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OCTOBER 2011

A I R P L A N E
Vol. 39, No. 10

2011

SEPTEMBER

CONTENTS
2

Straight & Level
Chapters
by Geoff Robison

3

News

4

AirVenture 2011
by H. G. Frautschy

12

12 The ‘New’ Funk on the Field
From basket case to Reserve Grand Champion
by Sparky Barnes Sargent

20

20 The Douglas World Cruiser That Crashed In Alaska
Interesting aviation artifacts on display
at the Alaska Aviation Museum
by Irven F. Palmer Jr.

24

Light Plane Heritage
The Spartan C-2
by Bob Whittier

30

The Vintage Instructor
Buying an airplane and letting emotion control the decision
by Steve Krog, CFI

32

The Vintage Mechanic
NACA engine cowling and Fred Weick, Part 3
by Robert G. Lock

35

Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy

37

Classified Ads

40

It’s a Beautiful Thing . . .
by S. Michelle Souder

STAFF
EAA Publisher
Director of EAA Publications
Executive Editor
Executive Director/Editor
Production/Special Project
Photography
Copy Editor
Senior Art Director

Rod Hightower
J. Mac McClellan
Mary Jones
H.G. Frautschy
Kathleen Witman
Jim Koepnick
Colleen Walsh
Olivia P. Trabbold

Publication Advertising:
Manager/Domestic, Sue Anderson
Tel: 920-426-6127
Email: sanderson@eaa.org
Fax: 920-426-4828
Senior Business Relations Mgr, Trevor Janz
Tel: 920-426-6809
Email: tjanz@eaa.org
Manager/European-Asian, Willi Tacke
Phone: +49(0)1716980871 Email: willi@flying-pages.com
Fax: +49(0)8841 / 496012

COVERS

Interim Coordinator/Classified, JoAnn Bauer
Tel: 920-426-6169
Email: classads@eaa.org

plane in the late 1930s that continues to have a strong, loyal following. This is Sean Soare’s
first-ever aircraft restoration, and it’s a beauty. Read more about it in Sparky Barnes Sargent’s
article beginning on page 12. Photo by Carolyn Sweet.
BACK COVER: Engineer/pilot Fred Weick was one of aviation’s greatest treasures, most
often remembered for his Ercoupe design. As a researcher at NACA, he and a few of his
colleagues at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory built the Weick W-1 in 1934 to explore the
use of aeronautical advances such as special airfoils and a tricycle landing gear in an aircraft
intended to make flying safer. Many of the W-1’s innovations would be incorporated into the
Ercoupe’s design. His research on cowling configurations is part of this month’s installment of
The Vintage Mechanic, starting on page 32. NACA/NASA photo.

For missing or replacement magazines, or
any other membership-related questions, please call
EAA Member Services at 800- JOIN-EAA (564-6322).

FRONT COVER: The Funk Brothers created a remarkably efficient, fun-to-fly high-wing mono-

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 1

STRAIGHT & LEVEL
Geoff Robison
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VAA

Chapters

W

e’ve been enjoying
some exceptional
weather here in the
Midwest in recent
weeks. A few days of jacket weather,
mixed in with some exceedingly
warm days, has been the norm, along
with some occasional wet weather
generated by the recent hurricane
season. I’m fortunate to be a longtime member of two local EAA chapters: EAA Chapter 2 was chartered
on October 1, 1956, and EAA Vintage Chapter 37 was chartered in late
2003. Both typically join together
and cohost various events throughout the flying season. The two chapters have experienced great success
this year in attracting many of our
local youths to our various Young
Eagles events, typically conducted at
Smith Field (SMD) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and at the DeKalb County Airport (GWB) in Auburn, Indiana.
We have jointly managed to fly
literally hundreds of Young Eagles
throughout the 2011 flying season.
Both chapters also recently joined
forces and successfully hosted the
EAA B-17 Tour in Auburn. A good
time was had by all, and a safe and
enjoyable event was conducted for
the benefit of many local communities throughout northeast Indiana.
We were truly blessed on this tour of
the B-17 at Auburn to host a small
luncheon for five former B-17 crewmen who served with the U.S. Army
Air Forces during World War II either
in England with the 8th Air Force or
in Italy with the 15th Air Force.
Many thanks to the local airport
authorities for their unprecedented
support of all of our local joint

2 OCTOBER 2011

events, and also to the many chapter volunteers who always graciously
give their time and aviation fuel to
support these important initiatives.
I recently visited Cincinnati Municipal Airport (LUK), Ohio, affectionately known to many of our members
as Lunken Field, or to many aviators
as “Sunken Lunken.” As a volunteer
with the EAA B-17 Program, I’ve had
the opportunity to visit Lunken Field
on several occasions over the years.
I’ve long been an admirer of historic
buildings such as courthouses and
government buildings, and I have a
special weakness for historically significant airport structures that typically date back to the 1920s.
During this visit, I took the time
and made an effort to take a long
look into the historical significance
of the original terminal building
at Lunken Field. Kudos to the local
government representatives of the
city of Cincinnati who have continuously supported the upkeep and
maintenance of this significant art
deco facility. Constructed in 1936 to
1937, it was modeled after the city’s
Union Terminal railroad station.
Sadly enough, the all-new Lunken
Airport Terminal fell victim to record
flooding the same year it was completed. Many of the art deco murals
were removed from the building, and
because this all occurred during the
Great Depression years, there wasn’t
a lot of money available to refurbish
the facility to its original state. So the
murals were never reinstalled in the
facility. The building was flooded on
several other occasions until 1964,
when the city constructed floodwalls
to better protect the airfield. Lunken

Field was home to the Aeronautical
Corporation of America (Aeronca)
when manufacturing began there
in 1929. Today, there’s a beautifully
restored C-3 and a pair of art deco
murals hanging in the lobby of the
old terminal building. Interestingly
enough, the C-3 Master sold for
$1,800 back then, and if you wanted
a door on the left side of the aircraft,
it would cost you an additional $15.
The All Metal Aircraft manufacturing facility was started up in 1928 at
Lunken Field, where it built the Flamingo. The Flamingo was one of the
most sophisticated aircraft of its time,
a monoplane capable of carrying up
to seven people and powered by a
700-hp radial engine. It even had a
“stand-up” potty option. There remains only one of its type left in existence today, and you’ll have to visit
the Ciudad Bolivar Airport in Venezuela to see it.
In 1937, the company became
a casualty of the Great Depression,
and after the great flood inundated the airport, Aeronca moved
to higher ground in Middletown,
Ohio, that same year.
Over the many years of operations
at Lunken Field, the place has been visited by many aviation legends, including Howard Hughes, Jimmy Doolittle,
Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart,
Wiley Post, and even Neil Armstrong.
So, if you find yourself in the great
city of Cincinnati near Lunken Field
anytime soon, be sure to take the
time to visit this historically significant facility. You’ll be happy you did!

VAA NEWS
FAA Re-Registrations
Moving Right Along
With about a third of the FAA’s
civil aviation re-registration process
complete, the Civil Aviation Certification Branch reports that things are
going better than expected thanks
to more aircraft owners performing
their re-registrations online rather
than through the mail, according to
Walter Binkley, branch manager.
“It’s been remarkably successful
thus far,” he said, noting that more
people are re-registering online
than had been anticipated, and the
work is being done along with the
branch’s regular workload. “We’re
in pretty good shape.” Online filers
can expect a 10-business-day turnaround, he said.
Those owners who choose to
use the mail are having their registrations back in five to six weeks,
which includes a week’s mailing
time each to and from the branch.
Actual turnaround once received
is about 16 working days. Binkley
strongly advised those who can to
use the online option on the agency’s registration website at www.
faa.gov/licenses_certificates/aircraft_
certification/aircraft_registry/
Since August 25, 2011, aircraft
owners with more than one aircraft
to register can now do so. This was
a sought-after ability by the branch
from the program’s outset, Binkley
said, but only became available
when systems were completed to
accommodate it last month.
The online re-registration web
page now accepts as many as 25 reregistration actions in one session.
This includes accepting payment of
the multiple re-registration fees in
one online credit card transaction.
Only aircraft required to be registered
within their designated calendar
window can be re-registered during a
multiple aircraft online transaction.
Binkley provides the following
suggestions to ensure a smooth re-

registration process:
• If your address needs to be
updated, do so now before your
scheduled re-registration time. Update your address at this website:
www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/
aircraft_certification/aircraft_registry/
change_of_address/
Or you can do so by writing the
FAA and supplying them the following information:
•Identity of the aircraft by NNumber
•Manufacturer name
•Model designation
•Serial number
•New mailing address
•Signature of the registered
owner. Show the signer’s title
and type or print the name of
the signer with the signature.
If the new address is a Post Office
box, you must also include your
street address or physical location.
If necessary, provide directions or a
map for locating your residence or
place of business.
Send that change of address information to:

FAA Aircraft Registration Branch
AFS-750
P.O. Box 25504
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0504
You can also fax the information to
their office by dialing (405) 954-3548.
•Follow the schedule. Don’t submit your re-registration early, or it
will be returned. Apply early in the
cycle to ensure you have enough
time in case you make an error in
the application.
• Fill out the application carefully. If using the mail, look at what
is in the system and copy exactly.
• Sign your application in ink
and provide a printed example as
well where indicated.
• If you miss your window, you
will be required to re-register using
Form 8085-1.
• Don’t forget to include the $5
registration fee.
•If you have a question, consult
the FAQs—it will most likely be answered there. If you have a specific
question not included in the FAQs,
e-mail it to faa.aircraft.registration@
FAA.gov.

Stearman Formation Training Weekend in Oshkosh
A b o u t a
dozen Boeing
Stearman World
Wa r I I t r a i n ers, along with
more than 20
pilots, were in
Oshkosh August
26-28 for a formation training
clinic based at the EAA Aviation Center.
Planes and pilots began to arrive on Thursday, with a pair of twohour training sessions (one morning, one afternoon) planned for both
Friday and Saturday. Each day included a bonus session from 5 to 8
p.m., along with one on Sunday morning. Training was based at Wittman Regional Airport and EAA’s Pioneer Airport.
Pilots received instruction and training to improve their skills and
enhance their aviation experiences. EAA participants included President/CEO Rod Hightower and Vice President of Industry and Regulatory Affairs Sean Elliott.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 3

AirVenture

H.G. FRAUTSCHY

4 OCTOBER 2011

2011

The area surrounding the VAA Red Barn and wayfinding tower was packed with people
enjoying the Saturday night air show, one of the week’s most popular events. Thousands of
spectators lifted their cellphones as Neil Diamond’s America was played, and they continued
holding them up as Steve Oliver performed in his Pepsi FireDancer de Havilland Chipmunk.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 5

ith generally outstanding weather, the VAA welcomed more than 800 showplanes to its area during this past
summer’s EAA AirVenture 2011. With the Centennial of Naval Aviation and of the U.S. air mail, there was
plenty to see. A trio of Lockheed 12s came to celebrate the 75th anniversary of that record-setting twin.
A new sound-deadening room to host the VAA metal-shaping demonstrations proved to be a popular addition to
the Vintage Hangar. The new room, constructed by VAA volunteers, was in addition to the work they did this past
spring to create an air mail shack to replicate the type of building that might have been present on so many air mail
stops along the way as the mail was flown all over the United States. So sit back and think about the enjoyable time
you may have spent here in Oshkosh in late July; if you weren’t here, you can enjoy these shots of just a few of the
highlights in the Vintage area. We’ll have more in the coming months.

