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VOL.
VOL.
VOL. JULY 2004 1 1 Front Cover: Re storer / pilot Mikael Carlson of Sweden fliesatjerryprovenza@wmconnect.com . 32, No. 7 2 VAA NEWS 6 MYSTERY PLANE 8 MY FLIGHT IN AN AEROPLANE LUCERNE, AUGUST 9 , 1912 Walter C. Hill, Sr 10 95TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHANNEL CROSSING SPECIAL CABLE TO THE WASHINGTON POST 11 CARLSON ' S THULIN-BUILT BLERIOT A GRANDFATHER'S INSPIRATION H . G. Frautschy 15 FLIGHT STORY - CONTINUED A GRANDFATHER'S INSPIRATION Tom Matowitz 19 A BRIEF HISTORY OF STEARMAN AIRCRAFT COMPANY Alan Lopez 25 THE VINTAGE INSTRUCTOR INVULNERABILITY/D oug Stewart 26 CALENDAR 27 PASS IT TO BUCK A STICKING VALVE/Buck Hilbert 28 NEW MEMBERS 29 CLASSIFIED ADS Publisher TOM POBEREZNY Editor-in-Chief scon SPANGLER Executive Editor MIKE DIFRISCO News Edi t or Photography Staff Production Manager Advertising Sales RIC REYNOLDS JIM KOEPNICK JULIE RUSSO LOY HICKMAN 913·268 -6646 Advertising/ Editorial Assistant Copy Editing ISABELLE WISKE COLLEEN WALSH KATHLEEN WITMAN VINTAGE AIRPLANE Executive Director, Editor HENRY G. FRAUTSCHY VAA Administrative Assistan t THERESA BOOKS Contributing Editors BUDD DAVISSON DOUG STEWART JOHN MILLER " id="pdf-obj-1-4" src="pdf-obj-1-4.jpg">
VOL. JULY 2004 1 1 Front Cover: Re storer / pilot Mikael Carlson of Sweden fliesatjerryprovenza@wmconnect.com . 32, No. 7 2 VAA NEWS 6 MYSTERY PLANE 8 MY FLIGHT IN AN AEROPLANE LUCERNE, AUGUST 9 , 1912 Walter C. Hill, Sr 10 95TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHANNEL CROSSING SPECIAL CABLE TO THE WASHINGTON POST 11 CARLSON ' S THULIN-BUILT BLERIOT A GRANDFATHER'S INSPIRATION H . G. Frautschy 15 FLIGHT STORY - CONTINUED A GRANDFATHER'S INSPIRATION Tom Matowitz 19 A BRIEF HISTORY OF STEARMAN AIRCRAFT COMPANY Alan Lopez 25 THE VINTAGE INSTRUCTOR INVULNERABILITY/D oug Stewart 26 CALENDAR 27 PASS IT TO BUCK A STICKING VALVE/Buck Hilbert 28 NEW MEMBERS 29 CLASSIFIED ADS Publisher TOM POBEREZNY Editor-in-Chief scon SPANGLER Executive Editor MIKE DIFRISCO News Edi t or Photography Staff Production Manager Advertising Sales RIC REYNOLDS JIM KOEPNICK JULIE RUSSO LOY HICKMAN 913·268 -6646 Advertising/ Editorial Assistant Copy Editing ISABELLE WISKE COLLEEN WALSH KATHLEEN WITMAN VINTAGE AIRPLANE Executive Director, Editor HENRY G. FRAUTSCHY VAA Administrative Assistan t THERESA BOOKS Contributing Editors BUDD DAVISSON DOUG STEWART JOHN MILLER " id="pdf-obj-1-6" src="pdf-obj-1-6.jpg">
JULY 2004 1 1
JULY 2004
1 1
Front Cover: Re storer / pilot Mikael Carlson of Sweden flies past in his
Front Cover: Re storer / pilot Mikael Carlson of Sweden flies past in his

Thulin Typ e A/ BIEniot Xi. The license-built Bleriot is powered by a 50 hp

Gnome Omega rotary engine . Recovered from a barn in Sweden in 1986 , the pioneer era airp lane reminds us of the 95th Anniversary of Bleriot's flight across the English Channel on July 25, 1909. VAA/ EAA photo by H.G. Fr autschy .

Back Cover: " Fabric" is the title of the Best in Show ribbon winner during the 2004 Sport Aviation Art Competition. "Fabric" was composed using

graphite pencils on cold-pressed illustration board . It was based on a

photograph of an Aeronca Champ taken by the artist, G.D. Provenza, in 1959 , while hanging around a county airport and dreaming of being a pilot. You can read G.D. at PO Bo x 271362 , Fort Collins , CO 80527, or

32, No. 7

2 VAA NEWS 6 MYSTERY PLANE 8 MY FLIGHT IN AN AEROPLANE LUCERNE, AUGUST 9 ,
2
VAA NEWS
6
MYSTERY PLANE
8
MY FLIGHT IN AN AEROPLANE
LUCERNE, AUGUST 9 , 1912

Walter C. Hill, Sr

  • 10 95TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHANNEL CROSSING SPECIAL CABLE TO THE WASHINGTON POST

  • 11 CARLSON ' S THULIN-BUILT BLERIOT A GRANDFATHER'S INSPIRATION H .G. Frautschy

  • 15 FLIGHT STORY - CONTINUED A GRANDFATHER'S INSPIRATION Tom Matowitz

  • 19 A BRIEF HISTORY OF STEARMAN AIRCRAFT COMPANY Alan Lopez

  • 25 THE VINTAGE INSTRUCTOR INVULNERABILITY/D oug Stewart

  • 26 CALENDAR

  • 27 PASS IT TO BUCK A STICKING VALVE/Buck Hilbert

  • 28 NEW MEMBERS

  • 29 CLASSIFIED ADS

Publisher TOM POBEREZNY Editor-in-Chief scon SPANGLER Executive Editor MIKE DIFRISCO News Edi t or Photography Staff
Publisher
TOM POBEREZNY
Editor-in-Chief
scon SPANGLER
Executive Editor
MIKE DIFRISCO
News Edi t or
Photography Staff
Production Manager
Advertising Sales
RIC REYNOLDS
JIM KOEPNICK
JULIE RUSSO
LOY HICKMAN
913·268 -6646
Advertising/ Editorial Assistant
Copy Editing
ISABELLE WISKE
COLLEEN WALSH
KATHLEEN WITMAN
VINTAGE AIRPLANE
Executive Director, Editor
HENRY G. FRAUTSCHY
VAA Administrative Assistan t THERESA BOOKS
Contributing Editors BUDD DAVISSON
DOUG STEWART
JOHN MILLER

