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(Photo by Ted Koston

By E.  E.  "Buck" Hilbert 
President,  Antique-Classic Division 
AFEW YEARS .ago at a Flight Instructor Seminar the opening speaker quoted statistics that left little
doubt that less than two per cent of general aviation activity was the "Cub in the cowpasture" type
flying_ !startled the gentleman by raising my hand and stating very loudly that I was there to represent
the two per .cent and see that they got a fair shake. That was 1969. Attending these Flight Instructor
Seminars .each year since, I have detected a change in attitude to the point where the 2% is being
encouraged and, I believe, increasing in number.
Oshkosh gives visual evidence of this. I wonder how those percentage figures look now and what that
same speaker has to say about the attendance at the numerous fly-ins around the country? Nearly
all of them are at no-tower airports under "see and be seen" rules. I'm talking about Watsonville,
California, Gastonia, North Carolina, Blakesburg, Iowa - places like that. A couple hundred airplanes
and people just having a good time scratching their airplane disease itch.
I believe EAA is largely responsible for the upward trend in the statistics. By cooperation rather
than antagonization, by approaching this whole thing with an open mind and a willing attitude, EAA
has gained the respect and cooperation of the FAA, and this has eased our lot and paved the way for
ever increasing benefits for us little guys. Chalk up another plus for EAA.
Romancing An Older Girl . . . Butch Douma .......... . . .. . .. .. .... . .. . ......... . ....... . . .. 4
A Really Restored Clipper ... J ack Cox .. ... ..... . . .. .......... ............ ..... .... .. ..... 8
Wisconsin Antique-Classic Activity . ............ ... . .. . ...... . .. . ..... . ..... .......... . . . . ... 10
National Stearman Fly-In . . . Ed Schultheiss . ... " .... .. ...... . .. . . . ....... .. .. ... ......... 14
SPAD VII Flying In California .. .... ............. . .. .. ...... .. . . . . .... .. .. . .. .. ..... . .. ... .. 16
Around the Antique-Classic World ............................................. . ........ ..... 18
ON THE COVER . ..Ryan PT-22 N-53998 over
eastern Colorado. Owner Butch Douma in the
rear cockpit and Rick Loefner in front.
BACK COVER . . . Gar Williams' Ail'master in
formation with Dr. Berne Yocke'sStaggerwi ng.
Photo by Ted Koston
Photo by Ken Day
Membership in the EAA Antique-Classic Division is open to all EAA members who have a special
interest in the older aircraft that are a proud part of our aviation heritage. Membership in the Antique-
Classic Division is $10.00 per year which entitlos one to 12 issues of The Vintage Airplane published
monthly at EAA Headquarters. Each melTlber will also receive a special Antique-Classic membership
card plus one additional card for one's spouse or other designated family member.
Membership in EAA is $15.00 per year which includes 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. All mem-
\>ership correspondence should be addressed to: EAA, Box 229, Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130.
Publisher - Paul H. Poberezny
Assist ant Ed itor - Gene Chase
Ed itor - Jack Cox
Assistant Editor - Golda Cox
8102 LEECH RD.
BOX 181
LYONS , WIS. 53148
P. O. BOX 2464
Postmaster: Send Form 3579 to Antique Classic Aircraft, Inc. , Box 229,
Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130
Copyright ID 1973 An1 ique Classic Aircraft . Inc. All Right s Reservp.d .
(Photo by Ken Day)
N53998 at EAA Chapter 72's fly-in at Meadowlake Airport . This was just before the first flight of
the old girl since restoration.
By  Butch  Douma  (EAA  46656,  AIC 491) 
7955  Juniper  Road 
Colorado  Springs,  Col.  80908 
The verdict was guilty!
I know I was guilty, but she was so abused. She was
much too old for me. I was only 4 years old when she was
born. She really didn't look very good - even for her age.
But, in spite of it all, I was guilty offalling in love with the
old girl.
The sentence? Eight months at hard labor , a somewhat
damaged financial situation, and once in awhile being
pegged as a nut by some non-antique types.
I first saw her many years ago when she was parked
back in a dusty old hangar. Although she and I were both
much younger, she wasn't much to look at even then. As
much as I've always wanted one of her breed, little did I
know then that someday I'd fall for this old gal.
She was a good old Ryan ST-3KR (PT-22), SN 1053
and carried the U.S.AAC. SN of 41-1932. She was born
in May, 1941 and accepted by the Air Corps the following
The next time I heard of her was in a news article
in one of our local newspapers in 1965. She had turned on
her master.
I quote: "The Major started the craft, and then, while
the engine was idling slowly, pulled the chock from the
rear wheel and began to climb into the plane. He stepped
onto the low wing, but slipped and fell to the pavement.
The plane started to move slowly and the Major attempted
to grab hold of the tail to stop it. "
"As he grabbed hold, the rear wheel and elevator ran
over him but caused no 'serious' injury. The plane con-
tinued for another 40 feet and struck a Cessna 140, parked
on the ramp."
"The Major says that everything happened so fast that
he does not know when he sustained the cut..."
