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Vintage July2012.

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july 2012

Thanks to our presenting sponsor,
Piper Aircraft, with additional support provided by Univair!

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A I R P L A N E
Vol. 40, No. 7

2012

J U LY

CONTENTS
2

Straight and Level
AirVenture—Where has the time gone?
by Geoff Robison

3 News
7 Mike Araldi’s ‘Flying Diary’
An alluring Waco AGC-8
by Sparky Barnes Sargent

14 The Origin Of The Cub
Happy 75th Anniversary to the Piper Cub!
by Clyde Smith Jr.

7

JIM KOEPNICK

19 Light Plane Heritage
The Radial Engine Story
by Bob Whittier

26 The Hunter Brothers, Part 2
A flying family from Sparta, Illinois
by Robert H. Hayes

30

The Vintage Mechanic
Cantilever and Semicantilever Wings
by Robert G. Lock

33
34

Chapter Locator
The Vintage Instructor
Wind, takeoff, and traffic patterns, Part 2
by Steve Krog, CFI

36

Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy

39

Classifieds

14

JIM KOEPNICK

STAFF

EAA Publisher
Director of EAA Publications
Executive Director/Editor
Business Manager
Senior Art Director

Rod Hightower
J. Mac McClellan
H.G. Frautschy
Kathleen Witman
Olivia P. Trabbold

Advertising:
Manager/Domestic, Sue Anderson
Tel: 920-426-6127
Email: sanderson@eaa.org
Fax: 920-426-4828
Independent Business Relationship Representative, Larry Phillip
Tel: 920-410-2916
Email: lphillip@eaa.org
Classified Advertising Coordinator, Molly Nevens
Tel: 920-426-4887
Email: classads@eaa.org

COVERS
FRONT COVER: Mike Araldi’s long restoration of his Waco
AGC-8 had it’s ups and downs. Now he gets to enjoy the results of his efforts as he flies the magnificent cabin Waco. VAA
photo by Jim Koepnick Photography.

VAA, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903
For missing or replacement magazines, or
any other membership-related questions, please call
EAA Member Services at 800- JOIN-EAA (564-6322).

BACK COVER: The EAA Archives have a variety of interesting artifacts, including this water-slide decal of the Piper Cub
Dealer artwork.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 1
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STRAIGHT & LEVEL
Geoff Robison
EAA #268346, VAA #12606
president, VAA

AirVenture—Where has the time gone?

T

he time has come! By
the time you receive this
month’s edition of Vintage
Airplane magazine, a large
number of the VAA volunteers will
already be on the EAA grounds of
AirVenture Oshkosh, frantically
working toward the opening day.
We have lots of challenges to meet
for this year’s event. As I informed
you earlier, your Vintage Aircraft
Association has taken on all of the
responsibilities related to the daily
operation of the EAA Aeromart at
AirVenture this year. Then, we are
hosting the dozens and dozens of
Piper Cubs that are scheduled to
arrive for the 75th anniversary celebration of the venerable Piper Cub.
Where will we park them all? Don’t
worry, we have a plan!
And what a show it’s shaping
up to be. We have experienced a
strong response from a large number of Vintage members as well as
non-members who are planning to
attend. So, be sure to go to www.
AirVenture.org and check it all out.
The EAA staff has again managed
to put together another exceptional
lineup of performers and events for
this year’s event, and the air show
promises to be significantly different
than previous years. Even us big kids
are sure to get a huge charge out of
the ever popular, always enhanced,
night air show on Saturday with all
the pyrotechnics and airplane noise.
Again, the membership will enjoy a number of new programs and
attractions throughout the Vintage area of responsibility during
the convention. Attendance is yet

again looking good, as pre-sale (discounted) tickets are selling at a fast
pace. For all you campers planning
to attend AirVenture again this year,
you will likely want to stop by the
VAA Red Barn and take advantage of

Even us big kids ar e
sure to get a huge
charge out of
the ever popular ,
always enhanced,
night air show on
Saturday with all
the pyrotechnics and
airplane noise.
the VAA charging station for all your
personal electronic devices. This is
now the third year of operation for
this service, which is provided to all
attendees of AirVenture 2012. All we
ask is a donation for whatever you
feel the service is worth. Just stop
by the old VAA Volunteer Center
building on the northwest corner of
the Red Barn and drop off your cellphones, laptops, and any other personal electronic devices that need
recharging and we will take care of
the rest. (Don’t forget to bring along
the charger for the device, too!)
Speaking of the Red Barn, Bob
Lumley’s merchandise committee

and VAA administrative assistant Theresa Books have been hard at work
throughout this spring getting the
VAA retail merchandise store up and
ready for AirVenture. Their much
appreciated hard work will again be
thoroughly enjoyed by our members
who come by the store each year to
shop the ever-changing lineup of VAA
shirts, caps, and all kinds of various
aviation-related products. Be sure to
stop by and visit with us at the Red
Barn store again this year.

Credit Where Credit Is Due
Many of you are very aware of my
long-term involvement in the EAA’s
B-17 program. This is a program that
I have always touted as one of EAA’s
premier outreach programs. This
program has touched so many people who either served in World War
II, or those who had relatives who
served and were lost, or simply those
individuals we so fondly refer to as
“the greatest generation.” So many
of these fine folks were scheduled to
come fly with us in Denver, Colorado,
during the second week of June 2012,
but fate stepped in and dealt the program a serious setback when a completely unforecasted hailstorm struck
the Centennial Airport where our
grand lady was parked on the ramp.
When we arrived at the airport the
following morning it was like a huge
kick in the guts! It was a truly sad day
for EAA to have to experience such a
harsh reality of the risks we face every
day on the road with this program.
But then, amazing things quickly
began to happen. Word came to us
continued on page 39

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VAA NEWS
To help members who fl y in to
understand the layout of the convention area administered by the
VAA, we’ve pr epared this simplified map. As you can see, Cub
camping star ts at Row 74 on
the east side of the main nor th/
south road (Wittman Road), with
the areas to the nor th of that line
set up to handle display-only vintage aircraft. That’s why you may
see open areas as you taxi south
to your camping location. Pilots
who arrive early for a camping
spot on the west side of the r oad
will begin camping star ting in approximately Row 61; our Flightline
Safety staf f may have to adjust
the exact r ow number depending
on demand for antique parking
and antique camping spots.
Once you arrive, you’ll need to r egister your aircraft and/or campsite. In addition to r oving registration vehicles, ther e is one main
Showplane Registration building, located just south of the V AA Red Bar n (see map). The EAA convention campgr ounds are private
campgrounds and ar e not open to non-EAA members. Each campsite must be r egistered by a cur rent EAA member .
Another immediate benefi t of VAA membership is your fr ee VAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 Par ticipant Plaque, which you can
pick up in the r ear of the Red Bar n.
EAA and VAA memberships ar e available at both Showplane Registration and the membership booth located under the V AA Welcome Arch, northeast of the Red Bar n at the cor ner of Wittman Road and V ern Avenue as well as inside the Red Bar n, near the information desk.

What’s in the Vintage Hangar?
Monday through Friday you’ll
find your favorite airplane type
clubs, ready to talk Cub or Funk
or Stinson or Waco, and a host
of others. Come in and visit. The
metal-shaping workshops are in the
sound-proof room on the south side
of the hangar. And your friendly
A&P-IA, Joe Norris, will be sharing
his knowledge of things you can do
to maintain your airplane. He’ll be
in the front of the hangar, in the
Paul’s Workshop area, at 10 a.m.
and 2 p.m. each weekday and Saturday morning.

Find Your Favorite Presentations
and Workshops Online
With hundreds of the world’s
leading aviation authorities giving close to 1,000 individual presentations at nearly 45 locations
spread throughout the AirVenture
grounds, finding out who is pre-

senting, where, and when can be,
in a word, challenging. The EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh website has an
online tool that can make this task
simple when you use the integrated
AirVenture schedule.
Located at www.AirVenture.org under “Attractions” and then under
“Activities, Presentations & Workshops,” the database includes all
the venues, subjects and topics, presenters, and events from not only
Forums and Workshops, but also
Warbirds in Review, KidVenture,
Museum Speakers Showcase, Authors Corner, Theater in the Woods,
special “at the aircraft” presentations on Phillips 66 Plaza, and more.
If it’s scheduled, you’ll find it here.
In addition, the web schedule is updated on a daily basis to reflect any
changes or additions that might occur at the last minute. You can even
create your own itinerary of various
events of interest. You can save or

print it out for future reference.
A quick link to this new schedule
is www.AirVenture.org/schedule.

Grass Runways and Fuel
Also on our VAA website, we
publish a list created by VAA member Kris Kortokrax.
Kris flies a variety of old biplanes that are more pleasant to
fly when they are flown from grass
strips, and he and his buddies from
Shelbyville, Illinois, do their best to
keep the old biplanes happy (and
keep tire wear to a minimum) by
flying cross-country from grass strip
to grass strip. Finding fuel facilities can be a challenge these days,
and Kris has distilled this airport
information to be useful for likeminded grass-runway-preferring pilots. This data is in the process of
being updated; we recommend calling ahead to confirm fuel availability and hours of operation.

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Our thanks to Kris for sharing his
list. Let us know if you find it useful!

VAA’s Portable Electronics
Charging Station
Do your rechargeable personal
electronics such as your cell phone
or computer go dead before AirVenture’s over? VAA has the solution to
your problem!
Immediately west of the VAA Red
Barn we will be providing the ability
to revitalize those indispensable cell
phones, computers, iPods, etc. Turn
off your item and bring it and its 120
VAC charger to our charging station.
Leave it with the attendant—we’ll
give you a claim check. Bring back
the claim check in a few hours and
receive your equipment all charged
up and ready to go. VAA and its volunteers are providing this service to
EAA members for whatever donation you feel is appropriate.

Breakfast and a Briefing
The VAA Tall Pines Café will be
in operation again this year with
an expanded schedule prior to
convention, and fly-in-style pancake and egg breakfasts during
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Starting
on Friday morning, July 20, and
continuing through Sunday, July
22, the VAA Tall Pines Café will be
open for breakfast (6:30 a.m. to
9:30 a.m.) and dinner (4:30 p.m. to
7:30 p.m.). Starting Monday, July
23, only breakfast will be served
at the Tall Pines Café (6:30 a.m. to
9:30 a.m.) through Saturday, July
28. Just to the north, a flight service station (FSS) trailer will be located near the café. At the trailer
you’ll be able to check the weather
for your flight and obtain a full
briefing from FSS specialists without having to trek up to the FAA
Building near the control tower.
We’ll see you there each morning
for “breakfast and a briefing.”

Are You a Friend of the
VAA Red Barn?
If so, be sure to check in at the
information desk at the VAA Red
Barn. There we’ll issue you a special

name badge. We can also point
out the location for the Ford TriMotor rides. If you have any questions, feel free to ask for Theresa
Books, the VAA administrative assistant. If you need to reach her in
advance of your arrival, call her at
EAA Headquarters, 920-426-6110.
Our thanks to each of you who
have contributed to the VAA Friends
of the Red Barn 2012 campaign.
We’ll have the list of contributors on
a large poster at the Red Barn during
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, as well
as in the October edition of Vintage
Airplane. We also update the total
listing on the Internet in October.

sometimes nothing works better
than a hand-scribbled note!

VAA Picnic and
Cubs 2 Oshkosh Dinner

VAA Red Barn Store

Join us for the annual VAA picnic, which will be a joint event with
the Cubs 2 Oshkosh dinner. It will
be held Wednesday, July 25, at the
EAA Nature Center. Tickets will be
available for sale at the VAA Red
Barn and in advance at the Hartford, Wisconsin, airport during the
Cub celebration activities hosted by
the Cub Club. Tickets must be purchased in advance so we know how
much food to order. The delicious
meal will be served from 5:30 p.m.
until approximately 8 p.m; this
year, to accommodate an increased
demand, there will be two seatings
for the meal. If you need transportation, trams will begin leaving the
VAA Red Barn around 5 p.m. and
will make return trips after the picnic. Type clubs may also hold their
annual banquets during the picnic.
Call Jeannie Hill (815-245-4464),
and she will reserve seating so your
type club can sit together.

VAA Message Center
If you would like to leave a message for people you know who frequent the VAA Red Barn, stop by
the information desk. You can
write them a message in our “notebook on a string,” and we’ll post
their name on the marker board so
they’ll know there’s a message waiting for them. Sure, cellular phones
and walkie-talkies are great, but

Shawano Fly-Out
The annual fly-out to Shawano is
Saturday, July 28. The sign-up sheet
will be at the desk at the VAA Red
Barn, and the briefing will be at 7
a.m., the morning of the fly-out.
The community of Shawano, approximately an hour north of
Oshkosh (as the Cub flies), puts
forth a lot of effort to sponsor
this event. Shawano’s residents do
a great job of hosting us, and we
hope you’ll help us thank Shawano
by joining us on the flight.

The VAA Red Barn Store, chockfull of VAA logo merchandise and
other great gear, will be open all
week long, Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Early-bird
arrivals can shop on the pre-convention weekend as well, during
limited hours.

VAA Volunteer Opportunities
Are you an ace pancake flipper?
If you’re not one yet, we can help!
The VAA Tall Pines Café is looking
for volunteers who can help provide a hearty breakfast to all the
hungry campers on the south end
of Wittman Field. If you could lend
a hand for a morning or two, we’d
appreciate it.
If that’s not your cup of tea, feel
free to check with the VAA Volunteer Center, located just to the
northeast of the VAA Red Barn. The
volunteers who operate the booth
will be happy to tell you when your
help is needed each day. It doesn’t
matter if it’s just for a few hours or
for a few days—we’d love to have
your helping hands! There is no
need for you to contact us ahead
of time; you can talk with us when
you arrive.

VAA To Operate EAA Aeromart
VAA members now have another
opportunity to support their organization while at the same time clearing the clutter from their hangars.

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Aeromart, the world’s largest aircraft parts swap, will now be administered and run by the volunteers
of the Vintage Aircraft Association.
This great venue allows you to turn
old parts into cash, with the added
satisfaction that you have helped
other EAA members complete their
restorations or projects. Aeromart
is located in a great spot right next
to the northeast corner of Camp
Scholler—making it easier for
campers to transport their parts to
the tent for consignment sale. Simply bring over the parts you wish
to sell when you arrive and register. Just pay a $1 per sales tag fee
to Aeromart, and we’ll sell the part
for you. Twelve percent of the sale
supports EAA and its Vintage Aircraft Association. Before you leave
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, stop by
to pick up any unsold items, then
a check for your sale (minus the
12 percent commission and 5 percent sales tax) will be mailed to
you. It’s that easy! For more information about selling items, visit
www.Aeromart.webs.com. If you
are interested in volunteering at Aeromart, contact the
Aeromart chairman by e-mail
at aeromart.volunteers@gmail.com.

VAA Judging Categories and Awards
The VAA’s internationally recognized judging categories are:
• Antique: Aircraft built prior to
September 1, 1945
• Classic: September 1, 1945 to
December 31, 1955
• Contemporary: January 1, 1956
to December 31, 1970
Any aircraft built within those
years is eligible to park in the
Showplane parking and camping
areas. If you wish to have your
aircraft judged, let the volunteer
know when you register your aircraft and camping area. If you
want your aircraft to be judged by
VAA volunteer judges, you need
to be a current Vintage Aircraft
Association member. VAA contributes a significant portion of the
costs related to the EAA awards
that are presented to the award

winners. Judging closes at noon
on Friday, July 27. The Awards
Ceremony will be held Saturday
evening, July 30 at 6 p.m. in the
Vintage Hangar just south of the
VAA Red Barn.

Designated Smoking Areas
Near Flightline
Smoking on the flightline at EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh is prohibited
because it’s a hazard to all aircraft.
There are several designated smoking areas with butt cans along the
flightline, well away from aircraft
and refueling operations.
Designated smoking areas will
be south of the ultralight runway;
near the Hangar Café; near the
Warbirds area (northeast corner
of Audrey Lane and Eide Avenue);
the Wearhouse fl agpole area; the
shade pavilion north of the control tower; and near the Ultralight
Barn. Locations will be indicated
on EAA’s free convention grounds
map. The admission wristband
also instructs visitors that smoking is allowed only in designated
smoking areas.

More on the Web
Visit www.AirVenture.org for
more information on EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012.

