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THE  RESTORER'S CORNER 

By /. R. Nieiander, Jr.
Two years ago this month we discussed in this
column the dwindling supply of unrestored antique
aircraft and the necessity for eventually turning to
replicas to satisfy our hunger for flying the aircraft of
yesteryear. We pointed out that plans for some an-
tiques, such as the Great Lakes Trainer and the Heath
Parasol, had been available in the past, and that plans
or kits were presently available for the Mooney Mite
and for the CUBy version of the Piper J-3. We also
noted that many of the ultra-light aircraft of the twen-
ties and thirties, such as the Aeromarine Klemm,
Driggs Dart, American Eaglet, Aeronca C-3 and K,
Taylor Cub and Wiley Post Model A, would make
easy-to-construct replicas, and could be powered
with Volkswagon class engines. In addition, we
pointed out that many aircraft of the next larger size,
such as the Monocoupe, Savoia-Marchetti S-56B
Amphibian, Fairchild 22, Kinner Playboy and Sports-
ter, Rearwin Sportster and Speedster, Kari-Keen ,
Aeronca LC, Davis D-1 , Inland Sport, Crosley Moon-
beam, Mohawk " Pinto", Arrow "Sport", and Culver
Dart and Cadet, would also make great replicas if
plans for them were available.
The first fruits of our effort to compile a list of
plans sources for antique replicas appeared in our
June, 1978 issue through the courtesy of Leo Opdycke,
the editor of WORLD  WAR  I  Aeroplanes.  Leo sup-
pi ied us with the names and addresses of the sou rces
for obtaining plans for over 50 different aircraft of the
World War I and pre-World War I eras. Interestingly,
the same issue contained an article written by Cedric
Galloway about the Baby Cessna, an Aeronca engine
powered ultra-light with the full cantilever one piece
wing which was to later become a Cessna trademark.
This Baby Cessna is just one more simple-to-build
antique which would make an excellent replica if
plans could be made available for it.
One of the obvious sources of plans should be
the type club. If its members could gather together
a full set of plans for their type aircraft, these could
be copied, and plans sets could be sold to help fi-
nance the activities of the club. Excellent examples
of type clubs which could perpetuate themselves by
selling plans and thus increasing their numbers with
replicas are the Aeronca Club, Culver Club, Dart
Club, Heath Club, Monocoupe Club and Porterfield
Club, just to name a few.
The Airpower Museum of the Antique Airplane
Association at Ottumwa, Iowa, recently obtained all
of the assets of the Rearwin Company. Hopefully,
the museum will be able to make plans available to
the replica builder in the not too distant future. The
EAA Air Museum Foundation used to sell plans for
the Heath Parasol, but the demand dropped off as
more modern homebuilt designs became available,
so their sale has been discontinued. If sufficient de-
mand were indicated, Heath plans could again be
made available.
The Monocoupe Club has already undertaken
the task of compiling a complete set of Monocoupe
plans which are reproducible. Perhaps a little en-
couragement from those of you who would like to
build a Monocoupe would be all the impetus which
they would need to complete the project.
We here at Division Headquarters would like to
compile an up-to-date listing of sources of replica
plans. By this time next year we hope to publish a list
of sources of plans for not only the pre-1920 aircraft,
but also for any aircraft of the twenties, thirties, for-
ties and fifties which would be good easy-to-construct
replicas . To accomplish this we need your help. If
you know of any sources of plans, or if you know that
some of the sources which have been published in
the past are no longer supplying plans, please let us
hear from you. Also, if you have any plans, even if
they are not complete sets, please let us know so that,
even if you are not interested in reproducing them
yourself, we can possibly help you to get them into
the hands of someone who would be willing to re-
produce them, and thus help to keep one more fine
old airplane from becoming extinct. As we men-
tioned in our column on this subject two years ago,
even though these plans which you have stored in a
closet or in the basement might be so faded as to be
almost unreadable, in the hands of the right techni-
cians 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 ex-
ceptionally legible form.
*****  ** ***  ***** 
Don't forget to earn your share of the prizes in
the Division membership contest. Just print your
name and Division membership number on the back
of the membership applications which have been in-
cluded in this magazine over the past year, and give
them to your flying friends and airport buddies.
When Headquarters tabulates five new members
sponsored by you, we shall send you a set of genuine
antique flying goggles. When we have tabulated five
additional new members sponsored by you (a total
of ten), we shall send you a new leather flying helmet
to use with the goggles. There is no limit to the num-
ber of goggles and helmets which you can win. If you
run out of membership applications, just write to us
at Headquarters, and we shall send you more. And
don' t forget that the grand prize for the member who
signs up the most new members by the end of 1978
is a five year free membership in the Antique/Classic
Division.
(Chris Sorensen Photo)
Cl yde Shepherd's 7949  Ryan Navion "AN.
Editorial
Staff
Publisher 
Paul  H.  Poberezny 
Editor 
David  Gustafson 
Associate  Editors:  H.  Glenn  Buffington,  Robert  G.  Eiliott,  AI  Kelch , 
Edward  D.  Williams,  Byron  (Fred)  Fredericksen 
Readers  are  encouraged  to  submit  stories  and  photographs.  Associate  Editorships  are  assigned 
to  those  writers  who  submit  five  or  more  articles .which  are  published  in  THE  VINTAGE  AIR· 
PLANE  during  the  current  year.  Associates  receive  a  bound  volume  of  THE  VINTAGE  AIR-
PLANE  and  a  free  one-year  membership  in  the  Division  for  their  efforts.  POLICY-Opinions 
expressed  in  articles  are  solely  those  of  the  authors.  Responsibility  for  accuracy  in  reporting 
rests  entirely with  the  contributor. 
Directors 
Roben  A.  White 
ANTIQUE/CLASSIC 
DIVISION 
William  I .  Ehlen  AI  Kelch 
OFFICERS 
Route  8 Box  506 
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Mequon,  W isconsi n  53092 
PRESIDENT  Cla ude  l. Gray,  Jr,  Mort on  W .  Lester 
J.  R.  NIELANDER,  JR. 
P.O.  BOX  2464 
9635  Sylvia  Avenue 
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lyons,  Wisconsin  53148  Stil we ll ,  Kansas  66085 
SECRETARY 
Advi sors 
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301  DODSON  MILL ROAD  1989 W i l son,  NW  1042  90th  Lane,  NE 
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Grand  Rapids,  Michigan  49504  Minneapoli s,  Minnesota 55434 
TREASURER 
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THE  VINTAGE  AIRPLANE  is  owned  excl usively  by  EAA  Anti que/Classic  Division.  Inc .• and  is  publi shed 
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The VINTAGEAIBPLANE
OFFICIAL  MAGAZINE 
EAA  ANTIQUE/CLASSIC 
".- , 
DIVISION  INC. 
of THE  EXPERIMENTAL  AIRCRAFT  ASSOCIATION 
P.O.  Box  229,  Hales  Corners,  WI  53130 
Copyright"  1978  EAA  Antique/Classic  Division, Inc. , All  Rights  Reserved. 
AUGUST  1978  VOLUME  6  NUMBER  8 
TABLE  OF  CONTENTS 
The  Restorer' s Corner  by J.  R.  Nielander,  Jr . , ... . , .. . , . ... "  .... , . . ... . .. - 2 
A  Classi c Aerobat  by  Robert  G.  Mixon  . . . . .. , . . . .. . . ..... . . .. ... . . . , ... .  4 
Charlie  Miller The  " Compleat"  Barnstormer  by Wm .  J.  Ehlen  , .... . . .. ,',.  8 
Conroe 1978  by Cleo  Bickford  .. , ..... ...... .... , , .. . . . . .. . . . , . .. . .. .... 13 
Vintage Album  .... . ..... , ... ... .. ... ...... . . .. ....... , , . .... ..... ..... 14 
1923  Baby  Ace  by Margaret  Demond  ... . .. . ... , , ...... . . ..... ..... , . . , . .  16 
Flight Testing of Corben  Baby  Ace  NX-S148  by  Robert  Barnes  ........ . . . . ,  20 
Aluminum  Corrosion  Types  and  Cures  Intervi ew with  Bill  Chomo  . .. .. .... 22 
Letters . .. .. , .... , , . ... , .... . .. .. , , .... , . . . . . . . . ... . .. , . , .. ......... . . .  24 
EAA  ANTIQUE/CLASSIC  DIVISION  MEMBERSHIP 
o  NON-EAA  MEMBER  - $20.00.  Includes  one  year  membership  in  the  EAA  Antique/ 
Classic  Divi si on,  12  monthly  issues  of  THE  VINTAGE  AIRPLANE;  one  year  mem-
bership  in  the  Experimental  Aircraft  Association  and  separate  membership  cards. 
SPORT  AVIATION  magazine  not included, 
o EAA  MEMBER  - $14.00.  Includes  one  year  membership  in  the  EAA, Antique/Classic 
Divi sion,  12  monthly  issues  of  THE  VINTAGE  AIRPLANE  AND  MEMBERSHIP  CARD. 
(Applicant  must  be  current EM member and  must  give  EAA  membership  number ,) 
Page 4  Page  13  Page 16 
By Robert C. Mixon
73365 5. W. 208 51.
Miami, FL 33177
My search for an affordable, classic, aerobatic air-
plane that started when I was about six years old has
ended.
Through the years one factor in my search remained
constant, this one factor seemingly outweighed the
rest; it is what I call the affordability factor.
Since the 1950's when I watched Curtis Pitts pro-
duce the Pitts Special, having done some aerobatics in
a Citabria, I knew that I had to have a Pitts Special!
You're right, the pictu res you are looking at of my
project are definitely not pictures of a Pitts Special . . .
But then my pu rchase price was only $1,600 with a
completed price of $2,300.
What you are looking at is a 1947 Luscombe 8A,
which is underpowered for aerobatics with a Conti-
nental 65 hp engine. It has an all metal airframe, with
engineering that is similar in appearance to more mod-
ern airplanes with those funny training wheels placed
in front , on the wrong end of the airplane. (There is a
difference between training wheels out front, and
TRAINING wheels in the empennage area of an air-
plane). The Luscombe has unmatched controls in that,
when airborne, the long wings require more force to
move than the toe dance required to move the light
feeling tail feathers. On the ground, however, the Lus-
combe (aside from a slightly more rigid landing gear
configuration) isn't any harder to control than other
tai Id raggers.
The rigid gear and all metal construction does make
a landing on pavement sound like you have dropped
(Photo by Paul Carter)
Paint is blended from dark orange, to medium, to light
yellow on wheel covers, wings and fuselage. Notice
how stars on wings are darker than sunburst design at
trailing edge of wings. White on top of fuselage in front
of empenage is covering grinder marks, as is fake black
window on fuselage aft of door.
the airplane in from several thousand feet, unless it is
an absolutely perfect landing...
I found N2838K after returning from a three hun-
dred and fifty mile flight to see a "rag wing" Luscombe
8A that was advertised in Trade-A-Plane.
No kidding, she was in the back of a hanger at the
very airport I had first departed from, all covered with
dust and in pieces. Her skin was stripped down to bare
aluminum and pieces of other aircraft were' using her
as a storage table.
4
Since my original idea was to restore and polish
the airframe, the already stripped airframe set my
imagination working overtime. My wife, Nancy, im-
mediately named the Luscombe Laurie after her sister.
