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(Photo by Ted Kaston )

THE PRESIDENT'S PAGE By E. E. " Buck" Hilbert

Presiden t, Antique-Classic Division

HOW TO JOIN THE ANTIQUE-CLASSIC DIVISION Membership in the EAA Antique-Cl assic Di visi on is open to all EAA members who have a special interest in the older aircraft that are a proud part of our aviation heritage. Membership in the Antique足 Classic Division is $10.00 per year which entitles one to 12 issues of The Vintage Airplane published monthly at EAA Headqua rters. Each member will also receive a special Antique-Classic membership card plus one additional card for one's spouse or other designated family member. Membership in EAA is $15.00 per year which includes 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. All mem足 bership correspondence should be addressed to: EAA, Box 229, Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS How About A Challenge? .. . Tom McCann . . . . . . . .. 4 Reminiscing With Big Nick ... Nick Rezich ... ... ... 6 1974 National Waco Fly-In ... Ray Brandly . . . . . .. .. 12 The Meyers 145 ... Gar Williams . . . ... .... . .... ... . 14 The Invincible Center-Wing(s) ...... . ............... 20

BACK COVER • .. Bamboo Bomber.

ONTHECOVER . .• Tom McCann's Nieuport 17.

Photo by Ted Koston

Photo by Ted Koston

EDITORIAL STAFF Publisher - Paul H. Poberezny Assistant Ed itor - Gene Chase

Ed itor - Jack Cox Ass istant Editor - Golda Cox





3 3303

DIRECTORS EVANDER BRITT P. O. Box 458 Lumberton, N. C. 28358

JIM HORNE 3850 Co ronation Rd. Eagan, Minn. 55122

MORTON LESTER P. O. Box 3747 Martinsville, Va. 24112

KELLY VIETS RR 1. Box 151 Stilwell , Kansas 66085

CLAUDE L. GRAY. JR. 9635 Sylvia Ave. Northridge, Cali f. 91 324

AL KELCH 7018 W. Bonni well Rd . Mequon. Wisc. 53092

GEORGE STUBBS RR 18. Box 127 Ind ianapol is. Ind. 46234

JACK WINTHROP 3536 Wh itehall Dr. Dallas. Texas 75229



THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE is owned exelusively by Antique Classic Ai rcraft . Inc. and is publishe d monthly at Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130, Second Class Permit pending at Hales Corners Post Office. Hales Corners. Wisconsin 53130. Membership rates for Ant ique Classic Aircraft. Inc. are $10.00 per 12 monlh period of whIch $7.00 is for Ihe subscrlpllOn to THE VINTAGE AIRPLA NE. All Antique ClassIc Aircraft. Inc. members are required to be members of the parent organization. the Experimental Ai rcraft Assoc iatio n . Membership is open to all who are int ere sted in aVI.ation.

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

Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130

Copyright ~ 1974 Antiqu e Classic Aircraft. Inc. All Rights Reserved


HOW ABOUT A CHALLENGE? By Tom McCann (EAA 36209/AC 54) 251 Aero Drive 9, South Naperville, Illinois 60540

(Photo by Ted Koston)

Being in the infantry in World War II and wou nd ed five times and in later years a sky diver, I figured it was time for a challenge - so I decided to build an aeroplane. I have always been interested in World War I avia­ tion so, naturally, I had to build a World War I aero plane. I wanted to build an Albatross 0-3, but since six cylinder in-line engines that turn a big prop slowly are almost extinct, I had to settle on a design with a round engi ne . I had always liked the N ieuport 17 also, so when I found out the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Museum had drawings on it, I sent for them. They loa ned me what they had and I had them copied and as it turned out they were wri tten in German. It seems the Germans captured a Nieuport and liked it so much they m ade a detailed set of drawings from it and even manufactured an aeroplane from them called a Siemens-Sch ukert. Well, after a month of studying the drawings I started to make fittings. Incid entally, the drawings are metric , which is really the simplest way to go, and I made fit­ tings and made fittings and fittings to hold fittin gs. For an aeroplane that had an average life of three weeks, it certainly was complicated! My ae roplan e from the fire­ wall back is as authentic as possible with no changes ex­ cept for the use of 4130 steel. One thing about the lieu port - I could have put the· markings of any country on either side and they would be correct, but I chose the French as they were the origina l desig ners.

I have had many detractors while building the Nieu­ port and man y especially when it came tim e to finish it, mostly because of the no brakes and tail skid con­ figuration. Almost everyone said, "You 're goi ng to kill yourself," or, "You're going to end up on your back," or, "You're going to run into my hanga r." Well, let m e tell you, I was beginning to hav e some doubts myself until my son John said, "Yo u ca n do it, dad!" That's all it took to bring the old confidence back. 50, one fine morning in May my good friend, Gar Wil­ liams, knocked on my window and said, "The Huns are coming and you have to go get them'" It wasn't long be­ fore we got the plane s tarted and 1 taxi ed down to the east/w est strip, which, incidentally, was just about th e extent of the taxi tests. After some final words of wisdom from Gar, I pus hed the throttle forward, up came the tail and she lifted off in seconds. I climbed straight out, mindful of th e old saying, " Keep your nose down in the turns". Well, she turns nose up and nose down and has no bad characteristics, except when I tried to slip to the rig ht, she instan tly rewa rded me with a violent shaking and a hard blast of wi nd on the right side of my head. Since the n we don't s lip any more . The landing was th e best I have made in it yet. When Gar got me turned around for another go a t it, he said, "Don't be too confident - watch that next landing".

(Photo by Ted Kaston)

RIGHT: Cockpit and machine gun installation details.

Well, that landing and the next two ended up in ground loops. Since then my average has improved somewhat! This project ha s taken about 4 1/2 years, however, during that time I also rebuilt my J-3 twice . .. the first as a basket case and the second time when the wind blew it away . My son and I now have a Fokker Triplane half fin足 ished ... say now, there might be a challe nge . . . !!

(Photo by Ted Kaston)

BELOW: Naperville, Illinois, 1974 . .. or Western Front, 1916?

REMINISCING WITH BIG NICK Nick Rezich 4213 Centerville Rd. Rockford, Ilf. 61102

THE HOWARD MODEL 18 The Model 18, like the Howard factory, got off to a bad start and the climbout was slow. When the first bids for CPTP and Army PT trainers were let, Howard's Board of Directors could not make up their minds whether to get a piece of the action or not. The issue at hand was money. Mr. B. D . DeWeese, our new president, finally convinced them we could a nd should build the trainer. When the board finally decided to go ahead with the new project, it was too late . Fairchild, Ryan, Stearman and Waco all had airplanes ready to go. Howard went ahead with the project and we built the new plane to meet CAA certification requirements and Army specs. The first move by B. D. was to re-hire Gordon Israel as Chief Engineer. Gordon was happy to return to Howard and was eager to get the new airplane designed and built. It was just a week into the project when the head­ banging contest started. First, it was B. D. trying to tell Gordon what to design and, second, the stingy Board of Directors doling out a handful of chicken feed to build it with. With the money allotted Gordon designed the original "18" around a 165 hp Warner engine. His new design was a slick one. The fuselage was steel tube with the rear half fabric covered and the cockpit forward section fitted with removable sheet metal. The wings were two-piece ­ mono spar, all wood, full cantilever panels. The tail group included steel flippers and rudder and a wooden stabilizer and fin. The final layout looked great. Ted Linnert designed a beautiful control system - all needle bearings a nd balanced 100%, aerodynamically and statically. The landing gear was the pride of Gordon Israel - it was an anti-noseover gear. It was built so that when you jumped on the binders, the nose would come up instea d of pitching you over on your back. We had more fun testing this gear! It was an odd feeling going 6

down the ramp at 30 or 40 mph and being able to jump on the binders without finding yourself on the nose. Throughout the design process Gordon kept mainte­ nance and service in mind (something today's engineers don' t do) . The 18 was a mechanic's dream and a builder's d elight. About half way through the preliminary stress analysis, the word came down that the prototype must be in the air within 30 days! That took care of the pre­ liminaries .. . now it was full bore with everything being right. Now!! the main event of the head-banging contest was to emerge! Eli Newberger, our chief in charge of stress (who is now with the FAA) complained that he could not finish the stress analysis in time to release the prototype for flight. Gordon told him not to worry about the flying, that he and Walt Daiber, our test pilot, would take care of meeting the flight deadline . With Eli set­ tled down, Gordon released the primary structure draw­ ings ... some complete and some incomplete. In order to meet the 30 day time limit, it was decided we would build temporary jigs for the wings and fuse­ lage and that we would build two airplanes from these jigs . The first machine would be the flying prototype and the second the static load test machine . The two fuselages were built in a wood jig, much the same as EAA home­ builders use today. The wing jig was made of angle iron, bolted together. The later permanent jigs were all welded. You mayor may not believe the rest of this story, but BELIEVE-YOU-ME, it is true . With only 30 days time and no additional help to build the first two airplanes, the true Howard Aircraft loyalty, craftsmanship and ingenuity emerged. All the available factory space was being used to maintain a one a week production schedule for the Model 15, which we could not disturb. In order to make room for the wing and fuselage jigs for the 18, we removed the foreman's desks and the clothes lockers from the wood shop and welding shop and doubled up with the paint department and sheet metal department. The rest of the 18 was build in corners ... and at night.