EAA AirVenture Is Almost Here . . .
Are You Ready?
Just a few short weeks from now,
many of you will make the annual
pilgrimage to Oshkosh for EAA
AirVenture 2012. Are you ready?
Here are several handy online
tools on the AirVenture website
that can help you take care of any
last-minute concerns.
Visit www.AirVenture.org and
find out what you need to know
about The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.

Admission, Parking, Hours
www.AirVenture.org/planning/
admission.html

Find or Share a Ride to Oshkosh
www.AirVenture.org/rideshare

CLYDE SMITH JR.

2012 VAA Hall of Fame Inductee
Longtime Piper restoration expert Clyde Smith Jr. has been selected as the 2012 VAA Hall of
Fame inductee. The induction ceremony will take place the evening of
Thursday, November 15, 2012. His
expertise with regard to the restoration and maintenance of the fabric-covered series of Piper aircraft
is second to none. Smith’s willingness to share his expertise is legendary; since the 1970s he’s hosted
forums at the Sun ’n Fun fly-in and
the EAA fly-in in Oshkosh, and for
nearly two decades he’s conducted
a series of how-to seminars around
the country, teaching people what
to look for when restoring a Piper
and the skills necessary to recover
an airplane. Clyde was one of the
people instrumental in the creation
of the yearly event that is now the
Mecca for Cub enthusiasts, Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven flyin which takes place every June.
An outstanding restorer, Clyde
and his restorations have won top
awards at Sentimental Journey,
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and Sun
’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo,
among others.
We’ll have more on Clyde
Smith Jr. in a future issue of Vintage Airplane; in the meantime,
join us in congratulating him as
this year’s honoree of the VAA
Hall of Fame.

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Site Map
www.AirVenture.org/planning/
schedules_maps.html

Where to Stay
www.AirVenture.org/planning/
where_to_stay.html

AirVenture NOTAM
www.AirVenture.org/flying

Alternate Airports and Waypoints
www.AirVenture.org/flying/
alternate_airports.html

Get Your EAA AirVenture 2012
NOTAM Booklet
With only a few days to go until
this year’s EAA AirVenture, if you’re
flying here to Oshkosh, you can
download copies of the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 Notice to Airmen
(NOTAM) directly from the Internet at www.AirVenture.org/flying.
The NOTAM contains the special
flight procedures in effect for Wittman Regional Airport and alternate
airports from 6 a.m. CDT on Friday,
July 20, to 11:59 p.m. CDT on Monday, July 30, 2012. Please note a
change extending the NOTAM effective time into Monday morning, and
there are changes to some of the VFR
arrival procedures from last year’s NOTAM. All pilots who fly into the event
are expected to know the special flight
procedures prior to arrival. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh runs from July 23
through July 29. For additional EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh 2012 information, including advance ticketing purchases, visit www.AirVenture.org.

Call for VAA
Hall of Fame Nominations
To the right is our information for
nominations for VAA’s Hall of Fame,
which is presented each year during
a special dinner. This year’s dinner
will be held Thursday, November 15.
We would like to take this opportunity to mention that if you
have nominated someone for the
VAA Hall of Fame; nominations for
the honor are kept on file for three
years, after which the nomination
must be resubmitted.

Nominat
ions

C A L L F OR V I N TA G E A I R C R A F T A S S O C I AT ION

Nominate your favorite vintage aviator for
the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association H all of
Fame. A great honor could be besto wed upon
that man or woman wor king next to y ou on
your airplane, sitting next to you in the chapter
meeting, or walking next to y ou at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Think about the people in
your circle of aviation friends: the mechanic,
historian, photographer, or pilot who has shared
innumerable tips with you and with many others. They could be the next VAA Hall of Fame
inductee—but only if they are nominated.
The person you nominate can be a citiz en
of any country and may be living or deceased;
his or her involvement in vintage aviation must

have occurred between 1950 and the pr esent
day. His or her contribution can be in the areas
of flying, design, mechanical or aer odynamic
developments, administration, writing, some
other vital and relevant field, or any combination of fields that support aviation. The person
you nominate must be or hav e been a member of the Vintage Aircraft Association or the
Antique/Classic Division of EAA, and pr eference is given to those whose actions hav e contributed to the VAA in some way , perhaps as
a volunteer, a restorer who shares his expertise
with others, a writer, a photographer, or a pilot
sharing stories, preserving aviation history, and
encouraging new pilots and enthusiasts.

To nominate someone is easy. It just takes a little time and a little reminiscing on your part.
•Think of a person; think of his or her contributions to vintage aviation.
•Write those contributions in the various categories of the nomination form.
•Write a simple letter highlighting these attributes and contributions. Make copies of
newspaper or magazine articles that may substantiate your view.
•If at all possible, have another individual (or more) complete a form or write a letter about this
person, confirming why the person is a good candidate for induction.
This year’s induction ceremony will be held near the end of October. We’ll have follow-up
information once the date has been finalized.
We would like to take this opportunity to mention that if you have nominated someone for
the VAA Hall of Fame; nominations for the honor are kept on file for 3 years, after which the
nomination must be resubmitted.
Mail nominating materials to: VAA Hall of Fame, c/o Charles W. Harris, Transportation Leasing Corp.
PO Box 470350
Tulsa, OK 74147
E-mail: cwh@hvsu.com
Remember, your “contemporary” may be a candidate; nominate someone today!
Find the nomination form at www.VintageAircraft.org, or call the VAA office for a copy
(920-426-6110), or on your own sheet of paper, simply include the following information:
• Date submitted.
• Name of person nominated.
• Address and phone number of nominee.
• E-mail address of nominee.
• Date of birth of nominee. If deceased, date of death.
• Name and relationship of nominee’s closest living relative.
• Address and phone of nominee’s closest living relative.
• VAA and EAA number, if known. (Nominee must have been or is a VAA member.)
• Time span (dates) of the nominee’s contributions to vintage aviation.
(Must be between 1950 to present day.)
• Area(s) of contributions to aviation.
• Describe the event(s) or nature of activities the nominee has undertaken in aviation to
be worthy of induction into the VAA Hall of Fame.
• Describe achievements the nominee has made in other related fields in aviation.
• Has the nominee already been honored for his or her involvement in aviation and/or the
contribution you are stating in this petition? If yes, please explain the nature of the
honor and/or award the nominee has received.
• Any additional supporting information.
• Submitter’s address and phone number, plus e-mail address.
• Include any supporting material with your petition.

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Mike Araldi’s
Antique

‘Flying
Diary’
An alluring Waco AGC-8
by Sparky Barnes Sargent

M

ike Araldi is a thirdgeneration antiquer
and pilot. He’s embraced old airplanes
since he was a teenager, restoring or reviving nearly
all of the ones he’s owned. Araldi
started with a Luscombe 8A when
he was 16, and then a 1929 Inland
Sport two years later. By 19, he

was flying as a commercial pilot.
He honed a variety of aviationrelated skills throughout his years
of corporate flying, interspersing
half a dozen type ratings (including
Lear Jet) and a private helicopter
rating with numerous restoration
projects, including an awardwinning Meyers 200D and a
Lockheed 12—and most recently,

JIM KOEPNICK

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his 1931 Great Lakes Special 2T1E and
1938 Custom Cabin Waco AGC-8.
The Waco (NC 2312, serial number 5063) was selected as Reserve
Grand Champion – Antique at Sun
’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo
this spring, aptly reflecting the fact
that Araldi’s love for antiques hasn’t
waned from his early days. “My
brother and father and I just loved
old airplanes,” smiles Araldi, explaining “in high school, my brother
had an Aeronca C-3, and I had an
Inland Sport. When I was a senior
in high school I bought Stampe biplanes out of France and Belgium,
and brought them over here to rebuild. My dad and I learned a lot
of wood working and fabric-covering
skills together. It was my dream
growing up to have my own airport
and rebuild airplanes. I’ve been here
at Greenswamp Aerodrome, just
north of Lakeland, Florida, since
1979. We carved it out of the woods,
and I’ve had several other airplanes,
including a Waco YMF-5, a 1937
VKS-7, and a 1932 UEC.”

AGC-8
Araldi acquired the AGC-8 from
Clark and Anna Pester, who owned
the grand-old cabin biplane for
about two decades—longer than
anyone in its history. “They were
delightful people,” recalls Araldi,
“and the airplane was just sitting up
in Hamilton, Ohio. It was in pretty
rough shape; it had started making
metal due to an engine bearing failure, so they pretty much parked it. I
bought it in December 1997 with the
idea that it was a project for my dad
and I to work on together. We started
on it, but then kind of stopped. I lost
my father in 2003, and I really didn’t
start working on the project full time
until June 2010.”
The months flipped by on
Araldi’s calendar, marked in terms
of man-hours invested in the project—7,000 of them—until August
2011. That’s when he taxied the
grand-old gal to the end of the airstrip and paused, treasuring that
momentous feeling that hands-on
restorers/pilots know intimately,

then pushed the throttle to the firewall. The custom cabin Waco thundered down the 3,000-foot grass
strip, abandoning terra firma and
climbing above the trees at the end
of the aerodrome. Home again!

NC-2312
Only 17 AGC-8s were originally manufactured, and just four
are listed on the registry today.
Aviation historian and author
Joseph Juptner, describing the 1938
custom cabin Wacos in U.S. Civil
Aircraft, writes that they “had that
subtle tailored look that reflected
mechanical simplicity but with that
certain glow of elegance; most certainly a nice combination of fashion and function.”
Powered by a 330-hp Jacobs
L-6 engine turning a Hamilton
Standard 2B20-209 controllable
speed propeller, NC-2312 was originally equipped with two 47-½
gallon fuel tanks. As stated on its
“license authorization,” the airplane had an empty weight of

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dozen private owners began, culminating with Araldi.
Araldi shares that NC 2312
served as “an instrument trainer
for both TW&A and Beard’s Flying
Service,” and that he has recently
“met people who flew it back in
the 1940s. One gentleman, Lon
Cooper, flew the airplane back in
1942 and took his checkride in it;
he showed me his logbook entry.”
JIM KOEPNICK

Mike Araldi

JIM KOEPNICK

2,585 pounds and a gross weight
of 3,800. Its maximum payload
was 560 pounds with 45 gallons of
fuel, or 260 pounds with the full
95 gallons. The biplane’s upper
wing spans 34 feet, 9 inches, and
its lower wing 24 feet, 6 inches. It
stands tall at 8 feet, 7 inches, and
measures 27 feet, 7 inches from
nose to tail.
According to Waco’s “Airplane
Equipment and History Record”
(document courtesy Andy Heins
of the National Waco Club), NC
2312 flew away from the factory
in Troy, Ohio, all decked out with
“Berry Gunmetal grey fuselage and
wings, trimmed with an insignia
blue funnel stripe edged in 3/8˝
Fokker red.” TWA was painted on
the vertical stabilizer in red, with a
neat black outline around the letters. This five-place custom cabin
biplane’s extra equipment included
three 1-½ minute flares, a Y-type
control column, an electric heated
pitot tube, an engine ring cowl, and
a tailwheel lock.

Restoration

JIM KOEPNICK

According to the aircraft records,
it was sold on September 20, 1938,
to Transcontinental & Western
Air Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri,
a n d d e l i v e r e d t w o d a y s l a t e r.
Unfortunately, it endured perhaps
a bit more than its share of mishaps
during TW&A’s ownership, as evidenced by the replacement parts
(wings, spar, fin, rudder, landing
gear center brace struts, etc.) that
Waco shipped to them. Despite
that, a total of 773:09 flying hours
were recorded by October 1, 1940.
TW&A sold NC-2312 to Vultee
Aircraft Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee,
in February 1941; two months later,
it was sold to Franklin N. Knapp
at Outlaw Airport in Clarksville,
Tennessee. Knapp sold it to John
Otis Beard (Beard’s Flying Service) of
St. Petersberg, Florida, in November
1941. In mid-1943, Beard sold the
biplane to Southern Airways Inc.
in Atlanta, Georgia. Then in March
1945, the Waco went to Southern
Air Services of Memphis, Tennessee.
A year later, its lengthy chain of a

This AGC-8 had been patched
and repaired numerous times
through the years, but it entered
its first complete restoration under
Araldi’s guiding and experienced
hands. He turned to fellow members of the National Waco Club and
the Antique Airplane Association
for technical knowledge and resources, as well as a certain gentleman in Louisiana. “David Tyndall
owns the sister ship (NC 2329, S/N
5062, a 1938 EGC-8) to mine, and
he had done a lot of research and
was an enormous help to me.”
The main challenge Araldi experienced with this Waco’s restoration
was “the sheer size of it! It takes five
people to turn a wing over; the upper
wing panels probably weigh close to
300 pounds,” he chuckles, adding
“and they had 1,500 man-hours in
them. My neighbor, John McCloy,
is a master woodworker and did all
the work on the upper wings. The
airplane has brand-new spars and
ribs, the fuselage tubing has been
replaced as needed, and attachment
fittings have been repaired. I learned
how to do all the sheet metal work,
and I did a lot of the sheet metal,
welding, and woodwork myself—
though of course, it takes an army
of people to finish a project like this.
There are so many family members,
friends, and vendors that contribute
in so many ways.”
Rib stitching was just one of
the time-consuming aspects of the
fabric installation. “It was like rib
stitching a barge!” laughs Araldi,
“I had my pilot-daughter Morgan
help me some, but it was pretty
much a one-man show.”

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PHOTOS COURTESY MIKE ARALDI

Poly-Fiber fabric is being installed
over the r estor ed fuselage frame.

Installation of the new wing tank.

Rear view of the fuselage in Poly-Spray phase.
The AGC-8 was the first airplane
that Araldi covered using the PolyFiber Aircraft Coatings system. “I
was always the dope and fabric guy,
and I’ve become a convert,” he
laughs good-naturedly, adding “the
only advice I can give is to follow
the directions in the manual. Don’t
try to change a thing—just absolutely follow it to the letter. If you
don’t, it will end up being a mess.
We built a little paint booth here
at the airport, that the Waco would
barely fit in, and I used an HVLP
system to spray the coatings, finishing with a top coat of Aerothane
Polar Grey, with Santa Fe Red, and
yellow pinstripe trim.”
Another restoration task entailed
refurbishing and installing the old
flare rack, which is hidden inside
the fuselage. “The original decals
and inspection stamps were still all
over the rack,” explains Araldi, “so
I preserved that history but decided

NC 2312 during r estoration.

Ron Baumgar tner helped thr oughout the r estoration.

not to install the cans through the
fabric with their aluminum caps on
the outside of the fuselage.”
Metal wheelpants were original
to this Waco, and that facet of the
project consumed about a month’s
time. First, Araldi contacted D&D
Classic in Ohio. “They made a reverse saddle and sent us the two
halves, then we put them together
and cut and fit them, along with
all the fairings around the gear.
I’ve got a planishing hammer and
an English wheel, and we formed
some of the fairings ourselves,” he
elaborates, adding, “We also made
the cheek cowls under the pilot’s
window, and the inspection access doors. The windshield frame
is about 70 percent original, but
we made the rest. And we also
built new fuel tanks. And I went
to school to learn how to form
the more complicated compound
curves for the cowling.”

Horsepower
Radial Engines, LTD in Guthrie,
Oklahoma, overhauled the Jacobs
L-6, and an ADC oil filter system
was installed at that time, as well
as a Jasco alternator. “Steve and
Caleb Curry are good people and
suggested their fuel injection system for the engine. The L-6 is a
good engine, but it’s one that can’t
be abused. You really have to stay
on top of it and keep the valves adjusted and mind your cylinder head
temperatures. The advantage of the
fuel injection is more horsepower,
and being able to keep the cylinder
head temperatures close together,”
reflects Araldi, “so I’ll probably do
that at some point. But so far, I’ve
flown it for about 38 hours, and I’m
very pleased with it.”

