You are on page 1of 28

• •

When we look back on Oshkosh 79 and the won-
derful weather, tremendous crowds, the hospitality
and fellowship generated, we often wonder if there
could be any possible improvement for the 1980 Con-
vention. The answer is yes , definitely , and with
gusto! Each year we attempt to correct the errors and
mistakes made in previous years. Our goal is to pre-
sent the most enjoyable Convention of all, for you,
your family and friends.
The Antique/Classic Division schedule for Oshkosh
'80 is basically the same as those of previous years,
but we are proud to announce that some changes
have been made including the addition of new and
interesting events.
The forum tent will be located with the other forum
tents in the area adjacent to the Commercial Display
Area. In the past the general public has been prohi-
bited from attending Antique/Classic forums because
a flight line pass was needed to get to the location
near the Red Barn. Now, all who attend the Conven-
tion can also attend forums on the older aircraft. The
Antique/ Classic Division Forum schedule will be
posted daily on the bulletin board outside the Divi-
sion headquarters barn.
The annual Division picnic will again be held in Ol-
lie' s Park, with the festivities beginning about 7 p .m.
on Tuesday, August 5th. Be sure to purchase your
tickets early for the picnic bash. Bring the family and
your friends and enjoy the fellowship. The attendance
at the annual picnic has increased each successive
The annual Parade of Flight will be flown on Wednes-
day, August 6th and will be part of the daily air show.
Many of you will be contacted to participate in this
enjoyable venture. The Parade of Flight Committee
will start programming the event on the first day
of the Convention and we request that each of you
who are asked to participate make a concerted effort
to attend the pilot briefing and have your aircraft
available for this fantastic event.

On Friday evening , August 8th , the Convention
awards presentation will again be held at the new
outdoor pavilion in Ollie' s Park. Plans ar e underway
this year to assure that the presentations are of sig-
nificant importance to the recipients and of special in-
terest to the audience.
Now that the main entrance for EAAers entering the
airport from the campgrounds has been moved to the
northeast corner of Ollie's Park, a tremendous in-
crease in pedestrian traffic past the Red Barn has
been noted. We need to capitalize on this exposure
in ways to benefit both the Division membership and
the EAA membership in general. Often, we have
overheard EAA members expressing their thoughts
that the area around the Red Barn was an exclusive
area for antiquers only. How wrong this is. We need
to invite all EAA members to visit with us , browse
around the Barn and join in the fellowship we cherish
so much. Let this be a challenge to each Antique/
Classic Division member to extend our hospitality to
all visitors in the area. A glance through an issue of
The VINTA GE AIRPLANE should entice many of our
visitors to become' a member of the Division.
Something new will be added to the area this year .
Occupying the space where the forum tent previously
was will be a tent for use as our Division hospitality
area. It will be available for members of the OX-5
Aviation Pioneers , QBs, old timers , or any group that
wishes to use the facility for informal gatherings con-
cerning antique and classic aircraft. The information
bulletin board wil: also be placed in the hospitality
tent and chairs will be available. We need to pass the
word around that this facility will be available. Your
personal contact with the various groups as listed
above will be the only communication we will have to
advise them of this hospitality facility.
How many times have you heard an interview over
the Convention PA system and wished you were
there to see as well as listen to the proceedings?
Usually, by the time one gets to the Interview Circle,
the program has ended. We have now been allocated
an area across the paved road east of the Red Barn
for use as our own Antique/Classic interview area. We
will have our own PA system and the use of this new
facility should enhance the prestige of the Division
and draw further attention to our special activities.
Saturday, August 9th will mark the annual member-
ship meeting of the Antique/ Classic Division. The
meeting will start at 10:30 a.m. in the hospitality tent
adjacent to the Red Barn headquart ers . All Division
members are urged to attend and we wel come the
guests of our active members. The floor will be open
for pertinent business concerning the management
and activities of the Antique/ Classic Division. We look
forward to seeing and visiting with each of you at
Oshkosh this year . Fly safely, have fun and enjoy
your Convention .
Paul H. Poberezny
GeneR. Chase
Nick Rezich from Rockford, Ill inois announcing one of
the dai l y air shows at Lakel and, Florida's Sun 'n Fun '80
Associate Editors: H. Glenn Buffington, Edward D. Wi l liams, Byron
(Fred) Fredericksen, Lionel Salisbury
Readers are encouraged to submit storiesand photographs.Associate Editorships are assigned
to those writers who submit five or more arti cles which are publi shed 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
restsentirely with thecontributor.
Claude L. Gray. Jr . Morton W. lester
9635 Sylvia Avenue P.O. Box 3747
Northridge. CA 91324 Martinsville , VA 2411 2
DaleA. Gustafson Arthur R. Morgan
7724 Shady Hill Drive 3744 North 51st Blvd.
919/368-2875 Home Indianaooli s, IN 46274 Milwaukee. WI 53216
919/368-2291 Office
Richard H. Wagner John R. Turgyan
P.O. Box 181 1530 Kuser Road
JACK C. WI NTHROP Lyons. WI 53148 Trent o n . NJ 08619
ALLEN, TX 75002
2141727-5649' AI Kelch
66 W. 622 N. Madi son Avenue
SECRETARY Cedarburg. WI 53012
7745 W. 183RD ST.
John S. Copeland Stan Gomoll Gen e Morri s
913/681-2303 Home
9 JoanneDrive 104290th Lane. NE 27 Chandell e Drive
913/782-6720 Office
Westborough. MA01581 Minneapolis, MN 55434 Hampshire. Il601 40
Robert E. Kesel George 5. York
E.  E. "BUCK" HI LBERT Ronald Fril z
2896 Roosevelt SI. 455 Oakridge Drive 181 Sl oboda Av e.
P.O. BOX 145
Conklin. MI 49403 Rochest er . NY 14617 Monsfield. OH 4490"
UNION, I L60180
THE VI NTAGE AIRPLANE (ISSN 0091-6943) is owned exclusively by EAA Antique/Classic Division, Inc.,
and is published monthly at Hales Corners, Wisconsi n 53130. Second class Postage paid at Hales
Corners Post Office, Hal es Corners, Wisconsin 53130 , and additional mailing off ices. Membership
rates for EAA Ant i que/Classic Division, Inc.. are $14.00 per 12 month period of whi ch $10.00 is for the
publication of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE. Membershipisopen to all who are i nterested in aviation .

P.O. Box 229, Hales Corners, WI53130
1980 EAA Antique/Classic Di vision,Inc., All Rights Reserved.
(On The Cover. 1942 Fairchild PT-23, N54375 owned by Ed Earp, Jr ., of Houston, Texas. See story on
Page 5. Photo by Ed Earp.)
(On The Ba ck Cover. Outstanding example of a Waco UPF-7. N29368 was manufactured in 1940 and
is owned by Arnold Nieman, Ocala , Florida. Photo by Gene Chase.)
Straight and Level by Brad Thomas ............................................... 2
A/ C Hot Line by Gene R. Chase... ... . ....,.....,............ ........ . .. ...... .. . 4
PT-23 ...Easiest Plane To Fly by Edward Earp, Jr. ........... . . ..... .. ...... . .... .. 5
Douglas DC-4 Giant OfThe Air by Edward D. Williams ....... ... ... . .... . ...... ... 6
Jesse Orval Dockery ... ' A Flying Silver Eagle' by Robert G. Elliott ..... ... .. . . . .... 12
The Cunningham-Hal l GA-36 by Gene Chase.. .... . . ..... . ... ....... . ...... . .. . .. . 17
Rebirth OfA Taylor craft byBob Moore.................. . .... . . ..._... . .... . .... . 18
SzekelyAircraft And Engine Companyby Phil Mi chmerhuizen ...... . .. . . . ... ..... . 20
Calendar Of Events ............................................................. 23
Borden'sAeroplane Posters From The 1930's by Lionel Salisbury ................... 24
o NON-EAA MEMBER - $22.00. Includes one year membership in the EAA Antique/
Classic Divi sion, 12 monthly issues of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE; one year mem-
bership in the Experimental Aircraft Associ ati on and separate membershi p cards.
SPORT AVIATION magazine notincluderl .
oEAA MEMBER - $14_00. I ncludes one year membership in the EAAAntique/Classic
Divi sion, 12 monthly issues of THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE AND MEMBERSHIP CARD.
(Appli cant must be current EAA memberand must give EAA membership number .)


Page 5  Page6 Page 13
Th e  Inter national  Cessna  170  Association,  Inc.,  has 
scheduled  its  12th  Annual  Convention  for  August  10  -
The  National  Tr ansportation  Safety  Board  has  r ec-
ommended  to  the  FAA  that  immediate  inspection  be 
made  on  all  lift  strut  forks  on  Piper  model s  PA-12, 
PA-14 ,  PA-16,  PA-18,  PA-19,  PA-20  and  PA-22.  Also  all 
)-4,  )- 5,  AE-1  and  HE-1  series  aircraft.  In  the  past  two 
years  ther e  have  been  two  fatal  accidents  as  a  resu It 
of  the  failur e  of  cut  threadbolts  on  these  forks.  Re-
placements  should  use  rolled  threadbolts. 
Officials  of  North  Island  Naval  Air  Station  at  San 
Di ego  are  concerned  that  the  tunnel  through  th e  new 
Terminal  Control  Area  is  in  direct  conflict  with  the 
approach  path  to  the  primary  arrival  runway  at  the 
Naval  Air  Station  as  well  as  to  Outlying  Field  Imperial 
The  Navy  objected  to  the  FAA  about  the  location  of 
tunnel,  beca use  they  felt  it  would  crea te  a 
dangerous  mid-air  collision  potential. 
There  have  already  been  two  mid-air  collisions  in  a 
similar  tunnel  through  the  Los  Angeles TCA. 
EAA  members  in  Eugene  are  in  th e  process  of  form-
ing  a  new Antique/Classic  Chapter.  They've  held  their 
ini tial  meeting,  elected  officers,  selected  a  name,  and 
started  work  on  a  restoration  project.  The  project  is  a 
rare  1934  Stinson  SR-5E  Reliant  which  was  donated  to 
the  group  last  spring. 
Most  of  th e  members  belong  to  Eugene's  EAA 
Chapter  34,  which  i s  a  large  and  active  group.  In  Ap-
ril,  they  held  th eir  First  Annual  Oregon  Aviation  Film 
Festival  and  in  May,  their  Annual  Maint enance  Clinic 
and  Designer 's  Forum. 
A  lawyer  has  been  contacted  regarding  the  filing  of 
incorporation  papers  for  the  new  group,  and  when 
the  paperwork  is  in  order,  a  chapter  charter  will  be 
issued  from  EAA  Headquarters.  Thos e  interested  in 
joining  th e  new group  should  contact  the  Oregon  An-
tique  and  Classic  Aircraft  Club,  P.  O.  Box  613,  Cres-
well,  OR  97426. 
Basler  Aviation  reports  that  an  adequate  sup-
ply  of  fuel  is  available  for  Oshkosh  '80,  but  that 
no 80  octane  f uel  will  be  available.  Payment  will 
be  accepted  only  with  the  following  credit 
cards:  Shell,  Master  Charge,  or Visa. 
(Phoro  by Don Pratt)
Pretty in-fli ght shot o(  Howard Twibell , EAA 3343 1,  o( 
Oskaloosa, Kansas fl ying his 1942  Culver LCA Cadet, sin
393 over th e fl at Kansas (arm country.
16  at  the  Red  Carpet  Inn  across  the  street  from  Mil-
waukee's  Mitchell  Fi eld. 
The  event  features  forums,  a  flight  rally,  and  tours 
including  the  Miller  Brewery,  the  Air  Force  Reserve 
and  Air  National  Guard  facilities  and  the  Paul  H. 
Poberezny  Air  Museum. 
For  furth er  information,  contact:  Ri chard  To-
masello,  1333  Wagner  Drive,  EI  Cajon,  CA  92020. 
CESSNA  120/140  CLUB  TO  OSHKOSH  '80 
Recent  issues  of  the  monthly  newsletter  published 
by  the  West  Coast  Cessna  1201140  Club  have  con-
tained  information  which  should  be  useful  to  all 
pilots  making  their  first  flights  (except  via  airlines)  to 
the  EAA  Convention  at  Oshkosh. 
As  noted  in  the  March ,  1980  issue  of  The VINTAGE
AIRPLANE, this  club  is  planning  a  mass  fly-in  to  the 
Convention  from  Northern  California.  They  extend  an 
invitation  to others  to  join  them  along  the  way. 
