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THE RESTORER'S -CORNER
Oshkosh '76 is now history, and for your Division it was the best con-
vention by far. Everything ran much more smoothly than it had run in pre-
vious years, and far fewer problems arose. We all owe a deep debt of grati-
tude to our very efficient and dedicated committee chairmen and co-
chairmen as well as to the greatest group of volunteer workers that any
aviation group could ever hope to have on its team. They all did a superbly
outstanding job. The chairmen and co-chairmen all had their committees
well organized with most of their key volunteer workers lined up long in
advance of the convention. In past years our Division volunteer workers
have always been absolutely the greatest from the standpoint of quality,
but this year they were also the great from the standpoint of quantity,
too. For the first time your chairmen and co-chairmen had members and
non-members alike volunteering in sufficient numbers to enable them to
completely staff all of the necessary positions without having to skimp
or double up. This fact alone made the chairman and co-chairman jobs
much easier and greatly contributed to their improved efficiency. The
thanks for this great volunteer effort goes solely to you, the members, for
your wonderful help and cooperation in aiding your officers, directors,
chairmen and co-chairmen in making Oshkosh '76 the great success that
it was, so from all of us who planned to all of you who helped, "Thanks
for a great job superbly done. "
We also want to acknowledge the efforts of a few other groups whose
help was most appreciated. EAA Chapter 37 of Miami, under the leader-
ship of President Paul Hopkins, constructed and painted twenty pairs of
parking paddles which were used by your Division I:'arking Committee
in directing and parking aircraft. These paddles are so well made and so
w ~     finished that they would have certainly won an Oshkosh Craftsman-
ship Award if they had been structural parts on an aircraft . Their use, along
with orange vests, made your Division parkers really stand out and thus
made signaling aircraft much easier.
by  J.  R.  NIELANDER,  JR. 
Our Florida chapter, the Florida Sport Aviation Antique & Classic
Association, under the leadership of President Ed Escallon, turned out
in force and made a big contribution to our manpower needs . Further-
more, when it appeared that we might have a security problem about two-
thirds of the way through the convention, it was the Florida chapter, under
the direction of past Sun 'n Fun Chairman, Billy Henderson, acting in the
capacity of Security Committee Chairman, that contributed much of the
manpower necessary to organize our Division security force. This entire
security effort was organized and put into operation in just under thirty
minutes, a real tribute to the help, cooperation and know-how of a really
wonderful group of fly-in professionals.
Our Houston, Texas chapter, under the guidance of President Doug
Scott, was also well represented among the ranks of Division volunteers
with Doug, himself, setting a fine example.
In recognition of the wonderful job done by all of the Division volunteer
workers, your chairmen and co-chairmen initiated a new award which
henceforth will be presented annually. On Saturday evening at the An-
tique/Classic Awards Program in the main pavilion a "Most Outstanding
Volunteer" Award was presented to Dutch Brafford of Lima, Ohio. The
recipient of this award was determined by the combined recommendations
of all of the Division chairmen and co-chairmen, and certainly no one could
be more deserving of it than Dutch, who has guided and parked airplanes
all day every day of the convention for the past several years.
Again, to all of you who volunteered your services to the Division's
convention effort, a great big "THANK YOU" from all of your officers,
directors, chairmen, co-chairmen and fellow members. We hope that we
shall be able to count on your help again next year at the EAA Silver Anni-
versary Fly-In Convention.
"I'   ~ \ I .•V-'
EDITORIAL 
STAFF 
Publisher  Editor  Assistant  Editor 
Paul  H.  Poberezny  AI  Kelch  Lois  Kelch 
ANTIQUE  AND  CLASSIC  DIVISION  OFFICERS  Centributing  Editors 
H.  N. " Dusty"  Rhodes 
PRESIDENT  VICE· PRESIDENT 
Evander  Britt
J.  R.  NIELANDER, JR.  MORTON  LESTER 
Jim  Barton
P. O. BOX  2464 
P  O. BOX  3747 
FT. LAUDERDALE .  FL  33303 
Claude  Gray
MARTINSVILLE .  VA  2411 2 
Ed  Escallon 
Rod  Spanier 
SECRETARY  TREASURER  Dale  Gustafson 
RICHARD  WAGNER  E.  E.  " BUCK  HILBERT  Henry  Wheeler 
P. O. BOX  181  8102 LEECH  RD. 
Morton  Lester
LYONS.  WI  53148  UNION.  IL  60180 
Kelly  Viets 
Directors  Bob  Elliot 
Term  expires  Augu st  ' 77  Term  expires  August  76 Jack  Lanning 
Bill  Thumma 
Claude  L.  Gray.  Jr  Al  Kelch 
Glenn  Buffington
9635  SylVia  Avenue  70 t8  W  Bonruwell  Road 
Northndge.  California  91 324  Mequon.  Wi sconSin  53092 
ADVISORS 
W  Brad  Thomas. J r 
James  8 .  Horne  Evancler  M  Bntt 
30 1 Dodson  Mil l  Road 
PdOI  Mountain.  North  CArOli na  27041
3840  Coronation  Road  Box  1525 
Eagan.  Minnesota  55t22  Lumbert on.  North  Carolma  28358 
George  E  Slubbs  Me  '  Kelly  V,el s 
Robert  A  White
Box  11 3  RR  1. Box  151
1207  Fa lcon  Drive
Brownsburg.  Indiana  4611 2  Slol we ll.  KS  66085 
Orlando.  Flonda  32803 
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Roule  8.  Box  506  3536  Wh,lehall  Drove 
Tampa.  Florida  336 18  Dallas .  Texas  75229 
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OFFICIAL MAGAZINE
ANTIQUE / CLASSIC
DIVISION 
of
THE EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION
SEPTEMBER 1976 VOLUME 4 NUMBER 9
The Restorer's Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 2
Glenn H. Curtiss Museum .. ... ........ .. ....... . . ............. 3
The Flight of The June Bug .. . .......... . ..... . ... . .. . .... . . .. . 5
The Man from Hammondsport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Vintage Album .... . .. . ..... . . .. .. .... . . . .. .... .. . .. .. .. .... .. 13
The Mail Stearman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 15
Those Tailspin Tommy Days . .......... ..... ..... . .. .. : .. . .. . .. 19
The U.S. Mail ..... . ... . .. . ............ .. .. .. ... .. . ... . . ..... . 25
Whistling In The Rigging ... ... .. ...... .. ... . ........ . ......... 26
EAA ANTIQUE/CLASSIC DIVISION MEMBERSHIP
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PICTURE  BOX 
(Back  Cover) 
FRONT COVER 
The flyi ng boat landing at the Curtiss
June Bug /I flies on Gossamer Wings. School , Keuka Lake, Hammondsport ,
1908-1976 Hammondsport, New York. N. Y. Raymond Morris ' new flying boat
in the foreground. See article, Page 5.
Copynght  '  1976  Antique  ClaSSIC Aircra ft ,  1nc.  All  Rlghl s  Reservej  2
GLENN  H.  CURTISS  MUSEUM 
The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum grew out of a com-
bination of factors. The idea that there should be a
museum dedicated to Curtiss at Hammondsport was
first suggested in a newspaper article in 1928. At that
time the village celebrated the Twentieth Anniver-
sary of Curtiss' "June Bug" flight of July Fourth, 1908.
No concrete action, however, was taken for several
yea,s.
Otto Kohl, the founder of the museum, started
his career with The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor
Company in 1914. He retired in 1958 from Mercury
Aircraft, .Inc. with a lifelong interest in aviation. Mr.
Kohl began to think seriously about the possibilities
of a Curtiss Museum. In 1960 Carl Adams, Curtiss'
step brother, asked Mr. Kohl to restore a Curtiss OX-5
aero engine and at this point the Curtiss Museum had
its beginning. The Hammondsport High School do-
nated a 1912 Curtiss Motorcycle and the Museum be-
came the central focus of Otto's life.
During March of 1961 a group of concerned citizens
met to organize the planned museum.
This period from 1961 through 1963 was one of
great activity. In 1961 the Museum was host to the
first pilgrimage of Early Birds and OX-5 Club of Ameri-
ca to Hammondsport in memory of the 83rd birthday
of Glenn Curtiss. Paul Garber of the National Air and
Space Museum, Smithosonian Institute, presented a
slide show of Curtiss' aviation accomplishments.
The Museum was formally dedicated on May 18th,
1963 with the assistance of many dignitaries and avia-
tion pioneers in attendance.
The old village school building, itself a relic of the
past, was acquired and restoration begun with a dona-
tion of funds from Mr. Adams. The Hammondsport
Rotary Club put on an old fashioned minstrel show
and raised some $2,000 for the project. Mercury Air-
craft, Inc., provided manpower and material when
needed.
The collection of aircraft and aviation memor-
abilia began to grow. In 1960 Mecury Aircraft, Inc.
donated a 1929 "Chic." The Dan Hungerford collec-
tion of aircraft and engines was acquired in 1961.
Several aircraft engines from the Ben Franklin High
School, Aircraft Shop Division, were donated through
the Rochester Board of Education in 1962. Mr . Jack
Harrington and Mr . Gerald Camp donated a Curtis
"Robin" in 1963. The Hylan Flying Service of Rochester
donated the Ohm Racer and many aviation related
items.
Much of the Museum's collection of early aviation
photographs was donated by Admiral J. Lansing
Callen through the U.S. Navy. The Museum also
acquired photographs and some equipment which had
belonged to Harry Benner. Benner was the photo-
grapher for the Aerial Experiment Associa tion. The
photographs comprise one of the Museum's most
interesting collections since they trace the history of
aviation at Hammondsport.
Many persons from all parts of the country have
donated their treas ured mementoes of aviation's
early days. A great deal of local historical material
from the Hammondsport area has also been donated.
The Curtiss Museum was granted its permanent
charter by the New York State Education Department
as a nonprofit educational institution in 1966.
The Curtiss Museum's present Board of Trustees
include: Carl Kohl , President; Michael D. Linehan,
Vice-President; Phoebe Natale, Secretary; Jack McBride,
Treasurer; Arthur Niver; Robert H. Cole; Joseph Swart-
hout; Joseph Meade; Ray Tillman; Devello Frank; Tony
Doherty and Merrill Stickler, Curator.
Although the Museum contains a blend of aviation
history and the "Age of Homespun," our aim is to
give the public a better idea of the enormous contri-
butions to America aviation made by Curtiss. Glenn 
.Hammond  Curtiss  was  truly  one  of  the  greatest  of 
America's  aviation  pioneers. 
EDITOR'S  NOTE 
In early May, I heard from Dale Crites of a spec-
tacular Flying Event he was scheduled to partici-
pate in. At almost the same time, I received a News
Release, which I published (See May 1976 issue
VINTAGE AIRPLANE) of a week long Bicentennial
Celebration at Hammondsport, New York, benefiting
the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, featuring only vin-
tage machines. Immediately I made plans to attend,
going as part of Dale Crites' crew, and his Curtiss
Pusher.
The following series of articles will better tell
the story of the most memorable air event I have
ever witnessed.
Scheduled for five days, beginning June 23rd,
the event featured the reenactment of the flight
of the June Bug, which first made history at Ham-
mondsport on July 4, 1908. The current June Bug is
a labor of love, built by a dedicated group of people
at Mercury Aircraft. The Project Director and bene-
factor extraordinare, is Joseph Meade, Jr., Presi-
dent of Mercury.