ESP IE "BUTCH" JOYCE

PRESIDENT, VINTAGE ASSOCIATION

EAA AirVenture Opportunities

You will be reading this just be­ fore you take off to Oshkosh, if you are going, to EAA AirVenture 2004. This year of course will be

special for me as it will

be the last

convention while I am still presi­ dent. My term will expire after we have the election ratified at our annual membership meeting, which will be held Monday, Au­ gust 2, at 9:30 a.m. We will hold the meeting in the Type Club tent. If you are interested in attend­ ing, we ask that you verify the meeting time/place at the informa­ tion booth located in the Red Barn. Speaking of the Red Barn, I would like to thank all of you that were able to send your support to

the Friends of the Red Barn fund. These funds are used directly to support and help improve your Vintage area of the convention grounds. The VAA maintenance crew, headed up by your VAA Director Bob Brauer, has spent a number of weekends in advance of the con­ vention working on our facilities in Oshkosh. They will be working hard just a few days before the show to get everything up and running. Then they step back and wait for something to break, and they fix it! So many activities take place during the week that it is hard to talk about each one. Literally hun­ dreds of VAA volunteers contribute their time as they participate in the annual EAA convention. Some of these include parking your air­ craft and seeing to the security of

your aircraft and personal prop­ erty. Volunteers also judge your aircraft and others. More than SO

  • I would li ke

to thank all o f y ou that were able to se nd y ou r support to the Fri e nds o f th e Re d Ba rn

percent of our volunteer forces are used to cover these activities. What is there to do in the vast VAA area during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh? You can start out by joining some of your fellow mem­ bers at the Tall Pines Cafe for breakfast in the morning. After that, hop on a northbound tram and come to the VAA Red Barn and see what other activities might be going on that day. Visit the VAA store and see what you might not be able to live without. Outside the Red Barn, the VAA has a tour tram that is free for those who

wish to ride around the VAA area to get an overview of the wide va­ riety of aircraft on display. You can buy a ticket to the VAA picnic, which will be held at the Nature Center on Wednesday night. It's always a great time. Just south of the Red Barn we have a metal-shaping tent, where there will be a number of skills demonstrated. One more tent to the south, we have located the Type Club Headquarters, a center of knowledge. We invite various type clubs to set up an informa­ tion table so you can chat about your favorite airplane. There are plenty of different ac ­ tivities , and your best bet is to check in with the information counter located in the Red Barn. If it seems like we do a lot during the week, you're right, but we couldn't do it without your help. How can you contribute? Why not stop by our volunteer center, located just at the entrance to the VAA area, and ask where help is needed. Anna Osborn and her crew will be glad to pOint you in the right di­ rection. If you cannot make EAA AirVen­ ture this year, start planning for next year. Let's all pull in the same direc­ tion for the good of aviation. Remember , we are better together. Join us and have it all!

ESP I E "BUTCH" JOYCE PRESIDENT , VINTAGE ASSOCIATION EAA AirVenture Opportunities You will be reading

VINTAGE AIRPLANE

5

Printed EAA AirVenture NOTAMs Available

The printed notice to airmen (NOTAM) for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2004 is now available from EAA Membership Services at 800-jOIN EAA (800-564-6322). The NOTAM d esc ribes arrival and de­ parture flight procedures in effect from july 24 through August 3, in­ cluding procedures for the many types of aircraft that fly to Oshkosh for the event, as well as aircraft that land at nearby airports. NOTAM booklets are also available online

Breakfast and a Bri efing

The VAA Tall Pines Cafe will be in operation again this year with an expanded schedule prior to conven­ tion, and fly-in style pancake breakfasts during EAA AirVenture. Starting on Friday morning, july 23, and continuing through Sunday, july 25, the VAA Tall Pines Cafe will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Starting Monday, July 26, only breakfast will be served at the Tall Pines Cafe. As we had last year, an FAA Flight Service Station (FSS) trailer will be located near the cafe. At the trailer, which will be north of the VAA Tall Pines Cafe, you'll be able to check the weather for your flight and obtain a full briefing from FSS specialists without having to trek up to the FAA Building near the control tower. We'll see you there each morning for "breakfast and a briefing."

VAA Volunteer Opportun ities

Are you an ace pancake flipper? If you're not one yet, we can help! The VAA Tall Pines Cafe is looking for volunteers who can help pro­ vide a hearty breakfast to all the hungry campers on the south end of Wittman Field. If you could lend a hand for a morning or two, we'd appreciate it. If that's not your cup of tea, feel free to check with the VAA volunteer center, located just

to the northeast of the Red Barn. The volunteers who operate the booth will be happy to tell you when your help is needed each day. It doesn't matter if it's just for a few hours or for a few days, we'd love to have your helping hands!

Are You a Friend of the VAA Red Barn?

If so, be sure to check in at the information desk at the VAA Red Barn. There, we ' ll issue you a spe­ cial name badge. We can also point out the location for the Ford Tri­ Motor rides . If you have any questions , feel free to ask for Theresa Books, the VAA adminis­ trative assistant. If you need to reach her in advance of your ar­ rival, you can call her at EAA headquarters , 920-426-6110.

Call jeannie Hill (815-943-7205), and she will reserve seating so your type club can sit together.

Shawano Fly-Out

The annual fly-out to Shawano is Saturday, july 31. The sign-up sheet will be at the desk at the VAA Red Barn, and the briefing will be at 7 a.m. the morning of the fly­ out. This year the meal will be provided at the Shawano airport, so we won't need to leave the air­ field. We ' re hoping to have a good turnout this year to make up for the weather cancellation last year. The community of Shawano is a big supporter of VAA and puts forth a lot of effort to sponsor this event. It does a great job, and we hope you'll help us thank Shawano by joining us.