W

ANTIQUE (THROUGH AUG 1945) AWARDS
Antique Grand Champion—Gold Lindy
David Marco, Atlantic Beach, Florida
1938 Lockheed 12A, NC18097

Antique Reserve Grand Champion—Silver Lindy
Timothy Talen, Springfield, Oregon, and Eric Rearwin, San Pablo, California
1936 Rearwin 6000 Speedster, N15865

Bronze Age (1937-1941) Champion—Bronze Lindy
Ben Redman, Faribault, Minnesota
1941 Waco UPF-7, N32133

World War II Era (1942-1945) Champion—Bronze Lindy
Paul Fries, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
1943 Boeing B75N1, N347KF

Silver Age (1928-1936) Champion—Bronze Lindy
Joseph Santana, Waynesboro, Virginia
1928 Travel Air 4000, N5427

World War II Military Trainer/Liaison Aircraft Champion—Bronze Lindy
Arthur Goodwin, San Diego, California
1943 Beech D17S, N368

Customized Aircraft Champion—Bronze Lindy
J. Young, Hudson, Wisconsin
1940 Piper J-3C-65, N32562
Mike Williams, Fayetteville, Georgia
1928 Stearman C3-B, N6496

Silver Age (1928-1936) Outstanding Open-Cockpit Biplane
Mike Berger, Washington Island, Wisconsin
1933 Waco UBF, NC13074

Bronze Age Outstanding Closed-Cockpit Monoplane
Ed Kale, Matthews, North Carolina
1941 Aeronca 65-CA, NC33708

Customized Aircraft Runner-Up
Keith Kocourek, Wausau, Wisconsin
1940 Waco YPF-7, N5ZP

STEVE MOYER

Silver Age (1928-1936) Runner-Up

Andrew King sits for a spell in the Curtiss Pusher
constructed by Bob Coolbaugh of Manassas, Virginia. Andrew and Bob trade off legs as the Curtiss has been flown regularly cross-country to take
part in the Centennial of Naval Aviation celebrations across the country.

Mike Williams rolls one on as he lands his 1928 Stearman C3-B on the turf to the south of Runway 18/36.
We are in the process of improving a grass strip on the south end of Wittman Field that can be used by aircraft that are grass-dependant. We’ll have more to say on this project in the near future.

H.G. FRAUTSCHY

6 OCTOBER 2011

Ercoupe aficionados will recognize the general outlines of the
follow-up version of the venerable low-wing personal plane, but
the tail is all Mooney. This is the Mooney M10 of Patrick Flaherty, who hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. It was selected as the Reserve Grand Champion Classic airplane by our volunteer judges.

TYSON RININGER

CLASSIC (1945-1955) AWARDS
Grand Champion—Gold Lindy

Outstanding Cessna 170/180—Small Plaque

Rick Michalek, Keosauqua, Iowa
1953 Piper PA-22, N3314A

William Thacker, Chenoa, Illinois
1955 Cessna 180, N4750B

Reserve Grand Champion—Silver Lindy

Outstanding 190/195—Small Plaque

Sydney Cohen, Wausau, Wisconsin
1946 Ercoupe 415-D, N94196

Coyle Schwab, St. Charles, Illinois
1948 Cessna 195, N3457V

Class I (0-80 hp)—Bronze Lindy

Outstanding Stinson—Small Plaque

Ryan Johnson, Dodgeville, Wisconsin
1946 Taylorcraft BC12-D, N44034

Jeff Bales, Greendale, Wisconsin
1946 Stinson 108-1, N97344

Class II (81-150 hp)—Bronze Lindy

Outstanding Ercoupe—Small Plaque

Patrick Phillips, London, Ontario, Canada
1949 Cessna 170A, CF-LWF

Doug Hurd, Cincinnati, Ohio
1946 Ercoupe 415-C, N94606

Class III (151-235 hp)—Bronze Lindy

Outstanding Piper Other—Small Plaque

John Startz, Houston, Texas
1947 Beech 35, N3088V

Gene Endsley, Des Moines, Washington
1955 Piper PA-22-150, N8112P

Class IV (236+ hp)—Bronze Lindy

Custom Class A (0-80 hp)—Small Plaque

Scott Pingel, Mineral Point, Missouri
1954 Cessna 195B, N2193C

Mike Sarsfield, Buford, Georgia
1955 Mooney M-18C 55, N4189

Best Custom—Bronze Lindy

Custom Class B (81-150 hp)—Small Plaque

Nelson Sundby, Stoughton, Wisconsin
1954 Cessna 170B, N1864C

David Meyer, Merrill, Wisconsin
1949 Piper PA-16, N5626H

Best Custom Runner Up—Large Plaque

Custom Class C (151-235 hp)—Small Plaque

David C. Barker, Lumberton, North Carolina
1949 Temco GC-1B, N22GW

Marvin Homsley, Holland, Ohio
1946 Globe GC-1B, N61PK

Outstanding Aeronca Chief—Small Plaque

Custom Class D (236+ hp)—Small Plaque

Michael Barbee, Delaware, Ohio
1947 Aeronca 11BC, N3660E

Jerry Shull, Carmel Valley, California
1950 Cessna 195A, N369JJ

Outstanding Beech—Small Plaque

Preservation Award—Small Plaque

Rosemary Leone, Sugar Grove, Illinois
1949 Beech A35, N8511A

George Greiman, Garner, Iowa
1950 Beech B35, N5186C

Outstanding Cessna 120/140—Small Plaque
Scott Ross, Rockford, Illinois
1946 Cessna 120, N3128N

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 7

STEVE CUKIERSKI

Rosemary Leone of Sugar Grove, Illinois, took home
the Outstanding Beech award for her highly polished
1949 Beech A35.

PHIL HIGH

Ryan Johnson of Dodgeville, Wisconsin, did some
outstanding work on this new restoration of a
snappy-looking Taylorcraft. It took home the Class I
(0-80 hp) Bronze Lindy.

H.G. FRAUTSCHY

A tired but happy Bob Coolbaugh greets the well-wishers
lining the taxiway as he makes his way to ConocoPhillips
Plaza after landing his Curtiss Pusher. Bob’s Curtiss was
one of the centerpieces of the Centennial of Naval Aviation celebration.

STEVE MOYER

The VAA Judging Corps stands at the ready with their banner-sized birthday greeting for longtime VAA judge Frank
Bass, who didn’t make it to this year’s fly-in.
8 OCTOBER 2011

CONTEMPORARY (1956-1970) AWARDS
Grand Champion—Gold Lindy
David Smither, Aubrey, Texas
1966 Cessna 310K, N3845X

Reserve Grand Champion—Silver Lindy
Patrick Flaherty, Cincinnati, Ohio
1970 Mooney M10, N505T

Outstanding Customized—Bronze Lindy
Florian & Cynthia Kapp, Lagrange, Kentucky
1960 Piper PA-23-160, N99AJ

Class I Single Engine (0-160 hp)—Bronze Lindy
Dale Berger, Nazareth, Pennsylvania
1957 Piper PA-22-150, N87NM

Class II Single Engine (161-230 hp)—Bronze Lindy
Robert Stegman, St. Peters, Missouri
1966 Cessna 182J, N3457F

Class III Single Engine (231+ hp)—Bronze Lindy

H.G. FRAUTSCHY

Joe Santana sets his Travel Air 4000 up in the flare as he
prepares to land on the turf. Both the Travel Air and the
Stearman were on hand for the air mail centennial display.

Kevin Mayer, Lima, Ohio
1958 Beech J35, N76J

Custom Multi-Engine—Bronze Lindy
Alan Bassman, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
1968 Piper PA-30, N68AH

Dean Richardson Memorial Award—Bronze Lindy
Dennis Beecher, Martinsburg, Pennsylvania
1962 Piper PA-22-108, N5549Z

Outstanding Beech Single Engine—Outstanding In Type
James Plettner, Cincinnati, Ohio
1967 Beech V35, N87565

Outstanding Beech Multi-Engine—Outstanding In Type
Kerry McCauley, Coon Rapids, Minnesota
1960 Beech 65, N800EQ

Outstanding Cessna 150—Outstanding In Type
Joseph Smokovitz, Tecumseh, Michigan
1962 Cessna 150B, N7393X

Outstanding Cessna 170/172/175—Outstanding In
Type
Joseph Schies, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania
1963 Cessna 172D, N2646U

STEVE MOYER

As it enters the pattern high to the east of Wittman Field,
EAA’s Ford Tri-Motor glides past the skywriting handiwork of
Susan and Steve Oliver.

Outstanding Cessna 310—Outstanding In Type
Douglas Parrott, Roundup, Montana
1958 Cessna 310B, N5418A

Outstanding Piper PA-24 Comanche—Outstanding In
Type
Av Shiloh, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
1970 Piper PA-24-260, N9400P

Outstanding Piper PA-28 Cherokee—Outstanding In Type
Corey Hall, Versailles, Missouri
1964 Piper PA-28-180, N7967W

Outstanding Limited Production—Outstanding In Type
Gerald Gippner, Olathe, Kansas
1959 Silvaire Luscombe 8F, N9942C

Best Continuously Maintained—Outstanding In Type
Keith Arnao, Hainesport, New Jersey
1968 Piper PA-28-140, N5700F

Preservation Award—Outstanding in Type
Roger Florkiewicz, Schererville, Indiana
1968 Piper PA-28R-180, N65KF

H.G. FRAUTSCHY

Modern re-creations of two of aviation’s most historic aircraft.
On the left is the Curtiss Pusher built by Bob Coolbaugh,
created to reproduce the first aircraft to fly from a ship. The
Curtiss replicates the biplane flown by Eugene Ely during his
demonstrations for the Navy in 1911. On the right is the Bleriot
(Queen) monoplane reproduction built and flown by EAA volunteers and staff. Powered by an original Anzani “fan” threecylinder engine, it has briefly hopped at EAA’s Pioneer Airport.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 9

PHIL HIGH

This very nice restoration of a 1950 Bellanca 14-19 Cruisemaster is now registered to Ron Hansen of Platte
City, Missouri. The wood-winged tube-and-fabric speedster received its beautiful color scheme over a decade
ago when it was owned by Chuck Davis in California, and further TLC was lavished upon it by Jonathan Baron in
Washington state. It features a custom color scheme with a stylized modern Bellanca logo on the tail.

TYSON RININGER

This interesting color scheme was spotted on a Taylorcraft BL-65 brought to the fly-in by Michael Zidziunas, Florida. We’ll have more on this jaunty little high-winger in a future issue of Vintage Airplane.
10 OCTOBER 2011

STEVE CUKIERSKI

One of aviation’s most modeled airplanes, this newly restored Rearwin 6000 Speedster belonging to Eric Rearwin, and restored by Springfield, Oregon’s own Tim Talen, was a highlight in the antique area and in front of the
Red Barn. It will be the subject of an upcoming feature article in Vintage Airplane. The restoration earned a Silver
Lindy as the Reserve Grand Champion Antique.
Just out of a fresh restoration at Candler Field near
Atlanta, Georgia, is Ron Alexander’s 1928 Stearman C3-B mailplane, flown to the convention by
the head honcho of Lee Bottom Flying Field, Rich
Davidson. It was one of the air mail aircraft featured in the 100th Anniversary of Air Mail display.