Participating in the week long affair were most
of the airplanes and personnel of Cole Palen's Old
Rhineback Airdrome. Also featured were Dale Crites
and his Silver Streak Pusher. The show was a smash
hit, and the only regret is that all of you could not
have shared the thrill of it all.
With the help of many who contributed to this
issue, we dedicate it to Mr. Meade, his many helpers,
and to Mr. Merrill Stickler, the Glenn Curtiss Mu-
seum Curator, his helpers, and photographer Mike
Mandiak, all of whom made this event most memor-
able.
(Photo by Mike Mandiak)
The " Silver Streak Aeroplane Boys" at
Hammondsport . Left to right : Dale
Crites, Bob Felsing, AI Kelch and Harry
Peterson.
4
Flight of 
JuneBug
By Merill Stickler 
Curator of Curtiss  Museum 
Hammondsport,  NY  14840 
All Photos by Mike  Mandiak 
June  23,  1976,  the  long  awaited  day  of  the  bicen-
tennial  celebration  dawned  with  an  overcast  sky  on 
the  sleepy  cross  roads  of  Pleasant  Valley  nestled  be-
tween  green  hills  near  Hammondsport,  New  York,  the 
heart of the  finger  lake  country.  There  was  a  spontane-
ous  air  of  expectancy,  however,  because  a  collection 
of  rather  quaint  and  delicate  flying  machines,  with 
their  crews,  had  gathered  on  the  little  grass  field  along 
the  Bath-Hammondsport  Road.  It was  as  though 
time  had  slipped  back  to  the  turn  of  the  century  when 
Dr.  Alexander  Graham  Bell's  "boys"  of  the  Aerial 
Experiment  Associa tion  trundled  their  fragile  "aero-
drome"  from  its  tent  to  test  the  stillness  of  the  morn-
ing's air.  That quiet  time,  of little  wind,  just after dawn 
and  just  at  dusk  were  the  hours  so  much  appreciated 
by  those  fledglings  of  the  air. 
This  ' une  23rd,  1976  had  special  meaning,  how-
ever, as  the day would see the reenactment of America's 
first  official  public  flight  of  one  kilometer  which  had 
occurred  68  years  earlier  and  only  a  few  hundred 
feet  from  the  spot  where  this  gathering  of  early  fly-
ing  machines  now  stood  ready  to  reenact  the  scene. 
The  idea  of  attempting  such  a  flight  grew  out  of  a 
suggestion  by  the  Curator,  at  a  director's  meeting  in 
1974,  that  the  Curtiss  Museum  build  a  reproduction 
of  the  June  Bug,  to  commemorate  Glenn  H.  Curtiss' 
100th  birthday  in  1978.  A  feasibility  committee  was 
appointed,  consisting  of  Joseph  Meade  Jr. ,  Carl  Kohl 
and  Ray  Tillman,  all  of  Mercury  Aircraft,  Inc.  Within 
a  week  these  gentlemen  had  started  construction  of 
a  mock-up  and  June  Bug  II  was  under  way.  Our  pro-
ject  was  soon  part  of  the  local  Bicentennial  Committee 
plans  and  the  reenactment  of  Glenn  Curtiss'  historic 
flight  to  win  the  Scientific  American  Trophy  was  set 
for  June  23,  1976.  (See  May  issue  Vintage  Airplane, 
page 15). 
In  1907  the  Scientific  American  Magaine,  in  an 
effort  to  spur  American  aviation  experimenters  into 
making  a  public  flight  of  one  kilometer  under  official 
conditions,  had  offered  a  fine  silver  trophy  for  that 
feat.  The  Jamestown  Exposition  was  deSignated  for 
the  trials .  Unfortunately,  there  were  only  one  or  two 
entries,  none  of  which  materialized.  At  that  point, 
the  Scientific  American  offered  the  trophy  for  flights 
at  any  time  when  suitable  arrangements  could  be 
made  between  aviator  and  Aero  Club  official s.  The 
Aerial  Experiment  Association  requested,  and  was 
granted,  a  trial  at  Hammondsport,  New  York,  on  July 
4,  1908. 
The  job  of  building  June  Bug  II  and  reenacting  the 
original  trial  was  an  enormous  undertaking.  There 
were  no  plans  of  the  machine  or  drawings  for  the 
fittings.  The  Journals  of  the  A. E.A.  were  searched  for 
information  concerning  the  June  Bug.  A  photo  of  a 
layout  drawing  was  found  at  the  Curtiss  Museum  in 
the  Carl  Adams  collection,  which  served  as  a  ba sis  for 
FLIGHT OF  THE  JUNE  BUG  /I 
1908  - 1976 
Hammondsport,  NY 
the  work.  Unfortunately,  it  did  not  show  the  June  Bug 
as  she  was  on  July  4th ,  since  modifications  were  so 
numerous.  The  patent  papers  provided  some  excellent 
schematic  drawings.  The  National  Air  and  Space 
Museum  of  the  Smithsonian  furnished  drawings 
made  for  a  model  in  their  collection  and  photographs 
of  the  June  Bug.  The  Museum  of  Science  and  Tech-
nology  at  Ottawa  furnished  information  on  the  ori-
ginal  and  flying  reproduction  of  the  Silver  Dart  which 
was  the  A.E.A.  machine  built  immediately  after  the 
June  Bug  experiment.  The  photos  were  the  most  valu-
able  contributions  from  the  museums.  Enlargements 
yielded  much  information  on  construction  detail. 
Construction  started  on  the  chassis  using  a  Curtiss 
motorcycle  from  the  Curtiss  Museum  collection  as  a 
model  for  the  steerable  front  wheel  just  as  the  A.E.A. 
had  done.  Some  changes  in  material  and  methods 
were  made  in  the  interest  of  safety  but  the  machine's 
structure  is  basically  like  that of  the  original June  Bug. 
Among  the  aeroplanes  gathered  at  Hammondsport 
were  Cole Palen's  beautiful and  original  type XI  Bieriot, 
a  replica  of  Santos-Dumont's  1910  Demoiselle,  a  1910 
Hanriot  replica  with  the  original  control  syst em,  a 
5
-I
100% Original American Aeroplane Supply House manu-
factured Bleriot XI powered by 50 hp Gnome engine.
1911 Curtiss Model D Pusher replica with head plane,
a replica 1913 Deperdusin Racer with 165 horse-
power Gnome rotary and a Curtiss JN4-H.
In addition to these machines, we were fortunate
enough to have Dale Crites with his Curtiss Model D
"Silver Streak". With Dale, Dave Fox and Cole Palen,
we had gathered at Hammondsport three of the best
Curtiss "shoulder yoke" pilots in the world, with four
Curtiss aeroplanes.
The day was spent making last minute adjustments
and the hills echoed to the bark of testing engines.
About six o'clock, the wind began to calm and the
spectators began to gather along the fences at the edge
of the strip.
The Curtiss JN4-H was fired up with Cole Palen in
the office. The crowd hushed, listening to the " Hisso"
as it lifted the 60 year old "Jenny" into the air where
her ancestors had flown. Cole made several fly bys,
a ribbon pickup and a demonstration of ribbon cutting.
The 1913 Deperdussin was next rolled out on the
field where the Gnome exhibited its reluctance to run .
After some priming, she caught, coughed, backfired
and decided to burn. A rather exciting few minutes
followed while the crew used the extinguishers. On
one occasion, the Hammondsport Fire Company was
called to assist.
Several attempts were made to fly Cole Palen's
new Curtiss Model D Pusher, but engine trouble and
the wrong prop conspired to keep her grounded.
Steve Wittman and Dave Fox Intrepid pilot
of the June Bug popular subjects for
photographers during Saturday's show.
June 26, 1976.
Demoiselle powered by 65 hp Continental,
better known as " The Infuriated Grass-
hopper." Cole Palen in the hopper.
6
1911 Curtiss Model D with 1911 Hall-Scott 80 hp engine with head plane.
Built by Cole Palen.
Since no one had yet flown the machine,
several "grass cutting" runs were made
and on occasion, one or two of the wheels
were off. One minor accident occurred
when the axle broke, wiping out the
right rear wheel. Repairs were soon
made, however, but the reluctant Cur-
tiss D remained unflown at the end of
the festivities.
Perhaps the most intrepid of our "Bird
Men" was Dale Crites of Waukesha, Wis.
Dale's exhibition flying with his Curtiss
Model D "Silver Streak" was nothing
short of spectacular. On one trip past
the reviewing stand his hands were held
high and the crowd went wild. One ()f
the innovations worked out by the pilots
was a sort of Steeple Chase using two
ribbons stretched across the field quite
close together. The object was to take
off, fly over the first ribbon, land and
hop over the next. Cole flying the Bleriot
and Dale his Pusher gave the crowd a
beautiful show of piloting skill and an
unbelievable demonstration of the fly-
ing abilities of these two ancient ma-
chines of the aeronautical world.
Palen's Bleriot Type XI was built by
the American Aeroplane Supply House
of Hempstead, L.I. , N.Y. in 1911 and
is remarkable in that it is all original
except for the fabric. He made a circuit
of the field covering a distance of about
10 miles at some 300 feet of altitude. We
consider it a record for the machine and
Cole, since the Bleriot had not made a
circuit of any field since 1912 and it was
the longest Bleriot flight in the career
of the pilot.
Dale Crites waves at the crowd as he passes over in Silver Streak. A similiar
pass with both hands held high was a crowd pleaser.
7
· 1910 Hanriot powered by 1939 Franklin 50 hp flown by Dave Fox.
The specta tors were d eli ghte d by
the repli ca of Sa ntos -Dumont' s tiny
Demoisell e with its cruciform tail. The
" Infuria ted Grassh opper" li ved up to
its name.
One of the mos t bea utiful machines
demonstrated was the 1910 Hanriot wi th
its magnifica nt mahogany " hull " fuse-
lage. The ship incorporates the original
control system with the only concession
t o its r ece nt cons tructi on being the
1939 Franklin engine which powers it.
Her white wings were spectacular against
the green hill s of Hammondsport.
June Bug II was roll ed to the front of
the Judges stand where a short chri s-
tening ceremony compl ete with lovely
ladies in gowns and a band, was held
using a bottl e of Taylor's Bicentenni al
vintage champagne. The bottl e carri ed
serial number 1908. It should be said
that the bottl e was not broken and has
now been pl aced in the Curtiss Museum
as a sou veni er of the day.
Replacing the chri stening ceremony
during the remaining days of the meet
was a Ii ghter- tha n- a ir de mons trati on
consisting of three hot ai r balloons. The
pil ots, Dave Steven in " Atl anti s Seeker",
Einar Wheel in "Sunbird" a nd Dave
Martindale in " Merri wea ther II " were
able to make one fli ght on the 25th . These
colorful exampl es of man's earli es t mode
of fli ght were pl agued by the wind, as
well as " h elpf ul " re ma rks fro m the
    boys.