Some years later the next owner allowed her to run into
her hangar and prang a wing tip.
She evidently has always been a pretty feisty old girl.
At any rate, brakes have never been her strong point.
The next time I saw her she was tied down at Meadow-
lake Airport at Peyton "Place" (Colorado, that is). This
was in the winter and she really looked cold, neglected and
run down. The snow had drifted up past her belly. There
was the "for sale" sign on her rudder lock which I had
been. hoping for. I mentioned this fact to some friends
around the airport that knew her owner. They informed me
that many people had tried to buy her but the owner evi-
dently didn't want to sell her too badly, judging by his
price tag.
By this time I had quite an affair going with the old girl,
so to show my affection for her I thought I would join
the ranks of those who had tried and failed.
Mter calling the owner I was left with the impression
that he really wasn't too interested in selling her. However,
after many calls, probably to the point of being a nuisance,
we were actually talking price - his price, unfortunately.
Around the middle of December, 1972, the owner finally
told me if I could be at his house the next evening at
6:00 P.M. with the cash, she was all mine.
I had intended to look her over more closely and even
run a compression check on her engine. But now, after all
of my trying, the tables were turned. It was my move, now.
So, I did it. I bought her.
Needless to say, I had second thoughts the next day
when I walked out of our bank with a good portion of the
family savings.
I had discussed this a little with my family, but not a
great deal. And so, after my rendezvous with the owner
under the cover of darkness, I stopped for a stiff drink
before going home to tell my wife and kids what I had
I started by informing them that I had gotten myself my
own Christmas, birthday, Father's Day, Easter, New Years
and Flag Day present for the next few years. I'm sure they
knew that I had purchased my Ryan. I shou ld have known -
and really did - that I wouldn't have to explain. By now
my family understands my feelings about flying and air-
planes. Never once throughout the whole restoration pro-
ject did I realize anything but the fullest cooperation and
greatest encouragement from them. The old girl and lowe
them a lot and they share my pride in her.
Actually, with a serial number of 1053, she was a
PT-21. However, with the Kinner R-56 engine, the later
dated wings, the counter-balanced ailerons and the hard to
come by landing gear skirts, she was restored as a PT-22.
Only her cool aluminum body is PT-21.
On New Years Day, 1973, the restoration project
began. We ran a compression check on her and, after
much "breath holding", it turned out great. The log shows
only 180 hours SMOH on the 160 HP engine and a very
low TT.
With this encouragement we started stripping fabric.
At this point the first of many lessons were learned:
first, fabric can cut worse than glass and number 2, there
are a million miniature screws which hold the fabric onto
a PT-22 which must be removed one by one. The only
thing worse than the latter is putting them all back in, one
by one.
The flying surfaces were in pretty good shape structur-
ally. Only a leading edge wing rib forward of the spar had
to be fabricated and installed, and some minor dents in the
leading edge metal filled and sanded. After careful inspec-
tion the metal parts were sanded and zinc chromated and
the spars sanded and re-varnished. The surfaces were then
put in the hands of American Aviation for re-covering. I
had no experience in fabric work prior to this, and didn't
think this was the time to get it. These were eventually
done in Ceconite and received 26 coats of hand rubbed
Now the attention was turned to the fuselage and other
components. All items, large and small, with the exception
of the instrument panels and engine, were removed and
Looking at that heap was just a little scary. Could I find
where everything belonged when it was time to re-assem-
ble? Evidently the PT-22 is a relatively easy aircraft to
re-build because I found where everything went. Mr.
Ryan created a very simple aircraft, but efficient for its
The interior of the fuselage shell was then sanded and
zinc chromated in green. I found that doing this to the tail
cone area can give a man that is 6'5" tall a case of claus-
trophobia and cramps. The firewall, fuel tank and floor
panels along with the rudder pedals and other miscella-
neous items were polished. The instrument panels were
re-finished in black crinkle paint and all instrument screws
were replaced.
All fuselage interior components were then either sand-
ed or stripped as required and refinished to original
Interior of the rear cockpit taken with a fish-eye lens. This
was just prior to completion - note the slack cables at
the side of the cockpit. They were not yet attached to the
(Photo by Ken Day)
finish. These were then stored again.
At this point we hung her from the ceiling by her engine
and removed her landing gear, tail wheel and center sec-
tion braces. These parts, along with all flying and landing
wires, were sent out to be sand blasted and dunked in a
chemical cleaner. A body shop owner friend of mine then
gave them a baked-on finish of silver acrylic enamel.
The fuselage was then re-assembled using all new bolts,
nuts, fittings, control cables, etc. The brakes were re-built
and wheels re-finished. New brake cylinders were used
A note of caution to a would be PT-22 restorer. Don't
forget to install a temporary spreader bar between the
landing gears before the wings are detached. Without this,
your pride and joy will fall on her belly; and that can be
hard on Kinner engines.