STEVE CUKIERSKI

CHRIS MILLER

The centennial of air mail in the United States was commemorated with this display on the north end of the VAA
flightline. Counterclockwise from the lower left, we have the
Bleriot (Queen) monoplane reproduction constructed by EAA
volunteers and staff, the EAA AirVenture museum’s Pitcairn
PA-7 Super Mailwing, and EAA’s Fairchild FC-2W. Behind the
Fairchild is the Golden Wings Museum’s Stinson SM-6000 TriMotor. Continuing the circle is the museum’s Swallow biplane,
Joe Santana’s Travel Air 4000, Mike Williams’ Stearman C3-B,
and Ron Alexander’s Stearman C3-B. The air mail shack at the
center, featuring an authentic metal roof, was constructed this
past spring by volunteers from the VAA. Inside, visitors could
mail a special postcard and view air mail-related artifacts and
photos. An added bonus artifact to the display was an authentic Ford Model A mail truck, supplied to us by Model A collector Al Downs of Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 11

New’ Funk

The ‘

From basket case to Reserve Grand Champion
BY

SPARKY BARNES SARGENT

Sean with his Silver Lindy and
his newly restored Funk B85C.
12 OCTOBER 2011

on the Field

Two

award-winning Funk B85Cs
taxied in to the South 40 at
EAA AirVenture during the
summer of 2010, nearly one behind the other,
much to the pleasant surprise of their pilots.

CAROLYN SWEET

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 13

This O-200 spins a Sensenich propeller.
SPARKY BARNES SARGENT

They simply aren’t used to seeing
another Funk when they arrive at
an airport, since there aren’t a great
number flying these days. John
Maxfield’s 1948 Funk was already
part of his family before he was a
year old in 1958 (a Vintage article on NC1654N was published in
1995). The “new” Funk on the field
belonged to 39-year-old Sean Soare
of Loves Park, Illinois. NC81142
(s/n 272 ) and was manufactured in
June 1946 as a B85C model, though
Sean installed a 100-hp Continental O-200 while bringing the airplane back to life.
Sean is a third-generation flyer.

14 OCTOBER 2011

His grandfather, Art Soare, taught
Sean’s father, Malcolm, to fly in
a Champ at age 16. Malcolm, in
turn, restored a J-3 Cub and then
taught his son Sean to fly in the
Cub at age 16. Years later, being
quite naturally drawn to the vintage and antique airplanes, Sean
learned of the basket case Funk
while perusing classified ads on the
Barnstormers Inc. website. Immediately smitten, he felt that the Funk
would be a unique airplane to own,
since there aren’t too many flying
these days. He’d been seeking a
project, and this one was located
conveniently enough in southern
Illinois, just a few hundred miles
from his home. “I thought it’d be
exciting to restore it,” shares Sean,
with a friendly smile. “It’s my first
aircraft restoration and I did it all—
with some help and guidance, of
course. I grew up around aviation,
and my dad also restored a Beech
Staggerwing, so I learned a lot just
watching him as a kid.”

Funk Aircraft
Twin brothers Joe and Howard
Funk were natives of Akron, Ohio,
and first flexed their aeronautical
wings by building gliders in the
early 1930s. By the late 1930s, Akron Aircraft Company was formed,
and the brothers had designed and
built an airplane. It was powered

first by a small Székely radial, then
by a modified, inverted Ford Model
B automobile engine. Production
of the Funk B started in 1939 under ATC 715 and continued into
1940. By the end of the year, the
75-hp Lycoming replaced the Ford
engine, and the Funk Model B75L
was born. The following year, the
brothers moved to Coffeyville, Kansas, where they established Funk
Aircraft Company and continued
manufacturing the Model B and
B75L. Their aircraft production
ceased in 1942 due to World War
II, but began again in 1946 with the
Funk F2B (B85C). Similarly to many
other light airplane manufacturers, the post-war declining private
aircraft market grounded the Funk
brothers’ aeronautical endeavors
in 1948. All told, it’s estimated that
fewer than 400 Funks were produced. Post-war company advertising promoted three core features of
the Funk B: “Quality, safety, [and]
completeness.” Powered by the
85-hp Continental, the Funk had
a cruising speed of 100 mph, and
with 20 gallons of fuel, a range of
around 350 miles. “Carefree flight
in supreme safety” was promised by
virtue of the following: “… no stalls
at lower-than-normal flying speeds;
landings at speeds as low as 37 mph
unaffected by gusty winds; no accidental spins…. On the ground,

SPARKY BARNES SARGENT PHOTOS

The two-tone instrument panel and the tall control column—in this instance, the right-hand portion of the yoke control has been temporarily removed to allow for passenger comfort.

The Funk sports a pair of original
wheelpants. Sometime in the 1960s
the main gear was converted to
Cleveland wheels and brakes.

Close-up view of the wingtip navigation light.

For ease of entry, the Funk brothers designed the door so it swings wide
open—all the way in front of the front wing strut.
too, Funk is safe due to its low center of gravity. That means no more
runway troubles, for Funk hugs
the ground through fast turns and
cross-winds.”
This docile two-place airplane
could take off in 350 feet, had an
800-fpm rate of climb, and touched
down softly at 37mph on its 72inch tread main gear, cushioned by
oleo-spring shocks. Visibility was
enhanced by a one-piece Lucite®
acrylic resin windshield. Advertising verbiage describes the sturdy
Funk B as having “standard equipment [including a] starter and
generator, illuminated instrument
panel and dome light, landing
lights, radio, and wheel pants,” and

an “exceptionally low noise level in
[the] cabin. It’s spin and stall resistant, yet maneuverable . . . See it!
Fly it! And Compare! Then you’ll
agree it’s one of the safest planes in
the air today.”
The Funk was constructed as a
basic tube-and-fabric airplane, and
its steel tube fuselage was faired to
a full-bodied shape with wooden
formers and stringers. Its wings
were built of wood ribs and spars,
while the tail section was built of
steel tubing. The B85C measured
20 feet and 1 inch long, with a
wingspan of 35 feet. It weighed 890
pounds empty, and had a useful
load of 460 pounds. According to
aviation historian and author Jo-

The door handle is from a 1936 Ford.
seph Juptner, the deluxe version of
the B85C was equipped with hydraulic brakes (as opposed to the
standard mechanical brakes), and
was called the “Customaire.” [U.S.
Civil Aircraft, Vol. 8]

Tackling the Restoration
Sean, a physician’s assistant
whose flexible schedule facilitates
his aviation activities, realized

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 15

COURTESY SEAN SOARE
COURTESY SEAN SOARE

Father and son, working on the fuselage.

CAROLYN SWEET

when he went to look at NC81142
that it truly was a basket case. It
was much like assessing a patient
who didn’t look or feel well, and
who couldn’t communicate all the
details of his plight. “It was pretty
rough,” he recalls, shaking his head
and chuckling. “It was in pieces,
and various critters were living in
it. It was just a pretty sad airplane. I
got a lot of looks from other drivers
as I was going down the highway
with it loaded on the trailer.”
Fortunately, Sean had a hangar
in which to perform his healing
work on the Funk. But since this
was his first restoration, he had
to fully equip himself to handle
a wide range of restoration tasks.
He also had to determine just what

16 OCTOBER 2011

Sean’s parents, Malcolm and Roberta Soare, provided
helping hands during the restoration.

type of supplies he needed to have
on hand to keep the project moving forward—including fabric, coatings, hardware, cables, and wood
for stringers and formers. One of
the first steps was simply removing the old fabric from the airframe
and cleaning and inspecting it. “I
picked two large garbage bags of
critter stuff out of the wings; it was
amazing,” explains Sean. “Then I
took it all the way down to the bare
tubing. I put epoxy primer on the
steel components, rebuilt all the
wood parts, and made new aluminum leading edges for the wings. So
essentially, it’s an all-new airplane.
Another important aspect of the
project was devoting time to researching Funk history and exam-

ining copies of factory drawings,
as well as talking with knowledgeable individuals. Overall, Sean
compares the restoration process
to building a large model airplane.
“It’s a little bit more involved than
a model, so I just tackled one thing
at a time. Over the course of three
and a half years, it slowly came together. I tried to make the airplane
as original as possible—but I found
out that there was a lot of variation
that the Funk brothers did with the
aircraft coming out of the factory.
They were very resourceful and
bought a lot of inexpensive surplus
items after the war—like the federal
yellow paint, which was used on a
lot of trainers during the war.”
When it came time to do the in-

SPARKY BARNES SARGENT
CAROLYN SWEET

Malcolm and Roberta Soare
with their son, Sean, and
his finished Funk.
terior, Sean says that “Lorraine Morris of Poplar Grove
[Illinois] helped me, and
Bob Riffle was a big help in
making the wool headliner
and canvas seat hammock.”
They decided upon soft gray
upholstery, accented by maroon piping, which tastefully
coordinates with the light
gray control column, rudder pedals,
and two-toned instrument panel.
In the original instrument
panel, there was an opening that
puzzled Sean, and after some detective work, he discovered it was
for an early-style radio receiver.
Since he didn’t have the original
unit, he fabricated the new panel
minus that opening. A neatly varnished plywood floor has two polished stainless-steel scuff plates in
front of the rudder pedals. A new
skylight, windshield, and sliding
windows completed the cabin area.
After covering the airframe with
Ceconite fabric, Sean quickly mastered the tedious skill of rib stitching. Then it was time to learn the art
of successfully applying Randolph
butyrate dope with a compressed
air system, and hand rubbing it
to a luminous sheen. Sean says he
decided to install an O-200 in his
Funk, “because 85-horse engines
are harder to find parts for now.
There’s a pull starter on the lefthand side of the instrument panel.”
The project came without a set

CAROLYN SWEET PHOTOS

The late-day October sun lends a golden aura to this awardwinning Funk.
NC81142 received the Classic Reserve Grand Champion-Silver Lindy during AirVenture 2010.
of wheelpants, and
Sean didn’t know
where to find any.
As it turns out,
they nearly fell
into his lap. “I really lucked out on
the wheelpants,”
he explains with
a broad smile. “Shawn Miller, the
gentleman that helped me with the
cowling, had picked up an original
set of wheelpants a couple of years
ago at an auction. They had never
been repainted, so they had the
original paint on them. I used those
same colors—maroon and yellow—
for the airplane.”

Funk Features
The Funk has several unique features, with perhaps the most striking one being its parallel wing
struts, which provide unimpeded
entry into the cabin for both pilot
and passenger. Once ensconced in
the cabin, occupants can’t help but
notice the tall control column with
a two-piece bar running across its
top, to which the yokes are affixed.
“The control yokes are reminiscent
of old-style airliner yokes,” smiles
Sean. “I temporarily removed one
portion of it, just to make it more
comfortable for my friend to fit in
the right seat.”
This Funk is equipped not only
with navigation lights, but also

with a set of distinctive landing
lights. Instead of being permanently
mounted, these non-retractable
units are plugged in to built-in
“sockets” underneath each wing.
“They look like Model T headlights
hanging down below the wing,”
chuckles Sean, “and it’s amazing
that they actually stay there—they
really create a lot of drag.”
The Funk was equipped with a
full-swivel tail wheel, which could
be steered with the rudder when
secured by its manually operated
locking device. “The tail wheel
locks directly to the rudder, and you
can unlock it to move the airplane
around. The only thing I would
say, though, is that you can’t make
sharp turns if it’s locked,” laughs
Sean, elaborating, “so if you’re taxiing the airplane to a tight spot on
the ramp, you have to physically
get out of the cabin and go back
and unhook the tail wheel.”