The first to burn the midnight oil was engineering. I can well remember coming to work in the mornings and finding Gordon Israel asleep in his chair at a drafting table. Mr. DeWeese would tell Gordon to go home and get some rest, but Gordon would stay on until he finished what he was working on so he could release it to the shop for construction. The first fuselage was built by th e late Mike Babco and Conrad Wayne in two days . The fuselage was finished about 3:30 P.M. and went to the paint shop for routine zinc chromate prime. The cleaning, painting and drying was sched uled as a three hour job . At about 5:00 P .M. I received a phone call during a meeti ng from the paint shop foreman informing m e that the primer would not dry. I told him to give it another 30 minutes and it should be O.K. Thirty minutes later he called again and said it was still wet. I left th e meeting and when I was 50 feet from the paint booth, I got the word - or should I say the smell? What I was smelling was not zinc chromate, but enam el. No wonder it wouldn't dry' Tom Halidler, the painter, had grabbed a five gallon pail ou t of storage and did not check what it was. He opened it and it was yellow, so he dump ed it into the pressure pot and started to s pray. What he was spraying was road marking enamel that we used to paint the compass rose with at the airport. Need­ less to say, I got very ugl y with him ... it cost him a 30 day suspension. This littl e boner cost us a whole day . The paint shop stripped the enamel, re-cleaned and re-etched the tubing and painted it that night ... in z inc chromate thi s tim e so that it was ready for sub assembly th e next morn­

ing . The experimentai assembly department consisted of Mike Molberg, "Sludge" Doyle, Frank Rezich, Ted Linnert and Gordon Israel. For the next fiv e days thi s bunch worked 16 and 24 hour shifts 'w ithout a ny breaks. When the ga ng was hungry, Gordon would give Frank Rezich ten bucks and se nd him over to " Monkey Faces", a local gag and vomit shop, for a bag full of sandwiches and coffee .. . which were eaten whenever a man had the time to take a bite or two. When they got into the 24 hour work period, they slept in chairs, on the floor or wherever they could for an hour or two . Th e corker came one night when Frank Rezich fell asleep lying on a sawhorse. Every­ one was taking bets as to when he was going to roll off. I went home about midnight and he was still on dead center . .. as far as I know he nev er rolled off! After the tail group was fitted and all controls checked out, the fu sela ge went back to the Paint Shop for fabric coveri ng. While the fu selage was being covered the stu ff hit the fan! B. D. DeWees e and the Board of Directors swi tche d engines on Gordon. They said the 165 hp Warn­ er was too expensive and that we would use the 125 hp Warner instea d. Well" Gordon promptly told them in what particular part of their anatomies they could insert th e 125 Wa rner! The head banging ended with Gordon los­ ing th e contest. Using th e small Warner meant all new performance figures, new weight and balance ... in fact, everything new firewall forward and no place to chop any weight other than in th e fini sh. The first set of wings were fin­ ished by now and the second set was already started, so it was too late to desi gn or build a new lighter wing. When the smoke cleared, Gordon jumped into his Dodge and (Photo Courtesy Nick Rezich)

A Model 18 with a NACA cowl.

headed for Andy Kluck's "Barn" where he could think in peace and settle down with the aid of the spirits. In the meantime, Eli Newberger, Ted Linnert and Wally French re-engineered the 18 to match the 125 Warner. They made some changes in the Number 2 static test airplane but left Number 1 alone . . . it was still full bore on the flight test plane. Harold Bates joined the experimental group in charge of engine installation and th e airplane was fully assembled at the factory and checked out, then the v.rings were removed and the ship was trucked to the airport for final assembly, taxi test, engine run, etc. While all this was going on, Eli and his gang were working round the clock building the "whiffle tree" for the wing static testing, the drop test rig for the landing gear and working out some final figures before the first test flight. We still had about five days left to meet the deadline and Walt Daiber was chomping at the bit to fly the 18. He had been running slow taxi tests, engine tests, etc., plus test flying the 15s. He had been given instruc­ tions from Gordon not to fly the plane until engineer­ ing released it. Well, 01' Walt was nothing but a big kid who loved to fly. One afternoon after all the squawks had been worked off, Walt asked to run some high speed, tail up tests on the runway. Gordon said O.K .... but DON'T fly it, and to make sure he wouldn't, instructed the mechanics not to put the rear engine cowl on and one side panel. Walt jumped into the cockpit and my brother Frank cranked him up. As Walt taxied out, he had the grin of the cat that just swallowed the canary . . . yep! you guessed it - when he got down to the west end of the east/west runway, he opened up the throttle, up came the tail and about 200 feet later the 18 was in the air! Walt climbed it out at max angle, circled the field to about 3,000 feet and proceeded to run some stall tests. After about 30 minutes of flying around doing steep turns, dives, etc., he returned to the field, made a per­ fect three point landing and taxied in with that same $%J* eating grin on his face. Gordon was so happy to see his new design fly, he forgot all about his "no fly" order. He jumped up on the wing, slapped Walt on the back and said, "How was it?". Walt, still smiling, said, "Build it - it flies like a toy!" The following weeks were spent on the static load tests and keeping B. D. De Weese away from the airplane. Walt was about three jumps ahead of everyone in the flight tests and, again, Gordon warned him not to spin or dive the airplane until the wing tests were complete. Unbeknown to Gordon, Walt had already spun it. Walt let the cat out of the bag when the engineers were in­ stalling the spin chute. He told them, "Hell, you don't need that, it spins nose down!" Walt was skating on thin ice, however, because a few days later the wing failed at the torsion box with a lesser load than for which it was designed. This section was modified and the air­ plane went through the certification tests with no other problems. Our next problem was production. We had to rear­ range the factory to accommodate both the 18 and the 15. In the meantime, Sales had sold a mess of 18s and wanted delivery yesterday . Building the first ten 18s caused many red eyes - it was common to work three days straight! Yes, I remember it well . . . going to work on Monday and going home for the first time on Wednesday smelling like a goat! The 18, like the 15, was improved and modified on the production line by the mechanics and it left the fac­ tory in traditional D.G.A. form. The first batch of 18s 8