While all ofthis was being done in a hangar at Meadow-
lake Airport, the prop, throttle quadrants and wind screens
were being rebuilt and refinished at home. New plexiglas
was used in the wind screens. The throttle quadrants were
so full of oil and dirt they could hardly be moved. After
cleaning and stripping, the indented letters were thor-
oughly cleaned out. By giving them a few light coats of
spray black the recessed letters were not filled. A thick
white paint was then dabbed on the letters and carefully
wiped. The results were excellent. However, the kitchen
sometimes looked and smelled like a machine shop.
Luckily, the outside of the fuselage was in good shape
with the exception of the outside of the luggage compart-
ment opposite the door. Evidently someone had either
thrown items into the compartment or had done aerobatics
{vith loose articles in it. However, since the fuselage has
been polished these minor dents are hardly noticeable.
The flat black "no glare" area was painted and new black
leather cockpit coamings with sponge liners installed. The
fuselage was then polished to a high lustre with "Met-
All ."
The canvas luggage compartment and landing gear
strut covers were rebuil t, patterned after the originals.
After much research into proper colors and color
schemes, we put her into authentic 1941 colors and mark-
ings. She has chrome yellow wings, center section and tail
surfaces with the exception of the rudder. This has a bar
of insignia blue (which is almost black) and stripes of white
and insignia red, all of the proper width and spacing. The
PT-22 was the only primary trainer of that period which
had a polished aluminum fuselage. All others were blue.
The stars on the wings are of the 1940 era with the red
meat ball, insignia blue field and white star. Location of
the star on the wing is important on this aircraft. Informa-
tion on authentic colors, sizes, markings, etc. for the PT-22
are available from many sources but if anyone is interested
I would be glad to give any help I could.
The original Air Corps field numbers were found inside
of the cowlings so she bears number 132 again. There were
two sizes of numbers popular at that time. The smaller of
the two were used.
After final assembly and rigging came the moment of
truth on the engine. Another note of caution. After setting
for a long period of time, watch for hydraulic locks. Pull
the plugs on the lower cylinders and drain the oil.
After doing this and turning the prop through many
times with the fuel selector at "on" and the mixture at
"full rich", the old Kinner popped off on the first hot
prop with a huge cloud of blue smoke. With this sight and
sound people seemed to come out of the woodwork. She
ran fine after leaning out the mixture. Being 6'-5" is a real
aid when propping this airplane.
After shut down I was introduced to the hours of
cleaning and wiping every time she is started. These are
the only times when there is not an abundance of volun-
tary help.
The only problem evident was a leaky rocker box
cover gasket which proceeded to spray oil all over the wind
screens. This problem has been solved which makes clean-
ing much easier.
Her fuel capacity is 24 gallons of which 3 gallons are
reserve. The reserve tank is a sump pot. built into the main
tank. The fuel quantity indicator is a refined J-3 Cub type.
Refined in that it has a glass tube with gallon markers over
the wire float post.
The oil capacity is 3 gallons. The pilot's manual states
that the oil tank is full when oil runs out of the filler neck-
which sounds reasonable.
I had not flown a "tail dragger" since 1958, so, rather
than be the hero and prang my girl, the decision was made
to let a good friend fly her first.
"Rick" Loeffler (Lt. Col. USAF, Ret.) has many thous-
ands of flying hours both military and civilian and has
flown virtually all types of aircraft. He flies his own paz-
many PL-1 which he built and has flown Mr. Pazmany's
PL-4. If Mr. Pazmany would trust him with his "one and
only", I could trust him with my "one and only." He now
is a corporate pilot flying in Aero Commander so I had no
doubts about my pet being in the best of hands.
The plan was to run a series of high speed taxi runs.
So, on the bright, cool, clear, calm morning of July 28,
1973, (my son Murray's birthday) the taxiing was to start.
After an engine check and a very short run, Rick re-
turned to the run-up pad where everyone was gathered,
cameras in hand. With   i n g ~ r s crossed I ran up to the
idling plane to find out what the problem was. His first
comment was "Are you sure this thing isn't missing?"
I informed him that this was the way a 5 cylinder engine
sounded, and that's why they call her the "Maytag Messer-
schmitt." His only other comment was that when he picked
up speed on the runway the visibility was such that it was
a "go-no go" situation. Everything looked good, so the de-
cision was "go." This situation is understandable consid-
ering we have a very narrow and short runway - elevation
6840 feet.
I really don't know who was more nervous, Rick or I,
but Rick seemed pretty cool. Off he went, beautiful as a
picture taken at Ryan Field in 1941. He flew it like he had
been doing it every day. I heaved a great sigh of relief when
he made a low pass giving us the "thumbs-up" sign. His
landing was every bit as beautiful as his flight and they've
all been that way since. He is some kind of pilot and she
is some kind of airplane. With the density altitudes we can
realize here she is no ball offire but a real thrill to fly.
As always in a project like this there are so many people
who have given so much help, both physical and moral,
that it would be impossible to mention them all here. I've
tried to thank them all personally and there is a long
wai ting line of promised rides.