Funk Flying
In 1947, a Funk Aircraft Co. ad
jauntily proclaimed, “There’s fun
in your future with the Funk F2B!”
Whoever penned those words had
no way of peering beyond the horizon of the 1940s into the fardistant future to predict the longevity of fun Funk flying. But those
pilots who are fortunate enough
to fly a Funk today still agree with
that advertising slogan.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 17

SPARKY BARNES SARGENT

Rear view of the Funk in the South 40 at AirVenture—note the other Funk to the left.
“It takes off about 55 mph, cruises
pretty fast around 110 mph, and it’s
just a nice cross-country airplane,”
says Sean. ”It really won’t stall; it sort
of mushes and you can still do nice
gradual turns with it. It’s very forgiving. My flight to Oshkosh was exciting. I’ve been here three times but
this was the first time I’ve ever flown
here. So I had a friend come up with
me that helped me out a little bit. Interestingly enough, when I showed
up there was another Funk two airplanes ahead of me—I had no idea
another Funk would be here! That’s
really unusual to have two together.”
Budd Davisson, contributor to
this magazine, relished the opportunity to fly a Funk back in 1990.
In his pilot report, his final assessment of the airplane was this:
“From a performance view, the
Funk is a good, good flying airplane that will make its pilots into
extremely good, well-coordinated,
sensitive aviators. In that regard,
the Funk makes a tremendously
good training airplane and one I
would highly recommend for anyone expecting to transition into
something with higher-demand
handling characteristics.”

Rewards and Awards
NC81142 came with a historical treasure, of sorts. Its logbooks
and paperwork are complete, all
the way back to Howard Funk’s sig-

18 OCTOBER 2011

nature in the aircraft records. After the airplane left the factory in
Coffeyville, Kansas, it spent most
of its life in California. “A friend
of mine in Poplar Grove, who also
has a Funk, was over in the hangar
one day looking at my airplane,”
recounts Sean, adding, “he was saying it looked familiar, and then he
remembered that he had looked at
the airplane about 30 years or so
ago, sitting on a ramp in California.
He almost bought it then. I think
it just sat for 25 years or more, and
became a derelict.”
But a derelict it is no longer. This
Funk B75C has been reborn into a
frequent flyer. “Every evening, I try
to get out to the Poplar Grove airport—it has nice grass runways and
it’s really fun out there, because a
lot of vintage airplanes are based
there. The last three and a half
years, I was sitting on the ground,
working on a project, while everybody else was flying. Now I have an
airplane to fly—and it’s a neat airplane,” Sean says with a glow.
Sean experienced several rewarding aspects of tackling his firsttime restoration. One was simply
the joy associated with identifying
and finishing the myriad tasks of
healing a long-wounded airplane.
Another was embracing the help
provided by numerous individuals
as he met each new challenge. “My
local friends, Ted Steffens and Don-

nie Stine, as well as members of the
Funk Aircraft Owners Association,
helped me out a lot,” reflects Sean,
“and Gerry Lewis of Delaware has
the original factory drawings. He
really helped me by donating a lot
of parts to the project.”
Overall, Sean’s favorite part of
the process, he shares, was the fabric work. “I really enjoyed applying
it to the whole airframe, and seeing what were once just separate
parts and pieces coming together to
start looking like an airplane again.
I never realized the finished product would turn out so nicely!”
Indeed, Sean’s completed Funk
is certainly exceptional, and he
has an AirVenture trophy to mark
his success: the Classic (September 1945—1955) Reserve Grand
Champion—Silver Lindy. By midOctober, Sean had logged 54 hours
on his Funk since its first flight in
May of 2010, and everywhere he’s
flown NC81142, he’s been richly
rewarded for his hard work by nice
comments from admirers.
If you’re wondering what this
young man may be doing next
(aside from being a Funk frequent
flyer), well, he’s already working
on his second restoration project.
“As if I didn’t abuse myself enough
working on the Funk,” he says with
a grin. “I bought a 1937 Cabin
Waco YKS, and I already have the
fuselage ready for fabric!”

Drive one.

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The Douglas World
Cruiser That Crashed
in Alaska
Interesting aviation artifacts on display
at the Alaska Aviation Museum
BY IRVEN

F. PALMER, JR.

COURTESY OF THE ALASKA AVIATION MUSEUM

THE ALASKA AVIATION MUSEUM
Over the last 40 years or so I have made it a point
to try to visit all of the aviation museums in the western United States and many in far-off locations. I lived
in Alaska for more than 35 years and flew my small
Cessna all over that vast state, including Port Moller
and the mountains there, where the Douglas World
Cruiser Seattle crashed, and I am fairly familiar with
Alaska’s aviation historical past. I have visited the
Alaska Aviation Museum near Lake Hood in Anchorage, Alaska, many times and have donated several clas-

20 OCTOBER 2011

Seattle at Kanatak, Alaska, on the Alaska peninsula.
This is probably the last photo taken of the Seattle
before the crash.

THE AROUND-THE-WORLD FLIGHT
In April of 1924 the U.S. Army Air Service tried to
be the first to circle the globe by airplane. The Army
commissioned the Douglas Aircraft Co. in Santa Monica, California, to build five aircraft, dubbed Douglas
World Cruisers. These aircraft were large biplanes and
would be equipped with the powerful Liberty 400hp engines. To feed these engines, the aircraft were
equipped with huge fuel tanks that held 773 gallons.
The fuel alone weighed more than 2 tons. Four of the
planes would make the flight, with one for a spare. The
logistics of such a flight in 1924 required much time,
planning, and effort. Inquiries were made about facilities at all the proposed stops. Gasoline and engine oil

IRV PALMER

SPECIFICATIONS

Seattle’s Liberty engine and other artifacts are on
display at the Alaska Aviation Museum in Anchorage,
Alaska. The items were recovered from the wreck site
on the side of a mountain near Port Moller, Alaska, in
the Aleutian Islands on April 30, 1924, with the crew
surviving and walking out of the wilderness 10 days
later.
sical items to the museum, such as old wooden Jack
Carr skis and old radio equipment. This museum contains many of the historical aircraft that were flown by
the bush pilots who opened up Alaska to settlement
and development.
On a recent trip to Alaska I stopped by the museum again and took photos of the remains of Seattle,
the Douglas World Cruiser that did not complete the
around-the-world flight. The photos included herein
are courtesy of the Alaska Aviation Museum. I have
also seen Chicago at the Smithsonian and New Orleans
at the Santa Monica airport in California.
The April 2, 2010, Vintage Aircraft Online carried the
story about Bob and Diane Dempster of Seattle, Washington, who are in the process of building a reproduction of a Douglas World Cruiser, Seattle II, and intend
to fly it around the world. That is certainly a laudable
undertaking and will bring renewed interest in aviation history to many people.
I thought EAA’s Vintage Aircraft Association readers
might like to see some photos of the World Cruisers in
Alaska and especially the remains of Seattle.

Type

12-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 45-degree V
configuration with overhead camshaft

Bore

5 inch

Stroke

7 inch

Displacement

1,649 cubic inches (27 liter)

Dry Weight

845 lbs.

Power Output

449 hp at 2000 RPM at takeoff

Power to Weight Ratio 0.53 hp/pound. 

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VINTAGE AIRPLANE 21

COURTESY OF THE ALASKA AVIATION MUSEUM

Above: New Orleans at Sitka Bay. It
proved to be one of the two original
(out of four) DWC aircraft that completed the around-the-world flight.

22 OCTOBER 2011

IRV PALMER

Left bottom: In this view you can
see the 45-degree offset to the
cylinders in the Liberty engine
showing. The broken edges of the
wooden propeller and the twisted
brass leading edge show that the
engine was developing power when
it hit the mountain.

IRV PALMER

Left middle: Seattle’s Liberty
engine and a portion of its forward
fuselage showing the fuselage fuel
tanks.

had to be available or shipped to
those places. In addition, 14 sets
of floats and 14 spare engines were
shipped to various points around
the world, “just in case.” The planners realized that undertaking such
a mission involved risk and that
success meant that spares should
be available along the way. Very
soon in the trip, this proved to be
good thinking.
The four planes were flown from

Santa Monica to Seattle for the final preparations for
the flight. The four planes, named Seattle, New Orleans,
Chicago, and Boston were led by Major Fredrick Martin.
They left Seattle, Washington, on April 6, 1924, and
they headed north, following a course from Seattle to
Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to Sitka, Seward, Chignik, Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island, Atka, and Attu,
at the end of the Aleutian Islands.
Things were going pretty well and the four planes
landed at Sitka Bay and at Seward as planned. They left
Seward and flew west of Kodiak Island en route to Chignik, but as they neared Mt. Eyak in the lower Shelikof
Strait, about 50 miles west of Kodiak, a leaky crankcase
caused Seattle to make an emergency landing. Hulls, a
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, located the aircraft and towed
it to the village of Kanatak, where a Standard Oil Company drilling operation provided assistance. Maj. Martin, the pilot and leader, ordered the other aircraft
waiting at Chignik to continue on to Dutch Harbor.
It is unclear what kind of a repair was done on Seattle at Kanatak, but we do know the plane traveled only
about 235 more miles southwest before crashing into a
mountain near Port Moller during a snowstorm.
On April 19, 1924, New Orleans, Chicago, and Boston
escaped the Aleutian Island’s frequent strong winds and
reduced visibility and made it to Dutch Harbor, where
Boston was hoisted aboard S.S. Brookdale for an engine
replacement and other repairs. Those spare parts were
now paying off.
After Boston’s engine replacement, the three planes
departed for the remainder of the around-the-world
attempt. We won’t try to cover all of the details here,
but it is important to add that only two of the aircraft
would complete the trip, New Orleans and Chicago. Boston was lost at sea in the North Atlantic, but the crew
was rescued by the U.S. Navy. At this point the prototype DWC, now dubbed Boston II, was flown to Labrador by the Boston’s crew to join the remaining World
Cruisers, and they continued west and landed at Sand
Point in Seattle on the shores of Lake Washington on
September 28, 1924, after 175 days. They had flown
371 flight hours and had gone 27,553 miles. That event
surely started global aviation.

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THE LIBERTY AIRCRAFT ENGINE
The photo I took of Seattle’s remains show the only
parts of Seattle that can be viewed by the public. Many
other twisted metal parts remain on that mountain near
Port Moller on the Alaska Peninsula. The Liberty L-12
that powered Seattle was a water-cooled V-12 with cylinders set at 45 degrees to the crankshaft. The engine was
rated at 400 hp and was designed for a high power-toweight ratio and for ease of mass production. It has a history that dates back to 1917 during World War I, where it
was used in both aircraft and tanks. All of America’s major auto makers had contracts to build the engine, and
more than 20,000 were manufactured.

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VINTAGE AIRPLANE 23

Light Plane Heritage
published in EAA Experimenter May 1992

THE SPARTAN C-2
ARTICLE AND PHOTOS BY

BOB WHITTIER

EAA 1235
hen one attends a large
fly-in or visits an aviation museum, there’s
so much to see that it’s
impossible to notice and remember everything. Later on when one
thinks things over or reads up on a
particular plane, what seemed to be
superficial observations often come
together to create a new and surprisingly clear insight on the significance of what one saw.
Let’s explore the Spartan C-2
low-wing monoplane to demonstrate this. The first time a person

W

encounters this ship, he probably won’t know what to make of
it. On one hand it appears to be a
fairly conventional lightplane of
the early 1930s, in that it has really
weird features and has reasonably
good proportions and lines.
On the other hand it can seem
to have acres of wingspan and area,
possibly because its appreciable
amount of dihedral puts so much
wing in front of the viewer’s eyes.
For its overall size, it appears to
sit almost squattingly close to the
ground, an outcome of the landing

Lead photo: Carefully restored
by antique airplane enthusiasts in Oklahoma, this Spartan C-2 appeared at an EAA
fly-in at Rockford, Illinois,
years ago. Note rather cluttered structure in and around
the landing gear, and how occupants sit a bit high in the
cockpit. This 1931 model C-2
was powered by a Jacobs L-3,
three-cylinder, 55-hp engine.