Dave Fox, having done mos t of the
test fli ghts in June Bug II at Dansville
Ai rport, was chosen to make the open-
ing fli ght. The original June Bug, it is
interesting to note, made some 54 fli ghts,
the first being made on June 21, 1908,
with Curtiss as pil ot. She fl ew 456 feet
Above: With much excitement Cole
Palen bails out when the 1913 Deper-
dussin catches fire during the engine
run up. Cole may be seen at the extreme
right. Man with fire extinguisher under
right wing unknown.
Below: Ground handlers race to assist
Dave Fox after a fine exhibition flight
on Sunday, June 27, 1976.
Above: A very authentic, in every detail 1913 Deperdussin Racer with 160 hp Gnome engine. Re-
searched and built by Cole Palen.
Below: Silver Streak and crew: Dale Crites, Harry Peterson (left) and Bob Felsing
(right).
in 11 seconds at 28.1 miles per hour. The
flight was terminated by Curtiss, it was
his second in a heavier than air machine.
The July 4th, 1908 flights are the best
remembered of those made by June Bug.
There were two that day; the 14th flight
covered a distance of 2,700 feet at a speed
of 32 miles per hour and was terminated
to make an adjustment to the tail. The
15th flight covered 5,090 feet at 34 miles
per hour thus fulfilling the conditions
for winning the Scientific American
Trophy. The longest flight was made on
August 29, 1908 by Jack McCurdy cover-
ing a figure eight course over a distance
of 10,560 feet in 180 seconds. These last
few flights , starting with the 47th on
August 27th thru the 54th on September
9th, 1908, were made with the "Bug"
modified to the Silver Dart configuration,
with the exception of the engine place-
ment.
The spectators gathered at Hammond-
sport on June 23rd were to see the
most spectacular flight made by June
Bug II. She taxied to the end of the strip
and turned without help because of her
steerable nose wheel. The crowd grew
silent as the old engine picked up revs
and June Bug II rose gracefully from the
grass strip. It was a magic moment for
those involved with the project. She
flew steadily gaining altitude and passed
the Judges stand just over tree top height.
The flight covered a circuit of about 10
miles with an altitude of about 300 feet.
On her return, Aviator Fox put her down
with a feather light touch and the crowd
streamed thru the fences to surround
the machine and congratulate her pilot.
June Bug II's flights for the rest of the
week were perhaps less spectacular but
more in keeping with her historical
counterpart. Thursday proved to be a
dark and rainy day and only the Jenny
and Demoiselle were able to fly. The
remainder of the week, however, was '
bright and beautiful but rather windy
for such fragile flying machines . Only
the "Jenny" and Demoiselle made flights
outside the limits of the field. June Bug
II made flights each day, buzzing lazily
the length of the field more in keeping
with 1908 than most spectators were
aware. In all, the "Flight of June Bug
Week" ended with a good record - no
aeroplanes damaged and no injuries to
pilots, ground crew or visitors.
I think one of the local reporters
caught the mood of all when he wrote
"June Bug II Flies on Gossamer Wings" .
She did that, with her nearly trans-
parent fabric back lighted - every rib,
strut and wire were outlined in the sky.
All hearts were beating faster and every-
one was looking up. She passed over
the smaIl cemetery close to the end of
the strip at Pleasant ValIey where Glenn
Curtiss rests . There too rests Otto
Kohl, founder of the Curtiss Museum
in whose behalf these flights were made.
I have the feeling that they were with us.
June Bug /I wi th her builders. Seated in cockpit is Joseph Meade Jr., President of Mercury Airport, Inc.
Back row: Joseph Baroody, Harry Saltsman, Lynford Hunt , Ray Tillman member of
Glen H. Curtiss Museum Board, Carl Kohl , President of Glenn H. Curtiss Museum Board.
Front row: L. " Bud" Keeler, Gordon Gray, Fordyce Slater, Jim Francis.
(Photo Credit Through their dedicated efforts, a slice of living history has thrilled thousands.
The Smithsonian Institution)
Glenn H. Curtiss, Hammondsport, 1908 Dave Fox, Hammondsport, 1976
  ­
 
'-............
The  Man  from 
Hammondsport 
Excerpts  from 
"To  Join  With  The  Eagl es" 
Doubleday & Company,  Inc. 
Garden  City,  New  York 
In 1907, during the period when the Wright brothers
were inactive in aviation, the noted inventor, Dr .
Alexander Graham Bell, formed the Aerial Experiment
Association in order to further the study of winged
flight. One of the major stumbling blocks to success-
ful flight was the dearth of reliable engines. In order
to insure success in this venture, Dr. Bell turned to
a young, successful builder of motor bikes named
Glenn Hammond Curtiss.
Curtiss was born in Hammondsport, New York,
on May 21, 1878. While still in his teens, he entered
the bicycle business. By 1905, the bicycles of this
mechanical genius were famous throughout the United
States. Before long, he began to make engines for
motor bikes and, on one of these the first V8 air cooled
aero engine produced by Curtiss, establi shed a world
land speed record of 136.3 mph.
In 1904, the balloonist, Captain Thomas Scott
Baldwin, ordered a Curtiss engine for the diri gibl e
California  Arrow.  The installation proved to be an
outstanding success and soon further orders for en-
gines were placed with the Curtiss Manufacturing
Company. In 1907, always ready to accept new chal-
lenges, Curtiss joined the Aerial Experiment Associa-
tion as director of experiments.
Each member designed and flew his own design.
Each was powered by a Curtiss engine. The first design,
by Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge, was known as
Red  Wing.  It first flew in March 1908. Without lateral
controls, Red  Wing  was capable of nothing more than
short hops. After two short flights, it crash-landed.
The second machine, attributed to the Canadian,
Frederick W.Baldwin, was the White  Wing.  This air-
craft was notabl e in that it marked the first use of
ailerons on a New World aircraft; the device had, until
then, been used excl usively on European machines.
Like Red  Wing ,  White  Wing  crashed shor tl y after
tests had begun.
The third machine was Glenn Curtiss's June  Bug, 
which first flew on July 4, 1908, powered by a Curtiss
Vee engine. The fourth machine, the Silver  Dart, 
was a refined version of June  Bug. 
On June 21, 1908, Curtiss's June  Bug  won the
coveted Sci entific American Trophy for the first of-
ficially recorded flight of over one kilometer. Although
earlier Wright flights had far outdistanced the flight
of the June  Bug,  the flights had been carried out in
obscurity at the Huffman Plain .
Toward the end of 1908, Curtiss fitted the June  Bug 
with pontoons, renamed it the Loon  and attempted
the first takeoff from water. His attempts at this time
failed when the Loon was unable to rise from the water.
At about this time, Curtiss left the A.E.A. and, with
Augustus M. Herring, formed an airplane and engine
company. Prior to his association with Curtiss, Herring
had, in the 1890s, helped Chanute during the latter's
gliding experiments.
In the spring of 1909, the company rolled out the
successor to the June  Bug.  Built for the Aeronautic
Society of New York, the little machine was powered
by a 30 hp Curtiss engine. Its fabric was yellow bal-
loon silk and the machine was named, appropriately
enough, the Gold  Bug.  The Aeronautic Society of
New York, somewhat miffed at Curtiss having named
their  aircraft, elected to call the little craft the Golden 
Flyer.  Although Golden  Flyer  was its official name,
Curtiss and others at " the works" in Hammondsport
still referred to the littl e machine as the Gold Bug.  Ha-
bits of any nature are hard to break.
After the June  Bug  had fl own successfully, Curtiss
had been sued by the Wright brothers, who charged
infringement of their patents regarding wing warping
for lateral control of aircraft. The court scenes were
ugly and the Wright brothers had won.
To si destep any further legal entanglements, Cur-
tiss devised, for the Gold  Bug,  ailerons which were
rigged between the wings. Early trial s proved most
favorable. As a result, Curtiss immediately began a
larger, more powerful version, powered by a 50 hp
engi ne and known as the Golden  Flyer. In August 1909,
Curtiss had his revenge when, with the Golden  Flyer 
later call ed the " Rheims Flyer", he defeated the Wright
entri es at Rheims in the Gordon Bennett trophy race .
Cur ti ss blazed around the 20-kilometer course at
an average speed of 47.09 mph. To prove that it was
no fluke, he won the Prix de la Vitesse the following
day at an average of 52.63 mph. The Gordon Bennett
trophy had been won in August of 1909. The follow-
ing month found Curti ss in Italy, where he won the
speed prize at Brescia. It wasn't long before the Cur-
tiss-Herring partnership dissolved over a dispute re-
garding race winnings and Herring failed to keep his
promise to turn over to the Company his patents
which he claimed were prior to the Wrights. The di-
rectors of the company felt his failure in the patent
matters to be a breech of their partnership in ' the face
of the Wright lawsuit.
During this period, Curtiss continued to desi gn
his own engines although, in fact, they were actually
being built by the Kirkham brothers of Bath, New
York. As time went on, Curtiss's own contribution
to the design of the Curtiss powerplants decreased .
Much of the work on the Model OX-5 engine was done
by Charles Kirkham.
It was Charles Kirkham who, in 1916, designed a
400 hp V-12 liquid-cooled engine known as the K-12.
This engine, after refinements by F. R. Porter, the
Chief Motor Engineer for Curtiss, became the famed
D-12 powerplant used by the Curtiss racing machines
and by many of the Hawk fighters. Scaled up by Arthur
Nutt, the D-12 became the 600 hp Conqueror. This
briefly, was the evolution cycle of the Curtiss Motor
Division.
In the summer of 1910, Curtiss attempted to per-
suade the Army and the Navy that the airplane could
be a useful weapon. But the Army still was skeptical
and in the Navy, the battleship was supreme. Never-
theless, there were a few among the less senior officers
who were openminded, and it was among these that
Curtiss sought converts.
In June 1910, Glenn Curtiss staged a mock bomb-
ing attack against a dummy warship. The demonstra-
tion made little impression on the military mind. Not
until the Japanese attack on the Naval base at Pearl
Harbor , thirty years later , were Navy top ech elon
officers willing to concede that capital warships were
vulnerable to air attack. In all fairness to these planners,
the slow, clattering biplanes, which were capable of
carrying only the small es t of bombs, could not be
compared to later, deadlier aircraft. The potenti al of
the airplane was really what Curtiss demonstrated
that summer in 1910. What was  needed among the
observers was foresight, but that commodity was sadly
lacking.
In August 1910 a Curtiss machine establi shed a
hi s tori ca l " first" when, piloted by the first air-to-
ground wireless message was sent. This accomplish-
ment, although impressive, was si mpl y the beginning
of an unmatched seri es of firsts by Curtiss aircraft
that was to revolutionize aviati on.
On January 18, 1911, the Curti ss Model D Pusher,
piloted by Eugene Ely, took off from a wooden deck
11
mounted on the USS Birmingham in Hampton Roads,
Virginia. This marked the first time that an aircraft
had ever flown from a ship. The cycle was completed
when Ely landed the Model D Pusher on a platform
mounted on the afterdeck of the USS Pennsylvania
in San Francisco harbor. The airplane was brought to
a halt by the use of hooks mounted on the aircraft,
which engaged wires stretched across the platform on
the Pennsylvania. The arresting wires were kept on
the deck with sandbags. The seeds for modern carrier
aviation were sown with these pioneering flights.
While the Wright brothers, after they had received
widespread recognition and acclaim, had been con-
tent to refine their early flying machines, Curtiss
continued to break new ground. Although he had been
frustrated in his earlier attempt to take an airplane
off from the water, he once again mounted a drive to
attain this goal. This time his efforts were crowned
with success.