had an enamel finish on the wings and stabilizer. We used a process called "wipe-on" ... you finished the wood like furniture - sealer, filler and color. This was sup­ posed to be quicker and cheaper than the customary dope and fabric and did, indeed, result in a high gloss finish. As it worked out, this was more time consuming, expensive and difficult to repair. The high gloss was the only thing the method had going for it. This was later changed to a dope and fabric finish. The wood covering was applied with tacking strips in place of permanently driven nails such as in the 15. The leading edge was a one­ piece, curved section that we formed ourselves with a steam forming jig. We also added check valves to th e brake reserv oir cans to keep from bathing the pilots with hydraulic oil. The whole 18 program went well until the airplanes and the summer heat met in Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas. The operators complained that the airplane would not perform or climb in the 90 degree temperatures . Gordon was well aware of this situation and explained to the sales people that you couldn't build an airplane that was designed for 165 hp and fly it with 125 hp and expect anything other than a pig. It wasn't long before the sales came to a grinding halt. C. W. "Slim" Frietag, our vice president of sales, an old-time pilot with many hours, finally convinced B. D. De Weese and the Board of Directors of the need to install the 165 hp engine if we were to survive .. . then it was back to the head banging contest! Gordon wanted the original 165 Warner and the Board and B. D. wanted a 165 Kinner because, again, it was cheaper. Gordon came out of the contest with the larger lumps - a Kinner en­ gine was purchased and work began immediately on the new installation. This program was a carbon copy of the 18 as Gordon had originally planned it. Sales wanted the plane yesterday, so it was back to working all hours of the day and night. Summer had also arrived in Chicago and the annual Howard Aircraft picnic was scheduled to be held in the Dan Ryan Woods Park located at 87th and Western Avenue. This park is in the city and is surrounded by homes on all four sides. Part of the planned entertain­ ment called for Walt Daiber to put on an aerobatic show over the picnic grounds in one of the 18s. Walt showed up at about 3:00 P.M. and at 3,000 feet proceeded to loop, roll and snap roll the 18 for about twenty minutes before returning to Muni. As he was leaving the area, little Don Dresslle, who is now an avia­ tion executive on the west coast, came up to me and said, "That was a terrible show. You couldn't see or hear him. You can do better than that ... why don't I drive you out to Willie Howell's and get your Travel Air and put on a REAL show!" I agreed it was terrible, so we headed off to Howell's Airport where I rolled out NC-8115, a red and white sunburst Travel Air Speedwing that belonged to my brother Mike ... and headed for the picnic! I was in my prime then and I gave them one heck of a good show. I capped it off with a simulated ribbon pick­ up using a baseball diamond backstop for the target. I went back to the airport for some more tricks before putting 8115 in the hangar. Don and I headed back to the picnic where everybody was buzzing about the fly­ ing .. . all but two: the late George Vest, Chief of the Chi­ cago CAA, and "Fritz" Long, our resident CAA inspector. George didn't ask me if I were flying that airplane . .. he knew!! He walked me over to a tree and said, "I should hang you here!" He then proceeded to read the riot act to me in no uncertain terms . He made one statement that I shall never forget, which was, "I don't give a damn if

(Photo Courtesy Nick Rezich) The Model 18 Final Assembly crew. In the center is Mike Molberg , the Foreman who brought the wreckage of Mr. Mulligan back to Chicago. To his left is my brother Frank who is with Rockwell International , working on the 8·1 bomber program.

you kill yourself, but you have no right to kill anyone on the ground." He ended his speech by telling me the airplane and myself were grounded and to be in his office Monday promptly at 9:00 A.M. Now don't get any goofy idea s here ... sure it was a picnic with beer, hot dogs, etc., but in those days I didn't drink beer or booze. I was just a hot shot show-off who thought he could fly better than the next guy. Well, that session in Mr. Vest's office cooled me down for a long time afterwards. And that wasn't the end of the burro chewing either ... my brother got in on the act, since it was hi s airplane. We went through the whole scene again. Oh well, it WAS a good show! Incidentally, I now own NC-8115 and will be back on the air show circuit with it in 1975. NC-606K belongs to my brother Mike and hi s son is now flying it. Enough ego priming .. . back to that shaking Kin­ ner. The Kinner installation opened a whole new can of worms that worsened by the day. Everything went fine until we started the spin tests. The spin test for certifica­ tion called for a six turn spin with a hands-off recovery within a turn and a half. Walt had been running the tests and found that after three turns the tail would shake, but this did not affect the recovery. Satisfied that it m et the requirements, Walt turned the machine over to the CAA • for acceptance . The CAA inspector who was going to do the flying had just recovered from a broken back which he received while doing spin tests at the Waco factory. I don' t remember his name, but he was a nice fellow ... and had "had the cure" for shaking tails. He started the spin tests with the usual caution: one turn, two turns, etc. When he started the four turn tests and that tail got to shaking, he brought everything to a grinding halt and instructed us to fix it. His exact works were, "O ne broken back is enough!"

For the next six months Howard Aircraft, the 18 and the CAA went through hell. We modified, we changed and the more we spun the 18, the more it shook. Again we were back to working all night and all day designing, building and assemblying new fixes. About the time we thought we had the problem licked, the CAA would fly it and say, "No, it's still there." We shifted the shake from the fourth turn to the fifth turn and this was not acceptable .. . it was six turns and no shake or no license. Gordon took over the job as test pilot just so he could get first hand information. Ted Lin­ nert spun it to get first hand information. Ted had earlier bailed out of a Waco 10 while running spin tests after converting the Waco from an OX-5 to a Tank engine, so he was current on spins. Still no fix . After an all-night session at the drawing board, Gor­ don suggested we mount a camera on the ship and photo­ graph the tail during the spins. We found that we could not mount the camera on the ship and still photograph the tail and all the tufts . Gordon, however, would not accept defeat . He told us to remove the rear controls and seat so that he could stand up in the rear cockpit and photograph the tail holding the camera in his hands! Everyone thought he was crazy. Nevertheless, they rigged up a safety belt to fit around his mid section and all the while, Walt kept shaking hi s head and saying, ''I'll lose him, sure as hell!". With camera in hand and standing in the cockpit facing the rear, Gordon and Walt roared off. About a half hour later they returned with Gordon and his camera still in the back seat and Walt still shak­ ing his head! It must have been a wild ride, because when they lifted Gordon out of the cockpit, he could not stand by himself for about ten minutes. Well! anyhow Gordon got his pictures and a ride he will never forget! 9

By now 01' B. D. De Weese was impossible to live with . H e kept pushing Gordon until he up and quit and went to work for Grumman Aircraft. To replace Gordon as chief e ngin eer, B. D. hired Bill Peerfi eld from Stinson. Bill knew B. D. fr o m hi s Stinson days and could get along with him. He walked into a real mess, however, and by the time he got all the loose e nds tied together and sifted out w hat had been done and wha t had to be fini s hed another m onth had slipped by. After rev iewing all th e data and motion pictures, it was decid ed that the airplane needed a large r stabil izer flipp er and fin . Also, the tail had to be raised to kept it out of the wing's d ow nwas h . A ne w tail group was built and a new fuselage from the rear cockpit aft was built. BELlEVE -YOU-ME, th e res t of this is tru e : The new tail was covered and painted in the fa ctory. The bare aft fus elage was prim ed and all was trucked to th e airport for th e switch. At 7:00 A.M. Mike Babco cut the old fu se­ lage off a t th e cockpit a nd weld ed the new section in place, using saw horses for a jig. By 9:00 A.M. 1 squirted the welds with zinc chromate and my broth er Frank and "S ludge" Doyle started hangi ng stringe rs, cabl es, etc., in place. Now, B. D. was on the scene all th e while as w ell as Bill Peerfi eld . B. D. ke pt handing the tail wheel to "Sludge" and kept telling him to install it. After about th e fifth attempt, "Sludge" w e nt over and got a big chunk of wood a nd set it o n end. H e the n grabbed B. D. by th e lap els and sat him on it a nd told him to keep his hand s off the pa rts and sit th ere a nd be qu iet until the work was fini s hed' You co uld have hea rd a pin drop'! Work now proceeded on the new fu selage and by 3:00 P.M. 1 was slip­ ping the cov er on a nd while 1 was d oping it, the others hun g th e tail group . 1 put th e fu sela ge throu g h silv er and w e we re read y to roll it out for test flight whe n B. D. sa id hi s first wo rd s since "Sludge" sat him on th e wood. He asked that we paint the fuselage in color so it wouldn't look like a repair job. Rath er than argue, 1 sprayed two cross coats of blue dope o n it a nd we pu shed it out at 6:00 P.M. They cranked it up a nd Walt was in the air tw e nty minutes la ter. H e la nded at dark, taxi ed in slowly, parked and just sat in the cockpit. We didn't have to ask .. . we all knew the new tail had not solved the probl e m. By now, everyb od y had becom e an exp e rt in tail s hake theory, includ ing yo urs truly. 1 rem e mbe red rea ding a paper publis hed by Lockheed about "'ring -to-fuselage junc­ tures and tho ught maybe I had something. It w as a Sun­ day morning w he n I called Walt and explained m y theory and asked him to fly th e airplane. 1 went out to the air­ port a nd removed the two wing walks which consisted of % inch thi ck rou g h cork runn e rs about 12 inches wide. This improv ed th e stall considerably a nd eliminated th e buffe t in steep turns, but it did not stop th e shake . We th e n replaced th e cork wing walks o n the produ ction airplanes with smooth carborundum wa lks. B. D. didn 't like thi s because the cork had been hi s id ea. I can't reca ll who it was, but so meone sugges ted run­ ning th e spin tes ts with th e engine stopped. We tri ed it and it worked - e ureka!' Now we had to fi g ure out a way to make it wo rk with the e ngin e running. Ho wa rd Aircraft was a n airplane fa cto ry that e m­ pl oyed ma ny tal e nted men other than A&E m echa nics . Som e of thi s outside tal e nt was in th e form of race car builders a nd mechani cs. "S ludge" Doyle hired a whole slew of race mecha nics to work for him in th e machine s h op . After h o ur s a nd on weekends, th ey built s teel tub e race car chassis lon g b efo re Frank Kurtis e v e r tho ug ht of it . I saw a lot of fancy Offies come o ut of How­ 10

