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Vol. 40, No. 2




Straight and Level
by Geoff Robison




Great-Granddad’s Airplane
Eric Rearwin: When personal and aviation histories cross
by Budd Davisson


13 The Liberating Sky
Pioneering black pilots broke barriers and climbed to new heights, Part 2
by Philip Handleman


Light Plane Heritage
Twelve Thousand Miles in an Avro Avian, Part 2
by Bob Whittier


The Vintage Mechanic
Monocoque Structures
by Robert G. Lock


The Vintage Instructor
Some things you learn after getting your certificate
by Steve Krog, CFI


Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy


Antiques Over the Chesapeake
by Roger Thiel


From the EAA Archives
Steve Wittman and the Standard J-1:
A barnstormers’s biplane earns its keep
by H.G. Frautschy


Don Winslow of the Navy
by Bob O’Hara and H.G. Frautschy




FRONT COVER: The Rear win Speedster , one of aviation’s most r ecognizable airplanes, a fact
made even mor e remarkable when you fi nd out just how few wer e made. Eric Rear win, gr eatgrandson of Rae Rear win, the founder of the fi rm, teamed up with awar d-winning restor er Tim
Talen to tur n out this exceptional example of this rar e Rear win. EAA photo by Steve Cukierski.
Read all about it in Budd Davisson’s ar ticle beginning on page 5.

EAA Publisher
Director of EAA Publications
Executive Director/Editor
Business Manager
Copy Editor

Rod Hightower
J. Mac McClellan
H.G. Frautschy
Kathleen Witman
Colleen Walsh

Publication Advertising:
Manager/Domestic, Sue Anderson
Tel: 920-426-6127
Fax: 920-426-4828
Senior Business Relations Mgr, Trevor Janz
Tel: 920-426-6809
Manager/European-Asian, Willi Tacke
Phone: +49(0)1716980871
Fax: +49(0)8841 / 496012

Classified Advertising Coordinator, Jo Ann Cody Simons
Tel: 920-426-6169

For missing or replacement magazines, or
any other membership-related questions, please call
EAA Member Services at 800- JOIN-EAA (564-6322).

BACK COVER: One of aviation’s legends, Steve Wittman (left) poses with an Atwater Kent
radio per ched on the horizontal tail of his Standar d J-1, which was used, in this case, to advertise the high-end radio brand for a wester n Wisconsin dealer . For mor e on the photo, tur n to the
article on page 36.


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1/25/12 9:36 AM

Geoff Robison

Restoration and change


ith the flying season and
the holidays well behind
us now, I find myself in
Oshkosh helping to accomplish more restoration work on
the Harold Neumann Monocoupe
project. It is currently in the VAA
hangar in Oshkosh. We were able to
make some real progress on the fuselage last summer; we installed the
90AW Warner engine and the fully restored engine cowl. This all-volunteer
initiative has been well-supported by
many of the local members of VAA
Chapter 37 based in Auburn, Indiana. The project lead volunteer is Phil
Riter of Defiance, Ohio. Every time
I look at the reworked engine cowl
on this aircraft, I find myself staring
at it in total amazement. Before Phil
got his hands on it, that cowl looked
like it fell off a truck going 55 mph.
The result of Phil’s hard work is nothing short of amazing. Good luck with
those wheelpants, buddy!
This week we are working on getting a finish coat on the wing and
flight controls. We are fortunate to
have access to the paint booth at the
EAA maintenance facility in Camp
Scholler. This makes the job so much
easier to complete. The 32-foot onepiece wing is so long it doesn’t fit unless it’s set up diagonally to the corners
of the paint booth, so you can at least
walk around one end of it. As I write
this, we now have nearly all of the control surfaces in silver, and by the end
of this week we will have everything
painted in white. Then this spring,
during one of our Vintage work parties
in Oshkosh, we will have a sufficient
number of VAA volunteers available
to assist us with mating that large onepiece wing to the fuselage. This will be

a great day! So, be sure to come inside
the Vintage Hangar during AirVenture
to check out the progress on the restoration of this truly historical aircraft.

User Fees
Last week the hot topic again became user fees. Here we go again! I
really hate to have to say it, but, I told
you so. It was just last month in this
column that I openly stated that the
issue was likely far from over, and low
and behold, there are those in Congress who have begun to discuss the
idea of proposing new legislation recommending a $100 per flight user fee
on GA aircraft for certain users.
It seems like it was just last month
that we waged this battle on user fees,
but in spite of a high level of bipartisan opposition in the Congressional
GA Caucus, it would appear that this
issue is far from over. Even though
the initial concept seems to exclude
piston engine aircraft, we all really
need to pay close attention to the fact
that the devil is usually in the details
of a negotiated piece of legislation
that could likely have a very different odor to it. When I think of the
potential results of legislation of this
nature, it virtually makes me stutter.
The primary issue that strikes fear
in my heart is the idea that if user fees
eventually become a reality to our segment of aviation, a large segment of
GA pilots will simply avoid using the
system, and this will, without a doubt,
compromise safety. Of course, there are
more issues with user fees that make
them ominous. To start with, the current fuel tax approach to funding the
system is really working pretty well.
Then, straight from the White House
we hear, “We all need to do our part to

help develop funding that would significantly impact the federal deficit.”
Pardon me? For the life of me I just
cannot embrace the relevance of these
two distinctly different issues when it
comes to funding the ATC system. I
better stop there before you all think I
have completely fallen off the rail. Be
assured that EAA remains on the front
lines of battling these user fee initiatives that could significantly challenge
our ability to exercise our right to engage in recreational aviation. Now is
the time for all of us to pay very close
attention to the details of whatever
legislation gets proposed, and if need
be, we need to again let our collective
voices be heard inside the beltway.

Lastly, I wanted to mention here
that I arrived in Oshkosh the day after
EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower
and the EAA Executive Committee announced a great number of changes
in the structure of EAA staffing. I have
been privileged to have had the opportunity over the past 10 days to
interact on these critical issues with
the EAA board of directors and several
members of the senior staff at EAA, including Rod Hightower, our founder
Paul Poberezny, and the Executive
Committee. I have walked away from
this experience with a great deal of
confidence that EAA will now be in
a much better position to, as stated in
one of EAA’s recent communications,
to “align our resources with our priorities, which will allow us to more effectively meet the needs of our members,
donors and aviators.”


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Reser ving your AirV enture 2012 adventur e is only a few clicks away .

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
2012 Advance Purchase
Tickets Now Available

Admission, camping, and aircraft rides
Advance purchase of admission
tickets and camping are now available for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

2012. The 60th annual gathering
will be held July 23-29 at Wittman
Regional Airport.
Both EAA members and nonmembers may purchase tickets in
advance via a secure website, allowing them to speed through the
admissions process when they ar-

rive on-site. Daily and weekly admissions are available; discounts
are available to those who prepurchase AirVenture tickets online before June 15, 2012, including $2 off
daily adult admissions and $5 off
weekly adult admissions.
Advance purchase camping for
Camp Scholler, which opens on June
22, 2012, provides the convenience
of express registration at the campground entrance, including specially
designated lines on peak arrival dates.
Additionally, attendees can prepurchase flights on EAA’s historic
B-17 Aluminum Overcast or a vintage Ford Tri-Motor to avoid the
lines and get more out of their AirVenture experience.
To access the advance ticketing
area, visit and
click on the “Buy Tickets” link. Advance online purchasers can also
select from limited edition AirVenture merchandise.
Advance admission ticketing
is made possible through support
from Jeppesen.

Top Performers Make Early Confirmations for AirVenture


The world’s top air show per formers are confi rming for
AirVenture Oshkosh 2012. Scheduled to appear ar e Chuck
Aaron and the Red Bull aer obatic helicopter, the Aer oShell
Aerobatic Team, Matt Younkin and his Twin Beech, Bob
Carlton and the Jet Sailplane, and the W arbird Spectaculars (including expanded shows featuring pyr otechnics on
Friday and Satur day).
Also appearing will be Sean T ucker and his Pitts,
Gene Soucy and his Showcat, and Mike Goulian and his
Extra. In addition, Gr eg Koontz and the Alabama Boys
Matt Younkin
will help celebrate the 75th anniversar y of the Piper
Twin Beech
Cub, as will the r eturn of Kyle Franklin fl ying in his PA-18 Super Cub
comedy r outine.
Additionally, the wildly popular Night Air Show and Fir eworks will be held on
Saturday, July 28, to thrill attendees with a mix of aer obatics and pyrotechnics
all musically chor eographed. Final schedules will be available in the weeks prior
to EAA AirV enture and will be announced on
Daily air shows at EAA AirV enture are presented by Rockwell Collins.

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Chapter Websites



Nominate your favorite vintage aviator for
the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association H all of
Fame. A great honor could be besto wed upon
that man or woman wor king next to y ou on
your airplane, sitting next to you in the chapter
meeting, or walking next to y ou at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Think about the people in
your circle of aviation friends: the mechanic,
historian, photographer, or pilot who has shared
innumerable tips with you and with many others. They could be the next VAA Hall of Fame
inductee—but only if they are nominated.
The person you nominate can be a citiz en
of any country and may be living or deceased;
his or her involvement in vintage aviation must

have occurred between 1950 and the pr esent
day. His or her contribution can be in the areas
of flying, design, mechanical or aer odynamic
developments, administration, writing, some
other vital and relevant field, or any combination of fields that support aviation. The person
you nominate must be or hav e been a member of the Vintage Aircraft Association or the
Antique/Classic Division of EAA, and pr eference is given to those whose actions hav e contributed to the VAA in some way , perhaps as
a volunteer, a restorer who shares his expertise
with others, a writer, a photographer, or a pilot
sharing stories, preserving aviation history, and
encouraging new pilots and enthusiasts.

To nominate someone is easy. It just takes a little time and a little reminiscing on your part.
•Think of a person; think of his or her contributions to vintage aviation.
•Write those contributions in the various categories of the nomination form.
•Write a simple letter highlighting these attributes and contributions. Make copies of
newspaper or magazine articles that may substantiate your view.
•If at all possible, have another individual (or more) complete a form or write a letter about this
person, confirming why the person is a good candidate for induction.
This year’s induction ceremony will be held near the end of October. We’ll have follow-up
information once the date has been finalized.
We would like to take this opportunity to mention that if you have nominated someone for
the VAA Hall of Fame; nominations for the honor are kept on file for 3 years, after which the
nomination must be resubmitted.
Mail nominating materials to: VAA Hall of Fame, c/o Charles W. Harris, Transportation Leasing Corp.
PO Box 470350
Tulsa, OK 74147
Remember, your “contemporary” may be a candidate; nominate someone today!
Find the nomination form at, or call the VAA office for a copy
(920-426-6110), or on your own sheet of paper, simply include the following information:
• Date submitted.
• Name of person nominated.
• Address and phone number of nominee.
• E-mail address of nominee.
• Date of birth of nominee. If deceased, date of death.
• Name and relationship of nominee’s closest living relative.
• Address and phone of nominee’s closest living relative.
• VAA and EAA number, if known. (Nominee must have been or is a VAA member.)
• Time span (dates) of the nominee’s contributions to vintage aviation.
(Must be between 1950 to present day.)
• Area(s) of contributions to aviation.
• Describe the event(s) or nature of activities the nominee has undertaken in aviation to
be worthy of induction into the VAA Hall of Fame.
• Describe achievements the nominee has made in other related fields in aviation.
• Has the nominee already been honored for his or her involvement in aviation and/or the
contribution you are stating in this petition? If yes, please explain the nature of the
honor and/or award the nominee has received.
• Any additional supporting information.
• Submitter’s address and phone number, plus e-mail address.
• Include any supporting material with your petition.

In early summer last year, EAA
officially launched the longa w a i t e d C h a p t e r We b s i t e p r o gram, which helps ensure that
every chapter has an online presence. The websites are provided
free of charge (including design
and hosting) and are supported
The sites feature:
• Easy-to-use tools (no experience required)
• Professional design
• Customized content for individual EAA chapters
One of the first steps all chapters should take is to make sure
your events are entered into the
EAA Calendar of Events. The calendar software automatically feeds
your chapter’s website. It is an
easy way to keep your members—
and potential members—updated
on your chapter’s events. Not only
will it post them automatically, it
removes them after the event is
over, so “old news” never appears
on your home or events pages.
You can view a few chapter website examples by logging on to:
EAA Online Community Manager Hal Bryan hosted a webinar
on the chapter websites in midJ u l y. Yo u c a n w a t c h i t o n l i n e
by logging onto
zwmrk3xw. Bryan explains the basic features of the sites and provides some valuable tips to help
you start customizing your site.
This chapter benefi t is made possible through the Peter Burgher
Chapter Development Fund. For
more information on this great
enhancement to our chapters program, you can contact the EAA
Chapters office at
or by phone at 920-426-4876.