On January 26, 1911, Model D Pusher rose from
the waters in San Diego Bay. It sported a central float
and a float under the front wheel. The developed
version carried a main float with wing floats .
By the end of February, a Curtiss amphibian had
taken off from the water with a passenger on board, had
landed along side the Pennsylvania and was hoisted
aboard, then had been lowered over the side of the
battleship, had taken off from water, and flew back to
land.
The practical demonstrations to the Navy could not
be overlooked. Curtiss was awarded an order for an
amphibious seaplane, eventually designated the A.l
(U.S. Navy airplane No.1). While the Army's first
airplane had been the Wright Military Flyer Type A,
the second ship ordered for the Signal Corps was a
development of the Curtiss Golden Flyer, known as
the Curtiss Type D. In 1911, Curtiss delivered to the
Army three Type E biplanes, which were fitted with
Curtiss 60 hp el'lgines in place of the earlier 50 hp
powerplants.
If 1911 was a year of accomplishment for Curtiss,
it was also a year of recognition. On June 8, 1911, in
recognition of his achievements and his co-operative-
ness in the furtherance of public knowledge about
aviation, the Aero Club of America awarded Glenn
Curtiss Aviator License No. l.
While the first flights from water had been made
with a modified Golden Flyer, Curtiss was far from
happy with the result. The fragile-looking pusher bi-
plane could hardly have been considered a practical
aircraft for water-based operations. So, while a lesser
genius would have been moderately content with the
results and might have sought to refine the concept,
Glenn Curtiss made a radical departure which led him
to produce the first flying boat.
Curtiss widened the single center float used on
the first seaplane, added canvas sides and a decking
over the cockpit area. The enclosed hull was thus
born. Tip floats were retained for stability. Eventually
the hull was further refined through the use of wood
throughout the hull. This construction was carried back
through the aft fuselage and supported the tail sur-
faces.
The Curtiss flying boat made its first flight in Jan-
uary 1912. Although the first aircraft retained the
front elevator, it was eliminated in the developed
versions. The early versions of what eventually came
to be known as the Curtiss F Boat (a contraction of
Flying Boat) had flat bottoms and great difficulty was
often experienced in breaking the grip of the water
suction on the large flat expanse. After considerable
thought, Curtiss introduced the stepped Vee hull
to break the adhesion of the water. This device has
remained in use to the present.
By 1913, the F Boats were well developed. Although
they were never really standardized (slight modifica-
tions existed from airplane to airplane) they had reached
an advanced state of development. For his work with -
and the development of - the flying boat, Curtiss
was often referred to as " Pioneer of Naval Aviation" .
Because of his successful development of the flying
boat, Curtiss was awarded the Langley Medal in 1913
by the Smithsonian Institution.
The F Boat achieved new levels of workmanship
for aircraft. The streamlined hull was constructed
of highly polished mahogany veneer strips over wooden
longerons and bulkheads . Brass screws were used
throughout, on the finely finished aircraft . A wide
variety of wing configurations were used. Although
most were biplanes, a few triplanes were built. Some of
the biplanes had equal span wings, others had over-
hanging upper wings. The machines with overhang-
ing wings had, as a rule, integral ailerons, while those
with equal span wings usually had an interplane aileron
suspended between upper and lower wings. The Vee
hull design deflected water spray away from the
occupants, who sat on thickly cushioned seats.
. Curtiss advertisements proclaimed the F Boat as
a machine capable of flying at 60 mph and taxiing at
50 mph. Early machines used a 50 hp engine. Later,
this was increased to 75 hp. When the 90 hp Curtiss
OX-5 engine later became available, it was fitted to
the F Boat.
It was the F Boat, which shared production facilities
with the other Curtiss aircraft, that became the first
truly mass-produced airplane.
The F Boat was accepted by the Navy and even the
Army bought three aircraft. Although private indi-
viduals accounted for several more purchases, it was
foreign governments that gave the fledgling company
its first boost in the form of large orders. War clouds
were fast gathering in Europe and this was reflected
in the size of orders received from England, Germany,
France, Russia, Japan, and Italy.
The first five Navy F Boats, each slightly different,
were designated Navy Models C-l through C-5. In
March 1914, because of changes in Navy designation
policy, they were renumbered AB-l through AB-5.
The first letter , "A", identified Curtiss as the first
manufacturer of aircraft for the Navy, while the second
letter was indicative of aircraft type, "B" standing for
flying boat . In December 1912 one of the F Boats,
numbered C-l, became the first aircraft to be catapulted
from a ship's "deck", the deck actually being a dock
at the Washington Navy Yard. On November 5, 1915,
Lieutenant Commander H. C. Mustin, with F Boat No.
AB-2, was catapulted from the deck of the battleship,
USS North Carolina, to mark the first actual catapult
of an aircraft from the deck of a ship.
Because of the volume of orders received by the
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, Inc., the
Hammondsport facility was insufficient. A second Cur-
tiss factory was built at Buffalo, New York. By the mid-
dle of the second decade of the twentieth century, the
Curtiss company, in sheer size alone, dominated
American aviation, a position it was not to relinquish
for three decades.
By contrast, the Wright brothers, who had domi-
nated American - and world - aviation from the
outset , clung stubbornly to their original concepts
and were soon outstripped by the more advanced ideas
of their competitors . After Wilbur' s death, Orville
Wright was able, in 1912, to sell three airplanes to the
Navy. They differed little from the earlier Model B,
mounting the same combination of two pusher pro-
pellers with chain drive. Power was supplied by a single
60 hp Curtiss engine. At best, performance was mar-
ginal. The Navy tested a .Wright Model G in 1914,
but rejected it on the basis of its inferior performance.
The last Wright ship purchased from the original
Company controlled by Orville was the AH-23 (Wright
Model K) which retained the obsolete chain drive and
wing-warping mechaism. Exit Wright!
A larger, refined version of the Curtiss F Boat,
known as the MF (Military Flying) Boat came out in
1916. Although larger, multi-engined flying boats
largely overshadowed the little single- engine aircraft,
the type remained in prodw;:tion through 1918. With
(Continued In VINTAGE ALBUM)
12
(Credit G. H. Curtiss Museum)
Upper left: The " Gold Bug" or " Golden Flyer" at Ham-
mondsport. Note the attachment point of ailerons.
(Credit G. H. Curtiss Museum)
Glenn H. Curtiss seated in cockpit of
June Bug, left to right J. A D. McCurdy,
Charles Bedwin, Clarence Love.
-:3f


_...-. . .,..
,..... ' ,
(Credit G. H. Curtiss Museum)

....., ..; -
- :
/     -:i:

  .."-'....
(Credit G. H. Curtiss Museum)
Above: Twin engined Flying Boat
America was ahead of its time. G. H.
Curtiss on the left.
(Credit G. H. Curtiss Museum)
Below: An early flying boat being
readied for flight at Hammondsport,
1912.
Vintage
Men and Their V
,.... . , ". -.-.
.......-_/
Red Wing, the first of the AE.A. J
Lake, March 12, 1908, in prepare
--:.:,.. -
".
The Hills of Hammondsport echoed tho
could well have lingered from an earlie
the grave of Curtiss scarcely 100 yards
Heering, F. W. " Casey" Baldwin, Glenr
J. A D. McCurdy, Allan Hawley and bet
a true enclosed fuselage, the original F
craft than to the early open flivvers that
developments would conti nue throughol
than most, signal ed the end of the earlil
the end of the period when the publi c, u
of the man. Instead "Curtiss" would mar
Ibum
~ -.
t .   ¢ . ~ , .
~ ..
....... ~
(Credit G. H. Curtiss Museum)
)dromes, on the ice of Keuka
7S for the first flight.
(Credit G.- H. Curtiss Museum)
(Credit G. H. Curtiss Museum) (Credit G, H. Curtiss Museum)
Glenn H. Curtiss and Henry Ford with
Glenn H. Curtiss at Rheims, France, Both Pictures Above: Aviators 2 favo-
the " Old Red Boat" at Hammondsport.
where he won the Gordon Bennett rite pastimes, " Fly awhile, Tinker
Trophy in 1909. This was the world's awhile". This early flying boat, the first
first air race. really successful one, is shown flying
over Lake Keuka, 1912.
(Credit G, H. Curtiss Museum)
'Jnds of clattering engines in 1976 that
ht in 1908. Much unchanged except for
, the site. Above, left to right : Augustus
'Jurtiss, Charles Manley, Tom Selfridge,
he elevating plane Dr. Albert Zahm.
was more closely related to refined air-
'ed gingerly through the skies. Although
, history of aviation, thi s airplane, more
oneering era . Too, thi s airplane marked
tearing the name "Curti ss", would think
company.
1908
Ed "Skeeter" Carlson of Spokane, Wash., went
through a lot of trouble to convert an antique Stearman
C-30 into a Stearman C-3B, but to him it was his way
of stepping right into history.
This is the year that a number of airlines are cele-
brating their 50th anniversaries, and some of them, such
as United Airlines, used Stearmans in their early years.
Carlson's love of aviation history led him 20 years
ago to completely restore a Hispano-Suiza powered
C-30 he had gotten in 1950. He put it into Varney Air
Lines markings, but Varney, a predecessor company
of United Airlines, never flew the Hisso C-30, so
Carlson's Stearman was not in an authentic livery.
Although the B models (some of them C-2Bs modified
to C-3B standards), flown by Varney and other airlines
were popular planes, only two of the 0 models were
built. They differed from the Bs in their engines; the
C-3B was powered by the 200 horsepower Wright
Whirlwind J-4 engine or 220 horsepower J-5.
When the front cockpit was covered with a hatch
for the carrying of mail, the C-2B and the C-3B were
also known as the C-2MB and C-3MB, respectively.
Among the early airlines which modified Stearman
C-2B (C-2MB) aircraft into C-3B (C-3MB) aircraft were
Varney, Western Air Express, National Air Transport,
Texas Air Transport, Interstate Air Lines, National
Parks Airways and Continental Air Lines.
Carlson, who is well known in antique airplane
circles, got his 1927 Hisso-powered C-30 in 1950 but
didn't complete it until 1957. "The first time I saw it it
was a shambles," Carlson said. "I had gone over to ,
the Couer d' Alene Junior College to bid on a surplus
Link trainer, and I saw the skeleton against a building.
They apparently were going to dispose of it but had
just neglected to throw it away."
"When I spotted the plane, I was told it would be
junked, so I was able to acquire it right then," Carlson
added.
, He said that the plane was the typical "basket case".
It was almost unrecognizable as an airplane, with some
tubing off the fuselage and all the instruments gone.
Luckily, most of the rest of the plane, in loose pieces,
was still in a shed. The 1918 war surplus, 180 horse-
power Hisso model "E" engine was sitting on the
shed's dirt floor.
(United Airlines Phok;l)
Former Senator William E. Borah of Idaho depositing
letter in slot of Stearman C-3B as Pilot Lionel Kay
watches.
Because this was before Carl son and his wife, Doris,
has gotten their OX Meadows farm - with an airstrip
a nd ple nty of room - Carl son prevail ed upon hi s
fa ther-in-law to store the airpl ane bones temporaril y
in his hay barn. It was three years before Carlson was
abl e to star t work on the Stearman's remains.