ard Aircraft . .. that is how I got involv ed in AAA racing. Let me break away from the 18 to tell yo u a s tory about "Sludge" Doyl e. "Sludge" was th e ma ster m echan­ ic on about five different race cars and he would be in the pits at Soldier's Field, the Amphith eater or Raceway Park setting up th e e ng ines for the drive rs every race night that he wasn't working at Howa rd . 01' "Sludge" liked his libati o n . . . and 1 mean REALLY liked it. He would get th e cars running, then walk ,a cross th e track to the bar, fill up , walk back and sit on a ha y ba le lis te n­ ing to th e e ngines as th ey ran. Whe n he would hea r a sick alto, he would give 'em two fin ge rs up or one fin ge r down, th e n hea d for that bar across the track . Well , the firs t couple of trips across, he would look for traffic , but after that he would just walk right through the traf­ fic! On e ni g ht a t Rac ewa y Park, he was sitting o n a bal e of hay in the first corner whe n the whole bunch came charging throu gh , mis sin g " Sludge" and the bale by inch es. Going down the backstretch Wally Zale and Tony " Flipper" Be tte nhau se n s hortened th e tra ck in numbe r three turn by knocking the bales over and as they came down into the numb er one turn, "Sludge" got off the bale just as Wally sa wed off the "Flipper" . . . a nd he went through the bale! As they all passed , "Sludge" walked across the track again and into the b ar. This g uy u sed to do thi s all the time and never received a scra tch . He was a lege nd around the Chicago tracks. My boss, George Lyo ns, was also a car builder ... in fact, they called him "I build 'em Lyons". He s uggested we u se th e sa me kind of vibration damper for the Kin­ ner installa tion on the 18 as u sed o n th e Offies . "S ludge", George and Bill Burns built a mount with a n Offy d am p­ e r and we hung th e Kinner in it and tried it. It wor ked!! The new 18 passed th e s pin tests with flyin g colors and received its CAA certificate. J don' t recall how many we built before the war broke out, but it wasn't many . Whe n the war came along, the Army and Navy didn' t want the airplane so we shut down the produ ction of the 18 and built the Fairchild PT-23 on sub -contrac t. The Model 18 was a goo d s port aircraft but a poor aero­ batic airplane. It had bunch es of dih edra l which mad e it almost impossible to slow roll , and, for a low winger, the 18 was very stabl e. Snap rolls turn ed out to be snatch roll s. All the 18s were painted with blu e fu selages a nd yellow wings. I think it would hav e been a great airplane with a 220 Continental a nd a flatter wing . Structurally, it was the bes t in the industry. It was truly a D.G.A. I don' t know of any 18 left fl ying today. Don Ga rdner of the EAA Aviation Museum staff ha s the only one s till carried on the FAA regis h'a tion lis t - a DGA-18K, I ­ 39672, Serial Number 672. It will be restored a nd flying one o f these da ys . There is a rum or tha t an FAA in spec tor in Georgia or north ern Florida also has one.

Be nny Howa rd desi g ned two ai rplanes tha t were never built under th e Howard na m e. Benny was twe nty years ahead of th e industry in id eas and d esig n. Benny d es ig ne d a freighter with a swin g tai l, af t loading door and front loa ding d oo r th a t was never built. H e also designed a freighter with a detachable pod much th e same as a semi. His idea was to build hundreds of pod s (trailers) and a few pod carri ers. The sc heme was to fl y in with a loaded pod, drop it off, pick up a ne w load ed o ne and continu e the flight . .. mu ch as the tru ck­ ing industry operates. No one would fin a nce such a "wild " venture then , but later so me of th e d esigns wE're s tolen

or copied and Benny's freighters never got off the ground - which is too bad because the air freight business is still twenty years behind. "Till next month . .. watch that bottom rudder in the turn. It will kill you. It's better to bank and yank than to stomp and yank. - Big Nick

(Photo Cour:9SY Nick Rezich)

The first Howard Model 18 - at the factory test hangar.

(Photo Courtesy Nick Rezich)

The Howard experimental crew dur足 ing the development of the Model 18. Left to right: Frank Rezich, Assistant Foreman , Assembly; Mike Molberg, Foreman, Assembly; Gordon Israel, Chief Engineer; Eli Newberger, Engineer; Ted Linnert, Engineer; and Walter French, Engineer.

(Photo Courtesy Nick Rezich)

"This is NC-8115, the Travel Air Speed Wing in which I almost ended my air show career before it really started . It belonged to my brother Mike. I purchased it last year and am in the process of rebuild ing it. It is about 95% complete at this writ足 ing. But for storms that damaged my house and property recently, I vl/ould have had it flying for OshKosh . I should have it completed by Septem足 ber. The name " Earl Sting" is on the cowl. This was a pilot who worked for Mike Murphy and who owned the airplane before Mike bought it." 足 Big Nick 11

(Ph oto by David Austin)

Dic k Aus tin 's Waco ARE.


Ray Brandly, President

National Waco Club

2650 Wes t Alex. -Bellb rook Rd.

Dayton, Ohio 454 59

1974 NATIONAL WACO FLY-IN Beautiful Wacos from the far North, the deep South, the West Coast and the East Coast gathered at Hamil­ ton Airport for the annual National Waco Fly-In. This gathering of Wacos, a total of thirty-one, was most im­ pressive inasmuch as thirteen were making their first appearance. A seven-plane formation surprised the local popu lation with a sneak attack late Friday after­ noon. This formation was made up of four Wacos from Maryland, one from Washington, D. C. and two from Pennsylvania, otherwise known as a portion of "Waco East". Four beautiful first-timers, arriving from the four corners of the country, were Stan Gomoll's EQC-6 from Minneapolis, Clarke Hubbard's UPF-7 from Houston, Texas, Stan Simmon's AGC-S from Corona, Ca lifornia and Dick Austin's ARE from Greensboro, North Carolina. The 1974 Fly-In was well represented by the many different Waco models as two Taperwings, an F-2, two "A" models, an F-3 and a former Guatemalan VPF-7 were among the open Wacos featured by a record numb er of outstanding F-7s. Among the twelve cabin Wacos were

The following Wacos enjoyed Memorial Day Weekend at Hamilton, Ohio for the annual Nationa l Waco Fly­ In: 1928 ATO 1929 JYM 1931 QDC

NC763E NC731K NC11470

1931 QCF-2 1932 RBA

NC11482 NC12444

1932 IBA






Bill Hogan, Hamilton, Ohio Willt Weber, Atlanta, GA Slim Johansson, St. Louis, MO Frank Fox, Rockville, MD Dave McClure, Bloomington, IL Dr. Ed Packard, South Bend, IN Lawrence Longuski, Bad Axe, MI

five Custom models and seven Standards, i ncluding the oldest cabin in existence today, a 1931 QDC flown by Slim Johansson. The program included movies at the airport and re­ freshments at Ramondo's on Friday evening w ith the an­ nual banquet and presentations followed by more movies on Sa t urday eve n ing. Fea t ured guests were Mrs. Tex LaGrone of Kansas C it y and Mr. Clay ton J. Brukner, founder of Waco Aircraft Company. Mr. Brukner gave another interesting talk on the early beginnings leading up to the production of Waco airplanes. Certificates of Merit were presented to Sta n Gomoll, Frank Fox, Law­ r ence Longuski, Stan Simmons a nd Wayne Hayes. On Sunday Wacos were grouped on the ramp for photos, fol­ lowed by formation flying prior to departures. The 1974 National Waco Fly-In at Hamilton, Ohio. attracted many other antiques and homebuilt aircraft, as there were Staggerwings, Stearmans, Great Lakes, Grumman Ag-Cats, Vultees, Fairchilds, a Canadian Tiger Moth and the always faithf u l and most outstand­ ing Howard DGA flown by John Turgyan of Trenton, New Jersey.