They've  received  confirmation  from  several  airports 
along  the  way,  assu ri ng  th em  that  "red  gas",  ti e-
down  and  camping  facilities  will  be  available.  In  past 
issu es  of  their  newsletter ,  based  on  previou s  experi-
ence,  they've  list ed  specific  items  to  bring  along,  in-
cluding  clothing,  tools,  camping  equipment,  and  per-
sonal  gear.  For  thi s  information,  se nd  $2 . 00  to 
Oshkosh  Package,  P.  O.  Box  891,  Menlo  Park,  CA 
For  information  about  the  mass  flight  to  Oshkosh, 
contact:  Barker  and  Williams,  25636  Franklin  #1, 
Hayward,  CA  94544.  Telephone 415/581-7083. 
*.': ...
PT-23  ... 
Easiest  Plane  to  Fly 
by  Edward  Earp,  Jr . 
EAA  # 33228,  AIC  # 3480 
P.  O.  Box  2 766 
Houston,  TX  7700 7 
I  purchased  thi s  aircraft  in  1975  from  a  friend  in 
Houston.  At  that  time,  N54375  was  a  Fair child  PT-19 
and  I  had  known  of  it  for  over  20  years,  never  dream-
ing  that  one day  I  would  own  it. 
Right  after  I  bought  the  Fairchild,  I  stumbled  upon 
a  PT-23  engine  mount ,  engine,  and  just  everything 
from  the  firewall  forward  that  I  would  need  to  con-
vert  a  19  to  a  23.  As  you  know,  a  PT-19  and  23  are 
identical  from  th e  firewall  back .  I  had  the  conversion 
done  by  Chuck  Nichols  in  Brenham,  Texas. 
Originally  the  plane  had  an  inertia  starter  and  I 
knew  that  as  long  as  I  could  wind  it  up,  I  could  cer-
tainly  pass  my  flight  physical.  After  watching  me  go 
through  thi s  windup  one  hot  summer  day,  my  wife 
had  an  electrical  system  install ed  which  I  mu st  say  I 
Ed  Earp,  Jr. ,  in  his  wint er  flying  togs. 
Ed  Earp,  Jr .,  enjoying  flight  over  the  South  Texas  coun-
tryside  in  his  beautiful  Fairchild  PT-23. 
think is  pretty  keen. 
Surely  this  must  be  one  of  th e  easiest  aircraft  in  the 
world  to fly.  It  has  no  bad  habits  but  there  is  no  mess-
ing  around  when  it  quits  flying  .. .  it  really  settles.  I 
have  slow  rolled  it ,  snap  roll ed  it ,  looped  it  and  spun 
it  but  I  don' t  do  this  anymore.  Let's  face  it ,  the  old 
bird  was  built  in  1942. 
About  all  I  can  say  is  that  it  is  a  joy  to  fly.  In  the 
summertime  my  standard  uniform  is  a  parachute , 
swimming  trunks  and  tenni s  shoes.  Flyin g  in  the 
winter  requires  a  ski  jacket ,  gloves,  boots  and  blue 
j eans  and  you  are  ok  in  the  front  cockpit  but  forget 
about  the  back  one! 
The  Fairchild  is  based  in  Houston  at  Genoa  Airport 
which  is  right  nex t  to  Ellington  Field.  In  fact  we  are  so 
close  that  we  fly  a 400'  pattern . 
At  the  present  time,  I  have  more  than  enough  parts 
to  build  at  least  three  more  PT-23s  and  I  hope  to  start 
constructing  one  of  them  this  coming  year.  I  have  a 
complete  set  of  plans  for  all  models  of  PT-19  and 
PT- 23  aircraft,  including all  modifications. 
Front  cockpit  of the  PT-23 .  Windshield has  tint ed gl ass . 
I he  220  Continental  engine  is' ex tremely  l ow time. 

by Edward  D.  Williams,  Associate  Editor 
EAA  #51010 
713  Eastman  Drive 
Mt.  Prospect,  IL  60056
ou s
Forty-one years ago a one-of-a-kind airplane went
on a coast-to-coast tour and gave the American publi c
a view of the advanced aviation technology of the
day. The plane was a giant air transport, with a re-
volutionary tricycle landing gear never before used
on a plane that size, and it ushered in a new era in
air transportation.
But that historically significant plane is not visible
today in any museum or collection of antique aircraft .
It rests ignominiously on the bottom of Tokyo Bay.
The plane was a triple-tail prototype of the Douglas
DC-4 , which was destined to serve this country well
as the C-54 and R5D Skymaster military transport of
World War II before donning civilian livery with many
of the nation's airlines .
In 1935, when the famed Douglas DC-3 was queen
of the skies, William C. Mentzer , a United Airlines
engineer, was assigned by United's president, William
A. Patt erson , to prepare specifications for a super air-
liner. The new aircraft was to have four engines and
carry three or four times as many passengers as the
transport planes then in use.
After Mentzer worked out his specs, they were pre-
sented to various aircraft manufacturers for consider-
ation. The Dou'glas Aircraft Company became in-
ter ested in building the air giant, and four other air-
lines - TWA , Eastern , American and Pan Am -
joined United in splitting a $300,000 engineering cost
to get the project underway. It was a noteworthy col-
lective effort by the airlines involved.
United's " Pat " Patterson later explained how he
had gotten the other airlines to cooperate in the ven-
ture. At a meeting with hi s competitors' top manage-
ment , he explained, " I said United we fly and divided
we lose money. "
Mentzer, meanwhile, moved to Santa Monica,
California, in March , 1936, and took an office in the
Douglas factory. He remained there until November,
1938, watching and participating in day-to-day build-
ing of the new plane, which was rolled out of the fac-
tory in June, 1938. When United took it over for flight
tests on its coast-to-coast system in May, 1939, he ac-
companied the plane, noting its performance. The
plane showed itself to be well ahead of its time in
But the triple-tail giant was never to make it into
airline service. After a number of design changes, the
DC-4 became a smaller airplane with one a single
rudder instead of three, and the unwanted prototype,
designated the DC-4E, was sold to the Japanese gov-
ernment as a VIP transport.
An earl y test fli ght of th e prototype Dougl as DC-4 . Pro-
pell ers are feath ered on engines 3 and 4. Note th e interest-
ing wire structure below the ventral fin , probabl y to warn
the pil ot in case of over-rotation on takeoff.
O n its f irst t est fli ght by Japanese pil ots, th e pro-
totyp e plunged int o Tokyo Bay wh ere its ru sting hulk
r emains to thi s day.
Expect ati ons had run hi gh f o r th e use of the giant
DC- 4 in airlin e ser vi ce, Mauri ce Roddy, av i ation
edit or of th e Chi cago Times, wrote on April 30, 1939:
" Ever y l esson and experi ence gained by the commer-
cial transport operators in the countr y have been incorpo-
rated in to th e amaz ing sky giant , whi ch has a gross
weight of 32% tons.
"One hundred and sixty-five structural tes ts requiri ng
2 1 ,000 engineering and shop hours were made. More
than 500,000 engineering hours are represent ed in the
compl eted plane.
" To t al cos t of devel opment w as approx imat el y
$ 1,500,000, and many tes ts centered around th e tri cycl e
l anding gea r devel oped to gi ve thi s tremendous ship a
smoother landing. Th e thi rd wheel is l ocated in front of
the center of gravit y, and th e pl ane ca n be brought into a
l anding fi eld at a steeper angl e and taken off more rapidl y
than th e familiar type. Luxuri ous appointments are fea-
tured throughout th e plane, whi ch has also a bridal suit e.
Th e prot otype airplane had a wing span of 138' 3"
and a f uselage 97' 7" long and 24' 4" high. Its crui sing
range with a f ull l oad was 2,200 mil es . It had a top
speed of 240 mil es per hour , a cr ui se speed of 2101
mil es per hour and a gross wei ght of 65,000 pounds.
Its servi ce ceiling was 22 ,900 f eet , and its absolut e
ceiling 24,500 feet. It was abl e to maintain f li ght on its
two Pratt and Whitney R-2180 engines at 8,000 f eet
above sea l evel . Th e useful load was 20,000 pounds,
and i t carri ed three t ons of mail , exp ress and baggage
in additi on to th e passengers.
One of i ts outst anding features was th e innovative
tri cycl e landing gear. In additi on t o the many t echni-
ca l advant ages, thi s type of l anding gear provided
extra comfort f or th e passengers by ass uring l evel
l anding of the ship- and making it possi bl e to set th e
pl ane down at ni ght with out awak ening th e occu-
pants in th eir berths.
The DC-4 was bor n with a contract dated March 23 ,
1936. Parti cipants were the Douglas Air craft Co. , Inc.,
United Ai r lines Transport Corp ., Transcontinental and
Wes tern Air , Inc. , Ameri can Airlines, Inc., Pan Ameri-
can Avi ati on Suppl y Corp ., and North Ameri can Avi a-
ti on, Inc.
Dougl as Aircraft Compan y engineers and oper a-
ti ons executives of th e airlines held monthl y confer-
ences during the constru ction of th e pl ane. Valuable
di scuss i ons of every con ceivabl e r equirement took
pl ace at th ese conferences, and o ft en the ideas were
incorpo rat ed i nt o ·the plan e. Nine th o usa nd para-
graphs made up th e contract under whi ch th e plane
was built.
The DC-4 E was des igned for 42 passengers· by day
(and 30 by ni ght) and a crew of f ive - two pilots, a
fli ght engineer , a st eward and a st ewardess. Call ed
the " Fl ying Hotel " , it boast ed of a comfor tabl e ladi es '
l ounge, men' s dressing room, a pri vat e compartment
up fr ont call ed the " bridal suite" and a lu xuri ous gal-
l ery amidships.
Its four Twin Horn et engines, with a total of mor e
than 5,600 ho rsepower , took its pampered passengers
al ong at a speed greater than that of any bomber of
that era.
The year s required in th e devel oping of thi s giant
airliner - it took 18 months just t o build - fr om the
drawing board t o th e fini shed · produ ct, rep resent ed
not so mu ch the diffi culti es and pr obl ems of bu i lding
a l arge airpl ane as th e careful resea rch and t esting of
pa rt s and new featur es. A t esting laborat ory and out-
st anding engi neers were kept bu sy for mor e than two
yea rs devel oping information on th e new probl ems
encount er ed in th e constru cti o n o f t he pr ot o type
DC-4 . Part s wer e t est ed for every possibl e condition
and many of them were t es ted to destructi on to de-
termine th e limit of their endurance. Special expen-
si ve machinery was constru ct ed fo r the t ests.
The DC-4E' s gestati on was l ong - and expensive.
More than 500,000 hours were spent in engineering
and des ign and anoth er 100,000 hours in ground and
labo ratory tes ting. More than 20,000 differ ent pi eces
of metal wer e made in diff er ent shapes , and more
than 1,300,000 rivets were used in its constru cti on.
The t otal cost was a whopping $1,634,612. Of th is,
$992,808 was for l abor and engineerin g and $641 ,804
for materi al s and overhead.
There w er e many new pr obl ems of desig n. The
pressurized fu selage from th e pi l ot' s control room to
th e rear-mos t toil et compartment required th e most
careful design. Windshi eld, windows, and doors car-
ri ed th e pr essure differ enti al r esulting f rom an al-
t itude pr essur e of 12,000 f eet inside the cabi n at an
actu al altitude o f 20, 000 f eet. Th e bl ower s, saf et y
valves, and automati c pr essure r egul at ors - for main-
taining th e pressure inside the cabi n at a littl e more
than half of that outside - had to be des igned and
thor oughl y test ed .
Hydr auli c control surface loc ks had t o b e de-
vel oped whi ch would prevent wind gust s acting on
the huge surfaces and overpowering th e pil ot during
taxiing and yet would permit him to operat e the con-
trol s easil y under normal weath er conditi ons.
Power units were developed for furni shing 110 volt
electri cal cu rr ent to operate if1stru ments, radio, cook-
ing, and li ghting and for the development of entirely
new and improved radio equipment.
From the beginning, th e size of th e DC-4E caused
pr obl ems. A whol e new engine control syst em had to
be devi sed because each of th e two outboard engines
was 70' fr om th e co ckpit . Th e new sys t em used
push-pull rods and cables whi ch ran through the in-
side of the wing.
