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This is the month of the big one down south. It is the
month that "yo'all" are invited to "unfreeze your bird"
and go down to the Sun 'n Fun Fly-I n at Lakeland,
Florida, from the 17th through the 23rd.
This year marks the 3rd annual event, and the Sun 'n
Fun is getting bigger and better each year. From a begi n-
ning three years ago, when it was a large regional fly-in
spread over a long weekend, it has now become what its
backers boast to be a "Mid-Winter Oshkosh", complete
with a leased and beautifully prepared fly-in site, a full
week's program including forums, workshops, aerial
demonstrations, commercial sales, an aviation novelty
market, and an aircraft parts flea market. Add to this a
corn roast on the field every evening and an awards ban-
quet at Lakeland's beautiful new convention complex,
and you have a great week ahead of you.
' If mama and the kids aren't quite as enthusiastic
about airplanes as you are, there are 25 famous Florida
attractions close by, including Disney World, Circus
World, Cypress Gardens, Sea World and Busch Gardens.
You may want to visit the J FK Space Center and the
Piper Navajo aircraft factory yourself.
The Sun 'n Fun is the result of a regional cooperative
effort, backed by the SESAC (Southeastern Sport Avia-
tion Council) EAA chapters, under the directorship of
Bill Ehlen, with the Tampa and Lakeland area chapters

\   I ·L .; - t d_

being the nucleus, and the Florida Sport Aviation
Antique and Classic Association, the EAA Antique/
Classic Division's Florida Chapter, presided over by Pres-
ident Ed Escallon. The Sun 'n Fun corporation itself is
under the direction of President Len McGinty. Len is
ably assisted by a long list of officers and chairmen,
including John Shinn, E. M. Avery, Betty Jones, Graham
Gates, Billy Henderson, Rocky Sawyer, Duffy
Thompson, and many, many more.
If you are wondering about accommodations, there
are 18 motels and two camp grounds in the Lakeland
area, plus camping facilities at the fly-in site for tents,
motor homes and travel trailers. There are many more
hotels and motels within a few miles of Lakeland.
Special events at the Sun 'n Fun will include the
display of the completely restored Laird Super Solution,
with Matty Laird on hand to answer your questions, and
the "Gathering of Eagles" (those who flew before 1935).
and to get it to you soo ner. Our goal is for you to
receive it during the first week of the month. We shall
not be satisfied until we accom plish this. Our other goal
is to double our Division membership. This we cannot
do alone. We need your support and help. Please use the
membership applications, which we have been sending to
you with the magazine, to sign up your friends who are
interested in the Antiques and Classics. You will be the
greatest beneficiary of our increased membership.
In closing, I would like to thank all of the officers,
directors, advisors, convention chairmen, co-chairmen
and volunteers, and particularly your Editor of The
Vintage Airplane, AI Kelch, who helped to make my job
so much easier and more enjoyable, and I would like to
thank each of you members for all of your efforts on
behalf of the Division. We have a great organization, and,
with the help of each one of you, we shall make it even
Your EAA Antique/Classic Division willI be holding its r-----,------------------.
winter Board of Directors meeting at Lakeland, on
Thursday, the 20th. So if you'd like to sample some of
that famous southern hospitality, "yo'all" come to the
un nun.
It has been just one year since your Board of Direc-
tors elected me to fill the unexpired term of president of
your Division. Many wonderful things have happened to
me during this past year, including your demonstration
of confidence by electing me to a full term as President
last August. I shall certainly do my best to live up to
your expectations.
As I reflect back over the year, I see that, while we
have accomplished much in many respects, we have
fallen short of a-couple of our goals. We have just taken
new steps to speed up the publication of this magazine
S. N.OTE . "
With this Issue we. start a new With this Issue
also have a new of Cedar?urg WIS.
They are a convenient 5 minutes from the Vintage of-
f' W I h f' Id f .. A
Ice. e we come t em to our Ie 0 activity. great
word of thanks is extended to Ray Scholler and the
gang at Times Publishing for their fine work, they have
expertly printed Vintage since its inception.
We have increased the base page content to 24 pages
from 20. Many of last years issues were large r when we
had the material. We will continue to add pages as we
gain members and materi al. Should anyone have sent in
an article that is now not published please contact me as
a doubl e check that it was not lost in transit. Happy
New Year and good flying.
AI Kelch
P.O_  BOX  2464  0 
ALLEN, TX 75002 

P_O_ BOX  181 
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UNION, IL 60180 
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53130  and  Milwaukee  PoSt Office 
at  $14.00 per  12  month  period  of 
is open  to all  who are  interested  i n  avia 
Editor  Assistant  Editor 
AI  Kelch  Lois  Kelch 
Associate  Editor  Associate  Editor 
Robert  G.  Elliot!  Edward  D.  Williams 
1227  Oakwood  Ave.  713  Eastman  Dr. 
Daytona  Beach,  Florida  32014  Mt.  Prospect ,  Illinois  60056 
Associateeditorswill  be  identified  in  the  table  of con-
tents  on  articles  they  send  in  and  repeated  on  the 
ar ticl e  if  they  have  written  it.  Associate  editorships 
will  be  assigned  to  those  who  qualify  (5  articles  in 
any  calendar  year). 
Claude  l. Gray,  J r.  AI  Kelch 
9635  Sylvia  Avenue  7018 W.  Bonniwell  Road 
Northridge"  California 91324  Mequon, Wisconsin  53092 
James  B.  Horne  Evander  M. Britt 
3840 Coronat ion  Road  Box  1525 
Eagan,  Minnesota 55122  Lumberton,  North  Carolina  28358 
George  E. Stubbs  M.  C.  "Kelly"  Viets 
Box  113  RR1,Box151 
Brownsburg,  Indi ana  46112  Stillwell ,  Kansas  66085 
William J.  Ehlen  Morton  Lester 
Route 8,  Box  506  P.O. Box  3747 
Tampa,  Florida  33618  Martinsville.  Virginia  24112 
W.  Brade  Thomas, Jr.  Dale  A.  Gustafson 
301  Dodson  Mill  Road  7724  Shady  Hill  Drive 
Pilot  Mountain, North Carolina  27041  Indi anapolis.  IN 46274 
Robert  A.  White  Roger  J.  Sherron 
1207  Falcon  Drive  446-C Las  Casitas 
Orlando,  Florida 32803  Santa  Rosa,  CA 95401 
Mau nce  "Sonny" Clavel  Stan Gomoll 
Box 98  104290th  Lane,  N.E. 
Wauchula,  F L  33875  Minneapolis, MN  55434 
usively  by  Antique  Classic  Aircraft,  Inc.  ana  is published  monthly  at 
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.  Wisconsin  53201.  Membership  rates  for  Antique  Class  Aircraft,  Inc. 
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The  Restore's  Corner  .... _ . _ .. _..... . ... .. . . ....... . . .... ..... . ...1 
Cessna  .. _ . . .. _.. . . _ .... _... . , . .............. .... _.. . ....... . .  3 
1976  Ryan  Reunion  ..... . ....... .. .. . ____  . . ... .. . _  .. _.... ___  . ... _7 
Gee  Bee  Airplanes  _.  __  .. _... _... ___  . _ ....... _.. _ . _ ... . _ . .. .. .....8 
Vintage  Album.  __  . .. _ . _ . _ . , . __  . __  _.... .. . .. , ___  . _ . _.  _..........11 
Bellanca  __  .... _ . _ . ____  ... , _ . ____  . __  ..... _....... __  .... . . .. _ . _ .13 
Shannon  Air  Museum.  _.. _. _ . _  .. .. ___  . ________  . _____  . _____  . _ . ___  .17 
o NON-EAA  MEMBER  - $34_00_  Includes  one  year  membership  in  the  EM 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  MEMBER  - $20_00_  Includes  one  year  membership  in  the  EM Antique/Classic  Division,  12 
monthly issues  of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE; c;ne  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  EM Antique/Classic  Division,  12  monthly 
issues  of  THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE and  membership  card.  (Applicant  must  be  current  EM member  and 
must give  EM membership  number. 
ON THE  COVER  (Back  Cover) 
Cessna 79SA formerly owned by Factory picture of Cessna 790
Bob Wilson see story page 3. showing crosswind landing con-
Copyright   1976 Antique  Classic  Aircraft ,  Inc. All  Rights  Reserved. 

By Bob Wilson
Rt. 3 Box 2758
Ocala, FL. 32670
(All Photos Courtesy of the Author)
One of the best ot the Classic airplanes today is the
Cessna 195. Here's a nice big, comfortab le, all metal bird
that hauls five people in comfort with 120 Ibs. of bag-
gage, and over five hours fuel range. I t has great perform-
ance, even today with a good 160 mph cruise at about
14 GPH, depending on engine installation, which stil l
puts out a reasonable 12 MPG. Now if you're obsessed
with fuel costs, have no use for radial engines and tail-
wheels scare you, then a 195 is not your bag, and you'd
better stay with your Mooney.