Interior
Attention to the interior detail
of the cabin is evident with just a

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sweeping glance—the burl walnut
finish on the instrument panel,
the handsome wool headliner,
the carpet-lined baggage compartment, the Ford ashtrays in the door
panels, and the luxurious leather
and broadcloth upholstery (with
memory-foam cushioned seats).
“I got the styling from an original
brochure; there wasn’t much left
of the original interior in the airplane when I got it,” he explains,
laughing and adding, “Someone
had used velvets and shag carpet
for the interior back in the 1970s!
We had Mike Duncan of Duncan
Interiors here in Lakeland do the
carpets and upholstery.”
Araldi decided not to use the
homemade instrument panel and
modern instruments that came
with the Waco when he bought it.
So he journeyed back to the hangar in Ohio, where he discovered
the original instrument panel, with
some of the original instruments
still in it (which he had overhauled
by Instrument Pro in California).
He also discovered TW&A’s original fleet number plate with “231”
stamped on it. Since he wanted to
keep the original panel intact, he
says he “built a box that fits vertically between the front seats for the
transponder, encoder, and transceiver. I can pull four screws and
easily stow it when I don’t need it.”
He wanted the panel itself to
look like burl walnut, so he learned
yet another new skill—how to successfully apply a faux paint finish
that looks like wood. He went to
a one-day class offered by Grain-It
Technologies Inc. of Winter Haven
and learned the proper techniques—
then purchased the do-it-yourself
kit. “It’s really neat,” he says enthusiastically. “You paint a base coat on
it, and then you have different types
of patterns that you pick up with a
roller, and you just roll it on. I did
a base coat of the tan walnut, and
then I rolled the cutout design with
black paint and went over the panel.
The instrument openings and window trim are also done that way—I
learned a lot!”

Woodgraining
on Metal
BY H.G. F RAUTSCHY
For a number of years
the late Bennie Estes of
JIM KOEPNICK
Florida offered his woodgraining on metal ser vices to air craft, boat, and automotive r estor ers. Bennie had
purchased the actual printing plates and other tools fr om the original user—his former employer, the National Cash Register Company in Dayton, Ohio. Some members
will remember that one of the most outstanding featur es of Densil Williams’ Aer onca
Super Chief r estoration done some years ago was the per fect instr ument panel,
which was done by Bennie using the exact plate patter n (Zebrawood) and paints/
woodgrain compounds to match. Now you can do it yourself, thanks to a company
which has followed in his footsteps. Evan of Grain-It T echnologies points out on their
website that ther e were many people involved in the pr ocess when it was being done
in a factor y setting, and only minimal training was needed to get them up to snuf f
so they could do the work in a fast-paced pr oduction environment. Now, you can buy
a kit to do the pr ocess yourself. It looks like a gr eat skill to lear n and have fun with
as you cr eate your own woodgrained metal piece. Y ou can r each them at: Grain-It
Technologies Inc., 334 Commer ce Cour t, Winter Haven, FL 33880, 863-299-4494,
www.Woodgraining.com

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 11

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JIM KOEPNICK

buy and sell them from all
over the world—and they
just weren’t in the antique airplane mode,” says
Araldi, elaborating, “Then
finally I found Al Kimball
at the local FSDO, and
he walked me through
and got all my paperwork
done for me. He was just
phenomenal; he knew exactly what to do.”
Araldi readily shares that he did
enjoy full-time help throughout the
project from Ron Baumgartner—
who also helped him on other projects. “In a 16-month period, we
restored the Waco, recovered the
1930 Great Lakes, my daughter’s
1939 Taylorcraft, and I’m just about
ready to fly a 100 percent brandnew (kit) Swick Clip T!” he explains
breathlessly. But they did get a
chance to catch their breath—just
a bit—as they waited on the paperwork for the Waco.

Paper Obstacle
The last restoration-related hurdle
for Araldi was locating an FAA employee or representative who was familiar with antique airplanes in order
to obtain approval and an airworthiness certificate. “It took about two
months—I was so frustrated, because
I tried to work with a couple of DARs
and they didn’t really understand
old airplanes. They were very polite
and professional, but they were doing work on corporate jets coming
back and forth from Europe—which
I have done a lot of, because I used to

Airborne
Araldi was thrilled to complete the
AGC-8’s ground-up restoration and
ecstatic to start flying it. He’s found
that it burns about 19 gph and indicates 145 mph at about 65 percent power. When coming in for a
landing, he brings it across the fence
at 75 to 80 mph. “Flying the Waco
Cabin is fabulous!” he says. “My UEC
Waco flew very well, as did the VKF7, which was very heavy and didn’t
perform as well as I thought it would,
but the AGC-8 really surprised me—
the ailerons and pitch are relatively
light, the rudder is surprisingly very
sensitive in the air, and so far it has
no bad tendencies on pavement. I’ve
three-pointed and wheel-landed it,
and it doesn’t seem to know the difference one way or the other. It’s an
ox; it’s a big old airplane, and I expected it to be a handful, but it’s actually an absolute delight to fly!”
The Waco seems to give its own
unique voice to its pleasure to be flying
again; Araldi has noticed something
akin to a delicate “whistle” as it slows
below 80 mph. “It’s funny—you don’t
even have to look at the airspeed,” he

says, “you can trim it up, fly the airplane, put the flaps down, and as soon
as it’s at about 78 mph indicated, you’ll
hear a very distinct sound.”

Araldi’s ‘Flying Diary’
Now that the AGC-8 has found
its home, it will likely stay there for
years to come. Araldi simply plans
to enjoy flying it (along with the
rest of his fleet). In a way, he feels
like NC 2312 was a grand finale,
of sorts. Laughing, he explains, “I
would never do another one—it was
just so consuming. But…I loved it! I
enjoyed every segment of it tremendously because it was an adventure. I
never got in a hurry and very rarely
got frustrated. It’s kind of cool, because when I walk around it now—
like when I wipe it down or people
are looking at it—I look at certain areas of the airplane, and it’s literally
a living, flying diary. I mean, I can
remember when I did the tail, when
I built the boot for the tail wheel,
when I did this or that. It’s just like
reading a diary—and I can even remember the smells and the feeling of
sanding my fingerprints off and rib
stitching—just everything!”
There’s one other aspect of the
restoration that Araldi particularly
relished, and that was the very first
flight. He reflects, “That’s an experience you cannot explain to somebody. When you spend years and
money you have and money you
don’t have and everything else…
when you sit out there at the end of
that runway and light that thing off,
it’s the most amazing feeling. It’s just
incredible!” Indeed, it is.

12 JULY 2012
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The Origin Of The Cub
ROGER PEPERELL COLLECTION

Happy 75th Anniversary to the Piper Cub!

B

ack in the mid-1920s, when
aviation was still very much in
its infancy, two brothers from
Rochester, New York, were busy
investing their talents in what would
become a famous spot in the history
of aviation. Born to a father who was
a machinist, sons Gilbert and Gordon
Taylor rebuilt and modified a surplus
Curtiss JN-4 aircraft that Gilbert had
purchased and learned to fly. Gilbert
then taught brother Gordon to fly
the aircraft, and the brothers started a
barnstorming business.
In 1927, the brothers combined
their resources and went into the aircraft manufacturing business with
their first airplane, known as the A2
Chummy. This was a two-seat, sideby-side (chummy) conventional gear
monoplane with an open cockpit and
parasol wing configuration. The first
model was completed in early 1928.
In April of 1928, a second refined
model was built to participate in the
Detroit aviation exhibition.
Sadly, disaster struck the family
business during the show as this aircraft crashed and killed Gordon. Gilbert vowed to stay in aviation and
continued to build some airplanes.
With some building experience and

BY

CLYDE SMITH JR

knowledge under his belt, he decided
to design a production model similar
to the A2. This new model would be
called the B2 Chummy. With production in mind and the realization that
the Rochester facility was insufficient
for the plan, a move to a better location was decided.
In November 1928, just before
winter set in, a move was made to
the small northwestern Pennsylvania town of Bradford. In earlier times
Bradford had been an oil-rich town,
but some of the wells were drying
up; a new business was welcomed
with enthusiasm and open arms.
One of the investors was an oil businessman by the name of William
Thomas Piper. He also joined the
board of directors of the new company, the Taylor Brothers Aircraft
Corporation. In 1929 Gilbert Taylor
decided to enter an international safe
airplane competition and reworked
a Model B2 Chummy, calling it the
C2 Chummy. By 1930 the company
was in financial trouble. The stock
market crash of 1929 had taken its
toll on many manufacturing companies, and Taylor Brothers was no exception; the Chummy models were
quite expensive for flight schools

and the general public. To keep remaining factory workers busy, Taylor
designed a single-seat glider known
as the D1 model.
William Piper had a vision and
wasn’t known as a quitter. He had
an understanding of the knowledge
and experience of Gilbert Taylor, and
along with his own business success,
he talked Taylor into designing a
simple, low-powered, two-seat training aircraft using some leftover parts
and ideas from the glider and the
Chummy models. This aircraft was
finished in August of 1930 as the first
Model E-2, registration NC10547 and
serial number 11.
The aircraft was a high-wing monoplane with two-place tandem seating,
and it had a conventional landing
gear. When this aircraft was built, a
famous mark in the history of aviation was made, but it would be a little
while before anyone realized it. Un-

Lead Photo: The ver y fi rst Cub, after
being re-engined with the Fr ench
Salmson D9. While a jewel of an engine, it’s high cost and lack of spar e
parts in the USA kept the T aylor Aircraft Company looking for a suitable
powerplant for their lightplane.

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ROGER PEPERELL COLLECTION

fortunately, there were no available
powerplants for the size and light
weight of this aircraft, or at least none
that were affordable and able to be
mass produced. During the search, a
company from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, known as the Light Manufacturing and Foundry Company, made it
known that they would like to have a
chance at trying a small, two-cylinder,
24-hp engine in the Taylor E-2 model.
An engine and sales engineer George
Kirkendall were sent to Bradford, so
the Taylor firm could install and subsequently fly the new aircraft model. On
September 12, 1930, Kirkendall managed to barely get the aircraft airborne
for a very short distance, but it did fly.
This engine was known as the
Brownbach Tiger Kitten, and to this
day it isn’t really known whether
George Kirkendall or Taylor Aircraft
employee Gilbert Hadrel made the association and suggested that if the engine was the Tiger Kitten, the airplane
it was installed on should be called a
Cub. Thus one of the most famous and
recognizable names in the history of
general aviation was born. A point of
interest is the fact that the Light Manufacturing also made a six-cylinder
radial engine of 90 hp known as the
Brownbach C-400 Tiger. This of course
was too much power and weight for
the little E-2. Though George Kirkendall passed away many years ago, this
writer can remember him at EAA Oshkosh, Sentimental Journey, and Sun
’n Fun, with his distinguished handlebar mustache and worn-out cap that
said it very plainly: “Number One Cub
Pilot.” He really was. To most people
who saw and talked with him, he was
just another old man; maybe somewhat of a dreamer, maybe just wanting some attention, but he was famous
in a special way.
With the failure of the Tiger Kitten
installation, the door was wide open
for any small lightweight engine of
around 40 hp. A French-made Salmson D-9, nine-cylinder radial engine
of 40 hp, was obtained and installed
in serial number 11. The aircraft made
its first successful flight on September 23, 1930. The aircraft flew well
and the power was quite sufficient.

The ver y fi rst J-3 still spor ted the r ounded, unbalanced tail of the J-2, but
NX16792 is the ver y fi rst J-3.

One of the earliest E-2 Cubs on display during the fi rst years of the EAA
Fly-in in Oshkosh was this unique T aylor E-2 Cub. Restor ed by Dick Hill,
then a pilot for Nor th Central Airlines, it was completed in July of 1971.
The Cub is serial number 34, having been built by the factor y in Bradfor d,
Pennsylvania June 1, 1933. The color is all silver .
But from a production standpoint the
engine was too expensive, and it was
built using metric dimensions and
hardware, a rarity in the United States
in 1930. Parts and service would also
have been a problem. So the project
was delayed and the search continued
for another powerplant. Continental
Motors of Detroit, Michigan, developed a “flat” four-cylinder opposed
engine in November of 1930. The
Taylor Company purchased one to
try, and installed it on the very next
aircraft, E-2 Cub serial number 12,
registration NC10594, manufactured
on March 31, 1931.
This would have been the first aircraft to utilize this powerplant, and
despite growing pains and some quality control issues with early engines,
this engine was chosen as the standard powerplant, and production of
the E-2 Cub resumed with serial number 13. Of importance is the fact that
E-2 serial number 12 still exists and
now hangs from the ceiling of the
terminal building at the Vero Beach,

Florida Municipal Airport. The aircraft
was lovingly restored in 1988 by Gordon Fisher, a contractor from western New York State. Stewart Millar,
owner of Piper Aircraft Corporation
at that time, and Fisher made a deal,
and a brand-new PA-18 Super Cub,
built in Vero Beach, was traded for the
E-2. The E-2 was flown by Millar one
time and then was used for public relations work for several years at aviation trade shows. This famous aircraft
thankfully escaped total destruction
in a hurricane that hit the factory
complex, but was saved and now is
preserved at the airport terminal.
Continuing with the genealogy
of the Cub, the next model manufactured by Taylor was the F-2. This
model utilized an Aeromarine AR40, three-cylinder radial engine of
40 hp. Production began in January of 1934. Taylor also designed an
engine of his own. This was an opposed, four-cylinder engine of 40 hp.
This would have been used in the G-2
Cub. Only one was built in February

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The Linco Flying Aces team featur ed such well-known pilots as Mike Murphy. In the years sur rounding World War II, people fl ocked to airshows,
and Cubs wer e often used for novelty per formances such as taking of f
and landing fr om a platfor m.
of 1935. The next Cub would be the
H-2. This model utilized a Szekely SR3-35 three-cylinder radial engine of
35 hp. This model was approved in
May of 1935, and again, only one was
built. All these models used virtually
the same airframe as the original E-2,
but the model differences were basically the engine installations. The
last E-2 was built in February of 1936.
The E-2 was the first Cub model to be
mass produced. A total of 348 were
built during the years 1931 to 1936.
During the latter half of 1935,
things were happening in the engi-

neering department. A young engineering graduate came aboard by the
name of Walter Jamouneau. He was
so interested in the business that he
agreed to work for free for some time.
About the same time that Piper realized that product improvements were
necessary to stay competitive in the
business, Jamouneau had some interesting ideas to improve the E-2 model.
Piper had granted Jamouneau
permission to exercise some of his
ideas on an experimental J-2 during a period when Gilbert Taylor was
at home ill. Upon Taylor’s return to

EAA ARCHIVES
EAA ARCHIVES

This optimistic factor y photo depicts a far mer loading up his Cub with
sacks of “Dair y Feed”. Still, it highlights the fact that the Cub has, for
over 75 years, often ser ved as the handy way to use a Cub to per form
work, or as a gr eat light airplane for quick jaunts into town fr om far-fl ung
ranches and far m strips.

work, and finding out that his original design work had been modified,
Taylor clashed with Piper. From the
beginning, the business relationship
between Taylor and Piper had never
been the smoothest. In December of
1935, the situation came to the point
where Piper bought Gilbert Taylor’s
shares of the company, and Taylor packed up and left the company.
Soon after, however, he started another company in Butler, Pennsylvania, known as the Taylor Young
Aircraft Co. He designed a two-seat,
side-by-side, high-wing airplane for
the lightplane market. Back at Bradford, the new model that had created
all the ill feelings and instigated the
breakup was now free for new chief
design engineer Walter Jamouneau to
do with as he and Piper desired. This
new model was still known as a Cub,
but the model designation was the
J-2. The changes amounted to such
items as a wider-stance landing gear
with redesigned shock struts and a
new wing design with rounded tips,
still using the non-Friese type ailerons. The new shape of the horizontal tail surfaces was a change, along
with the revisions to the rudder and
vertical stabilizer. The upper cabin
“birdcage” superstructure was faired
in to the aft fuselage turtledeck superstructure, creating a closed cabin
configuration. Changes were also
implemented on the engine cowling, windshield, cabin interior, and
engine installation. The first production J-2 was built in mid-December
of 1935, and thus the second model
of the famous Cub family went into
mass production.
Things were going quite well in
early 1937, with the exception that
the good-to-have problem of room
for expansion was becoming an issue.
The demand for airplanes was outgrowing the available room that was
needed for production.
Unfortunately, during the night
shift hours of March 16, 1937, a fire
started in the paint shop, and the factory was totally destroyed. Only 15
airplanes were saved. Very limited
production was continued a couple
days later, but it was realized that