(You know, Sally-Salamander, Freddy-Frog, Laurie-
Luscombe ... that kind of thi ng)
N2838K was gently carried home a piece at a time
with only one mishap enroute. While towing the fuse-
lage, with the tail resting in the back of a pick-up truck,
the windshield fell out on the road and broke into
three pieces !
My wife, daughter Ki mberly, and son Ricky helped
me clean up the airframe with a good old fashioned
washing so that we could see it sparkle in the sunlight.
It was then that I found grinder marks just forward of
the empenage on top of the fuselage, and more marks
just aft of the doors where the more deluxe Luscombes
have their small side windows adjoining the baggage
compartment. A closer look at the wings convinced
me that my first idea to restore the original, highly pol -
ished surface design, which might gleam in the sun-
light while doing aerobatics, would have to be modi-
fied to a combination of polish and paint to hide the
imperfections made by a thoughtless grinder.
Two unstripped areas, by the firewall , produced
areas of built up body puddy which required new skin
for strength and so that they too could be polished. All
of the bolts were replaced and the controls were checked
for damage and wear. Two outside hinge brackets
were made for the outboard ends of the ailerons. A
new trim tab cable was required, while new position
lights and the landing light wires were replaced . After
repositioning the light lens on the tail, a new landing
light lens was made by cutting a piece of plexiglass
from the old broken windshield that was then placed
over a metal can in my wife' s oven, until it became
flexible enough to fit the shape of the can. It worked
great with very little distortion.
The engine only had fifteen hours since it had been
topped but it needed new hoses for carburetor heat
and the cabin heater. (Yes, it has been getting "cool"
here in Florida during the last few winters ...)
The tires were replaced and our new tinted wind-
shield required four attempts at fitting before it would
fit properly. (By the way, truck freight costs from the
west coast to Florida were the same amount as the
total cost of the windshield!)
Imron primer and paint were applied on selected
areas, G-meter was installed, and the bare alumi num
surfaces brought to a shine by wet sanding, and rub-
bing compounds like Aluminu, Met-al, and Nevrdull.
It was during this stage that I began to wonder how
I ever got into this project. There sat Laurie L;uscombe
(looking more like Sally Salamander), pieces scattered
everywhere; not looking especially like anything that
was ever going to fly again.
As I thought back, the project had probably started
early in the First Grade with my first flight of a paper
airplane sailing ~   c r o s s the school yard during recess.
Or it could have started earlier, when as a child, I
would nail three sticks together to form an airplane
and "fly" it over the hibuscus hedge at my grand-
mother's into an equipment storage lot next door. The
stick planes would always sink from view before hit-
ting the ground on the other side of the hedge. (Occa-
sionally they were followed by the scream of a work-
man.)
I guess, if I must really trace the origin of my proj-
ect I would have to go back to the year 1939 and Pan
(Photo by Paul Carter)
Nancy, before she was a pilot . . . Notice hole cut for.
fuel Selector valve with fiber-glass insulation for sound
proofing. Arrows show where holes, for fasteners, were
drilled through panel. Fuselage has 8E window painted
on to cover grinder marks after this area was filled with
primer surfaces .
American World Airways with their seaplane base at
Dinner Key (part of Coconut Grove, Florida). The old
Pan Am terminal, once so famous, is now the City Hall
of Miami , Florida.
To meet my father as he returned from his trips to
South America, I would accompany my mother to Din-
ner Key, much as my son now accompanies me when
I go to the airport to flight instruct.
5
The old Boeing and Sikorsky "flying boats", as
they were called then, would taxi in from the seaplane
channel up to the unloading dock that was floating
next to the terminal building.
As with most EM members, childhood experiences
are probably not only quite similar, as they relate to
stick airplanes and first paper airplane flights, but EM
members are typically "grass roots" orientated in that
they hardly ever fail to look in the direction of an air-
plane engine once they have heard it running. This
habit will drive an EM member crazy in South Florida
when the Everglades get wet, and there are airboat en-
gines constantly running everywhere!
For those members contemplating a rebuilding or
homebuilt project, let me say that every little project
can, and usually does, turn into a major time consum-
ing larger project.
Nancy got pretty good at holding wrenches, align-
ing parts, and making upholstery, as well as decipher-
ing numbers and parts from the Luscombe Parts cat-
alogue purchased from Univair.
Ricky, my six year old, spent any time that he could
being lifted into the cockpit to make airplane and pilot
noises, while chasing enemy airplanes; while my
daughter Kim usually helped with some of the polish-
ing and showed her friends "what dad is building" .
Somewhere during the construction stage, Nancy
started wondering what it might be like to fly, and she
too started making pilot noises! ("brakes, throttle
cracked, switch on; Tower this is November 2838Kilo
. ..") Now, I know there are exceptions on both sides,
and this might make some of you angry, but since fe-
males usually don't have the male ego problem to over-
come when they are learning to fly, they usually make
good students. (Sorry guys, but that statement has been
verified by other Flight Instructors too ...) Men, in
general, are too afraid of messing it up, and dwell on
every little mistake, changing the small mistakes into
larger ones. After all, how many men grew up c h   n g ~
(Photo by Paul Carter)
Rob, Ricky, Kim and Nancy.
ing baby brother's or sister's diapers, doing homework,
talking on the phone, listening to a soap opera on T.V.,
and doing the wash and macrame all at the same time!
Young men, in our society, are usually taught to con-
centrate on one thing at a time.
Well , as we watch Nancy make graceful, coordi-
nated, circles in the sky over the airport, the guys are
still asking me if I remember when I owned an airplane;
and how did I get Nancy to do it anyway? At least I
get to fly when I take the kids for a ride around the
field, since Nancy has just soloed and is a student pi-
lot. My son still doesn't think girls can fly .. .
I guess there is a second type of EAA member that
doesn't have the stick airplane building experience or
paper airplane background, but is just as adept and
enthusiastic about flying the real ones.
They also can peek around buildings in South Flor-
ida to see what kind of airplane is running-up, only to
find an airboat! They feel the same sense of pride as it
pertains to coordination, and smooth-as-silk landings.
These new members can't und!;!rstand why an airplane
needs a transponder, ADF, ILS, two VOR's, an Ell,
or even an airspeed indicator to get off of the ground
and fly safely.
The Luscombe project is a great success, and aero-
batics in the 65 hp, all metal airplane, are certainly a
challenge. I must admit that those Pitts Specials flying
over South Florida (usually inverted or doing vertical
rolls) sure look invitiog; but I have been forbidden to
think about them, and informed that there will be no
other airplane at the expense of my wife's Luscombe ...
LUSCOMBE 8A
LOAD LIMIT OPERATIONS
- 2.2 to + 4.5 G's
MANEUVER (DO NOT EXCEED ENTRY SPEEDS!)
Spins Power off Stall +2.5 (recovery)
Loop 125 MPH +2.6
Slow Roll 135 -1.2 to +3.6
Snap Roll 85 +3.0
Aileron Snap Roll 85 +3.2
Hammerhead Stall 110 +0.2 to +2.6
Half Snap (Use Aileron) 85 +3 .0
YsCuban Eight 130 +0.2 to +3.6
YsFull Snap on Top of Loop 135 +0.4 to +3.6
Yslmmellman 135 +0.4 to +3.6
Chandelles 110 +3.2
Lazy Eights 100 +2.0
These maneuvers considered to require exceptional
skill and a reduction in loading from that used in sub-
ject tests.
Remember the Luscombe is an old airplane and un-
less you have seen all new materials and rebuilding
taking place recently aerobatics could be risky . . . The
above information was from a letter to Civil Aeronau-
tics Adm. Dec. 22, 1947 from Luscombe Airplane Corp.,
Dallas, Texas, and was originally obtained for my use
through the EM. It would be well to contact the lAC
of EM for further information .
(Photo by Paul Carter)
1. Dual exhaust stacks replaced singte cross over ar.
rangement. 2 . Electrical power by wind gener ator
(makes good conversation at larger "city type" airports)
3. New windshield after first " fitting". - 4. Hole cur -{or
cabin air source. 5. And last but not least that "ever
popular" Luscombe face! ','-
'7
CHARLIE  MILLER 
THE "COMPLEAT" 
b
 
By Wm. J. Ehlen (EAA 26796, Ale 441)
Rt. 8, Box 506
Tampa, FL 33618
Lest we forget it, this is indeed a finite world. The
way we live our lives from day to day, concentrating
only on the matters of the moment, tends to lull us into
believing that all things go on forever. But, ever so
often, we are brought up short and made to realize that
in time all things do end, and that this is indeed a finite
world.
We who are involved in the fun of sport aviation
are particularly prone to thi s tendency. We are uniquely
fortunate to be a part of an art, or science, that was
born and nurtured to surprising strength within a single
life span. There are still many among us who knew the
Wright Brothers, and, although it has been fifty years
since Lindbergh flew the Atlantic, we still tend to look
upon this as modern-day history. Thus, perhaps, it i s
only natural that we forget that this is indeed a finite
world, and that in time all things do end, leaving us
with blank spaces that will never be refilled.
Aviation has certainly had more than its share of
heroes. Its life span has seen many who advanced the
art, and even quite a few who succeeded in carving
their niche in history; the daring, the record setters,
and that extraordinarily glamorous breed of fliers
known as "Barnstormers". But, stealthily, the laws of
nature stalk us, and those gaping, blank spaces begin
to appear leaving behind only memories and legends.
Most of us who knew him, or even those who only
knew of him, must have assumed that he'd go on for-
ever. But, at the untimely age of only 77 young years,
one of these mm;t illustrious barnstormers is now gone.
S
Another blank space suddenly appears, but the legend
of Charlie Miller springs to life.
If there is such a thing as a man being a legend in
hi s own time, . then Charlie surely was such a man.
From the time he first soloed in 1923 until his last
flight some 25,000 flying hours later, Charlie's only
occupation was flying. And, at the time of his depar-
ture in February, 1977, Charlie was the proud owner
of his own fine grass strip, with six beautiful Cubs that
he loved, and he was still instructing. What experience
this man must have accumulated from the time he first
billed himself as "Indiana's Number One Barnstormer"
until he taught his last student, in his adopted state of
Florida, some fifty-four years later. Surely, if every
student Charlie ever instructed were still flying, the air
would be filled with planes, and there might be reason
for the cry for more controlled air space.
Charles William Miller was born' February 1, 1900,
on a southern Indiana farm somewhere near the vil-
lages of St . Henry and Huntington, where the super
highway 1-64 now threads its way. Like most of our fly-
ing heroes, Charlie soon learned that the skills of flying
do not come easily. As a kid of 12, he rudely learned
that there was more to soaring than leaping from a
hayloft with a bundle of fodder under each arm. But,
in 1916, he had the thrill of his first flight when his
cousin, Leslie C. Miller, who later developed the Miller-
ized Conversion of the Curtiss OX-5 engine, gave him
a ride in his Canadian Canuck.