VAA Message Center

If you would like to leave a mes­ sage for people you know who frequent the VAA Red Barn, stop by the information desk. You can write them a message in our "notebook on a string," and we'll post their name on the marker board so they'll know there's a message wait­ ing for them. Sure, cellular phones and walkie-talkies are great, but sometimes nothing works better than a hand-scribbled note!

VAA Picnic

Tickets for the Wednesday , july 28, annual VAA picnic held at the Nature Center will be available for sale at the VAA Red Barn. Tickets must be purchased in advance so we know how much food to order. Tickets will be on sale at the VAA Red Barn prior to the start of EAA AirVenture. The delicious home­ cooked meal, including both beef and chicken, will be served after 5:30 p.m. Trams will begin leaving the VAA Red Barn around 5 p.m. and will make return trips after the picnic. Type clubs may hold their annual banquets during the picnic.

VAA Red Barn Store

The VAA Red Barn Store, chock­ full of VAA logo merchandise and other great gear, will be open all week long. Show your VAA mem­ bership card (or your receipt showing you joined VAA at th e convention), and you'll receive a 10 percent discount. On Thursday, july 29, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. there will be a spe­ cial VAA Members-Only Sale. Bring your VAA card, and you'll receive an additional discount on specially priced merchandise . See you there!

CD Writer

As more of us use digital pho­ tography to capture our memories of special events, we're caught by one fact of life-those little Com­ pact Flash or Smart Media cards don't always hold all the pictures we'd like to take. We're going to help you with this dilemma by of­ fering to download your images and burn them to a compact disc (CD), all for a nominal fee. Bring your digital camera to the VAA Red Barn, and see how easy it is to sa­ vor your stay in Oshkosh.

VAA AirVenture Area Map

To h'" m,mb,,' who fly '0

understand the layout of the con-

vention area adm inist ered by the

VAA , we've prepared

fied

map.

As

yo u

this simpli-

can

see,

camping starts at Row 74 on the

east side of the main north / south road ( W i ttm an Ro ad), wi th the a reas to the

north of that

lin e set up to

han-

dl e display-only vintage aircraft.

That 's why you may see

open ar­

eas as yo u taxi south to your camping location.

Once

you

arrive, you ' ll

need and / or roving

to register your aircra ft

campsite. In add ition

to

registration vehicles , there is o n e main aircraft registration

building , located just south of

th e Red B a rn ( see map ). Th e EAA conve nt ion cam pgrounds , both on the air side and in Camp

Scho ller,

are

private

camp­

grounds, and are not open to non -EAA members. Each camp­

site must be registered current EAA member.

by a

Hanga r

Cafe

Showplane / Camper DRegistration Antique Parking
Showplane / Camper
DRegistration
Antique
Parking

Theater In Th e Woods

West Side ­ Vintage Aircraft ~ Ca mping

VAA

AREA

GENERAL

LAYOUT

~

~

~

Type Club

Pa rking

Start s at

_

  • -.--- Row 74

______

_

Red Barn

o

--'

"

-" '-

 

VAA Special

Display Area

Row SO

Ant ique

Point

_

-'--_ --'-

()

_

__ _______ ____ ___ _

VAA o Shack Operations
VAA
o
Shack
Operations

_

D

Comm Center

=,;:--,.

-.---

Past Grand Champions

and

in

rows

  • - parked a l ong road 60 & 61.

VAA

Large Special

Int erest

Aircraft/

Antiques

VAA PARKING - No Camping Row 62 thr ough Row 77

Row 7 8 EAST SIDE

Rows 6 0

& 61

._________

VAA CAMPING AND PARKING

'----'- -'-1

_____

STARTS

HE RE,

CON TIN UES TO ROW 150

If you want your aircraft to be judged by VAA volunteer judg es, you need to be a c urrent Vint age Aircraft Association m ember. VAA contri butes a significant portion of the costs re­ lated to the EAA awards that are presented to the award winners . Anoth er immediate benefit

of VAA membership is your fr ee VAA AirVen tur e Oshkosh 2004 Partic ip ant

Pl aq ue , which you

can pick up in the rear of th e Red Barn . EAA a nd VAA memberships are avai l ab le at both Air­

craft Registra tion and at the Me mbership booth located north east of the Red Barn.

Other EAA AirVenture

 

Please stop in to s ay h e ll o, e njo y a

thi s, Operation Protect Our Planes

VAA Highlights

c up of coffee or a lemonad e, and

"se t

(PO.P ) has created several designated

Tony's Red Ca rpet Express will b e

a spell" on t he porch . We look for­

smoking areas with butt cans along

coordinated through the VAA Re d

ward to

seeing

all of yo u and value

the flightlin e, but away from aircraft

Barn. To schedule your transportation

your input. Let us know how we can

and refuelin g operations.

ne e d s, simply contact us at the desk . VAA Re d Barn headquarters is also

mak e your convention stay more pleasant and enjoyable.

Designat e d smoking areas will be south of the ultralight runway; near

the VAA media headquarters. If you hav e any questions concerning spe­ cial displa ys or events, ask at the desk . The DTN weather system will b e

Other Things You' ll Find Near the VAA Red Barn

the Hangar Cafe; near the Warbird area (northeast corner of Audrey Lane and Eide Avenue); the Wearhouse flag pole area; th e s h a d e pavilion north of

available throu g ho u t the day. For pilots who register their air­ craft, yo ur complimentary VAA participation plaque and mug will b e

M e mbership & C hapt er Information Booth Volunteer Booth

Meta l-Shaping Tent Type Club Tent

the control tow er; and n e ar the Ultra­ li g ht Barn . Locations will be indicated on EAA's free convention ground map. The admission wristband will

distribut e d at the VAA

Red Barn.

also instru c t visitors that smoking is

The n ew computer

system that

a l­

lows us to distribute the plaques and mugs more efficiently also affords us a convenient method of locating memb e rs who have registered with us durin g EAA AirVenture. So, if yo u

Designated Smoking Areas Near Flightline

Smoking on the fli g htlin e at EAA AirVenture is prohibit e d b eca us e it's a ha za rd to a ll aircraft. "O n e o f the mo s t persistent complaints among

allowed only in d es ignated smoking areas.