A new f uel syst em al so was desi gned whi ch gave
th e pl ane extr a power - about the same ho rsepower
as two di esel locomotives - f or takeoff. The system
included a 100-gallon tank of tak eoff fu el and a 300-
gall on tank f or crui se for each engine.
And t oday' s ai rline pilot s can thank Douglas en-
gineers for an innovation for the DC-4 , th e fli ght en-
gin eer's stati on. Th e designers put dupli cat e engine
contr ol s and hydrauli c sys tem control s on a second
control panel just behind the pilot s' stati on, and the
f li ght engineer was born.
Th e size of the DC-4E i s illu strated by th e fact that
it s contr o l surf aces, it s ail er o ns, rudd er s and
el evators, were bi gger than the wings of tr aining air-
craf t Douglas was bUilding. But Douglas gave DC-4
pil ots fingertip control by appl ying contr ol boost ers.
It repl aced th e standard contro l ca bl es with small
di amet er hydrauli c lines and el ectri c motor s diving
Th e di stin cti ve tripl e-tail o f th e pr ot ot yp e was
necessa ry f or the DC-4E for gr eat er lat eral stability.
But th e idea was abandoned f or the small er , produc-
ti on model s of th e DC-4.
To reduce dr ag in fli ght , f lush ri vets were perf ect ed
f or all external skin surfaces .
Int ernall y, even the seat s were the resu It of months
of the mos t intensive design t o provide th e easily ad-
justabl e seat and the r eclining and reversing back that
are so essenti al t o th e ease of th e passenger on a
l ong f li ght. Th e seat s al so had the capability of being
f olded with a minimum of effort int o beds.
Full si ze mock-ups were used t o perfect th e ar-
rangement of the pil ots' compartment and controls,
passenger accommodati ons, and power pl ant installa-
ti ons. Painstaking and almost endl ess detail s of the
wind tunnel model t est s were r ecorded , and every
aspect of the new design had been thoroughly
The strength of the structural design had been
demonstrated by complete tests of many important
structural parts , and by a proof test of the assembled
experimental airplane before the first test flights .
Loads totaling 60% of the ultimate design load had
been applied to the airplane by means of jacks and
lead weights distributed as nearly as possibl e like the
actual weights and air loads. By this means the most
severe loads likely to be encountered in service had
actually been placed on the airplane and it had
shown that it was easily capable of withstanding such
The tricycle type of landing gear had never before
been used on an airplane of that size, and a program
was carried out involving tests on a scale model car
towed by a truck, and later , tests on a twin- engined
Douglas Dolphin airplane. These tests showed that
this type of gear offered the advantages of better con-
trol on the ground through its inherent rolling stabil-
ity. It also was free from rebound during landing re-
sulting from the sudden drop in wing lift caused by
the reduction of the angle of attack at the mo ment of
contact as the airplane settles on the nose wheel.
And it eliminated the possibility of nosing over with
'sudden application of the brakes.
The design of the tricycle landing gear proved suc-
cessful from the start. A United Airlines report on
June 15, 1938, states:
"On the first take-off the plane had a gross weight
of approximately 53,000 pounds, or about 12,000
pounds under what is expected to be its maximum
gross weight. The take-off appeared normal in every
respect. The nose wheel was pulled off of the ground
approximately 500 feet after the start of th e run and
the airplane was in the air after a total run of approx-
imately 1',000 feet. The landings made with th e tricy-
cle landing gear proved very satisfactory."
Although it was the largest plane in th e air at the
time, the DC-4E was a pilot's dream. United t est pilot
Benny Howard (designer of the "Mist er Mulligan"
aircraft) said that " Flying the DC-4E is about as excit-
ing as a game of solitaire." In a t es t flight at
Cheyenne, Wyoming, Howard head ed down the
runway - with an elevation of 6,200 feet - calmly
cut two engines on the takeoff, and th e plane took to
the air as if it didn't know the difference. A United
official wat ching the demonstration smiled broadly
and said, " That's the plane for us."
Under its contract with Douglas , United had the
option of purchasing the prototype (NC18100, ser ial
number 16010). The plane, with four Pratt and Whit-
ney R-2180 engines , was test flown by Douglas for six
months before being awarded its Approved Type Cer-
tificate in May, 1939. Then , painted in United colors,
it began another five months of rout e testing flights
by United.
No passenger s were carried, but demonstration
flights were made across the country by Douglas and
United flight crews. While the prototype proved to be
a great technical success, the route t est ing showed
that it was too large for economical operation. Con-
sequently, the prototype was return ed to Douglas,
who sold it to the Japanese in October, 1939.
Meanwhile, the DC-4 design was reduced in size,
left unpressu ri zed and repowered with a mor e de-
pendable Pratt and Whitney R-2000-2SD engine and
redesignated the DC-4A. Most notabl e of th e design ,
changes was the use of a single vertical tail instead of
three with the initial orders from Eastern and United,
the highly-improved DC-4A was now ready for pro-
duction . But it now was scaled down to a wing span
of 117' 6" and a l ength of 93' 11".
On January 2, 1940, the Douglas Aircraft Company
proudly announced at Santa Monica, California, that
"Commerci al aviation in the United States will begin
the new year with the largest and most signifi ca nt
(United Air Lines Photo)
Th e prototype Douglas DC-4 fli es over th e Ca lifornia
countryside. Here it carri es an NC number in place of the
original NX. Note the change in the shape of the ventral
" fin " .
airplane order in the history of peace-time flying."
Douglas announced it was starting construction of
40 production-model DC-4 aircraft valued at
Thirty-nine of these modern , four-engine, sky
giants already were covered by contract in the final
stages of negotiations with leading airlines in this
country and in Europe.
With understandabl e pride, Douglas once said th e
DC-4E design " r epresents Douglas ' contribution to
the science of aeronautics. "
Th e performance of the production DC-4 was ex-
pect ed to surpass that of the prototype DC-4E
airplane. The forty DC-4 airplanes ordered into pro-
duction at the end of 1939 were faster and mor e com-
fortable than the prototype that paved the way for
their appearance.
The story of the production of th e DC-4 was not to
end until August 11, 1947, when DC-4 number 1242,
the last of th e famous Skymasters to be built, rolled
off the Douglas assembl y line and was deli vered t o
South Afri can Airways.
The deli very marked th e conclusi on of a f ive-year
manufacturing program whi ch pr oduced 1163 military
and 79 post-war commer cial tr ansport s of th e DC-4
Th e D C- 4 in 1947 outnumber ed all o th er four-
engined tr anspo rt s about seven t o one, a Douglas
survey di sclosed , and th ei r servi ce record of one bil-
lion mil es of dependabl e fli ght was unapproached by
any oth er air craft in that category.
With more than 1,000 in use in 1947, Douglas ser-
vi ce anal yst s pr edi cted that DC-4s wou Id be f lyi ng f or
at l east anoth er 10 yea rs.
However , some DC-4s are still fl ying today.
The fir st pr oducti on Skymast er , a military C-54, ac-
tuall y fl ew eight weeks aft er Pearl Harbor . When the
Unit ed St at es was plunged int o war , Do ugl as had
start ed pr oducti on of DC-4s f or commerci al airlines.
Nine air craft wer e in advanced stages of constru cti on
when the Army decided the DC-4 , with f ew modifi ca-
ti ons, would meet its requirements for a l ong-range
troop and ca rgo carri er. Changes were made dur i ng
produ cti on and th e Army C-54 and Navy R5D were
born .
Th e DC-4 proto typ e at Newark, New Jersey being in-
spected by the publi c during i ts coast to coas t tour in
During WW /I Dougl as modified the DC-4 to meet the
military's need for l arge transports. Th e plexigl ass dome
behind th e l oop ant enna over th e pilots' compartment
serv ed th e naviga tor while he took sun and star shots for
cel es ti al navigation.
(U nited Air Lines Photo)
Th e original DC-4 wi th its distinctive tripl e tail , is shown
above in a rar e photograph amid a l ine-up of Dougl as
DC-3s . Th e prototype l ater was designated the DC- 4E
when the singl e tail DC-4A went into producti on.
It was necessary to inst all the tai lskid pedestal assembl y
before l oading or unloading the C-S4IRSD aircraft as it
was possibl e to get an aft cg condition while
heavy militar y equipment.
Wartime C-S4 taking off at Guadalcanal in 1944 . Planes
i n the background include 3 8-24s, a Noordyn Norseman
and a Stinson L- 1.
Because of the war, early service of the four-
engined sky giants, then the largest mass-produced
transport plane, was veiled in secrecy. But confiden-
tial reports reached Douglas from scattered points of
the globe indicating that the C-54 was proving the
Army's faith in the aircraft was well justified .
As the war progressed, production was stepped up
at the Santa Monica plant and later at a new factory
established in Chicago on the present site of O'Hare
I nternational Airport.
Shattering previous concepts of time and distance,
the C-54 and R5D proved the feasibility of global air
transportation by land-based aircraft. Skymasters
made more than 20 round-trips a day for months over
the stormy north Atlantic. They conquered sand and
heat to maintain an African supply line. They flew
over the treach erous " hump". In the China-Burma-
India theater of operations they carried precious
plasma and whole blood to battle-scarred Pacific
atolls and returned to the United States with the
wounded .
They accomplished this with an amazing record of
safety. Figures compiled by the Army Air Transport
Command and the Naval Air Transport Service
showed that in making 79,642 war-time ocean cross-
ings, only three C-54s were lost. One was a deliber-
ate " ditching" and the other two were unexplained.
Because of their record of dependability, DC-4s
were used to carry top Allied statesmen and military
leaders to historic conferences which shaped the
course of victory. They were used as personal planes
by such notables as General Douglas MacArthur,
General Dwight Eisenhower, General " Hap" Arnold
and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
It was a C-54, with a special interior , which became
world famous as the personal airplane of President
Franklin D. Roosevelt. Until it was succeeded by a
Douglas DC-6, the same plane served as the Flying
White House for President Harry Truman.
One of ihe most spectacular jobs the C-54 was
called upon to do was to transport two divisions of oc-
cupation troops from Okinawa to Tokyo in ten days.
Taking off at five minute intervals, 250 C-54s made
1,400 flights of five hou rs du ration withou t a si ngle
mishap or casualty.
Air Transport Command records show that between
January, 1944 and April, 1947, C-54s had flown a total
of 350,049,900 miles. No accurate records were kept
before 1944.
The Naval Air Transport Service had logged,
68,000,000 mil es on Douglas R5Ds in four years with
only one fatal accident.
Pil ots' cockpit of the DC-4A. Th e wheel mount ed hori -
zontall y on top of the instrument panel is the rudder trim
The DC-4 with a singl e vertical fin and rudder instead of
the tripl e tail as on th e prototype went into servi ce with
the airlines aft er WW /I duty as the C-S4 and RSD mili-
tar y transport<; .
During 1946, the Pacific Division of the ATC flew
C-S4s the equivalent of 1,200 times around the earth
without a single passenger fatality. Thi s perfect safety
record involved the transportation of nearly 110,000
passengers on approximately 20,000 separate Pacific
Converted C-S4s and new DC-4s flew over global
airways daily as commercial .airliners. Of the more
than 500 surplus C-54s sold o'r leased by the govern-
ment, more than 220 entered the service of sched-
uled domestic airlines. For example, of the 47 air-
craft operated by United Airlines, only one (N10204)
was a DC-4 . The others were C-54A, Band G air-
craft. The sole DC-4 was a postwar civilian plane
produced by Douglas.
Recognizing the outstanding record and the as-
sured future of DC-4 type transports, the U. S. Post
Office Department in 1946 pictured the four-engined
Douglas airliner on the five cent airmail stamp. A
nu mber of foreign cou ntries have given the plane
similar recognition.
In a final analysis, the name "Skymaster " was a
most appropriate one. And it all is owed to a triple-
tail giant which possibly is interred forever in a salt
water tomb near Tokyo, Japan.
b y Robert C. Ellioll
JESSE ORVAL DOCKERY . . EAA #85 145, AIC # 3296
7227 Oakwood Avenue
' A FLYING SILVER EAGLE' (photos From Th e Coll ection Of /. O. Dockery)
Daytona Beach, FL 32074
When a stranger vi sits with j .O. Dockery, he is im-
mediatel y engul fed i n Southern hospitality, al l t he
wh i l e enthral l ed wi th Dock 's ea sy co untry-styl e
humor .