Then in 1923, at the more mature age of 23, the die
was finally cast for Charlie. While visiting nearby
Loui sville, Kentucky, for the Derby, he became en-
thralled by a plane flying overhead. As he recalled,
"Here comes this airplane flying round and round, and
I said to heck with the horses - I'm going to fly". And
he did; he was hooked; from then on he knew only one
life. In quick time he soloed a Curtiss Jenny under the
tutelage of a local pilot, Robert Gast, who was later
credited with opening China's first air mail route. Un-
fortunately, Gast was lost at sea in 1938. His first check
pilot was Maj. John Bennett, a retired Air Corp squad-
ron commander.
Like others of this rare breed, Charlie soon bought
his own Jenny and hit the barnstorming circuit; for
awhile as a loner until he married his lovely, gracious
wife, Frances "Frankie" Baxter Miller, of Brownsville,
Texas. With an impish grin, Charlie always remarked,
"She's ten years younger than I am; I planned it that
way". From then on it was a team. "She stood by me
all through the depression," he once reminisced. "I
was barnstorming; she sold tickets and flew with me
to drop out handbills advertising the show."
Besides the regular routine of stunts such as loops,
spins, rolls, and wing walking, their show handbills
used to read, "SEE LlTILE BILLY MAKE A DEATH DE-
FYING LEAP WITHOUT A PARACHUTE FROM 1000
FEET."
This always guaranteed a gaping, fascinated, half-
scared crowd. Then Charlie Miller and Little Billy would
take off in Charlie's Curtiss " Challenger-Robin", NC-
9244 (Wrongway Corrigan' s was NC9243). Higher and
higher they'd climb over the awe-stricken crowd until
at last Little Billy would make his " Death Defying
Leap" , soaring gracefully to earth. The handbills some-
how failed to mention that Little Billy was a banty
rooster , but that didn' t seem to matter. At show after
show Charlie and Little Billy drew crowds as their tour
took them from one " Sweet p'tata ridge" to the next.
Occasionally their reputation sometimes preceded
them with unexpected results. Once, in Montgomery,
Alabama, the text of the " Little Bi lly" handbill ap-
peared in the newspaper as scheduled, but directly be-
neath it was another ad proclaiming, " And the Humane
Society wi ll promptl y be there to make the arrest. "
Charlie laughingl y remarked, " We didn' t even bother
to stop there. "
At another time, at Belle Glade, Florida, a woman
saw the ad and got upset, too, but for a different rea-
son. She apparentl y thought that Little Billy was a child,
and she summoned a CM inspector to come quite a
distance to put a stop to the murder. When the show
was over, Inspector Puckett cornered Charlie and
stated, " And to think I drove 100 miles to see you throw
that damn rooster out of an airplane! "
For years Charl ie's barnstorming tours followed the
sun . He' d go to Flori da in the winter and, as spring
Charlie' s Angels, all five of them,
lined up in front of their hangars.
Charlie, right after shutdown
an Alexander j-5 Eag/erock.
HONORED MEMBERS OF THE FLORIDA SPORT AVIATION, ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC ASSOCIATION
After having flown five Cubs in formation over the Sun·ln·Fun Fly in on Janury 24, t 976 at Lakeland, Florida the pilots above gathered for a long to be remembered
group photograph at Charlie Millers flight strip near Plant City, Florida. The accumulated hours logged among the ten on this date were 2t8,392 hours. A total
of five hundred and seven years of flying is divided as follows, left to right : Roger Don Rae, Lakeland, FI , 47 years, 27,000 hrs; Ray van Devere, Lakeland, FL, 47
years, 20,000 hrs; Truman Miller, Lakeland, FL, 48 years, 14,600 hrs; l.J. Smith, Welaka, FL, 49 years, 35,500 hrs; Charlie Miller, Plant City, FL, 53 years, 27,000
hrs; Bill Green, Kansas City, MO, 57 years, 3,000 hrs; George W. Haldeman, lakeland, Fl, 58 years, 33,792 hrs; Merl Jenki ns, lakeland, FL, 47 years, 12,000 hrs;
Harold E. Neumann, leewood, KS, 49 years, 29,500 hrs; Steve J. Wittman, Oshkosh, WI, 52 years, 16,000 hrs.
- Photograph b
! ' "",.., G ""0"
  i j jJ
{ 2V 11
J '
)S

9
A timeless setting.
came, he'd follow the corn and sweet potatoes clear up
to Chicago. Then he'd turn back south and follow the
cotton out to Texas.
No doubt about it, the gypsy barnstorming life of
Charlie Miller was varied and thrilling. His trails
crossed those of many of the great ones. Once, in Ful-
ton, Kentucky, way back in 1924, he and his cousin,
Lesl i e, flew an air show with a tall, slim, taciturn,
young pilot named Charlie Lindbergh. Miller recalled
that, "He was a quiet fella; didn't have much to say;
but he must have been steady."
Despite the Barnum and Bailey type "Little Billy"
stunt, Charlie was best known for his airmanship. One
of his most popular stunts was his "Dead-stick" land-
ing routine, and this lead to what he believes was his
most memorable feat one day in 1937 at Evansville,
Indiana.
As Charlie told it: "I was flying a 1931 Piper Cub J-
2, and I was doing a stunt we called, 'Run out of gas
and watch it fall'. What I usually did was t   k ~ the plane
up to about 2000 feet, cut the engine, and coast slowly
in on a thermal. But this day I caught a headwind of
about 32 mph, which was just the landing speed of the
old Cub. Well, Sir, I made a vertical descent, I came
straight down and landed like a feather. I never did
that trick again because I never again found the right
conditions. But no one else has ever done it either."
Incidentally, this performance was witnessed, and
confirmed, by a retired FM Agent, Ivan Hilliard.
Undoubtedly such stories could go on and on be-
cause Charlie lived flying every hour of every day. But,
unfortunately, much of his history was irretrievably
lost when the great Ohio River flood of 1937 washed
away trunk loads of the memorabilia that he had col-
lected.
During his barnstorming days he picked up all the
ratings that he needed for the rest of his life. His type
of business also naturally developed his latent charac-
teristics of self-reliance and independence to such a
point that at times even his friends thought him a bit
cantankerous. In 1929 he was awarded Commercial
Pilot License #416. But sometime later, during a hassle
with a CM Inspector over the condition of the fabric
of his plane, Charlie tore up his ticket in disgust. Much
later it was replaced with #29162.
Along the way he also acquired an A&P certificate
and an instructor's rating. So, when the novelty of
barnstorming started to fade and the war clouds were
simultaneously growing over Europe, he directed his
flying into other channels. First, in 1938, he was sworn
in as the first air mail carrier between the Kentucky
towns of Mayfield, Murray, and Paducah.
Then Charlie went into a long stretch of years as an
instructor. Between 1939 and 1951 he was employed
by the Embry Riddle Company to teach flying to vari-
ous groups of military people, first in Melbourne,
Florida, then in Arcadia for the U.S. Army. Within the
same year he was transferred to Clewiston where he
taught future Royal Air Force pilots in the fine art of
his profession. Records show that Charlie Miller grad-
uated 1700 British pilots from that school. And, he
proudly proclaims, "There were only four casualties."
As must be expected from a man like Charlie, he
had many anecdotes from this period that helped to
spice his conversation. On one occasion he recalled,
"It was all air to air work; strictly flying. We'd train
them on strafing runs on the canals. One time I was in
the tower monitoring the air-to-ground talk when one
of the fellows in one of the flights got pretty bollixed
up. We had women tower operators, and all of a sudden
this broad British voice comes in on the speaker saying
an eartl:ly synonym for 'I'm all fouled up!'. Well, such
talk was strictly forbidden, and I grabbed the mike and
requested the pilot to identify himself. 'I'm not that
fouled up' he replied. Never did find out who he was."
With the dropping of the atomic bomb by the Enola
Gay and the ending of the war, Charlie's next endeavor
was being engineering test pilot for the Air Force at
its Bartow Air Base. So, for the decade between 1951
and 1961, he commuted from his home in Plant City,
Florida. He flew over 17,000 missions for the Air Force
testing all of the planes that were repaired at all the
air bases in Florida. Again, Charlie was able to boast,
"I never put a scratch on any of them."
Finally, in 1960, feeling the urge to sort of retire,
Charlie converted his Plant City farm into a beautiful
grass strip and began teaching private students again.
As can be surmised, his one obsession was flying, and
his greatest love and desire was to make flying avail-
able to all who wanted to learn. As mentioned, he was
strong willed, and even stubborn, and maybe even a
bit cantankerous, but he was honestly determined to
keep the cost of flying to a minimum. He insisted on
teaching in Cubs because he thought they were the
best trainers. He eventually acquired his own fleet of
five beautiful Cubs by buying basket cases and re-
building them hi.mself. The three or four hundred stu-
11
dents that earned  their ticket from  him during the next 
sixteen  years  did so  at  a cost of about one-half of what 
it  would  cost at  most other schools. 
It  is  quite  evident  that  Charlie  was  a  great  instruc-
tor,  for  he  fervently bel.ieved  in teaching by the feel  of 
the  "seat of the  pants".  He  had  a  minimal  respect  for 
instrumentation,  and,  with  all  his  ratings  and  all  his 
experiences  of  flying  behind  everything  from  OX-S' s 
to  jets,  he  steadfastly  refused  to  have  anythi ng  to  do 
with  instrument flying.  Charlie  always  swore  that  he'd 
never  even  fly through  a  cloud  of only twenty  square 
feet.  He  commented  that  instruments  lead  to  over-
confidence, and  that was a way to get killed. He always 
claimed that "he never wanted to be the boldest pilot; 
just the oldest." "Besides," he'd ask, "did you ever see 
a bird  on  the gauges?" 
Charlie  Miller's  life  has  touched  many,  many  peo-
ple  in  all  walks  of  life;  the  rich  and  the  poor;  the  fa-
mous  and  the unknown.  Never  has  anyone spoken  of 
him  in  words  other than  of sincere  friendship;  maybe 
even  with  a bit of inflection  of respect and  awe. 
Unwittingly,  Charlie  left  his  own  personal  memor-
ial  to  his  legion  of  flying  brothers  because  surely, 
whenever  his  name  is  mentioned,  it will  conjure  the 
fantastically  beautiful  vision  of  Charlie  leading  his 
five  yellow  Cubs  in  formation  over  the  1976  SUN  'n 
FUN  Fly-In.  Each  venerable  Cub  carrying  two old-time 
pilots  having  a combined  wealth,  at that  time,  of 218, 
392  hours  of  logged  time  crowded  into  a  total  of 507 
years  of safe  flying! 
Sorrowfully, it is  true, there  is  now another gaping, 
dark hole in the ranks  of our aviation  greats, but a leg-
end  has  arisen  that  is  more  eternal.  On  a  quiet,  calm 
evening, just before the last golden  rays  of the sun  dis-
appear over the western gulf,  if you'll stand  along side 
that  grass  runway  off  Wiggins  Road  and  strain  your 
eyes  upward  to  just  about  where  you  can  visualize  a 
yellow  Cub  should  be  turning  base,  there's  a  good 
chance  that you  might  hear  the  strong,  gruff,  military 
voice of an  old friend  berating a  student to,  "Feel  this 
plane - don't skid  that d--n  turn." 
HELl"  01
AIR,·," (}JRC  U'S! 