Red Barn Contributors

Our thanks to each of yo u who have contributed to the VAA

n ee d t o

find someone, chances are we

o ur volunteers is dealin g with smok­

Friends of the Red Barn 2004 cam­

can h e lp yo u do

so in

record tim e .

e rs who , unthinking , s mok e around

paign . W e' l l have

the

list

of

The VAA Red Barn is also the VAA

aircraft," said Operation P.O .P. C hair­

contributors

in next month 's edi­

H osp it a lit y -Information Cen t er.

person Noel Marshall. To alleviate

tion of Vintage A i/plan e!

Thoughts on Proper Aircraft Restraint

GENE MORRIS, VAA DIRECTOR, EAA AIRVENTURE]UDGE

H ow badly would you feel if your airplane were to seri­ ously injure or kill someone? I dare say that any VAA mem­

ber would be beyond consolable . I know

  • I would be . Yet by not properly tying down an airplane while attending a fly-in, the po­ tential exists for a seemingly benign airplane to become uncontrollably air­ borne in the teeth of a thunderstorm's gales. Flipping an airplane over happens every year, and it has happened at the EAA Convention. Back in the early 1980s, a few airplane owners had to come up with another way home after their airplanes were totaled when blown over during a thunderstorm that pounded Wittman Field. It's bad enough during a fly-in when camping gear or lawn chairs are blown about, but an airplane being blown over or tumbling over and over can be lethal. Unless we're all careful about properly tying the airplane down, it can happen again, with tragic consequences. Unfor­ tunately, there are some folks who believe that any tied own will do . The fact is they're living in a fantasy world. Because of the false sense of security they can create, some tiedowns are al­ most as bad as none!

Which brings us to the real purpose of this piece of tie down wisdom . I say "wis­ dom," because I've been around these toys of ours for 62 plus years. Five of those have been aloft, and still counting. Much has been written about tying down airplanes, some of it good, and

some of it not so good.

A few years ago

there was even a short article in one of

our monthly magazines (not Vintage Air­ plane!) complete with pictures, of the latest and greatest "find" in tiedowns that someone had just discovered. The writer was so proud of finding a set of pretty, screw-in "doggie ring" tiedowns. The fact is, they're junk! Doggie ring tiedowns are a menace to the well being

of any airplane, and to the airplanes and people surrounding them . I know these tiedowns are inexpen­

now the "downtown" airport at Spring­ field, Missouri (SGF). It was a very pretty day , and we made our way into the hangar and explored all of the beautiful

sive and sometimes even easy to put in the ground, but just take a look at what

is holding your airplane down. The little ring that fastens to the stake is put on with a 1/8-inch rivet. Some have an­ other clamp or crimping arrangement that isn' t any better. Ask yourself:

"Would you fly your airplane with a 1/8­ inch rivet holding the wing strut on?"

airplanes. We knew almost all of them from making models and reading maga­

zines. Three years later , I was a regular around the place and was hired on as a line boy. There were many airplanes tied down, for there was only one larg e hangar on the "city" side of the airport.

One day,

The other problem with any type of

croburst hit

around 1944 , we the airport. Back

had a mi­ then the y

screw-in anchor is that the very act of screwing them into the ground dis­ turbs the soil that is supposed to hold the tiedown in place. Simply put, there isn't anything good about these types of tiedowns. Here's my confession: I used to use these screw in type tiedowns. But after seeing what happened to an Aeronca Champ during the EAA Convention in 1993, I made some tests.

didn't call it that, but in retrospect that's exactly what happened. All we knew was that a huge thunderstorm was coming out of the southwest, and it blew like crazy . Ted Burris, a fellow line boy, was out by the gas pit holding down a Stinson 105 all by himself. How he did it, I really don't know, but he did it! Just a few yards away, out in front of the hangar, was a loosely tied-down Travelair 4000, and it was flying about six inches off the ground, pretty as

First, I tied the rope to the top trian­ g le, and applied some force (an amount that was far less than the force generated by a single wing in a 50-60 mph wind). It failed by straightening out enough for the rope to slide off. The screw anchors were placed outboard enough, or they would have unscrewed or pulled right out of the ground. Figuring I' d found the major flaw in the tiedown, I welded the triangle so that it would not open

you please. To the right of the Travelair was a J-3 cub doing the same thing, except that the stick was tied back. The main wheels were off the ground. I saw the en­ tire episode unfold in front of my eyes. Then, all of a sudden, that little Cub went flying up and over the airplane be­ hind it, and then across Division Street, landing upside down while going back­ ward. When the storm abated, there was not a straight piece of anything left on

up . BOY, was

I wrong.

that Cub. The

airplane

was

My next tests were made with the tri­

it was almost impossible to

so damaged , disassemble .

angle welded together. I then made a fulcrum with a long beam and had a rope on one end fastened to the tiedown below. In just three short seconds, it only took 400 foot-pounds for it to un­ screw right out of the ground! Over the years I have seen a lot of things happen, and I remember many as if th ey happened just yesterday. My first visit to our municipal airport was when I was about 11 years old. A buddy of mine and I rode our bicycles out to what is

We used a hacksaw in some places. Behind the hangar, we had a row of Taylorcraft L-2s tied down and they were all sitting there nice as you please with their tails about two feet off the ground. The main wheels were not moving. Tay­ lorcraft had a very good thing with th e L-2. It was a small retractable control lock that was spring loaded to store its elf up under the instrument panel. When you parked the airplane, you pulled the little control lock down and it fit over

the top of the stick, which both locked the ailerons and held the stick forward.

After seeing those L-2's ride out the storm, I have always tied my stick for­ ward. It isn't always easy, but for a ship with tandem seating, you tie the rear stick with the front seat belt. On a Cessna 140, Chief, etc., I have tied a small, soft rope around one control wheel, and then around the throttle and over to the right control wheel. That way, the ailerons and elevators are held

fast.

A rudder lock would be a good idea

too. Here 's an example why.

