the winning contes~ tants. Later in the year, with Elinor Smith (License 3178), Bobbi established the first in-air refueling endurance record for women. Together they logged 42 hrs. 5 min., using a Commercial Sunbeam aircraft powered with a Whirlwind 300, over Los Angeles, November 27-29. The refueling ship engine gave out, forcing the fliers to land. This record was upped considerably by Bobbi and Edna May Cooper (Li­ cense 13310), Jan. 4-9, 1931. Flying a Challenger Curtiss Robin, "Lady Rolph", NR749M, they remained airborne 122 hrs. 50 min., again over Los Angeles. The flight ended after the engine went bad. There were plans afoot for Bobbi to attempt a Trans-Pacific flight from Hawaii to the Mainland the summer of '31 in a Lockheed Sirius, however the flight did not materialize for lack of backing. However, she sub­ sequently piloted one of the three Women's Air Reserve Stearmans on a trans-continental junket, along with Pancho Barnes and Mary Charles. She participated in local air shows with Gladys O'Donnell, Margaret Perry Cooper, Clema Granger, Aline Miller and Yolanda Spirito, among others. Bobbi Trout has always had the ingenu­ ity to meet her goals, working hard for her accomplishments. To supplement her earnings in the early days, she owned and operated a service station. Prior to WWII she hit upon the idea of salvaging the discarded rivets from the various aircraft manufacturers, sorting and readying them for use again. Currently and since 1960, she has been in real estate in the California desert at Palm Springs. She still finds time to do some inventing, prospecting, cycling, hiking and touring in her beautiful mo­ bile home - and occasionally she will reflect fondly on the flying years.

Suited up for high altitude flight, Bobbi poses with one of the Golden Eagles.

Elinor Smith and Bobbi Trout with the Commercial Sunbeam in which they set the first women's in-air refueling record - November, 1929.

16


chairme n througho ut th e past yea r, I ca n attest to the hard work a nd d edica tio n th ey put forth. The Board of Directo rs of the Experimental Aircraft Associa tio n expressed praise th ro ug h out th e Co nve nti on for th e o pera tion of th e AntiquelClassic ac tivities. One of the highlights o f th e 1976 Convention was the " History of Flight". Where else could a n aviation e nthu sias t go a nd see so many examples of th e ai r­ craft that have sh aped our av iation he ritage. Beca use of uncoope rative w eather conditio ns, the 1908 June Bu g was unable to par ticipa te in this progra m. But th ose who were abl e to s tay throu gh Sa turday were able to see thi s ra re bird ta ke to th e air that evening. This yea r a grea t d eal of work went into s trea m­ lining a nd improving th e overall awa rds program for th e Convention. The judging me thods in each cate­ go ry (custom, antique, cla ssic and w a rbird) under­ we nt grea t change, trying to bring in as mu ch obj ecti vity as possible. The awards progra m puts o n e "between WHISTLING IN THE RIGGING a rock and a ha rd place". Th ere a re so many o uts tanding aircraft and individu als, that th ere are not e nough By