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Eric Rearwin: When personal and aviation histories cross







Rearwin, “None of us kids actually knew that much about
what our great-granddad and

our grandparents had done. For whatever reason,
our parents just didn’t talk about it much. That
chapter of family history was very hazy to me.
However, when my granddad started taking me to
fly-ins with him and I saw airplanes with my last
name on them, it all became very real.”


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One of the lost r ecognizable profi les in aviation, the Rear win Speedster , enjoys a r eputation that is lar ger than the
relatively small pr oduction numbers would nor mally indicate. The sleek installation of the four-cylinder Menasco
engine (or the Cir rus Hi-Drive in the pr ototype her e) made the airplane a favorite of model airplane enthusiasts.

The “granddad” he’s referring
to was Ken Rearwin, who was sales
manager for the Rearwin Aircraft
Company from 1929 until it was
sold to Commonwealth in 1942.
He was the son of the company’s
founder, Andrew “Rae” Rearwin,
and both he and his brother, Royce,
were active in the company.
While the name Rearwin isn’t as
well-known as Piper, Cessna, Beech,
etc., the company was, nonetheless, a serious player during the
1930s, producing more than 400
aircraft, almost all of which are better known to modelers than they
are to the full-scale aviation community. The modelers know them
well because two of the Rearwin
variants, the Speedster and the
Cloudster, have such classic lines
and are such good fliers that they
are ready-made for free-flight and
radio-controlled modeling subjects.
Looking back at the birth of the
Rearwin Aircraft factory from this

point in history, it’s a little hard to
put in context. For one thing, the
year was 1929 and the economy
was in the process of tanking. The
stock market had “split-S’ed” into
the ground, and every economic
indicator was massively negative.
Sound familiar? Businesses were
failing right and left, yet young
businessmen with names like
Cessna, Beech, and Stearman were
taking huge leaps of faith and starting airplane companies. These were
real American entrepreneurs in every sense of the word, and Rae Rearwin was right in the middle of the
fray with them.
Rae was a little different than
many of his aviation pioneer peer
group in three prominent ways.
First, he wasn’t as young as the rest
and had two grown sons, Ken and
Royce. Second, he was an already
established businessman/entrepreneur, and third, he wasn’t a pilot.
What attracted him to aviation

was simple: He thought it to be a
growing industry that would have
plenty of room for a businessman
with his acumen.
Rae hired the skills he needed,
including the designers who designed the initial Rearwin, an opencockpit biplane that was built in a
garage and named after his sons,
the Ken-Royce. The year was 1929
and only a few were produced, with
reportedly only one surviving today. However, as he looked around,
he saw the need for smaller aircraft.
In 1930-31 he had the Junior, a
parasol, designed, and around 1932
he commissioned the design of the
6000 Speedster.
Eric Rearwin says, “The 6000
Speedster series were so sleek and
good looking that they are what
many people think of when they
hear the name Rearwin. The original
1934 prototype S/N 301 had various
problems in gaining certification,
specifically the spin recovery. It ap-


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pears that rather than try to ‘fix’
that airplane, they canceled the N
number and used the fuselage renumbered as S/N 302 for all further
work. So, our airplane, even though
numbered 302, actually is the original prototype and was retained by
the company to be the factory demonstrator. The Cirrus Hi-Drive engine was used, but by the time the
airplane was going to go into production, Cirrus was out of business.
However, the 125-hp Menasco engine was readily available and, in
truth, a much better engine. Better
yet, it fit into the Speedster with almost no modifications.”
Although the economy was suffering terribly, there was still a
market for an airplane like the
Speedster, but the company didn’t
have a Menasco-powered one to
show to the public. So, many of the
early Speedster ads actually featured
the Cirrus-powered prototype airplane, even though they were sell-


Tim Talen restor ed the Speedster for Eric
Rear win at his Jasper , Oregon-based restoration company , the Ragwood Refactor y.

With a Car well bubble-faced compass anchoring the
center of the panel, the Speedster has the minimum
required cadre of instr uments.

ing Menasco-powered Speedsters.
From initial flight to production
of the 6000M (“M” for Menasco)
four critical years had elapsed, allowing many other companies to
move far ahead of Rearwin, so only
a little more than a dozen Speedsters
were built.
In typical entrepreneurial fashi o n , s i n c e o n e e n g i n e w a s n ’t
working out, Rae Rearwin went
looking for others and in the process bought the LeBlond Engine
Company in 1938. He quickly renamed it the Ken-Royce Engine
Company, and they redesigned the
older Junior with a cabin to take
that little five-cylinder, round motor. Named the Sportster, at first,
the engine hung mostly out in the
wind with a narrow Townend speed
ring attempting to streamline it.
Then, in an effort to modernize the
design, they completely redesigned
the Speedster fuselage, widening it
for side-by-side seating, changing

to the oleo-spring landing gear of
the Sportster, and fairing the engine in with a complete cowling.
That became the famous Cloudster,
one of the cutest little airplanes of
its day, and it was fairly successful,
with more than 120 rolling off the
line before World War II. [See the
October 2010 issue of Vintage Airplane for an article on the Cloudster and the January 2011 issue for
a story on the Speedster.—Editor]
In 1942 Rearwin sold the company to Commonwealth, who produced 275 of the Rearwin-designed
Skyrangers through 1946. By that
time they had settled on a more
“modern” engine, the superlative
Continental C-85. The Commonwealth Skyranger is still visible in
the vintage aircraft arena, as quite
a few have survived. However, the
earlier airplanes, especially the
Speedster, were rare to begin with
and are almost nonexistent today.
Eric Rearwin says, “My grandfa-


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Tim Talen flies the tall high-winger near the EAA Seaplane Base southeast of Oshkosh.

ther was periodically hunting down
Rearwins of different models and
getting them placed in museums.
So, when I started spending time
with him, I became aware of the
history that each airplane represented. As I got older, I didn’t make
a conscious decision to find Rearwins, but, little by little, I guess the
same thing that drove my grandfather took root in me. Also, Bill
Wright wrote a book on Rearwins
about that time, and that really
got my interest going. So, in 2004,
when I heard about a Speedster for
sale in Washington, I was already
thinking in that direction. When
I learned it was a Cirrus-powered
Speedster, which made it the prototype, my interest was really piqued.
“I took the train to Washington,” he says, “to look at the airplane, knowing full well that I
wasn’t qualified to tell how much
work the airplane actually needed.
However, I knew enough to judge
how complete the airplane was. If it
had been heavily modified or many

parts were missing, I’m not certain
I would have continued with the
project. Although, as driven as I
was, the airplane would have had
to be a real mess to keep me from
following through with the project.
The truth is, I couldn’t not do it.
“What I found, when I got there,
was a very complete airplane that
had been owned by the same gentleman for something over 30
years. He really loved the airplane
but had finally come to the conclusion that he was never going to restore it, so he sold it to me.
“When we lost my grandfather
in 2001, he left me a little inheritance,” Eric says, “and that was the
seed money for this project. Even
though the rest of my family tried
to talk some sense into my head, I
couldn’t think of anything I’d rather
do with that modest sum than buy
and restore a Rearwin. Especially
one as historic as Speedster S/N 302.
I didn’t see it as an airplane so much
as a family historical artifact that
needed to be preserved.”

So, now Eric had bought a tangible link to his family’s past, but
it was a tired, badly deteriorated
link that was going to require a
lot of TLC that Eric wasn’t capable
of giving. Besides not being a pilot, Eric knew he had neither the
skills nor the time to bring the airplane up to the level of perfection
he was looking for and which the
airplane deserved.
Eric says, “I started looking
around for someone to do the restoration and almost immediately
ran across Tim Talen. Besides being well-known for a wide range of
restorations, it turns out Tim had
done a Rearwin/Commonwealth or
two and actually knew S/N 302. So,
Tim took a trailer from his shop in
Jasper, Oregon, up to Washington
and retrieved the airplane.”
Tim’s company, The Ragwood
Refactory (cool name, Tim!), has
done award-winning vintage/antique restorations ranging from
the first Taylor J-2 Cub to leave the
Lock Haven factory to hulking bi-


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planes of all types, so he was an old
hand at restoring vintage aircraft
such as the Speedster.
Tim picks up the story and says,
“When we got the airplane home
and started taking it apart, it became
apparent that although the airplane
didn’t appear to have been in a serious wreck in its lifetime, practically
every square inch, both inside and
out, needed total restoration.
“The wings, for instance,” he
says, “were not only badly deteriorated but had a few things the
later production airplanes didn’t
have. In fact, this was true for lots
of parts of the airplane. It may have
been the second one built, but it
was still very much a prototype. For
instance, the ailerons on 302 are
welded steel tube structures, while
the later ones are built-up wood.
On top of that, the later wings had
a slightly wider chord, so the ailerons on 302, which were a carryover from 301, have aluminum
extensions fastened to the trailing
edge to make them wider.”

He continues, “The wings themselves were an interesting mess. I
say ‘interesting’ because besides the
obvious deterioration…most of the
wood was delaminating or rotting…
the ribs were ‘modified,’ and I say
modified with quotes because what
had been done was almost comical.
“In the first place the ribs used
a Warren truss pattern, meaning
there are no verticals in the truss,
only diagonals, so the truss pattern
resembles a bunch of wide W’s sideby-side. This leaves long sections
of the rib surface unsupported,
and they apparently started to lose
their curve and flatten out. At some
point in the old girl’s life a helpful mechanic decided to put vertical members between each W. That
would have been fine, but he did
it without uncovering the wings.
Essentially, he just poked a hole in
the wings everywhere he wanted to
put a vertical. Then he cut a piece
of rib stock to size, lathered up
both ends with glue, and pushed
it through the hole. Not a very el-

egant, or structural, repair. The later
production ribs went to the Pratt
truss pattern that has verticals. So,
we totally rebuilt the ribs. Plus the
spars were delaminating and some
of the splices were letting go, so we
kept all the metal but replaced all
the wood in the wings.
“All of the wood work was done
by Kenyon Solecki, a young highschooler I took under my wing, but
he didn’t need much teaching,”
Talen says. “He was just naturally
good, and I only had to tell him
something once.
“Where the airplane sat in Washington for so many years,” Talen
says, “it rains every day, often all
day, so the condition of the wood
was to be expected. We expected
the fuselage to be the same kind of
mess, but, all things considered, it
wasn’t bad at all. It was about the
same as any other tubing fuselage,
meaning we replaced about 8 feet of
the bottom longerons and replaced
a few other small pieces, but that
was it. The fuselage is wildly com-


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“No offense to
Rearwin, but
the landing
gear looks as
if it was
designed in a
bar and grill,
and they never
made it to
the grill.”


Gilles Auliard captures the nar row fuselage pr ofi le and beautifully fair ed
landing gear in this action shot.
plicated in terms of the number
of tubing pieces in it, and if it had
been as deteriorated as the wings, it
would have been a nightmare.
“The same thing was true of the
landing gear, thank goodness. It
was in decent condition,” Tim says
and laughs. “No offense to Rearwin, but the landing gear looks as
if it was designed in a bar and grill,
and they never made it to the grill.

From the outside, with the fairings
on it, it looks as if it’s a single-strut
unit, but inside those fairings is a
ton of tubing. Each leg is a V with
another piece of tube in the middle
that hooks into bungees. It is one of
the most unique landing gears I’ve
ever seen, and now that I’ve flown
it, I’d also say it’s one of the bounciest. If I’m not right on my game, I’ll
get a bounce without even trying.

“Incidentally, almost every piece
of wood for the fuselage was there,
but virtually none of it was usable.
All of the plywood in the airplane,
which includes the fuselage formers,
had given up and was coming apart.
“It took us forever to get the airframe ready for cover,” Tim says,
“and when we did, we used PolyFiber and Poly-Tone with Aero-Thane
clear top coat, all the way through.”
One of the major attractions to
the Speedster series is the shape of
the nose. The nose fits the name,
Speedster, or vice versa, because
it just screams speed. Besides its
looks, one reason the modelers love
it is because the nose shape is so
easy to fit almost any model engine
into and keep total scale appear-

10 FEBRUARY 2012

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1/25/12 9:48 AM


The wing tanks of the Rear win can also feed fuel to the Cir rus from both at
the same time.