Some of us older folks like round engines that sound
like a real airplane should sound, and don't mind the
poor visibility on the ground. Taxiing is similar to any
radial engine taildragger, and requires some S-turns to
see where you're going. If you've ever driven your car
with the hood up, you'll get the idea. It has great visibil-
ity in flight, and a good solid feel like a bigger airplane.
It has good slow flight performance, slips nicely, and
does beautiful wheel landings. 3 point landings are a
breeze, as long as you pay attention. Over the years, the
195 has acquired a reputation for ground looping it does
not deserve. I would like to defend the old girl once and
for all, by stating that a 195 does not ground loop.
However, a pilot will occasionally allow it to ground
loop. I t takes a firm hand and two active feet to control
it on the ground. It is no better or worse than a
Stearman, AT-6, or similar round engine tail dragger. It
is completely predictable and controllable in the hands of
a competent pilot. You want to be sure you have good
brakes and stay alert until it is parked. Once you have
accepted that fact, it is a real pleasure to fly.
The original 195 development started about 1945
with the experimental P-780, which was sort of a cross
between an Airmaster and 195 with metal wings and tail,
but fabric covered fuselage. The engine was the 245 HP
Jacobs, cowl and propeller from the Cessna multi-
engined trainer UC78 "Bamboo Bomber". Total pro-
duction of the 190/195 series was 1,085, of wh ich
204 were 190's with the 240 HP Continental Engine. All
195 's had 7 cyl inder "Shakey Jake" engines of various
sizes. Like many older airplanes, some were modified
with different engines, such as the 330 HP Jacobs, 450 P
& W, and would you believe even a 6 cyl. opposed.
Cessna 795A, formerly owned by the author, with a "Shakey jake".
Above. Experimental P780, 5 place with 245 HP "jake".
Left. A full house Cessna 790 panel looks very impres-
sive even ifyou don 'f need it.
The most recent, and probably the best 195 engine is
the R-755-S Jacobs that puts out 350 HP through an
Airesearch Turbocharger. The beauty of this "Jake" is
that it's a new production engine from Jacobs-Page of
Yukon, Oklahoma and is the same size and displacement
as the original Jacobs. It fits the same cowling and en-
gine mount, with only a few extra pounds additional
weight. The only clue to look at a Turbo Powered 195 is
the exhaust stacks coming out the side, rather than the
single pipe at the lower left. Now we have an airplane
that will true out over 200 MPH at 20,000' for under
$20,000 and that's a pretty hard combination to beat.
The blue book price for a 195 today shows about
$7,000 to $16,000, although you'll see a few jewels in
Trade-A-Plane up to $20,000.
If you own a 195 you'll probably want to join a club
Above. A brand new Cessna 790 leaves the factory for
its first home.
Left. The only thing I can say good about this Flat 6
conversion is that the workmanship was outstanding.
to share your needs with others. They put out a News-
letter, have social events and fly-ins. Contact Eastern
195 Association, 25575 Butternut Ridge Road, North
Olmsted, Ohio 44070, and The International 195 Club,
P.O. Box 737, Merced, California 95340.
The Cessna factory has few 195 parts left, but
between the 195 clubs and people like John Van Sant of
Erwinna, Penna., and a copy of Trade-A-Plane, you can
find most enything you'll ever need. Every year the price
of 190/195's are going up, but are still an excellent buy
for the guy that needs a 5 place fam ily airplane with
good performance. You also have a handsome classic
machine you can be proud to take to the local fly-in and
dazzle all the tricycle drivers. After all, you must be
something special to fly such a bear; with a round engine
and a tail wheel.

By: Chris Matthews
204 Rodonoran Dr.
Santa Clara, CA. 95057
Paso Robles, California - - - - - The sixth annual gath-
ering of West Coast Ryans, their owners, their restorers,
and their fans was a fabulous success ...thanks to Mike
Sullivan, Julie Walter, the John Gokchoff family, Mike
Wing, Archie Dean, and many other Southern Califor-
nians who put it together.
Northern Californians congregated at Hollister on Fri-
day June 18 and took off for what may well be their
favorite weekend of the flying season. One pass over the
town announced their 'arrival' and, by the time everyone
was tied down at the airport, a total of 23 Ryans were in
attendance. The most dramatic entrance scene was stol-
en by Milo Tichack's dog 'Prince' who popped up out of
the front cockpit (on command)! In addition to twenty
PT-22's, one STM, one SCW, and one NR-1, six visiting
aircraft joined in, one of which brought Ole Fahlin who
built most of the propellers there. An 'Honorary Ryan'
sign was taped on Don Carter's Bucker J ungmeister
because he had one of his Ryans there, too. Norris
Norsigian flew his beautiful Stearman, as guest of Alan
'Shiny Ryan' Buchner. Long Beach was well represent-
ed: Don Burkett in a PT-22, Elton Burkett, Elsie and son
in a PT-19, Wanda and Ted Brownell in a Cessna 195,
and, Dan Redden in a Stinson 108.
Friday evening's program was strictly hangar flying
over barbecued hamburgers and a keg of beer. Buddy
rides and hot and cold engine starting contests led Sat-
urday's events. Next, the ladies judged the formation
flying contest - four groups of four made three passes:
diamond, echelon and trail, won by Bill Ahern, Bob
Laughlin, Ray Schutte and Mike Sullivan. Ray Schutte
also won the "Loop, Spin and Roll" contest. Prior to
that contest, Bill Richards (winner of the Best Overall
Ryan trophy) had a glorious moment: Vance Parker,
newest Ryan owner and former Blue Angel, asked Bill,
"How do yOU roll one of these things?"
A discouraging crosswind on the small runway and a
busy air tanker force working from the main runway
almost cancelled the rest of the contests. But the airport
manager, Division of Forestry, and all interested parties
worked out -a safe operation. Winners in the competition
were Bill Mette - Short Field Takeoff, Bill Allen and
Bob Laughlin - Flour Bombing, Alan Buchner - Spot
Landing. Participation and performance points total gave
Bill Mette the Best Overall Contestant trophy.
The city of Paso Robles presented red, wh ite and blue
rosettes to all present at the Saturday night banquet.
John Gokchoff captured the Best Hangar Flyer trophy.
Oldest Rayn (belonging to one owner) was won by Bob
Yates, for 31 years of TLC. I n an interview at the
Watsonville Fly-In, Bob was asked if he loved his air-
plane more than his wife, to which he replied, "Well, I
love my wife, but I had the airplane first!" The Oldest
Unmodified Ryan trophy was awarded to Fred Homan's
Serial Number 1 001 .
Best Dressed Pilot and Co-Pilot were Mike Sullivan
and Julie Walter, who wore bright red, white and blue
jumpsuits of unmistakably bicentennial motif. Dave
Masters' STM was the Best Overall Civilian Marked
Ryan. Best Overall Military Marked Ryan was Ron
Chapel's and Jim Firanzi's PT-22.
Furthest Distance Flown went to Bob Laughlin and
Bill Allen of San Diego...they are partners, and Bill had
been getting ready to solo for awhile. So, he received a
Ryan pin for soloing in a Ryan and had to earn it Sun-
day mor ning. Audrey Schutte received honorable
mention for soloing the family Ryan, and flying husband
Ray to Paso Robles. Other loyal pilots and co-pilots
attending were Ellen and Jay Hayes, Jack Olson, Mae
and Pete Stru m (and daughters Jeannie and Margaret),
Rose and Dick Burgess, Frank Corbit, Stan Jorgensen,
Don Carter's daughter Kim, Fred Homan's son Larry,
John Gokchoff's wife Joan and son Chris, Bill Ahern's
friend Rose, Don Burkett's friend June, and Bob Yates'
daughter Chris Matthews. Ryan restorers George
Boreham, Norm Justice, and Janice and Rick Loomis
came, too.
An early Ryan factory film, home movies of prior
Reunions and a few other fly-ins, interspersed with talk
of upcoming flying events and invitations, followed the
awards. In  the company of others who share a love of
the old airplanes and flyi ng by the seat of your pants,
one feels assured: This era isn't past!!
Chris Matthews and her father, Bob Yates
Left to Right. Bill Allen, julie Walters, Bob Laughlin,
Mike Sullivan
Dave Master's STM Ryan.
By: Robert H. Granville, R.F.D. No.4 Box J76
Skowhegan, ME. 04976
(Photos courtesy of the Author)
Helping to build an airplane was probably a long way
from my mind back in the summer of 1928. I was a
young man, working at any job I could find in my home
town of Madison, N.H .
