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(Photo  by Ted  Kaston) 

By E. E. " Buck"  Hilbert 
President,  Anti que-Classic  Division 
Membership in the EAA Antique-Cl assic Di visi on is open to all EAA members who have a special
interest in the older aircraft that are a proud part of our aviation heritage. Membership in the Antique-
Classic Division is $10.00 per year which entitles one to 12 issues of The Vintage Airplane published
monthly at EAA Headquarters. Each member will also receive a special Antique-Classic membership
card plus one additional card for one's spouse or other designated family member.
Membership in EAA is $15.00 per year which includes 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. All mem-
bership correspondence should be addressed to: EAA, Box 229, Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130.
How About A Challenge? .. . Tom McCann . . . . . . . ..  4
Reminiscing With Big Nick ... Nick Rezich ... ... ...  6
1974 National Waco Fly-In ... Ray Brandly . . . . . .. ..  12
The Meyers 145 ... Gar Williams . . . ... .... . .... ... .  14
The Invincible Center-Wing(s) ...... . ............... 20
ONTHECOVER  .  .• Tom McCann's Nieuport 17.  BACK  COVER  • .. Bamboo Bomber.
Photo by Ted Koston Photo by Ted Koston
Publisher - Paul  H.  Poberezny  Ed itor - Jack Cox 
Assist ant  Ed itor - Gene  Chase  Assistant  Editor - Golda  Cox 
8102  LE ECH  RD.  P  O.  BOX  2464-
BOX  181  g  S  135  AERO  DR. ,  RT.  1 
LYONS.  WIS.  53148  NAPERVI LLE, ILL.  60540 
P.  O.  Box 458  3850  Coronation  Rd.  P. O.  Box 3747  RR  1.  Box 151 
Lumberton,  N.  C.  28358  Eagan,  Minn.  55122  Martinsvi lle,  Va. 24112  Stilwell , Kansas 66085 
9635  Sylvia Ave.  7018 W.  Bonni well  Rd.  RR  18.  Box 127  3536 Whi tehall  Dr. 
Northridge,  Cali f.  91 324  Mequon.  Wisc.  53092  Ind ianapol is. Ind.  46234  Dallas. Texas  75229 
THE  VINTAGE  AIRPLANE  is  owned  exelusively  by  Antique  Classic  Ai rcraft .  Inc.  and  is  published 
monthly  at  Hales  Corners,  Wisconsin  53130,  Second  Class  Permit  pending  at  Hales  Corners  Post 
Office.  Hales  Corners.  Wisconsin  53130.  Membership  rates  for  Ant ique  Classic  Aircraft.  Inc.  are 
$10.00  per  12  monlh  period  of  whIch  $7.00  is  for  Ihe  subscrlpllOn  to  THE  VINTAGE  AIRPLANE.  All 
Antique  ClassIc  Aircraft.  Inc.  members  are  required  to  be  members  of  the  parent  organization.  the 
Experimental  Ai rcraft Associ ation.  Membership is  open  to all  who are  i nt erested  in  aVI.ation. 
Postmaster:  Send  Form  3579  to Antique  Classic  Aircraft,  Inc.,  Box  229, 
Hales  Corners,  Wisconsin  53130 
Copyright  1974  Antique  Classic  Aircraft. Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved 
By Tom McCann (EAA 36209/AC 54)
251 Aero Drive 9, South
Naperville, Illinois 60540
Being in the infantry in World War II and wou nded
five times and in later years a sky diver, I figured it was
time for a challenge - so I decided to build an aeroplane.
I have always been interested in World War I avia-
tion so, naturally, I had to build a World War I aeroplane.
I wanted to build an Albatross 0-3, but since six cylinder
in-line engines that turn a big prop slowly are almost
extinct, I had to settle on a design with a round engi ne.
I had always liked the Nieuport 17 also, so when I
found out the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Museum
had drawings on it, I sent for them. They loa ned me what
they had and I had them copied and as it turned out they
were wri tten in German. It seems the Germans captured
a Nieuport and liked it so much they made a detailed set
of drawings from it and even manufactured an aeroplane
from them called a Siemens-Schukert.
Well, after a month of studying the drawings I started
to make fittings. Incidentally, the drawings are metric,
which is really the simplest way to go, and I made fit-
tings and made fittings and fittings to hold fittings. For
an aeroplane that had an average life of three weeks, it
certainly was complicated! My aeroplane from the fire-
wall back is as authentic as possible with no changes ex-
cept for the use of 4130 steel.
One thing about the lieu port - I could have put the·
markings of any country on either side and they would be
correct, but I chose the French as they were the original
(Photo by Ted Koston)
I have had many detractors while building the Nieu-
port and many especially when it came time to finish
it, mostly because of the no brakes and tail skid con-
figuration. Almost everyone said, "You're goi ng to kill
yourself," or, "You're going to end up on your back,"
or, "You're going to run into my hanga r."
Well, let me tell you, I was beginning to have some
doubts myself until my son John said, "You ca n do it,
dad!" That's all it took to bring the old confidence back.
50, one fine morning in May my good friend, Gar Wil-
liams, knocked on my window and sai d, "The Huns are
coming and you have to go get them'" It wasn't long be-
fore we got the plane started and 1 taxi ed down to the
east/west strip, which, incidentally, was just about the
extent of the taxi tests. After some final words of wisdom
from Gar, I pus hed the throttle forward, up came the
tail and she li fted off in seconds.
I climbed straight out, mindful of the old saying,
"Keep your nose down in the turns". Well, she turns nose
up and nose down and has no bad characteristics, except
when I tried to slip to the ri ght, she instantly rewarded
me with a viol ent shaking and a hard blast of wi nd on
the right side of my head. Since then we don't slip any
The landing was the best I have made in it yet. When
Gar got me turned around for another go at it, he said,
"Don't be too confident - watch that next landing".
(Photo by Ted Kaston)
RIGHT: Cockpit and machine gun installation details.
Well, that landing and the next two ended up in ground
loops. Since then my average has improved somewhat!
This project ha s taken about 41/2 years, however,
during that time I also rebuilt my J-3 twice . .. the first
as a basket case and the second time when the wind blew
it away.
My son and I now have a Fokker Triplane half fin-
ished ... say now, there might be a challenge . . . !!
(Photo by Ted Kaston)
BELOW: Naperville, Illinois, 1974 . .. or Western Front,
The Model 18, like the Howard factory, got off to a
bad start and the climbout was slow. When the first bids
for CPTP and Army PT trainers were let, Howard's
Board of Directors could not make up their minds whether
to get a piece of the action or not. The issue at hand was
money. Mr. B. D. DeWeese, our new president, finally
convinced them we could a nd should build the trainer.
When the board finally decided to go ahead with the
new project, it was too late. Fairchild, Ryan, Stearman
and Waco all had airplanes ready to go. Howard went
ahead with the project and we built the new plane to
meet CAA certification requirements and Army specs.
The first move by B. D. was to re-hire Gordon Israel
as Chief Engineer. Gordon was happy to return to Howard
and was eager to get the new airplane designed and built.
It was just a week into the project when the head-
banging contest started. First, it was B. D. trying to tell
Gordon what to design and, second, the stingy Board of
Directors doling out a handful of chicken feed to build it
With the money allotted Gordon designed the original
"18" around a 165 hp Warner engine. His new design
was a slick one. The fuselage was steel tube with the rear
half fabric covered and the cockpit forward section fitted
with removable sheet metal. The wings were two-piece -
mono spar, all wood, full cantilever panels. The tail
group included steel flippers and rudder and a wooden
stabilizer and fin. The final layout looked great.
Ted Linnert designed a beautiful control system - all
needle bearings a nd balanced 100%, aerodynamically
and statically. The landing gear was the pride of Gordon
Israel - it was an anti-noseover gear. It was built so that
when you jumped on the binders, the nose would come
up instead of pitching you over on your back. We had
more fun testing this gear! It was an odd feeling going
Nick Rezich
4213 Centerville Rd.
Rockford, Ilf. 61102
down the ramp at 30 or 40 mph and being able to jump on
the binders without finding yourself on the nose.
Throughout the design process Gordon kept mainte-
nance and service in mind (something today's engineers
don' t do) . The 18 was a mechanic's dream and a builder's
delight. About half way through the preliminary stress
analysis, the word came down that the prototype must
be in the air within 30 days! That took care of the pre-
liminaries .. . now it was full bore with everything being
right. Now!! the main event of the head-banging contest
was to emerge! Eli Newberger, our chief in charge of
stress (who is now with the FAA) complained that he
could not finish the stress analysis in time to release the
prototype for flight. Gordon told him not to worry about
the flying, that he and Walt Daiber, our test pilot, would
take care of meeting the flight deadline. With Eli set-
tled down, Gordon released the primary structure draw-
ings ... some complete and some incomplete.
