~     ~ ~

Many stories have been written about finding antique airplanes in barns,
garages, on mountain sides, in jungles, and even submerged in lakes. Each
of these stories gives us antiquers renewed hope that we, too, will some
day find the antique airplane of our dreains in some extremely unlikely
location and will pack it up and cart it hqme to our garage to be restored
and preserved for posterity and, incidently, to win us a few Grand Champ-
ionships along the way. While most of these stories which we hear and
read are true, these finds are really becoming more and more infrequent.
Let's face it. We can actually ascertain the number of aircraft built by each
manufacturer from the start of Type Certification in 1927 up to World War
II. This was only a span of fourteen years. If we were to total up the an-
tiques known to exist today (flying, in storage, or being restored) and then
add a reasonable percentage factor for the aircraft totally destroyed, we
would find that the difference, namely, those which have not as yet been
found, is a very small number.
Since we are attracting more people to our hobby all the time and want
to continue to do so, what is the solution? How can we come up with
enough old aircraft so that everyone who wants a vintage airplane can have
one? The answer can be found in one word: REPLICAS.
There is much to be said for the replica. First of all, it is usually a well
proven design. Second, it is easily recognizable as a rare bit of aviation
history, and only an expert can distinguish it from an original if the builder
sticks religiously to the plans. Third, replicas come in all sizes, shapes
and horsepower to fit all sizes of pocketbooks.
Among the more exotic, and sometimes more expensive, replicas are
the World War I fighters, especially so if the builder decides to use an
original engine. There are several organizations devoted to fostering the
construction of World War I replicas, and they are enjoying moderate
success at the moment. Through these organizations information is available
to help the prospective builder obtain plans and parts. We can expect these
groups to grow to a much larger size as more interest is generated.
There are several certificated aircraft of years ago which are now or have
by J.  R.  NIELANDER,  JR. 
been available in plans form. Examples are the Great Lakes Trainer, Heath
Parasol and the Mooney Mite. The old familiar J-3 Cub has been brought
back to life in both plans and kit form as the CUBy. Besides these there are
many more which would make beautiful and relatively easy replicas to
build if the plans were made available. To name just a few, there are the
Aeromarine Klemm, Driggs Dart, American Eaglet, Aeronca C-3 and K,
Curtiss-Wright Junior, Buhl "Bull Pup", Spartan C-2, Rearwin "Junior",
Taylor Cub, and Wiley Post Model A. All of these designs have one common
denominator. Their horsepower requirements are such that they can be
powered by an engine of the Volkswagon class.
If one wants to go to the next larger size aircraft with more horsepower,
designs such as the Monocoupe, Savoia-Marchetti S-56B Amphibian,
Fairchild 22, Kinner Playboy, and Sportwing, Rearwin Sportster and
Speedster, Kari-Keen, Aeronca LC Davis 0-1, Inland Sport, Crosle
Moonbeam, Mohawk "Pinto", Arrow "Sport", and Culver Dart and Cadet
could also be very interesting replicas.
There are also numerouS beautiful designs from Europe. The Chilton
D. W. 1, Miles Hawk, Tipsy Sportster and Junior, and Klemm KL35D
are just a few excellent examples.
All that is needed to give impetus to the antique replica movement is
the availability of good usable drawings. Many of us have partial or even
complete sets of drawings for one or more of these old aircraft . We have
them stored away in a closet or in the attic or basement. Some sheets are
so faded as to be almost unreadable. However, in the hands of the right
technicians with the proper equipment, the faded lines could be brought out,
and using today's techniques, these plans could be copied and reprinted in
an exceptionally legible form. Then they could be made available to those
vintage aircraft enthusiasts who are unable to find the basket case of their
choice to restore as well as to those who would just feel a lot better knowing
that they, themselves, had built their own vintage airplane and that it had
been constructed using all new materials. It's an interesting prospect for
the future, isn't it?
Publisher  Editor 
Paul  H.  Poberezny  AI  Kelch 
P. O. BOX 2464  P.  O.  BOX  3747 
P.  O.  BOX 181 
LYONS,  WI  53148 
Term  expires  August  '77 
Claude  L.  Gray, Jr. 
9635  Sylvia  Avenue 
Northridge,  Cal i fornia 91 324 
James  B.  Horne 
3840  Coronation  Road 
Eagan.  Minnesota  55122 
George E.  Stubbs 
Box  113 
Brownsburg.  Indi ana  4611 2 
William  J.  Ehlen 
Route  8,  Box  506 
Tampa.  Florida 33618 
8102  LEECH  RD. 
UNION,  IL  60180 
Term  expires  August  ' 76 
AI  Kelch 
7018  W.  Bonniwetl  Road 
Mequon,  Wisconsi n  53092 
Evander  M.  Britt 
Box  1525 
Lumberton ,  North  Carolina  28358 
M. C.  " Kelly "  Viet s 
RR  1.  Box  151
Sti lwell.  KS  66085 
Jack  C. Winthrop 
3536  Whitehall  Drive 
Dallas.  Texas  75229 
Assistant  Editor 
Lois  Kelch 
Centributing  Editors 
H.  N. " Dusty"  Rh odes 
Evand er  Britt 
Jim  Barton 
Claude Gray 
Ed  Escallon 
Rod  Spani er 
Dale  Gustafson 
Henry  Wheeler 
Morton  Lester 
Kelly  Viets 
Bob  Elli ot 
Jack  Lanning 
Bill  Thumma 
Glenn  Buffington 
W.  Brade  Thomas.  Jr . 
30 1  Dodson  Mill  Road 
Pilot  Mountain,  North  CArolina  27041 
Robert  A. White 
1207  Falcon  Drive 
Orlando.  Fl orida  32803 
THE  VINTAGE  AIRPLANE  is  owned  exclusively  by  Antique  Classic  Aircraft ,  Inc.  and  is  published  monthly 
at  Hales  Corners,  Wisconsin  53130.  Second  class  Postage  paid  at  Hales  Corners  Post  Office,  Hales  Cor-
ners,  Wisconsin  53130 and  Random  Lake  Post  Office,  Random  Lake. Wisconsin  53075.  Membership  rates 
for  Antique  Class  aircraft .  Inc.  at  $14.00  per  12  month  period  of  which  $10.00  is  for  the  publication  of 
THE  VINTAGE  AIRPLANE.  Membership  is open  t o  all  who are  interested  in  aviat ion. 
Postmaster:  Send  Form 3579  to  Antique  Classic  Aircraft ,  Inc.,  Box  229, 
Hales  Corners,  Wisconsin  53130 
The  Restorer's  Corner  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1 
A  Silver Eagle  - Part II  . . . ... .... . ... . ... . .. . . ... . ... .. . ,.... .  3 
Watsonville .... .... ....... ..... ... .. .. ..... . , .... . . .. ..... , .. ,  7 
Vintage  Album  ... ... . ... . .. ..... .. ...... . .. . ... . . . ... . . .. .. ..  9 
Gates  Flying  Circus  .... . .. ... .... .. ............... . . .. . ... ....  11 
Treasure  Hunt  . . ............ ... ....... .. ........ .. .. .. . . . .. ...  13 
Bill  Menefee  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..  13 
Early  Bird  Vignette - Bobbi Trou t  . . .. . .. ..... ..... ... ... . . .... ,  16 
Whistling  In  The  Rigging  ............ . ... . ..... . .. . ... . .. . .....  17 
National  Ercoupe  Fly-In  .. . . .. . .. . . ..... . . .. .. . .. .. ........ . ...  18 
Calendar of Events  ... . .. .. , .. ... ... ..... . . . ...... . ..... .. ... ..  18 
o NON-EAA  MEMBER  - $34.00.  Includes  one  year  membership  in  the  EAA  Antique/Classic  Division,  12 
monthly  issues  of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE; one  year  membership  in  the  Experimental  Aircraft  Associa-
tion,  12  monthly issues  of SPORT AVIATION and  separate  membership  cards. 
o NON-EAA  MEMHER  - $20.00.  Includes  one  year  membership  in  the  EAA  Antique/Classic  Division ,  12 
monthly  issues  of  THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE; one  year  membership  in  the  Experimental  Aircraft  Associa-
tion  and  separate  membership  cards.  SPORT AVIATION not included. 
o EAA  MEMBER  - $14.00.  Includes  one  year  membership  in  the  EAA  Antique/Classic  Division,  12  monthly 
issues  of  THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE and  membership  card.  (Applicant  must  be  current  EAA  member  and 
must  give  EAA  membership  number. 