Graduall y he loca ted authenti c ins trume nts and
completed a monumental res toration job in 1957.
Although the original pai nt scheme of the C-3D
was yell ow, Carlson decided to put his in the livery
of Varney Airlines because of nos talgic memories as a
boy when Varney Stearmans fl ew between Pasco and
Spokane.
" I checked with Peter M. Bowers of Boeing (which
had bought out Stearman) and got the original Varney
color scheme," Carlson sai d . "The top of the upper
wi ng was orange the cowlings were blue a nd the
insignia was red, white and blue. The rest of the plane
was silver."
His nostalgic urge got an incentive when he learned
that the fi rst Stearman fl own by Varney Airlines was
a J-4 powered C-2B later upgraded to a C-3B, with
(Photo by Ed Will iams)
Ed " Skeeter" Carlson and his wife, Doris, show
panel of fabric with Varney Air Lines held over
new markings of National Parks Ai rways, Inc.
(Photo by Ed Williams)
(Photo by Ed Will iams)
Ed " Skeeter" Carlson and his Stearman C-38, after
Carlson's C-3D before coversion to C-38, with antique
conversion from C-3D.
mail truck also owned by Carlson, Hisso engine N6433.
factory serial number No. 103 and registration num-
ber NC1598. Carlson's C-3D had serial number No. 104.
"With the serial number of my plane just one behind
the original Varney Stearman, it gave me somewhat
of a connection to the first Varney Stearman," he added.
After Carlson finished the restoration, he flew the
C-3D for 200 hours with the Hisso engine, with its
big, nine-foot prop. It cruised at 100, climbed at 1,000
feet per minute, stalled at 50 miles an hour and was an
all-around good airplane. Carlson was even able to win
trophies with it as best antique at several local fl y-ins.
Carlson's Hisso-powered C-3D had registration num-
ber N6433 during that period.
Two considerations entered into Carlson's deci-
sion a bit later to convert the plane. "First, it was dif-
ficult to keep the D flying because the Hisso engine
is r ~ r e   and you can't find parts for it anywhere," Carl-
son explained. "Secondly, the B fits in with airmail
history."
In 1927, when Carlson's Stearman was built, it was
a different matter about the engines. "At that time
there were lots of surplus Hissos, but the J-4 was
much more expensive," he said.
Carlson said he had the conversion project in the
back of his mind six years ago when he was fortunate
to get a J-4 engine that powered one of the original
Varney Stearmans. The engine had been in the Spo-
kane area for a long time and was known to have
powered an Alexander Eaglerock for a while after be-
ing taken off a Varney plane.
"When I got it, the J-4 was in terrible shape," Carl-
son said. " I worked all winter restoring it. "
Carlson said that because the J-4 engines often were
interchanged on various Varney aircraft, it was not
known which specific Stearman it powered. But the
engine serial number 6771 checked out to Varney, and
it is known to be authentic. But not so for the C-3D in
Varney markings, and something had to be done about
that!
The idea to convert really took hold for good a year
and a half ago when Carlson was able to get registra-
tion number NC1598, the original number for C-3B
serial number 103 - the first Stearman flown by Var-
ney, with Varney tail number 8. Tail numbers one
through six were on Varney's original Swallows, and
tail number 7 was on a Breese Monoplane which was
Stearman C-3B (C-3MB) with Wright J-4 engine,
serial no. 103, modified from C-2B (C-2MB).
Former Varney Airlines plane lost in crash in
1937.
tested but never operated by Varney.
The registration number was available because the
original NC1598 had been lost in a crash in woods in
the Spokane area in 1937. It was the third airplane
built by the Stearman Aircraft Co. of Wichita, Kansas,
and in 1927, Varney had six Swallows and one Stear-
man (NC1598) . Varney later changed over to an all-
Stearman fleet , taking the J-4 engines off the Swal-
lows and installing them on the Stearmans that re-
placed them.
"Roy Shreck of Spokane got NC1598 from Varney
in 1929 and flew it on operations for the Glacier Na-
tional Park Forestry," Carlson said. "In 1937, the plane,
now with a J-5 engine, crashed on a weather flight, and
it was completely demolished." Carlson added that
there was nothing left of Stearman NC1598 except
small pieces and the engine, which was recovered from
the crash scene.
An important circumstance that gave great impetus
to Carlson's conversion project was the fact that a
close friend, Dick McWhorter, of Prosser, Wash., had
restored an authentic 1928 Stearman C-3B. And for-
tunately for Carlson, McWhorter had copies of most
of the original C-3B drawings.
"The conversion was really very simple because the
Hisso had detachable mounts, and there was no pro-
blem in substituting the J-4," he said. "All I did was
a little weight and balance work - mostly from Dick
McWhorter's B model specs - and put on a different
oil tank and engine cowling."
"The entire project took five months, at 18 hours a
day, with help from several local enthusiasts," Carl-
son said. The airframes of the C-3D and the C-3B were
identical, which left no work to be done in that area
except recovering. Carlson took off the fabric with the
Varney markings and recovered the plane again, but
this time he decided against Varney markings. United
Airlines was in the process of planning its 50th anni-
versary around the restoration of a Swallow owned
by E. E. " Buck" Hilbert and that plane was being put
in Varney markings. Carlson, looking for a different
historical angle, decided to paint his in the colors and
markings of National Parks Airways, Inc., also a pioneer
operator of the C-3B.
National Parks Airways flew two Stearman C-3Bs
between Salt Lake City and Great Falls, Mont., on
Contract Air Mail route 26. Carlson researched those
planes and then put hi s C-3B in National Parks Air-
ways' green and orange. McWhorter, meanwhile, had
17
(United Airlines Photo)
NC159B, tail No. B Stearman as a C-28 before
upgrading to a C-38 by Varney Airlines. J-4 en-
gine.
painted his in the red and silver colors and markings
of Western Air Express.
Side by side, Carlson's and McWhorter's Stearmans
look almost identical.
" The only variance in our birds is that Dick's ele-
vators are ell iptical and mine are rectangular," Carlson
said. "Other than that there is no physical difference."
McWhorter's Stearman was used first on Contract
Air Mail route 12 between Cheyenne and Pueblo,
starting on May 31, 1926. The service was inaugurated
by Colorado Airways, which lost its mail contract in
1927.
McWhorter flew his Stearman on the same route
last Memorial Day on the 50th anniversary of CAM 12,
and Carlson's flew along as a chase plane.
There is a possibi lity that the two aircraft's roles
may be reversed later this month. National Parks Air-
ways started CAM 26 in August, 1928. Although this
is not CAM 26's 50th anniversary, arrangements
might be made for Carlson in Augus t to retrace the
Salt Lake City-Great Falls route. If so, McWhorter's
Stearman probably will be his chase plane.
Carlson finished the C-38 on March 21 in time to
bring it to Pasco to watch the reenactment by "Buck"
Hilbert in his Swallow (See THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE,
June, 1976) . McWhorter brought his C-3B there, too,
and both Stearmans drew considerable public interest
while they were on display.
Because Carlson can interchange the restored
J-4 engine with a Continental 220 on his Stearman,
he has elected to use the J-4 as a spare and has relied
entirely on the dependable Continental to power the
Stearman.
Carlson has restored many antique and at present
has four other flying aircraft - a 1930 Student Prince,
Stinson L-5, de Havilland Puss Moth and S4C Thomas
Morse Scout, in addition to the Stearman.
These aircraft, and a variety of other parts and en-
gines, fill up almost all the space in his two hangars
and workshop on OX Meadows. The farm, since it has
its own airstrip, is a popular place for visitors, who seem
to drop in - or fly in - any time of the day or night
in order to talk to the Carlsons about antique planes.


U:S.A.IR MA.IL
 

(Photo by Ed Williams)
C-38 owned by Dick McWhorter of
Prosser,. Wash ., in Western Air Ex-
press colors.
... 


(Photo C. T. Wrightson)
An early photograph of Stearman
C-38 (C-3M8) showing both (N)C159B
registration number and No. B. The
pilot is Joe Taft, one of four original
Varney Airlin,:;, pilots.
18
ROBERT McDANIELS 
9S 237 Aero  Drive 
Aero  Estates,  Naperville,  Illinois  60540 
A Taped Interview
By Jim  Barton 
262  Cayuga  Ave. 
Elmhurst , Illinois  60126 
I'm Bob McDaniels and I'm from Naperville, Illi-
nois. I retired two years ago by the forced retirement
age of 60, having completed 34 wonderful years with
American. Captain Jim Barton, a very good friend of
mine asked me to record some events that happened
many years ago when I was running the airport at
Richmond, Indiana where I established with two other
fellows, 3 World Records .
I'll begin by saying that I learned to fly in Muncie,
Indiana with Al Heath, my partner, and incidentally,
you'll hear me mention Al Heath and Russ Morris.
All three of us became airline pilots, and are now out
of the airline flying busi ness.
Al and I started in Muncie, Indiana and Russ
came in a wee bit later - Al and I bought our first
airplane, a Waco 10 from Homer Stocker at South
Bend, Indiana in the winter of 1932-33. We paid $275.00
for our first airplane. Neither one of us could fly - we
hired Bob Bolyard to teach us . He started us flying,
but didn' t solo us. Clyde Shockley who was the air-
port operator at Muncie, Indiana finished the job
teaching both of us to fly in that same old Waco 10.
I remember the NC number of the Waco - NC941H
and it was painted green and silver. That airplane
was broken up by a pilot who was flying it while I
was riding in the front seat.
Then we bought another Waco 10 from Clyde
Shockley, this time NC7893, and used it for awhile.
We rented it out and it was also broken up by a pilot
named Howard McCullum. Then we bought a little
two place open cockpit Rearwin Junior from Everett
Cox from Winchester. Our Rearwin Junior was Model
3000 with a 45 hp Szekely engine. We paid $350.00
for it and flew that quite a bit. The ailerons were
warped so badly they hit the wing, so we had to re-
build it and recover it.
In the meantime we went to Richmond, Indiana
about 40 miles south of Muncie and talked to a fellow
named John Nixon, who owned the old airport, and
conned him into leasing the airport. Of course we
lied a little bit about our experience. We went down
<7kue  ~ t   f
T. TOtItnUf 
there with the Rearwin, and Al Heath had purchased
a model BK Bird 972V - I remember it was a big
blue fuselage with cream wings and a 100 hp Kinner.
Russ Morris joined us and we called ourselves "The
Delaware Fliers" because we were from Delaware
County, and we swiped the Indiana Head of the
LaFayette Escadrille and painted that on the side of
our airplanes.
At Richmond we decided that we would really
go into student instruction. We really didn't have too
much to offer - two used beat up old airplanes, a
lot of ambition and a lot of ideas. We got hold of a fellow
named Mac Jollaf, who was a young reporter for the
Richmond Newspaper. Mac showed an interest in
flying 'and we said "Mac it wouldn't cost you a penny
to learn to fly" and he was of course interested. We
said we'd like for him to run a column in the paper
for us each week, and to do this we'll have an air-
plane at your disposal at all times. He took us up on
it.