I've served my sentence and I'd do it all over again. I'm
still on probation though. Like most women you have to
know them well to handle them. I haven't completely
mastered her yet but with a lot of help from Rick and my
"gal" I will master her as well as a PT-22 waif can be
Interested in Ryans? Join the National Ryan Club and
receive the monthly National Ryan Club Newsletter. For
further information, contact Bill J. Hodges, 3351 So. 99th
Court, Milwaukee, Wis. 53227.
(Photo  by Ken  Day) 
Above  - Butch  Douma  playing  cadet.  The  beard  has 
Left  - An  absolutely  unmistak-
since gone. Butch says  he  found that a beard  is  not com-
patible  with  a  flying  helmet's  chin  strap  for  any  length 
able  angle  of  the  Ryan  PT-22. 
of time. 
(Photo  by Ken  Day) 
By Jack Cox
Bill Schmidt 's beautiful Piper PA-16 Cli pper, N5843H, Serial Number 16-461, at Oshkosh '73. FAA
currently carries 367 active Clippers on its Register. The earliest is Serial Number 16-5 (N5203H) owned
by Andrew Herbert of Bonifay, Florida, and the latest is Serial Number 16-728 (N6884K) owned by
Patrick R. Hurley of Beaverton, Oregon.
THE WINNER OF Best Piper award (other than J;-3s)
at Oshkosh last summer was a beautiful yellow PA-16
Clipper that, according to some inside dope from the
judges, was in the running down to the last for Grand
Champion Classic. The slick little four-placer, N-5843H,
is owned by Bill Schmidt (EAA 70275) of 4647 Krueger,
Wichita, Kansas 67220.
Bill has been restoring old Pipers for some time, his
first being a J-2, for which he obtained approval for instal-
lation of a fuel injected Continental A-80, and a J-3.
In 1969 he bought N-5843H from a farmer in Fall
River, Kansas and shortly thereafter began a very complete
and beautiful restoration/modification. Mter stripping
away all the old fabric, the first task was to scrape off an
incredible number of mud dobber nests. Bill says he still
cannot believe the volume and weight of those nests -
an object lesson for all of us who have a plane that has not
been recovered in some time.
The Clipper in its original form had some faults that
Piper later rectified in the follow-on Pacer series. The
worst of these was the fuel tank arrangement. A factory
delivered Clipper had the under-the-paneI12 gallon main
tank left over from its predecessor, the Vagabond, and one
18 gallon tank in the left wing. This meant, of course,
(Photo by Lee Fray)
that you flew left-wing-heavy until the wing tank was run
down to a near empty condition. The fuselage tank took
up so much space behind the instrument panel that no
room was available for large gyro instruments or through-
the-panel radios.
An associated deficiency, in Bill's mind, was the very
light wing structure-virtually the same as the slower Vag-
abond. He planned to take out the fuselage tank and in-
stall a second 18 gallon tank in the right wing, so this
would require some beefing up of the wing. From his pre-
vious experience with the Cubs, Bill knew the aluminum
leading edge material was too light - it tended to pull
in between ribs as the dope aged, resulting in a bad ap-
pearance and probably reduced performance. So the entire
wing problem was solved by building up a thicker leading
edge, formed in such a way that, in effect, aD-section
was the result, and approval for a PA-22 wing tank   y   ~
tern was obtained.
The fuselage was stripped and sand-blasted and all the
original sheet metal thrown away except for the base of
the windshield. Everything was replaced with high alloy
metal. A new instrument panel was fabricated and in-
stalled with a modern layout for the instruments and space
for a Mark V radio.
The original headliner was retained, but the seats
were re-upholstered with mother-of-pearl vinyl and set off
with panels of iridescent brown. The effect is one of sim-
plicity - as in the original interiors - but also of richness
due to beautiful materials used.
The entire airframe was covered with Grade A and
has an outstanding, super smooth yellow finish. Bill has
developed a technique that involves the use of Cashmere
Bouquet talcum powder mixed in the silver dope. The tal-
cum serves as a filler and a sanding agent - it works much
as auto primer does. I can't say that the Cashmere Bou-
q ~   t made the Clipper smell any better, but it sure is
The Lycoming 0-235 was given a chrome major in
which everything but the case was replaced or overhauled.
A new nosebowl and the little button spinner were pur-
chased from Piper- they, along with the dentless leading
edges, give the Clipper its factory-fresh look.
The Clipper was produced for just one year, 1949. In
late summer, Piper sent out a questionnaire to Clipper
owners asking for suggestions to improve the plane and
took the best replies to heart in producing the PA-20 Pacer
- more power, flaps, wheel controls instead of the Clip-
per's stick, and replacement of the fuselage tank with
one in the right wing.
Bill Schmidt did not want to go that far . He wanted the
wing tanks and the panel space that results from removal
of the fuselage tank, but he did not want to give up the ba-
sic simplicity and economy of the 108/115 hp Clipper.
His modifications to N-5843H represent his have-his-cake-
and-eat-it-too compromise.
If the energy crisis is what the politicians say it is,
an airplane like the Clipper is going to look better and
better as time goes by. The ability to carry four people at
115 mph or so at six gallons per hour ... and have a
chance to bring home a trophy as a Classic . . . is a com-
bination awfully hard to beat.