(Back  Cover) 
Painting of 1918 Jenny by Ralph Steele.
Jim Nissen's 1918  Jenny won Grand
Curtiss Military Tractor. From Jack
Champion at  Watsonville see Page 7.
Rose collection 1918 pictures.
Copyright il  1976 Antique Classic  Ai r craft .  Inc. All  Rights  Reserve:! .  2 
E a g l e   ~    
PART  II  (Highlights  of  1930) 
By Robert G. Elliott Ed Escallon
1227 Oakwood Ave. & 335 Milford Dr.
Daytona Beach, FL 32014 Merritt Island, FL 32952
The highligh t of 1930 proved to be the design and
construction of the "Solution" racer, which became
the first and only biplane to win the coveted Thompson
Trophy race for the fastest aircraft of the day. The
"Solution" had been built in a record thirty days and
was completed just one hour before the race. In the
following year, Matty's newest racer, the "Super
Solution" became the first aircraft to win the new
Bendix Trophy, setting the trans-continental speed
record of 11 hours, 15 minutes, under the very capable
pilotage of Jimmy Doolittle.
An Executive Transport biplane became the next
challenge to be designed and fabricated at the Laird
factory at Ashburn Field. Construction was mixed with
an aluminum semi-monocoupe finely tapering fuse-
lage, fabric covered wood wings, and a steel tubing
center section. The prototype was built to an order
placed by George Horton, President of Chicago Bridge
and Iron. Special features included an on-board lava-
tory and provisions for the eventual incorporation of
retractable gear. Performance data of the 450 hp proto-
type included 180 mph cruise airspeed with over 200
mph at full power.
While the "Sesquiwing" was begun in 1931, the
ailing economy together with extensive fabrication
details required for the aircraft, delayed it's roll-out
until 1934. About the time that factory flight tests
were completed, but just prior to their being submitted
for ATC certification, Mr. Horton suffered a fatal
heart attack. Subsequently the airplane was given to
his Alma Mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in
Troy, New York. Sadly, the aircraft's subassemblies
were last seen undergoing various stress tests for
aero-engineering classes. Although no doubt of great
educational value, it is a pity this one-of-a-kind Laird
was not preserved instead of being destroyed.
E. M. (Matty) LAI RO
The middle thirties saw the development of a huge
airline industry in this country. Chicago became a
major airline hub and drew heavily on the aviation
talent in the area. Many of Mr. Laird's employees
went with the airlines during the lean year that en-
veloped the Laird Company, and a few are still in-
volved in the management of this industry today.
After a few years of operation, the DC-3, which had
become the airlines workhorse, began to require
refurbishment of the fuel tanks due to corrosion.
Matty bid against the Curtiss Company for this work
and won the contract offered by American Airlines.
In the ensuing years, work on these tanks for Ameri-
can, United, TWA and Braniff provided steady in-
come for the Laird factory. Matty also contracted to
build passenger loading stands for the airlines.
Reminiscent of the early thirties period "Matty's
race-to-the-race" continued into 1937, when Roscoe
Turner brought in two projects just two months be-
fore the National Air Races. They were his damaged
Wedell Williams, and a partially completed new racer.
Matty's brother Harold was assigned to rebuild the
Wedell, which had been a victim of carburetor icing,
causing an engine-out landing in the wastelands of
New Mexico.
Its many flights as a basketcase hadn't helped the
lightweight airframe either. Despite it's condition,
Harold and his team were able to meet the time schedule
and ready the golden racer for the upcoming National
Air Races. Joe Mackey piloted this plane in several
subsequent seasons under an agreement with Ros-
coe. Obsolescence and technical problems prevented
it from ever again placing in a major event.
Roscoe's second major project was a racer which
had been designed by Messers. Barlow and Akerman
of the University of Minnesota and whose subsequent
(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty' Laird)
ABOVE: Laird Solution, in which Speed
Holman won the Thompson Trophy
Race in 1930. This aircraft was thirty
days old the day of the race, having
been completed about one hour before
the race began, allowing time enough
for a short test hop and refueling due to
a short postponement of the Thompson
Race start.
LEFT: Speed Holman.
(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty' Laird)
Laird Super Solution in completed rig ,
ready for a race,
(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty' Laird)
ABOVE: The Laird Sesquiwing under construction.
(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty' Laird)
LEFT: Jimmy Doolittle is congratulated by
Matty Laird after winning the Bendix Race,
September, 1931.
(Photo Courtesy E. M. ' Matty' Laird)
BELOW: Full view of completed Laird Sesquiwing.
. (Photo Courtesy E. M.  ' Matty' Laird)
photograph made at 1930 Chicago National Air Races whi ch were conducted
at Curtiss-Reynolds Airport, Chicago. ' Speed' Holman is shown at right
rounding a  pylon in the Laird Solution. Upper center is what is believed
to be the plane of Arthur Page, who was pulling out of race. Page made a
crash landing and died of injuries, while Holman went on to wi n the Thomp-
son Trophy Race.
construction  had  been  begun  by  Lawr-
ence  Brown  of  Los  Angeles .  Various 
technical ,  personal  and  financial  prob-
lems  had  erupted  during  the  proj ect 
forcing  Roscoe  to  have  the  airplane' s 
assemblies  shipped  to  Matty  for  com-
pl eti on .  A  review  of  the  design  re-
veal ed  a  wing  configurati on  which  was 
unsuitable  for  the  chall enges  of  the 
Bendi x  and  Thompson.  The  wings  were 
di sassembl ed  to  the  spars  and  rebuilt 
with  the  internal  drag  braci ng  lightened, 
as  well  as  a  greatl y  improved  fuselage 
attach  method  incorporated .  Existing 
ail erons  were  used,  wi th  the  fla ps  ex-
tended  to  cover  the  span  added  to  the 
wing.  The  resulting  loading  of 50  pounds 
per  square  foot  was  among  the  highest 
used  in  aircraft  at  that  time,  and  much 
technical  comment  centered  about  it. 
, Actuall y  the  wi ng  turned  out  to  be  one 
of  the  really  outstanding  as pects  of  the 
racer,  and  it's  confi guration  was  widely 
copi ed  in  the  Second  World  War's 
fi ghters. 
Additionally,  Matty  added  about  a 
square  foot  to  the  eleva tor  surface  area, 
and  compl etely  out fitted  the  fuselage 
sructure  almos t  from  scra tch .  Larger 
fuel  tanks  than  Mr.  Brown  had  planned 
on  using  were  included .  In  many  re-
spects  the  re nova tion  of  th e  Lai rd-
Turner  Racer  was  more  diffi cult  than 
building  a  compl etely  new  aircraft. 
When  fini shed,  a  weight  check  con-
firmed  that  Matty  had  eliminated  over 
400  pounds  of  weight  just  from  the 
parts  Mr.  Brown  had  shipped  him.  The 
L  TR-14  was  tes ted  success full y  and 
accepted  by  Roscoe,  who  proceeded  to 
Californi a  in  it  .. .  on  its  second  fli ght. 
