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JUNE 2011

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

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

Thanks AUA
!

— Sam Swift
AUA is Vintage Aircraft Association approved. To become a member of VAA call 800-843-3612.

Aviation insurance with the EAA Vintage Program offers:
Lower premiums with payment options QAdditional coverages
On-line quote request available QAUA is licensed in all states

Flexibility on the use of your aircraft

Q

Experienced agents

Q

Remember, We’re Better Together!

The best is affordable. Give AUA a call – it’s FREE!

800-727-3823
Fly with the pros… fly with AUA Inc.
www.auaonline.com

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

2011

J U N E

CONTENTS
2

Straight & Level
AirVenture 2011
by Geoff Robison

3

News

6

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

14

My Friend Frank Rezich

6

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

18

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

20

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

24

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

28

24

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

32

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

36

Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy

37

Classified Ads

STAFF

EAA Publisher
Director of EAA Publications
Executive Director/Editor
Production/Special Project
Photography
Copy Editor
Senior Art Director
EAA Chairman of the Board

Rod Hightower
Mary Jones
H.G. Frautschy
Kathleen Witman
Jim Koepnick
Colleen Walsh
Olivia P. Trabbold
Tom Poberezny

Publication Advertising:
Manager/Domestic, Sue Anderson
Tel: 920-426-6127
Email: sanderson@eaa.org
Fax: 920-426-4828
Senior Business Relations Mgr, Trevor Janz
Tel: 920-426-6809
Email: tjanz@eaa.org

COVERS

Manager/European-Asian, Willi Tacke
Phone: +49(0)1716980871 Email: willi@flying-pages.com

FRONT COVER: What possesses men to re-create airplanes from our aviation heritage? I’m

Fax: +49(0)8841 / 496012

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

Interim Coordinator/Classified, Alicia Canziani
Tel: 920-426-6860
Email: classads@eaa.org

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 1

STRAIGHT & LEVEL
GEOFF ROBISON
PRESIDENT, VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION

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

2 JUNE 2011

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

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

VAA NEWS
VAA Judging Categories

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

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

VAA Awards Ceremony
Like last year’s inaugural event,

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

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

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 3

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

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

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

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

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

4 JUNE 2011

2011 VAA Friends of the Red Barn Campaign
The VAA annual fundraising campaign fuels VAA action
Don’t wait for a mailing from VAA HQ before you send in your contribution—to keep our administration costs as low as possible, we’re not
sending out a mailingto each VAA member. Please send your donation today, while it’s fresh in your mind!
Please help the VAA and our nearly 500 dedicated volunteers make this an unforgettable experience for our EAA AirVenture guests.
Your contribution does make a difference. There are seven levels of gifts and gift recognition. Thank you for whatever you can do.
Here are some of the many activities the Friends of the Red Barn fund underwrites:

• Red Barn Information Desk Supplies
• Participant Plaques and Supplies
• Toni’s Red Carpet Express Van and Radios
• Caps for VAA Volunteers

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

Diamond
$1000

Platinum
$750

Gold
$500

2 people/Full
Week
2 people/2
Days

2 people/1
Day

Full Week

Full Week

2 Days

Tri-Motor Certificate

2 Tickets

2 Tickets

2 Tickets

1 Ticket

Breakfast at Tall Pines Café

2 People
Full Wk

2 People
Full Wk

2 People
Full Wk

1 Person
Full Wk





















EAA VIP Center
VIP Air Show Seating
Close Auto Parking
Two Tickets to VAA Picnic

Special FORB Cap
Two Passes to VAA Volunteer Party

Special FORB Badge
Access to Volunteer Center
Donor Appreciation Certificate
Name Listed: Vintage Airplane
Magazine, Website, and Sign at Red Barn

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






Bronze
$100

Loyal
Supporter
$99 & Under





VAA Friends of the Red Barn

Name______________________________________________________________________EAA #___________ VAA #___________
Address______________________________________________________________________________________________________
City/State/ZIP________________________________________________________________________________________________
Phone___________________________________________________E-Mail______________________________________________
Please choose your level of participation:
■ Payment enclosed (Make checks payable to Vintage Aircraft Assoc.)
____ Silver Level Gift - $250.00
____ Diamond Plus $1,250.00
____ Bronze Level Gift - $100.00
____ Diamond Level Gift - $1,000.00
____ Loyal Supporter Gift - ($99.00 or under)
____ Platinum Level Gift - $750.00
____ Your Support $_______
____ Gold Level Gift - $500.00
■ Please charge my credit card (below)
Credit Card Number _____________________________ Expiration Date _________
Signature_________________________________________

Mail your contribution to:

VAA FORB
PO Box 3086
OSHKOSH, WI 54903-3086

*Do you or your spouse work for a matching-gift company? If so, this gift may qualify for
a matching donation. Please ask your human resources department for the appropriate form.