Editor’s Note: The Light Plane Heritage series in EAA’s Experimenter magazine often touched on aircraft and concepts
related to vintage aircraft and their history. Since many of our members have not had the opportunity to read this series, we plan on publishing those LPH articles that would be of interest to VAA members. Enjoy!—HGF

24 OCTOBER 2011

gear being short, which is dictated
by its modest propeller diameter. Its
side-by-side open cockpit seems a
little large. The occupants sit a little
high in it, especially if they are tall,
creating the impression that people ride on it rather than in it.
Also, as one’s eyes roam over
the C-2 there is an impression that
it’s held together with an endless
number of streamlined tie rods. In
fact, counting those on the landing and tail group, there are no
fewer than 28 of them.
Let’s briefly review Spartan history. The key figure was a gentleman named Willis C. Brown. At the
age of 16 in 1912, he cobbled up
an airplane. Later he flew with the
Army. By 1924 he was a flying salesman operating out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was not very happy with
the performance and reliability of
the war-surplus planes and engines
then in wide use. The famous Curtiss OX-5 engine, for example, had
been designed for a 50-hour service
life. The assumption was that student pilots would crash the planes
using it before that time was up.
In 1925 Brown and some kindred souls set out to design a better
plane for serious business flying. It
took the form of a three-seat, opencockpit biplane. Powered with a
war-surplus Le Rhône rotary engine, it flew well, but the engine’s
trustworthiness was on a par with
that of a rattlesnake.
At that time no smaller aero engines were being manufactured
in the Unites States, but Brown’s
group learned about and looked
into the 125-hp, nine-cylinder radial engine manufactured in Germany by Siemens-Halske. By 1927
these engines were being imported
into the United States. Factory test
engines had run 150 hours at full
throttle without breakdown, and
overseas users were reporting 400
hours of good performance without
even having to grind the valves.
That appealed to the Brown group,
so they installed one on their biplane and tried it out.
The combination proved to

Streamlined tie rods meeting the top surfaces of Spartan C-2 wings
caused less interference drag than steel tube struts of appreciably
greater diameter would have.

be a winner, providing good performance and reliability. They
named it the Spartan and formed
a company to manufacture it,
named Mid-Continent Aircraft
Co. Production began in 1928 and
almost 100 planes were built before labor troubles in Germany
cut off the supply of Siemens engines. Czechoslovakian Walter engines of similar type and power
were substituted briefly, but late
in 1928 the Wright Aeronautical
Corp. in New Jersey introduced
new American radial engines.
They offered five-, seven- and
nine-cylinder models, producing
165, 225, and 300 hp respectively.
By mid-1929 a refined model
of the Spartan biplane was on the
market, powered by the 165 hp
Wright. Some months later a 225hp model also appeared. It was a
real performer and sold well.
The growing size and reputation
of Mid-Continent’s manufacturing operation attracted the attention of a prominent and wealthy
oil baron, William G. Skelly. In the
fall of 1927 he bought the business
and changed the name to Spartan
Aircraft Co. A flying school was
started to supplement the manufacturing business and, among other
things, teach customers how to fly
Spartan airplanes. A large, comfortable 4-seater cabin monoplane was
added to the line.
Then the stock market crash of
1929 devastated the aircraft indus-

try. For a while, people thought the
Depression would be short-lived and
some aircraft manufacturers sought
to hang on until things got better by
bringing out quickly designed, light,
economical monoplanes.
They realized that biplanes
were too costly to build and sell
at Depression-time prices. A simple, conventional monoplane has
a total of four spruce spars in its
right and left wing panels, where
a biplane has eight. A biplane has
many more wing ribs, four wing
tip bows instead of two, and many
more steel fittings calling for much
careful hand-work.
Another shortcoming of biplanes
is that power is wasted in generating four rather than two wingtip vortices, caused by air spilling
out from under the wing tips. Biplane wing assemblies tend to have
low aspect ratios, which increase
what engineers call “induced drag.”
This refers to the invisible, but very
much present, drag that results
from the work done by a wing to
develop lift.
Spartan engineers visualized a
light monoplane with a fairly high
aspect ratio and therefore low-drag
wing. With a wingspan of 40 feet
and chord of 54 inches, the design
they laid down had an aspect ratio
of 8.8-to-1. The Aeronca C-3 had
a ratio of 8.6-to-1 and the Taylor
(later Piper) Cub had one of 6.6to-1. It would clearly require some
thought to decide how to build

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 25

These three drawings show how tie rods were used on racing planes.
The wing structure of the Spar tan C-2 was probably derived from
these examples.

such a long, slim wing and give
it adequate resistance to bending,
twisting, and fluttering.
Other American lightplanes of
that time were of the parasol and
high-wing types. But the Spartan C-2 was a low-wing design. At
that time most racing planes were
low-wings, and the notion spread
among airplane lovers that somehow low-wings were simply faster
than high-wings. But, of course,
that could not be true, for there
were also some biplane and highwing racers.
Why did the people at Spartan
decide on a low-wing? Well, there

26 OCTOBER 2011

are some practical advantages to
this type. It’s usually quite convenient to step up on a wing-root
footwalk and then settle down into
a cockpit unencumbered by overhead structure. Visibility ahead, upward, to the side, and to the rear is
good to excellent. Although a low
wing blocks the view downward in
practical flying, there is seldom a
need to look straight down. And
the closer a wing is to the ground,
the more it will benefit lift-wise
from ground effect when taking off
and landing.
But it is a safe guess that the fundamental reason for choosing the

low-wing configuration was structural. To help you to understand
this, let’s go back to the mid-1920s,
when there was keen international competition in the famous
Schneider Trophy races. Started in
1912 by the wealthy French industrialist Jacques Schneider, their
purpose was to further the development of fast seaplanes. They didn’t
have long, paved runways in those
days, and flat, open stretches of water offered the takeoff and landing
distances needed by faster aircraft.
Until the mid-1920s racers built
for this competition were biplanes.
The truss-work of wing struts and
streamlined tie rods provided the
rigidity needed to stand the everincreasing stresses created by
higher speeds. But biplanes inherently have more drag, and it increases rapidly with speed.
In 1925 the British entered a
cantilever-wing monoplane racer.
The wing broke up in flight, presumably as a result of the phenomenon known as flutter. Hold
a yardstick out the window of a
car and notice how it will, with
increasing speed, develop a rapid
whipping, bending action. That’s
flutter. It’s the result of a very complex interplay between air forces
and structural flexibility.
So Schneider Trophy monoplanes from then on stuck to externally braced wings. Front and
rear spars trussed together with
both internal and external tie rods
created wings with the necessary
torsional rigidity. Of course, the
external ones were of streamline
cross-section, a type developed
during World War I. They’re made
by passing round rods back and
forth between rollers, into which
have been cut suitable grooves.
The rolling action also tends to improve tensile strength.
A high-wing or mid-wing monoplane employing tie rod bracing requires some sort of overhead strut
arrangement to anchor the inboard
ends of the tie rods on the upper
side of the wing. The overhead vee
strut on the Aeronca C-3 and the

overhead pylon on the Buhl Bull
Pup are typical examples. Such arrangements can be tolerated on
slow utility aircraft but would create unacceptable drag on racers.
Fractions of a second in speed can
win or lose a hotly contested race.
Reducing drag to an absolute minimum becomes critical.
An accompanying drawing
shows front views of these tie rodbraced racing monoplanes. At the
top is a 1926 Italian Macchi/Schneider Trophy racer. In the center is a 1927 British de Havilland
racer that was designed to compete in races for modestly powered landplanes. It attained 187
mph on 115 hp. At the bottom
is a 1931 Gee Bee racer whose remarkably fat fuselage amounted
basically to a well-streamlined nacelle behind the ship’s large-diameter radial engine.
The common feature of these
three planes is that the inboard
ends of the upper-wing tie rods are
attached to the tops of their fuselages, rather than to any kind of
overhead and therefore projecting
strut layout. By moving the wing
down it is possible to do this, hence
the low-wing racers. Other speedsters such as the Howards, WedellWilliamses, and Travel Air Mystery
Ships were also of this design.
Since these planes were much in
the news and were well-known in
the early 1930s, it is reasonable to
assume that the idea of a tie rodbraced, low-wing monoplane occurred to the Spartan men.
Because of their much smaller
diameter compared to steel tube
struts, they posed less frontal area.
On a ship with a 40-foot wingspan, steel tube struts would have
been long, and caused much drag.
They would have to be of good
diameter to resist compression
loads, so would have been heavier.
Their bulk would have created
more turbulence where they met
the wing’s surface.
Ideas born in racing do indeed
trickle down to more prosaic automobiles, boats, and airplanes. The

very handsome Ryan ST low-wing
monoplane, so much admired by airplane lovers over the years, is another
example of how designers of civilian
aircraft picked up wing-bracing ideas
born in the Schneider racers.
Spartan designers probably also
saw in tie rod-bracing a way to stabilize the C-2’s very long, narrow
wing against twisting and fluttering while at the same time keeping
weight and drag to a minimum. In
those days biplanes were still popular, especially in the military, and
production of streamlined tie rods
was high. So cost would have been
bearable. At today’s prices the idea
of using 28 of these rods to truss together a homebuilt plane would be
quickly rejected.
A rod-braced, low-wing configuration having been decided upon,
attention was turned to finding an
engine. It is a reasonably accurate
general rule that the weight of a
complete airplane is closely tied to
the weight of its engine. For exam-

ple, the four-seater Stinson SM-8
of 1930 was powered by the 215hp Lycoming engine weighing 514
pounds, and had an empty weight
of 2,061 pounds. The four-seater
Fairchild 24 of 1936 was powered by the 145-hp Warner engine
weighing 303 pounds and had an
empty weight of 1,685 pounds. The
Piper PA-14 Family Cruiser of 1949
also carried four, was powered by
the 108-hp Lycoming weighing
around 260 pounds, and had an
empty weight of 1,020 pounds. You
can carry this on to an interesting
study of today’s ultralights powered
by much lighter engines.
But to get back to the C-2, a very
limited selection of small aircraft engines was available in the early 1930s.
The two-cylinder Aeronca of 36 hp
weighed 100 pounds. The four-cylinder Continental A-40 of 37 hp
weighed 136 pounds. The three-cylinder Székely of 45 hp weighed 135
pounds. With its 40-foot span, the
C-2 was a fairly large lightplane, and

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The high-wing Aeronca C-3 and mid-wing Buhl Bull Pup had overhead structures to secure the
upper-wing tie rods.