Hi s ' escapades', as he ref ers to his flying experi -
ences , encompass the fath erin g of crop du sting
tech niques, toget her with a life-time of flying, coun-
try and city living, a host of aviator friends from over
the years ... al l brought to the fore by a needle
sharp memory, sal ted with wit.
j .O. is easy goi ng, a family man, proud father and
still flyi ng at age 71 , f rom hi s old ai rport in Stuttgart ,
Arkansas . The take-offs and l andi ngs of his career
since he was born on February 26, 1909 have awarded
him with a dedicated wife, Irene, and two daughters,
Bunny Carol yn Scott and joyce DeMaine. Th e fact
that Bunny was M iss Arkansas in 1977 and 1978 was
frosting on the cake.
Two Cessna Skyhawks pr.ovide the means for Dock
to schedul e singl e and multi-engi ne checks, a modest
number of charter f li ght s and occasional student
training. Though retir ed, he hasn' t stopped flying.
" j .O., " 1 as ked, " when did you f ir st become in-
t eres ted in avi at ion?"
" Well ," he dr awl ed, " I was born in Texas in th e
year 1909. My fath er was a Texas land baron. He had
700 acr es of th e mos t barr en l and in Texas. Th en,
about tli e time of WWI , in 1916 and 1917, my folks
moved to Lawton , Okl ahoma, and of course, Post
Fi eld at Ft. Sill was nearby. At the ti me i t was one of
the f ew airport s in th e country.
Two Harl ey Davidson motorcycle buffs in Pine Bluff, Ar-
kansas . Doc, with pin stripe suit in fronl, age 74 and
Freel and Meyers, mechani c for Harl ey Davi dson. At this
age Doc rode from Pine Bl uff to Stull garl, Arkansas to fl y
WW 1 pl anes f or a mechani c-owner . The pilol, Joe Class
being afraid to fl y them for tes t or deli very to their new
owners was encouraged when Doc volun teered to do so .
. . and coll ected his ri ghtful pay for th e opportunit y.
"My father  owned  two  cafes  there  as  well  as  several 
jitneys  .  .  .  now  known  as  the  airport  limousines.  The 
jitney  that  ran  to  the  airport  passed  right  by  my 
school,  so  every  evening  when  I  got  out  of  school  I'd 
hail  one  of the  drivers  and  go  to  Ft.  Sill. 
"Well,  in  as  much  as  the  jitneys  were  running  in 
and  out  so  often,  the  guards  let  me  pass  right  on 
through  and  I'd  get  off  out  at  the  hangars.  There 
were  times  when  I'd  stay  the  whole  evening.  It wasn't 
long  before  I  was  considered  a  mascot  by  some  of 
the  pilots. 
"I  learned  about  the  airplanes,  their  parts  and  the 
workings  inside  and  out.  Often  I  would  be  asked  to 
crawl  back  in  close  places  when  the  mechanics  were 
stringing  cables,  in  places  too  small  for  them  to 
''I'd  hate  to  tell  you  how  many  left  handed  monkey 
wrenches  and  buckets  of  compression  I  toted  for 
those  guys,  but  I'd  wander  off  to  find  them  .. 
Interrupting  his  line  of  thought  for  a  moment, 
asked  ... "What  were  the  types  of  planes  there  at 
the  time?" 
"Oh,  Jennys,  Cannucks,  DHs,  Tommy  Scouts,  Barl-
ing  bombers,  the  old  WWI  airplanes,"  responded 
J.O.... "and  as  I  say  ... I  learned  all  the  parts,  but 
they  couldn't  take  me  up  for  a  ride.  I  was  just  a  kid 
and  a civilian. 
"It was  pretty  hard  to  get  a  ride,  fact  is  .. .  I  never 
did  get  a  ride  during  the  time  I  spent  helping  out  at 
Ft.  Sill. 
"But  the  folks  moved  us  all  down  to  Corpus  Christi 
later,  and  it  was  in  1921 that  I  got  my  first  ride.  My 
fascination  with  airplanes  continued,  but  they  being 
so  scarce,  I  didn't  see  one  often.  Then,  this  one  day, 
just  coming  out  of  school,  I  saw  a  plane  flying  over 
town  and  I  watched  it  till  I  saw  it  descending  over  the 
south  side  of  town.  I  jumped  on  my  bicycle  and  hur-
ried  out  to  have  a  look. 
"The  pilot  was  Barney  Flowers  and  he  said  ... 
'Son,  if  you'll  stay  here  and  watch  this  airplane  and 
keep  the  cows  off  it,  I'll  give  you  a  ride,  providing 
you  loan  me your  bicycle  to  ride  into  town.' 
"I  said,  'that's  a  deal'  ... but  you  know  .  .. he 
didn't  tell  me  he'd  be  gone  three  days.  It got  right 
cold  down  there  in  south  Texas  at  night,  but  I  wrap-
ped  up  in  the  motor  cover  and  my  brother  was  kind 
enough  to  bring  me  some  food.  Anyway  .  after 
three  days  Barney  came  back  and  he  sez  .. .  'you 
ready  to  take  that  ride?'  and  I  sez  'Yes  sir.' 
"Man,  I  was  quivering  with  anticipation. 
" Barney  had  returned  in  a  Model  T  truck  with  cans 
Charli e Hays in light plus-fours and Doc,  l eaning on an
OX-5 Wa co used to adverti se Fargo Foods in 7927. Char-
li e was a former WW I fighter pilot.
of  gas  in  the  rear,  and  tied  on  behind  was  my  bike. 
We  hid  the  bike  in  some  mesquite  clumps  and  got 
"He  sez  ... 'Well,  we'll  run  over  to  Alice,  Texas', 
so  he  started  the  thing  up  and  we  took  off  heading 
for  Alice. 
"He  had  dual  controls  in  it  so  I  followed  him 
through  all  the  way.  Now  bear  in  mind,  I  had  learned 
a  lot  about  planes  at  Ft.  Sill  so  I  knew  pretty  well 
what  he  was  doing.  We  got  to Alice,  landed  in  a field, 
and  again  he  asked  me  to  watch  the  plane  while  he 
went  into  town.  He  stayed  a  little  while  ... I'm  out 
there  making  sure  the  cows  and  people  stay  away  ... 
and  back  he  came.  We  took  off  and  flew  down  to 
McAllen  ... that  gave  me  another  hour,  hour  and  a 
half dual  time." 
"By  the  way,  if  you've  ever  flown  a  Hall-Scott  4 
Standard  cross  country,  you  can  build  up  a  lot  of time 
going  practically  nowhere.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  I've 
made  the  remark  in  later  years,  I  watched  one  farm 
woman  throw  out  three  dish  waters  before  passing 
out  of  view.  Another  time  I  watched  a  man  plow  a 
ten-acre  field  with  a  single  horse  turning  plow  ... 
and  if  you  didn't  watch  yourself,  you'd  be  going  the 
other way,  backing  up. 
"But  anyway  ... we  made  this  tour  from  Corpus 
Christi,  down  to  Alice,  over  to  McAllen,  then  Har-
Two new short-nosed American Eagles at Meridian, Mis-
siss ippi in February, 7928. Standing at Doc's left was the
President of Meridi an Airways, who was also the local
Ford dealer. Doc had quit Meridian Airways before he
soloed the boss in order to be home for the birth of his
first daughter . The boss then decided he'd had sufficient
dual in struction
promptly spun in.
so  he soloed himself one day and
M~   j IJiAN<I4IR WA
o Ii ¥A J.... [) 0 ed- e I(
11 UF-. ~ II
lingen and back into Corpus Christi . . . and we
hadn't been there but a few hours when he sez ..
' Son, I ' m gain' to ask ya another favor ... said . .. I
want you to watch this airplane while I run up to
Houston. I' m going up to get an airplane and when I
get back I'll give you another ride.'
" Yes sir. I' ll be glad to do it ," so I stayed there
another couple of days.
Now during that wait .. . my brother came out
with some of my friends and we were talking about
the plane and my flying with Barney. I no doubt
bragged a bit about my ability to fly, cause my
brother said ... " Whyn't ya stop telli n' peopl e that
sort of thing ... you cain' t fly no airplane!"
"Oh-h-h yess I can too," ... I said ... " If you'll
just pull that prop through for me ... I' ll show you ."
"Well, I'd learned that you turned on the switch
and hit that booster when you rocked the prop ...
and it started. I was a mite surprised because I didn' t
think he could pull it through.
" But it was ticking over, so I yelled out . . . ' Come
on, get in,' . .. and he shouted ... 'Oh no, you fly it
... lemme see you fly it first .'
"Well, I thought, I'd just taxi down to the end of
the field and taxi back claiming some mechanical
problem, which would get me off the hook. So I got
moving down the field and with my weight, about 120
pounds wringing wet ... and little gas ... I got off
the ground .. . and the first thing I knew I was tree-
top high.
"I made a big turn way round to the south and got
lined up with this big pasture when it quit. Only
thing in my way was a few mesquite clumps and
Texas longhorns. I hung onto the stick and it landed
by itself. My brother came running down and said ..
. 'What's the matter?' and I said ... ' Alfred, I'm out
of gas,' ... so he went and got me a couple of buck-
ets which we put in. With that, I knew I'd have
enough for a couple of swings over town, which I
"You know, I had forgotten about how people
would run out to the field if there was an airplane
flyin' over, and the first thing I knew, I had three or
four hundred spectators out there waiting for me to
fly some more.
"Along about this time Barney came in from Hous-
ton with an OX Standard and I thought .. . 'Whoa,
he's gonna wonder who' s puttin' on the air show.'
So, I went over to Barney' s plane and said, 'Barney, I
want to tell you this before somebody else does
I've been flying your airplane:
"He sez, 'You have?'
"He got right out of the back seat of that OX Stan-
dard, got up in front turned around and sez . . . 'Give
me a ride.'
"I took off with him, flew around the field and then
began to worry about landing , and how good it
would be ... but I didn't drag it, and made the most
beautiful landing you ever saw.
"He unbuckled his belt, turned around in the seat
on his knees and sez ... ' Who taught you to fly?' . .
. I sez .. . 'You did,' ... he sez ... ' I did?' ... I sez,
'Yes sir, I followed you every step from her e to Alice,
McAllen, Harlingen and back to Corpus Christi.'
"He sez . . . ' Well you do a pretty good job .. .
give me another ride' ...
"So we took off and I went around the field again
and fortunately I made another good landing.
"Next day we went over to Kingsville and carried
passengers ... all day, Saturday and Sunday."
J. O. and I were recording a few of the early events
in his aviation career while sitting comfortably inside
the mobile home at Bob White's airport near
Zellwood, Florida . We had to stop now and then
when a plane took off, but after things became more
quiet he continued.
" About 1922 after flying about a year fish spotting
with the OX Standard, near Corpus Christi over the
Gulf of Mexico, the folks moved back to Pine Bluff .
Course, I was still in school there too, but there were
no airplanes around. This made me pretty fidgety . I
knew of one at Little Rock that Carroll Cone had. He
ran for Governor and he owned a Jenny. Then, there
was a fellow in Little Rock, named H. C. Alexander . .
. so I hopped on my motorcycle and sped over to
work up a deal to fly his airplane, but he'd hired
Rolly Inman.
"During the summer vacation I went out to Ok-
lahoma City and worked for Burl Tibbs . .. this was
in '23 as I recall. When I first talked with him, I told
him I could fly, and he sez . . . 'Well, I'll give you a
job as helper.'
"What it really amounted to was being baby-sitter
for his two little girls to keep them out of the spin-
ning props .
" After maybe two weeks, I finally said ... 'Burl, I
want to fly'. Ole Burl was an easy going sort of big
fella and he sez .. . ' Come on over here, Orval, and
we'll go fly. I' ve got to fly this Cannuck ... you can
take me for a ride.'
" Well . . . after I flew him around for a while he
sez ... ' By golly ... you really can fly, can't you?' So
Burl let me start doin' all the flight instruction. Earlier,
when I'd told him I' d done this and that, ole Burl had
.--..,S' {\,
Three cronI es at Jackson, Mi ssiss ippi in
in dark suit, Doc and Martin Jensen.
taken it all with a grain of salt, but after I flew with
him, he became fully confident in my ability. I was
only around fourteen years old at the time. As a
you ng kid I never did play tops or marbles ... I rode
motorcycles and learned about airplanes. Nothing
else inter ested me very much. After this surprise be-
ginning, I spent two of my school vacations working
for Bu rl.