Like most of the airplanes of the 1930s and 1940s, the occasional car trim
par t is used in the constr uction of this antique airplane. This automotive
window crank handle becomes the elevator trim handle for the Rear win.

ance. Unfortunately, as magical as
the Rearwin Speedster schnoz may
be, it is another nightmare, as Talen
says, to restore.
“The good news,” he says, “is
that we had the entire cowling. All
of it. The bad news is that it was
a patchwork quilt of patches with
new patches patching old patches.
If that’s hard to say, it’s even harder
to repair. First, the cowling is made
entirely of SO aluminum, meaning it is dead soft. So, you can bend
it with your fingers. Also, it loves
to crack, which it appears to have
done at every opportunity during

its lifetime. So, while we had an entire cowling, there wasn’t a single
piece of it that didn’t need welding,
massaging, reshaping, or all three.
Making it a lot worse was that the
cowling is where your eye goes the
second you see the airplane. So, we
had to get it right. The only way
to do that and avoid using tons of
Bondo was to throw time and elbow grease at it. And to not get in
a hurry. The slower you work, the
smaller your mistakes are, and you
don’t want to be constantly correcting your corrections.”
The cowling was shaped to the

Cirrus, and of all the question
marks in the airplane, the engine
was certainly the biggest one. And
still is. Only a small number of aircraft contemporary to the Speedster used the Cirrus in any form,
the Great Lakes probably being the
most common. But the so-called
Hi-Drive Cirrus, meaning it was inverted with the crankshaft on top,
saw very little use partially because
its reliability was so poor.
Tim says, “Right from the beginning, we knew we had to pay special
attention to the engine, since we
expected to be flying the airplane a
fair amount. When you know you
have to cross the Cascades or Rockies—we can go up the gorge and
avoid the Cascades—to get almost
anywhere, especially to Oshkosh,
you tend to be more serious about
your engines. Curiously, the engine
that was in the Speedster when we
retrieved it, S/N 2062, is the actual
engine that was in it when the airplane was built. For an airplane that
old, that is almost unheard of. And,
even after all those years in the Pacific Northwest’s weather, it wasn’t
a rusty chunk of iron. This was because the Cirrus is well known to be
a ‘leaker’ so it was totally covered
in oily grime, and it couldn’t have
rusted if it wanted to. All we had to
do was figure out ways around its
weak points to make it into a reliable engine, relatively speaking.
“Most Cirrus problems are centered around its top end, which is
actually the bottom end on an inverted engine because the cylinders
point down. Everything having to
do with the valve train on the engine is frustratingly fragile or poorly
designed. So, we did our best to work
around the known trouble spots.”
Al Holloway in Quincy, California, an antique engine specialist,
was entrusted with building the engine, which included chrome cylinders and bringing all the specs up to
new standards. When he was done,
he bolted it to the test stand and
put five hours on it before shipping
it to Tim, at which point the gottaget-it-done-for-Oshkosh frenzy,


Vintage Feb 2012.indd 13

1/25/12 9:48 AM


which seems so common in sport
aviation, kicked into high gear.
“We were working right down
to the wire, literally,” he remembers. “When we left for Oshkosh,
we had exactly an hour and a half
on the airplane in two hops, and
away we went.”
Flying nearly halfway across the
country behind a Cirrus is an adventure many people wouldn’t
want to be involved in, but Tim
says, “We did a round robin that
included Oshkosh, Blakesburg the
next month, and Reno after that
without the Cirrus missing a lick.
And I have to say that landing at
Rawlins, Wyoming, with the density altitude at 9,000-10,000 feet
was wild! The sagebrush on final
was just a blur as it flashed past.
On departure headed home, it was
just the reverse: Although it was an
early-morning launch, I used a lot

of the 7,000-foot runway, and once
it got off the ground, I had the opportunity to closely inspect the local sagebrush, as I tried to coax the
airplane into gaining altitude.”
Tim says that based on his own
experience with the Cirrus, he’s
convinced the engine’s reputation
is based on old wives’ tales coming out of experiences pilots had
in the ’50s and ’60s, when a lot of
the engines were just cobbled together. He says that most of the
pilots who flew them when they
were new in the ’30s had the same
experience he had.
He says, “I think it’s probably
only a 200-400 hour engine, but
if it is rebuilt correctly and maintained right, it’s as reliable as any
engine from that period of time.”
Summing up the trip, Tim says,
“At Oshkosh and Blakesburg, people really appreciated seeing the

airplane. We had a lot of good conversations with people about it. At
Reno, it was out of its element. The
majority of people came to see the
big iron, so it was understandable
that they didn’t know the airplane.”
Eric Rearwin says, “I didn’t know
what to expect, but I was really gratified at the reception we received at
Oshkosh and Blakesburg. It made it
all worth it. I can take none of the
credit for the restoration, but I’m
proud to see my great-granddad’s
airplane out there again.
“From this point on, I’m hoping a
museum will buy it and put it on display. Maybe fly it from time to time.
Regardless, I accomplished what I set
out to do, and we put a historic old
Rearwin back into the air.”
Those of us who had never seen a
Speedster want to thank Tim and Eric
for their efforts. It’s wonderful to see
an icon back in its element.

12 FEBRUARY 2012
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1/25/12 11:04 AM

The Liberating Sky
Pioneering black pilots broke barriers and
climbed to new heights


Last month’s column provided an
overview of the great strides made by
the earliest African American aviators.
The inspiring story of the succeeding
generation of black pilots in pursuit of
lofty dreams despite the enormous barriers that threatened to block the way
is told in this second and concluding
installment. These men and women of
the air followed in the exemplary tradition of those who had come before, and
they upheld it for those who came next.

Proving Proficiency and Sowing
the Dream: Cross-Country
During the Golden Age of Flight,
three two-man teams of African
American fliers made headlines
in the black press because of their
precedent-setting long-distance
flights. The first of these was undertaken by pilot James Herman Banning and mechanic Thomas Cox
Allen. In September and October
1932, the twosome became the first
blacks to make a transcontinental
flight. It was a harrowing trek that
had hinged upon the men’s ability
to mine the depths of their character for every ounce of perseverance.
Growing up, Banning dreamed
of becoming a pilot. However,
when he set out to obtain flight instruction in Chicago in the early
1920s he was rejected at every airport in the city that he visited in a
repeat of the unfortunate snubbing
suffered by Bessie Coleman. Banning’s break came when an Army
aviator in Des Moines, Iowa, agreed
to give him lessons.
Once certificated, Banning embarked on a barnstorming career.

James Herman Banning barnstormed in the Midwest. He named his biplane Miss Ames, reflecting his student years at Iowa State College in
Ames, Iowa. The difficulties in making a livelihood as a barnstormer
eventually caused him to join William J. Powell’s all-black air shows in
Los Angeles. In September and October 1932, he and mechanic Thomas
Cox Allen became the first blacks to fly across the United States.
He flew a biplane emblazoned with
the name Miss Ames, which reflected his years at Iowa State College in Ames. As romantic as the
life of a vagabond of the air may be
in the abstract, flying the Midwestern circuit proved difficult in terms
of making ends meet.
In 1931, Banning was persuaded
to join William J. Powell’s Los Angeles-based flying circus named in

memory of Coleman. He dazzled
audiences at the all-black air shows
that Powell staged in southern California. By 1932, momentum had
built for a flight across the country
to showcase the aeronautical acumen of black fliers and thereby attract more blacks to the world of
aviation. The idea fit Powell’s objectives exactly, and Banning was the
perfect pilot to pull it off.

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 15

1/25/12 10:21 AM

In July 1933, C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, left, and Dr. Albert E. Forsythe
teamed up for the first successful round-trip transcontinental flight by
black pilots. The next year they organized a goodwill flight to islands in
the Caribbean.
The most serious impediment
to staging the flight was a lack of
funds. Allen, a transplanted Oklahoman, was chosen to ride along,
for he brought two vital elements,
expertise as a mechanic and a little
extra cash. In fact, by the time Banning and Allen took off from Dycer Field in Los Angeles on the first
leg of their cross-country jaunt, Allen’s monetary contribution had
been largely expended on preparatory aspects of the flight. At the
launch, the fliers’ wallets reportedly
contained a combined total of only
$25. They were committed to beg,
borrow, and cajole along the way to
complete the flight. It isn’t without
cause that they called themselves
the “Flying Hobos.”
A black businessman lent the
two fliers his Alexander Eaglerock,
a diminutive biplane noted for its
long and slender fuselage. A matrix of thick struts and crisscrossing
bracing wires connected the two

wings in a solid truss arrangement.
The engine was temperamental and
forced multiple emergency landings during the cross-country flight.
One of those episodes occurred
while Banning and Allen neared St.
Louis. On the ground, the two fliers
were virtually helpless to make the
repairs, for they lacked the necessary parts and tools. Their historic
odyssey was at risk of being aborted.
Only a helping hand from local residents could restore the biplane to
airworthy status so the high-minded
mission might resume.
In a remarkable gesture of goodwill, white students at a vocational
school in proximity to the disabled
aircraft pitched in to get the airmen
back into the sky. The incident was
emblematic of a slowly emerging
universality, attendant to the flying milieu much as the pioneering
pilots had dreamed. The trip continued all the way to Long Island,
New York, where after more than

three weeks of braving faulty equipment, storms, penuriousness, and
assorted other adversities, the adventurers were welcomed as the
toast of the town.
Black newspapers hailed the
achievement, and New York Mayor
Jimmy Walker presented the fliers
with the key to the city. Their glory
was short-lived, though, for the Eaglerock was destroyed during the
return flight.
Banning died the next year as a
passenger in a plane crash. Allen, the
luckier of the duo, lived to a ripe old
age, happily immersed in aviation.
It’s said that records are made
to be broken. If that adage is true,
then surely one of its proofs is the
round-trip transcontinental flight
by C. Alfred Anderson and Albert
E. Forsythe in 1933. This was the
first time black pilots flew across
the country and back again.
Forsythe was an affluent medical
doctor in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Unlike most blacks who dreamed
of flying during the Depression, he
had the financial resources to pay
for instruction. In the early 1930s,
he was among only ten African
Americans to hold a pilot’s license.
Well before William Powell’s book
was published, Forsythe believed fervently in aviation as a means to a better future for the black community.
He envisioned a flight across America
to dramatize the point. When Banning and Allen beat him to it, he reasoned that a round-trip attempt, if
successful, would constitute the next
logical milestone in the evolving annals of black aviation.
Sharing Forsythe’s enthusiasm
for such an ambitious undertaking
was Anderson, the African American pilot who had accumulated the
most flight hours up to that point
and the only one at the time to
possess a transport pilot’s license.
Anderson had been so determined
to fly that when no flight school
would take him as a student, he
bought an airplane with his hardearned savings and hired an instructor for one-on-one lessons.
In the years to come, Anderson

14 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 16

1/25/12 1:01 PM

gained a special place in the pantheon
of black pilots. When the renowned
Tuskegee Institute in Alabama sought
to hire a chief flight instructor for its
new civilian flight training program
in the late 1930s, it was Anderson
who got the job. Because of his position, he was often called “Chief” and
the nickname stuck.
In March 1941, during a visit to
the institute by Eleanor Roosevelt,
Anderson was tapped to give the first
lady a scenic flight over the local area
in one of the school’s Piper Cubs. A
picture of a smiling Mrs. Roosevelt in
the backseat, wearing one of her signature flowered hats and with Chief
at the controls up front, was taken
of the amazing scene. Shortly afterward, the Army Air Corps started its
historic flight training program for
blacks at the institute.
Throughout World War II, Anderson oversaw the primary flight
instruction for the aspiring pilots
who later became known as the
Tuskegee Airmen. But that was
in the future. For now, Anderson
served as the lead pilot for the
round-trip transcontinental flight,
and Forsythe, while assisting in
flying duties, more importantly
provided the platform, a newly acquired cabin monoplane.
Departing Atlantic City on July
17, 1933, the pair of aviators encountered dense fog early in the
flight. After a brief delay, they resumed their journey without further setbacks. They spread their
message of aviation’s possibilities
at refueling stops along the way.
Upon reaching their destination of
Los Angeles, they were rushed at
the airport by an adoring crowd.
Powell was one of the well-wishers.
Celebrations followed and dignitaries praised the two aviators.
On the return leg, Anderson and
Forsythe retraced the outbound
route to their starting point on the
East Coast. They landed 11 days
after they had set out to establish
the new record for black pilots. In
doing so, they had reinforced the
point that aviation was a field in
which people of color could excel.