LAWRENCEBURG,  SUNDAY,  JUNE  14 
On  W.  T.  Bond's  Farm,  One  Mile  South  of  Lawrenceburg,  on  State  Highway  No.  35 
ACT  TWO  ACT ONE 
Don't 
SEE 
Miss  This 
Little"Billy 
\I\ht:  .""Tllt-.K 111': '1'1'  n.:t ' \ · 
( ' HtUCUt:  ;\111. U : R foOT.\1(  ·!'!'fn\T 
U : \I'  FIWU  1'1,'" ..  :  1,000 
"1I.0T  \\'11.1.  BOTtlt:  t'rET  IIIt ; 1I \\lTlim T  \  I'\t(.\· 
)},\HIS(j t:\' t:H :-o1',\(it:U III '1''':. 
IS T"ISYI(' I:\I1'\',. 
ACT  THREE 
SEE
Notice! 
.' 
The  Human 
In  ordf'r  to  rompl),  wilh  tlU'  l".  'I'. 
Iktmrhnf'lIt of  ('OIlU,wrl '"  Satf"), 
Torpedo
I'f'Jt'lIlat ioli.  Ilarkinl:  will  hf'  1W'r"
within  a s"f4'1," ZUIlIf'  or  Bot C'H TIIKUI  4.11 \ 
mil e'i around  IhE' tly.itlj.!' Ih'ld  f'Wt'llt  Imuw  \\ .\1.1 .  IS  U "TU:lIO. 
in  Ihf' s fW'f'ially f,'ur,'1:'  ..ft' ar..t'u ri.:hl  1U1.t;. 
11t',,1  ,.,  Ih" ft" illl:  anti  no  slllnl  fl y.
illl:  will  hi'  Iwnllilh'll  fI\' i'!"  th.,.  
TWII 
tatOn< Ihat  Iht' r t' \,"II!  hI'  no  dan-
of  iwt' ifi,'nt or  injury  should 
anYlhill!!  hltPIH'1I \\hilt'  (h..  l'ohlllls 
,1· 
Parachute 
atl'  hMn"  sCltl:t'11.
.n','Il's 
ACT  FOUR  --- PASSENGERS  TAKEN  UP  ALL  DAY  SUNDAY 
See  The  Only  Human  Bat  To  Be  Seen  On  The  Road 
SEt:  Tilt:  B.\ T  ST.\\'  THt;  .\lR  os  flO)IE  :\1,\,,1':  WISfi:-;  "'RU)'  :; TO  Hi )IIS1 'Tt:)oi .\SI)  (;1.10 ..:  UK..:  .\  InKI)  us 
Ins  HOWS\\' .\Rn  t"lfHfT.  IS  P'UNITlt:I,\'  THfo; '- )IOl'iT  IS  TilE  .\Ite  .\, ..  WE  .\HE  Tilt:  OSI .' " sItuW 
TilE  NO.\I)  Ton.\\"  WITII  Tnt:  IIt')I.\S  n .\T.  UOS'T  IU': foS.....St:H_HOS·T  "' ,\11.  TO  :-i t :";  nils SHU\\"  .\S  IS  \\UI.I.  HI': Tilt:  1..\ sT 
.U'I't:.\K.\ Sn; 1)1.' Tilt;  R\T  .,.  'I' IUS  l'it:{ ','I():'\  C)Io' Tilt;  ('m' S 'I'K", 
ADMISSION 
See Ihe  Air 
ShOW  Wilh  it ONLY 15c 
.. 
PER  PERSON 
Million ThrillS 
Act Each ,Hour  BeginQing  at 2  P.  M. 
12 
By  Cleo  Bickford 
14202  Skinner  Rd. 
Cypress,  Texas  77429 
Grand Champion  Antique 
1937  Fairchild  24W  owned  by  Stuart  Holmes  of Taylor, 
Texas. 
With a beautiful assist from the weather man, the
fourth annual Houston Sport Aviation Fly-in has been
successfull y concluded. A bright sun and cool, dry air
made the normall y humid Gulf Coast weather quite de-
l ightful.
A turnout of over one hundred aircraft almost taxed
the limited parking area available thi s year at Mont-
gomery County Airport. Among these aircraft were
about 60 antique and classic and 20 homebuilts. The
rest were Wichita moderns.
This event was established three years ago to pro-
vide a stimulus for EM activity in the Houston area.
Responsibility for planning and operations is divided
among the three Houston EM chapters, Chapter 12,
Chapter 345 and Antique and Classic Chapter 2.
In past years an airshow was part of the fly-in. This
year, due to expansion of the airport, facilities avail-
able for parking aircraft and handling the spectators
was limited. In view of this, the air show was deleted
and the fly-in was not promoted to the general public.
Montgomery County Airport Manager, Bob Taylor,
however, says that by next year all the construction
will be finished and more than adequate space will be
available.
The fly-in activity was kicked off by the arrival of
Bill Russell in his bright red bespatted Stearman, and
by dark a reasonable assortment of antiques and clas-
sics were assembled on the line. John Benham arrived
just before dark in last year's Grand Champion Classic
Cessna 170A. This year it is sporting a new Continental
210 hp. engine with constant speed prop and sti ll look-
ing sharp.
The early birds were treated to a hamburger cook-
out and cocktail party jointly administered by Johnnie
Deel , Rocky Howard, Sr. and Johnny Kane.
Along about ten o'clock Saturday morning the out-
of-town aircraft started to arrive and by two-thirty just
about all of the aircraft were tied down.
The antiques had a very diverse representation
with the only duplication of type being four Stearman
PT-17' s. The classics also were well represented and
for once Cessna's were in the minority. Luscombe had
seven aircraft in attendance, three of these were the
comparatively rare Model 11 Sedans. The homebuilt
contingent ranged from powered hang gliders through
an unfinished War P-47 up to a magnificent Varieze
and an immaculate Smyth Sidewinder.
We were fortunate to have in attendance at the field
activities and the banquet the Antique and Classic
President, Mr. J. R. Nielander and Vice-President, Mr.
Jack Winthrop. The banquet speaker and presenter of
the awards was the renowned aviation artist and fel-
low member of Antique & Classic Chapter 2, Mr. Bob
Carlin.
The award for Grand Champion Antique went to
last year's winner, Stuart Holmes of Taylor, Texas, for
" My Fair Child," a 1937 blue and white Fairchild 24W .
The Grand Champion Classic award was taken by
Bill y McConnell, Spring, Texas, for his beautiful white
1954 Cessna 195B with a 275 hp. Jacobs up front.
The Grand Champion Homebuilt award went to an
airplane that had people trying to guess what it was
made of. It looked like glass, but it was the all alumi-
num Smyth Sidewinder built by John Lee of Beaumont,
Texas.
The Conroe Chamber of Commerce award, made in-
dependently of the normal judging also went to John
Lee' s Sidewinder.
Awards were presented for the various classes
within each division and a final award was made by
Bob Carlin, based on the airplane his teen-aged daugh-
ter, Becky, liked best . The award was a Bob Carlin
painting of Pappy Boyington's Corsair in action and
autographed by Pappy. John Kish of Houston, Texas,
was the recipient of this one for his 1946 Luscombe 8.
If it seems that this was an all-Texas fly-in, it al-
most was, but not by design. We did have two out-of-
state attendees, Mr. John McDonald, New Orleans,
Louisiana, in his 1946 T-craft and Mr. E. G. Dunn,
Shreveport, Louisiana, in his Stearman.
13
Early  Bird No.  1 
Bright  red  and  white  sunburst  1942 Stearman  owned 
and  flown  by  Bill  Russell  of  Houston,  Texas.  Aircraft 
restored  by  Doug Scott,  Sugarland,  Texas. 
Grand Champion  Classic 
1954  Cessna  195B  belonging  to  Billy  McConnell, 
Spring,  Texas . 
The  People's  Choice 
Colorful  1944 Grumman  Widgeon  owned  by  John  Kane 
of Cypress,  Texas.  Flown  in  by son  Jim  Kane. 
Best  Class  I Antique 
1940  Aeronca  TC-3  owned by Tim  Bode,  Katy,  Texas. 
Vintagl 
CONROI 
Photos
Cleo M. Hie
14202
Cypress
Album
 
lided by
I (EAA 76494)
ler Rd.
:as 77429
What  collects  a crowd?  A hot  sun  and  a beautiful  high  Best  Class  Il Antique 
wing classic.  1943  Howard  DCA-IS  owned  by  C. W. Lamson, 
Best  Class  /I  Classic  Woodsboro,  Texas. 
Restored  and  owned  by  Anna  Lamar  Dunn,  Houston, 
Texas. 
Best  Open  Cockpit Antique 
Special  Bob  Carling award " Daughter' s Choice"  1940  Stearman  PT-17  restored  by  owner  Tim  Beck  of 
1946  Luscombe  8 owned by John  Kish,  Houston,  Texas.  Baytown,  Texas . 
g ~ J J ~
~  
,
On October 28, 1977 we concluded an adventure
which started for the Demond family on April 30, 1972
- The acquisition and rebuilding of a 1932 Corben
Baby Ace Model "B" homebuilt aircraft, it cost us only
$1766.75, give or take a little, and untold man, woman,
and kid hours to be accomplished.
It really began on April 30, 1972 with a spontan-
eous flyout from Hyne Field in Brighton, Michigan, to
Maule Field in Napolean, about 30 air miles away. My
husband Rick and I flew our 1940 Piper Cub in forma-
tion with Lloyd Chamberlain in his 1946 Taylorcraft,
and Clayton Cook with an old flying friend Dewey Bry-
an in Clayton' s 1946 Taylorcraft . At Napolean after din-
ner at the restaurant on the field, we all snooped through
By  Margaret  Demond (f AA 49 143-A) 
665  Barker  Rd. 
Whitmore  Lake,  Mich. 48 189 
the old hangars which once were used to produce
Maule aircraft. Rick had wanted for several years to
meet Dewey Bryan and this was a good opportunity to
get acquainted with this man who had been active in
flying and homebuilding for many years. Dewey, an
inventor by avocation, had been working on roadable
aircraft for several years. His present effort was the
third attempt, each being a refinement of the previous
one. Rick told Dewey about his own project of con-
verting a Corvair auto engine to aircraft use for some
future homebuilt or antique, and Dewey discussed the
Corvair conversion he was putting into hi s roadable.
Rick told about the new EM chapter recently formed
i n Brighton . Dewey seemed warmed by Rick's irre-
pressible enthusiasm, because he offered to donate for
a chapter project an old Corben Baby Ace stored away
at home which his brother and he had restored and
flown in the late fourties. He hoped to see that little
open cockpit monoplane fly again.
Later, after getting his brother' s permission, he of-
ficially gave the Baby Ace to Rick, with the stipulations
that the plane was not to be sold before complet ion
and that he could fly the completed plane at least once.
June 25th was moving day. Rick and I along with
au r th ree year old son Lee set out in a borrowed pickup
16
,
The Corben is off-loaded into the Demond garage, the
first step in a slow rebuild.
truck. Also my cousin Alvin Golden and his girlfriend
came with his pickup truck too. The Taylorcraft wings
which it had were extracted from the back of the up-
stairs of Dewey' s garage and were brought back to
Rick's hangar at Hyne Field. The dusty fuselage, tail-
feathers and a 40 hp. Continental engine which had
been tucked away in a small lean-to attached to the
garage were brought back to our house to be tempor-
arily stored in our garage.