In order to meet the 30 day time limit, it was decided
we would build temporary jigs for the wings and fuse-
lage and that we would build two airplanes from these
jigs. The first machine would be the flying prototype and
the second the static load test machine. The two fuselages
were built in a wood jig, much the same as EAA home-
builders use today. The wing jig was made of angle iron,
bolted together. The later permanent jigs were all welded.
You mayor may not believe the rest of this story, but
BELIEVE-YOU-ME, it is true . With only 30 days time
and no additional help to build the first two airplanes,
the true Howard Aircraft loyalty, craftsmanship and
ingenuity emerged.
All the available factory space was being used to
maintain a one a week production schedule for the Model
15, which we could not disturb. In order to make room
for the wing and fuselage jigs for the 18, we removed the
foreman's desks and the clothes lockers from the wood
shop and welding shop and doubled up with the paint
department and sheet metal department. The rest of the
18 was build in corners ... and at night.
The first to burn the midnight oil was engineering.
I can well remember coming to work in the mornings and
finding Gordon Israel asleep in his chair at a drafting
table. Mr. DeWeese would tell Gordon to go home and
get some rest, but Gordon would stay on until he finished
what he was working on so he could release it to the shop
for construction.
The first fuselage was built by the late Mike Babco
and Conrad Wayne in two days. The fuselage was finished
about 3:30 P.M. and went to the paint shop for routine
zinc chromate prime. The cleaning, painting and drying
was scheduled as a three hour job. At about 5:00 P.M. I
received a phone call during a meeti ng from the paint
shop foreman informing me that the primer would not
dry. I told him to give it another 30 minutes and it should
be O.K.
Thirty minutes later he called again and said it was
still wet. I left the meeting and when I was 50 feet from the
paint booth, I got the word - or should I say the smell?
What I was smelling was not zinc chromate, but enamel.
No wonder it wouldn't dry' Tom Halidler, the painter,
had grabbed a five gallon pail ou t of storage and did not
check what it was. He opened it and it was yellow, so he
dumped it into the pressure pot and started to s pray.
What he was spraying was road marking enamel that we
used to paint the compass rose with at the airport. Need-
less to say, I got very ugl y with him ... it cost him a 30
day suspension.
This littl e boner cost us a whole day. The paint shop
stripped the enamel, re-cleaned and re-etched the tubing
and painted it that night ... in zinc chromate thi s time
so that it was ready for sub assembly the next morn-
ing. The experimentai assembly department consisted
of Mike Molberg, "Sludge" Doyle, Frank Rezich, Ted
Linnert and Gordon Israel. For the next five days thi s
bunch worked 16 and 24 hour shifts 'without any breaks.
When the ga ng was hungry, Gordon would give Frank
Rezich ten bucks and send him over to " Monkey Faces",
a local gag and vomit shop, for a bag full of sandwiches
and coffee .. . which were eaten whenever a man had the
time to take a bite or two. When they got into the 24 hour
work period, they slept in chairs, on the floor or wherever
they could for an hour or two. The corker came one night
when Frank Rezich fell asleep lying on a sawhorse. Every-
one was taking bets as to when he was going to roll off.
I went home about midnight and he was still on dead
center . .. as far as I know he never rolled off!
After the tail group was fitted and all controls checked
out, the fu selage went back to the Paint Shop for fabric
coveri ng. While the fu selage was being covered the stu ff
hit the fan! B. D. DeWeese and the Board of Directors
swi tched engines on Gordon. They said the 165 hp Warn-
er was too expensive and that we would use the 125 hp
Warner inst ea d. Well" Gordon promptly told them in what
particular part of their anatomies they could insert the
125 Warner! The head banging ended with Gordon los-
ing the contest.
Using the small Warner meant all new performance
figures, new weight and balance ... in fact, everything
new firewall forward and no place to chop any weight
other than in the fini sh. The first set of wings were fin-
ished by now and the second set was already started, so
it was too late to desi gn or build a new lighter wing. When
the smoke cleared, Gordon jumped into his Dodge and
(Photo Courtesy Nick Rezich)
A Model 18 with a NACA cowl.
headed for Andy Kluck's "Barn" where he could think in
peace and settle down with the aid of the spirits.
In the meantime, Eli Newberger, Ted Linnert and
Wally French re-engineered the 18 to match the 125
Warner. They made some changes in the Number 2 static
test airplane but left Number 1 alone . . . it was still
full bore on the flight test plane. Harold Bates joined the
experimental group in charge of engine installation and
the airplane was fully assembled at the factory and
checked out, then the v.rings were removed and the ship
was trucked to the airport for final assembly, taxi test,
engine run, etc.
While all this was going on, Eli and his gang were
working round the clock building the "whiffle tree" for
the wing static testing, the drop test rig for the landing
gear and working out some final figures before the first
test flight. We still had about five days left to meet the
deadline and Walt Daiber was chomping at the bit to fly
the 18. He had been running slow taxi tests, engine tests,
etc., plus test flying the 15s. He had been given instruc-
tions from Gordon not to fly the plane until engineer-
ing released it.
Well, 01' Walt was nothing but a big kid who loved to
fly. One afternoon after all the squawks had been worked
off, Walt asked to run some high speed, tail up tests on
the runway. Gordon said O.K .... but DON'T fly it, and
to make sure he wouldn't, instructed the mechanics not
to put the rear engine cowl on and one side panel. Walt
jumped into the cockpit and my brother Frank cranked
him up. As Walt taxied out, he had the grin of the cat
that just swallowed the canary ... yep! you guessed it
- when he got down to the west end of the east/west
runway, he opened up the throttle, up came the tail and
about 200 feet later the 18 was in the air!
Walt climbed it out at max angle, circled the field to
about 3,000 feet and proceeded to run some stall tests.
After about 30 minutes of flying around doing steep
turns, dives, etc., he returned to the field, made a per-
fect three point landing and taxied in with that same
$%J* eating grin on his face. Gordon was so happy to
see his new design fly, he forgot all about his "no fly"
order. He jumped up on the wing, slapped Walt on the
back and said, "How was it?". Walt, still smiling, said,
"Build it - it flies like a toy!"
The following weeks were spent on the static load
tests and keeping B. D. De Weese away from the airplane.
Walt was about three jumps ahead of everyone in the
flight tests and, again, Gordon warned him not to spin or
dive the airplane until the wing tests were complete.
Unbeknown to Gordon, Walt had already spun it. Walt
let the cat out of the bag when the engineers were in-
stalling the spin chute. He told them, "Hell, you don't
need that, it spins nose down!" Walt was skating on
thin ice, however, because a few days later the wing
failed at the torsion box with a lesser load than for which
it was designed. This section was modified and the air-
plane went through the certification tests with no other
Our next problem was production. We had to rear-
range the factory to accommodate both the 18 and the 15.
In the meantime, Sales had sold a mess of 18s and wanted
delivery yesterday. Building the first ten 18s caused
many red eyes - it was common to work three days
straight! Yes, I remember it well . . . going to work on
Monday and going home for the first time on Wednesday
smelling like a goat!
The 18, like the 15, was improved and modified on
the production line by the mechanics and it left the fac-
tory in traditional D.G.A. form. The first batch of 18s
had an enamel finish on the wings and stabilizer. We
used a process called "wipe-on" ... you finished the wood
like furniture - sealer, filler and color. This was sup-
posed to be quicker and cheaper than the customary
dope and fabric and did, indeed, result in a high gloss
finish. As it worked out, this was more time consuming,
expensive and difficult to repair. The high gloss was the
only thing the method had going for it. This was later
changed to a dope and fabric finish. The wood covering
was applied with tacking strips in place of permanently
driven nails such as in the 15. The leading edge was a one-
piece, curved section that we formed ourselves with a
steam forming jig. We also added check valves to the
brake reservoir cans to keep from bathing the pilots with
hydraulic oil.
The whole 18 program went well until the airplanes
and the summer heat met in Georgia, Oklahoma and
Texas. The operators complained that the airplane
would not perform or climb in the 90 degree temperatures .
Gordon was well aware of this situation and explained
to the sales people that you couldn't build an airplane
that was designed for 165 hp and fly it with 125 hp and
expect anything other than a pig.
It wasn't long before the sales came to a grinding
halt. C. W. "Slim" Frietag, our vice president of sales,
an old-time pilot with many hours, finally convinced B.
D. De Weese and the Board of Directors of the need to
install the 165 hp engine if we were to survive .. . then
it was back to the head banging contest! Gordon wanted
the original 165 Warner and the Board and B. D. wanted
a 165 Kinner because, again, it was cheaper. Gordon came
out of the contest with the larger lumps - a Kinner en-
gine was purchased and work began immediately on
the new installation. This program was a carbon copy of
the 18 as Gordon had originally planned it. Sales wanted
the plane yesterday, so it was back to working all hours
of the day and night.