Tom Poberezny

awards for all who d eserve the m . To elimina te th e awards p rog ram would be wrong. To ex pa nd it wou ld dilute its quality. Much was lea rned a nd I am sure The 1976 EAA Convention is now his tory. This tha t nex t year's syste m a nd criteria will be much im ­ year's event was the mos t successful o ne yet for many proved aga in . reasons: A special word o f recognition should go to Director Attendance was th e larges t in th e 24 year hi s tory Al Kelch for th e work he did in d eveloping and build­ of th e EAA Convention. ing thi s year's awa rd s. The top trophies presented Volunteers turned out in record numbers to fea tured a bea utiful bust of Charles Lindbe rgh. Many assist with th e numero us tas ks associated with of the plaqu es h ad a relief of Speed Holman , complete th e o peration of the world's larges t aviation with h elme t and gogg les . The purpose of these ne w event. awards is to recog ni ze EAA'ers wi th a troph y that ca n Th e quality of res toration and constructio n o nly be earned at yo ur na ti onal conven ti o n . It cannot again improved. be purch ased anywhere. It is something th a t all will I could list numerous other factors, but th e point be proud to di s play in th eir homes a nd ca rry grea t is that by far the majority of those attending and par­ meaning. ticipatin g ca me away ha ppy and proud of their organi­ It was my pleas ure to talk with many na tio nal, state zatio n. and loca l gove rnme nt o fficial s, co ngress me n, and I want to take this opportunity to commend every m edia p e rsonn el. Many had a tte nded be fo re . . . for Officer, Chairman a nd Volunteer a nd anyone else oth ers, it was their firs t vis it. It was inte resting to associated with· the AntiquelClassic Division o pe ra tion lis te n to th eir reactions and see how they marveled of th e 1976 EAA Co nve ntio n. The orga ni za tion and a t the Convention's size, scop e and high standards o f dedica tio n of all who worked so hard was reflected conduct a nd cl ea nliness. in th e smooth o pe ration of yo ur ac ti viti es thro ug h­ As I told each one of the m , the aircraft o n display o u t th e week. may be th e s tars o f the show, but th e real s tory is th e The size a nd scope o f th e EAA Convention con­ p eople . Wh e n you look at th e e nthu sia sm and hard tinu es to grow by lea ps a nd bound s. With thi s grow th work that w e nt in to making a n event as la rge as your comes the associated proble m s e ncounte red in th e Convention so s uccess ful and consider tha t th e ma­ handlin g of traffic, parkin g aircraft, security, judging, jo rity o f th e work is do ne by volunteers, it makes th e etc. Ha ving worked with yo ur officers, directors and EAA sto ry that much more amazi ng. 17

I kn ow th a t th e vast majority o f the p eo ple attend­ ing Oshkosh 76 th o ro ughl y e nj oyed th e mselves. For th e few th a t may have felt tha t they were not trea ted properl y, please unde rs tand that your fell ow m e mbe rs spent 12 to 14 hours per da y (using th eir vacations) to m ake thi s eve nt possible. Everyone is d oing the best hum a nl y possible. Unfo rtunately, those who sh o uld be rea ding thi s never will beca use th ey are not m e mbe rs.

EDITOR'S NOTE

Due to the heavy load on everyone at Con­ vention time, this month 's issue and probably the next, will be slightly late. Bear with us and we will get back on schedule soon. The November issue will be dedicated to Oshkosh and the Greater 1976 EAA Convention. I invite anyone having interesting pictures and stories to contribute - DO SO IMMEDIATELY! I cannot promise that all will appear in print, those that have interesting copy and repro­ ducible photographs will be given all considera­ I invite anyone having interesting pictures and tion. It is your magazine and I will continue to make it reflect the likes of the membership. It is up to you to keep me informed of those likes . Stories about adventures going and coming from the Convention, camp ground activities, interesting anecdotes that took place at the Con­ vention , and things with just plain old human interest. Remember that the magazine is not a classified column , and stick to things that con­ tribute to the pleasure of the membership . Let's have fun in our unique hobby and not take even ourselves too seriously. The Convention was a smashing success ­ THANKS TO ALL OUR MEMBERS, and par­ ticularly those who worked for the enjoyment of THE TOTAL MEMBERSHIP.


The California group - front row :

Dave Kenney, Wayne Olson , Joe

Figueras and Jack Owens.

Rows and Rows of Ercoupes.