Some years ago our C-140A was tied outside, and a gale had been blowing for a day or two out of the west, right up the tail of that little 140. You will not believe this. The rudder had been pushed to the right so hard and for so long that the lit­

tle gap seal fairing on the leading edge of the rudder had come out and lodged on the outside of the fin! That's when I

fabricated a rudder

lock . It's a good thing

we found that on the walk around for the next flight, huh? Being into wind stories, I have an­ other or so to qualify my creditability. In 1946, after most operators had moved to the "new" airport at SGF, I still worked for the city as a line boy. One bright summer afternoon, the two large hangars both had their doors wide open and there were Cubs and Champs sitting outside, untied . A fast growing cumulus cloud sat just off the east side of the field and it was moving west, a bad sign. All of a sudden it was obvious that something was about to happen. I was up by the gas pit , near the terminal, and

quickly picked up on the action going on around the hangars. People were scurry­ ing around moving some airplanes into the hangars, and tying the others down. Then, as I watched, one of Roscoe Prescott's Aeronca Champs, facing north,

was attacked by the gust front. When that east wind hit it, it weather-vaned into the wind and began rolling and bouncing backwards across the airport. That was be­ fore full swivel/steerable tail wheels, and when that wheel would come down and

hit the gro und, the rudder would jerk

vio­

lently to the side, and then the tail would bounce up again. I jumped into our big

Ford dump truck and gave chase. By the time I got close, the little Champ was al­

most out to the runway.

I

jumped out and grabbed the prop ,

and with some sort of super strength that I do not understand to this day, I put my feet up on the cow lin g and pulled that little bulldog down to the ground. I held it until help arrived, and we pushed it into the hangar. I received a grateful "thank you" from Roscoe, which was appreciated , but I sure could

have used a little stick time in the Champ! While all this was going on, a

BT-13 without an engine rolled straight backward , clear across the runway and into a ditch. If you will notice, all of my wind sto­ ries are of conventional gear airp lanes. It is just natural for an airp lane facing into the wind to want to fly. A light, empty Cub is a prime example. Now, if the stick is tied forward, the tail will come up and

" unload/l the

wing, which is exac tly

what we would want. Nosewheel air­ planes will sit pretty tamely unless they ' re on a slope where the wing would

be at a higher angle of attack. Back in the 1940s, the stakes we used were just old automobile rear axles, driven into the ground at an angle, with the differential gear on top . They were heavy, and then of course, the sledge went along too! Today there are so many really nice , well-engineered tiedowns on the market. Most use three stakes driven into the ground at different angles. That type of setup gives very good protection. Good heavy stakes, placed outboard of the wing attach pOint, will probably hold your air­ plane down in most cases. Be sure not to put them directly straight down; they will pull right out of the ground. Finally, one more horror story. A while back I heard about the damage that tying down with chains can do to your airplane. If the chains are attached to a fixed, secure anchor, and if there is the slightest looseness in the chain, the airplane will sit and rock in the wind, banging up and down against the air­ craft structure. The chains have no shock absorption capability, and the constant yanking of the chain tided down to a fixed point on the ground can actually ruin the spar or what ever it's attached to. If you should ever have to use chains, make sure that they are very, very tight.

Many times you will find chains placed

along a cable on the ramp that has slack built right in. That might help, but I still

don't li ke chains.

When you go to a fly-in, take a look around at the airplanes parked near yours to see how they are tied down. Share any tips you might have with the other owners. You may have your air­ plane secured perfectly but if those

upwind are not , the airplane you save may be your own!

During AirVenture 2003 I spent four early mornings observing all the aircraft tied down in the Vintage area. I found that out of 496 aircraft, 164 were, in my opinion, and I photographed them, not tied securely. Of those 164, 24 were tied directly to, and only to, the little "dog ­ gie" ring . It might hold your dachshund, but not a big dog, and definitely not a light plane. Disappointingly, eight air­ planes were not tied at all. In conclusion , and with many in agreement with me, we must, number one, outlaw the doggie stakes I'm always disappointed to find there are vendors who sell that type of tiedown right at AirVenture .

  • I also believe that fly-in announce ­ ments, postings etc., should include

tiedown requirements, and they too

should clearly state that doggie stake

tied owns are not acceptable. Even

the trio

of reinforcing rods driven into the ground will perform better in a strong wind than

the doggie ring

tiedowns.

.......

For more information on better tiedown methods, visit EAA's AirVenture website at:

ying down.html, and the FAA advisory Circular AC 20-3SC, "Tiedown Sense./I You can also visit the VAA website for an

article on constructing a set From the VAA home page

of tiedowns .

at www.vin ­

tageaircratt.org. click on the bar heading "Publications./I You ' ll see a tab for "In ­ formational Articles"; click on it and

you can naVigate to a listing that in­ cludes the article published in the June 2003 issue of Vintag e A irplane. For a lim­ ited time, a direct link to that article will be shown on the VAA home page . This past year, another great tiedown construction article was publi shed on page 110 in the April 2004 issue of EAA Sport Aviation. " Building a Better Tiedown," by Stanley Mann, shows you how to con­ struct a variation of the tiedown article

published in Vintage Airplane.

BY

H . G .

FRAUTSCHY

APRIL ' S MYSTERY ANSWER

some drawings missing, but they were reorga ni zi ng and said th at th ere might be more drawings that had not been ca ta­ logued yet. There was certainl y enough to build from. Getting

copi es was a compli ca ted process, but th e TS-1 was also fea­

tured in Skyways maga z in e severa l yea rs ago, including

drawings made from th e ones in th e National Archives. One thing that I rememb er from th e drawings is a small compmtm ent beneath the headres t that was labeled some­

thing like" Pigeon Compartment,"

apparently for the carrier

pigeo ns that th e designers thought that all naval aviators would ca rry with them. The onLy sun/ivor is of co urse at the National Museum of

Naval Aviation at Pensacola , a TS-2 modified to TS-1 con­

figuration.

(It was on loan from th e NASM, and while

unable to confirm its new location , Michael McCormick wrote to t e ll us that it is now at th e n ew Udvar-Hazy

Ce nter at Dulles. -HGF) Also,

"TS" stood for " Turret

Shipboard" from the early days wh en th ey Launched pLanes

from pLatfonns above th e gun turrets on battleships.