It followed that a pilot’s pigmentation was extraneous.
The Anderson-Forsythe flight
also showcased the rapidly advancing technical progress in aeronautics. Flying was transitioning from
a daring silk-scarf exertion to a predictable workaday affair. The difference in equipment and even
clothing used in their flight versus
what was used in the BanningAllen flight of just a year before
reflected this fact.
Anderson and Forsythe made
their flight in the highly regarded
Fairchild 24, a high-wing design
with an enclosed cabin. Old-style
open-cockpit barnstorming was replaced by a modern businessman’s
way of flying. Suits and ties substituted for goggles and leather jackets. Moreover, while their flight
in the Pride of Atlantic City—as
Forsythe had christened the Fairchild—was essentially a grassroots
effort, it enjoyed the blessings of
organizations like the National Urban League, a leading civil rights
group concerned with jobs and economic well-being.
In the fall of 1934, Anderson and
Forsythe set out on an even more
ambitious flight. To highlight their
message of interracial harmony,
they plotted a course to no less than
ten islands in the Caribbean from
Nassau to Trinidad. It was a bold
gambit, involving long stretches of
overwater flight at a time when navigational devices were still relatively
primitive. Hazards included a leg of
their trip that ran into the darkness
of night and some landing sites that
were nothing more than dirt strips.
For this island-hopping excursion they selected a Lambert
Monocoupe. It had a similar configuration to the Fairchild, which
involved side-by-side seating, but
it featured a more streamlined fuselage and was outfitted with wheel
fairings. At an elegant outdoor ceremony attended by the Tuskegee
Institute’s second president, Robert
R. Moton, they commemorated the
memory of the institute’s famous
founder by naming the airplane the

Spirit of Booker T. Washington.
At stops on the Pan American
Goodwill Flight, Anderson and
Forsythe received friendly greetings from government officials and
ordinary people. The black press
cheered the long leaps to foreign
territories. Here were a couple of
fine men using aviation to engender warm relations with America’s
neighbors offshore and well to the
south. The U.S. State Department
saw the value in such a mission and
gave its full support.
The adventure, which had accomplished most of its goals, came
to an abrupt end on the return leg
when the airplane incurred damage taking off from an improvised
runway. In the booklet accompanying the authoritative Black Wings
exhibit, the National Air and Space
Museum’s curators summarized
the flight’s impact by noting that
it had “attracted worldwide attention.” They concluded, “At home,
the flight provided the black community with a sense of pride. Both
Anderson and Forsythe hoped the
long-distance flight would inspire
black youth to see in aviation a new
avenue for advancement.”
Within a half-dozen years following Coleman’s untimely death,
devotees of the daredevil exhibition
pilot were transforming Chicago
into a center of black flying. One
of the leaders in the movement was
Cornelius R. Coffey, a studious and
enterprising individual who had
an aptitude for mechanical work.
In 1931, he and his friend John C.
Robinson graduated in the first class
to accept blacks at the city’s CurtissWright Aeronautical School. Coffey
ranked at the top of his class and
Robinson placed second.
Around this time the one Chicago area airport that had permitted blacks to fly was closed for
good. In response, Coffey and Robinson led a handful of black pilots
and supporters in the formation of
the Challenger Air Pilots Association. The new group bought property for an airport on the outskirts
of the city. Sadly the fledgling air-


Vintage Feb 2012.indd 17

1/25/12 10:21 AM

A symbolic gesture by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt had the substantive
effect of jump-starting the Army flight training program for blacks at
the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. While on a visit to the institute in
March 1941, she went for a local scenic flight in a Piper Cub with C. Alfred
“Chief” Anderson at the controls. Never before had a member of any
first family been taken aloft by an African American pilot.
port in the black township of Robbins southwest of Chicago was
irretrievably damaged a year later
when a severe storm blew down the
hangar and wrecked the few lightplanes stored on the premises.
Rather than give up, the group
secured flying privileges from the
enlightened operator of Harlem
Airport situated a short distance
to the north. Coffey formed his
own flight school at the new location. He hoped to make it easier for
blacks to learn to fly and thereby
fulfill Coleman’s unfinished dream
of fostering more African American
pilots. Some extraordinary personalities came within Coffey’s orb.
His friend Robinson left for Ethiopia in 1936 to advise Emperor
Hailie Selassie on aviation matters
during the African country’s struggle
to repel the invading forces of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Willa
Brown, endowed with a spunky demeanor and striking good looks,
became the first African American
female to be certificated as a pilot

in the United States, and she served
as a powerful booster of flying in
the black community. Harold Hurd,
a fellow graduate of the CurtissWright school, had a distinguished
aviation career that included a stint
at Tuskegee during the war.
In the late 1930s, the possibility
of global conflict intensified as the
Axis powers increasingly flexed their
muscles. In recognition of the threat,
the Roosevelt administration aimed
to create a program that would produce thousands of new civilian pilots eligible to serve in the nation’s
military air arm. Black flying enthusiasts, like those in Chicago, along
with leading civil rights advocates,
didn’t want blacks left behind.
The Chicago group reconstituted
itself as the National Airmen’s Association, and one of the first orders of business was deciding to
send a couple of their members
on a flight to Washington for the
purposes of lobbying Congress and
rallying public support for the inclusion of blacks. The two pilots

chosen for this high-profile flight
could hardly have been more disparate. Dale Lawrence White was
a quiet and serious man who exuded a Rock of Gibraltar steadiness,
whereas Chauncey Edward Spencer
was an effervescent charmer, gushing enthusiasm and favored with
movie-star charisma.
Given the association’s inadequate finances, funding the flight
was a real chore. By one account,
Spencer raised $1,000 from the
Jones brothers, prosperous black
businessmen in Chicago whose varied interests were reputed to include
a hand in the city’s numbers racket.
Reportedly, only after Spencer broke
out in tears over the prospect of not
being able to fly to Washington because of a lack of money did he succeed in persuading the Joneses to
make the donation.
On a crisp morning in May
1939, a rented and nearly worn-out
crimson-and-cream Lincoln-Page
biplane took off from one of Harlem Airport’s grass runways, headed
east in the direction of the nation’s
capital. The fragile, decade-old ship
was propitiously yet incongruously
nicknamed Old Faithful. Spencer
and White were on their way, carrying the hopes and dreams not only
of their Chicago colleagues but of
African Americans nationwide who
followed riveting accounts of the
flight in the black press.
Before the day was over, the
weary Lincoln-Page had precipitated three forced landings, the
last being the most serious. The
engine’s crankshaft had broken at
cruise, which turned the heavily
laden ship into a faltering glider.
White was the more accomplished
pilot, so he was on the controls. He
masterfully guided the stricken aircraft onto a farmer’s field, narrowly
averting collision with a barn.
The downed pilots were gripped
by concern over how they would be
received as black men dropping unannounced into a small Ohio farm
community. As they dismounted
from their disabled biplane, they
felt heightened trepidation over the

16 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 18

1/25/12 10:21 AM

prospect of meeting the farmer and
his neighbors. If the community into
which they had descended by a quirk
of fate proved to be hostile, it might
mean the end of the flight or worse.
Fortuitously the farmer harbored
no racial prejudice. Edward Miller,
a lifelong farmer whose German
ancestors settled in the area many
years before, heartily welcomed the
two unexpected visitors who had
quite literally fallen from the sky.
In fact, Miller arranged meals and
lodging for the fatigued pilots at a
tavern in town. Meanwhile Spencer
and White sent word of the needed
repair to Coffey back in Chicago.
Two days later, after raising $54
for the needed parts, Coffey arrived
by car to start work on the engine
and get Old Faithful back into the air.
The townspeople hadn’t had excitement like this at any time in memory. As word spread, they came to see
the biplane and lent a helping hand
with every opportunity. They also
picked up the tab for the fliers’ stay.
Miller’s children didn’t want the
fliers to leave. Spencer and White
looked so gallant in their custom
khaki flight outfits; they brought a
previously unseen panache into the
life of the sleepy farmstead. The extroverted Spencer especially evoked
the swashbuckler’s persona. Indeed,
more than a half-century later, one of
those children said, “The experience
with Chauncey is the most wondrous
thing that happened to me in my
whole life. It gives you a good heart.”
The fliers were thankful for their reprieve and resumed the flight as soon
as the engine fired back up. In his autobiography published 36 years later,
Spencer wrote of his hosts: “They
were a gracious group of people . . .”
During subsequent stops, not everyone was so kind. At an airport
in West Virginia, the two pilots
weren’t permitted to stay overnight; they were shooed away. In
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they
had a run-in with authorities who
threatened to ground them.
At their main destination of
Washington, Spencer and White
were escorted through the halls of

Congress by Edgar G. Brown—a
civil rights activist and representative of government employees—
who knew his way around Capitol
Hill. Among the Congressmen to
whom the fliers were introduced
was the silken-voiced Everett Dirksen, Republican of Illinois. Spencer
was particularly put off by this encounter because it seemed to him
that Dirksen was interested only in
the photo op.
It’s entirely possible that Dirksen
was motivated by expediency, but
he did sponsor a nondiscrimination clause in civil aeronautics legislation. Even more momentous, a
generation later as Senate minority
leader he threw his weight behind
the landmark civil rights legislation
masterminded by his political nemesis President Lyndon Johnson.
The highlight of the lobbying effort came inadvertently. As
the fliers and their escort were between Congressional visits, walking down a stairwell, a little-known

senator from Missouri came upon
them and recognized Brown. They
talked, and the senator, Harry Truman, agreed to meet with Spencer
and White at the airport across the
Potomac where they had parked
Old Faithful.
At the airport, the future president
showed a genuine interest. Spencer
and White offered him a ride, which
he promptly declined. Instead, he
peppered them with questions.
For their part, Spencer and White
pleaded for equal treatment in aviation. This was their moment and
they played it to the hilt. Beyond the
civilian flight training being planned
at the time, they asked that the Army
Air Corps be opened to blacks.
For years to come, Spencer delighted in relating the answer.
Truman, who had scrutinized the
ragged-looking Lincoln-Page, responded, “If you had guts enough
to fly that thing I see there, that
plane, I got guts enough to fight to
get you into the Air Corps.”

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Vintage Feb 2012.indd 19

1/25/12 11:07 AM

In May 1939, Chauncey E. Spencer and Dale L. White flew from Chicago
to Washington, D.C., in a Lincoln-Page biplane nicknamed Old Faithful.
Shown here being congratulated on their return, White is in the center
shaking hands with Cornelius R. Coffey, a leader of African American aviation in Chicago. Spencer is second from right.
Passing the Torch:
Flights to Freedom
Nine years after chatting with
the pilots of Old Faithful, Harry
Truman signed Executive Order
9981, which in one fell swoop integrated the armed forces and produced a salutary ripple effect that
continues to run through society.
Historians have pointed out that
Truman’s memoirs don’t mention the meeting with Spencer and
White, nor do any of the exhaustive biographies on the president.
In truth, there were various factors bearing on Truman’s decision,
which was perhaps his most courageous in public office. It was made
in an election year that started out
as an uphill proposition for the incumbent. Moreover, opinion polls
showed the electorate overwhelmingly opposed to integration.
According to the historical consensus, the main factor that influenced Truman to compel the
integration of the armed forces was
his revulsion over the violence that
had been directed at some black
veterans. As a veteran himself, Truman had a visceral distaste for the
abusive way these former service
members were treated. Years after his decision, a previously unknown letter, written to a friend in
the heat of the integration controversy, was discovered. In the letter,
Truman referred to examples where
black veterans had been affected by

race-related malevolence and stated
that he would rather lose the election than not initiate the measure
to end segregation in the military.
Of course, the undeniable air
combat success during World War
II of the Tuskegee Airmen, the Army’s first black pilots, must have
been a contributing determinant.
Additionally civil rights groups
kept the pressure on. In the mix of
factors impacting the process, it’s
hard to imagine that the discussion Truman had with Spencer and
White, despite its historical obscurity, didn’t figure to some degree in

his paradigm-changing decision.
At the very least, the impassioned
plea of the pilots of Old Faithful was
a wave in the mounting riptide
that eventually tipped the balance.
Spencer and White were integral
to the succession of dreamers who
passed the torch from one to the
next until the sky’s artificial barriers
were removed. Each flight that navigated on the course to freedom,
no matter how humble or faded
in memory by the passage of time,
contributed in some measure to the
resulting beneficence.
Until he died in 2002 at the age
of 95, Spencer remained spry and
continued to believe that his encounter with the future president
had made the difference. Be that
as it may, a few months after he
and White finished their epic Chicago-to-Washington flight in Old
Faithful, they returned to the farm
community in Ohio that had accorded them such warmth and
friendship. For a day they gave the
townspeople plane rides. Sharing
the province in which their every
breath savored freedom in its purest form was the ultimate expression of their respect and gratitude
for fellow citizens who had honored their dream.