NATIONAL ERCOUPE

Fly-In

Tahlequah, Oklahoma May 29,30,31, 1976 By Kelly Viets

R.R. 1

Stillwell, KA

Yes , they are a sp ecial breed . These people who love and fl y the little two place, twin tailed beauty. Th ese are the solid citizen s of sport aviation who love fl ying for fl ying' s sa ke . No aeroba tics need ed to sh ow off what h eros th ey are. Th erefore they fly the sa fes t o f aircraft . Th e pla ne tha t made his tory as the lea de r of the modern , advanced planes , th e tri-cycl ed gear Ercoupe. This wa s th e second a nnual Fly-In hea ded up by Dub Hall o f Tulsa, Oklah oma. H e, with Alverna Williams of G rand Prairie, Texas as Co-Chairma n, and th eir numerou s h elpers w h o wro te hundred s o f letters to all Ercoupe owners, backed by Skip Carden and Coupe Capers did a fantas tic job . Edna and myself and the Intern atio nal Ercoupe Association helping them fro m the side lines. By Fly-In tim e th ey had 240 pre-regis tered planes . If the weather Eas t of th e Mississ ippi had coop erated the 240 numbe r surely wo uld h ave been reached and passed . With thunder storms predicted and in action, with tornad os in Oklahoma and rain s tha t turned into flood s in Tulsa, jus t 50 miles away, th ere we re s till 140 plan es tha t mad e it . Forty-two States were represented . Keith Whiting fle w in fro m as far away as Alas ka , 35 fl ying hours. LaRoy Wright a nd his w ife Eileen arri ved from Orego n, six plan es fl ew in fro m Ca lifornia. Th ere were three Ercoupes that came in from Florida . O n e couple from

Calendar

of Events

this group was Mr. & Mrs. Fred E. Weick, the d esign er o f th e Ercoupe. Th e plan e th ey used was a borrowed 1946 41 5C Ercoupe and I might add that althou gh h e is 77 he s till h andles th e airplane beauti full y (j ust as tho' he mad e iL) Even though the wea th er was bad or threa ten ing all th e time we we re there; the usual Fly- In contes ts we re h eld . Man y trop hi es and p ri zes we re given bu t mostl y th ere were friends hips mad e or re newed and lots of looking and hangar fl ying. With th e assembl y of all th ese Ercou pes, one was abl e to see th em from th e meticulo usly ma intained factory original to th e excellent modified ve rsions. Row after row we re lined up - each an exa m p le sh owing to all w ha t pride of ownershi p ca n mea n . Frankl y, we beli eve this is th e way to ach ieve the mu ch search ed fo r, but n ever achieved goal o f safety in fl ying. No Government regulatio ns, no d octrin es or threa ts can achieve on e- tenth th e excellance jus t a s mall amou n t o f pride ca n . TH AT is wha t we saw th ere - prid e of own ership. It is a sha me tha t m ore peo ple could no t have seen this event. You wo ul d have heard th e words of pra ise an d admiration that the Ercoupe ow ners continually h ear fro m th e p ublic. Everyone w h o was th ere thi s yea r plu s all th e oth ers w ho cou ldn ' t make it are alrea d y making p lans to be able to atten d next year. Look for a continued interes t and grow th of thi s Fly- In n ext yea r.

AUGUST 29 - SEPTEMBER 6 - BLAKES BURG, IOWA - 6th Annual Invitational AAA-APM Fly- In.

Dr. Joe McCawley and Sharon talk足 ing with Fred Weick, flew wing together from Florida .

AUGUST 30 - SEPTEMBER 3 - FOND DU LAC. WISCONSIN - 11th Annual EAA- IAC International Aerobatic Championships. Spon足 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 Antique/Classics, Warbirds and Homebuilts. For info rmation contact Herb Bailey, P. O . Box 619, Georgetown, SC 29440. (803) 546-2525 days, (803) 546-3357 nights and weekends .

SEPTEMBER 10-12 - GALESBURG, ILLI NOIS - 5th Na tiona l Stea r足 man Fly- In . Contact Jim Leah y, 445 N. Whitesboro, Galesburg, IL 61401, or Tom Lowe, 823 Kingston Lane, Crystal Lake, IL 60014.

WANTED - Stinson Relia nt SR 5 or SR (straight wing). Will

pay good money for a rebuildable wi th all part present. Tom Rench,

1601 Circlewood, Racine, WI.

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VA-Vol-4-No-8-Aug-1976  

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