On July 4th, 1926, I had taken a ride in an OX-5
powered Waco at North Conway. Other than that ship, I
had hardly seen an airplane fly. The pilot was P. H.
Spencer who has since become a famous designer of
amphibians, his latest being the Spencer Air Car. My
eldest brother Zantford , usually called "Grannie" was
ru nning Granville Air Service at old East Boston Airport.
He had hired Spencer to bring his ship to New Hamp-
shire and hop passengers over the holiday week end.
Spencer had all the passengers he could haul. I was
able to help out some and I enjoyed it very much. Look-
ing back over fifty years, I realize I was hooked for life.
In 1928, Grannie's repair business was rapidly
expanding and he needed more help. About September
1 st I received a telegram , offering me fifty cents per
hour to work for him and I could hardly wait to go. The
following Sunday, I headed my 1921 Studebaker touring
car south and arrived at Grannie's home in Malden, Mass.
before dark . I started work the next morning.
Grannie had left Madison at a very early age and by
1920 or '21, he was running h is own garage in Arlington,
Mass. He also had the Chevrolet Agency and sold 490's
and F.B.'s although he wasn't of age yet. He was a nat-
ural born designer and mechanic and was always building
something new or making improvements on other
designs. One such was his new type front springs, which
was a great improvement over the factory springs on the
490 models. Another item was his cone clutch oiler. The
clutch could be oiled by turning a pet cock on the dash
with the engine running. There were many others and
business was very good, but his constant dream was to
get into aviation.
Around 1922 or '23, Grannie added my oldest
brother Tom to his one man garage staff. Tom learned
very fast and after a year or so, he found himself in
complete charge. Grannie went to East Boston and got a
mechanics job with Boston Airport Corporation. By this
time he had a family to support, but with the garage
profit too, he managed to take part of his pay in flying
time. Solo came in less than five hours, and with ten
additional hours, he had his private license.
Grannie was never one to take orders from others for
very long, so he now left the company and set up his
own competitive repair business on the same field. At
first, his shop was a 10'x20' room built on a large white
truck chassis. It was equipped to handle all sorts of field
work and had its own power source. This was a large
generator powered by the truck motor. Next he built a
truck out of a 1923 Cadillac. This could go anywhere
and carried a full component of tools, welding equip-
ment, etc. I t had wing racks and if the airplane couldn't
be repaired enough to fly back to Boston, the wings and
tail could be removed and the ship towed back. Of
course, it was necessary that the landing gear be whole in
order to do so.
Before I joined him, Grannie had a couple of ex-
cellent mechanics and that spring he had also taken on
my two younger brothers Mark and Ed. Mark was about
17, and Ed about 16. Grannie was making a top notch
welder out of Ed, and Mark was to become our expert
engine installation and repair man. Now we were all
together, the five Granville Brothers.
Also, prior to my coming, Grannie had rented most
of the first floor of the Engel Cone shoe factory. Th is
was on the corner of Porter and Orleans St., and not far
from the field . Here he could handle major repair and
overhaul jobs, and that fall it was overflowing.
East Boston Airport was small and made of Boston's
accumulation of coal ashes dumped in the marsh.
Skyways Inc. and Boston Airport Corporation had most
of the airplanes, but there were also several private sh ips.
Ships kept in repair and flying by Granville Air Service
were Skyway's Stearmens, K-Rs etc. and some private
ones, A Buhl Air Sedan, Waco's, Travel Airs etc.
Pilots on the field that I remember best were Charlie
Emerson, Jack Langley, Tom Croce, Wiley Apte, Fred
Ames, the Kenyons and Harold Moon. Of course there
were others, also students, like Dannie Dugan who
ferried some of the big ones across the Atlantic during
World War II.
This was all heaven to me, but my first job was to
man the desk at our shop, and take care of nearly a years
neglected bookkeeping. There was a state income tax to
deal with on the first of the year. I also learned to do the
buying, and run the stock room which was getting to be
the one place in New England where one could buy all
kinds of airplane materials. Part of my time was spent
working on OX-5cylinders for a while. We traded a lot of
them, both new and second hand. My job was to grind in
new intake and exhaust valves and install new guides and
springs. These were oiled up well and carried on our
shelves ready to slide on. As I remember it, our exchange
price was about $12.00 each.
One big job we had on the floor that fall, was the
building of a two place biplane amphibian for a branch
of Skyways called Skyways Synd icate. Their engineers
were designing it right in our office. These were three
young graduate aeronautical engineers, fresh from col-
lege, and with me, there were four guys working in one
office all named Robert and called Bob. They were Hall,
Ayer & Dexter. Later, in Springfield they all worked for
Gee Bee on the early Gee Bee sh ips.
The amphibian was designed around a Velie M-5 en-
gine which was hoped to be about 80 Hp. When the
rating came out it was around 45. This would never do,
so the design had to be changed to install a Warner
Scarab. Although the ship was more than 50% complete,
this made a huge delay and we never did finish it.
However it was completed by others, and flown a year
or so later.
Also on the floor, were seven crackups to rebuild and
we were assured of a busy winter. These were three
American Eagles, a Whirlwind Woodson, an Argo and the
other two were Wacos.
Grannie now had a fine crew and an excellent reputa-
tion. He had even been lucky enough to handle the
"Friendship" job in 1927. This was the Fokker Tri Motor
which Bill Stultz flew to Europe with Amelia Earhart. I
didn't see it, but I think Grannie painted it yellow and
orange, and also installed the pontoons on it, at the
water edge of the field.
He had been dreaming about his own ship and now
decided the time was ripe to build it, so he started mak-
ing a few drawings. A conference was called, and a deci-
sion was made. Grannie would design the airplane. Any
of the boys who were interested could participate in the
construction without pay. We would build it, evenings
and Sundays, with no interference with regular work.
The brothers all agreed to this, and there were one or
two others. One was AI Axtman, Grannie's oldest
employee, and right hand man. AI also put up a $500.00
loan to purchase the surplus Velie M-5 from Skyways. I
do not have a 3 view drawing of the original sh ip as none
was ever made, but do have one of the Model P, which
followed it and was similar in most respects. Grannie felt
he could improve on many things he had not been happy
with on other ships, and he started his design as follows.
Grannie lifts Genet powered Gee Bee £-1 from Conn. River for its first flight on
pontoons Summer of 1929.
First it was to be a two place, side by side biplane
with a lot of stagger, and using a Clark Y wing curve.
Power plant would be the Velie. Landing gear, with
seven inch oleo travel would have universal joints at all
attachment points. This would save the fuselage tubes in
case of landing gear wash out. It would also have a swiv-
eling hard rubber tail wheel. With welded steel tube fu-
selage and spruce and mahogany wings, it would be very
strong, yet light. Tail group would be something entirely
different than others, thick streamline sections made
mostly of one quarter inch tubing and brazed.
Another feature was to be interchangeability. Top
and bottom wings were identical with full length ai-
lerons. Bottom set to be used as flaps. (Flaps in 1928?)
Left and right stabilizer could be interchanged as could
rudder with left or right elevator. Stabilizer would have a
vernier control from the cockpit. Fin could be adjusted
on the ground only.
Unlike most light ships of that period, this ship would
have 26"x5" Bendix brakes, operated individually from
the rudder pedals and together when stick was pulled all
the way back.
One of the best features of this ship was the horizon-
tal dual control sticks. These came back from under the
instrument panel and turned down about five inches for
a hand grip. I n and out motion gave you elevator control
and moving right and left gave aileron control I ike any
other stick. However, two people could sit on the fine
leather cushions with nothing in the way. Even a lap
robe could be used in cold weather.
Some time in December 1928, work got underway in
the construction of Gee Bee Model E-1. Gee Bee stands
for Granville Brothers. We would work our regular nine
hour day, go to town for food and then work until 10
P.M. on the ship. Most of the steel tubing used was
S.A.E. 1020 and was purchased locally. We had Sitka
spruce in stock, also 1/16" mahogany plywood, so we
used it for the wings. Money was found by Grannie to
buy a wood propeller, some S.A.E. 4130 tubing for the
landing gear, Dartmouthtex fabric, and a set of Stewart
Hartshorn tierods, landing and flying wires. Dope and
thinner was in good supply.
Ed, who was getting real sharp with the Smith torch,
did the welding and with our good crew, the work
progressed quite rapidly. Grannie found time to make
some drawings during the day. As I was not one of the
regular mechanics, I could often spend some time at
either wood working or cover and doping also.
Sundays were busy days at the airport in summer, but
in winter we could spend most of our time on the ship.