We now had the "Plane Talk" column, written
exclusively about our activities. The depression was
just ending, and we had very little money. Our rates
were something like $5.00 an hour. If a student came
19
out and bought 15 minutes of flying time, he got his
name in the paper. Everyone who came out, no matter
what they did, got their name in "Plane Talk" . We
were doing mOJ;"e student instruction than the big
Muncie Airport north of us, who had everything
brand new and modern. We had 10 students to ' their
one. All three of us would spend the whole week-
end sitting in airplanes, and hamburger and cokes
was the menu.
We built up quite a bit of time doing that and then
we heard that Bill Moffet had a Travel Air for sale and
we bought it - a Hisso Type 3000, 3 place biplane.
Most anybody had heard of a 2000 or 4000 Travel Air,
but very few have heard of a 3000. That was a beau-
tiful airplane, NC6037. I had to borrow money on the
Rearwin to make the down payment on it - that was
to be Russ' airplane - then we had 3 airplanes. We
then traded the BK Bird in on a CK Bird. The CK had
125 hp - imagine all that horsepower, and it hauled
3 up front , plus the pilot - that was NC919V. All
three planes were used for barnstorming and instruc-
tion.
T-Crafts and Cubs are just coming into popularity,
and I bought a T Craft, 19054.
About that time, I read in the paper where a fellow
had done 52 tailspins - well there were a couple of
biplanes that were pretty good spinners, so I would
climb until I was freezing to death and spin them
down. They just weren't getting the revolutions per
1000 ft. that I needed. We had this brand new T Craft
we had just bought, and [ got it up one day to around
7000' , and pulled it over into a spin, it was amazing
the number of turns I got out of it. I spoke to AI about
it and said if I can get it high enough I could set a new
spin record, so we fooled around with it and all of us
spun it.
One Saturday I took it up and got to around 12,000
ft. with a tank of gas, kicked it over and got 60 turns.
That, of course, was much better than the 52 that was
the world record. We contacted newspapers and
decided that we' d go for some publicity and try to
break the World's Tailspin Record. We set the date
for Sunday, October 19th. John Lontz, Dave Porter-
field and Art Quigley were to count the turns .
We had arranged a bag of flour so it would leave
a trail for them to see. We had quite a crowd there. I
could only get up to 11, 600' that day, and finally I
released the flour, pulled it over into a spin. I remember
every once in while it would try to flatten out on me,
but I kept it turning and turning. I just made sure I
didn't look out and get dizzy. I'd watch the altimeter
and every once in awhile I'd clean out the engine.
T-Craft 19054 that was used for the 55
turn spin record.
When I got to around 2000 or 3000 feet, I began
to pay a little attention to it. I had no idea how many
turns I had done - not looking out there was no way
to count them. [ recovered at about 400 to 600' . I had
pre-arranged with the guy on the PA sys tem that I'd
put on a good show as if the airplane were out of
control. I went around slipping the airplane with
one wing low, and landed on one wheel and pur-
posely bounced and then cut the switch so no one
would hit the prop. A lot of people came crowding
out. He really built it up on the public address sys-
tem - he was a phony as I was, he knew there wasn't
anything wrong, but he sure had the crowd standing
on their tiptoes. I had gone 55 turns, and broke the
World's Spin Record. Perhaps you' re wondering
why we did that. Well, I got my name in the paper
nationally, and that brought out lots more students,
and that $5.00 per hour was buying us hamburgers.
After the spin record we heard about these fellows
in Syracuse, New York, who had gone 4 days in a
Cub, and established a light plane record. Right away
I began to get ideas about that. We took the same
T Craft and took out the baggage compartment, put
down a piece of 1/4 " plywood in the back on the floor,
and then cut the top of the fuselage fabric out and
make a triangular opening in the fuselage so you could
actually stand up through the opening which was ap-
proximately 30 x 30 diagonal opening. We were going
to try some aerial refueling.
We took some 5 gallon cans of water up in the
Bird, someone in the back cockpit let it down on a rope,
and we flew underneath them in the T Craft and tried
The " Delaware Flyers" 1934.
,
"Our Second Bird" NC919V, C-K Model
- B-5 Kinner.
to stand up in the opening to take it aboard. We got
the two airplanes in position - we were right under-
neath them, and when I stood up to grab that can, of
course I blanketed out the air from the complete tail
surfaces and that damn T Craft went everywhere
but up, and Russ was yelling, and I almost fell over-
board. I didn't have a safety strap on. We got back
on the ground and talked it over. By the way, they
had to let go of the can - it was too heavy to pull up,
and it dropped right in the middle of Highway 40 -
if we'd hit a car, I wouldn't be here today, I'd still
be in jail.
We tried to figure out how to use a hose like the big
boys do. We sawall the pictures of the Hunter brothers,
20
Keys brothers etc. Just then we read in the paper
that some boys down south had been refueling with
a hose and it hit the propeller and sprayed fuel all
over them, and they caught on fire, so we gave up that
idea. Then we got another idea - why don't we try
pulling the fuel up? We had a beat up old Ford around
the airport. We'd fly over the Ford phaeton lower a
hook and try to pick up a 5 gallon pail of water. It
didn't work - the little hook on the rope would hang
straight back, the rope was too light. Then we tried
putting a weight on the hook. We bought a plain old
window sash weight and attached that on the end of
the rope. To the bottom side of that we tied a big
old harness hook, and believe it or not, this was
really the answer - it would hang almost straight
down and we could fly over and snag that can of
water but found out it was too heavy. We then bought
some used two gallon oil cans, cleaned them out and
soldered a wire handle onto them, and it worked
perfectly - that was the answer.
Then we had to practice. In a complete run across
the airport, sometimes we didn't even make a con-
tact. We had to slow the airplane down and the car
had to speed up to syncronize their speed. At first
it was difficult, but we became good at it and actually
could make two contacts in one run. The fellow driving
the car knew exactly when to accelerate and we knew
where to put the hook. The fellows in the car got so
good at it that the minute we got over the airport
they were there, we could snag the can, pull it up,
drop the hook and get another one, and they'd come
to a screeching stop at the other end of the' airport.
Finally we had the refueling down good, and started
publicizing that we were going to go after this four
day endurance record. They didn't have lights at
Richmond, Indiana, so we went over to Van Dalia
and made a deal that we could come over there for
our night refueling. We didn't want to try to get
through the night without fueling. On our endur-
ance flight, we would meet our crew about midnight
- they would be waiting for us and would refuel
us.
We took off at midnight one night for our first try. We
were up 12-14 hours when we became extremely ill, due
to fumes. Of course after we got feeling better, we
talked to some of olir friends and they said there was
a way to ventilate that cockpit. There was an automo-
tive ventilator that we attached on top of the cowling.
We put this ventilator on it and went up and found that
it brought plenty of fresh air in the cockpit. So we
announced our second take-off. Russ Morris and I
were doing the flying.
Al Heath is a quiet, unassuming, wonderful per-
son - the best friend I ever had on this earth. He
always stayed in the background while Russ and I
loved the publicity. Al was running the business
end of it. On the second attempt we were up 24-30
hours and I was flying the airplane, when all of a
sudden the airplane just felt terrible - it was loose,
not uncontrollable, but sloppy. We got looking around
and saw that we didn't have one brace wire on the tail
holding it. What had happened - they had sent some
food in a brown paper bag, and I had thrown it over-
board, and it hung up on one of the hard brace
wires on the tail group of the T Craft and it had bro-
ken one of the wires which released them all, so the
tail was just free wheeling. We made a very very
cautious approach and landed. Here we were again
- down without a record. But we weren't discouraged,
we knew we had it made, and got some new wires
for it, and took off again, and this time we stayed
up. We used to take our food up in open five gallon
containers. They would send food and newspapers,
and letters of encouragement up, and we used to
sit up there and read all the wonderful things they
were writing about us. We were a bit conceited,
and enjoyed it - I have to admit that.
I remember one thing about endurance flying -
your hands always smelled like gasoline and oil at
all times. Your mouth tasted terrible - we'd brush
our teeth twenty times a day and couldn't get the
taste from our mouth or the smell from our hands,
and it was annoying.
On the 6th day we figured out we had added 24
hours or so to the old record, and at a predetermined
time we landed - we had a record, and we were re-
ceived royally in the city of Richmond. We had several
banquets, and were paraded downtown with the air-
plane on a truck, and for a couple of young punks,
we were sure riding high.
One thing I would like to mention here, while
we were up on this 130 hour endurance flight , a fel-
low from Springfield, Illinois, named Hunter Moody,
got the idea that this endurance flying was alright,
because he barnstormed our field with a Trimotor,
and made a lot of money. He went back to Spring-
field and with his young brother Humphrey went up
and shot at our 6 day record the following spring
of 1939. They pushed the record up to 14 days and
of course we're up there in Richmond reading all
about their having broken our record. In the mean-
time, Russ Morris left Richmond and had gone to
First record endurance flight. An
enthusiastic crowd greets the flyers
on completion of 535:41 hours aloft.
Sandusky, Ohio and was flying over the lake for a
fellow named Milton Herschberg in the Fords and
Standards, and just Al and I were left running the
airport.
Al had bought a Keystone Patrician Trimotor that
Spring. We didn't make any money off of it because
it had skinny wheels and would sink down in the soft
ground. Al was beginning to get itchy to get on an
airline, and along about the mid-summer of 1939,
we got together and decided to sell the Trimotor.
Al got an offer from TWA and went to work as co-pilot.
That left me alone at the Richmond airport.
SECOND RECORD
I taught a young man by the name of Kelvin Baxter
to fly, and he was a natural. I got to talking to him
and said "do you realize this fellow Hunter Moody
has just broken Russ Morris and my endurance record,
staying up 14 days." "Why don't you buy a Cub,
and we'll fix it all up (mind you I'm doing a little pro-
moting here - YOU buy a Cub) and we'll take a shot
at that record." He liked the idea, and .went to Muncie
Aviation and bought a brand new Franklin 50 Cub,
22801. It had wheel pants, red leather upholstery,
which he immediately ripped all apart, we put tanks
in it and started practicing refueling.
The airplane was christened "Miss Singer Sun-
tan". Mr. Singer was the owner of a chain of bakeries
in Indiana, and he sponsored all kinds of sporting
events - boat racing, auto racing etc., and he so
graciously agreed to pick up all our bills. We didn't
know where to stage this endurance record. We went
21
NC22801 , Kay Baxter bought it new for the sale purpose of the endurance flight. For the Cub fans
note the markings, split 3 pc. windshield, strut cuffs, wheel pants, factory standard.
over to Springfield, Ohio and tried to work out a deal
there. Finally, Clyde Shoekley suggested we bring the
flight to Muncie for our attempt, so we moved every-
thing there, which had a lighted field, and was a
modern airport. I enjoyed being invited to my home
town, because I was always sort of the guy from the
wrong side of the tracks, and now I was with the
eli te so to speak.
We picked our refueling crew, Red Luker, the
three Baker brothers, Dea n, Charlie and Gerald,
and Dick Sebree, all of whom I had taught to fly.
We had a brand new half-ton pickup Chevrolet all
lettered up with "Endurance Flight" on it. We prac-
ticed a lot and were finally ready to take a shot at thi s
14 day record. We took off in mid-September and were
up 8 days. Some time during the 8 days, Kay and I got
in some sor t of disagreement. I was flying the re-
fueling contact. The refueling car couldn't get moving
fast enough because of the morning dew on the grass.