16 JULY 2012

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what was left of the facility in Bradford could never be sufficient enough for the planned large-scale production. So a
search for a new location and better facility was begun. After consideration of some locations, in June an abandoned
silk mill factory in the small central Pennsylvania town
of Lock Haven was chosen. This new facility of 100,000
square feet was next to a railroad yard, and it was virtually already on an airport. The move was made, and the
J-2 went back into full mass production in July of 1937,
still under the Taylor Aircraft Corporation name. After the
major move and with Gilbert Taylor gone, a decision was
made to change the name of the company to the Piper
Aircraft Corporation. This name change became effective
November 1, 1937. No airplanes were built that day, but
one was built on November 2. The aircraft was J-2 serial
number 1937, with a registration number of NC20137.
This aircraft is attributed as being the first Piper Cub, and
it is now on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of
the National Air and Space Museum. The last J-2 was built
in May of 1938, after 1,158 were produced under the two
different company names.
As with any company that produces products, changes
for improvement are always underway. This was also true
at the Piper Company. As early as late 1936 some ideas for
improvements were tried on some J-2 aircraft. The next
newer, improved model to enter the Cub family would be
known as the J-3 Cub. The prototype of this new model
was built October 8, 1937, with serial number 1999, registered NC16792. Production began in early December
with serial number 2000, registered NC20000. The J-3 had
its share of improvements over the previous models with
increased gross weights, addition of balanced rudder, tail
wheel and brakes, further cabin improvements, change
of ailerons to the Friese type, and many choices of engine

JIM KOEPNICK PHOTOS

Cubs wer e so well known and popular in the years
before the war that they wer e used as grand prizes in
promotions by major corporations. This par ticular J-3C65, NC 37946, serial no. 6741, was built in 1941 and
was given away to a lucky winner who was a listener
of the “Wings of Destiny” radio pr ogram, sponsor ed by
Brown and Williamson, a tobacco pr oducer. The contest
awarded a Cub to someone ever y week for an entir e
year. This beautiful example was r estor ed by Craig Bair
of Grenville, South Dakota. For mor e on Craig’s r estoration, we’r e posted a copy of the ar ticle we published
about it’s r estoration in the Januar y, 2005 issue of Vintage Airplane at www.vintageaircraft.org/featured/

The J-3 Cub has pr oven to be a versatile airplane,
equally at home on wheels, skis or , quite often, on
pontoons. It’s wing str ut location, coupled with the
fold-down door, allows the pilot to pr op the engine for
star ting while standing on the right fl oat, right behind
the prop. Jack Br own’s Seaplane Base in Winter Haven, Florida continues to use their Cubs, including this
one fl own by Jon Br own, cur rent proprietor of the base
and son of founder , Jack Br own.
manufacture and horsepower range.
The engine manufacturers were Continental Motors
(J3-C), Franklin Division of Aircooled Motors (J3-F), Lycoming Division of AVCO (J3-L), and the Lenape (lena-pee) Papoose (J3-P, formerly Aeromarine). Horsepower
ratings ranged from 40 to 65. By the time the J-3 went
into production, general aviation was established, and Mr.
Piper’s reputation was very strong, with his savvy sales
and marketing techniques. The J-3 Cub was actually in
production for 10 years after 14,125 were built. These 

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VINTAGE AIRPLANE 17

Vintage July2012.indd 19

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were built at two manufacturing facilities: the main plant in Lock Haven and an assembly plant in Ponca
City, Oklahoma, which was a former
WWII training facility for British pilots. The last J-3 was built at the Lock
Haven plant in November of 1946,
and the last one built in Oklahoma
was in March of 1947.
There were several notable variations of the J-3, each designed to fit
customer needs. The J-3 was approved
for skis and floats to satisfy the civilian market, and it saw some use in the
military. It was adapted for the military field in many ways. The first of
these would be the 0-59 model, first to
be ordered in November of 1941. Next
would be the L-4A, with a “greenhouse enclosure,” first ordered in February of 1942, followed by the L-4B,
L-4H, and L-4J. All were utilized by the
U.S. Army Air Forces. The U.S. Navy
got into the act with the Model NE-1,
and NE-2 which was a modified L-4J.
The U.S. Army also expressed interest
in a glider version of the Cub, and so
Piper redesigned the Cub and made
a three-place, tandem-seated training
glider known as the TG-8 of which
253 were built in 1942 and 1943. All
in all, there were over 22,000 total of
the several variations of the J-3 built.
Truly the J-3 Cub is probably the
most popular, most recognized, and
most famous of any of the small airplanes ever built in the United States.
It is also the most supported aircraft
of any of the obsolete antique and
classic fleet. Much of this is attributed
to the efforts of current parts manufacturing companies like Univair
Aircraft Corporation and Wag Aero,
along with some smaller companies.
Modern-day aircraft manufacturing
companies like Cub Crafters Inc., Dakota Cub Aircraft Corporation, and
American Legend Aircraft Corporation wouldn’t even be known if it
weren’t for the Cub, truly a piece of
American history.
Though 2012 is the birthday of
the J-3 model, it was followed by two
quite significant models and their
military derivatives. In March 1947
a new revised version of the J-3 went
into production in Lock Haven and

at the Ponca City plant. This new version of the Cub was known as the PA11 Cub Special. The model was the
answer to all the additional competition Piper had after the war, when
general aviation hit an all-time high
in popularity. The J-3 had been in production for 10 years by that time, and
the design was kind of “wearing on.”
So the Piper marketing and engineering team joined went together and
worked over the old J-3. A new closed
engine cowling was utilized, and new
low-drag lift strut sections were used,
along with new streamlined metal
shock cord fairings. The fuel tank was
moved from the forward cabin area
to the left wing, and its capacity was
enlarged from 12 to 18 gallons. The
interior of the cabin was changed by
adding a new instrument panel, installing metal side wall panels instead
of doped fabric, changing both the
pilot and passenger seat design, and
now that the fuel was moved to the
wing, the pilot would fly solo from
the front seat. The paint scheme was
changed to a blue and yellow design
for the 1947 and ’48 models, and yellow and brown for 1949. A new Continental C90 engine was available
from mid-1948 until the end of production in November of 1949. A total
of 1,541 civilian PA-11s were built.
The military version of the PA-11 was
known as the L-18B, of which 105
were built for the U.S. Army.
In late 1948 the U.S. Army approached Piper to design a liaison/
training aircraft, similar to the PA11 but with some modifications the
Army wanted. Piper answered with
the design of the model known as the
PA-19 of which three were built as
prototypes. The basic difference was
the fact that the upper cabin structure
was made rectangular, and the front
tubing at the windshield opened upward into a “V.” The front spars were
shortened and the previous spar tunnel was eliminated, with the result
that forward visibility was greatly
improved. A swing-out type engine
mount was also implemented, and a
“greenhouse” enclosure was also part
of the design.
The military was very pleased

with the new model and began placing contract orders. The production
models of this military airplane were
known as the L-18C with a Continental C90, the L-21A with a Lycoming
0-290-D, and the L-21B with a Lycoming 0-290-D2 engine.
Piper soon realized that if the military was so interested in this new
model that the company would try
putting a civilian version on the market. Since the number 18 had just
come available with the cancellation of a previous program, this new
model would become the PA-18, and
it would be called the Super Cub.
What a very smart decision. With a
Continental C90 engine inside the
cowl, the PA-18 went into production in November of 1949. Shortly
after, the Lycoming 0-235-C1 engine
was added, creating the PA-18-105.
In 1951 the PA-18-125 was developed
with a Lycoming 0-290-D, and in
1952 the PA-18-135, with a Lycoming
0-290-D2, came out. It wasn’t until the
1955 model year that the PA-18-150
was available with a Lycoming 0-320
engine. Piper also made a slightly
modified agricultural version of the
Super Cub with a model designation
of PA-18A. As with all the Cub family,
these aircraft were approved with skis
and floats. The PA-18 went out of production in Lock Haven, when the last
one was built in November of 1982
after 10,213 units were built during
a remarkable 33 years of production.
The PA-18 went back into production
at the Vero Beach, Florida, plant in
1988, after businessman Stewart Millar bought Piper and put the PA-18
back into production. A total of 113
aircraft were built there from 1988 to
1994. It’s interesting to note that in
2009 the PA-18 Super Cub celebrated
its 60th anniversary.
Happy 75th Anniversary to the
PIPER CUB!
Clyde Smith Jr., known to Cub aficionados as the “Cub Doctor,” couldn’t help
but come by his knowledge naturally; his
father, Clyde Smith Sr., was one of Piper’s
original employees and was equally admired for his knowledge of the Cub and
willingness to share his expertise.

18 JULY 2012

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Light Plane Heritage
published in EAA Experimenter FEBRUARY 1994

THE RADIAL ENGINE STORY
BY

BOB WHITTIER
EAA 1235

In aviation museums and at flyins, air enthusiasts often see examples
of the “radial” type of engine. These
powerplants range in size from small
ones developing under 100 hp to up
to 3,000 hp for giants on warbirds.
Because manufacture of this type of
powerplant tapered off significantly
after World War II, modern aviation
literature seldom says much about
them. Yet, because an increasing
number of younger persons see and
hear them at air shows without understanding what they represent, it’s
proper to devote an article to them.
They’re very much a part of aviation’s
great heritage.

They’re called radials because their
cylinders radiate out from central
crankcases much like the spokes of a
wheel radiate out from a hub. As far
back as 1902 Charles M. Manly was
working on a radial engine to power
the Aerodrome flying machine built
in 1903 by Professor Samuel P. Langley. Manly’s design was based on an
earlier radial by Stephen M. Balzer
and is often referred to as the Manly
Balzer. It was a light, five-cylinder, water-cooled design which developed a
creditable 52 hp at 950 rpm.
When the Aerodrome was launched
from atop a houseboat on December
8, 1903, its wings promptly collapsed

and everything fell into the water.
When the Wrights flew at Kitty Hawk
just nine days later, Langley’s dream
of being the first to fly a powered aircraft ended. To show that the Aerodrome could have flown if the wings
had not collapsed, in 1913 Glenn H.
Curtiss rebuilt it—with some modifications—and successfully flew it.
Other radial engines were built before World War I, but seldom amounted
to anything significant. However, it
must be pointed out that in France,
from 1908 onward Alessandro Anzani,
Robert Esnault-Pelterie, and some others did manufacture what were called
“fan” engines, for the reason that their

Left, Sperry Messenger was one
of the small courier-observation
planes to be powered with 60hp Lawrence radials in the early
1920s.
Right, 1916 Lawrence Model B
featured “hairpin” valve springs.
Lower left, the Albert was one
of many European lightplanes
powered by the tiny Salmson
AD-9 radial.
Right, despite having nine cylinders, the AD-9 was only 26
inches in diameter. Bore was
only 2.8 inches. Produced 40
to 45 hp and appeared in the
mid-1920s.

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

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 19

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Left, Manly radial engine powered Langley’s 1903 Aerodrome plane. Center, Water-cooling system of a Salmson engine. Right, Detroit-built 50-hp Albatross
dates from 1910. Note wide fin spacing on cast semisteel cylinders.

cylinders fanned, or radiated, out from
their crankcases. These differed from
true radials in that all of their cylinders were positioned above a horizontal line. The reason for this is at the
early stage of engine—and thus of piston ring—development, those designers feared that an excessive amount of
crankcase oil would get into the firing
chambers of cylinders located below
the horizontal line.
These “fan” engines had from three
to seven cylinders, and their firing orders were thus irregular. Their exhaust
sounds were staccato, and their vibration was hard on lightly built airframes. They soon fell by the wayside.
At some point designers realized that,
in well-made engines, oil would not
get into the firing chambers of lower
cylinders while the engines were
running. One of the accompanying
illustrations show a succeeding threecylinder Anzani of the true radial
type, with cylinders positioned 120
degrees apart and thus giving equal

spacing between power strokes.
Cylinders arranged in rows call for
long and therefore heavy crankshafts
and crankcases. Manly, Anzani, and
others recognized the weight-saving
possibilities in radiating cylinders
around a shorter and therefore lighter
crankshaft and crankcase. Furthermore, such a layout would expose all
of the cylinders equally to the vital
flow of cooling air.
Because aluminum casting techniques of 80 years ago were primitive,
it was hard for pioneer aero engine
builders to make finned, air-cooled
cylinder heads of this light metal.
That is why the rotary type of engine such as the Gnome and LeRhone
came into being and were much used
during World War I. The whirling of
such engines’ crankcases and cylinders about fixed crankshafts put the
hot, machined-steel cylinder heads
into the region of maximum airflow.
By 1917 and 1918 engine designers had become quite aware of the

many shortcomings of rotary engines
and started to experiment in earnest
with fixed radials. These looked much
like rotaries in that their cylinders
radiated out from their crankcases.
But they differed markedly from rotaries in that their crankcases were
attached firmly to the noses of fuselages and thus didn’t revolve. Instead,
their crankshafts revolved within the
crankcases, and the cylinders didn’t
whirl like pinwheels.
This arrangement offered many
advantages. Cleaner, lighter recirculating oil systems could be used. The
messiness and fumes characteristic of
castor oil lubrication in rotaries were
eliminated. It was possible to install
exhaust stacks or manifolds on fixed
cylinders to make radial engines safer
and more agreeable to fly. Real carburetors could be attached to crankcases
so as to feed directly into intake ducting cast into crankcases. This afforded
much more positive and tractable
throttle control and made possible

Left, Anzani and others made “fan” type radials in early days. Center, seeking more power, 5- and even 7-cylinder fan engines were made. R.E.P. engine
shown. But smoother running afforded by equal intervals between cylinder firings soon led to adoption of real radial configuration as in Anzani at right.

20 JULY 2012

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Left, radial engine cams had varying number of lobes and turned at different speeds, depending on each engine’s design. Center, early magnetos had fixed
magnets and rotating coils; adoption of fixed-coil, rotating-magnet design improved reliability. Right, text explains reason for use of “compensated timing”
breaker pint cam shown here.

shorter, more direct and efficient and
induction systems. While crankshafts
and propellers still produced some gyroscopic effect, it was less than in the
rotaries and led to better and safer aircraft control.
Radial engine cylinders and heads
of that time were based on design
and construction methods used in
rotaries and had little or no cylinder
head finning. So they were plagued
by overheating problems. Rotary engine cylinders benefited from the
combination of 1,200 rpm rotary
motion plus aircraft forward speed,
but radials had only the latter to supply cooling air.
Several radial makers, notably
Salmson in France, used water cooling. The 260-hp model used on Salmson-built, World War I observation
planes gave good service and helped
call designers’ attention to the advantages of the radial layout.
In the case of in-line and vee-type
engines, it’s simple enough to pump
water from the radiator into the lower
portions of cylinder water jackets, from

where it rises to the upper portions
and then back to the radiator. If steam
pockets form, they do so at the top and
can easily vent back to the radiator.
But as can be seen in an accompanying drawing of a Salmson cooling
system, plumbing a water-cooled radial is not simple. Cool water entering
the lower cylinders gets progressively
hotter as it rises to the upper ones.
Some piping systems contrived to
overcome this problem were weirdly
intricate. There is much flow restriction and potential for leakage. One
small leak can soon put a liquid-cooling
system out of commission, but aircooled engines never run out of air.
A vast amount of experimenting
was done. One English designer tried
plating the fins of steel air-cooled cylinders with copper, hoping that the
conductivity of this metal would help
pull heat out of the steel. But this
didn’t work quite as hoped, because
the heat still had to travel through the
steel to get to the copper.
A major problem was how to take
advantage of the light weight and

favorable heat conductivity of aluminum to make better air-cooled cylinder heads. This soft metal would
obviously never make acceptable valve
seats. Bristol “Jupiter” radials of the
early 1920s had machined steel cylinders with integral but unfinned heads.
The overhead valves thus seated on
durable steel. Finned cast-aluminum
caps called “poultice heads” were then
fitted over the steel cylinder heads to
pull out the heat. This involved problems with achieving and maintaining the close fit necessary for effective
heat transfer.
Much effort went into solving
problems of various metals’ different
expansion rates. A new alloy was developed to make lighter, more heatconductive aluminum pistons work
in steel cylinders. Everyone who has
worked on aircraft engines has seen
the name “Lynite” cast into aluminum parts. This alloy was developed
during the war to make possible the
manufacture of adequately strong pistons by the more versatile and reliable
permanent-mold process instead of

Radial engine connecting rods were attached to crankshafts in various ways. Left, some small engines
employed curved pads on connecting rods that mated with main bearing. Clamp rings held things together.
Center, split master rod big ends allowed use of one-piece crankshafts. Right, big engines used singlepiece master rods slipped onto two-piece crankshafts. Lower right, counterweights were sometimes attached with undersize bolts to allow them to yield with power impulses and reduce crankshaft flexing.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 21