Summer had also arrived in Chicago and the annual
Howard Aircraft picnic was scheduled to be held in the
Dan Ryan Woods Park located at 87th and Western
Avenue. This park is in the city and is surrounded by
homes on all four sides. Part of the planned entertain-
ment called for Walt Daiber to put on an aerobatic show
over the picnic grounds in one of the 18s.
Walt showed up at about 3:00 P.M. and at 3,000 feet
proceeded to loop, roll and snap roll the 18 for about
twenty minutes before returning to Muni. As he was
leaving the area, little Don Dresslle, who is now an avia-
tion executive on the west coast, came up to me and said,
"That was a terrible show. You couldn't see or hear him.
You can do better than that ... why don't I drive you out
to Willie Howell's and get your Travel Air and put on a
REAL show!" I agreed it was terrible, so we headed off
to Howell's Airport where I rolled out NC-8115, a red
and white sunburst Travel Air Speedwing that belonged
to my brother Mike ... and headed for the picnic!
I was in my prime then and I gave them one heck of
a good show. I capped it off with a simulated ribbon pick-
up using a baseball diamond backstop for the target. I
went back to the airport for some more tricks before
putting 8115 in the hangar. Don and I headed back to
the picnic where everybody was buzzing about the fly-
ing .. . all but two: the late George Vest, Chief of the Chi-
cago CAA, and "Fritz" Long, our resident CAA inspector.
George didn't ask me if I were flying that airplane . ..
he knew!! He walked me over to a tree and said, "I should
hang you here!" He then proceeded to read the riot act
to me in no uncertain terms. He made one statement that
I shall never forget, which was, "I don't give a damn if
(Photo Courtesy Nick Rezich)
The Model 18  Final Assembly crew. In the center is Mike
Molberg, the Foreman who brought the wreckage of Mr.
Mulligan back to  Chicago. To his left is my brother Frank
who is with Rockwell International , working on the 8·1
bomber program.
you  kill  yourself,  but  you  have  no  right  to  kill  anyone 
on  the  ground."  He  ended  his  speech  by  telling  me  the 
airplane  and  myself  were grounded and  to  be  in  his  office 
Monday  promptly at 9:00  A.M. 
Now  don' t  get  any  goofy  ideas  here  ... sure  it  was  a 
picnic  with  beer,  hot  dogs,  etc.,  but in  those  days I  didn't 
drink  beer  or  booze.  I  was  just  a  hot  shot  show-off  who 
thought  he  could  fly  better  than  the  next  guy.  Well,  that 
session  in  Mr.  Vest's  office  cooled  me  down  for  a  long 
time  afterwards.  And  that  wasn't  the  end  of  the  burro 
chewing  either  ... my  brother  got  in  on  the  act,  since  it 
was  hi s  airplane.  We  went  through  the  whole  scene 
again.  Oh  well,  it  WAS  a  good  show!  Incidentally,  I  now 
own  NC-8115  and  will  be  back  on  the  air  show  circuit 
with  it  in  1975.  NC-606K  belongs  to  my  brother  Mike 
and  hi s  son is  now flying  it. 
Enough  ego  priming  .. .  back  to  that  shaking  Kin-
ner.  The  Kinner  installation  opened  a  whole  new  can  of 
worms  that  worsened  by  the  day.  Everything  went  fine 
until  we  started  the  spin  tests.  The  spin  test  for  certifica-
tion  called  for  a  six  turn  spin  with  a  hands-off  recovery 
within  a  turn and a  half.  Walt  had  been  running  the  tests 
and  found  that  after  three  turns  the  tail  would  shake,  but 
thi s  did  not  affect  the  recovery.  Satisfied  that  it  met  the 
requirements,  Walt  turned  the  machine  over  to  the  CAA 
• for  acceptance.  The  CAA  inspector  who  was  going  to  do 
the  flying  had  just  recovered  from  a  broken  back  which 
he  received  while  doing  spin  tests  at  the  Waco  factory. 
I  don' t  remember his  name,  but he  was  a  nice  fellow  ... 
and  had  "had  the  cure"  for  shaking  tails.  He  started 
the  spin tests  with  the  usual  caution:  one turn,  two  turns, 
etc.  When  he  started  the  four  turn  tests  and  that  tail 
got  to  shaking,  he  brought  everything  to  a  grinding 
halt  and  instructed  us  to  fix  it.  His  exact  works  were, 
"One  broken back  is  enough!" 
For  the  next  six  months  Howard  Aircraft,  the  18  and 
the  CAA  went  through  hell.  We  modified,  we  changed 
and  the  more  we  spun  the  18,  the  more  it  shook.  Again 
we  were  back  to  working  all  night  and  all  day  designing, 
building  and  assemblying  new  fixes.  About  the  time  we 
thought  we  had  the  problem  licked,  the  CAA  would  fly 
it and say,  "No,  it's  still  there." 
We  shifted  the  shake  from  the  fourth  turn  to  the  fifth 
turn  and  this  was  not  acceptable  .. .  it  was  six  turns  and 
no  shake  or  no  license.  Gordon  took  over  the  job  as  test 
pilot  just  so  he  could  get  first  hand information.  Ted  Lin-
nert spun  it  to  get  first  hand  information.  Ted  had  earlier 
bailed  out  of  a  Waco  10  while  running  spin  tests  after 
converting  the  Waco  from  an  OX-5  to  a  Tank  engine,  so 
he  was  current  on spins.  Still  no  fix. 
After  an  all-night  session  at  the  drawing  board,  Gor-
don suggested we mount a  camera on the ship and photo-
graph  the  tail  during  the  spins.  We  found  that  we  could 
not  mount  the  camera  on  the  ship  and  still  photograph 
the  tail  and  all  the  tufts.  Gordon,  however,  would  not 
accept  defeat .  He  told  us  to  remove  the  rear  controls  and 
seat  so  that  he  could  stand  up  in  the  rear  cockpit  and 
photograph  the  tail  holding  the  camera  in  his  hands! 
Everyone  thought he  was crazy.  Nevertheless,  they rigged 
up  a  safety  belt  to  fit  around  his  mid  section  and  all  the 
while,  Walt  kept  shaking  hi s  head  and  saying,  ''I'll  lose 
him,  sure  as  hell!".  With  camera  in  hand  and  standing 
in  the  cockpit  facing  the  rear,  Gordon  and  Walt  roared 
off.  About  a  half  hour  later  they  returned  with  Gordon 
and  his  camera  still  in  the  back  seat  and  Walt  still  shak-
ing  his  head!  It must have been a  wild  ride,  because  when 
they  lifted  Gordon  out  of  the  cockpit,  he  could  not  stand 
by  himself  for  about  ten  minutes.  Well!  anyhow  Gordon 
got  his  pictures and a  ride  he  will  never forget! 

By now 01' B. D. De Weese was impossible to live with .
He kept pushing Gordon until he up and quit and went to
work for Grumman Aircraft. To replace Gordon as chief
engineer, B. D. hired Bill Peerfi eld from Stinson. Bill
knew B. D. fr om hi s Stinson days and could get along
with him. He walked into a real mess, however, and by
the time he got all the loose ends tied together and sifted
out what had been done and what had to be fini shed
another month had slipped by.
After reviewing all the data and motion pictures, it
was decided that the airplane needed a larger stabil izer
flipper and fin . Also, the tail had to be rai sed to kept it
out of the wing's downwash . A new tail group was built
and a new fuselage from the rear cockpit aft was built.
BELlEVE-YOU-ME, the res t of this is true: The new
tail was covered and painted in the fa ctory. The bare aft
fus elage was primed and all was trucked to the airport
for the switch. At 7:00 A.M. Mike Babco cut the old fu se-
lage off at th e cockpit and weld ed the new section in
place, using saw horses for a jig. By 9:00 A.M. 1 squirted
the welds with zinc chromate and my brother Frank and
"Sludge" Doyle started hangi ng stringers, cabl es, etc.,
in place.
Now, B. D. was on the scene all the while as well as
Bill Peerfi eld . B. D. ke pt handing the tail wheel to
"Sludge" and kept telling him to install it. Aft er about
the fifth attempt, "Sludge" went over and got a big chunk
of wood and set it on end. He then grabbed B. D. by the
lapels and sat him on it and told him to keep his hands off
the parts and sit there a nd be qu iet until the work was
fini shed' You could have hea rd a pin drop'! Work now
proceeded on the new fu selage and by 3:00 P.M. 1was slip-
ping the cover on and while 1 was doping it, the others
hung the tail group. 1 put the fu selage throu gh silver and
we were ready to roll it out for test flight when B. D.
said hi s first words since "Sludge" sat him on th e wood.