I would overfly the refueling car and miss the con-
tact. Kay would always say "you passed him up like
a pay car passes a tramp." After about three of those
remarks, I said " the next time you say that, I'm going
to knock your brains out". Sure enough the next time
T overflew the refueling car, he made that remark. I
came around with a swing at him, and he beat the devil
out of me - we kicked out a window in the airplane.
We made an agreement to discontinue the fight, but
when we were on the ground, we'd settle this once
and for all.
On the night of the 8th day, we stuck an intake
valve, a nd it backfired and acted up . We drug the
airplane on another 10 mil es south and landed at
an emergency field. We scrambled out and lay on the
ground under the wing - I remember we could smell
the clover and grass. We both went to sleep under
the wing. When we awoke with daylight, we had
about ten thousand mosquito bites all over us and
we had forgotten completely what we had been
arguing about. We called Muncie and they picked us
up in a car.
Franklin Motors sent us a new engi ne, and in-
stalled it. We decided to do some more work on the
plane. McKinl ey Leapley, a good friend of mine and
a fine mechanic, took two J4 Cub tanks and mounted
them underneath in tandem, hooked them together
and streamlined them with fabric, and they were
so much lighter than the original tanks.
On October 1, 1939 we were ready to go again.
Now mind you we already had 8 days in, starting
over, going after the 14 day record. I remember that
on the 3rd day in every endurance attempt I had been
in, I'd get violently ill. You are tired, and the noise
and smell get you down. But anyway, we kept on
grinding.
Ball State College, which is now Ball State Univer-
sity, was having a homecoming football game. They
sent us a football up in the 5 gallon can, and we were
suppose to fly over the homecoming game on Satur-
day afternoon, and drop the ball to start the game.
There were high trees all around, and we missed the
whole damn field.
Then another guy got an idea for us to fl y as the
pace car for the beginning of a dirt track race. I don' t
remember if the racers got ahead of us or not. We
couldn't have been doing more than 50 mph. Those
were some of the things the publicity people set up
for us.
I might add that between the 8 day failure, and
the time we took off on the record breaking endurance
flight, someone contacted a fellow named Darwyn
Andrews. He was a theatrical publicity man. Darwyn
wanted to take care of all the publicity for 20% of
the gross fee. I was against it, but Luker and Bax-
ter both thought it was good, so I gave in and we hired
him for 20% of the gross. This was the smartest thing
that we ever did. Darwyn went around to all of the
merchants and said "folks, the record these boys
McDaniels on left, .Kay Baxter right.
22
GER's
\
',I _. ~   _ ~ . .. ' . • _
. d , . ~ .... _ _.- __
- '--=----- - .
- '
~
.. -.
_ ......._ .--....-. ~ -"r--. .... , , , _ ~ , ~
- ~ .
Come on fellows let's get that can hooked. Now
pull it up!
Bob McDaniels and Kay Baxter ready for the
signal to start the endurance flight.
The private bedroom shared by the flyers for
14 days and nights.
are trying to break is 14 days, and I want you to make
pledges for every 24 hour period beyond the existing
record. You will pledge so many dollars," and he
would feel out the merchants on how much it was
worth. For example, Muncie Aviation Corp. was
throwing in $300. 00 a day, as were several other
places in town. We would make a tremendous
amount of money per day, if we passed the 14 day
record.
We used to pull our food up in 5 gallon pails. I
remember McKinley Leapley's wife lived on a farm,
and she sent us a whole container of wonderful
home cooked fried chicken_ We sent down a note
and told her how delicious it was, they read this on
the radio. By now we were getting regular coverage
on national hook-up over WLW from Cincinnati.
The minute that all the ladies listening in heard this
name on National radio, they all wanted to get in the
act. Every night we'd get 4 or 5 buckets of chicken
by Mrs. So and So, and we were supposed to brag
about it. Some of it wasn't quite as good as others.
We got so spoiled, that we would take a piece of
chicken and bite off the real brown crusty part, and
throw the rest of it overboard, and then write them
a note and tell them how good it was.
Of course, the question everyone asks is "What
do you do with human waste?" - well, there's an
answer to that. The Sealrite Corp. makes ice cream
containers in all sizes - some half gallons are round,
some square - we took the round half gallon ones.
Once they were used we'd fly down a furrow and
catch a farmer on a tractor. In spite of our 30' alti-
tude and our 50 mph speed, we never got a farmer,
but we came close.
They also used to send us custard in little paste
board cups, we'd fly down and pick out a car and
try to hit him on the hood with a custard cup. Little
things like that kept the time going. Baxter was one
of the coolest characters I've ever met in my life. One
night we got in a line of bad thunderstorms, and all
we could do was fly up and down Highway 28, (neither
of us could even spell instrument flying). I'm talking
about 100', because that's the only way we could keep
contact. Through it all, Kay was asleep in the back.
We had these little ventilators - one of them hap-
pened to be turned forward so it was scooping water
in, and right when I didn't know if I was going to
crack it up and get hurt, Kay raised up and said "turn
that damn ventilator around - I'm getting wet."
We droned on through the rain, then came another
bomb. The sun was coming up, but now we had solid
ground fog. I mean it's solid. There was no way to
tell where we were except one thing - the beacon
at the Muncie airport was sticking out on top. We
couldn't see the ground, but from the beacon and
the sun, it was very simple to figure out where the
northeast corner of the field was, and that's where
our refueling truck would be. (You all know what a
Cub gas gauge looks like - it's a wire, and when it
gets down to 1/4" you know you're getting close.)
I throttled back and yelled "I'll try northeast and
southwest", and finally went back over the beacon
and got the airplane all slowed up. Kay dropped the
hook and nothing happened. He thought it hit the
ground, and we tried it again. Kay dropped the hook
again, and all of a sudden he let out a yell, and pulled
up two gallons of gasoline on the hook. Later when
we talked to the ground crew, they said they could
see us, the silhouette of the airplane, but we couldn't
see them at all. We came very near ending it right
then for lack of fuel.
Speaking of sleeping - how did we sleep? Well,
we had a piece of 1/4" plywood and it covered the top
of the fuselage back from the baggage compartment
about 4 ft. into the tail and we had another piece of
plywood that telescoped on top that we could pull
forward. There was a cross member attached to the
front seat. By sliding back in there and sliding the
second piece forward, you could attach it and you
had room to stretch out. The plane still had a turn
and one-half of stabilizer left for hands-off flight.
We found out that two hours was the best sleeping
period.
Another question that's often asked is how did we
change seats? It's simple - one fellow stood out on
the strut and the other climbed over the seat. As I
look out at that strut when I fly a Cub now and think
about the times when the strut was wet, and it was
night, it scares the hell out of me - I don't know
how we ever did it, but we did.
Airplanes would come along side of us and we' d
get our pictures taken and we did all kinds of phony
things to attract a crowd. We'd get 10% of every-
thing on the ground - if any airplane hauled passen-
gers, we'd get 10%. We had a J5 Standard that hauled
3600 passengers at $2.00 a piece and we got 10%
of that. The main thing we wanted to do was hold
people at the airport. As time hung heavy on us, we
found out that one mag was just a little bit weak so
we'd switch over to that mag and pull the carburetor
heat on, and fly around over the crowd with it burp-
ing. The newspaper would come out and say "En-
durance flight appears near end - engine is missing"
etc. As, soon as they got out of work, the crowd would
stream out to the airport. 'We wanted their money
as well as their cheering.
We became irritable and argued a lot. Kay used
to order tenderloin sandwiches for breakfas t, and
that used to irritate the hell out of me. It wasn't any
of my business what he had for breakfast, but we'd
argue about it. When one of us would go to the bath-
room, the other one would get mad because it took
so long. We were constantly arguing with one another.
This went on until someone told us that by this time
tomorrow we'd pass the 14 day record. At that cer-
tain time they shot off a bomb down on the ground
and we had broken the record! What record had we
broken? We had broken the light Plane Endurance
Record of 14 days, which had been established early
that Spring by Hunter Moody and hi s brother at
Springfield. Of course we were elated that we had
done it . We were both miserable, and we decided
we' d just play it from day to day and see how we felt
about continuing.
One night while we were cruising around, we saw
a burning farm and we watched for a few minutes.
The next day we got a note saying tha t the farmer
said we had thrown some of our cigarettes overboard
setting his barn on fire and that he was going to sue
us . Neither Kay or I smoked at the time. Not only
that, but we were saturated in gasoline and something
we didn't want was a cigarette or a match. Evidently
they convinced him, because he dropped his threat.
Speaking of gasoline, we had several ways of
getting it forward to the engine. After we made the
pickup we would hold the can between our legs.
There was a flexible hose from the fuel manifold
attached to the back side of the front seat . He'd drop
this hose down into the can. A wind driven generator
that ran an electric fuel pump would transfer it to the
belly tank or the front tank. You were constantly
in fumes of gasoline. You got so you hated the
thought of gasoline.
So how did we get oil into the engine? We had a
float device that I rigged up on the front of the engine
so we could tell how much oil we had in it. We also
had an oil line that came back from it into an auto-
motive oil filter right up on the top overhead in the
cockpit. After we'd been up a week or so, we got to
discussing the fact that we couldn't tell whether the
oil was clean. We got the idea why not install a drain
to change oil. We sent down to get refrigeration tools
and installed a drain valve on the down stream side
of the filter. Now we could change our oil in flight .
It was very successful. We were putting in 6 or 8 quarts
of fresh oil every day. To add oil we had an OX 5
oil pump and brazed a little crank on it, then ran the
Bob McDaniels being interviewed by Jim Fidler from Nati onal Radio Hookup.
Left to ri ght: Red Luker, Jim Fidler, Lee Eikenberry, Kay Baxter, Mrs. Roosevelt, Bob McDani els and
R. Fowler after a luncheon to honor the flyers.
line from the forward side of it into the crankcase.
We would take a can and punch a hole in it, take a
mouth full of oil, force the oil from our mouth
through the hose into the pump and turn the crank
until you feel it prime, then shove the hose down into
the can of oil, and pump a quart of oil in. This lu-
bricated the engine and kept you regular. I've nothing
against Kendal , but I haven't drank any Kendal since!
At 31/2 gallons of gas an hour, we weren't making
to many refueling contacts, but we realized that to
make money, we had to have a crowd, and refueling
attracted them. So we decided we'd just refuel with
empty cans . The cans were all getting dented from
the return trip to earth. Someone suggested "how
about putting parachutes on them?" We agreed,
and from then on we started taking our cans aboard
with little parachutes. As soon as the truck would
pull out from under us, we'd throw out the empty can
with the chute on it. They really appreciated that
on the ground. I would say that the last 10 days we
were up, 80% of the cans we took on board were
empty.
One time I was doing that which most every per-
son in the world does about 8:00 A.M. , and the door
was open since it was a warm day. I saw Kay look to
the left and smile. I wondered what he was grinning
about, because we didn't have much to grin about,
all of a sudden there was Clyde Havens flying the J5
Standard so close, we were almost interlocking. In
the plane were my wife, Bernice Baker and Lee Cham-
ness, and they were howling with laughter - they
had caught me at a most inopportune time. They
went on down and landed, and were on national
broadcasting. We had this little receiver and we' d
turn it on every broadcast and listen to it. The inter-
viewer asked " what were those boys doing today
when you came along side?" Everybody giggled so
loud that he immediately changed the subject. .