Bill Schmidt (EAA 70275) of Wichita . . . and Chapter 88
(Photo by Lee Fray)
Wisconsin Antique/Classic Activity
Wisconsin has a lot of antique-classic activity during
the summer months. The statewide organization devoted
to this type of fun flying meets at some airport each
month for a Sunday outing. These pictures were taken at
two such meetings - one at Al Kelch's private airport j ust
north of Milwaukee and the other at Wagon Wheel Air-
port near Janesville, Wisconsin. The latter was a joint
fly-in with fellow Illinois antiquers.
The photos taken at Al Kelch's field are by Gene Chase
of the EAA Headquarters staff and those taken at Wagon
Wheel are by Ted Koston.
These small, friendly gatherings are very likely the
most fun of all aviation events. We wi ll be happy to re-
port on such fly-ins in your area, also - just send along
some sharp black and white photos and a story, if you are
so inclined.
Above - Bob Adamec's  Luscombe  BE. 
Right - Nick  Sel i 
Below - Dr . Berne  Vocke's Staggerwing. 
(Ted  Koston  Photo) 
Left - The  Wagon  Wheel  fly-in . 
(Gene  Chase  Photo) 
Lower  left  - Model  T's, fueling  through  a  chamoi s  ... 
what  a day! 
(Gene  Chase  Photo) 
Below - Tom  Rench's  Stinson  V-77. 
~ o s t o   Photo) 
rl son  108-3. 
(Gene  Chase  Photo) 
Above  -Ed  Wegner  fueling  his  Spartan  C-3  from  AI 
Kelch ' s  Crosley fuel  truck . 
(Ted  Koston  Photo) 
Left - Left  to  right - Buck  Hilbert ,  Bill  Hodges  and 
Paul  Zernechel. 
(Photo by Gene Chase)
Above. Left to right - Martha Hodges,
Golda Cox, Jack Cox and Ji m Mont-
(Photo by Gene Chase)
Left . Gene Chase's E-2 Cub.
(Photo by Gene Chase)
Below. Left to right - Bobbie Wagner,
Dick Wagner, unknown and Norm
Schuff with Dick' s Waco UPF-7.
(Photo by Dale Humphrey. Galesburg Register-Mail)
Stearmans over Galesburg Municipal. Jim Leahy. left, and Larry Palmer-Ball, right.
By  Ed  Schultheiss  (EAA  60553) 
President,  EAA  Chapter  350 
109 W. Jackson  St. 
Abingdon, Illinois  61410 
The "2nd Annual National Stearman Fly-In Conven-
tion" has passed into history. Thanks to a slow moving
weather system that plagued Galesburg, Illinois and the
surrounding area with low hanging clouds and more than
ample rain, fewer Stearmans made it to the convention
than were at the first one last year. Numerous would-
have-showns were stranded as close as 70 miles from their
planned destination. The ever-hopeful co-chairmen of the
affair, Jim Leahy of Galesburg and Tom Lowe of Crystal
Lake, Illinois and their fellow Stearman lovers have made
initial plans for next years "3rd Annual National Stearman
Fly-In Convention" to take place at the same location and
about the same time of year. So what if they went into the
red? Just think how much better it will be next year!
Galesburg has finally realized what a real attraction they
have inherited thanks to Jim and Tom and their persever-
ance in spi te of a lack of initial interest on the part of the
Only  20 Stearmans registered this year compared to 30
last year, but what a series of shows they put on in the
course of three days! Within the framework of common
sense flying, they gave the local folk sore necks gawking
at the sky as they flew over the area singly and in forma-
tion. Six homebuilt aircraft also graced the skies of Gales-
burg as an added attraction for the 5000 people estimated
to have attended the three day exhibition, banquet and
breakfast. In addition, numerous "conventional" planes
were able to get through the overcast to Galesburg Munici-
pal Airport.
The first six Stearrnans arrived at Galesburg on Thurs-
day, September 27, and they flew around the area to ·let
people who don't listen to radios, watch T.V. or read
newspapers know that the Stearmans were back this year.
Friday was the first day for registration and just plain fun
flying and renewals oflast years acquaintances. Saturday
was "Fun and Games" as Jim Leahy puts it with spot
landing and flour bombing contests followed with an
evening banquet in the hangar attended by 200 people.
The featured speaker was Brigadier General Buckingham
from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.
Members of the Galesburg City Council also gave brief
addresses to the gathering.
Sunday morning was to have started with a "dawn
patrol" flight, but the weather again refused to cooperate
until about 10:00 a.m. when Old Sol poked his nose
through and everyone warmed to the occasion. A break-
fast of pancakes, sausage, and drinks was served by the
Galesburg Pilots Association until about 11:00 am. At the
same time, the Galesburg Jaycees were manning a hot dog
stand and the CAP Cadets were making and selling but-
tons. Even Chapter 350 of the Experimental Aircraft
Association from nearby Monmouth, Illinois, had a bake
sale to satisfy appetities for sweets. Everyone except the
guys who bankrolled the event seemed to have done o.k.