He asked that we paint the fuselage in color so it wouldn't
look like a repair job. Rather than argue, 1 sprayed two
cross coats of blue dope on it and we pushed it out at 6:00
They cranked it up and Walt was in the air twenty
minutes later. He landed at dark, taxi ed in slowly, parked
and just sat in the cockpit. We didn't have to ask .. . we
all knew the new tail had not solved the probl em.
By now, everybody had become an expert in tail s hake
theory, includ ing yours truly. 1 remembered rea ding a
paper published by Lockheed about "'ring-to-fuselage junc-
tures and thought maybe I had something. It was a Sun-
day morning when I called Walt and explained my theory
and asked him to fly the airplane. 1 went out to the air-
port a nd removed the two wing walks which consisted
of % inch thi ck rough cork runners about 12 inches wide.
This improved the stall considerably and eliminated the
buffet in steep turns, but it did not stop the shake. We
th en replaced the cork wing walks on the production
airplanes with smooth carborundum wa lks. B. D. didn' t
like thi s because the cork had been hi s idea.
I can't reca ll who it was, but someone sugges ted run-
ning the spin tes ts with the engine stopped. We tri ed it
and it worked - eureka!' Now we had to fi gure out a
way to make it work with the engine running.
Howa rd Aircraft was a n airplane fa ctory that e m-
pl oyed many tal ent ed men other than A&E mechanics .
Some of thi s outside tal ent was in the form of race car
builders and mechani cs. "Sludge" Doyle hired a whole
slew of race mechanics to work for him in the machine
shop. After hour s a nd on weekends, they built st eel
tube race car chassis long b efore Frank Kurtis ever
thought of it . I saw a lot of fancy Offies come out of How-
ard Aircraft . .. that is how I got involved in AAA racing.
Let me break away from the 18 to tell you a story
about "Sludge" Doyl e. "Sludge" was the master mechan-
ic on about fi ve different race cars and he would be in
the pits at Soldier's Field, the Amphitheater or Raceway
Park setting up the engines for the drivers every race
night that he wasn't working at Howard. 01' "Sludge"
liked his libati on ... and 1 mean REALLY liked it. He
would get the cars running, then walk ,across the track
to the bar, fill up, walk back and sit on a hay bale li sten-
ing to the engines as they ran. When he would hear a sick
alto, he would give 'em two fin gers up or one finge r
down, then hea d for that bar across the track. Well , the
firs t couple of trips across, he would look for traffic,
but after that he would just walk right through the traf-
fic! One ni ght at Raceway Park, he was sitting on a bal e
of hay in the first corner when the whole bunch came
charging throu gh, missing " Sludge" and the bale by
inches. Going down the backstretch Wally Zale and Tony
" Flipper" Bett enhause n s hortened th e track in number
three turn by knocking the bales over and as they came
down into the number one turn, "Sludge" got off the bale
just as Wally sa wed off the "Flipper" ... and he went
through the bale! As they all passed, "Sludge" walked
across the track again and into the bar. This guy used
to do thi s all the time and never received a scratch . He
was a lege nd around the Chicago tracks.
My boss, George Lyo ns, was also a car builder ... in
fact , they called him "I build 'em Lyons". He suggested
we u se th e sa me kind of vibration damper for the Kin-
ner installation on the 18 as used on the Offi es . "Sludge",
George and Bill Burns built a mount with an Offy damp-
er and we hung the Kinner in it and tried it. It wor ked!!
The new 18 passed the spin tests with flying colors and
received its CAA certificate.
J don' t recall how many we built before the war broke
out, but it wasn't many. When the war came along, the
Army and Navy didn' t want the airplane so we shut down
the production of the 18 and built the Fairchild PT-23 on
The Model 18 was a good sport aircraft but a poor aero-
batic airplane. It had bunches of dihedra l which made it
almost impossible to slow roll , and, for a low winger, the
18 was very stabl e. Snap rolls turned out to be snatch
roll s. All the 18s were painted with blue fu selages a nd
yellow wings. I think it would have been a great airplane
with a 220 Continental and a flatt er wing. Structurally,
it was the best in the industry. It was truly a D.G.A.
I don' t know of any 18 left fl ying today. Don Ga rdner
of the EAA Aviation Museum staff has the only one still
carried on the FAA regish' ation list - a DGA-18K, I -
39672, Serial Number 672. It will be restored a nd flying
one of these days . There is a rumor that an FAA inspector
in Georgia or northern Florida also has one.
Benny Howard desi gned two ai rplanes that were never
built under the Howard name. Benny was twenty years
ahead of the industry in ideas and design.
Benny d esig ned a freighter with a swing tai l, af t
loading door and front loading d oor tha t was never
built. He also designed a freighter with a detachable pod
much the same as a semi. Hi s idea was to build hundreds
of pods (trailers) and a few pod carri ers. The scheme was
to fl y in with a loaded pod, drop it off, pick up a new
loaded one and continu e the flight . .. much as the truck-
ing industry operates. No one would finance such a "wild"
venture then, but later some of the designs wE're stolen
or copied and Benny's freighters never got off the ground
- which is too bad because the air freight business is
still twenty years behind.
"Till next month . .. watch that bottom rudder in the
turn. It will kill you. It's better to bank and yank than
to stomp and yank.
- Big Nick
(Photo Cour:9SY Nick Rezich)
The first Howard Model 18 - at the factory test hangar.
(Photo Courtesy Nick Rezich)
The Howard experimental crew dur-
ing the development of the Model 18.
Left to right: Frank Rezich, Assistant
Foreman, Assembly; Mike Molberg,
Foreman, Assembly; Gordon Israel,
Chief Engineer; Eli Newberger,
Engineer; Ted Linnert, Engineer;
and Walter French, Engineer.
(Photo Courtesy Nick Rezich)
"This is NC-8115, the Travel Air
Speed Wing in which I almost ended
my air show career before it really
started. It belonged to my brother
Mike. I purchased it last year and
am in the process of rebuilding it.
It is about 95% complete at this writ-
ing. But for storms that damaged my
house and property recently, I vl/ould
have had it flying for OshKosh . I
should have it completed by Septem-
ber. The name " Earl Sting" is on
the cowl. This was a pilot who worked
for Mike Murphy and who owned the
airplane before Mike bought it. " -
Big Nick
(Photo  by David  Austin) 
Dick  Austin's  Waco  ARE. 
The following Wacos enjoyed Memorial Day Weekend
Hamilton, Ohio for the annual National Waco Fly-
1934 UMF-3 NC14041 Harold Johnson, Dayton,
In: 1935 CUC-2 NC14625 J. c. Weber, Barrington, IL
1936 YKS-6 NC16507 Col. James Mathews,
Bill Hogan, Hamilton, Ohio
Willt Weber, Atlanta, GA
1936 YKS-6 NC16517
Andrews AFB, MD
Jim Hau n, Donelson, TN
1931 QDC NC11470 Slim Johansson, St. Louis, 1936 EQC-6 NC1659] Stan Gomoll, Minneapolis,
1931 QCF-2 NC11482 Frank Fox, Rockville, MD
]937 YKS-7 NC17457 Col. Robert Smith, Bel Air,
1932 RBA NC12444 Dave McClure, Bloomington,
IL 1937 YKS-7 NC17701
Wayne Hayes, Trenton, NJ
1932 IBA NC12453 Dr. Ed Packard, South Bend, 1937 VPF-7 NC74835 Al Shimer, Hookstown, PA
IN 1938 ZGC-8 NC19360 Glen Hanson, Dundee, IL
1932 UEC NC12457 Lawrence Longuski, Bad 1939 AGC-8 NC20908 Stanley Simmons, Corona,
Axe, MI CA
(Continued on Page 23)
Beautiful Wacos from the far North, the deep South,
the West Coast and the East Coast gathered at Hamil-
ton Airport for the annual National Waco Fly-In. This
gathering of Wacos, a total of thirty-one, was most im-
pressive inasmuch as thirteen were making their first
appearance. A seven-plane formation surprised the
local population with a sneak attack late Friday after-
noon. This formation was made up of four Wacos from
Maryland, one from Washington, D. C. and two from
Pennsylvania, otherwise known as a portion of "Waco
Four beautiful first-timers, arriving from the four
corners of the country, were Stan Gomoll's EQC-6 from
Minneapolis, Clarke Hubbard's UPF-7 from Houston,
Texas, Stan Simmon's AGC-S from Corona, Ca lifornia
and Dick Austin's ARE from Greensboro, North Carolina.
The 1974 Fly-In was well represented by the many
different Waco models as two Taperwings, an F-2, two
"A" models, an F-3 and a former Guatemalan VPF-7 were
among the open Wacos featured by a record number of
outstanding F-7s. Among the twelve cabin Wacos were
Ray  Brandl y,  President 
Nati onal  Waco  Club 
2650  West Alex. -Bell brook  Rd. 
Dayton,  Ohio  45459 
five Custom models and seven Standards, i ncluding
the oldest cabin in existence today, a 1931 QDC flown by
Slim Johansson.