1935 CUC-2 1936 YKS-6

NC14625 NC16507

1936 YKS-6 1936 EQC-6

NC16517 NC1659]

]937 YKS-7


1937 1937 1938 1939

NC17701 NC74835 NC19360 NC20908


Harold Johnson, Dayton, Ohio J. c. Weber, Barrington, IL Col. James Mathews, Andrews AFB, MD Jim Hau n, Donelson, TN Stan Gomoll, Minneapolis, MN Col. Robert Smith, Bel Air, MD Wayne Hayes, Trenton, NJ Al Shimer, Hookstown, PA Glen Hanson, Dundee, IL Stanley Simmons, Corona, CA (Continued on Page 23)






Golden Oldie of the Month

(Meyers Aircraft Company Photo)

NX-34358, the prototype for the Meyers 145 series. Pow­ ered by a 125 Continental.


Gar W. Williams

9 S. 135 Aero Dr., Rt. 1

Naperville, Illinois 60540

If a real airplane buff was asked to list his choices for "Classics" among the bevy of aircraft types produced during the years associated with our EAA Antique­ Classic Division, the name Meyers undoubtedly would appear. If that same buff happened to ~ave .been fort.un­ ate enough to have time in a Meyers bUIlt flyIng machine, the name Meyers most likely would be at the top of the list. The author's interest in the Meyers 145 goes back a number of years to the summer of 1956. Interest in be­ coming an aircraft mechanic led to hiring on the staff of Ravenswood (lllinois) Airport aircraft repair shop. Since the employer, Abe Marmol, also needed someone to pump gas in the evenings, my hours were 11:00 A.M. until dark. One warm August day, a beautiful, brand new MAC­ 145 arrived on its way from the factory to its new owner's home. The owner saw the obvious envy for after many min­ utes of drooling and questions he allowed me to climb in and "sit, but don't touch". Short was my dreaming - the ship was there for gas and I was the gasser - so back to work and within minutes the tanks were full with 49 gal­ lons of 80 octane. The take off was going to be of great interest for the wind was favoring the 1700' SW runway. This runway was a legend in itself for it was downhill from both ends to the center. The near center being marked by the site of a wooden plank bridge over a small creek. Combinations of asphalt, gravel and the wooden bridge made for interest­ ing gyrations right at the time most heavier airplanes were ready to fly. The Meyers was no exception - down the hill ... into the gravel ... bump ... over the bridge

and it was launched. Launched and barely flying; even I, a new private pilot, recognized the problem. Running out of options, with trees and runway end rapidly approach­ ing, the Meyers pilot pulled the power and allowed the ship to drift off the runway. Watch out, Aeronca 11AC! The still flying, out of control MAC-145, instantly sent a parked Chief to the classic happy hunting grounds. After the emotion of the moment cleared, it was amazing to see how well the Meyers survived - to fly again - the acci­ dent that literally dismembered the Aeronca. This introduction to the strength of the MAC-145 made its impact some years later when the opportunity came to purchase a damaged 145 - one that practically flew into the side of a small hill after fuel starvation on take off. Hesitant about rebuilding such a badly damaged airplane, the thoughts were there from time past about the structural integrity of the design. Hesitancy was re­ placed by action and soon the Meyers was mine. Considering the reputation of the aircraft produced by the Meyers Aircraft Company, one might easily imag­ ine that the company had been quite prolific over the thirty some years that they were in existance as an air­ craft manufacturer. In reality, the production numbrs are quite low - 102 OTW biplanes, 20 145s and slightly over 50 200s. The OTWs (Out To Win) were probably the closest to production airplanes in that over 100 were made in a six or seven year time span. The OTW story is unique on its own and certainly would be an interesting one for these pages at a later date. The second production type turned out by AI Meyers and his skilled crew from the small factory located on the airport at Tecumseh, Michigan started life as the Meyers 125. The prototype as shown (N-34358) was a rather un­ gainly looking side-by-side two place all metal mono­ plane. The Meyers family heritage is apparent in the de­ sign of the aft section of the fuselage - the fin in par­ ticular could be right off an OTW. Power for this first prototype was the six cylinder 125 horsepower Conti­ nental.

(Meyers Aircraft Company Photo)

The second prototype (N-34359) was really the pre­ production prototype and was much closer in detail to the first production aircraft, N-34360, Serial Number 203 . Notice the changes in the fuselage - the canopy was lower and much more streamlined. The fin and rudder have changed shape with more area and in general the airplane looks cleaner in design. Shortly after production began, Al Meyers made a significant design change which helped alleviate a loss of directional control during take off and landing. This change amounted to a lengthening of the tail wheel strut. The difference is easily noticed by comparing "production" photos with the photo of N-34359. Ma~y observers have questioned the long tail wheel strut - control require­ ments are undoubtedly the reason. The geometry of the strut and its mounting caused the strut to maintain a straight ahead position when downward pressure was applied via up elevator. This led to utilization of a three point take off technique in a strong crosswind. By hold­ ing the tail wheel on the ground and allo~ing the ~ain gear to fly first, crosswind take offs were eaSily done With­ out application of brakes. Raising the tail in a strong crosswind required heavy brake application, especially if a left crosswind - and "lots of luck" if the brake failed. Fu~ther evolution of detail design became apparent about halfway through the production. Again, the cabin was refined with hidden door hinges and smoother lines resulting from formed, compound windows rather than flat plexiglass. The second noticeable difference is the wheel well doors. Early 145s had rather large wells for the wheels with correspondingly large doors. Since the doors actually covered only the upper portion of the gear leg, the wells were made smaller and covered wi th a small door. Some of these modifications have been retrofitted to the earlier airlane. The first production ship, N-34360, was completely rebuilt by the Meyers factory during the rnid­ fifties. At that time, all of the design revisions were in­ corporated to make it equal to the last one built. This in­ cluded the canopy and gear doors which will explain to the more than casual observer why the first ship looks exactly

NX-34359, the second prototype Meyers 145 - Serial Number 202.

like the last. Of particular interest is that this airplane is still alive and well - an attractive Alumigrip white and gold paint job highlights the beauty - and is part of the "Tullahoma Bunch". Over the years that have expired since the last 145 cleared the runway at Tecumseh many modifications have been applied to the original design. Engine changes, brakes, steerable tail wheels, larger horizontal tail sur­ faces, dorsal fins and many other items are on the list of modifications. Probably the most spectacular change in­ volves engines. The original14S Continental was ample for most operating conditions, but at gross and high density altitudes, long runways were the name of the take off game. The first change to higher horsepower in production aircraft was the installation of a 230 horsepower 0-470 Continental in Serial Number 211, N-424L. This required modificaton to the cowling and resulted in a more bulky looking front end. N-424L remained in the experimental category for many years and during the mid to late Sl~­ ties was kept at the factory in Tecumseh. The next expen­ ment with higher horsepower was done on the west coast with the installation of an E-185 Continental in N-34369. The former Bonanza engine fit neatly under the original cowling and added considerable performance without any change in the sleek lines. Both installations included a controllable pitch propeller. To the authors knowledge, the last, and in his opinion, most optimum engine switch was done in Rockford, Illinois. The 145 was removed from N-34375, engine mount slightly modified, and a 10-360 six cylinder 210 horsepower Continental installed. The re­ sultant weight change was minimal giving spectacular take off and climb with about a 20 mph increase in cruise. In all due fairness to the installation of the original C-145-2H Continental engines, one might speculate that if a constant speed metal prop had been available, the interest in going to higher horsepower wouldn't have been so intense. Many of the 145's had an "Altimatic" 15

(Photo by Ev Payette)

The Meyers Aircraft Company at Tecumseh, Michigan . This was a Meyers OTW reunion in 1969.