Even so, they plan to repeat next year - "Orily More
Besides the 20 Stearmans flying around the sky, Sat-
urday saw the arrival of four homebuilt planes. Chapter
350s "Spirit of Monmouth", a Pietenpol "Aircamper",
flew over from Monmouth to occupy a new hangar at
Galesburg for the balance of its proof-flying. It now has
27 hours logged on its tachometer. "Plane Jayne" Schiek
of Macomb flew her Durl-E-Aire BD-1 up from Macomb
followed by her husband Ben in his Cougar. Bud Hodges
of Moline, Illinois also flew in in his Fly Baby. On Sunday,
the original Woody Pusher flew in with its new owner-
pilot, Dave Wheatley of Joy, Illinois. Billy Kipp of Fort
Madison, Iowa also came to fly his Pitts Special for the
folks in the air show.
The climax of the "2nd Annual National Stearman Fly-
In Convention" was an all-star air show featuring the
"Flying Pierces" of A von Park, Florida. The genial MC
for the air show was Roger Davenport, President of Men-
omonee Falls, Wisconsin EAA Chapter 250.
The air show commenced with J.T. Hill of North
Henderson, Illinois making his first of four jumps of the
day from Sandi Pierce's highly modified Taylorcraft. He
had an American flag streaming from the parachute pack
and as he descended to earth, he was circled by Jim
Leahy and Walt Pierce in their Stearmans. At a later
spot in the show, he cut loose from his main chute, and
then followed up by a delayed opening of his reserve
chute. After the chutist landed, Jim Leahy took over the
attention of some 5000 spectators as he performed aero-
batics in his Stearman. Next up was the Flying Dentist,
Art Lindquist ofKansas City, in another shining Stearman
for a further aerobatic display. Walt Pierce came through
again with more of the same followed by Billy Kipp from
Fort Madison, Iowa in his Pitts Special that really got the
attention of the crowd as Pitts' always do. Sandi and her
Taylorcraft came on strong to show what the womenfolk
can do upstairs besides her specialty, "wing-walking. "
About midway of the performance, Dick Willets from
Albia, Iowa, who had been playing around in his "hick
farmer drunk" get-up complete with oversize "Little
Brown Jug", got down to business and 'accidentally'
got airborne in a J-3 Cub. It always surprises the layman
when an expert like Dick shows what can be done in the
Cub with the proper amount of know-how and just plain
"guts." The usual tail-wagging low passes and extreme
rate of climb and horizontal side slipping were demon-
strated with great skill. After these shenanigans, Walt and
Sandi Pierce took over again in their two planes doing
"formation" flying which more often than not turned out to
be follow the leader with Sandi leading all the way. Bob
Cassens took the parachutists aloft again in a Cessna sans
door for more precision sky-diving. The climax of the show
saw Sandi atop the wing of Walt's Stearman in her spec-
tacular wing walking act.
On Monday, October 1, five of the 20 Stearmans were
still tied down at Galesburg Municipal Airport, not really
reluctant to leave, just still socked in by a bad weather
system. In spite of the poor weather that held down atten-
dance in all categories, and a sizeable loss on the part of
the sponsors, their attitude remains, "Wait until next
With the determination shown by them and the Stear-
man owners and enthusiasts all over the country, they're
sure to come through! After all, when you have people
coming all the way from Galena, Alaska by way of a
Cessna on floats and rental car just to see and admire a
grand old airplane like the Stearman - as bush pilot Lou
Mass did, you've really been tugging at the heartstrings of
this great American country of ours. Just think what a
show this could have been if only the weather had been
better. Let's all get together now and cultivate the spirit
shown by Jim and Tom and plan for next year's "3rd
Annual National Stearman Fly-In Convention" to be again
held at Galesburg Municipal Airport in the heart of
western Illinois.
( Photo by Dale Humphrey, Galesburg Register-Mail )
Left. " Two degrees left , Skipper. " ' There! Right down
the old washtub! "
(Photo by Dale Humphrey, Galesburg Register-Mai l)
Above. The long and short of Stearman experience.
Larry Palmer-Ball, standing, has over 2,000 hours in a
Stearman and Brian Leahy, 17, was getting ready to roar
out and add to his 20 hours of time in one of the big two
(Photo Courtesy of Rick Helicopters)
Jim Ricklefs and his newly restored SPAD VII. The machine won the top award at Merced - before it
was even finished.
In early October many of you may have seen a UPI
news story and photo in your local papers on a newly
restored SPAD VII in Livermore, California. This aircraft
is owned by Jim Ricklefs, retired head of Rick Helicopters,
Inc., the largest known commercial helicopter charter firm
in the world. His Sopwith Pup was pictured on page 11 of
the June 1973 issue of The Vintage Airplane.
The following is a short history ofthe Ricklefs SPAD:
This SPAD VII was manufactured by MANN
EGERTON & CO. LTD. , Aircraft Works, Norwich,
England in 1916 and was one of 120 manufactured by that
firm. 100 were built by the British Bleriot & Spad Co.,
and 5,600 were built by eight French manufacturers for
a total production of 5,820.