Spartan designers sensed that none
of these engines had enough muscle.
Jacobs Company of Pottstown,
Pennsylvania, at that time fortunately came out with a threecylinder radial engine generally
resembling the Székely but delivering 55 hp. It weighed 170 pounds.
So the Spartan C-2 ended up with
an empty weight of 731 pounds.
Other lightplanes of its time mostly
weighed less than 500 pounds,
with the Aeronca C-3 tipping the
scales at a mere 466 pounds.
While reasonably clean for its
type and time, the C-2’s very wide
two-seater cockpit with a large windshield in front of it created a lot of
drag. Steel tube loops around the
fat Goodyear airwheel tires on the
Goodyear airwheels probably created
a lot of interference drag. Advertised
cruising speed was 81 mph and rate
of climb 750 feet per minute. People

28 OCTOBER 2011

who have flown C-2s tell us these figures certainly were optimistic.
For the purpose of student training and weekend airport hopping,
however, the ship had adequate
enough performance. As anyone
who has had a ride in the rear
seat of a tandem-cockpit low-wing
plane can testify, the wing can
block out a lot of one’s view downward. That can bother passengers
who want to enjoy the scenery.
Putting pilot and passenger sideby-side in the C-2 gave both occupants the same and acceptably
good view forward and downward.
Because of changing relationships between the center of lift and
the center of gravity as between
level and climbing flight, lowwings can have problems with longitudinal stability. So putting the
two occupants of the C-2 side-byside minimized center-of-gravity

changes as between dual and solo
flight. The 54-inch chord of the
C-2’s high aspect ratio wing kept
the Clark Y airfoil’s center-of-pressure travel to modest proportions,
again helping with longitudinal
stability. The stabilizer was adjustable on the ground only, although
later C-2s had a bungee trim arrangement rigged up to put adjustable trim pull on the control stick
during long flights—the fuel tank
was ahead of the center of gravity.
Construction was entirely conventional for the early 1930s, with
welded steel tubing fuselage and
tail surfaces and spruce wing spars
and ribs. Everything was fabric covered. One common color scheme
was dark maroon fuselage and vertical tail with an orange-yellow
color for the wing and horizontal
tail. Wiggins Airways at Norwood,
Massachusetts, had two with dark
brown fuselages and medium-red
wings and stabilizer. One of them
was re-covered by a new owner and
given a medium-blue fuselage and
yellow wings. It was restored after
World War II and given a black fuselage with orange wings.
A removable coupe top was
available as an extra. Aviation literature has too little to say about
the advantages of convertible cockpits. Open ones are very enjoyable
to ride in on hot summer days, but
turn into torture boxes on cold
winter days, due to windchill ef-

fect. On cross-country trips, pilots
of open-cockpit planes need three
hands—one for the control stick,
one for other controls, and one to
maintain a firm grasp on the navigational map.
The three-cylinder Jacobs engine
was a character. As far as the author
knows, the C-2 was the only plane
to use this engine, and since fewer
than 20 Spartan C-2s were built,
parts for it are as scarce as alligators
in Siberia. Where other lightplanes
had wooden propellers, the C-2’s
were fitted with ground-adjustable,
all-metal Hamilton Standard props.
They looked like perfect miniatures
of Hamilton Standard props used
on many larger planes of that time.
The valve rocker arms were exposed. Before self-adjusting hydraulic valve lifters appeared, and
before better valve steels came
along, rocker arm clearances had to
be checked often and leaving everything in the open saved time. Air
rushing around exposed valve stem
ends probably helped to keep valve
head temperatures under control.
Exposed rocker arms and valve
stems had to be greased and oiled
often. The propeller slipstream
then carried drops of oil and blobs
of grease back onto the windshield
and fuselage.
Cylinder exhaust gas was ducted
into a doughnut-shaped “collector ring,” and since the inlet ducts
joined this at an angle, the gas
went around and around within
this ring. Since airflow washed over
this ring constantly, it is reasonable
to believe that exhaust gases were
cooled and their volume reduced by
the time they exited from the single
exhaust outlet. That gave the engine a usefully muted exhaust. Radial engines fitted only with short,
individual exhaust stacks emitted a
steady and tiresome barking.
The Great Depression forced
Spartan to terminate airplane manufacture. It soldiered on by running
the well-known Spartan School of
Aeronautics. As the business climate
slowly improved, it got back into
airplane manufacture in 1937 with

Note the close resemblance of the Ryan ST’s wing bracing to that of racing planes of the early 1930s. This is the military version of the Ryan STA,
known as the PT-20. It is identifiable by the outside stringers, the turnover
pylon, and the lack of an “N” number. Power was either a 125, 134, or
150 hp Menasco engine.
the very advanced, sleek, fast, allmetal Spartan Executive low-wing
monoplane of cantilever type and
fitted with a retractable landing
gear. Some of these are still around
and evoke sighs of ecstasy from airplane nuts who see examples at flyins or in museums.
To summarize, it’s really sur-

prising how much one can learn
about airplane design by studying
any particular airplane carefully
and asking oneself, “Why was it designed that way?”
NOTE: Spartan C-2 NC 11908
is currently on display in the
Tulsa Air and Space Museum in
Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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VINTAGE AIRPLANE 29

Vintage
Instructor
THE

BY Steve Krog, CFI

Buying an airplane and
letting emotion control the decision
everal months ago an early20s young man approached
me, asking if I would teach
him to fly in his own airplane. Before agreeing, I inquired as to what type and model
of aircraft he owned. His reply was,
“I don’t own it yet, but I’m traveling to the West Coast to look at one
this weekend.” To protect the innocent, and in this case, the not-soinnocent, I won’t divulge the type
and model here. It was a classic tailwheel aircraft powered by a Continental engine.
I asked if he had done a prepurchase inspection, and he had not.
Rather, he mentioned that a good
friend who flew tailwheel airplanes
was making the trip with him and
would look it over. If the purchase was
made, they would fly the plane back
to Wisconsin. I strongly suggested he
have a thorough prepurchase inspection done by someone who knows
that type of aircraft. I even offered to
help locate a reputable A&P/IA who
could do the inspection. But he was
quite self-assured that he and his
friend would be able to handle everything. After all, the current owner
had provided him with photocopies
of the logbooks and at least a dozen
photos of the airplane, and it sure
looked good in the photos.
Five days and 17 hours of flight
time later, the two fellows arrived at
Hartford with the “new” airplane.
The next day we began flight training in the aircraft. The first problem
encountered was with the pull-type
starter—it wouldn’t engage. I pulled
it through by hand and didn’t hear

S

30 OCTOBER 2011

any rubbing or grinding noise, so I
started the engine by hand-propping.
I suggested we have the local A&P
look at it at flight’s completion,
which the owner agreed to do.
After starting and ensuring we
had a good oil pressure indication, we began to taxi around on
the airport ramp. I like to have students learn ground handling by
doing some figure “8” maneuvers
before taxiing to the runway. The

But he was quite
self-assured that
he and his friend
would be able to
handle everything.
aircraft had what appeared to be a
relatively new Scott 3200 tail wheel
installed. While attempting to do
the “8’s,” we found the tail wheel
did not properly respond. Full rudder application, assisted by a lot
of brake pressure, was required to
get the airplane to turn as desired.
I then suggested that we have the
A&P check out the tail wheel, too.
Following 15 minutes of taxi practice, we made our way to the runway.
Flight systems were checked along
with a magneto and carb heat check.
All seemed to be normal. We aligned
the aircraft with the runway centerline, established our diagonal line of
sight, smoothly moved the throttle
to full power, and began the takeoff.
Once airborne the airplane would
barely climb, and this was a 60º day

with a 10-mph breeze on our nose.
I again suggested that we do some
checking when we get back on the
ground and find out which prop was
installed. The new owner had been
told it was a cruise prop and to not to
be alarmed at the slow rate of climb.
After reaching a safe altitude for
conducting air work, I suggested we
trim the airplane for level flight and
run it at full power. This would tell
us what indicated airspeed we were
getting, as well as the maximum indicated rpms. Neither seemed to be
correct. For this aircraft we should be
seeing 115 mph and 2575 rpm, but
we were only getting about 90 mph
and 2350 rpm. I then suggested we
include a GPS and an electronic tach
checker on our next flight to determine accuracy of the airspeed indicator and tachometer.
After completing the flight, we
hangared the airplane and began a
more thorough review of the logbooks. They indicated that the prop
installed was a cruise prop. However, after the A&P removed the prop
spinner skull cap, we found that the
prop was a climb prop, not matching the logbook prop installation entry. The engine logbook entry also
showed that the cylinder compression was good on all cylinders, but
one was a little less than the other
three. Further checking found that
this cylinder had been less on the
previous three compression checks.
The next day’s flight included a
GPS check along with a tachometer check. The airspeed indicator
was correct but the tachometer read
about 125 rpm slow.

It was time to put the plane in the
shop and do some serious checking,
as well as correct the pull-type starter
and tail wheel. The A&P found the
pull-type starter arm to be so badly
worn that it couldn’t depress the
starter solenoid button. Thankfully,
he had a good used starter arm and
replaced the worn arm. Now the
pull-type starter would engage; one
problem cured.
Before inspecting the tail wheel,
the A&P next used a borescope and
looked inside the weak cylinder. After the inspection, he just shook his
head and stated the cylinder had to
come off, which he did. The finding
was even worse than expected. Two
rings were broken and one ring was
completely missing. The cylinder wall
was badly worn and the wrist pin caps
had cut deep grooves in the cylinder
wall. It was junk. Did the last owner
forget to install one ring, or was it
ground up and scattered throughout
the entire engine? A short ground run
followed by removing and inspecting
the oil screen during a prepurchase
inspection would probably have identified this problem!
The oil screen was removed, but
there was no sign of metal particles in
the screen. So the mystery deepens.
Was the missing ring ever installed?
The A&P then recommended removing the other three cylinders for
a close inspection. While waiting for
the owner to give the okay, the A&P
turned his attention to the tail wheel
problem. Two problems came to
his immediate attention. The Scott
3200 tail wheel was not approved
on this aircraft without first installing a heavy-duty leaf tail spring.
This modification had never been
done. Further, the leaf tail spring was
bent, preventing the tail wheel from
proper travel and unlocking as it was
meant to do. Either a new smaller tail
wheel was in order, along with a new
leaf spring, or the heavy-duty leaf tail
spring assembly would need to be
purchased and installed.
Due to the potential for additional airframe stress the “new” tail
wheel may have created, the A&P
closely inspected the tail section of

this aluminum-frame aircraft. No
stress cracks were found, but significant amounts of surface corrosion
were discovered. It was not enough
to yet make the aircraft unsafe, but
it was enough so that the corrosion
would need to be dealt with to prevent further deterioration. Again,
this could easily have been spotted
in a good prepurchase inspection.
The owner agreed to have the
A&P treat the corrosion as well as
purchase the proper leaf tail wheel
spring assembly to accommodate
the Scott 3200 tail wheel.
Following some discussion about
the engine, it was agreed to pull the
remaining three cylinders. Close
inspection indicated that at one
time the cylinder walls were rustcovered. The rust was scraped clean,
but there was a lot of pitting found
in the walls. These cylinders had approximately 800 hours’ time since
new. A complete top overhaul was
agreed upon, and the cylinders were
sent to a nearby engine shop.
Unfortunately, this new airplane
owner/student pilot has learned and
experienced a very expensive and
valuable lesson. Lack of knowledge
coupled with a strong emotional
pull toward this particular airplane
has caused him a great deal of additional incurred expense, extended
downtime, and plenty of frustration. And much of this could have
been prevented.
Being directly involved with three
different classic aircraft type clubs, I
get calls almost daily from individuals about to buy an airplane. Here is
what I suggest to them:
• First, are they familiar with the
type and model of aircraft they desire to purchase? If not, definitely
obtain outside assistance before
making the purchase.
• Next, do your best to remove
the emotional desire to purchase
this airplane. This can be very difficult, but there are other aircraft
of the exact make and model out
there. Don’t get attached to the first
one you think looks good.
• Make arrangements for a prepurchase inspection. I can usu-

ally provide them with one or two
names of individuals in their geographic area who could perform the
inspection. I strongly recommend
prepurchase inspections!
• Conduct a title search. If buying
an airplane out of your geographic
area, this is a must. One does not
want to find out, after money has
been exchanged, that a lien has
been filed and not satisfied on this
airplane. It will prevent getting a
clear title until the lien is satisfied.
• Contact the FAA to obtain a CD
containing all of the FAA recorded
files on this airplane. This will usually take about 10 days. One may
find these records do not coincide
with the aircraft logbooks, especially
if the logbooks have been “lost” and
new logs have been created.
• Contact an insurance company
to get a quote on this type of aircraft.
What do they require for flight
time to obtain coverage? Costs can
be significantly greater from one
type of aircraft to another. Don’t be
surprised after the purchase.
• Locate a qualified instructor to
assist with getting checked out in
the airplane.
If these questions and checklist
items can be answered satisfactorily,
and the aircraft is found to be both
legal and mechanically sound, then
by all means move forward with the
purchase and begin enjoying the
pleasure of general-aviation flight.
Don’t do like my student did, and
find out how expensive an aircraft can
be after the initial purchase!
To request a CD of the aircraft records
from the FAA, visit its web page at:
http://aircraft.faa.gov/e.gov/ND/
Or you can write to the FAA at:
FAA Aircraft Registration Branch,
AFS-750
P.O. Box 25504
Oklahoma City, OK 73125-0504
Phone: 866-762-9434
You can also find them on the Internet
at www.faa.gov.
The cost generally is $10 per CD; rarely
is there more than one CD for the aircraft. The records have been scanned
and saved as PDFs.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 31