Name of Company __________________________________________________________________
The Vintage Aircraft Association is a non-profit educational organization under IRS 501c3 rules. Under Federal Law, the deduction from Federal Income tax for
charitable contributions is limited to the amount by which any money (and the value of any property other than money) contributed exceeds the value of the goods or
services provided in exchange for the contribution. An appropriate receipt acknowledging your gift will be sent to you for IRS gift reporting reasons.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 5

The

Paulson-Poling-Teel

Stinson Model O

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

6 JUNE 2011

BUDD DAVISSON

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 7

PHIL HIGH

FREDERICK A. JOHNSEN

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

8 JUNE 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 9

ALLEN MORGAN PHOTO/JOHN UNDERWOOD COLLECTION
PHIL HIGH

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

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

10 JUNE 2011

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

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

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

PHIL HIGH

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

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

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 11

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

PHIL HIGH

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

12 JUNE 2011

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

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

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

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

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 13

My Friend

Frank Rezich
Part IX—An Aviation Celebration for Frank
BY

ROBERT G. LOCK

PHOTOS COURTESY OF REZICH FAMILY COLLECTION

T

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

14 JUNE 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

O

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

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

16 JUNE 2011

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

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Skimming Cornfields:
The

Joy of Old-Time Flying

O

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

18 JUNE 2011

BY

PHILIP HANDLEMAN

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

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

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

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

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 19

Light Plane Heritage
published in EAA Experimenter September 1991

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

READ, BUT DON’T ALWAYS BELIEVE
BY

BOB WHITTIER
EAA 1235

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

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

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

Figure 1: This drawing of a Longster shows only three flying wires running from lower longeron to
the wing spars. (From 1933 Flying and Glider Manual, pages 56 to 57)
Editor’s Note: The Light Plane Heritage series in EAA’s Experimenter magazine often touched on aircraft and concepts
related to vintage aircraft and their history. Since many of our members have not had the opportunity to read this series, we plan on publishing those LPH articles that would be of interest to VAA members. Enjoy!—HGF

20 JUNE 2011

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 21

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

22 JUNE 2011

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

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

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 23

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

STEFAN DEGRAEF

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

Alpine Stinson

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 25

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

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

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

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

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

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 27

Vintage
Mechanic

THE

BY ROBERT G. LOCK

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

W

28 JUNE 2011

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

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

Illustration 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 JUNE 2011

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

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

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

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

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

What Our Members
Are Restoring

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 31

Vintage
Instructor
THE

BY Steve Krog, CFI

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

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

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

32 JUNE 2011

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

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VINTAGE AIRPLANE 33

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

34 JUNE 2011

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

It’s gonna be a big year at Oshkosh.

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

B-29 Superfortress “FIFI”

REO Speedwagon

eVenture

Tribute to Bob Hoover

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

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

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

Tuesday afternoon air show
featuring aircraft and maneuvers
he made legendary

Tribute to Burt Rutan

Super Saturday

Salute to Veterans

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

Presented by Southwest Airlines
featuring the Night Air Show,
Daher-Socata Fireworks,
and the “Wall of Fire”

Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band
courtesy of Disabled American
Veterans on Friday

The World’s Greatest
Aviation Celebration
July 25-31 | AirVenture.org/attractions

For more information and to buy your advance ticket
s visit AirVenture.org. But hurry, the advance purch
ase discount ends on June 15.
Advance tickets made possible by

by H.G. FRAUTSCHY

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

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

36 JUNE 2011

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

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

Upcoming Major
Fly-Ins
Arlington Fly-In

Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO)
Arlington, Washington
July 6-10, 2011
www.ArlingtonFlyIn.org
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Wittman Regional Airport (OSH)
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
July 25-31, 2011
www.AirVenture.org

VINTAGE TRADER
S o m e t h i n g t o b u y, s e l l , o r t r a d e ?

Classified Word Ads: $5.50 per 10 words, 180 words maximum, with boldface lead-in on
first line.
Classified Display Ads: One column wide (2.167 inches) by 1, 2, or 3 inches high at $20 per
inch. Black and white only, and no frequency discounts.
Advertising Closing Dates: 10th of second month prior to desired issue date (i.e., January 10 is
the closing date for the March issue). VAA reserves the right to reject any advertising in conflict with its
policies. Rates cover one insertion per issue. Classified ads are not accepted via phone. Payment must
accompany order. Word ads may be sent via fax (920-426-4828) or e-mail (classads@eaa.org) using
credit card payment (all cards accepted). Include name on card, complete address, type of card, card
number, and expiration date. Make checks payable to EAA. Address advertising correspondence to EAA
Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.