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the old sand-casting one. The more
rapid cooling of molten aluminum in
permanent molds produced stronger
and more uniform castings by developing a finer grain structure and more
uniform dispersion of the copper used
in the alloy.
The idea emerged that a compatible
and suitably hard kind of bronze could
make acceptable valve seats for aluminum heads. Various methods of installing such seats were experimented
with, including threading and pinning
the seats into place, machining the
seats and cylinder recesses with slight
“Keystone” taper to lock the seats in
place, peening the seats into place,
and chilling them in liquid nitrogen
to shrink them for tight press fits. The
final method of casting them in place
called for much study and experimentation on the part of designers, draftsmen, metallurgists and foundry men.
It was common to design, make,
and test several cylinder designs before getting one that cooled adequately
and held up satisfactorily in service.
Many designers hesitated to try steel
cylinders and aluminum heads, fearing
that joints between two such dissimilar parts would bring on much trouble.
Textbooks rarely mention a major
difference between in-line and radial
engines. The big ends of the several
connecting rods of in-line or vee-type
engines run on their individual and
adequately sized crankshaft journals,
and so the power load is well spread
out. But all the cylinders of a radial en-

gine feed their power strokes into the
single main bearing installed in the big
end of the master connecting rod.
Much work thus had to go into developing these comparatively small
but heavily loaded bearings. The problem was complicated by the small
amount of space available. Another
point seldom noted in textbooks is
that the problem was somewhat alleviated by lubricating oil pumped
through hollow crankshafts. As it
went into the crank journal it helped
to cool the metal in that vital area,
thus also helping the master rod bearing that ran on that journal.
Early aero engines generally used
poured-in-place bearings of Babbitt
metal. This is an alloy of tin, antimony, and copper named after its inventor, Isaac Babbitt, a 19th century
machine manufacturer of Massachusetts. It was made in various alloying
proportions to suit different needs.
Pouring and then reaming Babbitt
bearings was slow work requiring accurate tools and skilled labor.
And it could not stand everincreasing radial engine master rod
bearing pressures. For the master rod
bearing of the 400-hp Wasp developed in the mid-1920s, Pratt & Whitney worked with bearing specialists to
develop a steel-backed, lead-bronze
one. A sophisticated bearing for the
later Twin Wasp was made up of thin
layers of different metals to achieve
strength and durability. The final
layer, which ran against the crank-

shaft journal, was of very thin lead. It
worked well in the field but failed too
often in engines being run on factory
test beds. At first engineers thought
it was caused by erosion of the lead.
Months of work finally led to the realization that it was caused by corrosion
between dissimilar metals. It was realized that test bed conditions made lubricating oil become more acidic than
it did in field service, and this caused
corrosion between dissimilar metals.
Adding a minute amount of indium
to the lead “fortified” it and solved
the problem.
There were also crankshaft failures in the 1920s. Although radials
seemed to pilots to be smooth running, something they could not see
was happening.
Each piston’s power stroke sent an
impulse into the crankshaft. These
were instantly resisted by the inertia
of the heavy counterbalance weights
firmly bolted to the shafts, and the
resulting torsional stresses in time
caused crankshafts to snap. The idea
was hit upon to attach the weights to
the shafts with large but undersized
bolts that would allow the weights to
swing slightly against centrifugal force
with each power impulse enough to
soften these blows.
A cylinder of 3-inch bore by 3-inch
stroke has a volume of 21.21 cubic
inches while one of double the size,
or 6 inches by 6 inches, has a volume
of 169.68 cubic inches, which is eight
times greater. Therefore the burning

Placing valves at an angle allows for larger
diameter valves which aid the admission and
discharge of gases quickly.
Left, early radials had little or no head finning and were plagued by cooling problems. Layout limited size of valve heads. Passageways had sharp bends.
Center, in addition to advantages explained under this drawing, cold air entering inlet valves impinged on and helped cool exhaust valve heads. Right,
slanting the valves also permitted more finning in heads and use of longer stems and guides. Hollow valve stems contained sodium to aid cooling. “Tulip”
shape of valve head was more streamlined. Note “volute” type spring.

22 JULY 2012

Vintage July2012.indd 24

6/28/12 8:40 AM

of a fuel charge in this larger one releases much more heat which has to
be dissipated by the air-cooling fins.
The quest for more power from radial engines thus resulted in much
effort to devise ways of casting ever
more closely spaced and deeper cooling fins in aluminum cylinder heads.
For strength, Pratt & Whitney took
to using forged cylinder heads. These
came out of the forging process in the
form of large shapes devoid of fins.
A specially designed gang saw then
milled many closely spaced and deep
fins into the forgings. The largest radials built in the 1950s had 150 times
more fin area than did air-cooled engines of 1910.
However, a point can be reached
where fins are so close together that
they begin to radiate heat from one
to another, and it becomes difficult
to make air flow through the narrow
and very deep spaces between them.
Not even the most elaborate baffling
can help then. The laws of thermodynamics are inflexible, and it works out
that because of cooling limitations,
few aero engines have cylinder bores
much over 6 inches. It’s true that big
marine and stationary engines have
larger cylinders, but they run at appreciably lower speeds than do aircraft engines.
That is why the quest for more
power led designers to develop tworow and finally four-row radials. If
you can’t make your cylinders bigger,
then use more of them. The four-row,
3,000-hp radials had 28 cylinders.
When one looks at a cutaway specimen of one of these engines in a museum, one has to marvel at how large
teams of engineers, draftsmen, toolmakers, and production workers ever
managed to get so many parts to fit
together in such a small space.
Many early aero engines had intake valves that opened automatically
under the influence of atmospheric
pressure working against quite light
springs. This arrangement allowed
power to drop off substantially with
increasing altitude, so mechanically
operated intake and exhaust valves
became the accepted practice. Up
until the late 1920s most engines’

valve mechanisms were out in the
open. It took time to learn how to
cast rocker arm shaft supports integral
with cylinder heads. Bolt-on rocker
arm supports were easier to cast separately—and often helped pull heat
out of cylinder heads.
Rapid and prolonged pushrod and
rocker arm forces often caused bolt-on
supports to come loose while in flight.
However, the openness of the mechanism facilitated preflight inspection
and frequent tappet adjustment work.
Air flowing rapidly past exposed valve
stems and springs helped usefully to
keep these parts from running too hot.
Most aero engines used and still
use overhead valves, but a few had
what are variously called side-valves,
L-heads and flat-heads. Usually supplied with overhead valves, the
1930-period, Michigan-made Szekely
three-cylinder radials could be fitted with L-head cylinders to reduce
the cost and complexity of overhead
valve setups. Because overhead valve
tappets and pushrods were positioned
behind the cylinders, the L-head
cylinders had to have their valves
located on the back sides of the cylinders where cooling airflow was poorer.
Also dating from the 1930 period,
the seven-cylinder, 150-hp Californiabuilt McClatchie Panther used the
L-head design but had the valves on
the front sides of the cylinders for best
cooling. Mechanical simplicity and reduced frontal area were advantages.
This engine is described in the September 1984 issue of the Vintage Airplane.
Some overhead-valve radials had
pushrods located ahead of the cylinders, and some had them behind.
The smaller, simpler 220-hp Continentals have them behind, for example, while the similar Lycomings have
them on front.
The reasons involve whether crankcase design favored location of valveoperating cams ahead of or behind
the crankshaft. Larger radials having
blowers, gear-driven superchargers,
and many accessory drive pads on the
rear sides of their crankcases thus had
valve cams and pushrods on their forward sides. An advantage of pushrods
to the rear was that the front sides of

cylinder heads and rocker arm housings could then be designed to coax
maximum cooling advantage from
the airflow.
Most radials had large, circular
valve-operating cams which had a
varying number of lobes and revolved
at varying speeds, depending on their
designs. The three-cylinder Szekely
and five-cylinder Kinner engines had
individual cams for each cylinder,
much resembling the camshafts seen
in today’s four-cycle lawnmower engines. How a particular engine was
designed sometimes depended on the
manufacturing facilities available to
its maker.
Early aero engines often had “hairpin” type valve springs. These looked
and worked much like the springs
on common mousetraps. This design
positioned the coils well away from
cylinder head heat and lent itself to
short and therefore compact and light
valve stems. Then neater-looking “volute” springs became popular. They
were made by winding flat strips of
spring steel into cone-shaped spirals.
A straight coil spring made of round
wire will compress just so far before
closing up and therefore must be
made long enough to avoid this from
happening. Because of the “stepped”
positioning of its spirals, a volute
spring can be made short and compact and still not close up.
As wire metallurgy improved, the
type of coil spring now standard came
into general use. Partly for the sake of
keeping an engine going fairly well
should one valve spring break, it’s
common to use two springs, one positioned inside the other. It’s also common to find that they are wound in
opposite directions. This is to relieve
the tendency of coil springs to apply
side-pressure to valve stems. Other
times it is to cope with spring “surging” problems. To handle the weight
of the large valves in big, fast-running
engines, three springs are often used.
Most early radials had the stems of
their inlet and outlet valves parallel to
one another, possibly a hangover from
rotary practice. The resulting smallish combustion chambers thus limited the size of valve heads. Because

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A) Szekely radials came in both overhead-valve and flat-head models.
Latter shown here. B) A few radials such as this 12-hp Salmson of 1923
had downward-pointing master cylinders. C) 4-1/8-inch bore combined
with short 3.75-inch stroke made 60- to 70-hp LeBlond compact; 33inch diameter. D) Long-stroke (4.25-inch bore x 5.25-inch stroke)
100-hp Kinner K-5 was 44 inches in diameter. E) König radial now
manufactured in Germany is a 26-hp two-cycle radial intended for ultralights. Text explains advantages of radial configuration. F) Short, stiff,
two-throw crankshaft of new German Zoche withstands diesel stresses.

of the way cylinders radiate out from
the crankcase, there is plenty of space
between their heads. This encouraged
designers to slant the valve stems. The
resulting dome-shaped combustion
chambers had more wall space and allowed valve heads to be made usefully
larger. The slanting also allowed valve
stems and guides to be made longer
and more durable without increasing
overall engine diameter.
Much work went into the problem
of keeping exhaust valve head temperatures within acceptable limits.
Stems were made hollow and partly
filled with sodium, sometimes called
“salt” by mechanics. Operating heat
made it melt; valve action then made
it slosh back and forth and carry heat
from heads to stems and thus out
through the valve guides. As radial
engine design progressed, rocker arm
lubrication by oil can and grease gun
gave way to piping lubricating oil
from one rocker arm housing to the
next. This provided steady lubrication
and helped carry away heat. As radials
grew in size and power, adequate and
reliable oil cooling radiators became
of increasing importance.
Radial engines have an odd number of cylinders to make it possible to
have a uniform, smooth-running firing
order. A five-cylinder one will fire 1-35-2-4, and a seven-cylinder one 1-35-7-2-4-6. In addition to carrying the
main bearing, the master connecting
rod serves to control the movement of

the smaller, or articulated, ones.
Usual practice was to locate the
master rod in the top or vertical cylinder and then arrange a sump for collecting oil in the space between the
two lower-most cylinders for return
to the recirculating pump. But if it’s
variety you like, you’ll find it in the
world of radial engines.
The 12-hp, three-cylinder French
Salmson radial of 1923 had its vertical cylinder at the bottom, giving it
a “Y” shape. We can only guess why.
This layout might have positioned
the upper cylinders’ heads far enough
outboard so that exhaust fumes and
droplets of grease from the valve
mechanisms would not fly back into
the cockpit area.
The five- and seven-cylinder British
Armstong-Siddeley “Mongoose” and
“Genet Major” engines in the 100- to
150-hp range made in the late 1920s
also had this master-cylinder-at-thebottom layout. A reasonable guess is
that the designers thought some of
these engines might power light, economical military trainers. They, therefore, put the master cylinders at the
bottom so they would not be directly
ahead of machine gun sights.
Presumably the skirts of the bottom-mounted master cylinders of
these engines projected up inside the
crankcases to form sumps for collecting used oil. A shortcoming of having
the master cylinder and the master connecting rod running in it at

the bottom was that these vital parts
could suffer serious damage in even a
mild nosing-over landing mishap.
During periods of idleness, oil could
seep into the combustion chambers of
any radial’s lower cylinders. So it was
standard practice for pilots or mechanics to rotate propellers by hand
a number of times to blow excess oil
out before starting up. If this was not
done, when the first one of the lower
cylinders fired, the resulting extremely
high compression could blow that cylinder right off the engine.
The big end of any radial’s master
rod, attached to the crankshaft journal, rotates in a perfect circle. But the
inner ends of the several articulated
rods attached to it rotate in slightly
different paths because of the geometry involved. For this reason and to
make all of a large radial’s cylinders
fire at the same moment in regard
to piston travel, it was common to
fit magnetos with carefully designed
breaker point cams having slight differences in the positioning of the
several lobes. This was called “compensated timing.”
Some radials were timed so as to
have a few to several degrees of difference between the time of breaker
point openings in the dual magnetos.
This was done to control the flame
front spread from each of the two
sparkplugs. Flame fronts thus met at
some point usefully away from the
hot exhaust valve heads.

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Early magnetos were of the rotating
coil type. The coil was built onto the
drive shaft which connected a magneto to the engine. While the magnet
surrounding the coils remained stationary, the coils themselves revolved
rapidly. This subjected them to both
centrifugal force loads and shock loads
coming through the drive train; it did
not help coil durability. During the
1920s magneto designers switched to
the rotating magnet design, in which
coils remained stationary and thus
stood up better. This step added significantly to the reliability of all types of
aero engines, including radials.
It was common for radial engine
manufacturers to offer engines in different power ranges, all based on standard cylinders. In the 1920s, Salmson
in France offered small lightplane engines with the buyer’s choice of three,
five, seven, or nine cylinders. In the
United States, the Wright J-6 engines,
which replaced the J-5 type, offered the
choice of five, seven, or nine cylinders.
As the number of cylinders increased, there appeared the problem
of ensuring uniform mixture delivery
to all of them. Thus, the Wright J-1 of
the early 1920s had three carburetors.
Each fed into a manifold cast into the
crankcase, which served three of the
nine cylinders.
The later Wright J-5 had a single large carburetor which had three
throats built into it. Some engines such
as the Lycoming had a superchargerstyle impeller mounted in the intake
system and running at crankshaft
speed. While these offered no significant supercharging effect, by imparting a centrifugal action to incoming
mixture they ensured equal distribution to all cylinders. Intake pipes on
the P&W Wasp came out of a circular
manifold cast into the crankcase at an
angle so that intake impulses created
a swirling action within the manifold.
Single-row radials were built with
three, five, seven, and nine cylinders. When you read that a 1929 Curtiss Challenger had six cylinders, that
means it was a two-row engine or basically one three-cylinder engine behind another.
Anzani even made a 20-cylinder ra-

dial consisting of four rows of five cylinders each.
When a three-cylinder radial of 40
or 50 hp was started, initial power impulses sent shudders down along the
fuselage and rattled the tail feathers.
But at cruising speed, the “threes”
were reasonably smooth. In the 1920s
the Bristol firm in England manufactured what were probably the largest
three-cylinder radials ever made—
they produced 125 hp!
On the other hand, Salmson in
France made a 40- to 45-hp radial that
had no fewer than nine cylinders. It
ran so smoothly that pilots took to
calling it the “sewing machine” or
“watch charm” engine. It was only
26 inches in diameter. A fair number
were imported to the United States.
One was tried out on the first Taylor
Cub but was too expensive for that
class of airplane.
Radials proliferated in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s but got off to a
slow start in the United States due to the
large supply of cheap, war-surplus Curtiss OX-5 and Liberty engines. In 1916
one Charles L. Lawrence built a threecylinder, 35-hp radial, and over the next
several years he developed it into various models producing up to 60 hp.
Lessons learned from making aircooled cylinders for them led in 1921
to his designing a nine-cylinder, 140hp radial for the Air Service. During
the war a company named WrightMartin had built French HispanoSuiza engines under license and had
a well-equipped factory at New Brunswick, New Jersey, whereas Lawrence
had no factory. So he and Wright
joined forces, developed the J-1 into
the 200-hp J-4 and the 220-hp J-5.
These very reliable engines made history on the noses of the planes of
Admiral Byrd, Charles A. Lindbergh,
Clarence Chamberlin, Sir Hubert
Wilkins, and others. The success of
these flights made air-cooled radials
the engines in the United States, and
the resulting Wrights, Pratt & Whitneys, Warners, Kinners, Continentals,
Lycomings, Jacobses, LeBlonds, Lamberts, and others are still with us. In
case you wondered, the name “Lycoming” is derived from a Pennsylva-

nia Indian word meaning “a stream
having a sandy or gravelly bottom.”
Over the years a great many makes
of radial engines have been manufactured in every country having an aero
engine industry. Jet engines appeared
during World War II and quite rapidly replaced the huge and very complex radials that had been developed
for large and fast aircraft. Airline passengers loved their smooth running.
Propeller tip speeds had grown into a
major barricade in achieving higher
piston-engine aircraft speeds.
In the field of small commercial and
private aircraft, three things killed the
radial. No matter how refined a radial’s cowling may be, the fact remains
that its substantial frontal area is a drag
producer. The fairly large-diameter
propellers fitted to radials became
more of a problem as the popularity
of tricycle landing gears grew. And in
taildraggers, over-the-nose visibility
was so poor as to shock private pilots
who had learned to fly in planes powered by horizontally opposed engines.
At a fly-in, get into the front seats of
an Aeronca Champion and then of a
Cessna C-38 or 195.
Some people call radials “round engines.” This reminds me of the phrase
“What goes around comes around.”
Radials still have appealing qualities
to some designers. For whatever reasons, before it fell apart the old Soviet Union decided to concentrate its
radial engine production in Poland.
Then Poland became an independent
country and found itself in possession
of a radial engine manufacturing facility producing PZL engines of Russian
Vedeneyev origin. The PZL organization is the only company in the world
still manufacturing traditional radial
aircraft engines and is finding a market for them in the noses of Wilga
STOL aircraft, Sukhoi aerobatic aircraft, and assorted agricultural and
bush flying planes. (At the time of
this writing; since then, the Rotec radial for experimental aircraft has been
in production.—HGF)
The König firm of Berlin, Germany,
produces air-cooled engines for ultralight aircraft. Their 35-pound, 26-hp
continued on the page 37

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Walter Hunter (in helmet and goggles) and his Travel Air 4000, NC 5241, which he purchased
May 6, 1930 from Robertson Airplane Service. The other gentleman is Albert Hunter. The child,
the son of Albert Hunter, is Herschel Hunter, who supplied many of the photos in this article.