The program included movies at the airport and re-
freshments at Ramondo's on Friday evening with the an-
nual banquet and presentations followed by more movies
on Sat urday evening. Feat ured guests were Mrs. Tex
LaGrone of Kansas Cit y and Mr. Clayton J. Brukner,
founder of Waco Aircraft Company. Mr. Brukner gave
another interesting talk on the early beginnings leading
up to the production of Waco airplanes. Certificates of
Merit were presented to Sta n Gomoll, Frank Fox, Law-
r ence Longuski, Stan Simmons a nd Wayne Hayes. On
Sunday Wacos were grouped on the ramp for photos, fol-
lowed by formation flying prior to departures.
The 1974 National Waco Fly-In at Hamilton, Ohio.
attracted many other antiques and homebuilt aircraft,
as there were Staggerwings, Stearmans, Great Lakes,
Grumman Ag-Cats, Vultees, Fairchilds, a Canadian
Tiger Moth and the always faithf ul and most outstand-
ing Howard DGA flown by John Turgyan of Trenton,
New Jersey.
Golden Oldie of the Month
Gar  W.  Williams 
9 S. 135 Aero  Dr.,  Rt.  1 
Naperville,  Illinois  60540 
If a real airplane buff was asked to list his choices for
"Classics" among the bevy of aircraft types produced
during the years associated with our EAA Antique-
Classic Division, the name Meyers undoubtedly would
appear. If that same buff happened to ~   v e .been fort.un-
ate enough to have time in a Meyers bUIlt flyIng machine,
the name Meyers most likely would be at the top of the
The author's interest in the Meyers 145 goes back a
number of years to the summer of 1956. Interest in be-
coming an aircraft mechanic led to hiring on the staff of
Ravenswood (lllinois) Airport aircraft repair shop. Since
the employer, Abe Marmol, also needed someone to pump
gas in the evenings, my hours were 11:00 A.M. until
dark. One warm August day, a beautiful, brand new MAC-
145 arrived on its way from the factory to its new owner's
home. The owner saw the obvious envy for after many min-
utes of drooling and questions he allowed me to climb in
and "sit, but don't touch". Short was my dreaming - the
ship was there for gas and I was the gasser - so back to
work and within minutes the tanks were full with 49 gal-
lons of 80 octane.
The take off was going to be of great interest for the
wind was favoring the 1700' SW runway. This runway
was a legend in itself for it was downhill from both ends
to the center. The near center being marked by the site of a
wooden plank bridge over a small creek. Combinations of
asphalt, gravel and the wooden bridge made for interest-
ing gyrations right at the time most heavier airplanes
were ready to fly. The Meyers was no exception - down
the hill ... into the gravel ... bump ... over the bridge
(Meyers Aircraft Company Photo) 
NX-34358,  the prototype for the  Meyers  145 series.  Pow-
ered by a 125 Continental. 
and it was launched. Launched and barely flying; even I,
a new private pilot, recognized the problem. Running out
of options, with trees and runway end rapidly approach-
ing, the Meyers pilot pulled the power and allowed the
ship to drift off the runway. Watch out, Aeronca 11AC!
The still flying, out of control MAC-145, instantly sent a
parked Chief to the classic happy hunting grounds. After
the emotion of the moment cleared, it was amazing to see
how well the Meyers survived - to fly again - the acci-
dent that literally dismembered the Aeronca.
This introduction to the strength of the MAC-145
made its impact some years later when the opportunity
came to purchase a damaged 145 - one that practically
flew into the side of a small hill after fuel starvation on
take off. Hesitant about rebuilding such a badly damaged
airplane, the thoughts were there from time past about
the structural integrity of the design. Hesitancy was re-
placed by action and soon the Meyers was mine.
Considering the reputation of the aircraft produced
by the Meyers Aircraft Company, one might easily imag-
ine that the company had been quite prolific over the
thirty some years that they were in existance as an air-
craft manufacturer. In reality, the production numbrs
are quite low - 102 OTW biplanes, 20 145s and slightly
over 50 200s. The OTWs (Out To Win) were probably the
closest to production airplanes in that over 100 were made
in a six or seven year time span. The OTW story is unique
on its own and certainly would be an interesting one for
these pages at a later date.
The second production type turned out by AI Meyers
and his skilled crew from the small factory located on the
airport at Tecumseh, Michigan started life as the Meyers
125. The prototype as shown (N-34358) was a rather un-
gainly looking side-by-side two place all metal mono-
plane. The Meyers family heritage is apparent in the de-
sign of the aft section of the fuselage - the fin in par-
ticular could be right off an OTW. Power for this first
prototype was the six cylinder 125 horsepower Conti-
The second prototype (N-34359) was really the pre-
production prototype and was much closer in detail to the
first production aircraft, N-34360, Serial Number 203.
Notice the changes in the fuselage - the canopy was lower
and much more streamlined. The fin and rudder have
changed shape with more area and in general the airplane
looks cleaner in design.
Shortly after production began, Al Meyers made a
significant design change which helped alleviate a loss
of directional control during take off and landing. This
change amounted to a lengthening of the tail wheel strut.
The difference is easily noticed by comparing "production"
photos with the photo of N-34359. observers have
questioned the long tail wheel strut - control require-
ments are undoubtedly the reason. The geometry of the
strut and its mounting caused the strut to maintain a
straight ahead position when downward pressure was
applied via up elevator. This led to utilization of a three
point take off technique in a strong crosswind. By hold-
ing the tail wheel on the ground and the
gear to fly first, crosswind take offs were eaSily done With-
out application of brakes. Raising the tail in a strong
crosswind required heavy brake application, especially
if a left crosswind - and "lots of luck" if the brake failed.
  evolution of detail design became apparent
about halfway through the production. Again, the cabin
was refined with hidden door hinges and smoother lines
resulting from formed, compound windows rather than
flat plexiglass. The second noticeable difference is the
wheel well doors. Early 145s had rather large wells for the
wheels with correspondingly large doors. Since the doors
actually covered only the upper portion of the gear leg,
the wells were made smaller and covered wi th a small
Some of these modifications have been retrofitted to
the earlier airlane. The first production ship, N-34360, was
completely rebuilt by the Meyers factory during the rnid-
fifties. At that time, all of the design revisions were in-
corporated to make it equal to the last one built. This in-
cluded the canopy and gear doors which will explain to the
more than casual observer why the first ship looks exactly
(Meyers Aircraft Company Photo)
NX-34359, the second prototype Meyers 145 - Serial
Number 202.
like the last. Of particular interest is that this airplane
is still alive and well - an attractive Alumigrip white and
gold paint job highlights the beauty - and is part of the
"Tullahoma Bunch".
Over the years that have expired since the last 145
cleared the runway at Tecumseh many modifications
have been applied to the original design. Engine changes,
brakes, steerable tail wheels, larger horizontal tail sur-
faces, dorsal fins and many other items are on the list of
modifications. Probably the most spectacular change in-
volves engines. The original14S Continental was ample for
most operating conditions, but at gross and high density
altitudes, long runways were the name of the take off
game. The first change to higher horsepower in production
aircraft was the installation of a 230 horsepower 0-470
Continental in Serial Number 211, N-424L. This required
modificaton to the cowling and resulted in a more bulky
looking front end. N-424L remained in the experimental
category for many years and during the mid to late
ties was kept at the factory in Tecumseh. The next expen-
ment with higher horsepower was done on the west coast
with the installation of an E-185 Continental in N-34369.
The former Bonanza engine fit neatly under the original
cowling and added considerable performance without any
change in the sleek lines. Both installations included a
controllable pitch propeller. To the authors knowledge,
the last, and in his opinion, most optimum engine switch
was done in Rockford, Illinois. The 145 was removed from
N-34375, engine mount slightly modified, and a 10-360
six cylinder 210 horsepower Continental installed. The re-
sultant weight change was minimal giving spectacular
take off and climb with about a 20 mph increase in cruise.
In all due fairness to the installation of the original
C-145-2H Continental engines, one might speculate that
if a constant speed metal prop had been available, the
interest in going to higher horsepower wouldn't have
been so intense. Many of the 145's had an "Altimatic"
(Photo by Ev Payette)
The Meyers Aircraft Company at Tecumseh, Michigan.
This was a Meyers OTW reunion in 1969.
Aeromatic installed at the factory. This was an attempt
to alleviate the problems associated with a fixed pitch
propeller on an airplane that really required a control-
lable prop. When properly maintained and operated, this
prop did approach the model solution but apparently did
not satisfy all the owners for most have removed the
Aeromatic in favor of a metal cruise prop.