Tom, who ran the garage all week, was also with us on
About May 1 st, all assemblies were finished and the
fuselage landing gear, engine and tail surfaces were all
together, and it was ready to go to the field. Colors were
bright red and silver, with scalloping on wings and fu-
selage, which later became very familiar on all Gee Bees.
The cowling was burnished with a cork and valve grind-
ing compound about the same as was done on the Amer-
ican Eagles. A Gee Bee trade mark designed by Grannie
and used on all our aircraft, was on both sides of the
rudder plus the license number Mass. 31-3086. It looked
very nice.
On the 2nd evening of May, we were ready to move
out, but the weather was very bad. A wild storm was in
progress, with gusts of wind and sudden down pours.
Grannie had hoped to make the first flight at daybreak
to avoid spectators. We waited until after midnight.
There was no improvement, but we took the ship over
to the field anyway. Between blasts of wind and rain, we
got the wings on and rigged, still hoping for a break in
the weather at daylight. Grannie ran over to the watch-
man 's tower to get a parachute which had been promised
him. However, it was locked up, and he came back emp-
ty handed. It was now almost daylight, but no better
weather. Grannie decided to run up the engine and try a
little taxiing, so he pulled on his hel met and goggles, and
Mark pulled the prop for him.
Apparently, he had made up his mind to fly it regard-
less of the weather or lack of parachute. Before we re-
alized what he was up too, the Velie came up to full
throttle, and he was off the ground and gone into the
darkness. We could hear the engine for a few seconds
Genet powered Gee Bee £-7 at Boston Airport early 7929
after he disappeared toward Revere.
The moment of truth had arrived, and we were scared
stiff. Still blowing and raining and not yet showing day-
light, his chances looked pretty slim, at least to me. In
perhaps fifteen minutes, we heard him coming in,
although we couldn't see him. He set it down just as a
fresh deluge hit, but our crew was on his wing tips as
soon as he hit the field. With plenty of man power, we
soon had it behind the hanger and tied down.
Grannie was a very happy young man on that morn-
ing of May 3, 1929, as were we all. With no technical
training, little flying experience, but a lot of common
sense, he had designed, built and flown a brand new type
of aircraft. He had also flown it under the worst cond i-
tions imaginable, and won.
Weather conditions did not improve all day long, and
no other airplane got off the field. Even the airline Fords
did not come in or go out.
As soon as the weather cleared, Grannie made several
more short fl ights. He was satisfied with the way it han-
dled, but felt that more power was needed . However he
was now ready to try a flight with a load. Looking
around for a light weight, he decided I was it. (120 Ibs.
in those days) We got off O.K. so it was my luck to
receive the first ride in a Gee Bee. It was also my good
fortune on May 30, 1930, to be the first person to have
a first solo flight in this same airplane. However, at that
time, it was powered by a 125 HP. Chevrolet 0-4, which
gave it grand performance.
As time went on, our biplane plans were redesigned
to meet federal specifications, and it was put into small
production at Springfield, Mass. E-1 was used to exper-
iment with various engines and was flown with an
Armstrong-Siddley Genet, Kinner K-5, upright Cirrus,
and an inverted Chevrolet 0-4. It was also flown on Edo
floats, and skiis which were Grannie's own design. In fact
it flew around New England until 1938 or '39, when all
state licensing was discontinued. As it could not be li-
censed under existing rules, it was finally scrapped some-
where in Vermont. What a shame.
Little did we realize, that rainy night in 1929, that our
little Model E would be followed by the Kinner powered
P series, then the high performance Gee Bee Sportsters,
the 200 M.P.H. Senior Sportsters, the 300 M.P.H. Super
Sportsters, and finally ships which did not carry the Gee
Bee trademark, such as the "O.E.D." of 1934, the
"Moonship" and also Frank Hawks' "Time Flies" and
the "MAC". These last two ships both had high speeds
of 375 M.P.H.
However, each of these is another story, stories
including days of triumph and happiness, days of
extreme saddness, days of near hunger, but always deep
pride in design and workmanship. These standards were
never lowered on any Gee Bee aircraft.
Men and Thei r
_ ..=-r-
Dear Mr. Kelch :
As per your note of 10/ 6/76, I am enclosing
an article which I hope you will find of general
interest. If th is article seems to be of interest to
the gang, I will try to get out one on the Gee
Bee Sportsters.
Gee Bee Model P, New 'fork Aviation
Show, 7929.
I  have  just  received  my  first  copy  of Vintage 
Airplane  and  enjoy  it  very  much.  A friend  has 
loaned  me  several  older copies however. 
Yours  truly,  Bob  Granville 
Kinner K-5 powered Gee Bee £-7
Springfield Airport - Christmas Day
- ' "-\ 
... 'r..... • __....
OS". '-"'-_  _ '. "'.. , 
Part IV 1938-1950 
By:  john  Mc  C. Morgan,  (EAA  No.  836947) Summit A viation  Inc.  Middletown, 
Delaware  79709.  Part  I  was  in  Vintage  issue  April  7974, Part  /I was  in 
October  7974, Part  /II was  in  December  7974. 
(Photos  courtesy of the Author) 
My first memories go back to 1938 when G. M. Bellanca talked of building a
smaller airplane for the private owner. My brother and I were Stinson dis-
tributors and his company, Air Service Inc., had been since 1930. We knew
Stinson was building a three place small airplane and we became concerned with
what G. M. might think of the competition right on his airport from
One of the last known pictures of
G.M. Bellanca beside either a Cruis-
master or earlier model. Probable
date - The early '50's.
a  company  which  was  a  tenant  of his.  He  used  to  tease 
us  about  making  us  drop  Stinson,  but problems with  his 
Junior,  as  the  first  Cruisair  was  called,  soon  put  an  end 
to  the  heckling.  The  Stinson  105  of course  was  out and 
in  big  production  in  the  summer of 1939. 
A  picture  accompanies  this  article  showing  the  first 
14-9  Junior,  While  plans  called  for  a  retracting  gear,  it 
first  flew  "stiff  legged"  with  a  90  HP  Le  Blond  Engine. 
The  cab in  door  did  not  have  the  fuselage  cut-out  that 
production  models  incorporated.  This  was  not  done 
until  the  late  Bert  "Fish"  Hassell  took  it to the Chicago 
Show,  probably  before  certification.  I am  sure.  prior  to 
approval, as the first aircraft was  lost  in  test flights  killing 
the  pilot.  More  about  that  later.  The  aircraft  was  so 
difficult  to  get  in  and  out  of,  that  "Fish"  said  it  was 
dubbed  "The  Photographic  Bellanca"  because  of  the 
comments  the  men  made  as  ladies  got  in  and  out of the 
Dates  are  hazy  after  al most forty  years,  so  I have  just 
checked  CAA  and  FAA  Specs  to  get  precise  ones.  The 
14-9,  first  of the  long series,  dates back  to an  August 24, 
1939  approval.  This approval  came after  a  long  period  of 
testing  lasting  probably  more  than  a  year.  The  aircraft 
had  progressed  well  and  the  CAA  had  passed  the airplane 
with  few  problems  - that  is  almost.  If  I recall  correctly, 
it  was  all  but  done  when  GM  wanted  a  higher  do  not 
exceed  speed  and  Cecil  Hoffman,  the  Bellanca  test pilot 
for  a  good  many  years,  went  to  altitude  one  afternoon 
'" C. 
to  run  this  dive.  My  brother  and  I,  across  the field  from 
the  factory,  got  a  phone  call  that an  aircraft, believed  to 
be  the  14-9,  had  crashed  across  the  Delaware  River  in 
New  Jersey.  We  jumped  in  a  Stinson  Reliant  - a  1938 
SR10  Gull  Wing  - and  flew  the  few  minutes  to  a  strip 
and  then  were  driven  a  mile  or  so  to  the  scene.  Sure 
Three 14-19  Cruismasters in front of the author's
hangar at Bellanca Field, New Castle, Delaware. (Pro-
bablyabout 1953-54) 
G.M. Bellanca with a happy customer (anybody know
who it is?) With a 14-19 Cruismaster. Early 1950's.
enough,  there  it  was.  It  had  hit  quite  flat,  barely  nose 
down  and  was  relatively  intact although  badly  damaged. 
This  wing,  unlike all  built  later,  was  fabric  covered.  Only 
the  leading  edge  was  plywood.  Fabric  had  stripped  from 
the  wing,  and  the  tips  were  sort of shredded,  as  if flutter 
there  or  in  the  ailerons  had  been  the  problem.  Cecil  had 
been  fatally  injured,  but  I  well  remember  that  he  was 
still  seated  in  the  pilot's  seat  looking  only  as  if  he  had 
been  terribly  bruised.  Some  later conjecture thought the 
flutter  had  caused  such  violent stick oscillations,  that he 
was almost beaten  to death. 