At the EM chapter meeting Rick announced the
new chapter project. But, alas; no one really seemed
interested. Undaunted, Ri ck took it on as his own per-
sonal project, using his own funds.
A little water and brush work does wonders for an old aviary.
The author gets a little stick time on the freshly primed
fuselage. Tha t's a Continental A-40 hanging out front.
Finding a place to do the restoration was difficult.
The drafty garage with a dirt floor wasn' t suitable, nor
was the open T-hangar also with a dirt floor . With no
basement, and a toddler loose in the living room, all
that was left was a 9'x13' unheated sun porch. A deter-
mined antiquer does not give up - the little sun porch
was to be the place.
In October the fuselage was brought in through a
window. Then the fabric was stripped off, plus attached
parts and old zinc chromate. Inspection of the steel
tubing showed it was still in pretty good condition .
Only the tailpost and the left rear cabane strut had to
be repaired. These were repaired and all tubing was
then zinc chromated.
A few parts were salvageable, such as rudder con-
trol rods and pedals, control stick and mechanism, gas
tank, and elevator push rod and bellcrank. These parts
were cleaned and inspected, and stored around the
house, awaiting assembly.
But a fair amount of the Corben had to be recon-
structed from scratch. With no plans, Rick used a 19
page article from an EM reprint of the FLYING AND
GLIDER MANUAL showing how to build the Corben
Baby Ace. Plus some knowledge picked up along the
way of the methods employed in that era. Using direc-
tions from the manual a new turtle deck was con-
structed using new wood stringers tied on with shoe
repair string, reportedly a common method in the thir-
17
ties. All the wood in the plane was replaced with new
except two side stringers. Two coats of Waterlox wood
preservative were applied followed by three coats of
spar varnish . New floor boards were treated the same.
The old seat seemed to indicate the bird had flown
very stable. The seat was a wood frame and canvas
sling affair. The seat belt attached to the seat which in
turn sat unattached in the cockpit on the floor. The new
seat was built pretty much by the plans in the manual.
It' s steel tubing welded to the fuselage with the seat
belt attached to the seat and the shoulder harness at-
tached to the fuselage framework. Wicker material was
difficult to find in our area, so sturdy string was substi-
tuted for the woven part of the seat.
The all new instrument panel is aluminum with ma-
chine scrolling. Only the altimeter came from the ori-
ginal panel. The airspeed and compass came from a J-
3 Cub, the tachometer from a pre-war Aeronca, possi -
bly a C-3, while the oil temperature and oil pressure
gages are new. One morning before Rick left for work
he gave me some paper and a compass with instruc-
tions to arrange the gages where I thought they should
go. I know why now. When I fly the plane I can't com-
plain, with womanly logic, that those gages aren' t really
in the right places.
Rebuilding was taking longer than I had expected
and the little sun porch seemed to shrink with time.
Closing in and fixing up the T-hangar seemed a logical
step. But the arrival of a baby daughter with a $5,000.00
hospital bill , was overwhelming. Rick started by going
out into the woods with a chain saw and sawing rough
boards for a most sturdy wall to close in the hangar. On
the homemade lumber he nailed free sheetmetal from
a torn down building. Later money was raised for a set
of doors. On the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh' s flight
to Paris a 10' x30' center section of concrete was poured.
Three months later the rest of the floor was covered
with concrete. Friends donated their labor. Then the Cor-
ben's fuselage was towed to the hangar on a borrowed
trailer.
Using original pieces for patterns, cowlings were
made from sheet metal and machine scrolled like the
instrument panel. A stainless steel firewall replaced
the questionable aluminum and wood one of before.
The original throttle cable still looked good and was
put back in. A primer and carburetor heat box were in-
stalled where none had ever been before. The Corben
plans don't call for a trim mechanism and none was
put in, but provision was built in, in case the necessity
should arise later. No brakes on the original, and they
had to be added for today's airport operations. They
are the simple, direct type copied from the Star Cava-
lier of the same vintage. Honda motorcycle wheels
were used to get that old fashioned look when the true
vintage kind were unavailable. The old tail skid (made
from a Model T spring) is retained for exhibition only,
while an ordinary tail wheel is used for most of the
flying. Like many homebuilts, this one was unuphol-
stered inside. One yard of upholstery material, similar
to that used in the 1930 automobiles, was cut to size
and glued on before covering, which took only four
hours and $12.00 (Why don't more homebuilts and re-
storations have interiors?)
The fuselage was then covered with 2.7 oz. dacron
using the blanket method, after applying vinyl tape at
wear and chafing points. Two coats of dacproofer
were brushed on, then three coats of nitrate dope
brushed on . Reinforcing tapes were attached with
three coats of nitrate next. Nine coats of silver were
put on, three brushed and six sprayed, with liberal
wet sanding between every two coats of silver. Three
coats of insignia blue were sprayed on for trim. A sleek,
shiny paint job was avoided in preference to the duller
kind common to the 1930's. A teardrop paint scheme
was copied from the reprint manual. The company
logo and tail numbers were hand painted by Joe Bran-
cik a chapter member and a commercial artist .
Although the Corben had previously flown with
Model " A" Taylorcraft wings, Rick opted for new
wings. Using a combination of plans from a 1973 issue
of MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED, a reprint of a 1956 three
part article, and the plans in the reprint of the 1932
FLYING AND GLIDER MANUAL, he built a jig board
and precut the materials. Making thirty two ribs is a
tedious, almost lonely job; the friendly kitchen table
was chosen as the nightly work area. I even made a
couple of the ribs myself, using spruce stock and ma-
hogany plywood gussets held together with brass nails
and Hughes epoxy glue. Rick snapped my picture as I
performed each step. Later I arranged these pictures
on a poster board showing an efficient sequence of
steps for rib building for demonstration purposes at
EM chapter meetings.
New spars were ordered from Trimcraft of Ohio.
In the little sun porch they were laid out, drilled, and
reamed. The ribs were slid on and glued in place.
Modified Piper compression struts were attached and
Harley-Davidson spoke ends were used for attaching
drag and antidrag wires along with turnbuckle ends.
Wing bays were trammelled for squareness ± 1/32".
Solid spruce leading edges were attached, aluminum
false ribs were made and fastened on. Our now 7 year
old son, Lee, sanded and smoothed down the hand-
holds from the old T-craft wings and finished them
with waterlox and varnish, with no assistance from
his father. Then these were mounted on the tips of
the wings. Finally, all new fittings and hardware were
added. It was a tight fit but the wings came out the
door. Resting on chapter owned wing racks atop the
family station wagon, they rode to the hangar for fi-
nal fittings and rigging before covering. Later, when
all was covered and ready, several chapter members
arrived for a ribstitching party. The job was finished
in six hours. The wings were then sprayed at the same
time as the fuselage and tail group.
After making 1" diameter x .060 thick, 4130 steel
struts, the wings were mounted on to the fuselage.
The strut ends on the rear struts used the Piper clevis
assemblies. Rick rigged the wings with 1% degrees of
washout at the t ips of the wings and 2 degrees of di-
hedral per the 1932 manual. This was all accomplished
with the help and efforts of Robert Barnes a chapter
member, who spent many hours in the cold hangar at
night with Rick, in the winter of 1976 and 1977.
She was starting to look more like an airplane now
instead of airplane pieces, but still a lot remained to
be done. In anxious anticipation Rick began putting
in long hours at the hangar after work and on week-
ends. Often I brought supper out to him. Friends and
acquaintances dropped in from time to time to look
and sometimes to lend a hand, George Lathrup an-
other chapter member helped many hours after work
at night and on weekends.
The original landing gear vees were cleaned and
then modified by shortening the spindles and welding
on adapter plates for the brakes, which she never had
before. Honda motorcycle wheels, with 18" diameter
x 3" width tires, were also modified by Dewey Hill,
another chapter member, who had access to the right
equipment to bore the hubs to 1.5" I.D. Then we
pressed in four Oilite bushings bored to 1.250" I.D.
The wheels are lubricated by a grease gun through the
axle hubs. New shock struts were made by modifying
the original struts from the plans and using Aeronca
Chief landing gear springs, shortened by 3".
Rick was fascinated by the prospect of flying with
a 40 hp engine, and the Continental A-40 the Baby Ace
used to fly on gave every indication of being sound.
Even the original engine mount was good. Both were
put back on. Although a carburetor heat box had never
been on before, one from an A-65 was used with no
modification necessary. Just when it was time to build
the engine cowling, chapter member Bob Poss stopped
in with a nose bowl which he had "found". While
driving in the city; he spotted a reflector laying under
a broken street light. He retrieved it and the fit was
quite satisfactory on the A-40. Late one night, the new
cowling was on, and the new prop was installed, and
all was ready for a taxi run, but it was too late. The next
18
day at the chapter's annual cornroast picnic, the Baby
Ace made her first taxi test in full view of everyone,
dragging her tailskid on the grass and parking on the
flight line with the others. There were more taxi tests
in the days to follow, and after the FAA inspector,
Wayne Dunham, gave the sign off, the first flight test
was made. But the 40 horses didn' t carry the 250 pound
pilot very high off the ground and it turned into a hairy
ride. After doing a 180 degree turn around the trees
and landing downwind, Rick taxied back to the hangar
and had the engine sitting on the floor in less than ten
minutes.
A Continental A-65 was located and bought along
with a used prop. A new engine mount was made, as
was a complete new exhaust system, and engine cow-
ling. This cowling used a drone cowling for a nose
bowl. The aluminum cowling and nose bowl were all
machine scrolled. A weight and balance was again run
and the CG moved to the forward limit to correct a
slight tail heavy condition observed on the first flight.
Once more the plane was cleared by the FAA inspector
for flight.
Again, taxi runs and trial hops were made, by a
three month's older and wiser pilot. For the first cir-
cuit of the field, the Corben Baby Ace quickly left the
ground and climbed to pattern altitude without any
hesitation. The plane was found to be stable yet the
controls were responsive. A remaining tail heavy con-
dition was finally corrected back on the ground by
raising the horizontal stabilizer h" at the leading edge.
The first flight away from the field showed a cruise
speed of 94MPH at 2150 RPM, faster than expected.
Climbout was approximately 500 ft. per minute at 70
MPH. We found 70 also felt best for glide. We further
discovered the Corben favors stall landings, like all
good taildraggers do.
Several good flights since have shown that Mr.
Corben designed her well way back then in 1932. O. C.
Corben started his aircraft factory in 1923. The Model
"A" was a cabin version, the Model "B" that we have
in an open cockpit, and the Super Ace was a racer ver-
sion of the "B". O. C. Corben sold the early version
aces in kits, and several were built during the thirties.
Later the Federal Government placed such restrictions
on homebuilding that it nearly stopped. In 1953 Paul
Poberezny, president of EAA, acquired all the old
Corben Aircraft rights. Together with Stan J. Dzik, they
redesigned the old Baby Ace Model "B" into the model
"C" which was featured in MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED
in a three month series in 1956. This series of articles
gave the young EAA a great boost. And the Model "C"
was also later widened into a two place side by side
aircraft and became known as the Junior Ace. The
Rick and Margaret drew some appreciated assistance
from members of the local EAA Chapter.