The detail design features for the MAC-145 are most
easily described by the following quotations from the
owner's manual:
The Meyers MAC-145 is a two-place, lOW-Wing, all-
metal cabin monoplane with a Continental C-145-2H
engine. Overall dimensions are: wing-span equals 30
feet; length equals 21 feet , 10 inches; height (to top of
cabin, aircraft at rest) equals 6 feet.
The MAC-145 is licensed by the Civil Aeronautics
Administration under Airworthiness Type Certificate
Number 3A1 with a gross weight of 1,910 Ibs. A maxi-
mum baggage load of 100 Ibs. can be carried in the com-
partment behind the seat and an additional 20 Ibs . is
permitted on the shelf above this compartment.
Aerodynamic twist of the wings increases the lateral
stability and control at high angles of attack. Engine
torque is counteracted by a one-degree offset of the verti-
cal stabilizer.
Three-position, all-metal slotted wi ng flaps - in-
crease the wing lift for take-off and permit steep land-
ing approaches at slow speeds with full control. Ease of
maneuvering in the air is achieved with the aid of slot-
ted ailerons having counterbalanced weights in the
aileron leading edge.
The main sub-assembly portions of the Model"145"
1. Engine Nacelle - with detachable engine mount
and cowlings.
2. Center Section - fabricated from 4130 chrome
molybdenum steel tubing. The outer wing panels are
attached to the center section wing fittings with special-
ly machined aircraft bolts (.747 diameter). The lower
mountings of the tail cone are attached to the rear of the
center section provides structural support for the landing
gear, cabin, tail cone and stub-wing.
3. Cabin Section - Main support tubes made from
4130 chrome molybdenum steel tubing. Cabin noise level
is reduced with aid of fiber-glass insulation throughout
the cabin and mufflers in the engine exhaust system.
4. Outer Wing Panels - 24ST aluminum is used in
fabricating the entire wing and wing spars, as well as all
parts of the flaps and ailerons.
5. Landing Gear - A hydraulic-spring gear is used
in conjunction with a Goodrich wheel assembly. The
landing gear is fully retractable, using a hand-operated
hydraulic pump.
6. Tail Cone with Control Surfaces - A 24ST alumi-
num monocoque tail cone is attached with four bolts to
the cabin and center section, and supports an hydraulic-
spring tail wheel. The fin, rudder, horizontal stabilizer
and elevator are fabricated from 24ST aluminum as com-
plete and independent assemblies.
The MAC-145 instrument panel carries the full blind-
flying group, with radio and engine instruments. The
panel may be partly or completely removed for mainte-
nance by removing the four main Lord-mount bolts and
all lines to the instruments.
All engine controls are the press-button vernier type
control which includes the throttle, propeller-pitch selec-
tor and elevator trim tab. The elevator trim control has
been completely restricted to vernier adjustment to pre-
vent erratic movement of the trim tab. Neutral position
for take-off requires alignment of the forward edge of
the trim control knob with the indicator.
The fuel system consists of two main inboard tanks
(16 gallons each) and two outboard auxiliary tanks (8.5
gallons each) located in the center wing section. Each
tank should be used independently of the others and con-
trolled by the two selector valves located on the cabin
floor. The selector handle points to the tank in use. When
using the main tanks the auxiliary tank selector valve
must be in the "OFF" position; correspondingly, the main
tank selector valve must be in the "OFF" position when
using the auxiliary tanks. The purpose of this procedure
is to prevent the flow of gas from a full tank to an empty
one. Quick drain plugs are provided at the low points of
each tank to enable daily flight inspection for water.
The landing gear is conventional 4130 steel-welded
construction (no heat-treated parts) with "oleo" (oil and
spring) action. The main gear oleo strut carries 8 ounces
of S.A.E. No. 10 motor oil. The down lock mechanism
consists of two "knees" on each gear which break past
center. As an added measure of safety, hydraulic pres-
sure should be exerted after the gear has been lowered,
and at all times before taxiing.
The ailerons and elevator are controlled by push-pull
tubes; the flaps and rudder are cable-controlled. The rud-
der is restricted when the gear is up, while the elevator
is restricted when the flaps are up. This makes the air-
plane spin-resistant in the dean condition. Full rudder
control can be obtained at any time by lowering the land-
ing gear; full elevator control is obtained by lowering
flap to anyone of the three positions. It is recommended
that the first notch of flap be used for take-off to utilize
full elevator control.
Span . .... .. . .. . .. . .. .. . ..... .. . . .. . .. . . . . .. . . .. 30 ft .
Length ...... . . .. . ... .. ... .... . .... ... .... 21 ft. 10 in.
Height . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 6 ft.
Gross Weight 32 Gals. . . . . .. . .... . . .. .. ... ... 1910 lbs.
Gross Weight 49 Gals .. . . .. . . . . . . .. ... ... . . .. 19101bs.
Useful Load .. .. . ..... .. .. ... . ... ... . . . .. .. : .. 600 lbs.
Baggage .. . .. . . . . . ... . .. .. . ... ...... . .. ... ... 120 lbs.
Max. Speed, Sea Level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 166 mph
Cruising Speed, Sea Level . . .... .. . ...... 150 mph. plus
Altitude Cruising Speed .. ..... .. . . . ...... . ... 162 mph
Landing Speed (45
Flaps) .. .. . . . ... .. ....... .. 45 mph
Service Ceiling . . . .. . ............ . . . . . .. . .... 18,000 ft .
Rate of Oimb .... . ...... .. . .... .. ..... . ... ... 960 fpm
Take Off Run, Sea Level . ... . ....... . ..... . . . . .. 600 ft.
Landing Run . .. . .. . ..... ... ...... . .. .. .. . .... . 575 ft.
Max. Range 4 Hrs. (with 30 min. reserve) ..... 600 miles
Max. Range With Auxiliary Tanks ... .. . . . . . . 1000 miles
Fuel Consumption ... ... . . .. . . ..... . . 7.5 Gals. Per Hr.
(J.  B.  Gregg  Photo) 
Crunch!  A previous  owner  smashed  up  N-34374,  Feb-
ruary  1967. 
Steady as she  goes! 
(Gar Williams  Photo) 
F.ebruary  14, 1966. The  author 
brings  his  "prize"  home 
for rebuild. 
(Gar  Williams  Photo) 
New  wings,  ailerons  and flaps  for  N-34374  - built  from 
scratch by the  author. 
(Photo  Courtesy Gar Williams) 
AI  Meyers,  left,  congratulates  the  author,  Gar  Williams, 
on  his home  remanufacture  of N-34374. 
B.  H. Carmichael 
34795  Camino  Capistrano 
Capistrano  Beach,  California  92624 
In  a  fasci nating  office  in  the  Lbrary  of  the  Northrop 
Institute  of  Technology  in  Inglewood,  Californi a,  works 
David  D. Hatfield,  a  uni que  man. Rich  in yea rs  and  mem-
ori es,  wi sdom  and  h onor,  he  pursues  hi s  histori cal  aero-
nauti cal  research  wi th  dilige nce  and  devotion.  If  you  send 
for  hi s  applicati on  card  (Hatfield  History  of  Aeronauti cs, 
1155  W.  Arbor  Vitae  Ave.,  Inglewood,  Cal iforni a  90306) 
and fill  it out,  he  will  send you an  exciting volume of avia-
ti on  hi story  at  appr oximately  two-month  intervals.  He 
has  already  published  six,  many  of  which  are  still  avail a-
bl e at back orders.  Each  new  one  wi ll  cost you  $3.50,  a  real 
bargain  for  the  accuracy  and  nostalgi a  presented.  He  has 
two  scrapbook  volumes  that  are  reprints  of  aircraft  ad-
verti sements  from  the  old  magazines .  You  are  not  getting 
someone's  rehash  of  what  happened,  but rather,  accurate 
accounts  written  at  the  time  these  great  events  occurred. 
Hi s  other  volumes  are  fill ed  wi th  photos  of all  the  gallant 
old  aircraft  and  the  supermen  who  fl ew  them. 
He  works  with  littl e  or  no  support,  putting  in  long 
days  and. ni ghts  to  preserve  the  priceless  heritage.  His 
dedicati on  is  absolute.  He  draws  on  the  greates t  library 
in  the  world.  He  al so  provides  prints  of  photos  and  pl ans 
for  virtually  any  aircraft  ever  built  anytime,  anywhere. 
I  recentl y  bought  some  superb  prints  of  the  Hughes  H-I 
racer  and  Ellsworth's  Northrop  Gamma,  including  con-
structi on  detail s  taken  whire  the  ship  was  being  built. 
A  boon to  the  model  builder. 