At  this  point,  after  careful  study,  it  was  decided  to 
cover  the  cantilever  wing  with  plywood.  While  the  lost 
airplane  had  passed  all  spin  tests,  even  for  the CAA,  this 
new  plywood  covered  wing  model  did  not want to recov-
er  per  CAA  requirements.  By  this  time  Holger  Hoiriis, 
who  flew  the  Bellanca  Liberty  to  Denmark  in  1931, was 
the  pilot.  He  seemed  to  spin  it  every  day  for  months 
with  no  success.  Airflow  was changed  around  the engine 
A one of a kind experimental trainer built for a Wright Field Air Corps competition. The
Fairchild PT-79 of course won. It was Franklin powered and is still owned by August
Bellanca. Was damaged in a fire and has not been repaired. Last known flight was 7947 or
'42. Wings were right off the Cruisair.
cowling, the wing root and all other thinking was done
with no success. Finally the large fins were added on the
outboard ends of the stabilizers and the up elevator
restricted mechanically when the landing gear had been
retracted. They then ended up with an al most spin proof
aircraft, and it went into production. I have checked my
log book, thinking I flew it before approval, but the only
entry I could find was May 5, 1940 - nine years to the
day after my solo flight on the same airport.
Believe it or not, but in December of 1940, approval
was received from the CAA for the 14-9L - the same
aircraft with a different engine, this time, the unheard
of Lenape 95HP. This approval was run for a Statesville,
N. C. gent who planned to run an intrastate airline with
three of them. They were built, went to Statesville, and I
have no further recollection of their success, or lack of
it. I do remember the engine presented many problems,
but the purchaser wanted the additional 5 HP, and I
think a lighter engine.
Just prior to Pearl Harbor, a big change was made,
and the Cruisair became a pretty good machine. It had
always - from the start - had beautiful flight char-
acteristics. However, as was the Stinson, it was un-
derpowered, especially with a full gross load of 1750 Ibs.
which included three people. The Franklin 120 became
available and was approved in December 1940. The en-
trance by the USA into the War brought things to a halt,
and Bellanca went into war work.
Of course, the largest number built of one model, was
the 14-13 series started after the war, and incorporating
the new Franklin 150 HP engine. This was approved in
September, 1946, and the plant went full bore,overflow-
ing the airport with unsold aircraft. Production was
either stopped or slowed way down at that point,
Bellanca then bought some facilities or rented same at
Cape May County Airport in New Jersey, and in order to
make the Cruisair more saleable, it was decided to set up
a mod center there and install outside baggage compart-
ments, repaint exteriors which had been exposed to the
weather in outside storage at Bellanca Field, and add
equipment to customers' specs. For months, my brother
Dick and I, plus Jack Keaveney, factory test pilot,
shuttled the airplanes back and forth the fifty-sever,
miles to Cape May. It was a great sport, but in our
exuberance, it is a wonder we did not become a cropper.
The route was all over swamp and the edge of the Del-
aware River, and further south the Delaware Bay. I very
seldom remember any of us being over 50' in a rag tag
formation or race, to see who could get there first and
get landed while cutting the other out of the pattern.
When it was all over, we had lucked out and had fun
Of course 1946 saw the advent of the Bonanza and
the much less successful Navion. The Bonanza, while
priced somewhat higher than the Bellanca, but still at
the present day values, a ridiculous $7,000, give or take
a few bucks, cut drastically into demands for the
Cruisair. In 1949, Bellanca flew th is aircraft with 190 HP
Lycoming, and it was approved as the model 14-19 in
September. Several years later, G. M. Bellanca went out
of the airplane business - selling the Cruisair rights to a
company that has been known as Northern, Downer and
currently the old name - Bellanca Aircraft Corporation.
As we all know, the nosewheel was added and different
powerplants and turbocharging became a part of the
latest models.
It is not known, the changes in structure of fuselage
and wing, which were required to bring the gross weight
in 1960 to 3,200 Ibs. from the 1,750 Ibs. of 1939. To
the writer's knowledge, there was precious little change
in the wing, once the plywood was added in 1938 or
1939. It is a shame after al most forty years, that drain
holes on a wing were either not installed or became
clogged, allowing a spar to rot and cause an inflight fail-
ure. Other than thunderstorm induced failures, I know
of none other.
One last thought. All of you readers who can go back
to having flown the 75HP Stinson 105 in 1939, will
remember their take-off performance, or rather their
lack of same. That summer our company, Air Service,
I nco across the field from the Bellanca factory, had been
most successful in selling the little Stinson - much to
Bellanca's chagrin. Probably through a challenge by us,
or the factory, we ran some take-off tests with these two
aircraft competing - the Junior as it was know then, and
Stinson 105. I remember well, as I flew the Stinson, the
Junior jumped out in front with its 90HP, but the
Stinson was in the air sooner after a shorter run. Of
course the climb and speed were no contest.
CAA and FAA approval dates and other information
are listed on right:
I hope none of the loyal Cruisair owners pick this
article apart too badly. An effort has been made to be
factual, but as mentioned too many times already, the
years do take their toll of one's memory.
Rearwin LeBlond or
Ken Royce 90 HP
Lenape Brave 95 HP
Franklin 120 HP
Franklin 150 HP
lycoming 190
Continental 230 HP
Continental 260
Continental 260 HP
Continental 300 HP
lycoming Turbo
290 HP
Lycoming 290 HP
with Kit)
Above. Another view of the early Cruisair mod-
ified with large span stabilizer, small fins and
outside baggage compartment. The latter fea-
ture avoided much wrestling of luggage in and
out over the seats, a feature still used today.
The overall appearance has taken on a clean
look, accentuated by the simple paint job.
Below. One of the later basic models of the
14-13 about 1948. The baggage compartment
had been added along with larger span stabilizer
and smaller fins plus a steerable tai/wheel. The
overall finish, upholstery and neat simple eli-
gance of the Bellanca, is reminiscent of the fine
automobiles of the era.
By P.  B.  Sullivan 
Rt.  3, Box 466-D 
Fredricksburg,  VA  22407 
(Photos  Courtesy of the  Author) 
Fredericksburg, Virginia is a pleasant small city of
some 17,000, situated on the Rappahannock River and
saturated with history. Although not as widely known as
Williamsburg, Fredericksburg claims to be America's
most historic city, with any number of famous sons sent
to Washington in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Sadly, it was also in the bloody center of at least five
key battles of the Civil War in which there were
combined casualties of 100,000.
Now Sidney L. Shannon Jr., a Fredericksburg busi-
nessman and aviation enthusiast has put the city on the
map for historians of aviation with the opening last
summer of his Shannon Air Museum.
The museum, located at Shannon Airport on state Rt.
2 about a mile south of the city, houses the eight gems
in Shannon's collection, including: A World War I Stand-
ard E-1 fighter, a 1916 Spad VII, a 1927 TravelAir 2000,
a 1929 Curtiss Robin , a 1932 Aeronca C-2, a 1927
Pitcairn PA-5 Mailwing, a 1938 Stinson SR-10G
(Gull wing) and a 1945 Piper J-3 Cub.
Standard  E-7 
7976 Spad  VII 
Pitcairn  Mailwing 
Travel  Air 2000 
Curtiss  Robin 
Aeronca C-2 
}-3 Cub 
and other aviation  memorabilia 
Robin and Piticain  at Shannon  in  March  76
! ;
! (
1/ 1
:  J
l\ -I
Above. jack Moos flies the Pitcairn, 3/76
The condition of these aircraft is outstanding, and all
but the Standard, of which but two remain, are occa-
sionally flown.
Curator of the museum is Capt. H. T. "Dick" Merrill,
who with more than 45,000 hours logged (and he didn't
log any until the 1930's) is probably the world's most
experienced pilot. He's a young 82, still holds all his
licenses, even though he retired from Eastern Airlines at
age 60.
Merrill taught himself to fly in 1920 in a Jenny, way
down in Mississippi. He barnstormed the next seven
years, then took a job flying mail in a Fokker for St.
Tamany Gulf Coast Airways on the New Orleans-Atlanta
route. In 1928 he joined Pitcairn Aviation and flew the
night mail from Richmond to New York. When Pitcairn
became part of Eastern in 1932, Merrill flew Curtiss
Condors and DC-2's on the New York-Miami run.
He has dozens of records, "firsts" and awards, includ-
ing the Harmon Trophy for the first commercial
two-way crossing of the Atlantic in 1937 in a Lockheed
Electra. I n World War II he flew the Hump in C-46 cargo
aircraft for three years in a supply operation in which
hundreds of planes were lost.