The author is grateful for the assistance of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum in Detroit, Michigan.
Hardesty, Von; Pisano, Dominick. Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation.
Washington, D.C.: National Air and Space Museum/Smithsonian Institution, 1983.
Hardesty, Von. Black Wings: Courageous Stories of African Americans in Aviation and Space History. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution/Harper Collins
Publishers, 2008.
Hardesty, Von. Great Aviators and Epic Flights. Fairfield, Connecticut: Hugh
Lauter Levin Associates, 2002.
Lamber tson, Giles. “The other Harlem: at a small airfi eld in 1930s Chicago,
blacks found the fi rst schools that would teach them to fl y.” Air & Space/Smithsonian, Febr uary/Mar ch 2010.
Laris, Michael. “Fr eedom flight: Chauncey Spencer and Dale White risked life
and limb to fl y a rickety, rented biplane from Chicago to W ashington. But their real
destination was the futur e.” The Washington Post, Febr uary 16, 2003.
Powell, William J. Black Aviator: The Stor y of William J. Powell (reissue of
Black Wings. 1934). W ashington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Pr ess, 1994.
Rich, Doris L. Queen Bess: Daredevil Aviator. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian
Institution Pr ess, 1993.
Spencer, Chauncey E. Who Is Chauncey Spencer? Detroit, Michigan: Br oadside Pr ess, 1975.

18 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 20

1/25/12 10:22 AM

This year’s forecast:
yellow skies and
black lightning

The Oshkosh sky will become a sea of
yellow this year as hundreds of Piper Cubs
migrate to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012.
It’s all part of the week-long celebration of
the iconic aircraft’s 75th anniversary.
The pioneering light aircraft will be
honored throughout the week with special
features and attractions, including two
unforgettable air show acts.
You don’t want to miss it.

Cub owners who wish to participate in the mass
arrival can register at

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 21

July 23-29 |

1/25/12 10:23 AM

Light Plane Heritage
published in EAA Experimenter February 1993

Part 2

EAA 1235

he weather was now cold
but clear, and it was a
simple matter to follow
the coastline south. The
volcanoes Vesuvius and Stromboli
provided unmistakable landmarks.
Along the eastern shoreline of Sicily he flew and then headed out
over the Mediterranean toward the
island of Malta. This was a 60-mile
overwater flight. Presumably by the
time he began to lose sight of Sicily
astern, altitude made it possible for
him to sight Malta ahead.
People at the R.A.F. field there
gave him a grand welcome and
much help. It rained all night, and
in the morning the field was soggy.
The Avian had old-style slim, highpressure tires that cut into the soft
ground and resulted in an apprehensively long takeoff run.
Ahead of Hinkler lay a 400-mile
flight over open water to Benghazi
in Libya. At least he’d be heading for
a broad coastline that he could, if
need be, follow one way or the other
to find that destination. Six hours
later he touched down on North African soil, refueled, and headed east
along the coastline for Tobruk. The
approach of darkness obliged him
to set down in the desert about 40


miles short of that city. He inflated
the rubber boat, overturned it, and
found that it made a reasonably
comfortable bed.
When morning came, local people pulled many bushes from the
sand to clear a suitable takeoff path.
And then at Tobruk, he learned that
the Egyptian government now required 15 days’ notice before overflying or landing in that country. So
from Tobruk he flew out over the
Mediterranean far enough to give
Egypt a wide berth. Eight hours later
he decided to set down in the desert in a part of Palestine then under British rule and possibly what is
now called the Gaza Strip.
Again locals helped him. He got
airborne and followed the coastline north to land at the R.A.F. field
at Ramleh, a dozen miles southeast
of Tel Aviv, where he ran into more
problems with officialdom. There was
a diphtheria scare in the region, and
Hinkler had no health papers with
him. This required a trip into town to
get medical clearance. Then bureaucrats insisted that he must fill out a
sheaf of customs papers. This wasted
a whole day.
The following morning he took off
and headed a bit southeast toward

Basra, 1,000 miles away over the vast
Syrian Desert. He sailed over the Dead
Sea and then began to climb to clear a
5,000-foot-high mountain range. The
air was very hot, the engine was noisy,
and sitting in one position for hours
on end led to cramps. Then out over
the lonely desert. Whatever crosswinds might do to his navigation, he
knew that sooner or later his heading
would lead him to the broad valley of
the Euphrates River, which he could
follow downstream to Basra. His spirits leaped when at last he caught sight
of green foliage far ahead.
At Basra he was informed that he
was five days ahead of the Smiths’
1919 time. Thus encouraged, he went
over the Cirrus engine carefully before going to bed. He did these checks
just as often as he could, and they no
doubt played a large part in the success of his flight.
He took off at dawn for Jask on the
shore of the Persian Gulf. That was
a tiny, bleak settlement maintained
by the India-to-Europe telegraph
company. Because it had a primitive
landing field a few miles out of town,
and had telegraph facilities and a few
British telegraph people in residence,
it was a valuable stopping place for
pioneer fliers traveling the England-

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 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 22

1/25/12 10:25 AM

Eight hours
later he
decided to set
down in the
desert in a part
of Palestine
then under
British rule
and possibly

what is now
called the
Gaza Strip.

In addition to being an experienced pilot, Hinkler was a superb mechanic. Car eful inspection and ser vicing of the engine befor e each leg of his long jour ney
contributed much to its success.
India-Australia route.
The day was very hot and hazy,
the flying monotonous, and the engine noise incessant. The Cirrus had
a short exhaust stack that ended several feet ahead of the cockpit, and
its exposed valve rocker arms emitted a steady clatter to add to the misery. Hinkler fought off hallucinations.
Jask looked like paradise when the
weary flier finally landed.

While refueling the next morning, Hinkler was distressed to notice
that the large fuel tank had started
to leak. He counted the drops to calculate the rate of fuel loss, and it appeared that he could with luck reach
the next stop, Karachi, on the west
coast of India.
So he took off, and as hour after
hour passed it began to appear that
he’d reach his destination. After a

nerve-wracking seven hours aloft,
he landed with a sigh of relief at the
R.A.F. field in Karachi. This meant
that he was now halfway to Australia. For the rest of the day and on past
midnight he and R.A.F. mechanics
worked to find and fix the fuel leak.
Someone passed along to Hinkler
the welcome news that he had set a
new lightplane record from England
to India. He was also strongly advised


Vintage Feb 2012.indd 23

1/25/12 10:25 AM

Pilots of the 1920s did incr edible things with slow biplanes intended
for training and having no avionics. On this map of Hinkler’s r oute by EAAer
R.E. LaFollette, the distance fr om Por t Dar win to Bundaber g is 1,600 miles
over jungle and deser t. Based on par ts fr om the war surplus RAF V-8 engine,
the Cir rus that power ed Hinkler’s A vian had an over-str ength and ther efore
very durable crankshaft, which gave r eliability on long fl ights. Incorporating lessons learned from biplanes, the 1929 de Havilland Puss Moth monoplane was
powered by an impr oved 100-hp Cir rus. This inver ted engine gr eatly impr oved
forward visibility for navigation by landmarks. Cabin shielded pilots fr om buf feting slipstr eam, cold, rain and tr opical sun, and did away with vital maps being
blown overboar d. Clean monoplane design boosted speed. Fat tir es wer e better for poor airfi elds.
that his thin pilot’s helmet would certainly not protect him from the blazing Indian sun, and he’d likely suffer
sunstroke. So he obtained a topee, the
Indian word for a pith helmet.
By now, newspapers had begun
to notice what was going on and got
excited. Some of them came up with
such unfortunate phrases as “Hustling Hinkler” and “Hinkle, Hinkle,
Little Star!” a sad play on his name
and shortness. Things like that made
him cringe.
He crossed the northern part of India with a halfway stop at Cawnpore.
While the topee warded off sunstroke,
it left his ears completely unprotected
from engine noise and he was totally
deaf upon reaching that city. But inside his head he could still hear the
engine’s clatter.
Departing Cawnpore at sunrise,
he flew over a mixture of jungle and
green cropland, picked up the Ganges River, and followed it to Calcutta.
There he worked on the engine until

after midnight by the light of a flashlight, which attracted very unwelcome insects. In the morning he took
off for Rangoon in Burma.
The course he plotted took him
150 miles diagonally across the Bay of
Bengal to pick up the Burmese coast
near Akyab. Haze and smoke from
forest fires caused very poor visibility.
Going by compass, he flew inland,
crossed a mountain range, coped with
various kinds of clouds, and landed
on the racetrack at Rangoon.
The next day he flew 600 miles
down the west coast of the Malay
Peninsula to a very small town called
Victoria Point. The “airport” there
was a small clearing in the jungle. He
overnighted in a rubber planter’s bungalow and pressed on for Singapore.
A terrific thunderstorm obliged
him to make a 50-mile detour, and
the ground at the Singapore racecourse was so soft the Avian almost
nosed over as it landed. It was still
raining the next morning, and af-

ter refueling the Avian’s tires sank so
deep into the turf that Hinkler had to
ask bystanders to push on the plane
to start it rolling.
Again he followed the coastline
and islands, using the large one of
Banka as a checkpoint. Another gorilla of a thunderstorm forced a twohour detour, and Hinkler was happy
indeed to glide into the Dutch Flying School field about 50 miles east
of Bandung, in what was then Java
but is now Indonesia.
Pressing along the length of this
island country the next day, he
climbed to 10,000 feet to find cool
air and incidentally viewed with
awe a vast panorama of tropic and
ocean scenery. He landed at a small
town called Bima on the island of
Sumbawa. There he spent a sleepless, mosquito-plagued night.
The morning of February 22 was
a critical one, for if all went well
he’d end that day’s flight at Darwin in northern Australia. Ahead

22 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 24

1/25/12 10:25 AM


Following his r emarkable 1928 fl ight, Ber t Hinkler’s A vro Avian was put on display in the Queensland Museum in Brisbane. It can still be seen ther e.
of him lay a 900-mile hop over the
Timor Sea. The islands of Sumba
and Timor provided welcome checkpoints. Then for five very tense and
lonely hours there was nothing but
empty ocean below. Hinkler’s spirits
leaped like a kangaroo when at last
he made out Bathurst Island on Australia’s northern coast.
Around midday a large crown began to gather at Darwin’s airfield.
They waited and waited. Around 5
p.m. many began to drift away in disappointment. Then, shortly before
6, a man with a telescope shouted,
“There he is!”
When the Avian’s tailskid kicked
up a plume of Australian dust, Hinkler knew that at last he had made
his 10-year dream come true. He had
cut the Smiths’ time in half. He was
hailed mightily by the people of Darwin. It did not take him long to realize that he was to Australia what
Lindbergh was to the United States.
Then he flew 1,600 miles over
jungle and desert to at long last arrive at good old Bundaberg. There
followed a tour of the country,
with the modest Hinkler squirming
through many a ceremony and reception where dignitaries tried to
outdo one another with flowery
prose. He received so many business
proposals that it boggled his mind.
But in the end he decided to return to England, where he hoped to
realize another dream. The faithful

Avian became a prized display at the
Queensland Museum in Brisbane.
(The Avian is on display in the same
gallery as the Sopwith Baby.)
Hinkler was struck by the many
very poor airfields he landed on in
the course of his long flights, and at
the same time by the vast number of

bodies of water he had looked down
upon. What civil aviation needed, he
reasoned, was a good little amphibian.
Making good use of his many contacts in the British aero industry, he
created what he named the Ibis amphibian, a light, neat-looking twoseater powered by a pair of Salmson
40-hp radial engines made in France.
They were mounted in tractor-pusher
fashion in a nacelle above the wing’s
center section.
It was a good, practical aircraft, but
by 1930 the Great Depression that
followed the Wall Street stock market crash of 1929 had all but killed
off the manufacture of small planes.
Hinkler went to the United States and
Canada in 1931 hoping to find backers, on the theory that the vastness of
the North American continent might
provide a market. But business was
going from bad to worse.
In Canada Hinkler bought a threeseat, 115-hp version of the de Havilland Puss Moth cabin monoplane
and set up a charter service catering

1903: Samuel Pierpont Langley’s “Aerodrome”
attempts to take off from a floating platform.