In  succeeding  years  th e  Laird-Turner 
Racer  served  to  change  the  fortunes  of 
'tough-luck'  Roscoe.  During  the  1937 
Thompson,  Roscoe,  who  was  leading 
the  race,  was  momentaril y  blinded  by 
the  sun  whil e  rounding  a  pylon.  Turn-
ing  back  to  recircl e  th e  pylon,  he  lost 
hi s  lead  to  Ea rl  Ortman  and  Rudy  Kling. 
In  a  las t  minute  burst  of  speed,  Rudy 
drove  the  diminuti ve  Folkerts  racer 
pas t  Ortman  to  win.  Roscoe  foll owed 
in  third  place. 
However,  the  foll owing  yea r,  the 
Laird-Turner,  racing  as  the  PESCO 
SPECIAL,  placed  first  in  the  Thomp-
son,  brea king  Micheal  Detroya t's 
record  speed  set  two  years  previously. 
The  1939  Nati onal  Air  Races  were 
largely  overshadowed  by  the  grim  turn 
of  events  taking  pl ace  in  Europe. 
Roscoe,  raci ng  for  the  last  time,  again 
won  the  Thompson,  fl ying  the  Laird-
Turner,  which  for  the  occasion  had 
become  the  ' Mi ss  Champi on'.  This  vic-
tory  made  him  the  onl y  man  to  ever  win 
the  coveted  Thompson  Trophy  th ree 
times .  Despite  th e  credit  due  Mr.  Lai rd, 
Roscoe  never  properl y  recogni zed  him. 
Ma tty,  however,  never  pressed  the  issue 
... as "That's just the way Roscoe was" . . . 
Turner's  victories,  plus  those  earli er 
in  th e  decades  by  the  'Soluti on'  and 
'Super  Solution'  gave  the  Laird  Planes; 
Three  FIRST  and  two  THIRD  pl aces  in 
the  Thompson  Races,  one  FIRST  in  the 
Bendi x,  a  trans-continental  and  tri -
Capitol  speed  record,  in  addition  to  at 
least  a  dozen  different  inter- ci ty  records . 
For  a  small  civil  based  aircraft  factory, 
the  E.  M.  Laird  Company  had  won  a 
large  proportinate  share  of  the  records 
and  races  of  the  thirties,  due  to  the  skill 
of  the  employees  and  th e  genius  of 
E.  M.  ' Matty'  La ird . 
As  thi s  country's  involvement  in  the 
War  beca me  more  eminent,  Matty  rea-
li zed  it  was  going  to  be  pretty  ' tough 
sledding'  for  a  non-military  manu-
fac turer.  In  an  attempt  to  get  subcon-
tracting  work  on  military  aircraft ,  a 
Chicago  fri end  persuaded  him  to  con-
sider  setting  up  an  aviati on  di vision  for 
a  manu fac turer  of  metal  door  trim,  at 
Laport ,  Indi ana.  Matt y  looked  the  opera-
ti on  over  and  elected  to  become  Vi ce 
President  of  the  Company  (l ater  be-
coming  th e  La po rte  Corpora ti on. )  He 
bro ught  wit h  him  all  hi s  fac tory  ma-
chi nery,  equipme nt  and  materials,  but 
retained  personall y  all  hi s  airplane 
designs.  The  La porte  Corporati on  s uc-
cessfu ll y  met  the  chall enges  of  wartime 
material s  shortages  with  a  labor  force 
consisting  mos tly  of  women.  Although 
untrained,  and  faced  with  schedules 

(Photo  Courtesy  E.  M. ' Matty'  Laird) 
Laird-Turner  on  the  l ine  after being  rebuilt by the  E.  M. Laird Ai rplane 
Company.  Note  the  famil iar  Laird  trademark  on  the  tail. 
that doubled every month, they rapidly
grew into a skilled tea m under the able
guidance of Matty. His tal ents in pro-
duction were directed to the producti on
of B-24 and SB2C vertical fins, complete
empenage groups for Martin B-26's
and numerous other items such as wing
flaps, radio cabinets, crew bunks and
de- icer tanks for the Martin PBM.
Matty never had any interest in
Military aircraft, with the possible
excepti on of building a trainer for the
Armed Services. He had lost an early
bid for a trainer in the Laird Swallow
days, when Major Reuben Fleet, a
procurement officer for the Army, vetoed
the purchase. Major Fleet later resigned
from the Service and organi zed the
Consolidated Aircraft Company, who
received the order for his training
The wartime production of the La-
porte Corporation was a credit to Mr.
Laird' s ingenuity in training and mus-
tering every effort from hi s employees
during the critical time of hi s country's
At the War's end, Matty res tudi ed the
designs he had worked up for civilian
airplanes before the War. One particu-
larl y appealing model was a 4 place,
hi gh wing monoplane, with a semi-
monocoupe aluminum fuselage and
wooden wings. Plans were .. . to use
a new six cylinder inverted engi ne that
Continental was developing. In con-
sideri ng th e capitali zati on cos ts in-
volved which had doubled since the
thirti es, and knowi ng first-hand, th e
(Photo  Courtesy  Roger  Don  Rae) 
ABOVE:  Laird-Turner,  Pesco  Special which  Roscoe  Turner 
flew  to  victory in  the  Thompson  Trophy  Race  in  1938. 
(Photo  Courtesy  E.  M. 'Matty'  Laird) 
BELOW:  Matty Laird, center, surrounded by his fellow craftsmen 
at  the  Laport  Corporation  during  WWII .  The  vertical  fins  of  the 
B-24  behind are  autographed by all members  of his  work  force. 
boom-bust market that followed the previous War,
Matty decided to retire from the aviation business.
An additional factor which prompted his decision
was the fact that his daughter had contracted polio.
At the time, the only known treatment was frequent
immersions in warm water combined with physical
therapy. Consequently, Matty decided to move to a
warmer climate, choosing Boca Raton, a small com-
munity on the lower east coast of Florida. There, he
and his lovely Elsie, whom he married in 1933, devoted
themselves to raising their son and daughter.
In later years the Lairds purchased some land in
the Lake Toxaway area of North Carolina where they
built a home. The lake had been a millionaires hide-
away in the early 1900's until the dam supporting it
burst in 1916, flooding many of the lower communities.
Ironically, the lake was later re-damed after the Laird's
built their home, and the high water level forced
them to again move. Later they purchased an adjacent
home on the lake shore. Currently they spend their
summer months enjoying this beautiful mountain lake
area, while wintering in their fifty year old Spanish
style home in Boca.
In 1967 Matty became President of the Early Birds,
an International organization of pilots who made their
first flight before December 17, 1916. Mr. Laird also
became active in the Connecticut Aeronautical His-
torical Association's restoration of the 'Solution'
beginning in 1964.
He first became acquainted with the Florida Sport
Aviation, Antique and Classic Association at the
Remuda Ranch Fly-In during November of 1974,
where he was an honored guest. There too, he joined
the EAA. In recognition of his many achievements
prior to 1940, Mr. Laird was awarded the coveted
Silver Eagle Membership in the Association. Since
then the Lairds have been very active in the EAA,
being honored among the Aviation Greats at Oshkosh,
1975, and appearing at many EAA functions through-
out the State of Florida.
His present work on the EAA's restoration of the
'Super Solution' has brought him back, full circle
. . . to th e very work to which he devoted hi s life
beginning in 1910 ... that of building the finest air-
craft in the country.
At eighty years on November 29th, 1975, Matty
has been described by his friends as "a Volkswagen
wi th 80 horsepower".
The Florida Association and th e Experimental Air-
craft Association are very privileged to know and be
able to work with people of Mr. Laird's background,
energies and character.
Mr. Laird ... a true genius and pioneer of Ameri-
can Aviation.