The Hunter
Brothers

PART

2

A flying
family from
Sparta, Illinois
BY

ROBERT H. HAYES

PHOTOS COURTESY HERSCHEL HUNTER

T

he record-setting endurance flight proved profitable for the Hunter
family. In addition to providing the gasoline and oil for the endurance flight, the Deep Rock Oil Company paid the Hunters an estimated $10,000. The Hunter brothers received more than $7,000
from the malt extract company that sponsored the radio broadcast made during their endurance flight. Their share of the gate receipts at Sky
Harbor Airport amounted to more than $3,000. They also received numerous
other gifts from various merchants in addition to the new Wright J-6 engine
for City of Chicago.
On Saturday, July 19, 1930, the Hunter family departed St. Louis in their
planes, City of Chicago, Big Ben, and a Travel Air 4000 that Walter purchased on
May 6. They were headed west to Hollywood, California, to make a feature film.
Herbert Budd, a mechanic and stuntman with the Hunter Flying Circus, traveled to Hollywood with the Hunters. While in California, the Hunters stopped
at Davis-Monthan Airfield in Tucson, Arizona, on July 20. After arriving in Hol-

26 JULY 2012

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lywood, the Hunter brothers appeared
on stage at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre each day for several weeks.
Having completed their movie
contract and stage appearances in
Hollywood, the Hunters returned to
Sparta, making several stops and appearances on the way home. While
en route, they learned that Jackson
and O’Brine claimed that they had
established a new endurance record.
The Hunters stopped at Lambert Field
on their way to Sparta and extended
their best wishes to the men.
The Hunters stated publicly that
they would not attempt to make a
world’s record flight in 1930. They did
not wish to take notoriety from Jackson and O’Brine before they had an
opportunity to cash in on their fame.
The Jackson–O’Brine claim resulted
in a loss of between $100,000 and
$200,000 to the Hunters. Contracts
were in the works that would have paid
that amount, had the Jackson–O’Brine
flight been delayed several months.
A newsreel film of the Hunters’ endurance flight was shown in Sparta at
the Grand Theatre on Friday, July 18,
and Saturday, July 19, 1930. This was
the first time the newsreel was shown
outside the larger cities.
The Hunter brothers appeared at
the Randolph County Fair in Sparta on
September 24, 25, and 26, 1930. During these appearances, they demonstrated refueling City of Chicago from
Big Ben and other work performed on
the plane during the endurance flight.
That year, the Randolph County Fair
became an “Air Fair” as many aviators
from airports throughout the Midwest
attended the celebration.
After the endurance flight, both
John and Walter resumed their duties flying mail for Robertson Aircraft Corporation.
John and Kenneth Hunter flew to
Washington, D.C., in Big Ben on February 4, 1931. They were invited to attend a banquet that evening as guests
of the National Aeronautical Society.
At the banquet, they learned that
they were still holders of the world’s
flight endurance record.
The Jackson–O’Brine record claim
of July and August 1930 was never

Refueling the the Stinson
SM-1 Detroiter “City of
Chicago” was a daunting,
windswept task, but nothing
compared to the walk on the
external catwalk to perform
engine maintenance!
officially recognized because the formal report of the flight record was
not made properly. A rumor was that
the Jackson–O’Brine endurance plane
made a secret landing for repairs one
evening on a farm in St. Louis County.
On Sunday evening, May 17,
1931, the Hunter brothers dedicated their own flying field located
on a farm along Route 13, six miles
north of Sparta that was owned by
Albert Hunter. An “Airplane Rodeo”
was staged to celebrate the event. The
rodeo featured a new stunt in which
a man was picked from a horse and
transferred to an airplane. Three of
the planes owned by the Hunters were
displayed: City of Chicago, Big Ben, and
Old Hisso, the first plane the Hunter
brothers purchased and learned to fly.
Walter Hunter, who was now a
night mail pilot for Universal Airways,
purchased a Travel Air racing plane
that had been flown in the Cleveland

Air Races in 1929 by Doug Davis, an
Atlanta, Georgia, Travel Air dealer.
The plane later won a race at Sioux
Falls, South Dakota. Curtiss-Wright
had purchased the plane in January
1930. On August 28, 1930, the wing
and a landing gear were damaged in
an accident in Des Moines, Iowa.
Walter purchased the racing plane,
a Travel Air Mystery Ship, R614K,
from Curtiss-Wright in June 1931.
Walter moved the racing plane to
Curtiss-Steinberg airfield in East St.
Louis, Illinois, where repairs and
modifications were made. Two more
fuel tanks were installed and the engine was replaced with a new CurtissWright radial engine rated at 600 hp.
A new, larger cowling was fabricated
by Travel Air engineers and installed
around the larger engine.
Walter entered and flew the plane
in the Bendix Transcontinental Air
Race starting from Burbank, Califor-

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1936-The Keystone Patrician
tri-motor airplane owned and
flown by Kenneth Hunter.
nia, but lost out to Jimmy Doolittle
when the plane was forced down
south of Terra Haute, Indiana. Walter
continued with the plane to Cleveland, Ohio, where he entered the
Thompson Trophy Race. After making some adjustments to the racing
plane, on September 6 Walter took off
in the plane to fly the racing course
for familiarization.
As the plane lifted off, the engine
sputtered, Walter switched to another
fuel tank; suddenly flames shot back
into the cockpit from the engine.
The plane was less than 400 feet in
altitude. Walter bailed out, his parachute opening just as he reached the
ground, landing about 20 feet from
the crashed wreckage of his plane.
Walter suffered burns on his hands,
neck, and face. The accident ended
Walter’s participation in the 1931
Cleveland Air Races. John and Kenneth Hunter flew to Cleveland to
watch Walter in the race, arriving just
after the accident. An article in the
February 1983 issue of Vintage Airplane
magazine tells details about Walter
Hunter and the Travel Air NR614K.
A restored version of that airplane is
now on display at the Beech Heritage
Museum in Tullahoma, Tennessee.
Alfred Dunlap, a pilot with the
Hunter Flying Circus was fatally injured on Sunday evening, October 18,
1931. The Hunter Flying Circus had
presented a performance at Harnist
Flying Field west of Belleville, Illinois,
that afternoon, and was returning to
Sparta. Alfred was flying a Curtiss-

Wright Junior, with a pusher prop,
which was owned by the Hunters.
Kenneth Hunter was flying a new Ryan
monoplane a short distance away and
parallel to Alfred. Both planes were
about 40 feet above the ground.
According to Kenneth, about two
and one-half miles northwest of Freeburg, Alfred, while looking at Kenneth, flew into the top of a tree and
crashed to the ground. Kenneth
quickly landed nearby, damaging his
plane’s propeller in the landing. Kenneth removed Alfred from the plane
wreckage, and Alfred was then transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth’s
Hospital in Belleville. Alfred died later
that evening from a fractured skull.
Herbert Budd of the Hunter Flying
Circus was injured in a plane crash
near Fulton, Missouri, en route to Alfred Dunlap’s funeral.
In June 1932, John Hunter won a
contract to fly mail from New Orleans
to Pilot Town, Louisiana. John purchased several amphibious planes to
fly the mail. On Sunday, June 29, 1932,
John, Walter, and Kenneth Hunter left
Chester in three of the amphibious
planes en route to New Orleans.
John was flying an Ireland N-1B
Neptune powered by a 220-hp Curtiss
Wright J-5 engine with a pusher propeller. Kenneth was flying an Eastman E-2
Sea Rover powered by a 185-hp Curtiss
Challenger engine with a tractor propeller. They stopped at Rosedale, Mississippi, on the Mississippi River, for
fuel. A storm came up, and they were
forced to stay overnight in Rosedale.

About 6 o’clock on Monday morning, they prepared to resume their trip
to New Orleans. After starting the engine on his plane, John climbed from
the cockpit to untie the tail of the
plane from the dock. He was struck in
the head by the pusher propeller and
fell into the river. John’s body was recovered from the river some time later.
John’s remains were prepared for
burial and arrived back in Sparta on
Tuesday afternoon. His body was
taken to his mother’s home and remained there until after a short service
at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The body
was then moved next door to the First
Presbyterian Church in Sparta where
Rev. James Murdock conducted the
funeral service at 2:30 p.m. John’s funeral was one of the largest funerals
held to date in Sparta. John was 29.
Following the funeral, John was buried in Sparta’s Caledonia Cemetery.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch issue of
August 10, 1932, carried a picture of
Kenneth Hunter and the racing plane
he planned to fly in the National Air
Races in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 1. The plane had been designed
by Gordon Israel and built at Lambert
Field by Israel and Hunter.
Kenneth crashed the racing plane
on the trial flight at Lambert Field.
After the crash, Kenneth decided not
to enter the 1932 National Air Races
in Cleveland; however, three racing
planes that Gordon Israel designed
were introduced at the 1932 National
Air Race, a Howard DGA-4 nicknamed
Mike, a Howard DGA-4 called Ike, and
Redhead, a plane built by Israel.
Jimmy Doolittle won the 1932
Thompson Trophy Race flying a Gee
Bee R-1, averaging 252.6 mph. William Ong, flying the Howard DGA-4,
Ike, placed seventh in the Thompson
Trophy Race.
The June 28, 1935, edition of the
New York Times carried an article reporting that the Key brothers of Meridian, Mississippi, surpassed the
553-hour, 41-1/2 minute world endurance record of the Hunter brothers.
Fred and Algene Key finally landed
their Curtiss Robin airplane, named
Ole Miss, on July 1, 1935, having
been in the air for 653 hours and 34

28 JULY 2012

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6/28/12 9:03 AM

August 1946, was a Douglas
minutes. Their airplane is
DC-3. Kenneth continued flyfrequently displayed at the
ing as chief corporate pilot for
Smithsonian National Air
Kerr-McGee for nearly 20 years.
and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The display inAt 6 a.m. on January 15,
cludes a plaque that states
1974, the North American
the Key brothers broke the
Sabreliner, NA-265, Kenneth
world endurance record preand his co-pilot, Jack Earnest
viously held by the Hunter
Gardner, were flying from
brothers of Sparta, Illinois.
Corpus Christi, Texas, to the
The September 18, 1936,
Will Rogers Airport at Oklaedition of the Sparta News
homa City, crashed while
The Hunter family standing beside the endurance
Plaindealer reported that
making the final approach to
plane, “City of Chicago”. From left are Albert, John,
thousands of people from
the airport. Both pilots were
Irene, Kenneth and Walter. This picture was taken
around the area were visiting
killed and the plane was deafter the endurance flight was completed.
a temporary flying field on a
stroyed. The NTSB report
tract of land on the Miller Burns farm January 1941, Kenneth Hunter gave on the accident cited fog and lack
north of Sparta. The attraction was flight training to Army Air Corps ca- of crew rest as the most likely cause
a Keystone Patrician tri-motor air- dets in Stearman PT-17s and Fairchild of the accident. Kenneth was 65 and
plane owned and flown by Kenneth PT-19s at Curtiss-Steinberg airfield had 21,500 hours of flying time, with
Hunter. Kenneth was carrying passen- in East St. Louis, Illinois. In February 2,000 hours in the Sabreliner.
gers in the big plane for a dollar each. 1941, Kenneth started flying LockAn article in the May 12, 1974,
The plane could haul 24 passengers. heed Hudson bombers from Cali- edition of the St. Louis Post Dispatch
Kenneth reported that he had carried fornia to Canada for transfer to the started by quoting one hangar-boasting
5,000 passengers in this plane up to Royal Air Force in England.
pilot to say that the most famous aviSeptember 18. Between May 25 and
In early July 1941, Kenneth started ator he knew was Walter Hunter. WalNovember 11, 1936, Kenneth logged working for Lockheed at Burbank ter was the only aviator he knew who
nearly 60 hours in the Patrician, haul- as a test pilot. He continued in this had performed on stage at Grauman’s
ing passengers in numerous cities role throughout World War II. As a Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
through Illinois and Missouri. When test pilot, Kenneth flew Lockheed
In July 1980, a lavish weekend celnot flying passengers, Kenneth con- P-38 fighters, Hudson bombers, PV-1 ebration was held at the Sparta airport,
tinued to give flight instruction.
Ventura patrol planes, Lodestar trans- Hunter Field, to honor the 50-year
In late 1936, Kenneth explored ports, and B-17 bombers as they came anniversary of the Hunter brothers’
that possibility that he and Albert off the assembly line.
world record endurance flight. Walter
Hunter might attempt another enIf deficiencies were identified, Hunter was the only Hunter brother
durance flight record. By April 1937, a modifications were made on the who was able to attend the celebradecision was made not to attempt an- planes and they were reflown for tion. Walter retired from American Airother flight endurance record.
evaluation. On October 18, 1945, the lines in March 1966 as the company’s
Albert turned his attention to op- right engine on a Grumman F7F Ti- most senior jet captain. Walter lived in
erating his farm and moving houses gercat twin-engine fighter Kenneth Town and Country, Missouri, until his
and heavy equipment, flying only for was flying caught fire. Kenneth man- death at St. John Mercy Hospital in St.
pleasure. On Tuesday, March 3, 1942, aged to land the plane and allow his Louis on Tuesday, October 18, 1983.
Albert was removing metal roofing passenger to exit the plane, but Ken- He was buried in the Cutler Cemetery.
from an old steel castings plant near neth was burned exiting the cockpit.
Walter’s career followed the same
Murphysboro, Illinois. His son HerAfter recovering from his injuries, path as many of the early mail pilots.
schel was working beside him on the Kenneth left Lockheed and secured As larger planes became available,
roof of the plant. Albert sat down on a job as chief corporate pilot for passengers were added to the mail
a sheet of the metal roofing; it folded, Kerr-McGee Oil Company in Okla- flights. Eventually, passengers became
causing him to fall through the roof to homa City, Oklahoma. The Kerr- to focus of the flights and mail bethe ground below, a distance of about McGee Corporation now owned the came secondary.
30 feet. When Herschel and others Deep Rock Oil Company that had
When Bud Gurney was district
reached Albert, he was alive. Albert provided the gasoline and oil for the flight manager for Robertson Airwas loaded onto the bed of a truck endurance flight. Robert S. Kerr was craft Corporation, Universal Air Lines
and taken to a hospital. Albert died, governor of Oklahoma and later a absorbed Robertson. Gurney then
by the time they reached the hospital, U.S. senator for Oklahoma.
worked for Transcontinental Air Transfrom a broken neck. He was 45.
The first corporate plane that Ken- port until he signed on as a captain
From November 1940 through neth flew for Kerr-McGee, starting in with United Airlines in 1932.