Langley may have been the
father of carrier aviation, but
even Poly-Fiber fabric couldn’t
have made this work. Good
ideas tend to stick aro u n d ,
though. Hey! We named our
first carrier after him.

last and last. The instruction
manual is very clear and fun
to read. It’s easier than falling
off a... well, you know.


Poly-Fiber has stuck around,
too, about forty years worth.
With Poly-Fiber you’ll get a
beautiful covering job that’ll

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 25

1/25/12 10:25 AM

Aviation people greeted
him as a celebrity, but the
business community in
1932 had about as much
enthusiasm for light
aircraft ventures as for a
scheme to build bridges
out of balsa wood.
Upon his ar rival in England after the 1932 fl ight from
Brazil, Hinkler was given a r ousing welcome by aviation people, but the public paid little attention due to
being preoccupied with a ver y depressed economy .
to businessmen. This, too, was a disappointment. Some people began to
say Hinkler was never offered a job
worthy of his ability. But the Depression was hard on many, many other
people, too.
In October of 1931 he gave up on
North America and undertook what
some felt was a last, rash effort. He
flew the Puss Moth from New York
to Jamaica in the Caribbean and
pressed on to Natal on the Brazilian
coast. There, telling people little of
his plans, he sent a cryptic telegraph
message to Nancy in London. It read,
“Here’s hoping!”
Then he took off. Twenty-two
hours later Nancy received another telegram. It read, “Landed at
Bathurst, Gambia. O.K. Bert.” He
flew up the coast of Africa, crossed
Spain and France, and landed at
Hanworth Airpark in Middlesex.
Aviation people greeted him as a celebrity, but the business community
in 1932 had about as much enthu-

siasm for light aircraft ventures as
for a scheme to build bridges out of
balsa wood. About all the very frustrated Hinkler could think of was to
try to get the useful Ibis into production in his vast homeland of
Australia. Perhaps he was driven by
desperation, as were so many others in those grim Depression years.
Delayed by bad weather, he did not
get off from Feltham aerodrome until 3 in the afternoon of February 7,
1933. He crossed France and headed
down the Italian peninsula.
After surmounting the Alps he
must have been chilled numb. A high
wind was blowing, there were clouds
and snow, and darkness had fallen.
Not knowing where he was, Hinkler
crashed into an Appenine mountainside. Snow covered the wrecked plane
and dead pilot, and it was not until
late April that local mountain men
came upon the scene.
Sympathetic Italians gave Hinkler
a military funeral and buried him in

a Florence cemetery. There was talk
of reinterring him in Australia, but
nothing came of it.
A waste of talent? Undoubtedly. Yet, other gallant airmen met
their ends while striving mightily
for achievement in the field they so
loved. Other fliers in small planes
made remarkable long-distance
flights in the 1920s and into the
1930s. Call them stunts if you wish;
the fact is they taught many lessons
and highlighted the great need for
better airfields, radios, instruments,
and planes.
The slow biplanes having shown
what could be done, designers went
to work on faster monoplanes. Today, small planes make long flights
as a matter of course. We owe pioneers like Hinkler much respect and
gratitude. What they did led to today’s growing use of aircraft to bring
together people from all over the
world in a spirit of friendship and
mutual understanding.

24 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 26

1/25/12 10:27 AM

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Vintage Feb 2012.indd 27

1/25/12 10:27 AM




Monocoque Structures
Monocoque (pronounced mon-o-cock) is a French
word meaning “single shell.” The first wood shell
monocoque structure was developed by the Swiss
designer Ruchonnet and applied to a Deperdussin
monoplane raced by Louis Béchereau in 1912. In the
monocoque design, the skin carries all flight loads, resulting in a more streamlined airplane. Just look at this
beautiful ship shown in Illustration 1.


The first plane to break the
124-mph barrier, and the first Schneider Trophy winner, was Armand Deperdussin’s monoplane. It flew as the speed phenomenon of the
years before the First World War. The plane was
developed early in 1912 by Louis Béchereau, the
designer for the Socie’te pour les Appareils Deperdussin. Béchereau worked from an idea by Swedish
engineer Ruchonnet and developed a streamlined
monocoque plywood fuselage with a large spinner. To
achieve maximum power, two Gnome rotaries were
mounted on a common crankshaft. The first noteworthy achievement of this plane was the 1912 Gordon Bennett Cup, which it won with a speed of 108.1
mph. The plane won the cup again the following year
on September 29, 1913, in Reims, France. Maurice
Prévost achieved an average of 124.6 mph. During
this race the plane beat the world speed record three
times, and its maximum speed was 126.7 mph—an
amazing feat almost ten years after the Wright Brothers first flew a heavier-than-air ship in 1903. Powering
the ship were two Gnome seven-cylinder air-cooled
rotary motors mounted to a common crankshaft.
One wonders how they did that! Illustration 2 is photograph of this beautiful ship.

In 1918 in the United States, a young designer
named John Northrop developed a new method to
construct a monocoque fuselage for the Loughead S-1
biplane. Northrop and Anthony “Tony” Stadlman,
Loughead superintendent of construction, began designing and building a “dream plane” for returning
WWI pilots. During the months after the war, they fabricated a mold from concrete in which two plywood
half shells could be fabricated in a
relatively short period of time. The
Deperdussin technique required
that many small strips of plywood be glued over a form, a
very lengthy process. Rather
Northrop used three plies
of spruce strips soaked with
glue and laid in a semicircular
concrete mold. A release paper was
laid over the spruce strips, and a rubber bag was placed over the wood. Then a lid
was bolted over the mold, and the rubber bag
inflated to press the plywood against the mold.
Twenty-four hours later, after the glue cured, the bag
The 1912 version of the Deper dussin-Bécher eau Model
D. Sitting in fr ont are four of its pilots, Guillaume Busson, René Vidar t, Jules V edrines, and Maurice Pr evost.

26 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 28

1/25/12 10:27 AM

was deflated and the lid removed to expose a smooth
half-shell. Illustrations 3 and 4 depict the molds that
produced left and right side shells, which reduced the
time needed to produce skins from days to just 20 minutes, not including cure time. The two half shells were
less than a quarter-inch thick. Left, in this Lockheed
archives photo, we get a peek inside the small factory
building in 1919. In Illustration 3, workmen have just
removed a fuselage skin from the mold. The lid can be
seen hoisted above the heavy mold. This early process
is very similar to modern composite fabrication using
a mold; however, today’s molds aren’t made from concrete. For composite fabrication, composite molds are


In 1927, Northrop designed the famous Lockheed Vega
based on his experience with the S-1. In Illustration 6 is a
shot of Lockheed Vega serial number 1. The design philosophy of the fuselage and empennage carried over to the
Vega from the S-1. Note the similarity of vertical fin and
rudder planform. Northrop, Stadlman, and the Lougheads,
Allen and Malcom, devised and patented a process to make
molded plywood monocoque fuselage shells (U.S. Patent
#1,425,113, August 8, 1922).


The first plane to
break the 124-mph
barrier, and the
In Illustration 4, two workmen hold the
fuselage with one hand to demonstrate its
lightweight construction. One-half of the
outer shell has been glued in place to form
a background to show the bulkheads. There
are no stringers or other structural components in the fuselage.
Illustration 5 shows the Loughead S-1
folding wing biplane, constructed in 1919
by designer John Northrop. This molding
process would be perfected and used later
to produce the famous Lockheed Vega.

first Schneider
Trophy winner,
was Armand

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 29

1/25/12 10:27 AM



Illustration 7 shows the Lockheed factory located
in Burbank, California, with Vega aircraft under construction. Cantilever wing is in foreground with aileron clamped to apply pressure to the glue. Fuselage
bulkheads can be seen hanging from rafters with three
ships under construction. To the right is a spar assembly ready for fabrication of another wing panel.

In Illustration 8, bulkheads are assembled on keel,
ready to receive plywood skins in this Lockheed assembly line photograph. Note there are no stringers in
the structure to aid in carrying flight loads. The stress
skin carries all the loads. Bulkheads are fabricated from
laminated spruce.

28 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 30

1/25/12 10:28 AM

To the wealthy guy goes all the toys! Here’s Los Angeles tycoon car dealer Earle C. Anthony, his 1920
Packard model 6-26 Runabout, and his Lockheed Vega.
His dealership sold Packard cars to many Hollywood
stars of the era. Anthony also owned clear channel AM
radio station KFI. The Vega became synonymous with
speed and was the first airplane to fly nonstop coast
to coast in both directions. Vega aircraft were later
equipped with NACA speed cowls, which added dramatically to their speed.

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Illustration 10 shows the handsome Lockheed Air
Express, essentially a Vega with a parasol wing, the
NACA speed ring cowl developed by Fred Weick and
his associates at the National Advisory Committee on
Aeronautics during the late 1920s. This fast aircraft
was constructed exactly like the Vega, but the cockpit
was moved aft and was open rather than inside the
cabin. On February 4 and 5, 1929, noted barnstormer
pilot Frank Hawks flew the Lockheed Air Express shown
above, equipped with a NACA low-drag engine cowling, from Los Angeles to New York nonstop. He established a new cross-country record. Hawks covered the
trip in 18 hours and 13 minutes in this ship whose top
speed had been increased from 157 to 177 mph. Gerry
Vultee of Lockheed sent the NACA a telegram stating:
“Cooling carefully checked and O.K. Record impossible without new cowling. All credit due NACA for
painstaking and accurate research.”
Following the Lockheed Vega series there were other
monocoque fuselages designed and produced over the
years. Eventually aluminum was used for the structure,
followed most recently by composites.

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Vintage Feb 2012.indd 31

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BY Steve Krog, CFI

Some things you learn after
getting your certificate


uick, what will be the takeoff distance of
your airplane at gross on a 90ºF day? How
much crosswind can your airplane handle?
Detailed performance charts were never
provided for many of the under 100- to
150-hp vintage airplanes we fly today. Consequently,
determining takeoff or landing distances, crosswind
components, and other performance figures for these
airplanes becomes a guessing game or a “gut feel,” depending upon how much time one has accumulated
in the plane.
Some years ago I participated in a 100th anniversary
family reunion. The gathering was held in early August
on a southwestern Minnesota farm. My cousin, who
owned the farm, asked that I fly my J-3 and offer rides.
Everyone could then take photos of the horse-drawn
wagons, bundle pitching, and threshing that was taking place. I agreed, and we cut a short runway in the
hayfield adjoining the farm.
Not having ever done anything like this previously,
I truly didn’t know what I didn’t know. However, I
did pace off the runway while checking for holes and
other obstructions that might hamper a smooth takeoff or landing. There were trees at the east end and
low-hanging power lines at the west end of the freshly
carved 1,400-foot runway.
The next morning I arrived in the 65-hp J-3 Cub. By
midmorning the temperature hovered around 85ºF and
the humidity was high. On a normal day in this part of
the country the wind is usually westerly at about 15 to
20 mph, but not today; it was nearly calm. I thought
to myself that the trusty Cub was surely going to get a
tough workout hauling passengers under these conditions. To my benefit, though, I could take off to the west
and land to the east, saving a lot of taxi time.
Before hopping the first ride, I paced the runway and
placed a visible marker at the halfway point, thinking
that if I wasn’t airborne by the marker, I had adequate
runway to shut down and stop.
When the threshing machine fired up, I began hopping rides. The first dozen or so were uneventful. After
every exchange of passengers, I noticed the ride line

getting longer, and some of the awaiting passengers
were rather stout. I pointed one individual out and
mentioned to my wife, Sharon, that the stout cousin
should be placed in line so that he received his ride
when the fuel tank was near empty. Unfortunately, he
was nowhere to be found at that point, so I gave another ride and shut down to add fuel.
While adding fuel and getting a drink of water, the
stout fellow reappeared and hopped into the front
seat. Realizing what had happened, I suggested he
might want to wait, but it was his turn and he was
adamant about getting his ride. I didn’t want to cause
a problem, so I reluctantly started up and taxied into
position for a takeoff, all the while thinking that if I’m
not airborne at my marker, I’ll shut it down.
The poor Cub began rolling, and sure enough, we
were off the ground just at midpoint. After climbing
to about 15 feet, I couldn’t coax another inch of altitude out of the laboring J-3. With the power lines approaching and no room to go under them, I decided a
“gentle” skidding turn to the right was in order, as it
was open unobstructed flatland for several miles. After
completing the turn and continuing in a northern direction at 15 feet, my cousin asked why he was getting
a ride different from the others. With palms sweating
and knees shaking, I didn’t want to tell him what really just happened. I responded, “I thought you might
want to try something different.” Several more miles
later, we had reached 200 feet and turned back for his
photo pass followed by the landing.
I shut down the engine and climbed out, explaining to Sharon that I needed a break for a few minutes.
After regaining my composure, the rides continued uneventfully for the remainder of the day.
I’ve thought about that incident many times since
then and vowed that I would never let myself get
talked into a similar situation ever again. Additionally,
I also vowed that I would get to know the Cub performance much better. The result is an accumulation of
several rules of thumb. These rules will apply to most
all of the low-horsepower vintage airplanes we fly.
A 10 percent increase in aircraft takeoff weight will