Vintage
Mechanic

THE

BY ROBERT G. LOCK

NACA engine cowling and Fred Weick
Part 3
Fred Weick (1899-1993) went
on to an illustrious career in aviation, designing his own “safe
airplane,” a flying machine that

would not stall or spin. On the
back cover is a photo of this airplane in a wind tunnel at NACA
Langley Reserch Center. Also pic-

tured in Illustration 1 and only
one aircraft was ever built.
In 1935 Weick started the Engineering Research Company (ERCO)

Illustration 1
NASA

32 OCTOBER 2011

Illustration 3

Illustration 2
and designed a two-place light airplane that became known as the Ercoupe. Illustration 2 shows a young
Weick and his Ercoupe design. Of
particular note is the wood twopitch propeller. Fred Weick was an

immensely talented man who possessed great knowledge from his research days at NACA. The Ercoupe
design was one of the safest ships
of the post-World War II era of aircraft. It was a two-control aircraft

with the ailerons and rudder controls being interconnected.
In July 1949 Weick was at Texas
A&M, where he designed the first
aircraft specifically for aerial pesticide application, the AG-1. The

Illustration 4
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 33

Illustration 5
aircraft was somewhat similar to
the Piper PA-25 Pawnee that Weick
also designed. Illustration 3 shows
the AG-1 with pilot Jones about to
depart on a flight.
In January 1957 Weick joined
Piper Aircraft, Vero Beach, Florida,
where he designed the PA-25 Pawnee and Pawnee Brave. He was also
involved in the Piper PA28 “Cherokee” aircraft design.
Illustration 4, a beautiful speed
ring cowl installation on Clay Adams’ Travel Air 4000. The large
spinner fairs into forward engine
case, making for a very attractive
nose section. This is the beauty of
the Townend cowl and the NACA

speed ring cowl.
Illustration 5, the Boeing XP-15
without any cowling. One can readily see how much drag is created by
having no cowl over the engine. Illustration 6 shows the Boeing XP15 modified with a NACA speed
ring installation. Just by studying
these NASA photographs, one can
see how a speed increase happens
with this change.
Adjusting the speed ring to
the engine is critical. There is no
data as to how much the engine
expands when in operation; however, it appears to me that it could
gain 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter.
Case in point: when installing a

NASA

speed ring on an aircraft equipped
with a Wright R-760 engine for the
first time, the cowl was made to fit
tight. When the engine had come
up to operating temperature and
after a few hours of flight, cracks
formed in the lower section of the
cowling, necessitating removal
and repair. Subsequent installation
of the cowling was made much
looser when the engine was cold;
it was possible to move the cowl
slightly in its mounts. After the
engine came up to temperature the
cowling was tight. So if you have
a Townend cowl or NACA speed
ring, don’t adjust it too tightly or
it will crack.

NASA

Illustration 6

34 OCTOBER 2011

by H.G. FRAUTSCHY

MYSTERY PLANE
This month’s Mystery Plane comes to us from
the collection of Dan Schumaker.
Send your answer to EAA,
Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086,
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your
answer needs to be in no later
than November 20 for inclusion
in the January 2012 issue of Vintage Airplane.
You can also send your response via e-mail. Send your
answer to mysteryplane@eaa.
org. Be sure to include your
name plus your city and state
in the body of your note and
put “(Month) Mystery Plane”
in the subject line.

J U LY ’ S M Y S T E R Y A N S W E R

COURTESY BRUCE VORAN

The Velie engine–powered 1931 Ranger SP-2 was used later as a test bed for an unusual propeller/cowling rig in 1934. See the text for more details.
e enjoy your suggestions
for Mystery Planes—in
fact, more than half of
our subjects are sent to
us by members, often via e-mail.
Please remember that if you want
to scan the photo for use in Mystery Plane, it must be at a resolution of 300 dpi or greater. You may
send a lower-resolution version to
us for our review, but the final ver-

W

sion has to be at that level of detail
or it will not print properly. Also,
please let us know where the photo
came from; we don’t want to willfully violate someone’s copyright.
The July Mystery Plane is from
Bruce Voran, and it stumped everyone, as we didn’t get a single correct answer. It was the 1931 Ranger
SP-2, powered by a Velie M-5 engine. Later, it was re-engined with

a 95-hp Cirrus, with its most prominent feature a large ring cowl
encompassing a normal-sized propeller. The cowl also had internal
vanes made to redirect the airflow
through the ring, the intent being
increased propeller efficiency. You
can see the modified version in a
photo from the Leo Opdyke collection on Aerofiles.com. Look for it
under the Felio SP-2 listing.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 35

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www.vintageaircraft.org

WE: Dismantle & Inspect –
Clean & Glass Bead Blast –
Aluma-Etch & Alodine –
Custom Lap mating
surfaces – Reassemble using all
new AN hardware,
gaskets, Stainless
steel or Delrin needle
& seat – proper metering
jets & venturis… Float level
is set “wet” to 13/32” – Stromberg service letter
procedure installed to raise float bowl vent position
eliminating fuel drip – prepare a log book entry
sheet…

All for $850.00
+ $25.00 freight & handling
UNI-TECH AIR MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, INC.
Call:
Mail:
E-Mail:

Country Legend Roy Clark’s PERSONAL

Piper Tri--Pacer Airplane!
Free Flying Lessons!
Free Pilot’s License!
Don’t need an airplane or lessons?
Give it to your kids!

www.wingsofhoperaffle.org
Only 2000 tickets will be sold
1 ticket $50
3 tickets $125

708-267-7111
13221 WINDWARD TRAIL
ORLAND PARK, IL. 60462
uni-tech@earthlink.net

Proceeds from
this raffle
SAVE
AMERICAN
KIDS LIVES!

VINTAGE
TRADER
S o m e t h i n g t o b u y,
sell, or trade?
Classified Word Ads: $5.50 per 10
words, 180 words maximum, with boldface
lead-in on first line.
Classified Display Ads: One column
wide (2.167 inches) by 1, 2, or 3 inches
high at $20 per inch. Black and white only,
and no frequency discounts.
Adver tising Closing Dates: 10th of
second month prior to desired issue date
(i.e., Januar y 10 is the closing date for
the March issue). VAA reser ves the right
to reject any adver tising in conflict with
its policies. Rates cover one insertion per
issue. Classified ads are not accepted via
phone. Payment must accompany order.
Word ads may be sent via fax (920-4264828) or e-mail (classads@eaa.org) using
credit card payment (all cards accepted).
Include name on card, complete address,
type of card, card number, and expiration
date. Make checks payable to EAA.
Address advertising correspondence to EAA
Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box
3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.

BOOKS
Spitfire Wingman - Col. Jim Haun’s
Life in Love with Flight. $14.95 +
S & H. 1-87-SQUADRON. www.
spitfirewingman.com

MISCELLANEOUS
www.aerolist.org, Aviations’ Leading
Marketplace.

REALESTATE
Green Lake, WI! 100 feet of Lake
Frontage for sale on beautiful
Green Lake. Great fishing and
swimming. 30 miles from EAA
grounds. Call Dan 608 212 9556

SERVICES
Always Flying Aircraft Restoration,
LLC: Annual Inspections, Airframe
recovering, fabric repairs and
complete restorations. Wayne
A. Forshey A&P & I.A. 740-4721481 Ohio and bordering states.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 37

Black Fleece Cap

$14.99*ea.

DISE AD
N
A
H
C
Ear flapsGE
make
this
soft
R
E
M
VINTA
comfortable
fleece cap
the best head warmer
for those cool fall and
cold winter days.
Item #5266136600000

$11.99*ea.

Item #5266222600000

Smart Style Cap
Great contemporary style with VAA logo in
navy. Adjustable, 100 % cotton.

Item #5266135900000
Item #5266136000000
Item #5266136200000
Item #5266135700000

Poly Pique Knit Caps

$11.99*ea.

www.shopeaa.com/vaa
Telephone Orders: 800-843-3612

From US and Canada (All Others Call 920-426-5912)
*Shipping and handling NOT included. Major credit cards accepted. WI residents add 5% sales tax.

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, AND CIRCULATION (Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685). 1. Title of Publication: Vintage
Airplane 2. Publication No.:062-750. 3. Filing Date: 9/30/11. 4. Issue Frequency: Monthly. 5. No. of Issues Published
Annually: 12. 6. Annual Subscription Price: $36.00 in U.S. 7. Known Office of Publication: EAA, 3000 Poberezny Road,
P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3806. Contact Person: Kathleen Witman, Telephone: 920-426-6156. 8. Headquarters
or General Business Office of the Publisher: Same as above. 9. Publisher: Rod Hightower. EAA, 3000 Poberezny Road,
P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3806. Editor: H.G. Frautschy, EAA, 3000 Poberezny Road, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh,
WI 54903-3806. Managing Editor: None. 10. Owner: Experimental Aircraft Association, 3000 Poberezny Road, P.O. Box
3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3806. 11. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1
percent or more of total amounts of bonds, mortgages or other securities: None. 12. Tax Status: Has Not Changed During
Preceding 12 Months. 13. Publication Title: Vintage Airplane. 14. Issue date for circulation data below: September 2011. 15.
Extent and Nature of Circulation (Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months/ No. Copies of Single Issue
Published Nearest to Filing Date): a. Total No. of Copies Printed (7,372/7,104) b. Paid Circulation (By Mail and Outside the
Mail): 1. Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541 (Include paid distribution above nominal
rate, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies) (6,010/6,158). 2. Mailed In-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on PS
Form 3541 (Include paid distribution above nominal rate, advertiser’s proof copies, and exchange copies) (0/0). 3. Paid
Distribution Outside the Mails Including Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid
Distribution Outside USPS (373/397). 4. Paid Distribution by Other Classes of Mail Through the USPS (e.g., First-Class Mail)
(176/182). c. Total Paid Distribution (Sum of 15b (1), (2), (3), and (4)) (6,559/6,737). d. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution
(By Mail and Outside the Mail): 1. Free or Nominal Rate Outside-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541 (0/0). 2. Free or
Nominal Rate In-County Copies Included on PS Form 3541 (0/0). 3. Free or Nominal Rate Copies Mailed at Other Classes
Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail) (50/50). 4. Free or Nominal Rate Distribution Outside the Mail (Carriers or other
means) (419/140). e. Total Free or Nominal Rate Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3), and (4) (469/190). f. Total Distribution
(Sum of 15c and 15e) (7,028/6,927). g. Copies not Distributed (See Instructions to Publishers #4 (page #3))(344/177). h.
Total (Sum of 15f and g) (7,372/7,104). i. Percent Paid (15c divided by 15f times 100) (93.50%/97.26%). 16. Publication of
Statement Ownership: Publication required. Will be printed in the October 2011 issue of this publication. 17. I certify that
all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading
information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal
sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties). Executive Director/Editor:
H.G. Frautschy, 10/3/11.
PS Form 3526, September 2007