(Continued  on  Page  23) 
Books  for  Buffs 







Mai l  i n  plai n  brown  wrapper 
o  Amphibian  The St ory  of  The 
Loeni ng  Bi pl ane 
Grover  Loening 
Complete  history  of  the  " flying 
shoehorns."  Photos  so  good, 
text  so  detailed  and  the  book  a 
work of art . You'll have to have it 
for  your library.  10"  x  10",  250 
o  Water  Flying -
by  Frankl in T. Kurt 
3:  ' If  you  own  a float  plane  or are  just  interested  in 
III  water  flying  you  will  want  this  book.  It's  the  first 
Z  all-inclusive book about flying boats, float planes, 
and  amphibians.  Covers  operating  techniques 
and  history of seaplanes.  It  is  masterfully written 
by a former Grumman engineer from  a lifetime of 
testing, designing  and  instructing  in  water  craft. 
100 photos,  15  drawings.  $8_95 
o  The  Ford  Air Tours  1925-1931 
by  Leslie  Forden 
3:  A  complete  story  in  text  and 
III  photos  of  the  seven  cross-
Z  country " Reliability Tours"  Pro-
fusely  illustrated,  incorporating 
much collateral material and an 
interesting  " whatever  hap-
pened  to  .. . ?"  section  in  the 
back  relating  capsule  histories 
of Tour participants. A must for 
the  enthusiasts  reference  lib-
$11 .00 
rary.  BV2 x  11 . 
o  They Call  Me  Mr_Al rshow 
by  Bill  Sweet 
More than  an  autobiography of 
Mr.  Sweet, this  book  is  a  lively 
account of Bill Sweet's associa-
tion  with  the  greats  of  the  air 
show  circuit  from  the  20's  on. 
The  book  is  exciting,  informa-
tive  and  in  places  riotously 
humorous. Once you start read-
ing  you  won't  be  able  to  put  it 
o  Cessna Guidebook 
Mitch  Mayborn  and  Bob  Pickett 
Complete like predecessor Stearman Guidebook. 
Contains  photos  of  every  single  engine  model 
built  through  the  Airmaster  series  and  WW II 
Bobcat, three view drawings of the  most signific-
ant versions, reprints of old advertising and com-
plete  serial  listings  for  military  Bobcats.  Anyone 
who  has ever flown or admired Cessna will  want 
this one. 
U.S. Ci vil  Aircraft 
by Joseph  Juptner 
The  antiquers  bible.  Ency-
clopedia of ATC planes giving a 
complete  description,  history, 
production  data,  performance, 
specifications  with  excellent 
photo coverage.  Colorful narra-
tives are woven throughout tell-
ing  of  successes,  failures  and 
little-known  anecdotes.  Each 
volume  covers  100  ATC' s. 
300 +  photos  &  300  pages. 
O Val . 1, ATC  #1  thru  # 100,  1927-29 . . . $9.95 
o Vol.  II,  ATC  #101  thru  #200,  1929  . . . $9.95 
o Vol.  III,ATC  #201 1hru  #300,  1929-30  $9.95 
o Vol . IV, ATC  #301  thru  #400, 1930-31  $9.95 
o Vol . V,  ATC  #401  thru  #500  1931·33  $9.95 
o Vol . VI. ATC #501 thru # 600 1933-35  $11.95 
Vol.  #6  covers  sucn  golden  age  classics  as 
3:  the DC-2, Ryan ST, Luscome  Phantom, Taylor 
  " Silver  Club"  and  some  of  the  great  Stin-
sons, Fairchilds and Waco  models, and  more. 
prints and  books  for  the  collector 
3850-8 Coronation  Rd.  Eagan, Minn.  55122 
Enc. $  IMinn.  res.  add 4 %  tax ) 
Name  ___________________________ 
Address _________________________ 
City _____________________________ 
State ---_____llp _______ 
Postpaid  14  day  Money·back  Guarantee 
75¢  Handling  on  Orders  Under  $1 0.00 

'The  Invincible 
Jim Hall  (EAA  25198) 
1588  Gleasman  Road 
Rockford,  Illinois  61103 
(All Photos Courtesy of the Author)
(Editor's  Note:  In  the  August  1973 issue  of  THE  VIN-
TAGE  AIRPLANE  we  carried  a feature  entitled  "What-
ever  Happened  To  The  Invincible  Center-wing?",  the 
Invincible  Center-wing  being  a rather  advanced  aircraft 
produced in Manitowoc, Wisconsin in  1929, In the October 
1973  issue  we  carried an  article in  which  it was revealed 
that Oean  Crites  of Waukesha,  Wisconsin  purchased the 
Center-wing and later sold it to a pilot from Ohio who later 
was killed in  the  machine.  This  month  we  come  up  with 
most of  the  remaining  pieces  ot the  puzzle.  Jim  Hall  of 
Rockford,  Illinois treats  us  to  some really rare  old photo-
graphs and the  word that there  were three and,  possibly, 
a fourth  Invincible .  .. but let Jim  tell  it . . .)
The Invincible was born into that special era in avia-
tion shortly after Lucky Lindy made his epic crossing.
The memory of the Great War was starting to fade, the
economy was booming and flying had captured the atten-
tion of a great many people. Furthermore, aircraft en-
gines and airframe construction methods had reached an
unprecedented degree of reliability.
The Invincible Metal Furniture Company of Mani-
towoc, Wisconsin entered this booming aircraft industry
with a classy cabin style monoplane. An advertising bro-
chure put out at the time of introduction proclaimed the
aircraft to be an engineering accomplishment of great
sig'nificance. "Wings are placed in alignment with the
center of the propeller thrust, giving perfect balance and
greater speed under all flying conditions", proclaims the
The  3 seat  Center-Wing,  powered  by  a 125 hp  LeBlond 
radial and superbly finished. The  plane was test flown on 
wheels  and skis  at  Manitowoc  Airport, 
advertisement. It seems that the Invincible engineers
may have had a few years on the Goodyear race plane
designers of two decades later. In view of the continuing
successes of mid-wing Formula One designs, the logic
of that 1929 sales pitch is exceedingly tough to deny.
Actually, three different aircraft were built by Invinci-
ble in the late twenties. One was a very snappy little two-
seater. It had an open cockpit and was powered by a 110
hp Kinner. It also sported a full cantilever mid-wing. Once
again, the Invincible engineering staff had used a rather
advanced-for-it's-day concept. This aircraft was later dis-
mantled and put into storage, Of special interest to you
eternally optimistic restorers, is the fact that the main
wing spars from this airplane are this very day being
stored in the rafters of the loft they originated in so
many years ago. Time has misplaced all but these wing
The second aircraft to be built was the very one re-
ported on in an earlier issue of THE  VINTAGE  AIR-
PLANE.  It is also the one featured in the 1929 adver-
tising brochure. It was a dean "center-wing" four place
cabin ship. Powered by a 170 hp Curtiss Challenger, the
aircraft featured oleo landing gear, steerable tail wheel,
brakes, and a fuselage of chrom-moly steel tubing. (My
"modern" 1946 Taylorcraft differs very little in construc-
tion.) The wings were built up of spruce and the entire air-
craft was fabric covered. This aircraft was owned and
flown by Mr. Dean Crites after purchase from the Invin-
cible. It has been reported that this aircraft was later sold
and destroyed in a crash in Ohio.
Span ......... . .... . ..... .. .............. . .  40  ft.  0 in. 
Length  .... . .... . .......... .. ..... .. .......  25  ft.  7  in. 
Height  ........ . .. .. ...... . . . ...... . . . .. . ...  7 ft.  3  in. 
Top Speed  . . .... .. .. . ... . . .. ... . ....... .. ...  142  mph 
Cruising  Speed  ....................... .. .....  120  mph 
Landing Speed  ........ . . . ........ . ... . ...... .  42  mph 
Rate  of  Climb  .... . ........ . ..... . . .. .......  1,000  fpm 
Airfoil  ......... .. .. . .. . . .. ..... . .. . . . . . ....  NACM-15 
W'mg  Area.. .. . .. ........ . . . ... . ...... . . . ..  228  sq.  ft. 
Engine .. .. . . ........... . ....  Curtiss  Challenger 170  hp 
Gasoline  Capacity ....... . ... . ......... . ....  60  Gallons 
Oil  Capacity  ........... . ............... ... ..  5  Gallons 
Range . ............... . ...... . ..... . ... .. ...  700  Miles 
The  third  aircraft  built  was  the  one  that  captured  the 
heart  of  the  writer.  (NOTE:  The  aircraft  are  described 
in  a  sequence  of  one,  two,  and  three,  while  original  fac-
tory  photographs  indicate  that  the  craft  were  built  simul-
taneously.)  This  last  Invincible  was  the  cleanest,  raciest 
of  the  three  aircraft  built.  It too  was  of  mid-wing  design, 
but  it  was  a  three  place  aircraft  powered  by  a  125  hp  Le-
Blond  :adial.  Finishing  touches  on  this  ship  were  just 
fantash.c.  From  close  examination  of  company  photo-
graphs  It  would  dearly  have  been  a  trophy  winner at any 
0y-m.  The  name  "Invincible"  was  even  carefully  lettered 
In  gold  leaf  on  the  fuselage  sides:  All  this  in  1929. 