The  Laird Speedwing  "Solution" 
(Prat & Whitney  Wasp  Junior Engine) 
Winner  1st  Place  - Thompson  Trophy  Race  -
Chicago,  III.  Sept.  1, 1930 
Average  Speed 201 .91  M.P.H.  for  100  mile  race 
(20  laps  around a five  mile  course) 
Piloted by C. W. "Speed"  Holman 
(Photo  by Robert  G. Elliott) 
Matty  and  Elsie  Laird  enjoy  their  mountain  re-
treat  on  the  shores  of  Lake  Toxaway,  North 
Carolina,  and  sat  momentarily  for  this  photo-
graph  in  July of 1975. 
Earl  W. Swaney 
525  Saratoga  Ave. 
Santa  Clara,  CA 95050 
The weather was perfect! The airshow
was excellent! Ground and flying activi-
ties were varied and interesting!
But, these variables only added to
the luster. The real stars were the air-
planes. More than 400 of them.
Reading down the rows of prop cards
was like reading from volumes of avia-
tion history. All the names were there:
Waco, Ryan, Stinson, Stearman, Travel-
Air, Beech, Cessna, Great Lakes, Fleet,
Kinner, Davis, Fairchild, Standard,
Curtiss, Pitcairn, Piper, Taylor, Har-
low, Spartan, Howard, Bucker, Meyers,
Aeronca, and even Ford.
The event was the 12th annual West
Coast Antique Aircraft Fly-In and Air
Show held at Watsonville, ' California
over the Memorial Day weekend, May
28, 29 and 30.
Each year the fly-in is co-sponsored
by the Northern California Chapter of
the Antique Airplane Association and
the Watsonville Chamber of Commerce.
The pilots these planes brought to
the fly-in unanimously agreed this
year's meet was " the best yet." They
came from all over California and from
Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada,
Utah, Arizona, and even one from
There were many full-fledged antique
airplane buffs among the 30,000 visitors
to the show. But most of them came to
see the airshows put on each day.
Highlighting the aerobatic routines
were veteran performers such as San
Francisco's Don Carter flying an au-
thentic Bucker Jungmeister, Jim
Mandley in a homebuilt Steen Skybolt,
Eddie Andreini in a stock Stearman,
and Amelia Reid in a Bellanca Decath-
Grand champion award went to Jim
Nissen for his 1918 Curtiss IN-4
"Jenny". Nissen, from Livermore, CA,
retired from his position as airport
manager at San Jose Municipal Airport
last August and has spent the time since
th en res toring the Jenny. He purchased
it in 1958 after a friend found it in a
barn in Oregon and told him about it.
Virgil Adair Congratulates Jim Nissen (on left).
Ni ssen has restored the Jenny to its
original configuration as a trainer used
by the Army Air Services at Love Field
in Dallas, TX. It is painted an ochre color
and has a brightly polished brass radiator
for its OX-5 engi ne: The stru ts and other
woodwork is finished natural and highly
varni shed. The fuselage wood was in
such good condition that Nissen was
able to use about 90 percent of it in
hi s restoration.
Mayor' s Trophy winner, a 1929 New
Standard NT-I, Navy trainer, (D-29A
civilian) is owned by George Dray of
Concord, CA. This New Standard is one
of six built for the Navy and is beli eved
to be the only one of its kind flying
Best Homebuilt Award in the show
went to a Bede BD-4 owned by Don
Phillips of San Jose, CA.
76-year-old Virgil Adair flew his
Ranger-powered Ryan PT-22 from
Lewiston, Idaho, and took the award
for the oldest pilot. Adair's original
pilot's license was signed by Orville
Robin Reid, 17, of San Jose, took
honors as the youngest licensed pilot .
The varied activities for participants
included an Oktoberfest party Satur-
day ni ght, a lumberjack breakfast Sun-
day morning, and the Awards Dinner
Sunday night.
Of the 428 display aircraft, 86 were
antiques, 74 warbirds, 160 neo-c1assic,
and 105 homebuilts . In addition about
500 modern aircraft brought flying
spectators to the event.
Co-chairmen for thi s year's fly-in
were Bob DeVries for the Antiquers
and John Payne for the Watsonville
Chamber of Commerce.
In the flying contests, Russ Weil of
Sunnyvale, CA, pulled hi s J-3 Cub into
the air after a run of 150 feet to take
first place in the short field takeoff con-
test for planes under 100 horsepower.
Watsonville Grand Champion
Jim Nissen' s 1918 Jenny
In the over 100-horsepower category,
Richard Collins of Portola Valley, CA,
coaxed his Swift off in 250 feet.
Rate of climb under 100-horsepower
winner was Phil Garris of Reno, NV,
in a Piper L-4 climbing to 200 feet in
19 seconds. Over 100-horsepower
award went to Orrin Anderson, River-
side, CA, in a Cessna 170, also 19
The Antiquers plan to use their share
of the proceeds toward establishment
of a museum to di splay these rare birds
and other aviation history memorabilia.

'I . ' ", Men and  Their 
.,... .
  . .,.J' , ":'
-........ ...... ,:', . .  .r  .......

1929 Travel Air NC 8719 1941 Vultee BT 13A N55642
Owner: Max Robertson, Vancouver , WA Owner: Gary Giannandrea, Areada, CA
' -': " It
_____ , -- ,iZ
- ,1::.1  " 
- , .. I i
" '.
• ' j "

Travel Air 2000 NC 6130 1936 Stinson SR8B Ole Fahlin says, " This prop has got to go". Jim Nissen receives the Grand Champion award
Owner: Gregg Caldwell , Vancouver, WA
Owner: Ernie Fillmore, Los Gatos, CA for his Curtiss IN-4 Jenny from fly-in queen
Amelia Reid.

1931 Travel Air 12K Ford Tri-Motor 1930 Stearman N788H - Owner: Ray Gail Turner added a  touch of glamour to he
Owner: Paul Lawrence, Battle Ground, WA Owner: Irv. Perch, Morgan Hills, CA Stephen & Gabby Hansen, Santa Clara, CA homebuilt Fly Baby. Gail took first place hor.
ors in the rate of climb contest for
WA T S (
If you want to meet a  group of congE
just must attend one of the WatsonvillE
28th - 31 st, and came away impressed
all , the comaraderie of the people, fror
who come out by the thousands to ae 
cluded Fly-Bys, Contests, Aerobatic S 
The grand finale was a beautifully organ
1934 Krider Risner 831 N 1929 Davis V3 #848H - Owner: Clyde Gail McCullough has worn out 5  engines we' re coming back,
Owner: John Reid, San Jose, CA Bourgeois, Santa Barbara, CA for a total of 5800 hours on her Cessna 190.


tage Machines

1929 Pitcairn Mail Wing - Owner: Don Fairchild 24 N81386

Clause, Astoria, OR, passenger brother Owner: Claude Gray, Northridge, CA
Winner of a Special Award for Golden Age First place winner in the Classic age open 1929 New Standard # 155M 1929 Student Prince N10471
through Neo-classic was this Harlow PJ2C monoplane category was this Fairchild 22 Owner: Geo. Dray, Concord, CA Owner: James Turrell , Sedona, AZ
owned by Mel Heflinger of Redondo Beach, CA. I owned by Kal Irwin of Pasadena, CA.
Vew Standard D-25A, 5-place open cockpit ' Second place winner in the Golden John Reid, who was the official announcer
Ruth Spencer's " Baby Stearman" _
)wned by Irv Perch of Morgan Hill, CA. " The open biplane category was this Fleet 7 and did an admirable job.
parked beside hubby's big job.
=Iying Lady", is for Irv's wife Jan who is the owned by R. Von Willer of Spring Valley,
lying member of the family. CA.

hard working flying enthusiasts - you
ifornia Fly-Ins. We did just that on May
the airplanes, the weather, and most of
participants to the enthusiastic public
the beautiful airplanes. The activity in-
, and even a " lumberjack" breakfast.