Even after his retirement Merrill couldn't stay out of
the cockpit. In 1966 he, Arthur Godfrey and two other
pilots set 21 world records in a globe-circling flight in a
Jet Commander. And it's only been about three years
since he set a Palmdale-to-Miami mark ferrying Eastern's
first Lockheed L-101l.
Merrill's Fredericksburg headquarters is a new brick
and steel museum measuring about 120 by 130 feet. In
addition to the large display area there is a theater for
movie and slide shows, two rooms for display of models
and artifacts, a I ibrary and gift shop. I n a corner of the
immense display hall there is a replica of an early avia-
tion machine .shop, which Shannon calls a monument to
the guys who kept those early planes in the air."
Shannon acquired his Standard from a florist's shop
in Dayton, where it had been used as a business
advertisement. He likes to joke about snatching the E-1
Below. Travel Air 2000, OX-5 engine
from under the nose of the Air Force Museum (which
nevertheless managed to find the only other one). The
little machine has an 80 horsepower Le Rhone and can
reach 103 miles per hour and 14,500 feet - or it could,
if it were still flown, but due to its rarity it is grounded,
the only plane in the collection that doesn't stretch its
wings from time to time.
Shannon acquired the E-1 in 1956 and spent eight
years restoring it. It was his first antique, and he was
The Spad is a masterpiece, purchased th is year from
James Ricklefs of San Carlos, California, who spent
three painstaking years rebuilding it, complete with 150
horse Hisso engine. It has been flown twice this year in
Virginia by Jack Maas, who reports that it handles beau-
The plane, purchased by Ricklefs from J. B. Petty of
Gastonia, N.C. in 1969, was one of 120 Spads originally
built by a British firm under license from Societe
Anonyme Pour L'Aviation Et Ses Derives (SPAD).
Shannon's Pitcairn, with barking 200-horsepower
Wright J-5, is finished in the markings of Eastern Air
Transport, Inc., a forerunner of Eastern Airlines. This
PA-5 is identical to the ones in which Shannon's father,
Sidney Sr., and Dick Merrill flew the mails. Shannon Sr.
later rose to become vice president of operations for
Eastern Airlines, a position he held for many years.
Above.  7932 Aeronca C2 "Razorback" 
Below.  The}3 restored by Shannon  Museum personnel. 
The Shannon PA-5 is one of four of that model
remaining, including one in the new National Air and
Space Museum. It is believed to be the only one still
flying and is licensed to haul 500 pounds of mail in the
front compartment. The plane was originally purchased
from Pitcairn Aircraft, Inco of Bryn Athyn, Pa. by
Colonial Western Airways, Inc.
The aircraft has been flown cross-country in recent
years, includ ing a trip to Ottumwa in 1972, and has
garnered its share of show hardware. Yet it was bought
from a dusting pilot as a basket case and totally rebuilt
by Shannon's mechanic, Francis Clore.
Flying alongside the Pitcairn today, it is easy to imag-
ine the early mail pilots, bundled against icy winds in the
open cockpit, totally relying on the faithful Wright
engine and on the ruggedness of the airframe to get in
and out of unimproved strips. Navigation aids were
non-existent, and at night the only light for landing was
the two big ones outboard on the lower wings.
The TravelAir 2000 is also a beauty, but has a dif-
ferent personality, one that says "come fly me" on
sunny summer days. And it promises a great trip.
Shannon acquired this aircraft in 1973 from Max Walton
of Wichita, the original owner. It is silver and blue with
red upholstery, and its OX-5 mill swings a huge prop,
curved like a scimitar. One look makes any enthusiast
wonder why they don't build planes like it anymore.
Shannon has a clipping from the May 21, 1928 edi-
tion of The Free Lance-Star, the daily newspaper in
Fredericksburg, telling about the arrival of his father's
new TravelAir in the city. The article reports that the
new plane "reached here yesterday afternoon from
Wichita, Kansas. The ship is a biplane, powered with a
Curtiss OX-5 ninety horsepower motor, and can carry
two passengers in addition to the pilot .... The plane is
known as the Travel Air and is one of several models
now being made to sell at prices ranging from $3,000 to
$3,500. It is capable of a high speed of about 100 miles
an hour under full throttle and cruises at from 70 to 80
miles an hour. "The plane was flown here from the fac-
tory in Wichita, Kansas by Mr. Shannon (this was Sid's
father, and a different aircraft from the one in the muse-
um) in fifteen hours' flying time. the air line distance
from Wichita to Fredericksburg is about 1,200 miles."
Douglas Corrigan earned his "Wrong-Way" nickname
in a Robin similar to Shannon's orange and yellow ma-
chine . The three-place ship, with 165 horsepower Wright
J-6 is in pristine shape, right down to its wicker seats,
and still cruises at 95. Shannon has owned th is J-1 model
Robin since 1955, and it underwent total restoration in
Few planes have more personality than the little
Above. WWi E 7 Standard, found in a florist's shop
in Dayton, Ohio.
Below. 7929 Curtiss Robin
Aeronca C-2, with its 36-horse Aeronca twin power-
plant, open-air cockpit and parasol wing. The 700-pound
plane cruised at 70, was pooped out at 85 and still sets
down at 36 miles per hour. Shannon has owned it for
many years, and it is regularly exercised, always pleasing
the crowds at the annual summer fly-in and airshow at
Shannon Airport.
Last summer Shannon acquired a Gull-Wing Stinson
SR-10G from George Stubbs of I ndianapolis, who had
restored it to immaculate condition with the markings of
American Airlines. The five-place craft is powered by a
300 horsepower Lycoming radial; it has a 155 mile per
hour maximum and a 130 mile per hour cruise. This
particular aircraft was featured on the cover of the
March, 1974 edition of The Vintage Airplane.
The most recently built of Sidney Shannon's ma-
chines is a classic Piper J-3 Cub built in 1945. It is com-
plete in original Cub markings and the powerplant is, of
course, the 65 horse Continental. It was thoroughly re-
novated in Fredericksburg by Shannon personnel.
Sidney Shannon's museum is believed to be the only
civil aviation museum in Virginia, and it is certainly an
outstanding one. He foresees no immediate additions to
the collection, but there is plenty of space available in
the museum, and he is always on the lookout for in-
teresting aircraft and aeronautical memorabilia.
Editor's Note. The picture is of Leslie Miller's Travel Air, now
owned by Brian W. Dalton. The following two letters refer to it,
and are self-explanatory.
AI Kelch
May  16,1976 
Dear  Mr.  Miller: 
It  was  very  nice  to  talk  to you  today.  It  is  such  a pleasure  for  me  to 
talk  to  people  who  were  active  during  the  golden  age  of aviation  and 
even  more  so  in  your  case  because  you  made  such  a  contribution  to 
bringing  the  airplane  into  its own. 
You  asked  about  me.  I  am  28  years  old  and  a  Lieutenant  in  the 
Army  Medical  Department  and  am  presently  working  at  the  Army 
hospital  here  at  Ft.  Huachuca.  My  home  base  is  Dallas,  Oregon where 
my  brother  is  now.  with  all  the  airplanes.  He  is  26  and  very  much 
involved  with  antique airplanes.  When  we  were  growing  up,  th ere  was  a 
duster  outfit  in  town  that  had  four  T ravelairs and  we  got  to  know and 
love  them  then.  My  first  contact  with  aviation  was  when  I was  about 
13  years  old  and  I  tried  to  buy  one  of  th e  Travelairs.  The  price  was 
about  100 times  what  I could  afford  at  the  time  so  I had  to defer  the 
purchase.  Over  the  past  three  years  my brother and  I have  managed  to 
buy  two  basket  case  planes  plus  the  data  pl ate  and  papers  for  a  third. 
In  addition  we  have  a  J-3  Cub  that  is  flying  now. 
My  brother 's  plane  is  a Travela ir  4000 that used  to  belong to  Wilber 
May  of  the  May  Company  department  stores  in  Los  Angeles.  Of 
course,  it  was  powered  by  a Wright  J -5. 
My  plane,  the  one  that  you  owned,  was  a  straight  2000  with  the 
OX-S  engine_ I have  included  a  picture of it  that  was  taken  about  1938 
or  so,  some  ten  years  after  you  owned  it.  It  was  still  in  original 
configuration  at  that  time  but  was  soon  after  converted  to  a  Comet 
engine.  When  I  got  it,  it  had  a  Lycoming  R-680,  300  hp.  engine  with  it 
and  it  was  apart  with  many  parts  missing.  I have  had  so me  luck  assem-
bling  parts but we  have  not  yet  begun  serious  restoration. 