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 29

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Vintage
Mechanic

THE

BY ROBERT G. LOCK

Cantilever and Semicantilever Wings
ILLUSTRATIONS 1

Just as ther e are monocoque and semimonocoque
fuselages, there are cantilever and semicantilever
wings and tail assemblies. Cantilever wings ar e braced
internally, and there is no exter nal bracing such as str uts
or wires. Semicantilever str ucture needs exter nal bracing;
therefore, str eamline str uts or wir es are provided.
Illustration 1 shows both cantilever and semicantilever

winged airplanes. Cantilever wings date back to their
beginning with Hugo Junkers in 1915. Illustration 1 shows
the first aircraft I ever r estor ed, a 1942 Fair child PT-19
with cantilever wings built entir ely of wood. The R yan NYP
Spirit of St. Louis has semicantilever wings and is shown
receiving attention to the right main wheel, no doubt
during the post NYP fl ight across the United States.

Semicantilever wings can be pr oduced from
wood or aluminum and can have fabric
covering or str essed aluminum skin. Fabriccover ed wings will have either wood or
aluminum internal str ucture; all ar e similar
in design. Illustration 2 shows typical
semicantilever wing assembly , a left lower
wing from my Command-Air e.

ILLUSTRATION 2
30 JULY 2012

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Semicantilever wings date back to the earliest times of the airplane. In those days, brace cables wer
e used in lar ge
numbers to make a fl imsy str ucture rigid. Check out this photo of Gustav Tweer’s Grade-Eindecker monoplane in
1913. Look at all the brace wir es used to
keep the wings and landing gear in place! No
wonder these machines bar ely fl ew. Think of
the drag! One can associate semicantilever
wings with exter nal bracing that must be
used to suppor t the wings. If the wing
structure is cover ed with fabric, then brace
wires will be installed inside the wings to
brace the wing itself. Illustration 3 shows
Tweer’s strange-looking monoplane. Tweer
was an early stunt fl ier from Ger many, and
he must have landed the machine inver ted!
ILLUSTRATION 3
Or at least he tried to land inver ted.
Illustration 4 (Right) shows
the method of tramming a
semicantilever wing assembly using
a trammel. The drag/antidrag wir es
are adjusted to make opposing
points on the spars the same
length, thus ensuring that each bay
is squar e. If the str ucture is fabric
covered, brace wir es inside the wing
will hold spars rigid, but the wing will
be quite fl exible in twist. T ramming
is begun at the inboar d end of wing
progressing outboar d to the tip. The
wires ar e adjusted in length to bring
the cross-measur ement of points
equal. Then the wir es ar e tightened
to a pr ecise tension. Thus, when
the str ucture is cover ed with fabric,
wash-in or washout in the wingtip
can be easily adjusted. W ash-in is
to increase angle of incidence at the
tip, and washout is to take out angle
of incidence at the tip. T o make
the wing rigid, str eamlined steel
or aluminum str uts or str eamlined
wires ar e used.

When gluing the leading
edge in place, it is
mandatory to level both
wing spars to make sure
there is no twist in the
wing. If this isn’t done,
there could be a permanent
twist in the wing that, when
rigging takes place, could
stress or crack glue joints.

ILLUSTRATION 4

1903: Samuel Pierpont Langley’s “Aerodrome”
attempts to take off from a floating platform.

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VINTAGE AIRPLANE 31

Vintage July2012.indd 33

6/28/12 8:42 AM

Some aircraft use semicantilever wings that ar e made
of aluminum and have str essed aluminum skin riveted
to the ribs and spars. Once the skin is riveted in place,
the wing is rigid and wing twist cannot occur . Therefore,
the wing washout at the tip must be rigged befor e the
skin is riveted in place. Cessna uses such a wing in
its 190/195 series, 140/150/152/170/172/175/1
80/185/205/206/207 and 210 series air craft. The
Command-Aire lower wing shown in Illustration 2 uses a
plywood-skinned leading edge and is r eferred to as a “D”
section. This adds good rigidity to the wing but allows a
small amount of twisting to rig in washout/wash-in to the
wing during the rigging pr ocess. When gluing the leading
edge in place, it is mandator y to level both wing spars to make sur e there is no twist in the wing. If this isn’t done,
there could be a per manent twist in the wing that, when rigging takes place, could str ess or crack glue joints.
Cantilever wings (no exter nal bracing) ar e even mor e critical to constr uct/repair because the str essed skin not
only sets washout at the tip but also the tram, too. It is necessar
y to use a wing fi xture to set tram and washout
before the skin is applied. The fi xture will set spar tram and wing twist by holding the spars in place while the
stressed skin is riveted in place. A similar method is used when skinning a plywood-cover
ed wood wing; the tram
is adjusted and washout placed in the spars, then the bottom plywood skin is glued and pr
essur e is applied by
use of nailing strips. Illustration 5 details the use of nailing strips to apply pr
essur e to a bond joint of str essed
plywood leading edge on my Command-Air e wing. Nailing strips ar e cut from soft pine to a dimension of 1/8 inch
x 1/2 inch, and common steel nails 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch ar e driven through the strips into the str ucture. After
the adhesive has cur ed, the nailing strips ar e removed, the wood sanded and nail holes fi lled. Therefore, there
are no nails holding pr essur e on the joints—the nailing strips do the work. Note that the lower skin goes on fi
rst,
so drain holes can be accurately drilled and sealing var nish can be applied to leave no por tion of the wood skin
unprotected. The upper por tion of skin is masked and var nish applied between the ribs, spar , and leading edge. If
any small par t of the wood is unpr otected, it is better that it be on the upper sur face rather than the lower sur face.

ILLUSTRATION 5

Illustration 6 (Left) shows a Lockheed V ega cantilever wing with plywood
skin glued to the lower side. The use of nailing strips is impor tant because
if nails wer e to be per manently driven thr ough the skin and into str ucture,
they will begin to loosen when subjected to vibration, will be seen under
fabric covering, and could eventually br eak through the fabric, allowing
moistur e to enter . Not a good thing for a wood str ucture!
In this air craft the wing spars ar e one-piece spr uce, pr obably laminated
because of their size. Built-up ribs with stringers ar e readily appar ent, as is
the laminated wingtip bows. Attached to the wingtip bows ar e mounts for
navigation lights that appear as handholds. Fuel tanks can be seen fi tted to
the inboar d ends of each wing. The plywood skin is secur ed in place during
adhesive cur e with nailing strips that ar e removed when glue has set. One
can only conclude that this is a ver y beautiful wing design.

ILLUSTRATION 6
Illustration 7 (right) shows one of the
earliest examples of a monocoque fuselage
and a cantilever wing and tail on a ver y
fast airplane, a Lockheed V ega owned by
wealthy Los Angeles entr epreneur Earle C.
Anthony. He owned a Packar d dealership
and clear channel radio station KFI, which
I listened to when gr owing up in the Los
Angeles ar ea in the 1950s.

ILLUSTRATION 7

32 JULY 2012

Vintage July2012.indd 34

6/28/12 8:43 AM

VAA Chapters
Visit the VAA chapter nearest you and get to know some great old-airplane enthusiasts! You don’t need to
be a pilot to join in the fun, just have a love of the great airplanes of yesteryear.

CALIFORNIA

INDIANA

OHIO

Hayward, CA, VAA 29
Meeting: 2nd Thurs., 6:00 p.m.
Hayward Airport (HWD)
Ex2, Hangar 13
Gary Oberti, President
Phone: 510-357-8600
E-mail: info@vaa29.org
Website: www.vaa29.org

Auburn, IN, VAA 37
Meeting: 4th Thurs., 7:00 p.m.
Auburn County Airport (kGWB)
Gate 7—Hangar A
Frederick Martin, President
Phone: 260-244-7802
E-mail: fmartin@whitleynet.org
Website: www.VAA37.org

Zanesville, OH, VAA 22
Meeting: 2nd Fri.; 6:30 p.m.
Perry County Airport
John Morozowshy, President
Phone: 740-453-6889
E-mail: charity4jesus@juno.com

CALIFORNIA

KANSAS

Sacramento, CA, VAA 25
Meeting: 2nd Sat., 9:00 a.m.
See chapter website for location.
Robert Opdalh, President
Phone: 530-273-7348
E-mail: bopdahl@sbcglobal.net
Website: www.Vin25.org

Overland Park, KS, VAA 16
Meeting: 2nd Fri., 7:30 p.m.
New Century Airport (K34)
CAF Hangar,
Kevin Pratt, President
Phone: 913-541-1149
E-mail: kpratt@vaa16.com
Website: www.VAA16.com

CAROLINAS, VIRGINIA
Walnut Cove, NC, VAA 3
Meeting: Contact President
Susan Dusenbury, President
Phone: 336-591-3931
E-mail: sr6sue@aol.com
www.VAA3.org
Spring Vintage Fly-In
Roxboro, NC
Fall Vintage Fly-In
Camden, SC

FLORIDA
Lakeland, FL, VAA 1
Meeting: Contact President
Kim Capozzi, President
Phone: 352-475-9736
E-mail: mx180a@aol.com
Website: www.FSAACA.com

ILLINOIS
Lansing, IL, VAA 26
Meeting: Contact President
Peter Bayer, President
Phone: 630-922-3387
E-mail: c180bayer@yahoo.com

LOUISIANA
New Iberia, LA, VAA 30
Meeting: 1st Sun., 9:00 a.m.
LeMaire Memorial
Airport Hangar 4
Roland Denison, President
Phone: 337-365-3047
E-mail: vaa30@cox.net

MINNESOTA
Albert Lea, MN, VAA 13
Meeting: 2nd Thurs., 7:00 p.m.
Albert Lea Airport FBO
Charles Sandager, President
Phone: 507-377-9405
E-mail: sandager@usfamily.net

OHIO
Delaware, OH, VAA 27
Meeting: 3rd Sat. 8-10AM, May
thru Sept.
Delaware Municiple Airport (DLZ)
Terminal Building
Woody McIntire, President
Phone: 740-362-7228
E-mail: wjmcintire@cs.com
Website: www.EAAdlz.org

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa, OK, VAA 10
Meeting: 4th Thurs., 7:00 PM
Hardesty South Regional Library
No meetings in July, Nov. & Dec.
Joe Champagne, President
Phone: 918-257-4688
Email: geeimjoe@yahoo.com

TEXAS
Spring, TX, VAA 2
Meeting: 4th Sun., 2:00 PM
David Wayne Hooks Airport
(KDWH)
Fred Ramin, President
Phone: 281-255-4430
Email: fredramin@sbcglobal.net

WISCONSIN
Brookfield, WI, VAA 11
Meeting: 1st Mon., 7:30 PM
Capitol Drive Airport Office
Don Hyra, President
Phone: 262-251-1778
Email: phs1@wi.rr.com
Want to Start a VAA Chapter?
It’s easy to start a VAA chapter. All you
need to get started is five Vintage enthusiasts. Then contact the EAA Chapter
Office at 920-426-6867 or chapters@
eaa.org to obtain an EAA Chapter Starter
Kit. EAA has tools to help you get in
touch with all your local Vintage members, and they’ll walk you through the
process of starting a new chapter.
TO VIEW OTHER EAA CALENDAR EVENTS
OR TO ADD YOUR EVENT TO THE EAA WEB
CALENDAR GO TO http://www.eaa.org/
calendar/

VINTAGE AIRPLANE 33

Vintage July2012.indd 35

6/28/12 8:43 AM

Vintage
Instructor
THE

BY Steve Krog, CFI

Wind, takeoff, and traffic patterns
Part 2
As stated previously, in Part 1, the example flight
we are discussing begins with a takeoff on Runway 29
with a northwest crosswind of 12-15 knots. The information that follows begins with the left turn to the
downwind leg of the traffic pattern.
Due to the crosswind, when making the climbing left turn onto the
crosswind leg, we turned approximately 80 degrees, allowing for a wind
correction or crab angle of about 10
degrees. The crab angle offsets the
right-quartering wind, preventing the
airplane from being moved southeastward toward the runway. There is also
a tailwind component to consider, increasing the groundspeed, which will
also push us southward away from the
runway. Failure to take the tailwind
into consideration at this time will
more than likely push you beyond
the point where you normally begin a
turn to downwind, or when reaching
the 45-degree angle from the centerline off the end of
the departing runway.
After completing the turn to the crosswind leg, look
back over your left shoulder to see where you are in
relation to the end of the runway from which you
departed. When you reach an approximate 45-degree
angle from the runway centerline, begin your left turn
onto the downwind leg of the traffic pattern. Again,
be aware of the wind and its effect on your downwind
ground track. In this example you will experience a
combination of tailwind and crosswind from left to
right, which will push you away from the runway.
When beginning the climbing left turn onto the
downwind leg, consider the effects the wind will now
have. Then think about the corrective action required
to maintain a constant parallel flight path to the landing runway. In this situation we will have to turn about
110 degrees. We began the turn with a 10-degree crab
angle to the right, and as we roll out we will now need
an approximate 10-degree left crab angle, again offset-

ting the now left-quartering wind. Left unchecked, the
wind would drift us away from the runway, as well as
increase our groundspeed due to the tailwind component of the wind.
Once established in a level flight
attitude on the downwind leg, take
a good look at where the runway intersects the struts of a high-wing
airplane, or the wing of a low-wing
airplane. Note this in your mind and
hereafter position your airplane similarly every time you’re on the downwind leg of any airport/runway on
which you intend to land. Doing so
will properly position you for making
a good approach and landing.
Approaching the midpoint of the
downwind leg, make your radio call
stating your position and intentions,
check your carb heat, complete your
prelanding checklist, and think ahead
of the airplane.
When abeam of the end of the runway on which you
intend to land, make your initial power reduction, maintain proper descent nose attitude, and trim the nose up
to hold this attitude with little or no input on the control
stick or yoke. I like to do this, even on airplanes such as
the J3 Cub, even though one can easily hold enough back
pressure to maintain the proper descent attitude. I do this
for two reasons when working with a student: first, the
student may eventually be flying a bigger, heavier airplane, requiring the need for “Up” trim on landing, and
second, should the pilot become distracted, the airplane
will maintain the proper descent attitude.
How many times have you entered the traffic pattern at a pancake breakfast and found yourself as one
of a dozen airplanes in the air? Your head is on a swivel
watching for traffic. Every time you move your head,
you make a pitch change without realizing it. Why not
properly adjust the trim and significantly reduce the
potential for rapid speed or descent changes or worse—
a power-off or reduced-power stall?

How many times have you
entered the traffic pattern
at a pancake breakfast and
found yourself as one of a
dozen airplanes in the air?
Your head is on a swivel
watching for traffic. Every
time you move your head,
you make a pitch change
without realizing it.

34 JULY 2012

Vintage July2012.indd 36

6/28/12 8:43 AM

Headwind or Tailwind on Base Leg
When reaching the approximate 45-degree angle off
the approach end of the intended landing runway, initiate your descending left turn onto the base leg. When
rolling out of the turn, remember that the wind is now
a front quartering wind from the left. The turn onto
the base leg will require an approximate 10-degree crab
angle to the left and your groundspeed will be slightly
slower than your indicated airspeed. Adjust power as
required to maintain the desired rate of descent and
airspeed, scan the area to your right for aircraft that
may be making a long straight-in final approach, then
plan and make your descending left turn onto the final
approach leg. Keep in mind that you will be transitioning from a left-frontal crosswind to a right-frontal
crosswind before initiating the turn onto final.