The original and still authentic instrument panel.
rights were sold to Cliff Du Charme of West Bend,
Wisconsin, who redesigned the Model "C" into a
more modern version the Model "D". He has since
sold the rights to Edwin Jacob of McFarland, Wiscon-
sin. And finally, Thurman G. Baird of Ace Aircraft MFD.
Co., 106 Arthur Rd. Asheville, North Carolina has since
acquired the rights from Mr. Jacob.
Our model "B" is both an antique and a homebuilt.
Not sure what to expect during the five years of restor-
ation, we find now no disappointment in the non-
tempermental, charming little airplane.
19
Arriving at the wide end of   I found I could
look around the pattern restriction. The run-
up was normal but the_mechanical brakes lose the bat-
sign of weakness. I pulled it tighter until I was certain
I had more than 3 g's, then leveled off and checked
the gages. Clearing the area I nosed down a little and
at redline pulled up and around in a gentle loop. As
the engine slowed I went over the top and we came
out in a 20 degree bank. I wasn't sure if the bank re-
sulted from torque on the short wings or my inatten-
tion when the engine slowed at the top. The wings
were still part of the ship so I went on about my busi-
ness. Climbing to scud level I peered out at the puny
little wing struts and wished there were some jury
struts. out there. Each strut was doing its own little
thing and the unsupported aileron cables had a rhyth-
mic beat out of phase with all of the struts. I butted
the stick and kicked the rudder peddles, but none of
the rhythmic shaking changed for better or worse, so
I ran out of excuses for further procrastinations.
One final precaution was in order. I flew east and
positioned myself away from housing and highways.
Carburetor heat on, clear the area. Nose up and wait,
the stick felt suddenly limp so I pulled it tight against
the seat and stood on the right peddle. I wanted a little
"ballast" to throw overboard, as Mark Twain put it,
so I made sure my left-torque generator didn't slow
down, too much. The nose slipped off to the right and
we tucked under for a half turn, then stabilized at
about 70 degrees down angle. I held a turn and a half
and neutralized rudder. The rotation stopped in about
a third of a turn and I knew the Ace was a safe airplane
to spin.
Climbing back to 3000 ft. I tried a precision three
tu rn to the left and came out 15 degrees short. Recov-
ery is real good with no need to hit opposite rudder.
Now I had done my primary mission and was feel-
ing good, I decided I would call it a day. Coming down
final at 60 mph, as the runway rapidly neared I eased
back to flare, surprise! No flares thar, kerwhomp! The
gear may be stiff but it's certainly strong. Guess 60
mph was a little too slow. Back to the wide end of run-
way 22 and let's try that one again. Approach at 65
mph enabled a better flareout, but 70 mph is certainly
better or should I say the best. I don' t know why the
Ace likes 70 mph on final , yet takes off below 40 mph.
I guess I' ve flown under those long Cub wings too long
and expect all wings to behave the same. Small price
to pay for the exuberant sense of "riding the back of
an eagle" I get in the Ace.
The Corben Baby Ace is more fun to fly than any-
thing I've ever flown since I soloed in 1944. It has an
agility and style all its own . In 45 years since it was first
flown it hasn' t been beaten even with all the so called
modern day knowledge and knowhow. A fine old bird
l ives on.
 
      ...
"p.,,'t p.Ct.
Rick Demond, the rebuilder, had less than one
hour on the quaint little Baby Ace, when he offered
me the opportunity of flying his newly restored 1932
Corben Baby Ace Model " B" . Calmly considering the
ramifications of this noble offer, I decided to accept.
Not wishing to appear over-eager, I waited a sizeable
fraction of a second before lunging for the cockpit.
After a short yoga session among the struts, a bit tight
getting in, I found myself inside the ship. It took some
time to attach all the straps, adjust the helmet and
goggles and assume the correct posture for the "in-
trepid aviator" that I was about to become. I familiar-
ized myself with " all " the controls and when I was cer-
tain I could quickly locate all five, I turned my atten-
tion to deciphering the markings on the antique altim-
eter. I had to cup my hand below the throttle knob and
grasp the stick well down on the leather grip, to avoid
decapitation of my thumb by the instrument panel.
The peculiar hand location proved not to be a prob-
lem, they simply added character to the venerable old
craft.
Rick twisted the rubber band, and, while the rest of
his family who helped to rebuild this bird watched
anxiously, my ride began . Taxiing out, the big motor-
cycle wheels lacked the cushion provided by plump
little aircraft tires and the ship sort of hopped and
skipped along like a child out of school going to play.
By  Robert  Barnes  (fAA 51990) 
2942  Verle 
Ann  Arbor,  Michigan  48104 
tle with the A-65 afibout 1500 RPM. Pointing the nose
uphill a   considerably. Lining up with the
centev lTne, I let the horses loose. Boy oh boy! Just
i J<e'"' a slingshot, one quick tap on each rudder peddle
(response is excellent) and my ground testing came
to an end. Before I reached the runway threshold we
were off and climbing.
Airspeed quickly reached 70 mph and a very re-
spectable triangle developed between the wingtips
and the horizon, in my attempt to keep it on 70. level-
ing off at pattern altitude, as I turned downwind, the
airspeed rapidly advanced to 94 mph. Redline is 95
mph so I throttled back to 2000 RPM to keep it around
90 and checked oil pressure and oil temperature. All
was well, so I slipped behind a Cessna 150 and on to
crosswind. I turned final over the lake, % mile out from
the end of the runway and at 400 ft. altitude. Having
escorted Rick on his initial test flights from Hyne Field,
in my Aeronca Chief, I knew the silver and dark blue
Ace would disappear from the view of following air-
craft when below the horizon, so I made a special ef-
fort to watch my tail on final. The expected high sink
rate failed to materialize and the Ace assumed a glide
angle familiar to any Cub pilot. I held 70-75 mph to the
numbers, then leveled off and let the airspeed take
care of itself as I coasted down to a satisfying three
pointer. The nimble craft slowed quickly with no ten-
dency to veer. I had expected it to be touchy with the
narrow and stiff gear.
Rick waved me around again and off I went. The
second trip was a carbon copy except for a series of
stalls to feel out the effect of the washout we rigged
into the wings. Stability was so surprising that I found
myself laughing aloud as I repeatedly pulled the nose
up 50 to 60 degrees and it just kerplunked through as
level as a tabletop to the horizon. Here indeed was a
genuine fun ship with no hidden "NASTIES" to get
you into trouble the instant you drop your guard. Gee,
what a nice flying little ship.
After a couple hours of short hops around the coun-
tryside the next weekend , Rick dismounted and
handed me the controls. I suspected he knew as well
as I, that this would be the real test flight. I have an
affinity for flip-flops and I think we had mutually
agreed without a spoken word that I should be the
first to know if the Ace was safe to spin.
I didn' t pretend any interest in circuits and bumps
but climbed straight out to scud level at 3000 ft . AGl
and began a series of gradually tightening 720 degree
turns. I watched the struts and tail brace wires for any
20



 

GJor
BUSINESS, 
PLEASURE 
AND 
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CORBEN BABY ACE 
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'f he  Corben  Baby  Ace  is  a  snappy  single  place  sport  plane  which 
meets  the  requirements  of  those  wishing  t o  build  up  additional 
hours,  or  f or  those  who  desire  an  economical  ship  for  solo  cross 
country  flying. 
Wing  Span........ .............. .. ...... ...................... .... ...... 25  ft.  4  in. 
Height  ........................ ..... ... ............ ........... ............ ..... ........ 6  ft. 
Length  .............................................. .. .. .......... .... .... 17  f t.  5  in. 
Weight,  empty...... .. ............ .. ..................... .............. ... 400  Ibs. 
Usef ul  Load .... ... ........ ......... ... .... ............................... .. ..300  Ibs. 
Cruising  Speed.... ... ................................................. 80  M.P.H. 
High  Speed ............... .............. ......... .................. ........ 95  M.P.H. 
Landing  Speed.... ........ .. .. ... ... .. ............ ... ....... .... ... ... 30  M.P .H. 
Service  Ceiling.. ... ....... ... ............... .. ........ .............. .. 15, 000  ft . 
Priced  Flyaway  From  $1,17Z.00  Up 
Semi-Built  Kits $375.00 
"CORBEN  JUNIOR  ACE" 
Two-Place  Convertible 
The  new  Corben  Junior  Ace  offers  many  new  and  unusual 
features.  Convertible  from  a  cabin  to  an  open  sport  plane
within  a  few  minutes,  makes  it'  possible  for  the  owner  to  enjoy
the  advantages  of  two  planes  at  approximately  the  cost  of  one 
ship. 
Wing  Span.... ............. ............... ............... .........................34  ft. 
Height  ........ ................ ...... .. ............. ....... .. .......... .. ....6  ft.  6  in. 
Length  Over  AIL....... ............ .... ............... ..... .. .. ...... ...... 20  ft. 
Weight  empty  .................. ...... ......... ....... .... ................550  Ibs. 
Useful  Load  .... ................................ .. ... ............... ....... .400  Ibs. 
High  Speed  .. ............ .... .... .......... .... ........................  90  M.P.H. 
Cruising  Speed  ............. ... ............ .............. ............  75  M.P.H. 
Landing  Speed  .........................  :  ........ .................... 28  M.P.H. 
Service  Ceiling  ................................... ............... .. .... 13,000  ft. 
Priced  Flyaway  From  $1,315.00  Up 
Semi-Built  Kits  $549.00 
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From  Our  Semi-Built  Assembly  Kit... 
Just  Assemble  the  Factory-Built  Parts 
NO  TECHNICAL  ABILITY  REQUIRED· 
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NO  DRILLING 
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own  Corben  Sport  Plane  at  home  from  our 
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only  such  simple  work  as  fairing  and  cover-
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of  how  limited  your  experience  may  be  you 
will  have  no  trouble  in  finishing  your  plane 
with  the  safety  and  appearance  of  a  factory 
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CORBEN  SPORT PLANE CO. 
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MADISON  WISCONSIN 

ALUMINUM  CORROSION: 
Types and Cures
An  Interview  With  Bill  Choma 
fAA Director of Maintenance  & Restoration 
(reprinted  from  WARBIRDS) 
(David Gustafson Ph%)
WARBIRDS; Let's assume that you've got a Warbird torn down
for restoration and it has an aluminum skin. You' re going to
encounter different forms of corrosion . What types of cor-
rosion are there?
BILL CHOMO; There's a direct surface attack and this type of
corrosion is the most common. Usually, it' s caused by the reac-
tion between the oxygen in the air and the surface of the metal.
It's the least worrysome for the average person. Yet, it prob-
ably causes the most amount of labor over the period of an
aircraft's life because you're constantly polishing it to get rid
of that surface corrosion , or Aluminum Oxide.
You also have dissimilar metal corrosion. This happens in
almost any aircraft where steel bolts connect aluminum parts
or different metals used in the construction. The activity in dis-
similar metal type corrosion depends on the type of different
metals and the water, salt spray, or even exhaust gas and con-
densation in the morning or rain . There can be a lot of action
with a good electrolyte and an anode/ cathode situation. The
cathode is normally the less active of the two metals. The anode
is the more active. By active, I mean certain aluminum alloys
are very prone to corrosion . The antithesis , of course, is metals
like the stainless steels. But, you put those two together, a
highly active one and a dormant one, and get the proper con-
ditions with an electrolyte and it' s going to really go. Magnesi-
um and aluminum are a good example. Years back they used to
make magnesium parts and bolt them right to the aluminum
cases on engines . They go fast.