Andrew King

Our April Mystery Plan e was a favo rite of a few of yo u who wrote in . It was the first Navy fighter. From th e man y letters we received, h e re's a sample letter from a lo n gtim e member:

Don Harris, C herry Hill, New J e rsey, had an explana­ tion regarding the markings on our Mys ter y Plane:

At one tim e, TS-1s sported a diving bird logo at the front of the fuselage. When it was shown that the logo infringed

on one used by a comm ercial choco late compan y,

its us e was

 

discontinued

which maybe ca n exp lain the bLackened circle

Glad

to see th e TS-1 (Curtiss or NAF)

as this month's

Mystery Plane; it's one of my favorites. Lik e th e Ryan M-1 , it had a limited production, but has its own niche in history as one of the first carrier-bas ed aircraft. I' ve hea rd it sa id that it

Other

was the first plane designed from scratch for th e purpose of

Daytona

answers were rec eive d from Orval Fairbairn, Beach, Florida; William Mette, Ca mpbell ,

flying from an aircraft ca rri er. I'm sure yo u'll ge t some more informative repli es, but I might be able to add som e. I seri­

Ca lifo rni a; Michael McCormick , Houston , Texas; Thomas Lymburn, Princ e ton , Minn eso ta; Jim Stubner,

ollsly cons idered building a replica TS-1 after th e Ryan, ma ybe some day I still will, but in any eve nt, I found out through the NASM that th e National Archives, in College

M erce r Island , Washington; C larenc e H esser, St. Augustine, Florida; Richard Ormsby, Phoenix, Arizona; C harl es F. Schultz, Louisvill e, Kentucky; Wayne Muxlow,

Park, Mmyland, have drawings of the TS-1. I went there, filled out th e forms, was given white cotton gloves to wear,

Minn ea polis, Minnesota; Jasp e r, Georgia; and Russ

Wayn e Van Valkenburgh, Brown, Lyndhurst, Ohio.

 

and was allowed to examine original TS-1 drawings. Not

A good source for more information on the TS-1 is

cop ies, but original linen drawings from 1926! There were

Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947,

by Pe t e r Bowers.

......

THIS

MONTH ' S MYSTERY PLANE COMES TO US FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE

EAA BOEING AERONAUTICAL LIBRARY.

SEND YOUR ANSWER TO: EAA , VINTAGE AIRPLANE , P.O. Box 3086 , OSHKOSH , WI 54903-3086 . YOUR ANSWER NEEDS TO BE IN NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER

10 , 2004 , FOR

INCLUSION IN THE OCTOBER 2004 IS­

SUE OF

Vintage

Airplane .

You CAN ALSO SEND YOUR RESPONSE VIA E-MAIL. DON ' T FORGET, WE'VE GOT A NEW E-MAIL ADDRESS

FOR YOU TO USE WHEN SENDING IN YOUR RESPONSE.

SEND YO UR ANSWER TO mysteryplane@eaa.org. BE

SURE TO INCLUDE BOTH YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS

( ESPE CIALLY YOUR OF YOUR NOTE AND

CITY AND STATE!) IN THE BODY

PUT "( MONT H) MYSTERY PLANE "

IN THE SUBJECT LINE .

My FLIGHT IN AN AEROPLANE

Lucerne, August 9, 1912

here was quite a number of specta­ tors in the aero­ drome, some stand­ ing around as if waiting for something to happen, and others grouped around the machine, intent on details of con­ struction of this modern wonder -the aeroplane. Donning the long brown coat brought to me by an attendant, and handing him my hat in exchange for the cap and goggles, sent through the crowd knowledge that a man was going to fly. There was just a tremor of excitement, more felt than ex­ pressed, save in the hasty movements of the onlookers to find the best points of vantage to see the start. As I buttoned over the long coat, a vest-like garment padded 3 to 4 inches thick with ei­ derdown, my mother thought I too had caught a little of the "tremors" and said that I was just a little pale, but I vow it was either her excite­ ment or the severe effect of this deep brown raiment on my blond complexion for I had no qualms nor tremors, not even as I climbed the ladder and took my seat behind the engine and waited for the avia­ tor, Monsieur Charles Ingold, to settle himself behind me. An attendant gave the propeller a few turns, then the buzz of the electric spark for a moment, an­ other turn, and the blades whirled smoothly, fanning back a mild breeze. Thus the engine ran for a few seconds and satisfied the avia­ tor that it was in the proper mood for a flight. A wave of the white flag from the guard stationed ahead showed the course was clear, and with a roar the engine swung the propeller into its invis-

WALTER c. HILL SR.

SUBMITTED BY WALTER C. HILLJR.

ible speed. There was a terrific

beat of wind in the face, and then

  • I felt the great aerodrome sliding

behind me. It was hard to tell just when motion commenced . There was no jerk or unevenness, but with incredible swiftness the great doors swept by and then the groups of onlookers, hardly dis­ tinguishable one from another. I was conscious all at once that the roll of the wheels had ceased, and

  • I looked down to see the grass

sloping sharply away in the direc­ tion we were going. My heart may have been hitting it up just a few licks extra, for with the realization that I was flying I took myself in hand to be sure I appreciated all that was happening. We were flying straight into a light breeze and rising. The ma­ chine was perfectly steady, and just enough vibration to assure me it was alive. The exhaust now had a sharp, snappy drone, not unpleasant. I remembered then that the roar had ceased when we left the aerodrome. The propeller sent back a sharp breeze, but this grew less as our speed increased and is not more than is felt in a rapidly moving automobile. As these impressions were passed, whatever fear I had departed . I felt perfectly normal and began to look about, a rapid survey around and down. We were well up and over Lake Lucerne, steering straight across. The many hotels that stud the deep slopes of the north shore were coming rapidly toward us. The great "Montana , " with its enclosed balconies, ap­ peared to be bound for the very nose of the machine. We were ap­ parently standing still in mid air, and the skyline was moving to­

ward us. Another look down, then I could get the sense of motion

for we were just over the long Quay National, with its wonderful double row of chestnuts and its thousands of afternoon visitors. The sight was fascinating . We

were

well up and I had begun to

note the various hotels, tennis courts, boathouses and other fa­ miliar points when I noticed the length of the Quay began to swing