Both  my  brother  and  I  are  dedicated  to  restoring  these  pl anes  as 
close  to  original  as  possible.  This  includes  the  original  instruments, 
paint  schemes  and  engines,  if  possible.  Once  done,  we  intend  to  use 
them.  We  have  located  a  Wright  J-S  engine  that  is  somewhat 
incomplete  but  restorable,  but  have  had  no  luck  finding  an  OX-5  or 
OXX-6  engine  for  my  plane.  Therefore,  I  will  probabl y  put  the 
Lycoming back  on  unless  I can  find  a  Hi sso  or Wri gh t  j-4 or  j-S. 
I  would  be  most  interested  in  your  remembrances  of  this  airplan e 
and  that  era  around  Los  Angeles.  Also,  if  you  know  where  I can  get 
some  original  parts,  particularly  engines  and  instruments,  I could  really 
use  the  information. 
Thank  you  again  for  the  nice  visit  and  I  wish  you  success  in  your 
Brian  W.  Dalton 
R.  W.  Bli ss  Army  Hospital 
Ft.  Huachuca,  Arizona  85613 
Phone  (602)  458-3150 
june  22,  1976 
My dear  young  Friend, 
You  can  only  imagine  how  delighted  I am  to  receive  from  you your 
nice  letter  and  your  compli ments  to  my  efforts  in  the  past  in  connec-
tion  with  aviation. 
For  an  oldster,  which  I  qualify  for,  since  I  am  almost  80 years o ld 
now,  it  is  very  difficult  to  not  at  times  live  in  the  past  and  to  possibly 
talk  a  little  bit  too  much  of  the  past  to  the  ex tent  that  the  present 
laymen  may  misunderstand  and  consider  such  conversations  as  windy 
indulgence  in  self  aggrandizement.  Be  that  as  it  may,  to  receive  a  nice 
letter  from  a  young  man  who  has  such  evident  intense  interest as  you 
and  you r  brother  have,  in  bringing  to  the  present,  the  story of the  past 
in  aviation,  I salute you  for  your  effort and  interest. 
It  is  of great  interest  to  me  also  to  have  the  log  on  what became of 
one  of  myoid  ships.  It  is  almost  unbelieveable  that  this airplane  is  still 
in  existance  and  the  photograph  of it  will  be  cherished  as  long  as  I live, 
and  no  doubt  by  my  fam il y  of three  sons  and  a daughter,  all of whom 
are  flyers,  including a  number  of my  grand';Ons  who  are  flyers. 
In  the  old  days,  I  regarded  the  development  of aviat ion  as  a prime 
requisite  in  the  safe-guarding  of  this  nation,  and  even  also  other 
nations  with  the  same  value  of freedom.  It  would  seem  boastful  of me 
to  say  that  back  in  the  old  days  I  did  envision  the  great airl ine  routes 
that  lace  the  United  States  and  the  world,  and  the  development  of 
tremendous  airplanes  and  speeds.  I felt  the  effort was  well  worth  whil e 
in  view  of  what  we  believed  we  were  contributing  to  humanity.  I  am 
firmly  of  the  bel ief  even  today,  that  had  we  not  developed  speed  of 
transportation  between  countries,  and  tremendous  improvements  in 
communications  likewise  in  th e  radio  and  TV,  many  conflagrations 
throughout  the  world  might  have  otherwise  developed  into even  more 
than  the  sad  wars  we  have  experienced. 
I believe  that  improved  communicati ons and  improvement  in  travel, 
internationally,  acquainted  people  throughout  the  world  with  each 
other  to  the  extent  that  some  damper  was  put  on  wars  even  though 
not  completely  so.  We  are  more  inclined  to  tal k  things over  now  than 
to  fight  it  out  on  the  battlefield,  and  as  time goes  on,  within  the  scope 
of  your  life  time,  I am  quite  sure  people  of  the  world  will  eventuall y 
live  with  each  other  peacefully.  God  willing' 
The  area  of  Los  Angeles  was  the seed  bed  largely  of what  has  taken 
place  to  date  in  aviation.  Back  in  the  early  20's  there  were  the  Black 
Cats  that  included  such  peopl e  as  Leo  Thomic,  Frank  Clark,  Earl 
jones,  Reginald  Denny  and  a  number  of  others  whose  names  escape 
me.  These  were  the  Dare  and  Do  boys  who  flew  the  airplanes  in  the 
ear ly  mov ies  of aviation  and  probably  some  of the  best  stunt  flyers  of 
times.  In  the  mid  20's  - Wally  Ber ry,  Ken  Maynard,  Ben  Lyons, 
Clarence  Brown,  Ed  Deering,  Buck  j ones.  Most  movie  people  lent  their 
efforts  and  presence  in  behalf  of  avia ti on ,  but  become  avid  flying 
enthusiasts  and  pilots.  As  old  as  I am,  I simply  can't  remember even  Y.
of  the  old  gang.  Otto  Timm  and  Wally  Timm's  names  come  to  mind  as 
part  of  the  Bl ack  Cats  era  or  thereabouts.  You  could  look  over  the 
roster  of  av iation  and  find  hundreds  made  their  mark  in  the  Los 
Angeles  area.  Walter  Waterman.  His  name  now  occurs:  as  I canvas  my 
memory  I  suppose  I could  go  on  and  on  picking  up  a  new  name each 
hour  that  I  tri ed.  Anyway,  it  was  a great era.  Myoid  Travelair  was  one 
of a number  I owned  and  in  which  rests  fond  memories. 
I  have  been  asked  by  the  Antique  Classic  Division  of Experimental 
Aircraft  Association  to  conduct  a  Forum  on  the  OX-S  engine  on 
Sunday,  August  1,  at  1 :00  p.m.  in  the  Forum  Tent  u3  (south  of the 
main  gate  and  just  north  of  Ollie's  Woods)  at  Oshkosh ,  Wisconsin 
during  their  convention.  So  possibly  you  might  be  there  and  if you  are, 
I  would  be  happy  to  meet  you  personally,  as  well  as  your  brother,  if 
you can  make  it. 
Regarding  availability  of  OX-S  parts,  it  has  been  50 years  now  si nce 
I  wa s  manufacturing  the  Milleri zed  improvem ents  and  everything  has 
been  scattered  to  the  four  winds  that  I  had.  I  do  know of a fellow  by 
the  name  of  johnny  Lowe,  on  Ringling  Blvd.,  in  Sarasota,  Florida_ 
johnny  is  a  real  old  timer  and  he  did  have  a complete  Millerized  OX-S 
and  quite  a  few  parts.  It  seems  to  me  he  had  a son-in-law  who  was  an 
airplane  pilot,  who  may  have  come  in  possession  of this  engine.  I don't 
know  whether  it  could  be  pried  lose  from  them  or  not.  I  know  they 
prized  it  highly.  Attending  the  aircraft convention  might  be  profitable 
to  you  in  the  line  of  learning  of available  parts.  It  would  give  you  a 
cross  section  of  the  effort  made  by  all  of  them  in  the  procurement of 
old  aircraft  materials.  Wish  I  cou ld  help  you  more.  As  I  write,  I 
remember  that  Melba  Beard  out  in  Arizona  somewhere  had  quite  an 
interest  in  OX-S  parts procurement. 
Lt.  Dalton,  it  has  been  nich  to  hear  from  you.  I have  written  about 
as'much  as  I  can  remember  at this  time,  and  I look  forward  to hearing 
of your  progress. 
With  very  king  personal  regards,  I am 
Your  Friend 
Leslie C.  Miller 
P.O.  Box  77 
Warne,  NC  28909 
(704)  389-6695 
Dear  Mr.  Nielander: 
I  just  want  to  let  you  know  that  your  editorial  in  the  August  issue 
of  The Vintage Airplane just  hit  the  nail  real  square  on  the  head.  It 
looks  to  me  as  if  the  whole  future  of EAA,  and  more  so,  AAA,  is  tied 
up  in  this  matter  of  something  to  build  that  will  give  the  builder  some 
real  satisfaction  and  be  a  fine  pl ane.  Your  list  of  possible  planes  is  a 
good  one.  I  have  been  harping  on  thi s  idea  for  a  long  while  without 
any  success. 
Wag-Aero has shown us that the Cuby is possible. Ihave hoped that
they would have a real s u ~     s s with this idea and be encouraged to go
ahead with other pl anes. As you pointed out, thereare a few planesof
this type that have not been haul ed out ofthe barns.
Now the big question is: how do we get this sort of undertaking
activated? It see ms to me thatagood talk with Pau loughtto help out.
Maybe an arti cle in SPORT AVIATIONreques ting any informationas
to where these planes mdY be hiding would bring out something_
Perhaps the AAA would also run somesortofarticleon thi s.
Now, the other way would be to find someone who owns one of
these and to let some engineer use the plane to draw up aset ofplans.