30 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 32

1/25/12 10:28 AM

result in a 20 percent increase in takeoff distance.
Density altitude increases the takeoff distance by
about 120 feet for each 10ºC above the standard temperature (15ºC [59ºF]).
For each knot above VREF (recommended approach
speed), the touchdown point will be 100 feet farther
down the runway.
On another occasion I learned another valuable lesson. An old aviator friend from out of town had stopped
by the airport. During our short visit he mentioned that
he hadn’t flown a Cub in more than 30 years and would
like to make a short flight. I agreed, and he hopped in
the front seat. I didn’t have an intercom in the Cub, so
I mentioned that I would make the takeoff and then
shake the stick, indicating that it was his airplane. I
would hold my hands up for him to see, so that he
could visually confirm that I was not on the controls.
After takeoff I shook the stick followed by holding up my hands. He took control and began flying
around the area. It was early afternoon, so we were
experiencing the normal thermal and bump activity.
I anticipated that he would fly for a few minutes and
then return the controls to me by shaking the stick and
holding his hands up. Minutes passed, and he continued to fly . . . or so I thought.
My old aviator friend made a few turns and then supposedly shook the stick. However, I just assumed that it
was the turbulence moving the stick and continued to
let him fly. He never did hold his hands in the air. Fifteen minutes later we were still flying, but it was mostly
straight and level with a slow descent. When we got down
to about 100 feet, I decided to take the stick, leveled the
airplane, and returned to the airport.
After landing, I asked him if he knew the owner
of the farm he was intending to buzz. With a look of
complete surprise he stated that he wasn’t flying! He
thought he had given the controls back to me and figured I was lining up with the farm for a low pass.
Thankfully, nothing serious happened, but it made
a lasting impression on me. I decided I would never
again give a ride to anyone without clearly explaining
and then demonstrating how to transfer the controls
from one to another! Another lesson learned.
Shortly after my experience, I learned that an acquaintance had destroyed his newly restored Stearman
under similar circumstances. He had taken a friend for
a pleasure flight, and neither made an effort to discuss
the exchange of controls before the flight. Each thought
the other was flying, and the aircraft was flown into the
ground. Thankfully the only damage to the two fellows
involved was a broken ankle and a lot of bruises, but a
beautiful airplane was destroyed.
Flying airplanes is a constant learning experience. A
local pilot taught me another good lesson one summer
Sunday afternoon. He hadn’t flown in a while and decided it was time to get current, as his family was coming for a visit and he wanted to give some rides. As he

taxied past my hangar, he waved and asked if I’d ride
along while he did a few landings. I had a little time on
my hands, so I decided to join him. What could it hurt?
The wind was fairly strong from the north, but rather
than taxiing to favored Runway 36, he continued on
to Runway 29. I thought that a bit odd, but maybe he
wanted to work on his crosswinds. As he aligned himself
with the runway centerline, I sat back to enjoy the ride.
After applying full power we instantly found ourselves in
a 90-degree turn to the right. I sat up and hit the left rudder, realigning with the centerline. A half-second later we
entered a 90-degree turn to the left and headed for the
drainage ditch. I hit the right rudder hard, again aligning with the centerline. Then he hit the right rudder. The
tires were squealing, the tail was now in the air, and we
were headed for the swamp on the right side of the runway. I instantly pulled the throttle to idle, switched the
mags off, and steered the airplane off the runway into the
tall grass. I felt the airplane would go over on its nose, so
I forced it into a ground loop. When we finally came to a
stop my friend asked, “What just happened?”
After giving the incident some thought, I came to a
conclusion: I should have spoken up when we didn’t
use the best runway. He was so excited about flying
again that he was oblivious to the wind. I learned another valuable lesson! When two pilots are at the controls, always confirm who is pilot in command and
what is expected of the accompanying pilot! 



‡ (.232/<

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 33

1/25/12 10:29 AM


This month’s Mystery Plane came to our attention through
Wes Smith of Springfield, Illinois.
Send your answer to EAA, Vintage
Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI
54903-3086. Your answer needs to be in
no later than March 10 for inclusion in
the May 2012 issue of Vintage Airplane.
You can also send your response
via e-mail. Send your answer to
myster 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.

he November Mystery
Plane came to us from the
Norman Collection of the
EAA Library. Here’s our first letter:
The November 2011 Mystery
Plane is a Stout amphibian built
in 1927 by William B. Stout, the
designer of the Ford Tri-Motor.
This twin-engine tandem-wing
amphibian was powered by a
pair of 32-hp Bristol Cherub engines. Robert F. Pauley’s book,
Michigan Aircraft Manufacturers,
says the test pilot, Leonard Flo,
could not coax the plane into
the air, and it was damaged in a
high-speed taxiing accident. The
plane was scrapped.
Robert Ross
Pigeon, Michigan


And this from Lynn Towns of
Holt, Michigan:
The November Mystery Plane
is the Stout Dragonfly. After Ford
took over the design and production of the Tri-Motor, William B.
32 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 34

1/25/12 10:29 AM

R.E. “Bob” Kachergius A&P/IA

Does your Stromberg NA-S3 carburetor
Drip - Leak - Perform poorly ? ? ?
Have it Overhauled & Restored to “Grand Champion” standards and quality by us…

Lynn Towns shared this photo showing off the interesting layout of the
Ford-Stout Dragonfly.
Stout was given free rein to design and build his own airplanes
using the Ford facilities. His second attempt at a new design was
the 1927 Dragonfly. This twoplace open-cockpit monoplane
was an amphibian with two tandem wings. Today, we would call
it a canard design, but I don’t
know whether that term existed
at that time. It was powered by
two pylon-mounted 32-hp Bristol Cherub engines. In keeping with his recent designs, the
Dragonfly used all-metal corrugated construction.
The aircraft never flew. Leonard Flo was the test pilot, but he
wasn’t able to get the Dragonfly
airborne. The plane was damaged in a high-speed taxi accident and scrapped.
Correct answers were also received from Jack Erickson, State
College, Pennsylvania, and from
Thomas Lymburn, Princeton,
Minnesota, who noted that the
“. . . Bristol Cherub engines were
built from 1923 and used for a
series of ‘ultra-light’ aircraft in
the United Kingdom. They developed between 25 and 36
hp and weighed a bit over 90
pounds. Some were imported
into the United States and were
used to power the Heath Baby
Bullet and the Powell Racer.”

We enjoy your suggestions for Mystery Plane—in fact, more than half of
our subjects are sent to us by members, often via e-mail. Please remember that if you want to scan the photo
for use in Mystery Plane, it must be at
a resolution of 300 dpi or greater. You
may send a lower-resolution version
to us for our review, but the final version has to be at that level of detail or
it will not print properly. Also, please
let us know where the photo came
from; we don’t want to willfully violate someone’s copyright.

WE: Dismantle & Inspect –
Clean & Glass Bead Blast –
Aluma-Etch & Alodine –
Custom Lap mating
surfaces – Reassemble using all
new AN hardware,
gaskets, Stainless
steel or Delrin needle
& seat – proper metering
jets & venturis… Float level
is set “wet” to 13/32” – Stromberg service letter
procedure installed to raise float bowl vent position
eliminating fuel drip – prepare a log book entry

All for $850.00
+ $25.00 freight & handling



Vintage Feb 2012.indd 35

1/25/12 10:29 AM

Antiques Over the Chesapeake



hese two themes—well known throughout
the antique airplane interest—come together
in a profound regional way each spring at
Maryland’s Horn Point fly-in.
In the 1930s the DuPont family, prominent then as
now in area aviation, built a huge private grass field on

You come for the airplanes;
you stay for the people;
The journey can be as
important as the destination.

Maryland’s eastern shore near Cambridge. Now part of
the University of Maryland, the Horn Point Aerodrome
has, for decades, annually received up to 120 antique,
classic, and display aircraft for a major mid-Atlantic
May fly-in.
Whizzing everywhere in golf carts, fly-in volunteers/
hosts of the Potomac Antique Aero Squadron (PAAS)
place display aircraft in a main central category. Moderns are politely parked on a side runway, and special
aircraft, often pre-World War II, have the highlighted
show area at the front.
The huge grass runways are unique and have bases
of hundreds of tons of gravel. It rained for five days
prior to the event this year, and the runways were dry
for the fly-in.
You come for the airplanes: This year’s attending aircraft included a rare Flitfire Cub, Luscombe T8F Observer,
Woody Pusher homebuilt, two Cessna 195s, and two

2011 Horn Point Award Winners
N68431, 1943 Howard DGA- 15P
Edward R. Moor e, 2023 Cor nell Place, Por t Orange, FL 32128

Piper J-3 Flitfire was paid for by U.S. citizens to aid
England in 1941.

N33821, 1941 Aeronca Chief 650A
Paul D. Br unks, 4950 Bonniewood Drive, Shady side, MD 20764
N8502, 1947 Stinson 108-1
Mike Roe, P .O. Box 292, Ophelia, V A 22530
N2185C, 1954 Cessna 195
Rusty Richar ds, 3641 High View W ay, Columbus, IN 47203
Mike Meyers, 255 E. Chesapeake Beech Rd., Owings, MD 20736

No Award Made

N4408N, 1942 Boeing Stearman B75N1
Brian McCay, 1015 Earlysville For est Dr., Earlysville, V A 22936
N75NM, 1944 Boeing Stearman E-75 - N2S-5
Nick Mirales, 605 Patuxent Beach Dr ., Prince Fr ederick, MD 20670
N2315P, 1955 Piper PA-22-20
Richard Miller, 237 Leader ton Dr., Dallastown, P A 17313
N812RS, RV-8
Richard Sears, 8779 Unionville Rd., Easton, MD 21601
N25VV, 1949 Luscombe T8F Observer
Davidson Smith, 104 W ynfield Lane, New Hope, P A 18938
N8502, 1947 Stinson 108-1
Mike Roe, P .O. Box 292, Ophelia, V A 22530

34 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 36

1/25/12 10:30 AM

Howard DGA-15Ps, arriving from different parts of the
country and using Horn Point as their rendezvous. A good
showing of Stearmans, Cubs, Aeroncas, and many other
marquees highlighted the unique waterside location.
But you stay for the people: Horn Point’s rural location is both rare and welcome for the East coast, but
does not feature a permanent facility. The obvious pastime is visiting, and a huge annual social ritual erupts,
common to all fly-ins but especially focused here. The
laid-back nature of the surroundings is infectious, an
antidote to the way-too-cerebral East.
Food is provided by civic groups and everything else
is brought in by PAAS members, most of whom assume
long-established fly-in duties. PAAS members also offer rides to lodging in town, and some guests take
advantage of car trips to the area’s bedrock-genuine
seafood restaurants. Attendees return annually from as
far away as the Midwest, New England, Long Island,
and Florida.
The Journey: Upon arrival, participants have just
flown over the region’s stunning aerial landscape. The
relentlessly flat Del-Mar-Va peninsula stretches out in
endless green curves alongside the Chesapeake Bay,
called “the crown jewel of the world’s estuaries.”
From vintage wings, the fliers have just seen a curious and breathtaking mix of affluent waterfront estates alongside canning factories, truck farms, poultry
houses, huge wildlife and waterfowl preserves, and
oyster shell roads still in use. Beautiful sailboats ply
sun-sparkled waters alongside industrial fishing fleets.
Tall grass marshes border salt water rivers, creeks, and

coves (de facto crab factories) with postcard-pretty
bridges. Think: a regional version of the great American Midwest, alongside the stunning tidewater scenery.
The social networking on the field streaks by, and
props are turned under afternoon sun with regret.
As fl iers depart, though, they know they are about
to re-experience the area’s visual wonder and most,
understandably, resolve to return the next year to
this same destination. (Pilots have steered, though,
to avoid the edge of the Washington-Baltimore air defense identification zone (ADIZ)—since 2003, an extreme challenge for area antiquers.)
Fly-in director Art Kudner, who also owns and operates a residential fly-in community nearby, sums up:
“Historic airplanes on a historic airfield in a part of the
country with a heritage of centuries. You know, this is
one place where I don’t mind feeling my age—and I’ll
bet the airplanes feel the same way.”