\wards Banquet. Keep the sun shining - 1935 Fairchild C8C won a special award 1926 Travel Air J4 NC3945 - Owners: Ray Driggs Skylark NC64K
for the Golden through Neo-classic ages. & Larry Stephen, San Jose, CA Owner: Don Burkhart, Orangevale, CA
(Lois Kelch, Asst. Editor)
It is owned by D. Cullum and George
Pearson of Vallej o, CA.














The Gates Flying Circus had five air-
craft carrying passengers at Pough-
kepsie Airport. The airport was nothing
but a cow pasture with a stone fence at
one end and some trees to the right of
us. Saturday was a very successful day
- all five aircraft were busy all after-
noon. They carried something like 200
passengers. We stopped our operations
just before dark and checked in one of
the best hotels in Poughkepsie. We
were all tired and dirty, but quite rich.
All of the pilots opera ted on a 20% basis
and we were making anywhere between
$75.00 to $100.00 a day. The following
day, Sunday, we all got out to the airport
about 9:00. Our standard procedure
was go up and do a little stunti ng and
looping on the outskirts of the city every
morning. (I had forgotten that after the
previous day - all the step ladders and
stunt paraphernalia was stored in my
ship.) 1 took off with my parachute
jumper in the front seat and climbed up
to 3000 ft. and commenced looping.
We of the Gates Flying Circus were
using Hisso Standards modified to
take 4 passengers in the front cockpi t.
All Standards were powered by 150 to
180 engines. While looping 1 had ap-
parently drifted over the center of
the city. On one of my final loops I
hung the airplane in an upside down
position and stalled it. Things began to
fall out of the cockpit including my
parachute jumper, who desperately
hung onto a couple of struts. 1 saw
bundles of tools, our step ladder and
other things leaving the cockpit. After
the flight was over, I landed and pro-
ceeded carrying passengers as though
nothing happened. A couple of hours
later, a couple of men appeared on the
field carrying a bundle under their
arms. They asked to see the manager
of the Flying Circus - he was Clyde
LEFT: Joseph R. James and Marion
Wells - Gates Flying Circus at Green-
field, Mass. 1927.
Pangborn' our Chief Pilot. The men in-
quired if the bundle belonged to one of
us pilots. Clyde Pangborn acknowledged
that this was our folding step ladder
used for stunt flying. Pangborn ap-
proached me and asked if 1 had these
things in my ship. 1 admitted seeing
things fall out of my plane while in a
loop in an inverted position. The two
men informed us that this particular
package crashed through the Orpheum
Theatre ceiling and landed about 20
feet from the orchestra. The Orchestra
was rehearsing and were astounded
by the crash and all the glass falling
on top of them. They threatened to
sue the Circus but Pang somehow
reimbursed them and sent them back
to town. 1 was fined $25.00 for this in-
cident bu t on this same night, I recovered
more than the $25.00 in a poker game.
This was not a very happy incident for
After a weekend at Troy, New York
we proceeded with seven ships to Pitts-
field, Mass. The whole town was plas-
tered with great big placards "Gates
Flying Circus - the World's Best Pilots" .
Our advance man had made a deal with
the local newspaper - he was to pro-
vide us with about 50 papers that we
were to drop off close to the field. Who-
ever picked up a paper with a lucky tick-
et in it went for a free ride in one of our
We started flying early in the morning
about 9:00. The more we flew, the more
passengers came out, to line up for rides.
Mac McKay was flying a Curtis R, a three
cockpit job powered by 450 hp 12 cylinder
Liberty engine. We were using straight
commercial gas as supplied by Texaco
Company. Mac's Curtis R was bouncing
over the bumps for take-off and belching
black smoke out of both sides. Mac was
leaning out one side to see where he
was going and getting his face full of
the black soot. That day Mac said "the
blacker I am the richer I am" which was
very true.
We kept flying without hardly a stop
- the more passengers we carried, the
Lee Mason - With Gates Flying Circus
more came. $3.00 and $5.00 passengers
were shoved into the same airplane
and had the same kind of ride. The aver-
age ride was about a minute and a half
long. At 3:00 in the afternoon, five planes
were down with some trouble or other.
There were only 2 ships left. At 8:30
p.m. it was getting dark - we quit fly-
ing and there were still a number of
passengers in the corral. The boss said
Joe why don't you take one more load?
Reluctantly I took off with 4 people.
On the way back 1 could hardly see the
field. I took my glasses off and unfor-
tunately a bumble bee hit me in one eye.
1 made a blind landing from about 50',
overshot the field and knocked off a
couple of headlights of a nearby car with
my wing tip. It was a rather sad ending
to my record passenger carrying day.
I broke the record for the year - carried
$700.00 worth of passengers in one
ship in one day. On the other hand, the
next day 1 spent repairing my wing tip,
wondering if I could catch up wi th the
rest of the circus.
This is another incident of the Gates
Flying Circus the same autumn of
1927. The Gates Flying Circus had four
aircraft at Troy, New York airport. It
was a successful 3 day stand. We carried
something like 500 passengers the 3
days. Monday morning we were getting
ready to leave for Pittsfield, Mass.
Things were kind of dull.
A pilot, who I was instrumental in
getting to join Gates Flying Circus by
the name of Ray Ahern, approached
me and made a deal. He said "Joe,
you see that little flag on top of the tent
where all our supplies are stored and
where our manager, was still asleep."
1 said "Yes 1 see the flag" . He said ''I'll
bet you $25.00 that you can't knock that
flag down in two at tempts". I said -
"You're on". I took off and circled
the airport and dove for the flag, attempt-
ing to knock it off with the landing gear.
My first pass was unsuccessful and I
made a second attempt, which was also
unsuccessful. The third pass 1 really
had to do it. 1 took half of the mast and
Johnnie  Runger,  Parachute Jumper 
the  flag  leaving  only a  shred  sticking  out 
on  top  of  the  tent.  Ahern,  in  the  mean-
time  made  another  proposition.  "Joe, 
I'll  bet  you  $25.00  I  can  knock  the  rest 
of that flag  in three attempts".  Naturally, 
I  agreed.  Ahern,  in  his  second  attempt 
knocked  down  the  balance  of  the  fla g. 
In  the  meantime,  with  all  thi s  noi se 
going  on,  we  woke  up  the  manager, 
who  rushed  out  of  the  tent  and  was 
shaking  his  fi st  up  at  the  sky  while  we 
were  diving  at  his  tent. 
Here  is  another  incident  with  Gates 
Flying  Circus  in  September  1927.  Five 
of  our  ships  descended  on  Ithica,  New 
York.  Our  fi eld  was  a  narrow  strip  be-
tween  tall  trees  on  both  sides  and  on 
one  end  was  one  of  the  Finger  Lakes. 
As  ususal  we  had  the  field  covered 
with  paying  passengers,  who  were 
waiting  to  get  a  chance  to  get  in  the  air. 
Our  normal  load  was  four  passengers 
in  front  just  behind  the  150  Hispana 
engine  J1  standard.  I  complained  to 
Clyde  that  my  ship  was  somewhat 
out  of  ri g  and  I  couldn't  make  the 
turn  to  the  left  as  was  our  pattern. 
He  said  Joe,  go  ahead  and  take  only 
two  passengers  a nd  see  if  you  ca n 
make  it.  I agreed  to  that. 
I  took  off  with  two  passengers, 
climbed  up  to  about  500  ft.,  started  my 
turn  and  found  out  the  left  wing  was 
still  real  heavy,  and  I  had  to  use  all 
opposite  rudder  in  order  to  keep  it  from 
turning  to  the  left.  I  was  skidding  all 
over  the  place  and  was  losing  altitude. 