"In the Spring of 1924, Alan Scott and I were down
at Finklea Brothers at Leland, Mississippi. They owned
a Hisso Standard which we were flying . The General
Manager of the Delta Pine and Land Company, the
largest cotton plantation in the world . .. a Mr.
Young . . . came by and wanted to know if we could
pour some poison on the worms that were coming
out of the small grain and eating up the cotton. They
had twenty-four thousand acres of young cotton ,
anywhere from one to two inches above the ground.
The worms were eating it up and they didn' t want t o
r eplace it all with th e turning plows used back in
those days.
" Generall y th eir method of fi ghting the worms was
to suspend a hi ckory pol e over th e back of a mul e.
Helpers would hang gunny sacks full of dust on th e
ends and the j ostling would fl oat th e dust down ont o
the worms. Mr . Young thought that if we could pour
thi s poi son out of a sack fr om the plane he' d have
b ett er cover age, but we t old him, ' th at wouldn ' t
work, it' d go in th e pilot' s face.'
"So Alan Scott proposed that ... ' If you' ll guaran-
tee us enough work, we' ll pull the front seat out and
put a gin-bell . . . or a hopper . . . in its place.'
" He agreed to a deal , so we took the seat out and
put in two Model T gas tanks in th e center section,
covered them over with fabri c and put th e hopper
bel ow with a bi g six inch pipe goin' out through th e
bottom with a gate slip valve ... you know . .. with
a shovel handl e on it. Of course, like two kids would
do ... we' d matched to see who' d fl y it fir st. Well , I
won . .. so I f lew it fr om Leland up to Scott wh er e
the pl antati on headquart ers was.
" They immediately put 500 pounds of du st in it and
told me to go over to th e bend in the river. There
wer e 200 acres of cotton with th e worms eating it up.
Well , I got the Standard in th e air and aft er finding
the bend in th e river , went down over those bi g cy-
press trees and pull ed the shovel handl e ... and that
was the last time I could find it. The prop wash puffed
th e dust ri ght up into the cockpit so I was finally
standing up , tl ying in a circl e over that half moon
shaped fi eld . When I got through there was a deep
f og settling in there and that ti ckl ed Mr . Young no
" I headed back for our landing fi eld , my eyes and
mouth full of du st and spitting mud and cott on it
seemed like. About that time, Alan came up driving
the old Model T, hollerin' .. . ' I' m next : and I sez ...
' Yep , you ' r e next .' I figur ed th er e was no use ex-
pl aining to him, let him find out himself what was th e
" So they put another 500 pounds of du st in th e
hopper and t old him to go out there al ong the front
of the strip and put it out. He came diving in , opened
the gate and pull ed up abruptl y. He wasn' t as tall as I
was, and couldn' t get up out of th e swirling cockpit
dust. He couldn' t f ind th e handl e eith er , so he pull ed
up and dumped it from a pr etty hi gh l evel. When he
came down h e told Mr. Young, ' W e've got to seal
thi s thing up some way.'
" Aft er some f iguring we put in a bulkhead and seal ed
around it whi ch improved th e operati on consider-
abl y. With thi s and other modifi cati ons, we wer e
abl e t o work th er e over a month putting out th at
poi son . To the best of my knowl edge that was th e
beginning of crop du sting with an airpl ane. Now the
Gov ernment had run some t es ts with saddl e guns
hung over the si d e . . . cranking it out. Dr . B. R.
Coad at Talul ah was in charge of their so-call ed ex-
perimental stati on and pest contr ol. He had a coupl e
of Army DHs with nets th at hung between the wings.
He' d f ly ar ound th e country side and scoop up th e
bu gs in th ese nets f or hi s laboratory exper i ments.
" I' ll never forget . . . he had Sergeant' s Angel and
Mit chell fl ying those DHs. We found out that Henry
Elli ott and Doug Culver had bought the manufactur-
ing ri ght s and ji gs t o build th e old Huff-Pu ffers. They
had start ed du sting over in Georgi a, but th ey reali zed
in th e Summer of 1924 that th ose p ea pat ch si zed
f i elds were no pl aces f or airpl anes . .. so they moved
to Monroe, Lo ui5i ana that fall. They set up a bu siness
in an old WWI ca moufl aged t ent hanga r. By 1925 they
were ready t o dust , but th ey were broke. The fa rmers
wouldn' t l et them was t e th eir poi son fl yin' ar ound
and dumping it.
" So a f ell ow ca me al o ng and pr o mo t ed a new
company. He got some bankers, some ginners, some
chemi cal compani es and st art ed by taking in Henry El-
li ott and Doug Culver . Henry and Doug got stock in
t he new company for their airp lanes and equi pment ,
besi des getting a year-round job. That was the begin-
ning of Delt a Air Corp or ati on. Th ey di d t hei r fir st
crop du sting in th e Spring of 1926 and were th e onl y
company exclu sively equipped for crop du sti ng. Then
in 1928 th ey start ed their f irst airline with J6- 9 Travel
Airs f lying fr om Monroe t o Dall as and Atl anta. Mon-
roe was headquar t ers. Later th ey got a f ew Tri -moto r
Stinson 'T' s, and they al so had one or two Stinson
l ow-win g ' A's with retr act ab l e gear . O nl y a sh ort
whil e lat er they added several ten-twelve pl ace Lock-
heed El ectr as. Later of course, th ey graduated to th e
DC-2's , DC-3' s and have grown t o the renowned air-
line of today."
Doc and I thought it time for a br eak in the taping
sessi on, so we visited for a whil e with two croni es of
hi s, Clem W hittenbeck and Olin ' Pappy' Longcoy. On
t his day a number of members of the Fl orida Sport
Av i ati o n Ant i qu e and Cl ass i c Associa ti o n w er e
gathered for a fri endl y fly-in picni c.
When he had hi s second wind, J.O. continued hi s
remini scences.
}. O. Dockery with foot on lower wing of OX-5 Eaglerock
with wife, Irene, l eaning on l ower wing.
"I had a forced landing with an OX-Swallow about
1926. The engine iced up . .. well ... that is , I
thought it iced up ... it was quittin'. When I landed
in a corn fi eld . . . it was too little to land i"n, I fell in
... The ole boy who was with me, Rowe Soward, the
Assistant Manager of the Long Bell Lumber Co., of
Pine Bluff, immediately started gettin g chills and
fever . I did too, but it didn't show.
" The funny part was . .. he was so sick , we put
him on a train for the trip back home. I went back to
the plane and found I had a troublesome magneto,
so after getting that fixed, we had to pull the plane
over to the road and up a hill to a field . I took off
down the hill, round the curve, up through some
pine trees and came on out. I then landed at Smoot
Field at Monroe and got some gas from Henry and
went back to Pine Bluff. I got there in time to meet
the train , got Rowe Soward off the train with his chill
and fever and took him home.
" Back in those days, there was no such thing as a
steady job in aviation. You had to create on e. So
naturally, we had created the crop dusting, but that
only lasted about sixty days out of the year. We' d
dust for boll weevils and worms but the farmers just
hadn't taken to it yet .. . the dustin' . .. they
couldn' t feature anyone flying around dumping out
their poison and having such methods be effective.
Of course, we were getting ten cents a pou nd or a
minimum of two dollars an acre for doin' it. But we
couldn' t rig our planes for just dustin' and have them
idle the rest of the year . We' d clean them up for
barnstorming, air shows and passenger rides, picking
up what money we could .
" You know, back in 1927 they came out with the
first rules and regulations . .. called themselves the
Department of Commerce, Aeronautics Branch ...
and they gave me a license to fly. None of us be-
lieved that it would stick ... who was gonna enforce
rules in the air? Shorty Cramer was the first inspector.
He came out to Houston and gave Benny Howard,
Frank Hawks , Bert Pitco, Bert Eison , Bozo Moore and
myself our licenses.
" Like I said . .. Shorty Cramer was the first inspec-
tor in the field. He had Letters of Authority numbered
from 101 to 200. Eleven of us took our transport
examination after which he issued numbers 190 to
200. When we learned he had numbers 101 to 200,
the first to be i ss ued to any pilots except government
pilots ... we asked if he would issu e us numbers
from 101 up. But no ... he wouldn ' t do that because
he wanted those in his portfolio so that aft er taking
them off the top , he could tell right off how many he
had left.
" It didn' t make any difference, becau se he took
mine back anyway. Later, I found my first number
was re-is su ed the next week to Bill Berry in
Shreveport , Loui siana . All the insp ectors , one
hundred of them , had gone into the field with one
hundred numbers , so you understand why not many
were issued in numerical order .
" A short time later an incident occurred relating to
my former comment that Shorty took my li cense back
anyway. "
"Shorty had to make a flight to Houston, San An-
tonio, Waco and back, and when he was landing at
Houston , I was right behind flying a Super LeRhone
Standard. He was flyin ' this ole J-4 Stinson biplane,
the first airplane I ever saw with brakes . Soon as I
had my plane shut down , I got out and walked over
to talk with him and asked .. . ' Shorty, how you
" He said .. . ' Doc, I'm fine, but what're you doin'
flyin' that unli censed airplane? '
"Right off, I said ... ' Well , I' m a married man and
I ' ve gotta make a livin' , an this is the only job I can
find around here.'
"He sez ... 'Why you're a licensed pilot and that's
an unlicensed airplane and you ' re subject to a year
and a day in the Federal pen and a thousand dollars
fi ne or both .'
" I countered ... ' Now wait just a minute,' ... and
I reached into my pocket and pulled out the Letter of
Authority and said . .. ' You know what you can do
with this piece of paper don' t you?' ... and I gave it
back to him and went on flyin' that Super LeRhone
Standard which had an old rotary engine converted to
a stationary engine.
"I won' t tell you what we called those engines in
those days because each time we'd start one of 'em,
we'd have to fill a suction gun full of castor oil and
squirt it into the hollow crankshaft and hope to God
it'd hit on all cylinders when we got off the ground.
In thirty days of flyin ' those Super LeRhone Standards
I had fou rteen forced landings.
" At that time I was flyin' for J. C. Tipps and Co.,
and I told ' em that I thought I was gonna qu it. Cap-
tain Tipps didn' t know why I wanted to quit , and
asked me why ... to which I said . . . ' I don' t think
I ' m gonna live long enough to spend another thirty
days at this sort of thing,' .. . so I quit and went to
work for Captain V. C. and Phoebe Omlie at Mem-
phis, Tennessee.
" First thing Captain Verne did was ask if I had a
license. I said . .. ' Well-I-I . . . I had one,' . . . and
then told him the story.
" So he said ... ' Well , it's not goin' to stick any-
" I went ah ead and flew for him . He had a couple
ole OX and Hisso Standards, but he also had a brand
new Waco 7, fully licensed. I' d been ther e about two
weeks wh en some guy came out and wanted to fly to
Lou isville, Kentucky.
" Verne sez .. . ' D()c, you'd better take the Waco,
you won' t get up t h e r ~ in those Standards.'
" So I took the man to Louisville, let him out and
came back to Memphis, landed and two men walked
out from the hangar. They introduced themselves as
Mr. Sandy Willets and Mr. Bettenger .. . and then
request ed my li cense.
" I told th em the story and then heard . .. ' Mr.
Dockery, you ' re subject to a year and a day in the
Federal pen and a thousand dollars fine or both .
You ' re flying a licensed airplane and you ' re an un-
licensed pilot ... but they continued .. . ' We' re not
gonna press thi s pilot violation, we want you to take
the flight examination over again.'
" Well . . . as I told you, each inspector went into
the field with a hundred Letters of Authority. For in-
stance . . . Sandy Willets . . . I found out later . ..
had numbers 401 to 500 and Mr. Bettenger had num-
bers 2401 to 2500.
" He gave me the examination over again and is-
sued me number 2418, and that ' s the one I have to-
day, because by that time, I figured the rules were
goin' to stick."
Doc and I had to take a break for a minute while I
changed tape in my tape recorder and during these
moments he mentioned that also during 1927 he was
chief test pilot for Clyde Cessna for a while.
Editor's Note: Robert Elliott's story about J. O. Doc-
kery will be concluded in the August issu e of The
Irene Docker y l eans against short-nosed OX Ameri can
Eagl e. Noti ce the beautiful burnished cowling and wheel
- '
In the mid-thirties the Cunningham-Hall Aircraft
Corporation of Rochester, New York designed and
built a good looking low-wing aircraft which proved
to be far ahead of its time. Designed by Randolph F.