Colorado Sport International Air Show
and Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In

MISCELLANEOUS

Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC)
Denver, Colorado
August 27-28, 2011

www.aerolist.org, Aviations’ Leading
Marketplace.

www.COSportAviation.org
Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In

Grimes Field Airport (I74)
Urbana, Ohio
September 10-11, 2011
http://MERFI.com
Copperstate Fly-In

Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ)
Casa Grande, Arizona
October 20-22, 2011
www.Copperstate.org

completed projects, Wacos, Moth’s,
Champs, Pitts etc. Test flights and
delivery. Indiana 812-343-8879
mike@biplanebuilder.com, www.
biplanebuilder.com.

SERVICES
Always Flying Aircraft Restoration,
LLC: Annual Inspections, Airframe
recovering, fabric repairs and
complete restorations. Wayne A.
Forshey A&P & I.A. 740-472-1481
Ohio and bordering states.
Biplane Builder Ltd. Restoration, fabric,
paint, fabrications, paperwork with 53

Bully Aeroplane Works and
A i r s h o w s p ro v i d e s c o m p l e t e
airman estate and aviation
collection services without the
hassle and invasiveness of on-site
auctions. We specialize in antique,
aerobatic, and experimental aircraft
and parts. References available.
Contact Eric Minnis at 336-2638558 or ericminnis@yahoo.com

Southeast Regional Fly-In

Middleton Field Airport (GZH)
Evergreen, Alabama
October 21-23, 2011
www.SERFI.org
For details on hundreds of upcoming aviation happenings, including EAA chapter fly-ins,
Young Eagles rallies, and other local aviation
events, visit the EAA Calendar of Events located at www.EAA.org/calendar.

The Superman plastic
travel mug keeps drinks
warm and fits nicely
into most car beverage
holders. Holds 16 oz.

Travel Mug PLU
5265833800000

$9.99
Telephone Orders: 800-843-3612
From US and Canada (All Others Call 920-426-5912)

Or send to: EAA Mail Orders, P.O. Box 3086,
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086
Limited supplies available.
*Shipping and handling NOT included. Major credit cards accepted. WI
residents add 5% sales tax.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 37

Colorful Travel Mugs
Travel mugs come in a variety of delightful colors. You’ll appreciate the soft textured
finish that allows you an easy grip.
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Women’s Web Belts
Choose from an array of bright colors
with a silver tone buckle which has
the VAA logo lasered on the front. Can
adjust to approximately 35”.
52651256 Fucia
52651252 Navy
52651257 Yellow
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52651255 Red
52651259 Grey

VAA Theme Journal
A great place to jot your memories,
or make plans for your next flight.
Light tan, lined pages, 7.5 x 9”.
Printed in the USA on acid-free
recycled paper using soybased ink.
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38 JUNE 2011

Canvas Bag & Matching Hat
Biplane embroidered cap and tote are 100% cotton. Metal buckle
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5265687314060 Teal Cap
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5265687314020 Red Cap
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Men’s Golfshirt

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Sporty shirt is 100% ringspun cotton pique with a single stripe
on collar and cuffs. Embroidered on left with a biplane design.
Featuring a contrasting three-button placket, contour collar and
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Telephone Orders: 800-843-3612
From US and Canada (All Others Call 920-426-5912)
*Shipping and handling NOT included. Major credit cards accepted.
WI residents add 5% sales tax.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 39

VINTAGE
AIRCRAFT
ASSOCIATION
OFFICERS
President
Geoff Robison
1521 E. MacGregor Dr.
New Haven, IN 46774
260-493-4724
chief7025@aol.com

Vice-President
George Daubner
N57W34837 Pondview Ln
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-560-1949
gdaubner@eaa.org

Secretary
Steve Nesse
2009 Highland Ave.
Albert Lea, MN 56007
507-373-1674
stnes2009@live.com

Treasurer
Dan Knutson
106 Tena Marie Circle
Lodi, WI 53555
608-592-7224
lodicub@charter.net

DIRECTORS

Steve Bender
85 Brush Hill Road
Sherborn, MA 01770
508-653-7557
sst10@comcast.net

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

David Bennett
375 Killdeer Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648
916-952-9449
antiquer@inreach.com

Jeannie Hill
P.O. Box 328
Harvard, IL 60033-0328
815-943-7205

Jerry Brown
4605 Hickory Wood Row
Greenwood, IN 46143
317-422-9366
lbrown4906@aol.com
Dave Clark
635 Vestal Lane
Plainfield, IN 46168
317-839-4500
davecpd@att.net
John S. Copeland
1A Deacon Street
Northborough, MA 01532
508-393-4775
copeland1@juno.com
Phil Coulson
28415 Springbrook Dr.
Lawton, MI 49065
269-624-6490
rcoulson516@cs.com