Aeromatic installed at the factory. This was an attempt to alleviate the problems associated with a fixed pitch propeller on an airplane that really required a control­ lable prop. When properly maintained and operated, this prop did approach the model solution but apparently did not satisfy all the owners for most have removed the Aeromatic in favor of a metal cruise prop. The detail design features for the MAC-145 are most easily described by the following quotations from the owner's manual: GENERAL DESIGN DETAILS

The Meyers MAC-145 is a two-place, lOW-Wing, all­ metal cabin monoplane with a Continental C-145-2H engine. Overall dimensions are: wing-span equals 30 feet; length equals 21 feet, 10 inches; height (to top of cabin, aircraft at rest) equals 6 feet. The MAC-145 is licensed by the Civil Aeronautics Administration under Airworthiness Type Certificate Number 3A1 with a gross weight of 1,910 Ibs. A maxi­ mum baggage load of 100 Ibs. can be carried in the com­ partment behind the seat and an additional 20 Ibs . is permitted on the shelf above this compartment. Aerodynamic twist of the wings increases the lateral stability and control at high angles of attack. Engine torque is counteracted by a one-degree offset of the verti­ cal stabilizer. Three-position, all-metal slotted wi ng flaps - in­ crease the wing lift for take-off and permit steep land­ ing approaches at slow speeds with full control. Ease of maneuvering in the air is achieved with the aid of slot­ ted ailerons having counterbalanced weights in the aileron leading edge. The main sub-assembly portions of the Model"145" are: 1. Engine Nacelle - with detachable engine mount and cowlings. 2. Center Section - fabricated from 4130 chrome molybdenum steel tubing. The outer wing panels are 16

attached to the center section wing fittings with special­ ly machined aircraft bolts (.747 diameter). The lower mountings of the tail cone are attached to the rear of the center section provides structural support for the landing gear, cabin, tail cone and stub-wing. 3. Cabin Section - Main support tubes made from 4130 chrome molybdenum steel tubing. Cabin noise level is reduced with aid of fiber-glass insulation throughout the cabin and mufflers in the engine exhaust system. 4. Outer Wing Panels - 24ST aluminum is used in fabricating the entire wing and wing spars, as well as all parts of the flaps and ailerons. 5. Landing Gear - A hydraulic-spring gear is used in conjunction with a Goodrich wheel assembly. The landing gear is fully retractable, using a hand-operated hydraulic pump. 6. Tail Cone with Control Surfaces - A 24ST alumi­ num monocoque tail cone is attached with four bolts to the cabin and center section, and supports an hydraulic­ spring tail wheel. The fin, rudder, horizontal stabilizer and elevator are fabricated from 24ST aluminum as com­ plete and independent assemblies.


The MAC-145 instrument panel carries the full blind­ flying group, with radio and engine instruments. The panel may be partly or completely removed for mainte­ nance by removing the four main Lord-mount bolts and all lines to the instruments. All engine controls are the press-button vernier type control which includes the throttle, propeller-pitch selec­ tor and elevator trim tab. The elevator trim control has been completely restricted to vernier adjustment to pre­ vent erratic movement of the trim tab. Neutral position for take-off requires alignment of the forward edge of the trim control knob with the indicator.



The fuel system consists of two main inboard tanks (16 gallons each) and two outboard auxiliary tanks (8.5 gallons each) located in the center wing section. Each tank should be used independently of the others and con­ trolled by the two selector valves located on the cabin floor. The selector handle points to the tank in use. When using the main tanks the auxiliary tank selector valve must be in the "OFF" position; correspondingly, the main tank selector valve must be in the "OFF" position when using the auxiliary tanks. The purpose of this procedure is to prevent the flow of gas from a full tank to an empty one. Quick drain plugs are provided at the low points of each tank to enable daily flight inspection for water.

The ailerons and elevator are controlled by push-pull tubes; the flaps and rudder are cable-controlled. The rud­ der is restricted when the gear is up, while the elevator is restricted when the flaps are up. This makes the air­ plane spin-resistant in the dean condition. Full rudder control can be obtained at any time by lowering the land­ ing gear; full elevator control is obtained by lowering flap to anyone of the three positions. It is recommended that the first notch of flap be used for take-off to utilize full elevator control.


The landing gear is conventional 4130 steel-welded construction (no heat-treated parts) with "oleo" (oil and spring) action. The main gear oleo strut carries 8 ounces of S.A.E. No. 10 motor oil. The down lock mechanism consists of two " knees" on each gear which break past center. As an added measure of safety, hydraulic pres­ sure should be exerted after the gear has been lowered, and at all times before taxiing.


Span . .... .. . .. . .. . .. .. . ..... .. . . .. . .. . . . . .. . . .. 30 ft . Length ...... . . .. . ... .. ... .... . .... ... .... 21 ft. 10 in. Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 6 ft. Gross Weight 32 Gals. . . . . .. . .... . . .. .. ... ... 1910 lbs. Gross Weight 49 Gals .. . . .. . . . . . . .. ... ... . . .. 19101bs. Useful Load .. .. . ..... .. .. ... . ... ... . . . .. .. : .. 600 lbs. Baggage .. . .. . . . . . ... . .. .. . ... ...... . .. ... ... 120 lbs. Max. Speed, Sea Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 166 mph Cruising Speed, Sea Level . . .... .. . ...... 150 mph. plus Altitude Cruising Speed .. ..... .. . . . ...... . ... 162 mph Landing Speed (450 Flaps) .. .. . . . ... .. ....... .. 45 mph Service Ceiling . . . .. . ............ . . . . . .. . .... 18,000 ft . Rate of Oimb .... . ...... .. . .... .. ..... . ... ... 960 fpm Take Off Run, Sea Level . ... . ....... . ..... . . . . .. 600 ft. Landing Run . .. . .. . ..... ... ...... . .. .. .. . .... . 575 ft. Max. Range 4 Hrs. (with 30 min. reserve) ..... 600 miles Max. Range With Auxiliary Tanks ... .. . . . . . . 1000 miles Fuel Consumption ... ... . . .. . . ..... . . 7.5 Gals. Per Hr.

(J. B. Gregg Photo)

Crunch! A previous owner smashed up N-34374, Feb足 ruary 1967.

Steady as she goes!

(Gar Williams Photo)

F.ebruary 14, 1966. The author brings his "prize" home for rebuild.

(Gar Williams Photo)

New wings, ailerons and flaps for N-34374 - built from

scratch by the author.

(Photo Courtesy Gar Williams)

AI Meyers, left, congratulates the author, Gar Williams, on his home remanufacture of N-34374.


Books for Buffs


o Amphibian

Th e St ory of Th e L o en i ng B i p lane by

Grover Loening

Complete history of the " flying

shoehorns." Photos so good,

text so detailed and the book a

work of art . You'll have to have it

for your library. 10" x 10", 250


o Water Flying ­ by Franklin T. Kurt

3: 'If you own a float plane or are just interested in III water flying you will want this book . It's the first

Z all-inclusive book about flying boats, float planes,

and amphibians. Covers operating techniques and history of seaplanes. It is masterfully written by a former Grumman engineer from a lifetime of testing , designing and instructing in water craft. 100 photos, 15 drawings. $8_95

o The Ford Air Tours 1925-1931

by Leslie Forden

3: A complete story in text and III photos of the seven cross ­

Z country " Reliability Tours" Pro­ fusely illustrated, incorporating

much collateral material and an

inte resting " whatever hap­

pened to .. .?" section in the

back relating capsule histories

of Tour participants. A must for

the enthusiasts reference lib­

rary. BV2 x 11 .


$11 .00





B. H. Carmichael

34795 Camino Capis trano

Capistrano Beach, California 92624

In a fasci nating office in the Lbrary of the Northrop Institute of Technology in Inglewood , Californi a, wo rks David D. H atfield, a uniq ue man . Rich in yea rs and m em­ ories, wi sd om a nd h onor, he pu rs ues his historical aero­ nautical researc h wi th dilige nce a nd d evotio n. If you send fo r hi s applica ti on card (Hatfield History of Aeronautics, 1155 W. Arbor Vitae Ave., Inglewood, Califo rnia 90306) and fill it out, he will send you an exciting volume of avia­ tion history a t appr ox imately two-mo nth intervals. H e has already published six, ma ny o f which are still availa­ ble at back orders. Each new one will cost yo u $3 .50, a real bargain for the accuracy a nd nostalgia presented . H e has two scrapb ook volumes that are reprints of aircra ft ad­ vertisements from the old magazines . You are n ot getting som eone's rehash of what happened, but ra ther, accurate acco unts written at the tim e these grea t events occurred . Hi s other volumes are fill ed wi th photos of a ll the gallant old aircraft a nd the supermen w ho fl ew them . H e works with littl e or n o s upport, putting in long days and. nights to preserve the priceless heritage . His d edica tion is absolute. He dra ws o n the greates t libra ry in the world . He also provides prints of photos a nd pla ns for virtu ally any aircraft ever built anytime, anyw here . I recently bought some superb prints of the Hug hes H-I racer and Ellsworth's N orthrop Gamma, including con­ structi on details taken w hire the ship was being built. A boon to the mod el builder. (Continued o n Page 23)

They Call Me Mr_Alrshow by Bill Sweet

More than an autobiography of

Mr. Sweet, this book is a lively

account of Bill Sweet's associa­

tion with the greats of the air

show circuit from the 20's on .