I  realized  I  couldn't  make  th e  fi eld 
and  I  had  to  come  down  at  right  angles 
to  the  strip.  I  picked  two  of  the  bushiest 
trees  and  pu t  the  nose  of  the  Standard 
right  in  between  th em.  All  four  wings 
crumpl ed  and  we  were  suspended 
about  20'  in  the  air.  I  climbed  out  of 
the  fuselage  and  helped  the  passengers 
down  out  of  the  trees.  I  returned  the 
tickets  to  the  two  gentl emen  and  told 
them  to  go  ahead  and  take  their  ride 
with  one  of  the  other  planes.  They 
I  told  the  passengers  that  one  of  my 
wings  was  too  heavy  and  I  los t  control 
of  the  ship.  The  next  morning  the 
newspapers  in  Ithica  had  a  headline 
"Two  engineers  escape  death  in  a 
disabl ed  airplane".  The  reporter  mis-
interrupted  my  statement  on  th e  fi eld 
and  said  the  pilot  admitted  that  he 
flew off the wing (?)  The  passengers 
happened  to  be  two  engineering  pro-
fessor s  at Cornell  College. 
It  was  miraculous  that  the  fu selage 
didn' t  have  a  crack  and  new  wings  were 
shipped  in  from  Hackensack.  The  fuse-
lage  was  haul ed  down,  the  new  set 
of  wings    ~ t   c h e d and  new  propeller 
installed  and  the  aircraft  continued  to 
barnstorm  its  way  down  to  Florida. 
Thi s  incident  finished  me  with  Gates 
Flying  Circus.  The  crates  were  getting 
out  of  ri g  and  were  showing  signs  of 
lack  of  maintenance.  I  collected  what 
was  coming  me  from  Irwin  Gates  and 
returned  to  Hackensack,  NJ .  It  was 
amazing  that  in  this  incident  neither 
the  passengers  or  myself  even  got  a 
scratch.  I  told  my  passengers  how  safe 
it  was  to  crash  an  airplane  between  the 
Many old timers like Joseph
R. James have interesting' ma-
terial hid away in dresser
drawers. It is fun finding it
and bringing it back to life.
The  article on  the  following 
page  is  printed as  a  posthumous 
tribute  to  Bill Menefee, who  was 
killed,  along  with  the  owners  of a 
four place airplane  that crashed 
July 24,  1976 at Fredricksburg,  VA. 
This  article  had been  written .and 
submitted prior to  the  accident.  Bill 
.  Menefee  was  a  pilot for United Airlines 
:-:.:  and he  was  active  in  the  " Potomac  An-
tique  Aero  Squadron",  EAA  and AAA. 
His  many  friends  will  miss  him  as  will 
:: :: the  numbers  that  saw  him  fly  at  the 
ton,  Virginia.  Bill was  an  accomplished 
pilot and a  dedicated antiquer. 
(Photo by.Lou Davis)
KCA Balloon Festival. Bill Menefee's
WW I Replica Sopwith Pup in fore-
hi s Sopwith Pup, a replica of Britian's World War I
fi ghter was built by Bill Petrone, a professor at
th e Uni versity of Iowa. It took nearl y seven (7) years
to complete and was built fr om origi nal Sopwith
plans. The Pup looks every bit the original , the only
excepti on being that it does not carry an actual factory
serial number.
The prototype Sopwith Pup appeared in France in
May of 1916 with the Royal Naval Air Servi ce and
shortly thereaft er, with the Royal Flying Corps . It
was intended to be a high altitude fighter and was
more than a match against the German Albatross Vll1
at 16, 000 ft. The aircraft remained in service thru the
summer and autumn of 1917. The Sopwith was also
the pioneer aircraft to be based on an aircraft carri er .
By E. A. " Rick" Roki cki
365 Mae Rd.
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
1820 EAA Anti que/Classic Division
In thi s case, the wheels were removed and skids were
installed. La ter, the Pup went back to England where
it was used success full y as a defense against the giant
Gotha bombers . The Zepplin too was a favorite target
of the Sopwith Pup. There's no denying it was a grea t
ai rplane in its day.
Bill Menefee, a United Airlines Ca ptain (DC-8) ,
bought the Pup immedi atel y aft er completion in Octo-
ber of 1973. It was purchased primaril y beca use of hi s
involvement in the FLYING CIRCUS activity at Beal-
ton, Virginia . The ori ginal aircraft was built with
either the 80 hp Clerget or the 80 hp Gnome. Later
models had the 100 hp Gnome . Bill's Pup has a more
modern engine, that is, if you can call a 40 year old
engi ne " modern". The 125 hp Warner radial that
powers the Sopwith remains the favorite of WWI
builders beca use of its small er di ameter and relatively
low weight. The torque values of the original rotary
engines and that of the Warner are quite comparabl e.
Futher, the gross weight of the replica Pup is within
100 lbs. of the original. Additi onal deviati ons from
the original were made as a result of fli ght tes ting. The
rudder bar, tail skid and lack of brakes, necessitated
some changes. The rudder bar was replaced by the
more standard pedals. The tail skid had to go for ob-
vious reasons and was replaced by a small tail wheel.
The additi on of cable operated brakes was the last
bi g change.
(Photo by Lou Davis)
Bill Menefee doing his thing for the FL YING CIRCUS at
Bealton, Virginia , in his world War I Fighter (Sopwith Pup) .
Taxi tes ts started out as fa st taxi, then tail lift then
off the deck for a few feet and back again. The maiden
fli ght was attempted after the 4th such tes t. According
to Bill, the Pup leaped into the air with less than a 200'
run in very li ght wind. It felt a littl e tail heavy and
needed right rudder correction through out the fli ght
to compensate for ail eron drag. Eleva tor press ures
seemed light in compari son to ail eron feel. Further
testing showed the aircraft to be qui te maneuvre-
abl e and it side-slips beautifull y. Bill Menefee says
the slip is a very necessa ry thing in the Pup, since the
aircraft is quite blind in a head on approach . The rudder
is effective to the degree that proper ail eron input is
extremely important, oth erwi se the machine simpl y
will not turn. What happens in such an uncoordinated
turn is that the wing will drop in the directi on of the
turn but the nose will yaw in th e other directi on. The
Pup will just hang there and set up a shudder. The
first landing was a bit of an experi ence since the cl ose
- coupl ed design makes it a prime ca ndidate for
ground loops. However, a grassy touch down and
about 150' later it ca me to a stop. Preparati ons for the
fli ght home were started immedi ately.
Before setting out fr om Ames, Iowa, Bill worked
out a bungee cord arrangement on the control stick
to compensa te for th e sli ght tail-heaviness and right
rudder correcti on . It has been so successful that it
remains in use without change. The fli ght from Ames
to Bealton included five (5) stops and a total of 12
fl ying hours . The ai rspeed indi ca tor was suspected
of reading low since the aircraft would "slow fl y"
at 38 to 40 mph before it would stall out. The second
day out of Columbus, Ohio, whil e on a course for
Fairmount , Bill smell ed gasoline. A considerabl e loss
showed on the quantity ga"tl ge, a nd while th e replica
Pup had a 30 gall on tank (the ori ginal had onl y 20), it
was obvious he woul d have to set it down before
long. Clarksburg, Wes t Virginia was the pl ace, he
decided since there were maintenance facilities there.
He climbed to 6,000' and bega n a slow spiral down .
The new tower was not yet acti va ted, but someone
saw him a nd gave him a green li ght to land. Winds
were 25 to 30 mph wit h gusts . Remembering that the
brakes were not the best even under ideal conditi ons,
Bill decided to line up on th e ru nway and take a light
crosswind. Just aft er touch-down, a severe gust tossed
the Sopwith Pup back into the sky like a lea f. Power
on for a go-around ... a qui ck look at the fu el quantity
showed the tank to be empty. On the downwind leg,
he decided to land on a grassy area between the runway
and taxi strip. The landing roll was less than 40 feet.