Espie “Butch” Joyce
704 N. Regional Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27409
336-668-3650
windsock@aol.com
Steve Krog
1002 Heather Ln.
Hartford, WI 53027
262-966-7627
sskrog@aol.com
Robert D. “Bob” Lumley
1265 South 124th St.
Brookfield, WI 53005
262-782-2633
lumley1@wi.rr.com
S.H. “Wes” Schmid
2359 Lefeber Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
414-771-1545
shschmid@gmail.com

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

Charlie Harris
PO Box 470350
Tulsa, OK 74147
918-622-8400
cwh@hvsu.com

Gene Chase
2159 Carlton Rd.
Oshkosh, WI 54904
920-231-5002
GRCHA@charter.net

E.E. “Buck” Hilbert
8102 Leech Rd.
Union, IL 60180
815-923-4591
buck7ac@gmail.com

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

Gene Morris
5936 Steve Court
Roanoke, TX 76262
817-491-9110
genemorris@charter.net

John Turgyan
PO Box 219
New Egypt, NJ 08533
609-752-1944
jrturgyan4@aol.com

TM

Membership Services Directory
Enjoy the many benefits of EAA and
EAA’s Vintage Aircraft Association

TM

EAA Aviation Center, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh WI 54903-3086
Phone (920) 426-4800

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Sites: www.vintageaircraft.org, www.airventure.org, www.eaa.org/memberbenefits E-Mail: vintageaircraft@eaa.org

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

airventure@eaa.org
sportpilot@eaa.org
stc@eaa.org
airacademy@eaa.org
scholarships@eaa.org
slurvey@eaa.org

membership@eaa.org
membership@eaa.org
vintage@eaa.org
tbooks@eaa.org

EAA Members Information Line
888-EAA-INFO (322-4636)
Use this toll-free number for: information about AirVenture Oshkosh; aeromedical and technical aviation questions;
chapters; and Young Eagles. Please have your membership number ready when calling.
Office hours are 8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday, CST)

MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION
EAA
Membership in the Experimental Aircraft
Association, Inc. is $40 for one year, including 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. Family
membership is an additional $10 annually. All
major credit cards accepted for membership.
(Add $16 for International Postage.)

FOREIGN MEMBERSHIPS
Please submit your remittance with a
check or draft drawn on a United States
bank payable in United States dollars. Add
required Foreign Postage amount for each
membership.

VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION
Current EAA members may join the
Vintage Aircraft Association and receive
VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine for an
additional $36 per year.
EAA Membership, VINTAGE AIRPLANE
magazine and one year membership in the EAA
Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $46 per

year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included).
(Add $7 for International Postage.)

WARBIRDS
Current EAA members may join the EAA
Warbirds of America Division and receive
WARBIRDS magazine for an additional
$45 per year.
EAA Membership, WARBIRDS magazine and one year membership in the
Warbirds Division is available for $55 per
year (SPORT OficAVIATION magazine
not included). (Add $7 for International Postage.)

IAC

Current EAA members may join the
International Aerobatic Club, Inc. Division and receive SPORT AEROBATICS
magazine for an additional $45 per year.
EAA Membership, SPORT AEROBATICS magazine and one year membership
in the IAC Division is available for $55 per
year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included). (Add $15 for Foreign Postage.)

Membership dues to EAA and its divisions are not tax deductible as charitable contributions

Copyright ©2011 by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association, All rights reserved.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association of the Experimental Aircraft Association and is published monthly at EAA Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Rd., PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903-3086, e-mail: vintageaircraft@eaa.org. Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of Vintage Airplane magazine,
is $36 per year for EAA members and $46 for non-EAA members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Vintage Airplane,
PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. PM 40063731 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Pitney Bowes IMS, Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5. FOREIGN AND APO ADDRESSES — Please allow
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EDITORIAL POLICY: Members are encouraged to submit stories and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests entirely with
the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material should be sent to: Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800.
EAA® and EAA SPORT AVIATION®, the EAA Logo® and Aeronautica™ are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. The use of these trademarks and
service marks without the permission of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

40 JUNE 2011

Proud Partners with EAA
Why would anyone buy anything else?

The Privilege of Partnership

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

EAA members are eligible for special pricing on Ford Motor Company
vehicles through Ford’s Partner Recognition Program. To learn more
on this exclusive opportunity for EAA members to save on a new Ford
vehicle, please visit www.eaa.org/ford.

After discovering Ford’s partnership with EAA provided an amazing
discount on a new vehicle, it made the final decision easy.
The process took less than an hour. We simply picked out the vehicle
that we wanted, gave the salesman the pin number, the discount was
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EAA members to take advantage of the savings.
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