The book is exciting , informa­

tive and in places riotously

humorous. Once you start read ­

ing you won't be able to put it


$9.95 Cessna Gu idebook Mitch Mayborn and Bob Pickett Complete like predecessor Stearman Guidebook. Contains photos of every single engine model built through the Airmaster series and WW II Bobcat, three vie w drawings of the most signific­ ant versions, reprints of old advertising and com­ plete serial listings for military Bobcats. Anyone who has ever flown or admired Cessna will want this one. $6_95 U.S. Civil Aircraft

by Joseph Juptner

The antiquers bible . Ency­

clopedia of ATC planes giving a

complete description , history,

production data, performance ,

specifications with excellent

photo coverage. Colorful narra­

tives are woven throughout tell­

ing of successes , failures and

little-known anecdotes. Each

volume covers 100 AT C 's.

300 + photos & 300 pages .


O Val . 1, ATC #1 thru # 100, 1927-29. . . $9.95 o Vol. II, ATC #101 thru #200, 1929 . . . $9.95 o Vol. III,ATC #201 1hru #300, 1929-30 $9.95 o Vol. IV, ATC #301 thru #400, 1930-31 $9.95 o Vol. V, ATC #401 thru #500 1931·33 $9.95 o Vol. VI. ATC #50 1 thru # 600 1933-35 $11.95 Vol. #6 covers sucn golden age classics as 3: the DC-2, Ryan ST, Luscome Phantom, Taylor ~ " Silver Club" and some of the great Stin­ sons, Fairchilds and Waco models , and more.


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HISTORicAVIATION prints and books for the collector 3850-8 Coronation Rd . Eagan , Minn . 55122

Enc. $ IMinn . re s. add 4 % tax ) Name ___________________________ Address _________________________

City _____________________________ State - - -_ _ _ _ _ llp _ _ _ _ _ __ 14 day Money ·back Guarantee Postpaid 75¢ Handling on Orders Under $1 0.00


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Ma i l i n pla i n brown wrapper 19

'The Invincible



Jim Hall (EAA 25198)

1588 Gleasman Road

Rockford, Illinois 61103

The 3 seat Center-Wing, powered by a 125 hp LeBlond radial and superbly finished . The plane was test flown on wheels and skis at Manitowoc Airport,

(All Photos Courtesy of the Author)

(Editor's Note: In the August 1973 issue of THE VIN­ advertisement. It seems that the Invincible engineers TAGE AIRPLANE we carried a feature entitled "What­ may have had a few years on the Goodyear race plane ever Happened To The Invincible Center-wing?" , the designers of two decades later. In view of the continuing Invincible Center-wing being a rather advanced aircraft successes of mid-wing Formula One designs, the logic produced in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in 1929, In the October of that 1929 sales pitch is exceedingly tough to deny. 1973 issue we carried an article in which it was revealed Actually, three different aircraft were built by Invinci­ that Oean Crites of Waukesha, Wisconsin purchased the ble in the late twenties. One was a very snappy little two­ Center-wing and later sold it to a pilot from Ohio who later seater. It had an open cockpit and was powered by a 110 was killed in the machine. This month we come up with hp Kinner. It also sported a full cantilever mid-wing. Once most of the remaining pieces ot the puzzle. Jim Hall of again, the Invincible engineering staff had used a rather Rockford, Illinois treats us to some really rare old photo­ advanced-for-it's-day concept. This aircraft was later dis­ mantled and put into storage, Of special interest to you graphs and the word that there were three and, possibly, a fourth Invincible . .. but let Jim tell it . . .) eternally optimistic restorers, is the fact that the main wing spars from this airplane are this very day being stored in the rafters of the loft they originated in so The Invincible was born into that special era in avia­ many years ago. Time has misplaced all but these wing tion shortly after Lucky Lindy made his epic crossing. spars. The memory of the Great War was starting to fade, the The second aircraft to be built was the very one re­ economy was booming and flying had captured the atten­ ported on in an earlier issue of THE VINTAGE AIR­ PLANE. It is also the one featured in the 1929 adver­ tion of a great many people . Furthermore, aircraft en­ tising brochure. It was a dean "center-wing" four place gines and airframe construction methods had reached an cabin ship. Powered by a 170 hp Curtiss Challenger, the unprecedented degree of reliability. aircraft featured oleo landing gear, steerable tail wheel, The Invincible Metal Furniture Company of Mani­ brakes, and a fuselage of chrom-moly steel tubing. (My towoc, Wisconsin entered this booming aircraft industry "modern" 1946 Taylorcraft differs very little in construc­ with a classy cabin style monoplane . An advertising bro­ chure put out at the time of introduction proclaimed the tion .) The wings were built up of spruce and the entire air­ aircraft to be an engineering accomplishment of great craft was fabric covered. This aircraft was owned and sig'nificance. "Wings are placed in alignment with the flown by Mr. Dean Crites after purchase from the Invin­ center of the propeller thrust, giving perfect balance and cible. It has been reported that this aircraft was later sold greater speed under all flying conditions", proclaims the and destroyed in a crash in Ohio.




Span ......... . .... . ..... .. .............. . . 40 ft. 0 in.

Length .... . .... . .......... .. ..... .. ....... 25 ft. 7 in .

Height ........ . .. .. ...... . . . ...... . . . .. . ... 7 ft. 3 in.

Top Speed . . .... .. .. . ... . . .. ... . ....... .. ... 142 mph

Cruising Speed ....................... .. ..... 120 mph

Landing Speed ........ . . . ........ . ... . ...... . 42 mph

Rate of Climb .... . ........ . ..... . . .. ....... 1,000 fpm

Airfoil ......... .. .. . .. . . .. ..... . .. . . . . . .... NACM-15

W'm g A rea.. .. . .. ........ . . . ... . ...... . . . .. 228 sq. ft.

Engine .. .. . . ........... . .... Curtiss Challenger 170 hp

Gasoline Capacity ....... . ... . ......... . .... 60 Gallons

Oil Capacity ........... . ............... ... .. 5 Gallons

Range . ............... . ...... . ..... . ... .. ... 700 Miles

The third aircraft built was the one that captured the heart of the writer. (NOTE: The aircraft are described in a sequence of one, two, and three, while original fac­ tory photographs indicate that the craft were built simul­ taneously.) This last Invincible was the cleanest, raciest of the three aircraft built. It too was of mid-wing design, but it was a three place aircraft powered by a 125 hp Le­ Blond :adial. Finishing touches on this ship were just fantash.c. From close examination of company photo­ graphs It would dearly have been a trophy winner at any 0y-m. The name "Invincible" was even carefully lettered In gold leaf on the fuselage sides: All this in 1929 . Extensive test flying of this airplane was done at Mani­ towoc during the winter of 1929. Tests were conducted o n both skis and wheels. A Manitowoc pilot by the name of Mr. C. Klackner was lucky enough to have been the "kid

at the fence" during the days of the Invincible Aircraft te~t flights. He recently described the day the complete taIl was sawed off of the open cockpit two seater. An en­ tirely different tail assembly was then welded in place. This completely explained some very puzzling factory photos. Having been born and raised in Manitowoc, I have al­ ways had more than a passing interest in the Invincible story. I can remember my mother telling me of the time she watched an Invincible airplane being loaded from the fa.c tory directly onto a railroad flatcar. Factory data in­ ?ICated that the airplanes left Manitowoc "by air". Then It was remembered that the rail line did pass the Invinci­ ble factory in 1929. The rails also were adjacent to the Manit.owoc airport (as they are to thi s day). It appears that ev.en m 1929 it was easier to ship by rail (even only three mIles) than to drag an airplane through the streets of "downtown"! The late Mr. Florian Stradal was the treasurer of the Invincibl e in 1929. During th e 1973 Christmas Holi­ days, he related that the three place airplane was sold to a young man in Kentucky. A few years later the craft was destroyed in a fatal crash while e ngaged in aero­ batics. While it is obvious that the Invincible designs were advanced for their day, the three aircraft described were the only ones built. This can plainly be attributed to the fact that while the "Invincible" may have been invincible, the economy wasn't! Fortunately, the metal furniture business has endured and the Invincibl e rolls on. The man behind the Invincible in 1929 was the late Mr. John Schuette . He not only ramrodded the e ntire LEFT. Front view of the full canti­ lever, tapered wing two place Invin­ cible. Note the early balloon tires.