Intergranular corrosion is the most dangerous as far as struc-
ture is concerned. This occurs when the metal is attacked along
its grain boundaries. Aluminum has a very odd-shaped grain
structure, multi-sided grains which really don' t bond to each
other , so their molecular structure doesn' t hold up well . This
kind of corrosion will actually follow the grain structure and
it's very difficult to detect in the early stages. But, as it pro-
gresses, the metal will actually start to bulge, it gets flaky. You
can actually take your fingernail or a sharp tool and pry up layer
after layer of the aluminum, like strudel, until it's completely
gone. When it' s blistered like that, it' s referred to as exfolia-
tion . Some of the alloys that contain copper and zinc are highly
vulnerable to that sort of attack. The way the aluminum com-
panies slow it down on some alloys is to heat-treat. They bring
the aluminum up to 910
0
(plus or minus 10
0
) and then quench-
ing it immediately in cold water . When you quench it at a high
heat, the molecules which were really moving around quite
rapidly, suddenly, making a much stronger bond. The molecu-
lar structure is thereby packed much tighter. This is how you
also harden steel.
Stress corrosion is the next one and basically you will look
for this in aileron fittings, bell cranks, anywhere where the
aluminum structure has a high stress concentration . Anything
made out of aluminum that is put under a static tensile stress
can " corrode". It' s basically cracking. The boundaries of the
irregular shaped molecules in aluminum are pulled apart from
stress and , of course, then the corrosion can really get in. The
only way that I know of to detect it is to clean the part, strip all
paint and primers off and use a dye check.
Corrosion fatigue, as opposed to stress corrosion, is a cyclic
type, and I disagree with the decision to include it under cor-
rosion in Part 43. It is really failure of the part. But they call it
corrosion because it happens to follow those grain boundaries.
Any place you have a stone nick, for instance, in the skin -
you have a potential start of corrosion fatigue. If that part is
22
vibrating,  or being cycled,  like a skin  being beaten  under a prop 
wash,  the  crack  can  start  in  a  small  little  pit  or  irregularity,  or 
even  a  pencil  mark.  There  have  been  many  instances  of  some-
one  drawing  a circle  or drawing  a certain  pattern  on  aluminum 
skin  during  fabrication  and  having  that  piece  actually  break out 
of  the  skin  along  that  pencil  line.  This  gets  back  to  a  combina-
tion  of corrosion  fatigue  and  dissimilar  metals.  The  graphite  in-
teraction  with  the  aluminum  can  cause  it.  This  is  why you  have 
to  be  very careful  on  skin  layouts,  that  you  don't draw  lines  for 
rivet  holes.  If a  mark  is  drawn  with  the  wrong  thing  you  could 
have  a  double  problem,  namely  a  scratch  and a  diSSimilarity. 
It will  crack  for sure. 
Next  is  Fretting  Corrosion.  This  is  not  only  limited  to  sheet 
metal  aircraft - this can  develop on  any  aircraft that  has  a cowl-
ing,  a  door  that  opens,  inspection  doors,  anything  where  the 
two parts  cycle at  a different rate.  It's scuffing or chafing.  A  fret-
ting  corrosion  occurs  from  a  relatively  small  amplitude  move-
ment. The  rubbing,  back  and  forth,  causes  scuffing and  immedi-
ately  a  new,  direct  surface  attack  happens.  It's  good  in  this 
resp!!ct:  aluminum  oxide will  form  on  the  outside of the  skin  of 
an  airplane (just from oxygen or industrial gases  in the air), once 
oxidized,  the  skin  is  pretty  well  protected  from  further  attack 
because  aluminum  oxide  is  fairly  inert.  (Anodized  aluminum 
parts  are  actually  oxidized  on  purpose  along  with  a  pigment 
to  create  a  surface  corrosion  which  is  relatively  inert.)  With 
fretting  corrosion,  the  two  moving  parts  constantly  keep  the 
metal  bright.  However,  as  soon  as  surface  corrosion  starts, 
which  kind  of  seals  the  metal  off,  the  chafing  will  keep  that 
metal  bright.  So  that  air  corrodes,  it gets  wiped  off,  it corrodes 
again,  gets  wiped  off  again,  etc.  It  will  go  right  on  through 
metal  in  a  very  short  time.  If you're  looking  for  it,  the  contact 
areas  will  have  small,  sharp,  deep  grooves.  It  will  sometimes 
almost  look  like  a  burnished  or  hammered  finish  on  steel:  A 
very  large  number  of  deep,  sharp-edged  craters.  It  is  usually 
very apparent. 
Those  are  all  of the  types,  and  there's  a  lot  out  today  that's 
designed  to  stop  all  those  different  types  of  corrosion.  Good 
aircraft  polishes,  waxes  and  paints  offer  protection  against 
direct surface  attack,  dissimilar  metal  corrosion  can  be  retarded 
with  paste,  or primers  in  between  the two  metals. 
The  intergranular  corrosion  - here  again,  the  primer  that 
is  used  is  most  important.  A  very  good  zinc  chromate  primer  is 
needed  to keep all  the  oxygen  from  the aluminum  parts. 
Stress  corrosion - you  really  can't  do a whole  lot about that 
other than  periodic inspections. The same thing is  true of fatigue 
corrosion.  Right  from  the  day the airplane  comes  off the  line  in 
the  factory,  that  aluminum  skin  has  to  be  protected  from 
scratches,  pits and  so  on. 
Fretting  corrosion  can  be  limited  simply  also.  If  a  part  has 
cyclic  action,  if  it's  capable  of  moving,  like  cowlings,  you  just 
attach  chafe  strip,  the  commercial  available  cloth  type,  to  keep 
the  two  metals  apart.  Clearly,  if  they're  going  to  cycle,  they 
should  be  kept apart. 
On  any  old  aircraft  that  is  being  rebuilt,  there's  a  series  of 
things  that  have  to be  done in  order to detect corrosion,  to stop 
it and  to prevent any further action.  The  first  thing for any  struc-
ture  is  to  clean  it - clean  it  as  thorolJghly  as  pOSSible,  that  in-
cludes vacuuming  out all  of the bird's  nests  and giving the  struc-
ture a good wash  down. At that time it is  good  procedure to use 
one  of  the  treatments  for  cleaning  aluminum.  With  aluminum 
parts,  you'll  find  that  if the  aircraft  has  been  out  of  service  for 
quite  a  few  years,  you're  probably  going  to have  to  go  to  the 
strongest  cleaning  solution.  If  it's  an  aircraft  that  has  been  op-
erational  and  shows  very little corrosion,  use a less  radical  clean-
ing    I  found  that  in  almost  every  aircraft  more  than  20 
years  old,  it's  necessary  to  go  into the  severe  cleaning  method. 
That  consists  of 10%  solution  of chromic  acid  to which  you  add 
20  drops  of  battery  electrolyte.  Battery  electrolyte  is  sulphuric 
acid. 
In  some  areas  it's  difficult to  apply  the  solution.  Where  pos-
sible,  we  agitate  the  juice  with  a  stiff  bristle-type  brush.  Metal 
brushes  with  the  exception  of  stainless  steel,  tend  to  leave  a 
certain  amount  of  material  behind,  like  microscopic  steel  par-
ticals  which  become  imbedded  in  the  surface  of the  aluminum. 
This  is  a  perfect  spot  for  dissimilar  corrosion  to  start  off  right 
away.  So,  I  prefer  a  fiber,  floor  scrubbing  brush.  It  works  real 
well.  In  a  lot of areas  you  have  to  run  your  arm  up  all  the  way 
inside  to  cover  everything.  Sometimes  we  screw  broom  han-
dles  onto  the  brushes  for  extra  reach.  The  wings  are  the  hard-
est  part. 
WARBIRDS:  Now  you've  got  some  airplanes  like  your  P-51  and 
P-64  where  there  are  a  number  of  compartments  within  that 
wing that are  totally inaccessible,  don't you? 
BILL  CHOMO:  Yes. 
WARBIRDS:  Isn' t  there  the  possibility  that  corrosion  could  de-
velop  in  there and  be  undetectable? 
BILL  CHOMO:  Definitely  - and  it's  a  worry.  Actually,  on  a 
complete  rebuild  we  do  some  reskinning  in  order  to  get  in.  I 
wouldn't  say  that  there's  much  that's  completely  inaccessible: 
almost  always  there' s  an  i nspection  hole.  You  might  not  be 
visually  able  to see  in,  but you  can  get up  in  there  with  a brush 
and  really  scrub  it.  We  make  it  a  point  with  a  major  rebuild  to 
open  them  up  if  there's  any  justification  at  all  for  replacing 
the  skin. 
WARBIRDS:  Then  what? 
BILL  CHOMO:  You  allow  that  chromic  acid  to  remain  in  place 
for  at  least  5  minutes.  Then,  if you  can,  you  remove  the  excess 
by flushing with water and try to wipe dry so that the water doesn't 
sit  in  there.  O!,)ce  you  do  that  to  aluminum,  it  should  be  abso-
lutely  bright.  Then  inspect  it  immediately.  It  should  be  primed 
the same day, though we all  know that that's not always  possible. 
That's  bec<!use  if you've got an  old airframe,  you're going to find 
some corrosion  that won't be removed  by that process.  If there's 
intergranular  type,  for  instance,  you'll  have  to  mechanically 
grind  that  exfoliation  away,  until  you're  down  to  bright  alumi-
num.  This  might  mean  grinding  a  two  or  three  inch  hole  in  a 
rib.  I'm  sure  you  wouldn't do it in  a spar web without consider-
ing  replacing  the  web.  For  this,  of  course,  you  would  have  to 
follow your CAM 18  or Part  43  as  far  as  repair  is  concerned.  But, 
it's  important  to  note  that  the  corroded  part  has  to  be  com-
pletely removed  or the process  will  never stop.  What we  usually 
do  is  go  ahead  and  prime  the  structure  anyway,  marking  the 
areas  that  need  repair .  We  go  back  and  repair  those  spots  later. 
When  the repairs  are  completed,  the whole wing is  rechromated 
and  reassembled. 
WARBIRDS:  How can  you  be sure  in  working with an  acid which 
is  designed  to  remove surface corrosion, that you  have  removed 
all  of it from  the seams  and  the cracks  afterwards. 
BILL  CHOMO:  You  have  to  really  flush  it.  One  of  the  biggest 
concerns  to  me  is  that corrosion  could  exist between two tightly 
riveted  members,  whether it's a stringer to skin,  or spar to skin. 
There  really  is  no  easy  answer.  You  can't  afford  to  drill  all  the 
skin off, because you might as  well build an  airplane from scratch 
then. This  chromic acid and electrolyte solution is  about the best 
you  can  do.  You  have  to visually  inspect  the  skin  in  all  areas  to 
make  sure that you  don't find  any  blisters  and  swollen  areas. 
Intergranular  corrosion  attacks  certain  pockets,  certain  areas 
of imperfection  in  the  alloy.  It will  never follow a complete spar 
line,  for instance,  so  this  points  up the  reason  for very  close  in-
spection  on  any  aircraft  - all  metal  aircraft,  sheet  metal  air-
craft,  or tube and  rag. 