I suppose there might be leg,!! difficulti es about this, but probably
they could be' resolved somehow. Maybe there are other possible
sources for a set of plans. I don't know the answers, but I fee lvery
st rongly that we shou ld not let your idea drop. It should be activated.
Maybe another way would be to get some qualified engineer to
design a pl ane ALMOST like one in your lis t, but justenough different
so that it would be a new plane. Then anyone who had stringson th e
original designs, that we couldn't cut, would not have any strings on
the new one. Again, I say, I think your idea is a good one, and I
sincerely hopesomethingwill comeofit.
Yours truly,
Howard Holman
Wayne, Maine04284
September 22, 1976
Howdy J. R.:
Hey, man! I like your August, '76 editorial! Sallright, it is, and I
hope you get people thinking and working along "Replica" lines. I
assume you are aware that:
1. R. G. Huggins has put toget her plansdrawings for the Curtiss-
Wright Junior.
2. John Houser at Aeronca in Ohi o knowsofagroupofdedicated
peopl e workingon newdrawingsfor the AeroncaC-2 &C-3.
3. FAA Jamaica, NY has drawings for theTaylor E-2 Cub.
4. EAA library has a complete set of American Eaglet drawings.
(Someone ought to "tell" the guy who is marketing an "Amer-
ican Eaglet" Glider.) An Ameri can Eaglet, isalmost completed
(replica) at Sault Ste. Mari e, Ontario.
5. Drawings for various Moth & Avi on aircraft are avail able, of
course, and one gu y is even offering Gipsy Major engines cer-
tified & converted to run upright - just great for the DH 60
Moth replica.
6. Bucher JUNGMANN drawings should soon be availabl e from
Montreal, Quebec.
I would love to see McClureor someonedodrawings for thatWil ey
Post - ( Ford " A"engine partswill beavail ab leforyears tocome).
Now if someonecould get asmall series ofori ginalradials backinto
production - even ata trickle- we'd really have something. Guess we
are entitled todream, eh?
I've often wondered about that Kl emm (AntiqueTreasure Hunting)
on the junkpil e in South America - wonder ifit'sstill there? Wedon't
have Pan Am or Braniff here - tri ed to get some contacts through
DeHaviliand here, but no luck. If Ihad acontact Ithink I'd maybe try
to get that Iii' 01 bird.
Anyway, "Cheers ", 
Garth Elliot 
2nd LineWest 
Ontari o, Canada LOJ 1KO 
September14, 1976
Dear AI:
Everything is back to normal more or less around Rhinebeck after
the Hammond sport Air Show. Curtiss "D" and Bleri ot N have flown
each weekend since in asteeplechase, sli ghtl ycondensed from theones
we did at H-spor t. Foxy is having quitea time with Bl eriot as he keeps
taking it hi gher and higher each week, wea ther permitting. Each land-
inghe is more sur eabout taking it around!.
Was thumbing through a 1931 Air Tai ls looking for an art icl e on
Heath Parasol's for Herb Eisen of the Aerodrome Staffand ran across
thi sad for Eaglet's. Thought you might like it for your scrapbook or
I'm st ill tinkering on my '41 5-3, now up at Dick King' sbarn, also
still looking for Fleet pam es peciall y model II fuselage, lower wing
panels, logs, and rudder, plus much misc. Any leads appreci ated. Pl ease
say hi to Buck A. next t ime you see him for me - he has an extra
fuselage doesn' t he?
I'm pl anning on going to Florida with Col e in December or when-
ever. Iguess the Dolphin iscomingprettygood as Andy Keefe hasse nt
afew pictures up already.
Also I'm looking around for some typeofaircraftlike the Eaglet-
something different that I could use in Cole's show. He wants the
young types to start getting involved with fl yi ng there own machines
for "pants races" or other ac ts. I'mespeciall y in terested in acrazyC-3
ac t,so I'm looking, would appreciateany leads, thanks.
If you have any of those extra Antique and Classic mags I would
appreciate some. Also who is the guy to send the $to for memberShip?
Well good luck on whatever you are doing? E-2, Eaglet , Travelair
As far as E-2 goes, I can get wings, ai lerons, engine, gear;do you
have pl ans for fu selage?? any other parts? Thanksabunch .
See you in Fl orida.
John Barker
October11, 1976
Dear Mr. Nielander:
I am the proud owner ofa Rearwin Sport ster sin 656D, whi ch is
fitted with Le Blonde K.R. 5 F. si n 1225. My problem is this: Iam a
prematurely retired Aircraft engineer (health reasons), with 37 years
practical ex perience, (mostl yon light aircraft).
As I did not have any data on thi s delightful and rare aircraft, I
took numerous photosof vital parts, etc., before di smantling the air-
frame into its various components. All this happened seven years ago
and after a spate of illnesses (including a heart problem that lost me
my pil ot's license) I find myself able to work again on Rearwin
ZK-AKA. However, the photos taken by me have completely
di sappeared. On top of thi s, our Department of Civil Aviation has
ti ghtened up on theoverhaulingofold aircraft. As aconsequence, Iam
trying to loca te someone in the USA who can put me in touch with
another Rearwin 9000KR owner, or a club of Rearwin owners, to
enable me to find out modificat ions, repa ir schemes, availabi lity of
parts (if any) , data about bothengineand airframe, etc.,etc. Ihave to
start somewhere and after talking to numerousaviat ion people, oneof
them came up with your name and address fro m the Experi mental
Aircraft Association's magazine, SPORT A VIA Tl ON, so if you coul d
find your way clear to either pass this letter on or to send me the
address of someone who could help me out, I wou ld be extremely
Yoursincerely, Ivan T. East 34 Ashleigh Crescent,
Miramar Well ington, New Zealand
September 23, 1976
Dear Mr. Nielander:
Thank you for the timely concern for the REPLI CA AIC and their
owner/builder/pilots. We have been the orphan fringe of the
WARBIRDS and ANTIQUE/ CLASSICDivi sion for a long time,but ,at
least, Antique/ Cl ass ic madea move ofrecognition ofa problem,which
isadefinite step towardsasolution.
Nearly eleven years ago, at our formation, recommendations had
been made for the membersto join the EAA; World War IAeroplanes,
under Leo Opdycke; Cross &Cockade Soc iety, as the majororganiza-
tions that would profit the membership. I suggested that the Antique
Airplane Association mi ght also be ofadvantage.
Regarding the latte" no matter how accurate a Replica of an air-
craft which either is rare or no longer exists may be, there was no
provi sion for the Replica aircraft. For those few owners ofOriginal
WW Iaircraft, AAA canbe auseful group and mi ght be benefi cial.
Warbirds and Antique/Cl assic Di visions were not operative at the
start of our group, and while I joined both myself, fe lt that until the
recent Vintage Airplane and the President 's sharp insight, both would
be more ofthe sa me in which we would serve their purposes more than
havinga functional roleofour own.
Accordingly, I shall recommend future affiliation of our mem-
bership with A/ C Di vis ion, whi ch will be merel yanextention si nceall
the members should already be EAA members in good standing.
I should like to see the samething happenwith WARBIRDS, under
the EAA Banner, in which regard they also consider thescale ai rcraft,
WW I and WW II, along with the full si Le repli cas, and will then feel
free to recommend that we support Warbirds fully in recognition of
their support ofus.
Obviously the Repl ica Quilders will not be competiti ve to the"Big
Brothers ", Both Antique and /or Warbird, but compliment each as a
secondary, yet autonomous point ofinterestand,what ismore, added
noses as voterstoadd clou tas needed.
Hopefull y the Warbird Di vision might join thoughtswith thoseyou
have just expressed and Ihave been trying to form so that we mi ght
eachserve oneanother.
Wonderful thought , and I am ver y gra teful for it. Now todo what-
ever isneeded to make it all jei.
Sincerely yours,
Stanl ey L. Morel
"Der ZirkusMei ster"
Dear Mr. Escallon, Fl a. Chapt er Pres.
From the very beginning your association hasbeen deeply involved
and has contr ibuted greatly to thesuccessofSun 'n Fun. Theworking
fly -i n at our new site this pas t weekend was a magnificentdemonstra-
ti on of the dedication to EAA's ai ms and goals possessed by your
As an officer of Sun 'n Fun I lack the words to express the deep
feeling of gratitude that I have for the effort made here. Asan EAA
member I salute the FSAA&CA for it s signifi cant contributions to
Sport Avi ation in all itsendeavors. As a member of the FSAA&CA I
am very proud to be oneofyou.
Your organi zation has done muchto bring EAA'erstogetherand to
give them directi on and purpose. It is per sonall y a rewardingand sat-
is fyi ngexperi ence to be a part ofit.
Billy M. Henderson, VP
502 Norfolk Circle
Lakeland, FL 33801