Extensive  test  flying  of this  airplane  was  done  at Mani-
towoc  during  the winter of 1929.  Tests  were conducted on 
both  skis  and  wheels.  A  Manitowoc  pilot  by  the  name  of 
Mr.  C.  Klackner  was  lucky  enough  to  have  been  the  "kid 
at  the  fence"  during  the  days  of  the  Invincible  Aircraft 
t   ~ t flights.  He  recently  described  the  day  the  complete 
taIl  was  sawed  off  of  the  open cockpit  two  seater.  An en-
tirely  different  tail  assembly  was  then  welded  in  place. 
This  completely  explained  some  very  puzzling  factory 
Having  been  born and  raised  in  Manitowoc,  I  have  al-
ways  had  more  than  a  passing  interest  in  the  Invincible 
story.  I  can  remember  my  mother  telling  me  of  the  time 
she  watched  an  Invincible  airplane  being  loaded  from  the 
fa.ctory  directly  onto  a  railroad  flatcar.  Factory  data  in-
?ICated  that  the  airplanes  left  Manitowoc  "by  air".  Then 
It  was  remembered  that  the  rail  line  did  pass  the  Invinci-
ble  factory  in  1929.  The  rails  also  were  adjacent  to  the 
Manit.owoc  airport (as  they are  to  thi s  day).  It appears  that 
ev.en  m  1929  it was  easier  to  ship  by  rail  (even  only  three 
mIles)  than  to  drag  an  airplane  through  the  streets  of 
The  late  Mr.  Florian  Stradal  was  the  treasurer  of  the 
Invincibl e  in  1929.  During  the  1973  Christmas  Holi-
days,  he  related  that  the  three  place  airplane  was  sold 
to  a  young  man  in  Kentucky.  A  few  years  later  the  craft 
was  destroyed  in  a  fatal  crash  while  e ngaged  in  aero-
While  it  is  obvious  that  the  Invincible  designs  were 
advanced  for  their  day,  the  three  aircraft  described 
were  the  only  ones  built.  This  can  plainly  be  attributed 
to  the  fact  that  while  the  "Invincible"  may  have  been 
invincible,  the  economy  wasn't!  Fortunately,  the  metal 
furniture  business  has  endured  and  the  Invincibl e  rolls 
The  man  behind  the  Invincible  in  1929  was  the  late 
Mr.  John  Schuette.  He  not  only  ramrodded  the  entire 
LEFT. Front view of the full canti-
lever, tapered wing two place Invin-
cible. Note the early balloon tires.
BonOM. The two place, side-by-
side Invincible. Power was a  110 hp
Kinner. Note the "seam" in the fuse-
lage just in front of the tail - this was
where the fuselage was cut in two and
enterprise, but actuall y tes t fl ew the airpl a nes along with
Mr. Earl Beach and Mr. Bill Williams.
Apparently, the aircraft were to be marketed through
existing metal furnitur e repr ese nt ati ves . Perh a ps the
entire story is quite aptl y summed up in the foll owing,
taken fr om a letter addressed to Mr. Schuette a nd writ-
ten by Mr . Charl es K. Wa lter, a manufacturer's repre-
sentati ve of the Invincibl e, then and now. " Maybe I' m
wrong, but it seems to me that fl yers then were a dif-
ferent breed than the techni cians who man today's com-
puter controll ed pl a nes, bu t that may be a n unfair com-
parison because today's technology demands a di ffere nt
But the truths that yesterday's pil ots di scovered, and
the practi ces of sa fe fli ght that they evolv ed thr ough
trial a nd sometimes fatal error served to es tablis h the
basi c ground rul es that govern aviati o n today .. And in
our way, we were a part of that pi o neering eft ort, yo u
perhaps far more tha n mos t of us .
The smell of burned hi gh octane fuel, mingling with
the fresh air of a cri sp autumn day, the thrill of the take-
off and the fe eling that you were trul y lord of all you sur-
veyed, different fr om ordinary mortals who were earth-
bound, these days are gone now, but they persist in mem-
ory and always will. Tha nk you again for bringi ng them
back to me." Date: October 19, 1969 - Chambl ee, Georgia .
Mr. John Sc huette Jr . is prese ntl y running the [n-
vincibl e factory. Through hi s gracioll s efforts and those
of Mr. Wilmer Lad wig, Tool a nd Di e Department, the
aviati on hi story of thi s company has been revealed. Mr.
Schuette Jr. never res umed building aircraft , but since
he did solo in a Cub and later own and fl y a WW II Timm
trainer, he must trul y be considered a chip off th e old
bl ock!
Aft er digging into such an interesting story, one hopes
to find factory drawings or something to help resurrect
an Inv incible. Unfo rtunately, no such drawings exis t.
Still. . Mr. Kl ackner vaguely rcall s a fourth airpl ane
It was gray in color . . . Maybe in a barn . . . Some-
where .. .
Orop testing the landing gear of the four-place in the
Invincible loft.
The four place with company officials in 1929.
    . ~
(Continued from Page12) (Continued from Page 19)
Ri chard Austin, Gree nsboro,
Mi ke Ci ro ne, l ewisvill e,
Cla rke Hubba rd, Ho us tu n,
Jo h n Skinner, Gra nd Ridge,
Bob Wagner, Dayton, Ohi o
Jo h n Shue, York, PA
Don Schmitz, Dayton, Ohi o
Dick Wagner, lyons, WI
loe l Crawfor d , Ha rvard, II 
Porte r lee, Westminster, MD
Mike Pa ngia , Was hing ton,
D. C 
Victor Ing ram, Ba d Axe, Ml 
Geo rge Gers pache r, 
Centerville, Ohio
Vince Mariani , Fi ndlay, Ohio
Sointegrated with the pas t, presentandfuture ofavia-
ti on is he that one C..1 n envision Mr. Hatfield dropping off
to sleep aft er one of hi s 12-hour work days. As he levels
off at crui se altitude, the wonderful old ships that thun-
dered out ofBurbank on their way togreet the dawn over
Kansas wheat fi elds come into formati on. Wasps and
Hornets straining for altitude, Ham-Standard prop disks
glinting like quicksilver in the moonlight , polished pl y-
wood, fabri c, and aluminum, sleek and cool in the ni ght
air, on wa rd they roar. Vega, Air Express, Sirius, Gamma,
Laird, Wedd ell-Willi a ms, Mulli gan, Gamma, Altair,
Ori on, H-l, Seversky. The gloriou s airmen who lifted
the hearts of the nati on in the terribl e yea rs of the grea t
depression assembl e about him. Pos t, Turner, Lindbergh,
Hawks, Doolittle, Weddell, Howard, Tomlinson, Kings-
ford-Smith, Mantz, Hughes and Cochran.
As our sons thunder out from " the green hill s of
earth" to meet their destiny in the sta rs, they will go
knowing fr om whence they came and of tha t "gallant
d an" whi ch came before them through the work of thi s
dedicated man. Beloved hi stori an, we salute you.
FOR SALE - Antique Piper J-5A Cruiser, 1940,
FORSALE - 1941 Porterfi eldCP-65, 708 SMOH,
3-place, fancy paint, fresh OH and license, leo-
46 STOH, licensed to Nov. '74. Don Straughn,
pard interi or, $4600. Draws crowds wherever
4N685 Brookside East, St. Charl es, Ill. 60174.
it goes. Oassic Fairchild 24R '46. Fresh license,
Ph. 312-584-3124.
beautiful paint and ·i·nterior. · Aeromati c prop.
Runs perfectly. $8900 incl udes load' of extras
plus 2 engi nes. Photos and detail info upon re-
quest. L. jennings, 2280 Aloma Ave., Winter
Park, Fla.32789. Ph.305-644-O<lBO anytime. -
Calendar Of Events
AUGUST  ~     - ALBERTLEA,MINNESOTA- Skyrama'74.Airportdedi-
cati on. Contact R. J. Lickteig, Box 731, Albert Lea, Minn.
Nati onal invitationalAAA-APM Fly-In - Antique Airfield.
AUGUST 30 • SB'TEMBER 2 . OTTUMWA, IOWA - Ottumwa Antique
Airplane Conventi on. Ottumwa Airport. Sponsored by Antique Air-
men, inc. Cont act: j . C.  "Chuck" Weber, 441 Berry Rd., Barrington,
111.  60010.
SEPTEMBER 13-15 - GALESBURG, ILLINOIS - 3rd National Stear man
Fly-In. Contact: jim Leahy, 445 N. Whitesboro, Galesburg, Ill. 61401 .
ORTom Lowe, 823Kingston Lane, CrystalLake, Ill .60014.
Back Issues Of The Vintage Airplane
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