Now that we had the record broken and 'every
day was getting more miserable, we discussed and
argued when we should end this thing. Finally we
sent a note down and told them exactly when we were
going to land. We did this for a reason. We wanted
to be damn sure we didn't have any picture takers
miss our pictures - we wanted everybody to be
there with a band when we landed. We flipped a
coin to see who would land the airplane. I won and
landed about 40' too high, and it sure tested the
shock parts on that Cub. We taxied up and there
was a mob of people waiting for us. To show what
little old country boys we were, we didn't know that
if we had gone another 24 hours, we would have
broken the heavy plane endurance record. We could
have stayed up another month I think - there wasn' t
anything wrong with the airplane. It was dark when
we taxied up , and they whisked us into Roberts
Hotel, which was THE hotel in Muncie, and we were
on the radio, and enjoyed every minute of it ,
I might add that before we landed, another en-
durance flight took off on floats on the west coast -
Wes Carrol and Clyde Slipper. They took off in a sea
plane, we didn't know how long they would be in the
air, so we decided to cover ourselves in case they
went longer. We said. we had the " l and Pl ane" record.
They went 30 days and broke our record, so our split
second decision was a good one. I understand that
now it's up to 3 months in a 172 - that's hard to be-
lieve.
We got on the ground, and the next day our
publicity man had Mrs. Roosevelt greet us, and we
had a luncheon with her. She was a very wonderful
lady, I enjoyed every moment that I talked to her.
Being retired now, I live on a private airstrip
and fly little clunkers around, and every once in
awhile I'm flying some under-powered shaky little
airplane, I look up and see that beautiful smooth
contrail up there 39,000' above me.
In closing I would like to say this - I have no
arguments with life - I've been the luckiest guy
that ever lived. Can you imagine a Hoosier country
boy having all this fun setting records, then .topping
it off with a wonderful job flying for American Air-
lines! Best of all is being in command of a 27 million
dollar 747, and having all those wonderful friends.
Dear AI Kelch & Staff :
I like the new format and contents of the VINTAGE AIRPLANE.
Beautiful covers - worth framing.
The new layout, binding on the short edge, reminds me of my
high school days. I was Editor'in-Chief for our high school year-
book in my senior year. That was in 1943.
We used this format for our book that year and it won the all
American Award for high schools. This was the first time in the
history of the Anderson Senior High School (Indiana),
The school has only won this coveted award twice since that
time.
So with all prejudice - I can say I believe the new VINTAGE
AIRPLANE is a winner,
Keep up the good work.
Sincerely yours,
Hugh P. Horrison II
10125 N. Park Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46280
EAA 76504. AlC 677
Dear AI :
I want to apologize for not having answered your letters of Feb.
20, 1976 and May 25, 1976,
Have been too busy working on the replica of the first Waco
Biplane Model 4 that I have neglected a lot of my letter writing.
Just got back from Oshkosh, which I enjoyed very much, in-
quired about you there but unable to locate you.
Have completed making all the wing ribs, nose ribs and all four
ailerons except for trailing edge. Now working on center section,
then will start on tail surface. Have no plans other than some pic-
tures and what I can recall after 54 years.
Before I start on the wing I will have to figure out what type
of fittings I will use.
I have an engine (OX-5) that I purchased from Jim Ash in Wis-
consin last February. I am in need of some parts to complete
it namely the following, both long intake pipes, water pump, tach
cover and a few other smaller parts.
Have tried to locate some other pictures of the Waco but have
had no success at this time, talked with Clayt Bruhner and he
was not able to help me very much.
I will try to get some pictures of my project and send them to
you,
Sincerely,
Ray B. Vaughan
P.O. Box 617
Walbridge, OR 43465
P.S,
Will be 73 on the 30th of this month, have target date for com-
pletion on my 75th birthday.
R.B.V.
25
Dear AI: 
Just a short  note to thank you,  Lois  and  all the others who  helped 
us  for  that  frustrating  week  to  get  one  flight.  My  problem  was  that 
once I'd  gotten off , I didn't want to stop - but I'd  promised the tower 
people. 
The  June  Bug  and  crew  got  home  fine.  The  movies  came  out 
pretty good.  The  slides  haven't yet  returned  from  Kodak. 
This  was  my  first  EAA  meet,  but  I  hope  it's  not  my  last.  I  really 
enjoyed  it. 
Thanks  again  and  keep  them  flying 
Dave  Fox 
Dear Sir: 
In  regard  to  "Breath  of  Life"  in  February  1976  issue  of  VINTAGE 
AIRPLANE. 
Mr.  Richard  Con no ley  of  Richfield,  Connecticut  kept  NC  11 Y 
at  Danbury,  Connecticut  during  1940,  1941.  He  flew  it  regularly 
on  business.  Its  big  fuel  tanks  were  a  ready  source  from  which 
to  "borrow"  gas  when  the  Cub  trainers  went  dry  and  Texaco  was 
late with  deliveries. 
We  washed  her  down  with  "gunk"  til  the  aluminum  glistened 
and  nursed  sore  muscles  from  pushing  in  and  out  of  the  hangar. 
For  details  write  Cliff  Sadler,  Manager,  Danbury  Airport,  Danbury, 
Connecticut  06810. 
Have  photo taken  at  Danbury,  if you  want. 
Charles  Steffens,  Jr. 
37  Coleman  Road 
Glastonbury,  CT  06033 
Dear Sir: 
Enclosed  fine  my  renewal  in  the  Antique  Division.  I  am  also  look-
ing  for  some  information.  A  friend  of  mine  and  me  have  just  acquired 
the  fuselage  and  tail  surfaces  to  an  open  cockpit  hi-wing  Parasol 
aircraft.  It  still  has  the  original  fabric  on  the  tail.  It  says  "Huntington 
Chum"  on  the  fin  with the  number X7411  on  the  rudder (the  X has  been 
painted  over) .  It  has  a  mount  for  a  radial  engine,  probably  a  Szekely. 
It  presently  has  an  A-40  Continental  bolted  right  on  the  firewall,  be-
cause  it was  used  as  an  ice  boat  back  in  1942, and  stored  since. 
We  changed  the  oil  and  flUShed  the  carbo  and  a  couple  of  flips  and 
the  old  Continental  was  running  perfectly  after  35  years.  We  would 
like to  restore  it ,  but  need  any  information  anybody can  give  us. 
Yours  truly, 
D. Robert  DePrath 
627  E.  River  St. 
Orange,  MA 01364 
':::':::::':':':':':':" "':"::;:::':':;:::'::'::::':':"'""}:,:""""""",:,}"""",:,:"},::;:;:::,:,:,,,},,,",:::::)",:,:"""""",:;::::"""":",,,,:,,:,:,:,:;:;,""":":,::::(""",,,,,:::::/,::::,:;:;::::,:(
WANTED:  J-4E  Coupe  parts,  Hummer starter,  D75-9  Continen-
tal ,  landing  gear  parts,  wing  drag  wires.  Need  information  as 
to  duplicate  to  same  as  factory.  James  Kjeldgaard,  1331  West 
11th,  Fremont,  Nebraska  68025,  4021727-4665. 
FOR  SALE:  The  Rearwin  " C1oudster"  prototype  - a  museum 
quality  airplane.  George  Williams,  115  Pauquette  St. ,  Portage, 
WI  53901. 
WHISTLING IN THE RIGGING
By Tom Poberezny
Having been back from Oshkosh for three weeks
now, I have had a chance to receive comments on this
years event and also further reflect back under less
hectic conditions. No matter which way you look at
it, we all had a successful Convention.
In order to improve your Convention in 1977, I
need your help. Most of the correspondence received
regarding the Convention has been of a general na-
ture indicating that the Convention was a success
and was truly enjoyed. Some letters have offered ex-
cellent suggestions for improvements. Those letters
with a legitimate complaint were investigated and
answered quickly. It's interesting to note that of the
few complaint letters received, most are from non-
EAA'ers.
Here is where I need your help. I have just read an
article in an aviation newspaper on the Convention
that indicated . .. "there were more than a few reports
of aircraft damage by unthinking spectators, a thing
unheard of in the past." The article also stated that
there were reports of avionics theft and outright vandal-
ism. If these real problems did exist to the extent re-
ported, please let me know. Throughout the Conven-
tion I received various reports (mostly second hand)
of people leaning on aircraft , etc. but nothing of a
major nature as indicated. If we have a problem here,
I want to know about it. I will be asking each Conven-
tion Chairman, officer and director to brief me on any
reports that they have received.
I would like to clarify one other point. This same
article indicated that "in years past only members of
EAA, pilots and aircraft owners could get in. This
year the general public was permitted and it brought
problems and gripes from the 1260 homebuilders who
had their aircraft on the display lines."
The admittance rules for the 1976 Convention, as
printed on pages 45-48 of the January issue of SPORT
aviation are the same as those used in past years,
There have not been any changes or liberalizing of
these rules. If  unauthorized individuals made their
way onto the flight line, it is only because they have
found a way "to beat the system" and get past the
hard working volunteers at registration and the gates,
Note this article also stated that "Still the event is
the best self-policed and behaved undertaking in
the world." Enough said.
We continue to receive a great deal of correspon-
dence on the CUBy Auto Fuel Experiment. As of this
writing, the CUBy (powered by a 90 hp Continental)
has flown 62 hours using Shell no-lead regular auto-
mobile gas. The CUBy was flown to an altitude of
20,000 feet during the 1976 EAA Convention. To date,
we have found no ill-effects due to the automotive
fuel.
Please note ... this is a test only. EAA is not advo-
cating the use of automobile fuel. What EAA is doing
is facing up to the fact that people are using automo-
tive fuel in aircraft. Hopefully our work will encourage
those organizations with the authority and funds to
follow through on this project to the extent needed.
On Friday, July 27, we were pleased to have Mrs.
Nydia Meyers, wife of the late Allen H. Meyers, come
from Tecumseh, Michigan, to visit your EAA Head-
quarters facility and Air Museum. As you all know,
Allen Meyers was the designer and builder of the
Meyers OTW, Meyers 145 and Meyers 200. Mrs. Meyers
enjoyed her visit and was quite impressed with the
work that is being done by the EAA Air Museum
Foundation,
Speaking of visits, if you have not already done so,
be sure to visit the new National Air and Space Mu-
seum (NASM) in Washington, D.C. Among the fea-
tured exhibits, of course, is the Northrup Alpha,
which was immaculately restored under the direction
of EAA member Dan McGrogan.
EAA and the EAA Air Museum Foundation have
an excellent working relationship with the National
Air and Space Museum and its fine staff. A number
of NASM aircraft have been on display in the EAA
Air Museum, with the current group headed by a
Japanese Oscar and the prototype Helio Courier.
Staffs of both organizations have worked together
on many mutual problems and projects. I am sure this
fine working relationship will continue to improve
in the fu ture.
In closing, I would like to mention that the EAA
Division Executive Secretary is Mrs. Bonnie Soucy.
Correspondence regarding inquiries or problems should
be directed to her at EAA Headquarters, P.O. Box
229, Hales Corners, WI 53130.
26
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