Hall it was to have both high and low speed capabil-
The GA- 36 built in 1935 was the outgrowth of pre-
vious designs . It was powered by a Warner Super
Scarab engine and had full span flaps plus other high
lift devices on the wing.
It was flown by several pilots who all spoke well of
the craft. The GA-36 was fully aerobatic and had ex-
cellent slow speed flight ability. Apparently it was
overbuilt and overweight, however , and did not fare
well when its climb and top speed was compared
with the performance of other 2 place planes of the
day. It could have made good use of a controllable
pitch propeller but one was never fitted.
The project was not continued and when the
Cunningham-Hall Aircraft Corporation failed to bid
successfully on government plane contracts, they
manufactured aircraft parts and gun mounts during
In the meantime, the GA-36 sat in a hangar at the
Rochester, New York Airport until 1941 when the
Meyers Aircraft Company in Tecumseh , Michigan
purchased the plane for its engine.
Among the pilots who were flying at the Rochester
Airport at the time was a you ng man named Robert E.
Kesel . Bob greatly admired the GA-36 and he and his
friends considered it to be the " absolute epitome of a
sport plane" .
by Gene Chase
(Photo Courtesy of Bob Kesel)
Th e 1935 Cunningham-Hall GA-36 was a ra cy looking
machine. Some of the STOL devices on the wing are vi si-
bl e in this photo. Company tes t pilot, Otto Enderton is at
the controls.
Bob is now an active member of Antique/ Classic
Chapter 6 of Rochester and through the years had
never forgotten the plane. On June 28, 1978, quite by
chance, Bob and some of his friends learned that the
GA-36 still existed and was located at the Tecumseh,
Michigan Airport where AI Meyers, of Meyers Air-
craft, had removed the engine some 37 years previ-
The aircraft was obtained along with a complete set
of factory drawings and now is the restoration project
of Antique/Classic Chapter 6. This group is actively
making the airplane airworthy and they are in need of
donations. A major item needed is the Warner en-
gine, either 145 or 165 hp. They have located two for
sale, but the prices are beyond the group's means.
For donation purposes the group has formed a
non-profit corporation called the GA-36 Association,
Inc. The purpose of the restoration is " to insure that
Rochester regains its proper place in the history of
aviation during the days when real pioneering work
was being done".
Bob Kesel and other Chapter 6 members will be
promoting their project at Oshkosh '80 by manning
booth number J- 7 in the North Exhibit Building. They
will display photos of the original plane as well as the
current restoration. They will also have scale models
of the GA-36 on display, and kits for sale for building
1/24 scale paper models of this beautiful aircraft.
For those interested in more details of the GA-36,
the Summer , 1971 Journal of the American Aviation
Historical Society contains a story of the
Cunningham-Hall Aircraft Corporation by Randolph F.
Hall, who was vice president and chief engineer of
the company.
(Ph oto b y R. Straub)
Th e GA-36 as it lay in th e weeds for many years at the
Tecumseh, Mi chiga n Airport.
In the Summer of 1969 I heard that there were two
planes for sale at the airport in Beaumont, Texas.
One was a )-3 Cub and the other was a Taylorcraft ,
both in need of rebuilding. I fell in love with the
T-craft when I saw the round control wheel and big
tachometer . The owner wanted $1 ,200.00 for the Cub
and $500.00 for the T-craft. While checking over the
logs I fou nd that the latter had only 442 total hou rs
on the engine and airframe. Also , it hadn't been
flown since 1965. Thi s Taylorcraft, a BL-65 was man-
ufactured on February 10, 1940, and powered by a
Lycoming 0-145-B2 of 65 hp.
At the time I owned a Volkswagen Van, which
made an ideal platform for carrying wings safely. My
family and I loaded other parts inside the van. By re-
moving the tail wheel and using a big bolt through
the tail spring and the trailer hitch on the bumper,
the fuselage towed nicely. This caravan attracted a lot
of attention.
We stored the T-craft behind my garage as I was in
the process of covering a Piper Colt. I am an Airframe
and Powerplant mechanic and hold an I.A. rating .
Since 1967 I have rebuilt and covered 30 planes and
88 Stearman wings. The oldest plane I have worked
on was a 1935 German Focke Wolfe 44 Biplan e. I
work on planes as a hobby. My main job for the past
25 years has been with BF Goodrich Chemicals in Port
Neches , Texas .
I received my aviation training in the U. S. Navy. I
attended Aviation Structural Mechani c School at
Memphis, Tennessee. My duties included working on
all parts of an airplane, except the engine, electrical
system, and radios. My first duty assignment was with
the Blue Angels, from April, 1952 to February, 1954.
Besides doing airframe work I was squadron painter.
I n February of 1954 I was transferr ed to Fi ghter
Squadron VF-111 at the Naval Air Station in Miramar,
California. I served four months with them. The rest
of my time in the Navy was spent with Fleet Air Ser-
vice Squadron Twelve at Miramar. I was Petty Officer
in charge of the aircraft paint shop.
While in the Navy I painted at least one of the fol-
lowing types of aircraft; Grumman Panther , Cougar ,
Bearcat, McDonnell Banshee, Phantom, Beech 18,
and finally a Grumman TBF Avenger. I really enjoyed
the chance to work on the military aircraft, but my
first love i s the old fabric planes.
As the years went by I worked on my T-craft as well
as seve ral planes. The fuselage needed to be
sandblasted. Some nut painted the wing spars with
zinc chromate and thi s had to be stripped off. As the
fuel tank had some l ea ks I sloshed the tank with
sloshing compound. I replaced the following items:
control cab les, shock cords, windshield, windows,
seats, seat belts, and prop. The wings and tail sur-
faces were covered with Grade A cotton. The cover
material came with the ship. The fuselage was cov-
by Bob Moore EAA # 773726, Al e # 3808 976 South 72 Street Nederland, TX 77627
ered with Stits dacron. The first time I paint ed th e
plane it ended up white with blue and gold trim, and
with bi g numbers on th e wings. I didn' t like thi s so I
r e- paint ed it orange/yell ow with whit e trim and bl ack
pin striping.
I maj o r ed the engine and everything went back
standard. The bi ggest pr obl em with the engine j ob
was th e pri ce I had t o pay for parts. Th e o nl y place I
could f ind any parts was in O kl ahoma. Th e rod bear-
i ngs cos t $99. 00 in 1975.
The T- craft f inall y f l ew in 1976, af t er el even years of
being grounded . Th e fir st f li ght was uneventful but
yet a real t hrill f or me. Aft er about four hours f lying
time the engine quit on takeoff when I was about 100
feet up. The runway here i s over 5,000 feet l ong so I
was abl e to land safely. Boy, did it get qui et - I could
hear my h eart pounding! Thi s w as my fir st f or ced
landing. Th e fu el l i ne was p lugged with the sl oshing
compound whi ch was shedding from th e sides of th e
fu el tank . Needl ess t o say I purchased a new t ank. I
had to disassembl e the fr ont of the pl ane t o i nstall
th e new tank.
In the meantime, I had started work on a Stearman
and th er e was n' t much time to fl y my plane. The new
tank began t o leak around th e fitting on the bott om
whi ch I had i nstall ed using t eflon tape. It seems that
thi s tape all ows you t o over ti ghten the fitting wi th out
you being aware of it. Lat er , someone t o re th e f abri c
on both wings by dr agging anoth er plane over it.
Th e Tayl o rcraf t then sat for 26 months w hil e I made
a Stearman out of thr ee. Next I recovered a Citabri a,
a PA-11 and a 7EC Champ.
It was n' t until Ap ril of 1979 that I f inall y got back t o
my own pl ane. As th e engine had to come off again
to r epair th e l eaking tank, and th e fabr ic on th e wings
had t o be repl aced , we br ought th e pl ane ho me.
Whil e the engine was off we inst all ed br ake pedal s
on the ri ght side of th e pl ane. These were des igned
and welded up by Tommy Font enot , the President of
EAA Chapt er 223. Tommy i s building a Sonerai Two,
and does some of the best weldi ng I have seen. I got
a one time approval from the FAA on thi s i nstall ati on.
The main reason we install ed the new brake system i s
th at my so ns want t o l ea rn t o f l y. Al so, To mmy
needed some t ai l dragger ti me.
Nex t I r ecover ed the wings and tail surfaces with
Stit s dacron . Th e pl ane i s now painted wi th Stit s
Aer othane int ernati onal orange wi t h whit e trim and
black pin st ri ping. I install ed an air dr iven generat or
and a Genave radi o, and wheel pant s.
I weigh 225 Ibs., and th e T- craf t will do 90-95 mph
with me al one. The engine burns 3-4 gall ons of gas an
hour. It ' s a l ot of f un to f ly and cheap even at today's
pri ces.
Photos b y Wayne M oore
h y Phi l Michmerhui zen
186 Sunset Dri ve
Holland, MI 49423
(Photos Court esy Of Th e Author)
The Szekel y Fl ying Dutchman, NX9450 under the wing of
a Stout Airli nes Ford Trimotor, possibly at the openi ng of
Sze kel y's airport at Holl and, Mi c higan. Th e Flying
Dutchman was fl , ·", '11 to Los Angel es, Ca l iforni a where i t
was di spl ayed Jt ;,·e I nt ernational Aircraft Show. Th ere,
Charl es Lindr. ' gi l I, 'spected the plane for 20 minut es and
prai sed it.
It was whil e r eading " Mr. Pi per and Hi s Cubs",
about 1953 that I came fa ce to face with th e fac t that
airplan e engin es wer e ac tuall y built in Ho ll and ,
Mi chi gan . A det ermi ned and l engthy trip t o our li-
brary pr oduced newspaper clippings giving the hi st ory
of th e fa ct ory and also th eir dr eams.
Otto E. Szekely (pr onounced ZAY-KI ) was described
by o ne o f hi s Ho ll and empl oyees, Conrad G .
Lohmann , as " a very smart enginee r but a l o u sy
businessman." Mr . Szekel y gradu at ed f rom schools in
Vienna and Berlin and came to the Unit ed Stat es aft er
World War I. He j oined Vil ey Mot o r Corporati o n,
Moline, Illinoi s, where he desi gned fr ont wh eel drive
vehicl es f or a man who lat er became hi s broth er-in-
A f ew years lat er he began hi s own engineering
firm and d es i gned small gas o l i ne engin es for
Cushman of Lincoln, Nebraska, and oth er firms. He
also ent ered th e pi st on ring business.
One of the firms he did work f or was the Maytag
was her company in Iowa. He al so drew th e att ention
of Holland Furnace Company offi cial s who invest ed in
a washing machine f irm in Holl and, Mi chi gan call ed
Vac-A- Tap.
Szekely was talked into moving hi s engineering and
pist on ring firm t o Holland wh er e he bega n work
wi th Vac-A-Tap on Howard Avenu e.
Among th ose Szekely empl oyees moving t o Hoi-
land from Moline in 1925 was Fritz Li edtke; now 87
and living in Bea tri ce . Nebraska . Mr . Li edtke still
works for a bank. Li edtke recall ed those earl y years.
" They (Vac- A-Tap) made a good machine. I sent
one home to my moth er in Nebraska."
But company offi cia l s di sagreed over poli cy and
Vac-A-Tap was abandoned, but not bef or e Szekely
turn ed t o a p et pr o j ect , d evelopment o f a three-
cyli nder ai rcraft engi ne.
Li edtke said th e pi ston ring divi si on expanded and
millions were sold to Ramsey Associat es or Ramco of
51. Loui s and lat er through jobbers such as NAPA.
Li edtke and Lohmann r ecalled how Szek ely de-
veloped sp eci ali zed pi ston rings, including the re-
voluti onary inner ring. Szekely al so produced a few
machines that made th e pi ston rings.
In 1928 Sze kel y acquired the Burke Engineering
Company in Holland and began produ ci ng engines of
25 to 200 ho rsepower for Continental Motors, Gould
Pump Corp o r ati o n , El ectri c Wh ee l Corpo ration ,
Cushman Mot or Works and Westinghou se El ectric
But still he worked on the thr ee-cy linder aircraft
Lohmann was hired to work on the i gniti on system
for th e engin e whi ch included Scintill a Mag netos
from Switzerl and.
Th e Szekely SR-3 air- cooled radial engine was pre-
vi ewed in Avi ati on magazine, May 28, 1928 whi ch re-
port ed it rat ed at 40 hor sepower at 1,800 revoluti ons
per minut e and weighed 148 pounds.