The factory serial number or works number on this air-
plane was No. 103. This number was on the fuel tank.
British military serial number B9913 was assigned and
shows on the tail.
The airplane probably made its way to the United
States as part of the Army Air Force post World War I
fleet. It later was used in the movies as a lobby display
and was possibly cracked up at one time by Dick Grace
in the movie "Wings." In all events it ended up in the
inventory of ENRIGO BALBONI, the "Flying Junkman"
of Glendale, California. *
Col. G.B. Jarrett purchased the aircraft from Balboni
in 1932 and had it shipped to Atlantic City, N.J. To
complete the airplane he a lso combined it with parts he
purchased from a man!named Crawford. r
In 1950 Frank Tallman bought the following aircraft
from Jarrett for $400.00: Sopwith Camel, Nieuport 28,
SPAD VII and a Pfaltz D12. Frank Tallman gave the
SPAD VII to Robert E. Rust in return for Rust re-building
the Pfaltz D12 for T a l l m a n   ~ collection.
On November 9, 1965, J.B. Petty bought the SPAD
VII from Rust and then had it shipped to Gastonia, N.C.
It was without engine or instruments and was in bad shape.
Rust was to supply an engine or reduce the price by the
cost of an engine.
Petty, using the original SPAD mainly as a pattern,
built upa new SPAD VII. The aircraft was actually finished
off by the U.S. Air Force and flown in their display in
1959 at Wright-Patterson AFB along with several of Paul
Mantz and Frank Tallman's machines. The Petty SPAD
was first flown by Lt. Col. Kimbrough S. Brown, USAF
who was the Museum Director at the time. It was later
flown by James Ricklefs' Stanford friend and classmate,
Lt. Col. Walter A. Rosenfield, USAF. Eddie Rickenbacker
was an honored guest at this affair.
Petty sold his flyable SPAD VII to the Canadian Air
Museum about 1960. The museum changed all the mark-
ings on it to conform to Canadian aircraft. It is now on
display at Ottawa, Canada.
James S. Ricklefs of Rick Helicopters, Inc., San Car-
los, California bought the remains of SPAD VII B9913
from J.B. Petty on May 24, 1969. Rick Helicopters, Inc.
has now restored it to flying condition using as many of
the original parts as possible.
*J. Ricklefs knew the very interesting Balboni and
visited his establishment on Riverside Drive in Glendale
many times in the 1938-41 time period. Balboni generally
was in his undershirt with his wrist watch on his upper
arm. He was of Italian extraction and an extreme extro-
vert. He had a visitor's register called his "Gold Book"
in which all visiting airmen (includingJSR) were invited to
sign their names. Gold stars were placed beside the names
of the men who had "gone west." Balboni also had some
acreage adjacent to the highway between Los Angeles and
Palm Springs where he kept the fuselages and parts of old
airplanes (not under cover) that were too big for his Glen-
dale storage yard. Balboni was killed in a car accident in
the 1940s driving between hi s two storage faciliti es as I
recall. Wonder what became of his "Gold Book?" It cer-
tainly should have a place in the aviation "hall offame."
Jim Ricklefs also owns a Curtiss Jenny that is yet to
be restored and several very early helicopters, including
two 1943 Sikorsky R-6As and a 1944 Sikorsky R-4B.
Our thanks to EAA Director Bob Puryear of Portola
Valley, California for sending along the above materia l.
(Photo Courtesy of Rick Helicopters)
Below. Jim Ricklefs and the fuselage of his SPAD before
(Photo Courtesy of Rick Helicopters)
Above. It is interesting to see the extensive use of wood in
the mounting of the Hisso. Also note the fine workman-
(Photo Courtesy of Rick Helicopters)
Below. Fuselage structure of the Ricklefs SPAD. Look at
those thin wing ribs!
(Photo Courtesy of Rick Helicopters)
Above. A plywood " Keel " is built into the SPAD's fuselage
and mounts the pilot's seat , the rudder bar and the
    Curtiss Fledglin-g on display at Galeao Air Force Base in Brazil.
(Editor's Note: In the October issue ol Sport Aviation, a
picture ol Hank Palmer's Curtiss Fledgling appeared wit,h
(L caption stating that it was the only (Lctwe Fledghng lett.
We , o( course, knew ol the Fledgling restored several years
ago by Jos eph Erale ol Brentwood, New York . This plane
became the AAA's Grand Champion in 1966. Shortly af"-
terward, it was purchased by the Brazilian government to
be placed in a museum there. We assumed that like the air-
in our own National Air and Space Museum tn
Washington, the Fledgling would neuer lly again. The lol-
lowing letter by Warren D. Shipp sets us straight . .. and
(or once it is good to be wrong!)