38 OCTOBER 2011

VINTAGE
AIRCRAFT
ASSOCIATION
OFFICERS
President
Geoff Robison
1521 E. MacGregor Dr.
New Haven, IN 46774
260-493-4724
chief7025@aol.com

Vice-President
George Daubner
N57W34837 Pondview Ln
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
262-560-1949
gdaubner@eaa.org

Secretary
Steve Nesse
2009 Highland Ave.
Albert Lea, MN 56007
507-373-1674
stnes2009@live.com

Treasurer
Dan Knutson
106 Tena Marie Circle
Lodi, WI 53555
608-592-7224
lodicub@charter.net

DIRECTORS

Steve Bender
85 Brush Hill Road
Sherborn, MA 01770
508-653-7557
sst10@comcast.net

Dale A. Gustafson
7724 Shady Hills Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46278
317-293-4430
dalefaye@msn.com

David Bennett
375 Killdeer Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648
916-952-9449
antiquer@inreach.com

Jeannie Hill
P.O. Box 328
Harvard, IL 60033-0328
920-426-6110

Jerry Brown
4605 Hickory Wood Row
Greenwood, IN 46143
317-422-9366
lbrown4906@aol.com
Dave Clark
635 Vestal Lane
Plainfield, IN 46168
317-839-4500
davecpd@att.net
John S. Copeland
1A Deacon Street
Northborough, MA 01532
508-393-4775
copeland1@juno.com
Phil Coulson
28415 Springbrook Dr.
Lawton, MI 49065
269-624-6490
rcoulson516@cs.com

Espie “Butch” Joyce
704 N. Regional Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27409
336-668-3650
windsock@aol.com
Steve Krog
1002 Heather Ln.
Hartford, WI 53027
262-966-7627
sskrog@aol.com
Robert D. “Bob” Lumley
1265 South 124th St.
Brookfield, WI 53005
262-782-2633
rlumley1@wi.rr.com
S.H. “Wes” Schmid
2359 Lefeber Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213
414-771-1545
shschmid@gmail.com

DIRECTORS
EMERITUS
Robert C. Brauer
9345 S. Hoyne
Chicago, IL 60643
773-779-2105
photopilot@aol.com

Charlie Harris
PO Box 470350
Tulsa, OK 74147
918-622-8400
cwh@hvsu.com

Gene Chase
2159 Carlton Rd.
Oshkosh, WI 54904
920-231-5002
GRCHA@charter.net

E.E. “Buck” Hilbert
8102 Leech Rd.
Union, IL 60180
815-923-4591
buck7ac@gmail.com

Ronald C. Fritz
15401 Sparta Ave.
Kent City, MI 49330
616-678-5012
rFritz@pathwaynet.com

Gene Morris
5936 Steve Court
Roanoke, TX 76262
817-491-9110
genemorris@charter.net

John Turgyan
PO Box 219
New Egypt, NJ 08533
609-752-1944
jrturgyan4@aol.com

TM

Membership Services Directory
Enjoy the many benefits of EAA and
EAA’s Vintage Aircraft Association

TM

EAA Aviation Center, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh WI 54903-3086
Phone (920) 426-4800

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Sites: www.vintageaircraft.org, www.airventure.org, www.eaa.org/memberbenefits E-Mail: vintageaircraft@eaa.org

EAA and Division Membership Services (8:00 AM–6:00 PM
Monday–Friday CST)
membership@eaa.org
800-564-6322
FAX 920-426-4873
www.eaa.org/memberbenefits
•New/renew memberships •Address changes •Merchandise sales •Gift memberships
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
888-322-4636
www.airventure.org
Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Hotline 877-359-1232
www.sportpilot.org
Programs and Activities
Auto Fuel STCs
920-426-4843
EAA Air Academy
920-426-6880
www.airacademy.org
EAA Scholarships
920-426-6823
Library Services/Research
920-426-4848
Benefits
AUA Vintage Insurance Plan
800-727-3823
www.auaonline.com
EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan
866-647-4322
www.eaa.org/memberbenefits
EAA VISA Card
800-853-5576 ext. 8884
EAA Hertz Rent-A-Car Program
800-654-2200
www.eaa.org/hertz
VAA Editorial/Executive Director
920-426-4825
www.vintageaircraft.org
VAA Office
920-426-6110

airventure@eaa.org
sportpilot@eaa.org
stc@eaa.org
airacademy@eaa.org
scholarships@eaa.org
slurvey@eaa.org

membership@eaa.org
membership@eaa.org
vintage@eaa.org
tbooks@eaa.org

EAA Members Information Line
888-EAA-INFO (322-4636)
Use this toll-free number for: information about AirVenture Oshkosh; aeromedical and technical aviation questions;
chapters; and Young Eagles. Please have your membership number ready when calling.
Office hours are 8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday, CST)

MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION
EAA
Membership in the Experimental Aircraft
Association, Inc. is $40 for one year, including 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. Family
membership is an additional $10 annually. All
major credit cards accepted for membership.
(Add $16 for International Postage.)

FOREIGN MEMBERSHIPS
Please submit your remittance with a
check or draft drawn on a United States
bank payable in United States dollars. Add
required Foreign Postage amount for each
membership.

VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION
Current EAA members may join the
Vintage Aircraft Association and receive
VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine for an
additional $36 per year.
EAA Membership, VINTAGE AIRPLANE
magazine and one year membership in the EAA
Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $46 per

year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included).
(Add $7 for International Postage.)

WARBIRDS
Current EAA members may join the EAA
Warbirds of America Division and receive
WARBIRDS magazine for an additional
$45 per year.
EAA Membership, WARBIRDS magazine and one year membership in the
Warbirds Division is available for $55 per
year (SPORT OficAVIATION magazine
not included). (Add $7 for International
Postage.)

IAC

Current EAA members may join the
International Aerobatic Club, Inc. Division and receive SPORT AEROBATICS
magazine for an additional $45 per year.
EAA Membership, SPORT AEROBATICS magazine and one year membership
in the IAC Division is available for $55 per
year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included). (Add $15 for Foreign Postage.)

Membership dues to EAA and its divisions are not tax deductible as charitable contributions

Copyright ©2011 by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association, All rights reserved.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association of the Experimental Aircraft Association and is published monthly at EAA Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Rd., PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903-3086, e-mail: vintageaircraft@eaa.org. Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of Vintage Airplane magazine,
is $36 per year for EAA members and $46 for non-EAA members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Vintage Airplane,
PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. PM 40063731 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Pitney Bowes IMS, Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5. FOREIGN AND APO ADDRESSES — Please allow
at least two months for delivery of VINTAGE AIRPLANE to foreign and APO addresses via surface mail. ADVERTISING — Vintage Aircraft Association does not guarantee or endorse any product offered through the
advertising. We invite constructive criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained through our advertising so that corrective measures can be taken.
EDITORIAL POLICY: Members are encouraged to submit stories and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests entirely with
the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material should be sent to: Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800.
EAA® and EAA SPORT AVIATION®, the EAA Logo® and Aeronautica™ are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. The use of these trademarks and
service marks without the permission of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 39

It’s a

Beautiful Thing...
by S. Michelle Souder

don’t get to do crosscountries ver y often
(my own fault), so when
an opportunity to fly
right seat to Tangier Island was offered, I was
thrilled to take it. The
flight began with some,
“I don’t know. . .” clouds, thermals,
and legal, but definitely hazy visibility. Over the mountains the
air was chilly enough to close the
vents and remember fall weather
was imminent.
Over flat ground the haze created optical illusions. I recalled a
cross-country I had done to Shannon airport as a student and thinking that the visibility was considered
VFR but wondered if the 3 miles
meant straight down instead of forward. Somewhere near Lake Anna
we encountered an ominous-looking
stratus layer that proved to be a nonissue at our altitude. Plenty of white
wispies floated above us along the
route, working themselves toward giant cotton balls in the mid-day sky.

I

40 OCTOBER 2011

Navigation was my responsibility. Being the second in a flight
of two gave me a chance to do a
little brushing up on my pilotage
before we came back on our own.
Dual navigation (a sectional and
a GPS) had its benefits. Though
not dependent on the electronics
it was nice to have it as confirmation of our location. Looking out
the window I found runways and
roads, looked at cornfields ready
for harvest, and realized it seems
much easier to navigate in the
Valley with our prominent terrain
and landmarks.
We came to the shoreline—the
island a faint outline in front of us.
Funny how seeing land, even if it’s
not within gliding distance, satisfies the psyche that all is well. Then
the water—the magnificence of the
colors captured my attention completely away from all the negative
possibilities. The diamonds of sunlight danced on the variations of
green in the water, the ribbons of
sand glistening, boat plumes add-

ing white patterns to it all, and the
smell of the salt water. A Seneca
landing ahead of us seemed to glide
in the air like a big gull, surrounded
by beauty.
We met aviation friends on the
island for an incredible dinner.
As we meandered through the
tiny, golf cart—laden streets, we
mused about what life must be
like there, and how the landing
fee probably didn’t go very far
toward runway upkeep that far
from the mainland.
A stiff headwind lengthened the
time getting home significantly.
One finds out just what her personal endurance level is in a small
airplane at that rate. Coming back
across the mountains seemed like
forever, but eventually the runway
came into view. The hangar was a
welcome sight after a long but wonderful day. It may not happen often,
but the chance for a cross-country
to a new place with good weather
and good friends who like airplanes
. . . it’s a beautiful thing.

Thank you for supporting the
2011 EAA Share the Spirit Sweepstakes
Join us in thanking the 2011 Sweepstakes donors.
Their support strengthens the EAA programs and
activities that fuel the spirit of aviation, building a
vibrant aviation community.
Together, we are building the next generation of
aviators. Share the Spirit! Pass on your passion for flight!
...and congratulations to the winners of the 2011
EAA Share the Spirit Sweepstakes.
Cessna 162 Skycatcher: David Henry, Oklahoma (EAA 166701)
Coleman CTE184 Hybrid Trailer: Hal Rolfe, Nevada (EAA 721325)
HotSeat FLIGHT SIM® GTX
Extreme PC Bundle: Edward Collins, Illinois (EAA 5424431)
Bose® 3-2-1® GSX Series III DVD Home Entertainment System:
David McRae, North Carolina (EAA 175637)
Canon EOS 50D Kit With Lens:
Ronald Kooyenga, Arizona (EAA 604808)
Hamilton Men’s Khaki Pilot Automatic 46mm Watch:
John Gallo, Washington (EAA 9005382)

Watch for details in November on how to enter
the 2012 EAA Share the Spirit Sweepstakes,
and you could win a Piper Cub.

Cessna 162 Skycatcher and fuel for the year

2011 Coleman® CTE184
Hybrid Travel Trailer

FLIGHT SIM® GTX
Extreme PC Bundle
Bose® 3-2-1® GSX
Series III DVD Home
Entertainment System
Canon EOS 50D Kit with Lens
Men’s Khaki Pilot
Automatic 46mm Watch