away to the right-a dreadful drop, and a side motion of the machine startled me. We were turning to the left and swinging into a direction across the wind. There was a slight cricking of the plane, and we must have encoun­ tered some of those air holes the aviators tell us about for there were several sudden drops of a few feet, and you could feel the cushions of the air under the plane as it seemed to catch on again. A few more of those tremors, and for the first time a slight feeling of insecurity. With this I began to look about the ma­ chine again-the regular drone of the engine was reassuring-the broad expanse of the solid-look­ ing plane seemed ample and secure. Then we swung further around and more into the breeze . The machine became steady again and seemed to rest perfectly se­ cure against a solid substance . We were then headed up the long

reaches of th e lake, near the southern shore. My confidence had returned. We were still rising. There was an indescribable thrill as we sped along at about 4S miles an hour. The air was delightfully cool. The view was wonderful,

with rugged peaks of the Hold­ ifeld Range straight ahead-the

Rigi and Pilatus to the left and right. The mountains looked higher than when viewed from the ground . I could see a number of towns, both on the lakeshore and inland. Looking down, the motorboats and lake steamers were like toy things. We were

about 1,000 feet up. The wind played a perfect chord on the tight truss wires. I had grown so accustomed to the engine I had ceased to notice it. The motion was as smooth as could be-you hardly have a sense of motion ex­ cept when looking down, and then it is slow, just as slow as the aeroplane appears to move when viewed from 1,000 feet below . We passed over a village, the people looking diminutive and the houses misshapen. There were long reaches of beautiful valleys leafing back into the mountains, and long string-like streaks for

roadways in every direction .

I felt that 1 would like to fly on and on-I was enjoying myself. We swung around again across

the lake and took our course back toward Lucerne. Again the air holes and an occasional slight list as the crosscurrents caught the windward plane. This time I was not afraid. I rather enjoyed the slight bounding sensation. This time we flew high over the waterfront of the city of Lucerne. 1 could see the busy life in the streets, but it was all on a pygmy scale. I felt no dizziness at looking down-but I do feel it when looking down over the edge of a cliff. The comfortable seat and the high sides of the car coming well under the arms give a perfect feeling of security. The descent was as gentle and as free from anything harassing as the ascent. In a wide descending spiral we swept around over the aerodrome, out over the lake, then back to the starting point. The ac­ celeration of speed was noticeable as we planed down until the en­ gine was shut off-then perfect quiet for a couple of minutes, touch of the wheels on the soft turf, a slight bound into the air,

and we rolled right into the aero­ drome doors. The experience was at once thrilling and delightful. Thrilling principally because of its novelty, probably, and I believe the sensation of flight will become as commonplace as the motion of a bicycle or motorcar. There is a cer­ tain exhilaration in the upper air, however, that should always be a delight, and a feeling of freedom from collision that I have never enjoyed in an automobile. The motion is very agreeable and free from any jar. The slight bounding

when going across the air currents is similar to the rise and fall of an automobile over the crest of slight hills on a perfectly smooth asphalt road. One is impressed that the aeroplane is no longer a dangerous project but a new fixture in our scheme of locomotion that is here to stay. The machine was a Bleriot Monoplane, with a 45-hp engine . The aviator, a Frenchman recently an instructor of aviation in the

German

army.

.....

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London, July 25, 1909-­ Bleriot's own account of his ex­ ploit, which will appear in the Daily Mail tomorrow, is graphic. He says:

''It is more important to be the first to cross the channel by aero­ plane than to have won the prize of

1,000 pounds. I am more than happy that I have crossed the channel. At first I promised my wife that I would not make the attempt. Then I deter­

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the first to come, and I am here "At 4:30 daylight had come

..

.

...

A

light breeze from the southwest was beginning to blow. The air was clear. Everything was prepared. I was dressed in a khaki jacket lined with wool for warmth over tweed clothes and beneath my engineer's suit of the blue cotton overalls. My close fitting cap was fastened over my head and my ears. "I had neither eaten nor drunk any­ thing. My thoughts were only upon the flight and my determination to ac­ complish it this morning. At 4:35 the signal is given , and in an instant I am in the air, my engine making 1,200 revolutions, almost its highest speed,

in order that I may get quickly over the telegraph wires along the edge of the cliff. As soon as I am over the cliff I reduce my speed. There is now no

need to force my engine. I begin my flight steady and sure toward the coast of England. I have no apprehensions, "

no sensations, pas du

tout. .

"I am alone. I can see nothing at all. For 10 minutes I am lost.

''It is a strange position to be a lone,

Louis Bh!riot just prior to departing Calais the morning of July 25, 1909.

unguided, without a compass in the air over the middle of the channel. I touch nothing. My hands and feet rest lightly on the levers. I let the aero­ plane take its own course. I care not whither it goes. For 10 minutes I con­ tinue , neither rising nor falling nor turning, and then 20 minutes after I have left the French coast I see the green hills of Dover, the castle, and away to the west the spot where I in­ tended to land. "What can I do? It is evident that the wind has taken me out of my course. I am almost west of Margaret's Bay, and I am going in the direction of the Goodwin Sands. Now it is time to attend to steering. I press a lever with my foot and turn easily toward the west, reversing the direction in which I am now traveling. Now, in­ deed, I am in difficulties, for the wind here by the cliffs is much stronger and my speed is reduced as I fight against it, yet my beautiful aeroplane responds "Once more I turn my aeroplane, and describing a half-circle I enter the opening and find myself again over dry land. Avoiding the red buildings on my right, I attempt a landing, but the wind catches me and whirls me around two or three times. At once I stop my motor, and instantly my ma­ chine falls upon the land from a height of 65 feet. In two or three sec­ onds I am safe upon your shores . Soldiers in khaki run up, and a po­ liceman and two of my compatriots are on the spot. They kiss my cheek. The conclusion of my flight over­ whelms me. I have nothing to say, but accept t he congratulations. "Thus ended my flight across the channel. The flight could easily be done again. Should I do it? I think not. I have promised my wife that af­ ter a race for which I have entered I will fly no more./I .......

..