These early ('28) overhead valve engines differed
from later production engines in several ways. The
mounting flange for the engine consisted of a round
machined pilot fitting into the engine bracket on the
plane. The engine was held together with six thru
bolts, and the cylinder and head were cast as one,
with spark plugs on the sides and the exhaust pro-
truding out the front of the cylinder.
A Holland Sentinel clipping of june, 1928 notes,
" The company's airplane motor set a record when it
Phil Mi chmerhui zen and his Szekely engine.
covered 920 miles in nine hours and 18 minutes at 38
By the Fall of 1928 Szekely was producing small
planes at the 12th Street factory overlooking Black
Lake. The aircraft called the "Flying Dutchman" was
of tubular welded steel and the cantilever style wing
was of wood construction. Both were fabric covered.
Wing span was 26' length was 18'. Test pilots flying
the plane were familiar sights as they zoomed in the
skies over Holland, waving to persons on the ground.
One of the Sentinel clippings stated that one of the
first Holland-made planes, carrying the name of "Fly-
ing Dutchman" flew to California under the direction
of james R. Williams , manager of the company,
where it was exhibited.
Apparently only one or two airplanes were actually
built, and these may have been other airplanes with
Szekely engines. The FAA files do not record a "Fly-
ing Dutchman" airplane and I assume it was never
Liedtke, who was superintendent of the local plant,
remembers Szekely as a fine man. "We used to go a
long time without wages but we liked him and we
worked for many weeks and finally he paid us our
wages," said Liedtke.
Lohmann, on the other hand, became disenchanted
with Szekely and in the Fall of 1928 left the firm. He
now lives in Florida in retirement.
" Szekely's decision to build a five-cylinder radial
engine was a big mistake," wrote Lohmann in 1972.
"The required tests with the government ate up lots
of money."
Production of planes, engines and piston rings in-
creased and an addition to the 12th Street plant was
start ed in February, 1928. The story-and-a-half addi-
tion with arched roof to the west of the existing
building allowed for the fuselage department on the
ground floor and the wing department in the bal-
cony. A sales brochure stated that by july, 1929, with
the new addition in operation, the plant was produc-
ing 24 planes a week and 72 complete engines.
In june, 1929, Szekely Aircraft & Engine Corpora-
tion dedicated its own airfield north of Holland along
136th Avenue, boasting two 2,200 foot runways and
two " ,500 foot ru nways.
Sales offices were opened in San Francisco, Kansas
City and New York to meet the expected demand of
the private aircraft industry.
Within months the stock market collapsed and the
great depression set in. In july, 1930 Szekely attempt-
ed to quiet rumors of financial ruin, but declined to
offer any details. At that time the plant listed 150
The Zeke making sweet music. Pusher prop is blowing oil
and grease away (rom th e operator,
Szekely travel ed to Eu rope, retu rni ng in janu ary,
1931 to assure local people his aircraft plant would
remain in Holland. He also made plans to go to In-
dianapolis to confer with parties interested in affiliat-
ing with Szekely.
The Vice President of the Szekely Company, jack
Whitaker, went to New York, Detroit, and the Cleve-
land National Air Races in 1931 to promote the engines
and planes. But the company did not prosper and on
May 10, 1932, Szekely Aircraft & Engine Company
filed voluntary bankruptcy in Federal court at Grand
Rapids, Michigan. Liabilities were placed at
$129,859.24 with assets of $136,784.60. The liabilities
included $1,868.45 in unpaid taxes and $6,396.63 in
unpaid wages.
Szekely moved his family to Elmira, New York and
then to Philadelphia where he became connected
with the Navy. In 1950 he operated a factory in Com-
merce, Georgia which produced secret items for the
Navy. Later Szekely moved to Florida where he died a
few years ago.
It is interesting to note the various engines the
company hoped to produce.
"jane's All the World's Aircraft" of 1929 lists three
Szekely engines, the three-cylinder at 40 hp; a five-
cylinder at 70 hp; and a seven-cylinder at 100 hp.
One year later, "jane's All the World's Aircraft" of
1930 again listed three engines, a two-cylinder at 22.5
hp; a three-cylinder at 40 hp and a five-cylinder at 70
hp. The seven-cylinder engine was not mentioned.
Ref: "U. S. Civil Aircraft" by Joseph Juptner - Vol. 3,4, 5
Aircraft No.
American Eagle "Eaglet" 380
Curtiss Wright " Junior " 397
Buhl " Bull Pup" LA-1 405
Rearwin " Junior" 3000 434
Alexander "Flyabout" D2 449
American Eagle -
Lincoln "Eaglet" B-31 450
Rearwin " Junior 3100" 481
Taylor " Cub" H-2 572
The 1932 "Aircraft Yearbook" shows front and side
views of the 3-35, 3-45 and 3-55 series of Szekely en-
gines. It can be seen from these views that the 55 hp
has the valves and rockers enclosed in aluminum
covers cast with the head.
I doubt that the two-cylinder or seven-cylinder ver-
sions were ever built; and after talking with men who
worked at the Szekely plant it appears that only five
or six of the five-cylinder engines were built and test
run, trying for certification.
Besides , the above mentioned engines , all of which
used overhead valves, the company was supposed to
have built both three and five-cylinder L-head en-
gines. I have never seen the L-head version but 80
American Eagle "Eaglet" airplanes A.T.e. No. 380
used th e SR-3L-30.
It is difficult to come up with exact production fig-
ures for Szekely engines . One reference source is
"U. S. Civil Aircraft" by Joseph Juptner, Volumes 3, 4,
and 5. Assuming that all of the following aircraft were
delivered with Szekelys installed 645-plus engines can
be accounted for in the chart above.
I know that some engines went overseas to power
light planes in Europe. Other en&!nes were used on
prototype airplanes such as the first Funk and the
twin-engined Fuller-Hammond. Both aircraft were
powered with 45 hp Szekelys.
In my search for a Szekely engine, I spent about
three and a half years of writing post cards and mak-
ing long distance phone calls chasing down rumors
and leads, only to find out I was anywhere from a
couple of days to five years too late.
Then one day I received a post card from someone
who heard of my search for an old airplane engine.
He wrote that about five years ago he had heard a
rumor in upper Michigan of a three-cylinder and a
seven-cylinder engine in a shed. I called fellows in
Engine Run
SR-3L-30 80
SR-3-0 (45 hpj 270
Szekely 45 100+
Szekely 45 17
SR-3-0 (45 hpj 14
Szekely 45 13
Szekely 50 2
Szekely SR-3-50 149
Holland who go fishing up north and they gave me
the name of a man who worked up there. I called
him and he didn't know who would have one, but he
would check around.
About a week later I received a call from a Jim
Hammel. " I hear you are looking for an old three-
cylinder ' Holland' engine. Well, there's one in the
shop that hasn't run for seventeen years. Yeh, I guess
I'd sell it, don't know what I'd do with it, had it on a
snow sled.
Three days later my wife and I started out for upper
Michigan. We found Jim' s place, waited for him to
come home from work, then trudged through knee-
deep snow to the shed. Sure 'nuff, there was a
"Zeke"! It turned over, looked fair, had no car-
buretor or data plate but we agreed on a price then
carried the little engine to the truck! Oh yes, I checked
- there were no airplanes around, or the seven-
cylinder engine rumored to be there too!
Back home, because I had run ads in the Sentinel
and over the radio requesting Szekely information I
thought I would stop by and show my friends with
the news media what I had found. Later, when an ar-
ticle came out in the newspaper, one former factory
employee, Ed Scholten, had to see that engine the
very next morning. He told stories of working in the
new plant in March with no glass panes installed in
the open windows.
John Emmons, a good friend and experienced
mechanic (though not on Szekelys) and I were suc-
cessful in getting the engine apart without breaking
anything. We found the engine to be in surprisingly
good condition internally. The cylinders had only .005
taper, and the rings had very little wear. We had the
cylinders honed and magnafluxed along with the
crankshaft and rods. I made new gaskets. Gene Mor-
ris sent a valve stem end and valve retainer clips for
use as patterns and Carl Kallunsrud made six more.
Chet Miller was good enough to make an aluminum
cap and gave me the thrust bearing number I needed
for the oil pump assembly. I also had three new
exhaust valves made.
Then another exciting trip took place. In October,
1978, I was paging through Trade-A-Plane and noticed
a " Zeke" to be auctioned off on the following Satur-
day in Columbus, Ohio. Friday evening after work we
headed for Columbus, arriving at a motel at 2:30
A.M. I was up at 7: 00 A.M. and one of the first at the
auction. By 12: 30 P.M. the engine was mine and
another "Zeke" was on its way back to Holland.
This 45 hp engine had a data plate, 3/8"cable
around the jugs; and other needed parts, including a
carburetor, carb spacer, oil lines and oil tank. I doubt
if the engine mount was "aircraft" as it was built of
angle iron and tubing; the splintered Sensenich prop
was from an American Eaglet, B-31 and was nailed to-
gether at one tip!
I had the recently acquired carburetor and mags
overhauled, then built a test stand for the engine. At
last John and I were ready to assemble the first
"Zeke". As this engine had been used on a snow sled
up North, it had really been abused when compared
with aircraft standards . John had to solve many little
problems as he went. The previous owner had used
an old tractor carburetor and had stripped several of
the mounting holes. Then, as we were priming the oil
pump before starling the engine, oil was running o.ut
of the front of the crank. I know that many old radial
engines slobber oil, but this was too much. Sure
enough, someone had used a wheel puller and had
driven the welsh plug right into the crank. If anyone
can fix it, I thought, John can, and three hours later
we were ready once again, to try to make the "Zeke"
I wish I could say that it started on the second or
third pull. The truth is, we worked with it about an
hour on a Friday night, a couple of hours on Saturday
morning, and finally on Saturday afternoon John and
I were all smiles - the little "Zeke" was running. It' s a
good thing the engine had a pusher prop or John and
I would have been covered with grease and oil. Sud-
denly we didn't notice our sore arms, with that sweet
sound coming from all three cylinders. And best of
all , despite the rumors about Szekelys, the engine
didn't even throw a jug.
Now I'm looking for a plane on which to mount the
Szekely, such as a Curtiss Wright Junior or an Alex-
ander Flyabout - or even a Fuller-Hammond! I do
have two e n g i n e ~   remember! Up to now I don't have
a single hour flying behind a Szekely, but I hope to
remedy that situation.
JULY 3-6 - BOWLING GREEN, OHIO - Ercoupe Owners Club Na-
tional Fly-In, Wood CountyAirport . Forfurtherinformation,please
contact: Carl Hall, Bowling Green State University, School of Art ,
Division of Design , Bowling Green, OH 43403. Tel ephone: 4191
JULY 4-6 - ALLIANCE, OHIO- 1980 Taylorcraft Reunion, sponsored
by th e Taylorcraft Owners Club at Barber's Fi eld. For further in-
formation, please contact: Allan Zollitsch, 37 Taft Avenue, Lan-
caster, NY 14086. Tel ephone: 716/681-1675.
JULY 4-6 - COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA - lAC Contest - Sponsored
by lAC Chapter 80 for the Sportsman and Unlimited categories.
For further information, please contact: Earl Sanford, 5416 Pacific
Street , Omaha, NE 68106.
JULY 4-6 - HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA - lAC Contest - Sponsored
by lAC Chapter 44 for th e Sportsman category only. For further
information, pl ease contact : Robert Austin, 701 Fagan Springs
Drive, Huntsvill e, AL 35801. Telephone: 205/534-8146.
JULY 4-6 - GAl NESVILLE, GEORGIA - 13th Annual " Cracker" Fly-
In. AAA North Georgia Chapter. For further information, please
contact : Jim Clarkson , 1649Avon Avenue, Tucker , GA 30084.
JULY 11--13- ACME, ALBERTA, CANADA - EAAC National Conven-
tion. Contact G. W. Le May, 5003 Bulyea Rd., NW, Calgary, Al-
berta T2L 2H7 orT. Fitzgerald, 3311 Caribou, Alberta T2L OS4.
JULY 11-13 - OWOSSO, MICHIGAN - lAC Contest - Sponsored by
lAC Chapter 88 for the Sportsman and Unlimited categories. For
further informati on, please contact: David E. McKenzi e, 21141
H. C.  L. Jackson, Grosse IIl e, MI 48138. Telephone: 313/671-1837.
JULY 12 - TECUMSEH, MICHIGAN - Meyers OTWReunion - Back
to Factory. For further information, pl ease contact: Di ck Martin,
Rt. 3, Aerodrome Road, Green Bay, WI 54301 or Haro ld Losser ,
41 5 Eighth Street Place, Des Moines, IA 50313.