Dear Mr. Cox:
Just a short note to correct the caption on Hank Pal-
mer's Fledgling on Page 43 of the October 1973 issue. His
airplane may be the only one active in the U.S., but not
in the world. I'm enclosing a couple of pictures I received
recently from Brazil showing Joe Erale's Fledging still
very active. This note is not way of nit-picking, but
1 thought the story behind Erale's Fledgling would be
I received the pictures from Captain Carlos Dufriche
of Rio de Janiero, a Captain in Brazil's merchant marine
and an ardent aviation historian. Captain Dufriche and I
have had a considerable correspondence on the Fledgling
due to my interest in the ship. I spent over three days
measuring the plane in order to obtain fairly accurate mea-
surements as no good drawings of the Fledgling ever were
available. Then Erale sold the ship to Brazil, and no one,
not even Erale knew where it was. When Captain Du-
friche's name appeared in a list of new members of the
American Aviation Historical Society, I took the chance
that he might know where the ship was. I was most sur-
prised when he sent me pictures of the Fledgling, and told
me that it was flown at least three times each year. It IS
(Photo by Capt. Carlos Dufri che)
brought out and displayed and flown during Brazil's
equivalent of our Armed Forces Day. These photos show
the plane on display and in flight on 12 June 1973.
Captain Dufriche says that Brazil used about 14 Fledg-
lings in their air mail service, and the odd coincidence is
that the first one bore the markings K263, while Erale's
plane was originally registered as NC 263H and was re-
stored as N-263H. The original registration was in 1927.
Warren D. Shipp (EAA 556),1247 E. 66 Street, Brook-
lyn, New York 11234 is well known in aviation history
circles as a photographer and writer/historian. Our thanks
to him for sharing the pictures and information on the ex-
Erale Fledgling, and to Capt. Dufriche who provided it all
in the beginning.
The Fledgling in flight on June 12, 1973.
(Photo by Capt. Carlos Dufriche)
Limited numbers of back issues of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE are ava il able at .50c (up a dime
due to postal increases) each. Copies still on ha nd at EAA Headquarters are:
December 1972 - SOLD OUT May 1973 - SOLD OUT
January 1973 June 1973
February 1973 - SOLD OUT July 1973
March 1973 August 1973
April 1973 September 1973
October 1973
Here's one we have been trying to sneak in some-
where for over a year. Last fall we received the picture
from EAAers Ron Darcey and Ben Swanson (we' ll with-
hold t heir addresses for the time being so as not to give
you any clues) along with a very humorous little pi ece that
spoofed some of the activity going on in our homebuilt
area. The photograph, however, is one that instantly
spawns controversy, mystery a nd intrique (. . . that's
heady stuff for an aviation mag, eh?) among those who
can identify it. So, how about it ... who can identify the
machine (?), who knows anything about the circumstances
surrounding this particular picture (where? when? who
are the two guys? etc.), and a nything else you care to
add. The designer and builder of the craft will undoubted-
ly come in for a major share of attention.
Let's hear from you super-sleuths.
That's the name of a new newsletter aimed at opera-
tors of such little round engines as Salmsons, Szekely,
Aeromarine, Lenape, Velie, Lambert, 90-110-125 Warners,
100-125 Kinners, LeBlonds and the Ken Royce - plus a ny
other small radial aircraft engine not exceeding 125 hp.
The newsletter is intended to serve as a clearing
house for information on where to find parts, a mea ns of
.  , 
(Photo  court esy  Ron  Darcey  and  Ben  Swanson) 
disposi ng of parts, service and operation tips - including
such valuable tidbits as what modern bearings will fit
and repl ace those on your 1931 hunk of iron.
Ken Williams, 331 E. Franklin St., Portage, Wisconsin
53901 is editing the Little Round Engine Flyers and will
be happy to provide you with additional information. As
many of you know, Ken is owner of that beautiful black
and yell ow Rearwin Sportster that is at Oshkosh every
"WANTED"  DEPARTMENT  - Goodyear wheel and
brake parts (size: 25 x 11 x 4) for a Stinson SR-5. Con-
tact: Bob Near, 2702 Butterfoot Lane, Hast ings,Nebraska
WANTED:  Beech Staggerwing or Stinson Gullwing. Any
condition, preferably run out for rebuilding and restora-
tion. Contact Grover Rahi sner , Jr. , Van Buren Street
Ext ., Eva ns City, Pa. 16033.
FOR SALE: $11,300 - Waco YKS-7. 220 Continental with
240 hours SMOH. Curtiss-Reed prop. Covered in Iri sh
linen in 1963. Red with white trim. Original owner was
United Airlines. Owner being transferred back to Alaska .
Call Mr. George Loury, 214-691-7975.
JUNE  13-16  - TULLAHOMA,  TENNESSEE  - National  Staggerwing 
JULY  28  - AUGUST  3  - OSHKOSH,  WISCONSIN  - 22nd  Annual  EAA 
Club  Fly-In. Contact W.  C.  " Dub"  Yarbrough, Lannom  Mfg.  Co.,  Box 
International  Fly-In  Convention.  Largest  and  best  Antique  and  Clas-
500, Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388. 
sic  gathering  anywhere.  Make  your  plans  and  reservations  early.