It didn't take long to rapidl y reach the conclusion that
crosswind landings with this machine would lead to
the inevitabl e ground loop.
Inspecti on of the gas tank showed that the tin had
a seam crack and it didn' t take much to solder it up
and get back into the air. Helped along by a good tail
in just under two (2) hours .
Some interesting notes on the Pup. It cruises
easil y at 80 mph . At an indicated airspeed of 125 mph,
one of the wires starts to "sing". When thi s happens,
he will back off on the throttl e and set up hi s air-
speed just under the audible warning. Bill intends to
keep it that way. When first feeling out the aerobati c
ability of the airplane, he found out that it did not
slow-roll well at all. Aileron drag slows up the Pup
when inverted and it becomes necessary to get the
nose down qui ckly to get enough airspeed to compl ete
the roll-out. There is no inverted fu el or oil system
install ed and the engine will cut out if left upside
down too long. In additi on to that , the airfoil is not
at all suited to that kind of fl ying. It rolls to the left
beautifull y, but not too well to th e ri ght, althoug h it
is accompli shed as part of the aerial pattern he does .
A short loop and Cuba n 8's are a part of the routine.
On landing, th e Pup feels fairl y s tabl e throughout
th e fl are and will set up a li ght shudder just before
the three-point stall. To quote Bill Menefee "at that
time, if the ground is in the ri ght pl ace, you' ll have a
pretty decent landing."
At thi s writing, th ere are six (6) known Sopwith
Pups in fl ying conditi on. One is in Ca nada, another
in Rheinbeck, NY and another on th e west coast.
These are repli cas just as N4781 T. The remaining
two are in th e Shuttl eworth Coll ection in England
and are the onl y remaining ori ginals.
One of the Southern California
Ninety-Nines charter members who
helped call attention to women in
flying circles was Bobbi Trout who took
the lead in promoting the Golden Eagle
aircraft by chalking up a number of
impressive record flights. She learned
to fly in early 1928 and then became a
factory demonstrator pilot for Golden
Eagle. She acquired Transport license
2613, the fifth woman in the USA to do
so, and was probably the Country's first
woman test pilot.
Miss Trou t flew one of the early
Golden Eagles at the dedication of the
Los Angeles Metropolian Airport at
Van Nuys, December 16, 1928. While
the endurance flight of the Army Air
Corps' Fokker "Question Mark" was
underway, Bobbi tookoff for her first
non-refueling endurance attempt from
Van Nuys Airport. Using a LeBlond 60
hp Golden Eagle, she remained aloft
12 hrs. 11 min., Jan. 2, 1929. Using the
same plane and flying from Mines Field
(now Los Angeles International), she
boosted the women's non-refueling rec-
ord even higher Feb. 10-11 with a flight
of 17 hrs. 5 min. While setting this rec-
ord she made the first all-night solo flight
by an aviatrix.
1929 continued to be a stellar year for
Bobbi Trout. She flew a 90 hp Golden
Eagle to 15,200', a new women's altitude
record for that particular category. In
latter summer she entered the Golden
Eagle, 90 hp Kinner, R223M, in the First
Women's Air Derby from Santa Monica
to Cleveland, Aug. 18-26. Although a
forced landing near Yuma put her out
of the competition, she managed to
fly the course and finish at Cleveland
a few hours after the winning   o n t e s ~
Later in the year, with Elinor Smith
(License 3178), Bobbi established the
first in-air refueling endurance record
for women. Together they logged 42 hrs.
5 min., using a Commercial Sunbeam
aircraft powered with a Whirlwind 300,
over Los Angeles, November 27-29. The
refueling ship engine gave out, forcing
the fliers to land.
This record was upped considerably
by Bobbi and Edna May Cooper (Li-
cense 13310), Jan. 4-9, 1931. Flying a
Challenger Curtiss Robin, "Lady Rolph",
NR749M, they remained airborne 122
hrs. 50 min., again over Los Angeles.
The flight ended after the engine went
There were plans afoot for Bobbi to
attempt a Trans-Pacific flight from
Hawaii to the Mainland the summer
of '31 in a Lockheed Sirius, however
the flight did not materialize for
lack of backing. However, she sub-
sequently piloted one of the three
Women's Air Reserve Stearmans on a
trans-continental junket, along with
Pancho Barnes and Mary Charles. She
participated in local air shows with
Gladys O'Donnell, Margaret Perry
Cooper, Clema Granger, Aline Miller
and Yolanda Spirito, among others.
Bobbi Trout has always had the ingenu-
ity to meet her goals, working hard for
her accomplishments. To supplement
her earnings in the early days, she owned
and operated a service station. Prior to
WWII she hit upon the idea of salvaging
the discarded rivets from the various
aircraft manufacturers, sorting and
readying them for use again.
Currently and since 1960, she has been
in real estate in the California desert at
Palm Springs. She still finds time to do
some inventing, prospecting, cycling,
hiking and touring in her beautiful mo-
bile home - and occasionally she will
reflect fondly on the flying years.
Suited up for high altitude flight, Bobbi poses with one
of the Golden Eagles.
Elinor Smith and Bobbi Trout with the Commercial
Sunbeam in which they set the first women's in-air
refueling record - November, 1929.
Tom  Poberezny 
The 1976 EAA  Convention is now hi s tory. This
year's event was the mos t successful one yet for many
Attendance was the larges t in the 24 year hi story
of the EAA Convention.
Volunteers turned out in record numbers to
assist with th e numerous tas ks associated with
the operation of the world's larges t aviation
The quality of res toration and construction
again improved.
I could list numerous other factors, but the point
is that by far the majority of those attending and par-
ticipating ca me away happy and proud of their organi-
I want to take this opportunity to commend every
Officer, Chairman and Volunteer and anyone else
associated with· the AntiquelClassic Di vision operation
of the 1976 EAA Conventi on. The orga ni za tion and
dedi ca ti on of all who worked so hard was refl ected
in the smooth operation of your acti viti es through-
ou t the week.
The size and scope of th e EAA  Convention con-
tinues to grow by lea ps and bounds. With thi s growth
comes the associated probl ems encountered in the
handling of traffic, parking aircraft, security, judging,
etc. Having worked with your officers, directors and
chairmen throughout the past year, I ca n attest to the
hard work and dedi ca ti on they put forth. The Board of
Directors of the Experimental Aircraft Associati on
expressed praise th roughout th e Conventi on for the
opera tion of the AntiquelClassic activiti es.
One of the hi ghli ghts of the 1976 Convention was
the " Hi story of Flight". Where else could an aviation
enthusias t go and see so many examples of the ai r-
craft that have shaped our aviati on heritage. Beca use
of uncooperative weather conditi ons, the 1908 June
Bug was unabl e to parti cipate in this program. But
those who were abl e to stay through Saturday were
able to see thi s ra re bird take to the air that evening.
This yea r a grea t deal of work went into strea m-
lining and improving the overall awa rds program for
the Convention. The judging methods in each cate-
gory (custom, antique, classic and warbird) under-
went great change, trying to bring in as much obj ecti vity
as possibl e. The awards program puts one "between
a rock and a hard pl ace". There are so many outstanding
aircraft and individuals, that there are not enough
awards for all who deserve them. To eliminate the
awards program would be wrong. To expand it would
dilute its quality. Much was learned and I am sure
that next year's system and criteria will be much im-
proved again .
A special word of recognition should go to Director
Al Kelch for the work he did in developing and build-
ing thi s year's awards. The top trophi es presented
fea tured a beautiful bust of Charles Lindbergh. Many
of the plaques had a reli ef of Speed Holman, complete
with helmet and goggles . The purpose of these new
awards is to recogni ze EAA'ers wi th a trophy that ca n
only be earned at your nati onal conventi on. It cannot
be purchased anywhere. It is something that all will
be proud to di spl ay in their homes and carry great
It was my pl easure to talk with many nati onal, state
and loca l government official s, congress men, and
media personnel. Many had attended before ... for
others, it was their first vis it. It was interesting to
li sten to th eir reactions and see how they marveled
at the Convention's size, scope and hi gh standards of
conduct and cl ea nliness.