A Woody Pusher homebuilt gives the look—and
ride—of classic Curtiss Junior!

This Cessna 195 is kept at the private bayside strip of PAAS stalwarts Stan and Sandi

Owners of two Howard DGA-15s chose Horn
Point for a spring rendezvous.

Luscombe T8F: Customized Luscombe T8F Observer
is one of very few made.

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 37

1/25/12 10:30 AM

Steve Wittman and the Standard J-1:
A barnstormer’s biplane earns its keep


something that was once transparent, mounted
just forward of the front cockpit.
A look at the area just forward of the aft cockpit
shows a small circular window, which at first
glance seems to be an odd place for such a little
porthole. As it happens, they are placed there for an
exceptionally practical reason. Since the instrument
panel is set well under the sheet metal surrounding
the cockpit, the windows serve as portholes,
allowing sunlight to shine on the instruments.
The advertising banner features some
interesting lettering, most of which doesn’t
seem to match. We’d be interested to hear
from anyone who can help us understand how
something like this was produced. It’s obviously
hand-lettered on some sort of paper or cloth,
which is pasted to the side of the fuselage, as there
are no cords or other obvious fasteners for the banner.
It looks as though the top of the forward section of
e ran a copy of this photo in Vintage Airplane the banner has been damaged by pilots entering and
a long time ago, and since then, the advent of the exiting the cockpit, and it is peeling away.
The vertical fin, like much of the rest of the airframe,
modern digital scanner has allowed us to look even
deeper at this terrific photo of a young Steve Wittman shows plenty of evidence that operating an OX-5 was
not a clean job; there’s plenty of dirt and grease on it,
(left) and a Standard J-1 he flew in the mid-1920s.
The Standard J-1, with its flat sides, looks to be the and the lower fuselage shows some torn fabric hanging
perfect aerial advertising mount for a pair of banners from the bottom, just behind the tailskid. Operating
pasted to the sides letting everyone know that you from unimproved fields was standard procedure, so
could purchase an Atwater Kent radio set at the that’s no surprise!
And finally we come to the radio set from Atwater
Anderson Garage in Hamilton, Wisconsin. (Hamilton
is in far western Wisconsin, near La Crosse.) Steve Kent, an early manufacturer of high-end radios. The
learned to fly in a Standard J-1; it could very well be radio appears to be one of the first models manufactured
this aircraft, but I don’t have absolute proof of that in by Kent, a model 35, which featured a single knob for
tuning, a new innovation they introduced in 1926. It’s
any of our documentation.
A few interesting details emerge from this photo. stamped-metal cabinet enhanced AM radio reception,
Starting on the right, this Standard is powered by a and allowed Atwater Kent to keep the cost down.
Curtiss OX-5 motor, a common version when sold as It was remarkably popular, especially considering it
surplus by the government in 1924 for the handsome sold for $70. The speaker is one of its model H horn
sum of $1,500. A dent creases the nose bowl and speakers, which would set you back another $21. The
cowling, chipping the paint as it extends diagonally company was active until Mr. Kent chose to close the
toward the open engine cowl’s sheet metal. In this Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, factory in 1936, when
winter season, it was hard to keep the engine warm pressures from the market to produce a cheap radio
enough to operate well, so a piece of oily cloth is would mean producing a lesser product, something
Kent was unwilling to do.
wrapped around the lower third of the radiator.
Having earned his pilot’s certificate in a J-1 in 1924,
The sweepback of the wings of the Standard is
readily apparent in this shot, a distinct difference to this photo from our archives gives us an early glimpse of
observe when comparing the J-1 to the more common one of aviation’s most accomplished builders and pilots,
only a decade before his name would be mentioned in
Curtiss JN-4 Jenny.
It’s also interesting to note there is only one the same breath with Roscoe Turner, Rudy Kling, Art
windshield on the biplane, a grungy looking sliver of Chester, and other famous racing pilots.


36 FEBRUARY 2012

Vintage Feb 2012.indd 38

1/25/12 10:31 AM

Here’s one last look back to honor the 100th anniversary
of Naval Aviation in the United States. Illustrator and
artist Bob O’Hara sent us this neat pen and ink illustration of a U.S. Navy Martin PM-1. Bob did it as an homage
to one of the favorites of his childhood, “Don Winslow of
the Navy,” which was, at various times during the 1930s
through the 1950s, a radio program, Universal movie
serial, and comic book series.

What Our Members Are Restoring

Are you nearing completion of a r estoration? Or is it done
and you’re busy fl ying and showing it of f? If so, we’d like to
hear from you. Send us a 4-by-6-inch print fr om a commercial
sour ce (no home printers, please—those prints just don’t
scan well) or a 4-by-6-inch, 300-dpi digital photo. A JPG fr om
your 2.5-megapixel (or higher) digital camera is fi ne. You can
burn photos to a CD, or if you’r e on a high-speed Inter net
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 cr eating photos we can publish, visit
VAA’s website at Check the News
page for a hyperlink to W ant To Send Us A Photograph?

For more information, you can also e-mail us at vintageaircraft@ or call us at 920-426-4825.

Plush Flying Bears
Give an adorable flying bear
to say your sweetest
sentiment.Prop spins, lights
up with message as a song
is played. Approx 11”

Red 5265753300020
White 5265753300100


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 Feb 2012.indd 39

1/25/12 10:31 AM

MA1 Flight Jacket


With Vintage logo on front, this jacket is warm and comfortable
during the winter season. The sage green color is attractive and
practical for the many activities of a seriously-fun aviator!

Silk Aviator’s Scarf


Wrap around your neck the comfort of silk with the historic look of
aviation. Off-white scarf is screened with the VAA logo.
One size

Aviator Goggles


Beautifully crafted British style goggles protect your eyes when
flying in those vintage open air cockpits. Also handy for many fun
winter and summer activities.
Adjustable 5266155000000

B-15A Bomber Jacket


Warm khaki color jacket with a removable faux
fur collar.
Med 5265697303082
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2X 5265697306082

Winter Fleece Set for Children

This hat, scarf,
and mitten set is the
softest winter wear
your child can have to
keep warm while
enjoying the outdoors.
Black color is perfect
for wearing with any
colored coat. Sized for
youths 2 to 5 years of age.

Flight Cap

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Sm Sage
Md Sage
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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 Feb 2012.indd 40

1/25/12 10:31 AM


S o m e t h i n g t o b u y,
sell, or trade?
Classifi ed Word Ads: $5.50 per 10 wor ds,
180 words maximum, with boldface lead-in
on fi rst line.
Classifi ed 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.
Adver tising Closing Dates: 10th of second
month prior to desir ed issue date (i.e., Januar y
10 is the closing date for the Mar ch issue). V AA
reser ves the right to r eject any adver tising in
conflict with its policies. Rates cover one inser tion
per issue. Classified ads ar e not accepted via
phone. Payment must accompany or der. Word
ads may be sent via fax (920-426-4828) or e-mail
( using cr edit card payment
(all cards accepted). Include name on car d,
complete address, type of car d, 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.


Iowa Takes to the Air Volumes I, II, III

VAA Headband
VAA Blue Hat
Polar fleece blue beanie is a
quick pull-on for light weight
warm comfort.
(One size fits most.)


Black 2 ply headband has a
fleece outer with a double
layer for extra warmth.


VAA Neck Gaiter
Fleece lined with VAA design,
this attractive brown gaiter is
perfect for all outings.
(One size fits most.)


MISCELLANEOUS, Aviations’ Leading


Green Lake, WI! 100 feet of Lake Frontage for
sale on beautiful Green Lake. Great fishing
and swimming. 30 miles from EAA grounds.
Call Dan 608 212 9556
Florida keys Tavernaero Airpark 2/2 up and
1/1 down. CBS Construction, Central Air,
screened pool, marina, air pad. $750,000
owner/agent 305-304-8393


Always Flying Aircraft Restoration, LLC:
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Wanted for Warner 165 installation. One
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Generator Model 1, Type 308. Contact or 902584-3511

Fleece Flyer Hat

Sherpa-lined front
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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 Feb 2012.indd 41

1/25/12 10:32 AM

Geoff Robison
1521 E. MacGregor Dr.
New Haven, IN 46774

George Daubner
N57W34837 Pondview Ln
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Steve Nesse
2009 Highland Ave.
Albert Lea, MN 56007

Dan Knutson
106 Tena Marie Circle
Lodi, WI 53555


Steve Bender
85 Brush Hill Road
Sherborn, MA 01770

Dale A. Gustafson
7724 Shady Hills Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46278

David Bennett
375 Killdeer Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648

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

Jerry Brown
4605 Hickory Wood Row
Greenwood, IN 46143
Dave Clark
635 Vestal Lane
Plainfield, IN 46168
John S. Copeland
1A Deacon Street
Northborough, MA 01532
Phil Coulson
28415 Springbrook Dr.
Lawton, MI 49065

Espie “Butch” Joyce
704 N. Regional Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27409
Steve Krog
1002 Heather Ln.
Hartford, WI 53027
Robert D. “Bob” Lumley
1265 South 124th St.
Brookfield, WI 53005
S.H. “Wes” Schmid
2359 Lefeber Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Robert C. Brauer
9345 S. Hoyne
Chicago, IL 60643

Charlie Harris
PO Box 470350
Tulsa, OK 74147

Gene Chase
2159 Carlton Rd.
Oshkosh, WI 54904

E.E. “Buck” Hilbert
8102 Leech Rd.
Union, IL 60180

Ronald C. Fritz
15401 Sparta Ave.
Kent City, MI 49330

Gene Morris
5936 Steve Court
Roanoke, TX 76262

John Turgyan
PO Box 219
New Egypt, NJ 08533


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


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

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Sites:,, E-Mail:

EAA and Division Membership Services (8:00 AM–6:00 PM
Monday–Friday CST)
F AX 920-426-4873
•New/renew memberships •Addr ess changes •Mer chandise sales •Gift memberships
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Spor t Pilot/Light-Spor t Aircraft Hotline 877-359-1232
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slur vey@eaa.or g

EAA Members Information Line
888-EAA-INFO (322-4636)
Use this toll-fr ee number for: infor mation about AirV enture Oshkosh; aer omedical and technical aviation questions;
chapters; and Y oung Eagles. Please have your membership number r eady when calling.
Offi ce hours ar e 8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday , CST)

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.)

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

Current EAA members may join the
Vintage Aircraft Association and receive
VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine for an
additional $36 per year.
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.)

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 (SPOR AVIATION magazine not
included). (Add $7 for International


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 ©2012 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 549023-3086, e-mail: Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of Vintage Airplane magazine,
is $36 per year for EAA members and $46 for non-EAA members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54902 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Vintage Airplane,
PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. CPC #40612608. FOREIGN AND APO ADDRESSES—Please allow at least two months for delivery of VINTAGE AIRPLANE to foreign and APO addresses via surface mail.
ADVERTISING — Vintage Aircraft Association does not guarantee or endorse any product offered through the advertising. We invite constructive criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained
through our advertising so that corrective measures can be taken.
EDITORIAL POLICY: Members are encouraged to submit stories and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests entirely with
the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material should be sent to: Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800.
EAA® and EAA SPORT AVIATION®, the EAA Logo® and Aeronautica™ are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. The use of these trademarks and
service marks without the permission of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

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