JULY 13 - EASTON, PENNSYLVANIA - 4th Annual Aeronca Fly-In,
Easton Airport. For further information,please contact: Jim Polles,
2151759-3713, nights and weekends.
JUL Y 17-20- OnOWA, KANSAS - lAC Contest - Sponsored by lAC
Chapter15 for the Sportsmanand Unlimitedcat egories. For further
information, please contact: Patri cia G. Brown, 10614 West 108
Terrace, Overland Park, KS 66210. Telephone: 913 /492-7581.
JULY 18-20 - MIDDLEFIELD, OHIO - lAC Contest - Sponsored by
lAC Chapter 34 for the Sportsman and Unlimited categories. For
further information, please contact: John T. Meyers, 9089 Sky-
lane Drive, Wadsworth , OH 44281. Telephone: 2161336-7479.
JULY 18-20 - MINDEN, NEBRASKA - The National Stinson Club
Fourth Annual Fly-In will be held at Pioneer Field. For further in-
formation, please contact: Bob Near , 2702 Butterfoot Lane, Hast-
ings, NE 68901. Tel ephone: 402/463-9309.
JULY 19-20- LEWISTOWN, MONTANA- 3rdAnnual Montana Chap-
terAAA Fly-In at Beacon Star AntiqueAirfield. For further informa-
tion, please contact: Frank Bass, Star Route, Moore, MT 59464.
Telephone: 406/538-7616.
AUGUST 1 - HARVARD, ILLINOIS - Vintage Ultralight Fly-In at
Dacy Airport. 1941 or earli er , 60 hp or less. To conclude with a
group flight to Oshkosh on August 3. For further information,
please contact: Richard C.  Hill , P. O. Box 89, Harvard, IL 60033.
AUGUST 2-9 - OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN - 28th Annual EAA Con-
vention and Sport Aviation Exhibition - the world's largest and
most exciting aviation event. For further informati on, please con-
tact: Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), P.O. Box 229, Hales
Corners, WI 53130. Telephone: 414/425-4860.
AUGUST 10-16 - FOND DU LAC, WISCONSIN - The International
Aerobatic Club's annual aerobatic competition. Biggest field any-
where for an aerobatic contest plus greatest variety of aerobatic
aircraft. For further information, please contact: Herb Cox, Con-
test Chairman,812 TaylorAvenue, Mt. Vernon , IL 62864.
AUGUST 10-16 - MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - 12th Annual Con-
vention of the I nt ernational Cessna 170 Association at General
Mitchell Field. For further information, please contact: Richard
Tomasello, 1333 Wagner Drive, EI Cajon, CA 92020.
AUGUST 17-30 - OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN - World Aerobatics '80.
For th e first time ever, the U. S. will host the World's Aerobatic
Championships. Fourteen countries will participate. Don' t miss
this historic event. For further information, please contact: World
Aerobatics '80,P.O. Box 229, Hales Corners,WI 53130. Telephone:
AUGUST 22-24 - COFFEYVILLE, KANSAS - Funk Fly-In. For further
information, please contact: Ray Pahls, 454 South Summitlawn,
Wichita, KS 67209, or G. Dale Beach, 1621 Dreher Street , Sacra-
mento, CA95814 .
AUGUST 24 - WEEDSPORT, NEW YORK - Fly-In sponsored by EAA
Chapter 486 at Whitfords Airport Field. Airport closed from 1:00
p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for air show. For further information, please
contact: Herb Livingston, 1257 Gallager Road, Baldwinsville, NY
Lavaca-Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce sponsors an air
show at Calhoun County Airport. For further information, please
contact: Preston Van Hanken , Port Lavaca Chamber ofCommerce,
P. O. Box 528, Port Lavaca, TX 77979. Telephone: 512/552-2959.
SEPTEMBER 5-7 - MARION, OHIO - 15th Annual Mid-Eastern Re-
gional EAA Fly-In at Marion MuniCipal Airport. For further in-
formation, please contact: Mr. Louis Lindeman, 3840 Cl overdal e
Road, Medway, OH 45341. Telephone: 513/849-9455 .
SEPTEMBER 12-1 4 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - Alberta' s 75th Anniver-
sa ry as a Province, the Airdrie Country Club of the Air is sponsor-
ing a "Diamond Jubilee Antiquel Classic Fly-In", at Airdrie Air-
port. For further information, pl ease contact: George B. Pendle-
burg, Vice-President, Publicity Chairman, 304 Manora Road, N.E.,
Calgary, Alberta T2A 4R6. Telephone: 4031272-4383.
SEPTEMBER 12-14 - DELANO, CALIFORNIA - lAC Contest - Spon-
sored by lAC Chapter 26 for the Sportsman and Unlimited cate-
gories. For further information, please contact : Jack Gl adish, 120
South Ham Lanek, Lodi , CA 92540. Telephone: 209/369-5768.
SEPTEMBER 13 - GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - Chapter 651 is spon-
soring a fly-in at Plainview Airport. For further information, please
contact: Dave Frisbie, 414/336-3257.
SEPTEMBER 13- 14 - OSCEOLA, WISCONSIN - lAC Contest - Spon-
sored by lAC Chapter 78 for the Sportsman category only. For
furtherinformation,pleasecontact: JamesG.Taylor,119Comanche
Drive, Webster, MN55088. Telephone: 507/652-2607.
Piper Fly-In. For further information, please contact: Jim Polles,
299 Nazareth Drive, Nazareth, PA 18064. Telephone: 215/759-
3713 (nights).
SEPTEMBER 14 - LANSING, ILLINOI S - The Lansing Police Cadets
will sponsor their 2nd Annual Fly-In and Air Show at LanSing
Municipal Airport. For further information, please contact: J. P.
Fish , P.O. Box 411 , Lemont , IL 60439. Telephone: 312 /257-7.552.
SEPTEMBER 19-21 - KERRVILLE, TEXAS - 16th Annual Southwest
Regional Fly-In, sponsored by the Texas Chapters of EAA. For
further informati on, please contact : Bob Reese, Rt. 4, Box 305,
San Angelo, TX 76901. Tel ephone: 915/658-4194 or915/949-2886.
Sponsored by lAC Chapter 94 for theSportsman and Int ermediate
categor i es. For further informati on, please contact: Fred Weaver,
Himmel ein Road, Box 9E, Medford, NJ. Telephone: 609/654-7867.
tional Fall Fly-In. Don't miss this one. For further information,
please contad: EAA Fall Fly- I n, P.O. Box 229, Hal es Corners, WI
53130. Telephone: 414/425-4860.
Aero II Plans
The new2-place aerobatictrainer and sport biplane,
20 pages of easy to follow detailed plans. Complete
with isometric drawings, photos, exploded views,
Plans - $85.00, Info pack - $4 .00, Send check or
money order to: AeRO SPORT, INC., Box 462, Hales
Corners, WI 53)30._414/425-4860.
Classic  owners! 

(' \;,/ \"-/ ,

All Items READY-MADE  for
Seat Upholstery - Wall Panels 
Headliners - Carpets - etc. 
Ceconite Envelopes and Dopes 
Send  $1 .00  for  Catalog  and  Fabrics  Selection  Guide 
259-15 Lower  Morrisville  Rd. 
Fallsington,  Pa.  19054 
( 215)  295- 4115 
by Lionel Sa li sbury
Seven Harper Road
Brampton, Ontario L6W 2W3
Article Number 18, Poster Number 9, Series Number 2
Ca nada
This is th e eight eenth poster in our series. When
we originally started reproducing the poster s which
had been offered by the Borden Company in Canada,
it was expected that this would be the final one. This
was the las t from the original collection provided by
Mr. Glenn Inch of Brampton , Ontario, who had col-
lect ed th em in 1936, when he was a young man.
However , as th e series began to appear on the
pages of The VINTAGE AIRPLANE, we start ed to re-
ceivemail from th e readers, indicating that there had
indeed been additional posters offered by the Bor-
den Company in the United States in 1933 and 1934.
Mr. Cedric Galloway of California came forward with
three from hi s collection that had not been made
available in Canada. A few months later, Mr. Marion
McClure, who resides in Illinois, sent in his entire
collection. From that source we will be able to offer
an additional six posters for inclusion in our series .
Therefore, we will continue next month with Mr.
Galloway's first offering, the Borden Poster that fea-
tured the Boei ng Tri-Motor, a very attractive pictorial
of a most unique aircraft. This month's poster has,
as usual , the line drawing taken from the back of the
original and the descriptive notes that were also pro-
vided with the drawing.
N EXT MONTH - Th e Boeing Tri -Motored Transport
3!:)1FT. !-
leFT. III....
Made at Hagerstown, Maryl and, by th e Fair child
Aircraft Corporat i on, The Fairchild "45" i s a fiv e-p lace
low-wing monoplane wit h a Wright Whirlwind engine.
The int erior of the cabin i s built to resembl e that of
streaml ined motor ca rs.
Specifi ca tions Performance
Wing span, 39 feet. Length overall , 28 feet, 11 inches. Hi gh speed , 170 mi les per hour . Landing speed, 48
Height overall , 8 feet. Mot or, Wri ght Whir lwind. Power mil es per hour . Cruising speed , 156 mi les per hour .
loading, 15 pounds per horsepower. Wing loading, I nitial rat e of climb, 640 feet per minut e. Cruising
14.75 pounds per squar e foot. Gross wei ght , 3,600 range, 600 mil es.
pounds. Pay l oad , 880 pounds.
Nord  1203-3  " Norecrin" ,  manufactured  in  Fran ce 
in  1956.  This  4  place,  all  metal,  retractable  tricycl e 
gear  aircraft  is  power ed  with  a  145  hp  SNEC7A  " 4LOO" 
engine.  1000  hours  on  the  airframe  and  on 
the  engine.  Paint  scheme  is  camouflage,  similar  to 
Me  109.  Contact :  Mr.  Jeane-Claude  Paillard,  No.  5 
La  Marinere  rue Albert camus , Br etigny sur  Orge 91220, 
1973  - March  through  December 
1974  - All  Are  Avai l able 
1975  - All  Are  Available 
1976  - January  through  May,  August  through  Decem-
1977  - All  Are  Available 
1978  - January, March  through  June, August,  October , 
1979  - February  through  December 
1980  - January  through  June 
Back  issues  are  available  from  Headquarters  for  $1 .00 
each,  postpaid,  except  the  July  1977  (Lindbergh  Com-
memorative)  issue,  which  is  $1 .25  postpaid. 
1928  STEARMAN  C3B 
by Gene  Chase
The  above  photo  is  one  of  several  sent  to  us  by 
Antique/ Classic  member  Hal  Kostka  of  Valparaiso,  I n-
diana.  The  aircr aft  is  an  extremely  accurate  scale 
model  with  a 35"  wing  span. 
Hal  is  a  gol f  professional  who  has  enjoyed  antique 
aircraft  since  he  was  a  kid  growing  up  on  the  north 
side  of Milwaukee,  Wisconsin .  Obviously,  he  is  also  a 
highly  skilled  modeler.  All  of  t he  controls  on  the 
Stearman  are  operable  from  the  cockpit  including  the 
elevator  trim .  The  finis h  is  10  to  12  coats  of  hand 
rubbed  dope. 
The  model  was  built  from  a  Flyline  kit. ' To  scale 
modelers  the  name  Flyli ne  is  synonomous  with  Hurst 
Bowers  who  designed  the  Stearman  model  as  well  as 
most  of  the  others  killed  by  Flyline.  Hurst  is  also  an 
EAA  member. 
(Pho ro by Hal Kostka)
Hal Kostka' s Stearman C3 B. Urschel Fi el d was the name
of th e airport at  Valparaiso, Indi ana.


1929,  1930,  1931 
1932, 1933,  1929-33  Miscellany

2.50 ea.  or 6 for $12.50
EAA  Air  Museum  Foundation, Inc. 
Box  469  Hales  Corners. WI  53130 
Allow  4·6  Weeks  For  Delivery 
Wisconsin  Residents  Include 4%  Sales  Tax 
(Photo by Gene Chase)
Two new production Creat Lakes at Sun ' n Fun '80, Lake-
land, Fl orida. Th e one on the l eft i s owned by Dr. Robert
Tober, Napl es, Florida and th e other by Marty Lowe, Hid-
den River, Fl orida.