As I told each one of them, the aircraft on di splay
may be the stars of the show, but the real story is the
people . When you look at th e enthusia sm and hard
work that went into making an event as large as your
Convention so success ful and consider that the ma-
jority of th e work is done by volunteers, it makes th e
EAA story that much more amazi ng.
I know that th e vast majority of the peopl e attend-
ing Oshkosh 76 thoroughl y enj oyed themselves. For
the few that may have felt that they were not treated
properl y, please understand that your fell ow members
spent 12 to 14 hours per day (using their vacations) to
make thi s event possible. Everyone is doing the best
humanl y possible. Unfortunately, those who should
be reading thi s never will beca use they are not members.
Due  to  the  heavy  load  on  everyone  at  Con-
vention  time,  this  month' s  issue  and  probably 
the  next,  will  be  slightly  late.  Bear  with  us  and 
we  will get back on  schedule soon. 
The  November  issue  will  be  dedicated  to 
Oshkosh and the  Greater 1976 EAA  Convention. 
I  invite  anyone  having  interesting  pictures  and 
stories  to  contribute  - DO  SO IMMEDIATELY! 
I  cannot  promise  that  all  will  appear  in 
print, those that have interesting copy and repro-
ducible photographs will be given  all considera-
I  invite  anyone  having  interesting  pictures  and 
tion.  It  is  your  magazine  and  I  will  continue  to 
make it reflect the  likes  of the membership.  It is 
up  to  you  to  keep  me informed  of  those  likes. 
Stories  about  adventures  going  and  coming 
from  the  Convention,  camp  ground  activities, 
interesting anecdotes that took place at the Con-
vention,  and  things  with  just  plain  old  human 
interest.  Remember  that  the  magazine  is  not  a
classified  column,  and stick  to  things  that  con-
tribute  to  the pleasure  of the  membership. 
Let's  have  fun  in  our unique  hobby and not 
take  even  ourselves  too  seriously. 
The  Convention  was  a smashing  success  -
ticularly  those  who  worked  for  the  enjoyment 
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
May  29,30,31,  1976 
By Kelly  Viets 
R.R.  1 
Stillwell,  KA 
Yes,  they  are  a  special  breed .  These  people  who 
love  and  fl y  the  littl e  two  place,  twin  tailed  beauty. 
These  are  the  solid  citi zens  of  sport  aviati on  who  love 
fl ying  for  fl ying' s  sake.  No  aerobati cs  needed  to  show 
off  what  heros  they  are.  Therefore  they  fly  the  safes t 
of  aircraft .  The  plane  that  made  hi story  as  the  leader 
of  the  modern,  advanced  planes,  the  tri-cycl ed  gear 
This  was  the  second  annual  Fly-In  headed  up  by 
Dub Hall of Tulsa, Okl ahoma.  He,  with Alverna Williams 
of  Grand  Prairie,  Texas  as  Co-Chairman,  and  their 
numerous  helpers  who  wrote  hundreds  of  letters  to 
all  Ercoupe  owners,  backed  by  Skip  Carden  and Coupe 
Capers  did  a  fantasti c  job.  Edna  and  myself  and  the 
Internati onal  Ercoupe  Associati on  helping  them  from 
the  side  lines. 
By  Fl y-In  time  they  had  240  pre-registered  planes. 
If  the  weather  East  of  the  Mississippi  had  cooperated 
the  240  number  surely  would  have  been  reached  and 
passed .  With  thunder  storms  predi cted  and  in  action, 
with  tornados  in  Oklahoma  and  rains  that  turned  into 
floods  in  Tulsa,  just  50  mil es  away,  there  were  still 
140  planes  that  made  it . 
Forty-two  States  were  represented .  Keith  Whiting 
fle w  in  from  as  far  away  as  Alaska ,  35  fl ying  hours. 
LaRoy  Wri ght a nd  hi s  wife  Eil een  arri ved  fr om  Oregon, 
six  planes  fl ew  in  from  Californi a.  There  were  three 
Ercoupes  that  came  in  from  Florida.  One  coupl e  from 
of  Events 
The  California  group  - front  row: 
Dave  Kenney,  Wayne  Olson,  Joe 
Figueras  and Jack  Owens. 
thi s  group  was  Mr.  & Mrs.  Fred  E.  Weick,  the  designer 
of  the  Ercoupe.  The  pl ane  they  used  was  a  borrowed 
1946  415C  Ercoupe  and  I mi ght add  that  although  he  is 
77  he  still  handles  the  airplane  beauti full y  (j ust  as 
tho'  he  made  iL) 
Even  though  the  weather  was  bad  or  threatening 
all  the  time  we  were  there;  the  usual  Fly- In  contes ts 
were  held .  Many  trophi es  and  pri zes  were  given  but 
mostl y  there  were  fri endships  made  or  renewed  and 
lots  of  looking  and  hangar  fl ying. 
With  the  assembl y  of  all  these  Ercoupes,  one  was 
abl e  to  see  them  from  the  meticul ously  maintained 
factory  original  to  the  excellent  modi fied  versions. 
Row  aft er  row  were  lined  up  - each  an  example 
showing  to  all  what  pri de  of ownershi p  ca n  mea n. 
Frankl y,  we  beli eve  thi s  is  the  way  to  achieve  the 
much  searched  for,  but  never  achi eved  goal  of  safety 
in  fl ying.  No  Government  regulations,  no  doctrines 
or  threa ts  can  achi eve  one- tenth  the  excellance  jus t 
a  small  amount  of  pride  can.  THAT  is  what  we  saw 
there  - pride  of  ownership.  It is  a  shame  that  more 
peopl e  could  not  have  seen  thi s  event.  You  woul d 
have  heard  the  words  of  praise  and  admiration  that 
the  Ercoupe owners  continuall y  hear  from  the  publ ic. 
Everyone  who  was  there  thi s  year  plus  all  the  others 
who  couldn' t  make  it  are  already  making  plans  to  be 
abl e  to  attend  next  year.  Look  for  a  continued  interes t 
and  grow th  of  thi s  Fly- In  next  year. 
AUGUST  29  - SEPTEMBER  6  - BLAKESBURG,  IOWA  - 6th  Annual 
Invitati onal  AAA-APM  Fly- In. 
Annual  EAA- IAC  Internati onal  Aerobatic  Championships.  Spon-
sored  by  Internati onal  Aerobatic  Club. 
SEPTEMBER  10-12  - GALESBURG,  ILLI NOIS  - 5th  National  Stear-
man  Fly- In.  Contact  Jim  Leahy,  445  N.  Whitesboro,  Galesburg, 
IL  61401,  or  Tom  Lowe, 823  Kingston  Lane,  Crystal  Lake,  IL  60014. 
Rows  and Rows  of Ercoupes. 
Dr.  Joe  McCawley  and  Sharon  talk-
ing  with  Fred Weick, flew wing together 
from  Flori da. 
Annual  Spirit  of  '76  Fly- In  at  Georgetown  County  Airport,  South 
Carolina.  Sponsored  by  Chapter  543  Antique/Classics,  Warbirds 
and  Homebuil ts.  For  information  contact  Herb  Bail ey,  P.  O.  Box 
619,  Georgetown,  SC  29440.  (803)  546-2525  days,  (803)  546-3357 
nights  and  weekends. 
WANTED  - Stinson  Reliant SR  5 or SR  (straight wi ng).  Will 
pay  good  money  for  a  rebuil dable  wi th  all  part  present.  Tom  Rench, 
1601  Circlewood,  Racine,  WI.