BonOM. The two place, side-by­ side Invincible. Power was a 110 hp Kinner. Note the "seam" in the fuse­ lage just in front of the tail - this was where the fuselage was cut in two and lengthened.

enterprise, but actu ally tes t fl ew the airpla nes alo ng with Mr. Earl Beach and Mr. Bill Willia ms. Apparently, the aircraft w ere to be ma rketed throu gh existin g m e tal furnitur e re pr ese nta ti ves . P e rh a p s th e entire story is quite aptl y summ ed up in the foll owing, taken fr om a lette r addressed to Mr. Schue tte a nd writ­ te n by Mr . Cha rl es K. Wa lte r, a m a nufac ture r's rep re­ sentati ve of th e In vincibl e, th e n a nd now . " May be I' m wrong, but it seems to me tha t fl ye rs th e n w e re a dif­ ferent breed than th e tec hni cia ns w ho ma n tod ay's com­ pute r controlled pl a nes, bu t th a t may be a n unfair com ­ parison beca use today's technology d e ma nds a di ffere nt type . But the truths th a t yes te rday's pil ots discovered , a nd the practi ces of sa fe fli g ht th a t th ey evolv ed thr o u g h trial a nd som etim es fa tal e rro r se rved to es ta blis h th e basi c ground rul es th a t gove rn av ia ti o n tod ay .. A nd in our wa y, we we re a pa rt o f tha t pi o neering eft ort, yo u perhaps fa r m ore tha n mos t of us . The s mell of burn ed hi g h octa ne fu el, mingling with the fresh air of a cri s p a utumn day, th e thrill of the take­

off a nd the fe eling that yo u we re trul y lo rd of all yo u sur­ veyed , diffe re nt fr om o rdinary mo rtals wh o we re ea rth­ bound, these d ays a re gone now , b ut th ey p e rsis t in m e m­ ory a nd always will. Tha nk yo u again for bringi ng the m bac k to me." Date: Oc tober 19, 1969 - C hambl ee, Georgia . Mr. Jo hn Sc hu e tte Jr . is prese ntl y runnin g the [n­ vincibl e fac to ry. Thro ug h hi s g racioll s effo rts a nd th ose of Mr. Wilm e r La d wig, Tool a nd Di e De p a rtm e nt, th e av ia ti o n hi story o f thi s compan y has been re vea led. Mr. Sc hu e tte Jr. never res um ed building aircraft , but since he did solo in a Cub a nd la te r ow n a nd fl y a WW II Timm train e r, h e mu st trul y be consid e red a chip off th e old bl ock! A fte r digging into such an inte resting story, o ne hopes to find fac to ry dra wings or som e thing to help resurrect a n Inv in cible. U n fo rtun a te ly, n o s uc h drawin gs ex is t. . Mr. Kl ac kne r vag u ely rca ll s a fo urth airpl ane S till. It was gray in color . . . May be in a ba rn . . . Some­ whe re .. . Orop testing the landing gear of the four-place in the Invincible loft.

The four place with company officials in 1929.





(Continued from Page 12)

(Continued from Page 19)



N C20953










1940 1941 1941 1941 1941 1941 1942

UPF-7 UPF-7 HPF-7 UPF-7 UPF -7 UPF-7 U PF-7

NC30122 NC301 65 N C32065 NC32083 N02084 NC32091 C32168

1942 1942


N02193 N09717



N C31653

Richa rd A u stin, Gree ns boro, NC Mi ke Ci ro ne, l e w isv ill e , Ohio Cla rk e Hubba rd , H o u s tu n,

TX Jo h n Sk in ner, Gra nd Rid ge , Il Bob Wag n er, Day ton, Ohi o Jo h n Sh u e, York, PA Do n Sch mitz, Day ton, Ohi o Dick Wag ner, lyons, WI loe l Cra wfo r d , H a rvard , II P orte r lee, Westm inster, MD M ike Pa ngia , Wa s h ing ton , D. C

Victor Ing ram, Ba d A xe, M l

G eo rge Gers pa ch e r,

Ce nterv ille, O hio Vince Mariani , Fi ndlay , Ohio

So integra ted with the pas t, prese nt a nd future of avia ­ tio n is he that one C.1 n e nv isio n Mr. Ha tfield dropping off to sleep a fter one of hi s 12-hour work d ays . As he levels off at cruise altitude, th e wonderful old ships that thun­ d ered out of Burba nk on their way to gree t the daw n ove r Kan sas w hea t fi eld s com e into form a ti on. Was p s and H ornets straining for altitud e, Ham-Standard prop disks glinting like quicksilver in the moonlig ht, polished pl y­ wood, fabric, and aluminum, sleek a nd cool in the ni ght ai r, on wa rd th ey roa r. Vega , Air Express, Siriu s, Gamma, La ird , Wed d ell-Willi a m s, Mulli g an , G amm a, Altair, O rio n, H-l , Seversky. Th e gloriou s a irmen w ho lifted th e hea rts of the na ti on in the terrible yea rs of the grea t d epressio n assembl e about him . Pos t, Turner, Lindb ergh, H awks, Doolittle, Wedd ell, Howard, Tomlinson , Kings­ ford-Smith, Mantz, Hu gh es a nd Coch ra n. As our so ns thund er o ut fro m " th e g ree n hills of ea rth" to meet their des tin y in the sta rs, they will go knowing from whe nce th ey ca me a nd of tha t "gallant d a n" w hich cam e before them th ro ugh the wo rk of thi s d edicated ma n. Beloved historia n, we sa lute you .

CLASSIFIEDS FOR SALE - Antiqu e Pip er J-5A Cru iser, 1940, 3-place, fancy paint, fresh OH and license, leo­ pard interior, $4600. Draws crowds wherever it goes. Oa ssic Fairchild 24R '46. Fresh license, b eautiful paint and · i·nterior.· Aeromati c prop. Runs perfectly. $8900 includes load ' of extras plus 2 engi nes. Photos and detail info upon re­ quest. L. jennings, 2280 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, Fla. 32789. Ph. 305-644-O<lBO anytime. ­

FOR SALE - 1941 Porterfield CP-65, 708 SMOH, 46 STOH, licen sed to Nov. '74. Don Straughn, 4N 685 Brooksid e Ea st, St. Charl es, Ill. 60174. Ph. 312-584-3124.

Calendar Of Events AUGUST 1~11 - ALB ERT LEA , MINNESOTA - Skyrama '74. A irport dedi­ cation. Contact R. J. Lickteig, Box 731, Albert Lea, Minn. AUGUST 25 - SB'TEMBER 2 - BLAKESBURG , IOWA - Fourth Annu al National invita tional AAA-APM Fly-In - Antiqu e Airfield . AUGUST 30 • SB'TEMBER 2 . OTTUMWA, IOWA - Ottumwa Antiqu e Airplane Conventi on. Ottumwa Airport. Sponsored by Antiqu e Air­ men , inc. Contact: j. C. "Chu ck" Weber, 441 Berry Rd ., Barrington , 111. 60010. SEPTEMBER 13-15 - GALESBURG, ILLINOIS - 3rd National Stear man Fly-In. Contact: jim Leahy, 445 N. Whitesboro, Galesburg, Ill. 61401 . OR Tom Lowe, 823 Kingston Lane, Crystal Lake, Ill . 60014 .

Back Issues Of The Vintage Airplane Limited nu mbers of b ack issues of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE are available a t .SOC each. Copies still on hand at EAA Head qu ar ters are: 1973 - MARtH, APRIL, MAY, JUNE, JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER 1974 - JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, MAY, JUNE, JULY