"

Carlson's

,

THULIN-BuILT BLERIOT

magine you have a rare airplane, one that people love to see fly, and you love to share it with oth­ ers. Now imagine you want to show it to folks, but the only way to get it there is by freight con­ tainer. That's what Mikael Carlson must do whenever he chooses to dis­ play his Bleriot XI. The logistics are daunting enough when you look at what he and his small crew must go through to take the Bleriot to a site on the European continent where he lives, but what about overseas? Undeterred, Mikael and his wife, Gunilla, showed the airplane at both Sun 'n Fun 2003, and later for the Dayton Air Show. What the admiring crowds got to see was one of the oldest flying airplanes still in existence, and they were treated to the sounds and smells of a rotary engine­ powered airplane from the pioneering days of aviation.

In 1989, Mikael found his avia­ tion treasure in a barn in Sweden. Fully intact (but not assembled), it was in remarkably good condition. All the parts were in one place, and only a few (outside of the orig­ inal linen covering and the plywood pieces) of the parts needed to be replaced during the ensuing restoration. When com­ pleted in 1991, 95 percent of the original airframe remained, includ­ ing the 50-hp Gnome rotary engine. Since its restoration, Mikael has logged over 35 hours of flight time in the Bleriot, most of it 7-9 minutes at a time. That's over 260 flights in the Bleriot! The Bleriot XI found by Carlson was one of the many built in Eu­ rope and the United States under license from Bleriot. After Louis Bleriot's epic flight across the Eng­ lish Channel, the model XI became a highly sought after aeroplane. The XI was designed by Raymond Saulnier, who would go on to even

Mikael Carlson

greater fame as an aircraft designer, and in cooperation with the broth­ ers Leon and Robert Morane they would form Societe Anonyme des Aeroplanes Morane-Saulnier near Paris and produce some of France's most famous aircraft. The model XI was seen as a great advance­ ment in the art of aviation design, with its single monoplane wing

producing less drag than its bi­ plane contemporaries. The weakest link in the early versions of the air­ plane was the anemic 30-hp, 7-cylinder R.E.P. engine, or the 3­ cylinder, 2S-hp Anzani engine, which tended to overheat. Neither engine was really up to the task to adequately power the 700-pound, high-drag airframe. Early Swedish aviator Carl Ced­ erstom bought a Blt~riot XI in 1910 and brought it home to Sweden. A few years later, he sold the airplane to Enoch Thulin, who founded the AB Enoch Thulin Aero­ planfabrik (AETA) in 1914, and went on to build 23 license-built examples of the Bleriot XI, powered by the 7­ cylinder, SO-hp Gnome

Omega rotary engine, which was introduced to the aviation market in 1910. The airplane bought by Mikael is the 18th Thulin Type A built, and could have been constructed any time between 1914 and 1918, when the company stopped pro­ duction on the Type A. Except for the engine installation, the basic design of the Type A mimicked the design of the 1909 Bleriot XII, piece for piece, including the obso­ lete wing-warping used to control

the airplane along the roll axis. Bleriot had already been using ailerons on earlier aircraft, so it is unclear why wing-warping was in­ corporated in this design. Mikael found out about the potential project during conver­ sations with a model airplane judge who had been judging Carlson's scale models. He was nearing completion of a full­ scale, rotary engine-powered Thulin Tummelisa when the judge mentioned that he too owned a Thulin aircraft.

It took a few years of gentle co­ ercion, but in 1986, he was able to buy the Type A, after the owner re­ alized that Carlson had the talent and the drive to restore the Bleriot to flying status. Its individual history is a story of serendipitous survival. Serial No. 18 Thulin Type A was flown in a barnstorming role until 1919,

and then was sold at auction in 1920 or 1921. A couple of brothers bought a pair of the Thulin-built Bieriots at the auction, and a week later they sold one of the pair to a potential aviator in northern Swe­ den. He would have attempted to fly it, too, if the local police hadn't put a stop to it because he didn't have a pilot's license. At that, he took the wings off and stored it in a barn, and left to work as a carpenter in America. When he returned to Sweden a few years later, he asked for some help from a fel­ low townsman to dismantle the airplane even further, and store it in boxes. In one can went the bolts; in a box went all the metal fittings. The wood structure was bundled up, and the bracing wire coiled up like bail­ ing wire. The engine, along with its special tools, was disassembled and stored as well. There it sat in the barn, a pioneer airplane kit, until the model airplane judge's fa­ ther bought it for $50 in 1965. They stored it on the second floor of their barn until Mikael Carlson bought it in 1986. Because he was still working on his first homebuilt project, the Tummelisa fighter plane replica, the Thulin-built

Bleriot would have to wait. carve a new mahogany propeller,

Thanks to the completeness of

and all the rubber and other "con­

the project, and his good fortune in sumable" materials in the airframe having a solid, well-preserved en­ were replaced. The Swedish airwor­ gine to rebuild, the Bleriot's thiness inspector reminded Carlson restoration only took a year. He did that he wasn't allowed to deviate

The wing-warping control is very evident In this snapshot of Carlson's thulin-built
The wing-warping control is very evident In this snapshot of Carlson's thulin-built

from

the

drawings

for

the

Thulin/Bleriot, so it's quite exact, right down to the 22 threads per centimeter for the linen fabric cov-

ering, and the nitrate dope covering.

So what's it like to fly?

For one

thing, early aeroplanes were meant to takeoff and land into

The wing-warping control is very evident In this snapshot of Carlson's thulin-built from the drawings for
The wing-warping control is very evident In this snapshot of Carlson's thulin-built from the drawings for

the wind. Period. Fighting a crosswind with an airplane that has roll control that is both slow to react and fairly ineffective is not conducive to a long service life. As Mikael pOinted out during our interview, light winds are also the best, if for no other rea­ son than the fact that there are times when a wing drops due to a gust, and no amount of wing­ warping seems to bring it up in a time period that the pilot would be happy with! There is not much range be­ tween what is needed for cruise power and for descent, and with all the bracing wire, a drop in RPM means the airplane will come down. With twice the horsepower available than the first models of

the Bleriot XI, it's not as fast a de­ scent, but there's not much reserve thrust. There are a lot of brace wires and a high-drag airfoil, plus the bedstead style landing gear with a rotary engine nestled be­ tween the posts. Mikael's trust in the airplane, tempered with the knowledge he's gained over his hundreds of demon­ stration flights, allows those of us lucky enough to see the Bleriot in flight to feel the tingle