You'll  find  that  an  awful  lot  of  the  Warbirds  have  had  their 
parts anodized inside.  In  the P-64,  all  of the ribs, spars and  string-
ers  are  anodized. When  you  have  to get  corrosion  off, you  have 
to  be  careful  to  avoid  scratching  the  good  areas  that  have  been 
anodized.  In  a  lot of areas  like  the  ribs,  for  instance,  if  they're 
anodized  and  if  you  do  scratch  it,  it's  going  to  corrode  right 
through  unless  you  chromate  it.  The  chromic  acid  treatment 
also  preserves  the  surface  in  one  way,  because  it  cleans  it  so 
well, and  being so  clean, you  quickly get that surface type alumi-
num  oxide corrosion,  which  is  relatively  inert. 
On  the other  hand,  because  it happens  almost  immediately, 
they  say  you  should  clean  structures  like  that  within  the  same 
day. 
With  the  intergranular  corrosion,  mechanical  removal  of 
all  corrosive  products  and  the  visible  delaminated  layers  must 
be  accomplished  in  order  to  determine  the  extent  of  the  des-
truction  and  to evaluate  the  remaining  structural  strength  of the 
component.  Inspection  with  a  5  to  10  power  magnifying  glass 
or the use  of dyed  penetrant will  assist  in  determining if any  un-
sound  metal  remains.  The  powder  and  the  dust  should  not  be 
left in the wing because  it will  attack again  and  start into another 
structure.  Grinding  to  blend  or  fare  out  the  edges  of  damaged 
areas  may  best  be  accomplished  by  using  an  aluminum  oxide 
'i mpregnated  rubber  base  wheel.  Then  you  need  to  chemically 
clean  the  exposed  surfaces  and  zinc  chromate  after.  Most  often 
it's  easier  to  replace  a  portion  of  a  rib  or  a  bulkhead,  by  cut-
ting  beyond  the corroded area  instead  of grinding it out. 
In  any case,  corrosion  is  a fact  of aviation  life.  If it isn't treat-
ed,  it  will  spread  like  a  mechanical  cancer,  with  predictable 
results. 
WARBIRDS:  'Nuff said. 
23
LETTERS
Mr. jack Cox
Editor, SPORT AVIATION
Dear jack;
It has been a while since corresponding with you.
Guess the last time was the material I sent you on the
Gwinn Aircar. Your research was excellent and a most
interesting article was published.
I am now beginning to research an aircraft that was
manufactured from 1928 to 1930 approximately. The
company started out as Arkansas Aircraft Company,
Little Rock, Arkansas. Sometime in the period of late
1928 to early 1929, the company changed to Command-
Aire, Inc.
I have 3 1929 Command-Aire aircraft stored inside
of my "barn"; also there is a 1940 WACO UPF-7 await-
ing rebuild. 2 of the Command-Aires are mine and the
third belongs to Tom McMurtry, who lives in Lancas-
ter. Tom is a NASA test pilot at the Dryden Flight Re-
search Center on Edwards Air Force Base. Tom is the
747 copilot for the Space Shuttle launches that took
place recently. He and I plan to restore all 3 aircraft,
possibly beginning this summer . I will probably do
most of the work as Tom is very busy. He is the project
test pilot for the new Oblique wing aircraft, the AD-1.
That should be a very interesting project.
In any case, I would like to correspond with any-
one who has knowledge of, has flown, is rebuilding,
or has worked at the Command-Aire factory in Little
Rock.
I have corresponded with Art Knowles, of Irving,
Texas. Art is beginning the rebuild of a 1928 Command-
Aire 3C3.
Enclosed are some pictures of the aircraft, NC997E.
This is the first time the aircraft has been seen assem-
bled since 1951 . At least that is the year of the last log
book entry.
The aircraft was assembled on the Reedley College
campus for a Vintage Vehicle Day celebration. As the
picture shows, the aircraft is in really sad condition.
I will have to fabricate 3 new frames; only 1 or 2 wing
panels are rebuildable. Landing gears will have to be
made new. Tail surfaces and ailerons are in pretty good
condition and can be used. I intend to use a Wright
R-760 engine to power my aircraft, although engine
mounts have been changed to Continental R-670
(these aircraft were modified for crop dusting in
Florida).
This should be a long term but highly interesting
project. I will keep you posted as to the progress of
the aircraft. Incidentally, I hope to take the aircraft up
to Merced for the antique fly-in june 2nd. I'm sure not
too many people have seen an old aircraft as it came
from the barn and before restoration.
Who knows, one of these years I may make it back
to Oshkosh in a bright and shiny Command-Aire!!
Sincerely,
Robert G. Lock
Instructor-Airframe
Reedley College
995 N. Reed Ave.
Reedley, California 93654
Antique/Classic Headquarters at Oshkosh .. some of you may have wondered
what it looked like three weeks before the Convention.
MUSEUM NEEDS
The following items are needed to
carryon the programsofthe EMAir
MuseumFoundation. Ifyou can help,
please contactGeneChase, Museum
Director, at EAA headquarters, tele-
phone414/425-4860. Donationstothe
Museumare tax deductible.
* 25 ton hydraulicpress
*Porta-power or body jack set (4
ton)
* CherryG-704 power riveter
*Airoperated automotivebumper
jack
* Automotive analyzer (Sun Ma-
chine)
* Cylinder base wrenches for A-65
through 0-200 Continental en-
gines
* Cylinderbase wrenches for0-235
through0-360. Anyconditiondis-
playonly.
* AirCompressor- 5h.p.ormore
* Propellers (complete or cQm-'- po_-__
nents)forBT-13 (R985) orAT-6(R-
1340
* Belt sander
* Floorsander
* small band saw
* Paint spray booth
* Paintstorage cabinets
* Electri.c metal shear
* Borescope
* Uprightvacuum cleaner
* Steam carpet shampooer, like
Steamex
* BridgeportMillingVise
* 1set R-8 BridgeportCollets
* End   ~ i l l s
* RotaryMillingtable
* Indexing Head for Milling ma-
chine
* Arbor Press
* Propeller blades Des. No. 21A1-7
to fit a Hamilton Standard Hub
No. 5406, forthe lairdSuperSo-
lution restoration project.
* Maule FabricTester
* 1 cylinder for an Aeronca E-113A
engine
25
CalendarofEvents
AUGUST 6-12 - LAKELAND, FLORIDA - International Cessna 170
Association Convention, Lakeland, Florida.
AUGUST 7-12 - FOND DU LAC, WISCONSIN - 13th Annual EAN
lAC International Aerobatic Championships. For further informa-
tion contact Sam Maxwell, 2116 Erie, North Kansas City, MO
64116.
SEPTEMBER 8-10 - MARION, OHIO- Original MERFI, 13th Annual
EAA Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In . MunicipalAirport, Marion, Ohio.
Air Show, Awards for Homebuilt, Antique, Classic, and Warbirds.
Forums on Airport Camping, Static Displays, etc. For more in-
formation, contact Myrna Lewis, 241 Bassett Drive, Spring-
field, Ohio45506. Phone: 1-513/323-2424.
SEPTEMBER 9;10 - HERMISTON, OREGON - Annual Watermelon
Fly-In, EAA Chapter 219: Saturday night dinner. Sunday morning
breakfast. Contact Ed Betts, P.O. Box 1348, Umatilla, Oregon
97882.
OCTOBER 5-8 - HARLINGEN, TEXAS - Confederate Air Force Air
Show 78. Contact CAF Public Affairs, Box 2443, Harlingen, Texas.
5121428-4596.
OCTOBER 7-8 - REDDING, CALIFORNIA - Oktoberfest at Redding
Sky Ranch, sponsored by EAA Chapter 157. Contact Curly Medina
916/241-7737.
OCTOBER 21-22 - MARANA, ARIZONA - Seventh annual Copper-
state EAA Fly-In at Marana Air Park. Awards for homebuilts ,
antiques, classics and warbirds. Contact Fred Feemster, Box12307,
Tucson,Arizona 85732.6021299;2723.
NOVEMBER 18-19 - MIAMI , FLORIDA - Antique, Classic and
Homebuilt Fly-In at the third annual Harvest - A Country Fair,
sponsored by the Historical Association of Southern Florida, at
the Dade County Youth Fairgrounds, Coral Way at 112th Avenue.
Registration limited to planes manufactured priorto1950. Awards
given forantique,classic andhomebuiltaircraft. ContactCapt. Ken
Ufland of the Civil Air Patrol, office (305) 552-3106, home after
6:00 p.m. (305) 251-5927, orMaryDodd Russell, Harvest Coordina-
tor, at the Historical Museum, 3280 S. Miami Avenue, Building B. ,
Miami, Fla. 33129.
  ~ ~ CLASSIFIED  ADS 
~

1940)-3, L-65, 3900 hrs. T.T.440 SMOH,Ceconiteonfuselage
1973, Wings linen 1969, Metal prop, Batterytransceiver, orig-
inal paint, Fresh annual. $6500. Connecticut,203-349-8267.
1929 WACO 0 .5.0.:  Completely restored, Razorback Cover,
220 Continental (75 SMOH),ChromeProp, OriginalLogs, etc.
One ofsix still flying. Asking $29,500. Tilford's Aviation (305)
683-4121.
1940 J-3, L-65, 3900 hrs. TT. 440 SMOH. Ceconite on
fuselage 1973, Wings linen 1969, Metal prop, Battery
Transceiver, original paint, fresh annual. $6500. Con-
necticut, (203) 349-8267.
EAA  ANTIQUE/CLASSIC 
DIVISION 
MEMBERSHIP  DRIVE 
WIN
*
A pair ofAntiqueGoggles
bypersuading5peopleto
Jom.
er A Leather Flying Helmet
whenyouget10peopleto
sign up.
- then  start over and  win  again  -
~  A free five year member-
shipintheAntique/Classic
Divisionif yousponsorthe
most new members in
1978. 
To Qualify: Write your name and member-
shipnumberonthebackofthemember-
ship blanks we'vebeen providinginTHE 
VINT ACE  AIRPLANE.  Headquarters will
keep score.
FOR  THE  COMPLETE 
AVIATION  LIBRARY 
THE
FLYING  AND  GLIDER  MANUAL 
FOR: 1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1929·1933 MISCELLANY
$2.50 Each Post Paid
ORDER FIVE
ANDGETTHE
SIXTH ONE
FREE 
Total Cost ForAll Six
$12.50 
OrderFrom:
EAAAIR MUSEUM FOUNDATION
BOX 469
HALES CORNERS, WI 53130
26 
Are  you  restoring  a  Classic? 
CUSHION  UPHOLSTERY  SETS 

 
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DO·IT·YOURSELF  INSTALLATION 
UPHOLSTERED  FOAM  CUSHION  SETS 
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made up into complete assemblies, ready
for you to install. Your choice of three
fabric styles and twenty colors. Luxurious
cut pile carpets in seven colors, wrinkle-
free Duraliner headliners, baggage compart-
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also available for Classic planes.
RE-COVER  ENVELOPES 
Available for all Classics and some Antique
models, in Ceconite #101, #102 and cotton.
Airtex makes the world's finest envelopes!
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(215)  295-4115 
27