Crosswind on Final Approach
Keep in mind as you make the turn onto final that
the crosswind is now going to push you to the left of
the runway centerline if a wind correction is not made.
By thinking ahead of the airplane, we can anticipate
this by making the turn just a few degrees more shallow than normal and then roll out of the turn with an
approximate 10-degree crab angle to the right. After
returning to a wings-level attitude, we’ll easily be able
to see if we need more or less crab angle to keep the
airplane aligned with the runway centerline.
Crosswind approaches to land are taught using two
different methods today: crab-angle or wing-down
into the wind with opposite rudder application to keep
the airplane on the centerline. Either method is satisfactory. However, I personally prefer using the crabangle method while on the final approach. It requires
a bit less effort when making small corrections and the
approach angle of descent is more stable.
I find that when using the wing-down and opposite-rudder method, the student has more difficulty
recognizing altitude changes because he or she is continuously transitioning in and out of a slip while trying
to hold the wing down and applying opposite rudder.
This method will then require power changes to compensate for this, causing an uneven descent as well as
fluctuating airspeed.
When making a crosswind final approach, I’ll establish a crab angle to hold the track of the airplane on
the runway centerline. I’ll also pick an aim point on
the runway at least 100 or more feet beyond the runway end. Just because a runway has numbers painted
on it doesn’t mean you have to put the main wheels
on it every time. Wind conditions, especially when the
wind is a fluctuation crosswind, require more pilot effort to keep the airplane stable.
Continue the crab-angle approach until after crossing the numbers and at about 20-30 feet above the
runway. Then apply the wing down into the wind and
opposite rudder inputs, aligning the airplane with the

centerline. If you are still carrying a bit of power, bleed
it off at this time and execute the crosswind landing.
Don’t forget to keep flying the airplane however, after
touching down.
The vast majority of landing accidents, especially in
tailwheel airplanes, occur after touching down. I guess
pilots are so happy to be firmly on the ground after the
crosswind approach and touchdown that they relax to
pat themselves on the back. At that point the tailwheel
airplane has a mind of its own and will weathervane
into the wind and begin a short crosswind journey of
its own, usually causing great embarrassment to the
pilot and sometimes damage to the aircraft. A tailwheel airplane is like a well-trained but spirited horse.
It will do whatever you tell it to do, but when given
the chance, it will surprise you with some crazy antics
if you allow it to do so.
I frequently tell students that a good landing begins with flying a good traffic pattern, establishing as
many constants as possible throughout the pattern.
The more those things remain constants, the fewer
things you’ll have to fix when turning and flying the
final approach.
Flying in light to moderate crosswind conditions
should not cause a growing knot in your stomach.
Rather they should be a positive challenge and something that you are comfortable in doing. Practice perfects flying your airplane in crosswind conditions.

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VINTAGE AIRPLANE 35

Vintage July2012.indd 37

6/28/12 9:10 AM

by H.G. FRAUTSCHY

MYSTERY PLANE
This month’s Mystery Plane comes to us from the
Cedric Galloway collection of the EAA Library.

Send your answer to EAA, Vintage Airplane, P.O.
Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your answer
needs to be in no later than August 10 for inclusion
in the October 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.

APRIL’S MYSTERY ANSWER
The Travel Air 8000, one of only
three produced with the four-cylinder radial Fair child-Caminez
engine of 135 hp.

April’s Mystery Plane came to us
from the Kinzinger collection of
the EAA Library. Shot at the Willow Run airport in Michigan, it’s
a pretty well-known airplane, but
only three of this particular version
were built. Here’s our fi rst answer,
from one of our members who has
been with us since the fi rst year of
the Antique/Classic division, Lynn
Towns of Holt, Michigan:
The April Mystery Plane is a Travel
Air Model 8000. Only three examples of this model Travel Air were ever
built. The aircraft pictured was flown

36 JULY 2012

Vintage July2012.indd 38

6/28/12 8:44 AM

in the 1928 Ford Air Tour by J. Nelson Kelly. It finished in
13th out of 25 entries.
The Travel Air 8000 was powered with a unique fourcylinder radial Fairchild-Caminez engine of 135 hp. It
was the only airplane to ever receive a type certificate
using the Fairchild-Caminez engine. This engine design
is called a cam engine, and ironically the designer was
named Harold Caminez.
The Fairchild-Caminez engine had a large two-lobed
cam, shaped similar to the number “8” mounted on the
crankshaft. The pistons had roller followers that followed
the cam shape. Each piston was connected to the pistons
on either side with link rods to hold them against the
cam. Since the cam had two lobes, the crankshaft only
needed to make one revolution for every two piston cycles,
so each cylinder had a power stroke for every revolution
of the crankshaft. Thus, the engine ran at half the rpm of
typical radial engines.
The Fairchild-Caminez engine was designed to reach
maximum horsepower at 1,000 rpm and operate normally
at a low rpm, so it was fitted with an unusually long 10foot wooden prop. The prop required the engine to be
mounted high on the airframe to attain the necessary
ground clearance for the airplane in takeoff position.
The Fairchild-Caminez engine had high torque variations due to massive moving parts and the fairly long
interval between power strokes (low rpm). These vibrations caused the long wooden props to flex so much that
they would crack and rip to pieces. The pictured Travel
Air along with a Fairchild-Caminez-powered Waco that
also participated in the 1928 Ford Air Tour went through
a total of 13 propellers between them before completing
the tour. The Fairchild-Caminez engine design was soon
abandoned, and Fairchild offered refunds to all customers.
And from our newly minted pilot of EAA’s Ford TriMotor, USAir Captain Larry Harmacinski adds this:
April’s Mystery Plane is an excellent selection from
the archives mating a classic airframe to a rare and unusual engine. The photo is a magnet for gear—er, I mean,
cam—heads everywhere. While the Number 3 was of help
in identifying this particular ship, there is no hiding the
Caminez-powered Travel Air 8000. This example carried
its race number during the 1928 National Air Tour and
was flown by J. Nelson Kelly, known as Nels Kelly. There
were actually two Caminez-powered ships in the ’28 NAT,
the other being a Waco 10 flown by M. Dan Beard who
had the foresight to freight no less than 11 spare propellers strategically located along the tour route. The Caminez
cruised at less than 1,000 rpm but nevertheless managed
to vibrate so badly that props were cracking every few days,
if not by the hour. The high thrust line can be noted, and
it was indeed a result of the slow-turning Caminez thumping a reported 10-foot prop. A Caminez Kreider-Reisner
also arrived at Ford Airport to begin the reliability tour, but
with flying wires already loosened and a cracked propeller,
it remained behind at Dearborn. The Travel Air and Waco
continued on the next page

Light Plane Heritage
continued fr om page 25

model is a three-cylinder, two-cycle redial. The radial
configuration keeps weight down and affords equal flow
of cooling air to each of the cylinders. The diameter of
only 16 inches creates no drag or visibility problems on
ultralight fuselages built high and wide enough to house
a pilot. The cylinders are slightly staggered. The crankshaft has three throws, and rotating discs built into it
divide the crankcase into separate compartments to provide the crankcase compression necessary for two-cycle
operation. Power impulses coming 120 degrees apart
provide smooth running.
A radial called the Sadler has been exhibited at air
shows. Now undergoing testing and scheduled for 1995
manufacture are the Zoche 150 and 300-hp redials built
in Munich, Germany. They are diesels, which can be a
good thing in regions where aviation fuel may be scarce
but diesel fuel is readily available. Their short and stiff
two-throw crankshafts withstand diesel stresses. The radial configuration provides good air cooling. Being twocycle engines with no overhead valve gear, they offer
good over-the-nose visibility.
Now that you’ve learned something about radial engines, you can understand, appreciate, and enjoy them all
the better when you encounter them at fly-ins.

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VINTAGE AIRPLANE 37

Vintage July2012.indd 39

6/28/12 9:11 AM

finished the race with a decent showing, but it required all
11 props to do so! For those interested to see a Caminez,
there are reportedly just two survivors, one being on display at the Al and Lois Kelch Aviation Museum at Brodhead, Wisconsin, which lives in its wood and glass display
case, and according to family descendants, it’s actually the
one that was in Sherman Fairchild’s office, where he kept
it for his own amusement.
We’re not sure if it needed 11 or 13 props, but in
either case, it clearly was an engine that didn’t live up
to expectations!
Wes Smith offers up this write-up on the engine:
The unique four-cylinder Fairchild-Caminez 447 radial
(135 hp at 1,000 rpm; 120 hp at 960 rpm) was probably
used on only seven or eight aircraft: The Boeing Model
81A (X 63E), two Waco GXEs (redesignated Waco Model
10: X 3132 and 4962), possibly two or three Travel Air
Model 8000s (I found two registrations: 3562 and 5091),
and the unbuilt Consolidated XPT-4 (it makes nine, if you
count this aircraft and three 8000s). It was first tested on
a modified Avro 504 on 12 April 1926, flown by Dick Depew at Farmingdale, New York, Long Island. The Franklin Institute at Philadelphia has this particular engine.
National Air and Space Museum has a later 447-D, with
enclosed valve gear, that was acquired by the late Paul E.
Garber, the first head of the National Air Museum. According to Juptner, only one Model 8000 was built. Aerofiles states there were as many as three. Paul R. Matt’s
Historical Aviation Album XVII (Clapp, George H. Fairchild All Purpose Monoplanes, page 22) quotes Sherman Fairchild as saying that the only engine the Caminez
couldn’t “shake the hell out of” was the Kreider-Reisner,
which is why he selected the K-R for production under the
Fairchild name. Juptner states on page 62 of U.S. Civil
Aircraft Vol. 1 that a single, specially reinforced KreiderReisner C-2 Challenger (ATC No. 19, aka KR-31) was
fitted with a Caminez. This solitary C-2 had ailerons on
both wings, like the OX-5 variant.
Given the severe vibration, hard starting, high oil
consumption, and cooling problems of the Caminez, it
wasn’t long for this world and was soon recalled. Curiously, in the August 1926 issue of Popular Science
(“Amazing New Motor Runs Without Crankshaft or
Gears”), the author comments on how smoothly the engine ran. It was a valiant attempt to do away with a
crankshaft, but it just had too many inherent problems.
Another was the noise. There is a June 1927 article in the
New York Times which states that during a 52-hour test
of the Caminez at Farmingdale, it was so noisy that the
neighbors thought Admiral Byrd was making his transatlantic attempt. To be fair, the Caminez only failed its
(separate) USN test run due to the inaccurate machining
of some internal components.
The idea for the Caminez engine dates back to 1925
when Harold Caminez was serving with the engine design section of the engineering division at McCook Field.
The cycle of the air-cooled Caminez was unique (Caminez

received U.S. Patent No. 1,714,847 “Internal Combustion Engine” on 28 May 1929). Two opposite pistons were
linked by connecting rods connected to the other two adjacent pistons, all pistons being linked in series. Thus, when
the opposite piston moved “out,” the other two adjacent pistons moved “in.” This arrangement drove a “figure eight”
(twin lobe) cam, with rollers on each lobe. This halved the
necessary rpm to obtain a given horsepower; in effect, a
propeller reduction system was inherent in the design, as
each piston had two strokes per revolution. Hence, the propeller rpm was much lower and necessitated a propeller of
much greater diameter, as is shown in the available photos
of Caminez installations. Flight (Fairchild-Caminez Activities. September 22, 1928, page 1002) states that the
Fairchild-Caminez Engine Corporation had already built
a small four-cylinder 80-hp engine and a larger eightcylinder engine, both of which are stated to have flown.
These, of course, were different designs related to the 447.
At that time, the Fairchild Manufacturing Corp. is said to
have just purchased the minority stock from Harold Caminez (chief engineer) and Leon Caminez. David Caminez
(treasurer), along with Harold, resigned from the company
when it was purchased by Fairchild.
Production Caminez 447s sold for $2,480 and consumed 7.5 gph (0.55 pound/hp/hour; oil consumption
was 0.035 pound/hp/hour) at cruise power (900 rpm was
cruise, max rpm was 1,050, and at this rpm, produced
140 hp). The bore of the 447-C was 5.625 inches, and the
stroke was 4.5 inches. The dry weight was 350 pounds,
without starter. The overall height was 36 inches, and
the length was 35 inches. The Model 447-C utilized twin
Scintilla magnetos, a single Stromberg carburetor, and an
Eclipse starter. The single intake and exhaust valves in
each head were operated by conventional pushrods, driven
by an internal cam system. Crated for shipment, the Model
447-C weighed 775 pounds. (Aviation. Manufacturers’
Specifi cations on Engines Available for Commercial
Use Compiled by Aviation. March 26, 1928, page 790).
Other correct answers were received from Mike
Schulz, Norfolk, Nebraska; Joe Pribilo, Santee, California; Wayne Muxlow, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and
Tom Lymburn, Princeton, Minnesota.

We enjoy your suggestions for Mystery Plane—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 version 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.

38 JULY 2012

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6/28/12 8:45 AM

STRAIGHT & LEVEL
continued from page 2
that thanks to work done in part by
volunteers, EAA had a complete set
of control surfaces prepped and covered and ready to head out to Denver
from Oshkosh that same day.
In just a few short days with our
volunteer mechanics, along with a
couple of staff mechanics from the
Weeks Hangar, Aluminum Overcast
was flight-ready and back in the air.
But the true point to this observation
is that this is yet again another great
example of what EAA members are
made of, and what we represent as
an organization. The FAA ACO office
in Des Plaines, Illinois, also gets a tip
of the flight cap for its quick turnaround of the required paperwork.
We are an organization that is
made up of individuals who will
consistently come out of the woodwork and make things happen.
No one ever said, “This cannot be
done.” Everyone said, “We can do
this,” and it was done in just a few

short days. Many thanks to the Denver group of B-17 volunteers, the
quick and always supportive leadership of EAA, the Wings Over the
Rockies organization, and Signature
Flight Support at Centennial Field
for its critically important support
during this event. You are all amazing individuals, and you make me
proud to be a member of EAA.

VAA is about participation:
Be a member! Be a volunteer!
Be there!
Do yourself a favor and ask a
friend to join up with us.
Let’s all pull in the same direction for the overall good of
aviation.
Remember, we are better together. Join us and have it all.
Come share the passion!
S e e y o u a t E A A A i r Ve n t u re
Oshkosh—July 23 through July
29, 2012.

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
w o rd s , 1 8 0 w o rd s max i m u m , w i t h
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.
Advertising Closing Dates: 10th of second
month prior to desired issue date (i.e.,
January 10 is the closing date for the March
issue). VAA reserves the right to reject any
advertising 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 (920-426-4828) 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.

MISCELLANEOUS

www.aerolist.org, Aviations’ Leading
Marketplace.

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.

ENGINES

Radial Engine, Rotec R2800, 110 HP. New
in crate, never run. Asking $19,000
surfer4440@bellsouth.net, 386-326-1336

What
W
hat OOur
ur M
Members
embers Are Restoring

Are you nearing completion of a restoration? Or is it done and you’re busy flying and
showing it off? If so, we’d like to hear from you. Send us a 4-by-6-inch print from a commercial
source (no home printers, please—those prints just don’t scan well) or a 4-by-6-inch, 300dpi digital photo. A JPG from your 2.5-megapixel (or higher) digital camera is fine. You can
burn photos to a CD, or if you’re on a high-speed Internet connection, you can e-mail them
along with a text-only or Word document describing your airplane. (If your e-mail program
asks if you’d like to make the photos smaller, say no.) For more tips on creating photos we can
publish, visit VAA’s website at www.VintageAircraft.org. Check the News page for a hyperlink to
Want To Send Us A Photograph?

There’s plenty more . . .
and other goodies at
www.vintageaircraft.org

For more information, you can also e-mail us at vintageaircraft@eaa.org or call us
at 920-426-4825.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE 39

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6/28/12 9:09 AM

VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION
OFFICERS

Enjoy the many benefits of the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association

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

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

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

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

Steve Bender
85 Brush Hill Road
Sherborn, MA 01770
508-653-7557
aaflagship@gmail.com
David Bennett
375 Killdeer Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648
916-952-9449
antiquer@inreach.com
Jerry Brown
4605 Hickory Wood Row
Greenwood, IN 46143
317-422-9366
lbrown4906@aol.com

Robert C. Brauer
9345 S. Hoyne
Chicago, IL 60643
773-779-2105
photopilot@aol.com
Gene Chase
8555 S. Lewis Ave., #32
Tulsa, OK 74137
918-298-3692

DIRECTORS

Dave Clark
635 Vestal Lane
Plainfield, IN 46168
317-839-4500
davecpd@att.net
Phil Coulson
28415 Springbrook Dr.
Lawton, MI 49065
269-624-6490
rcoulson516@cs.com
Dale A. Gustafson
7724 Shady Hills Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46278
317-293-4430
dalefaye@msn.com
Jeannie Hill
P.O. Box 328
Harvard, IL 60033-0328
920-426-6110

DIRECTORS EMERITUS

Steve Krog
1002 Heather Ln.
Hartford, WI 53027
262-966-7627
sskrog@gmail.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

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

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

Charles W. Harris
PO Box 470350
Tulsa, OK 74147
918-622-8400
cwh@hvsu.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
Ron Alexander
118 Huff Daland Circle
Griffin, GA 30223-6827
ronalexander@mindspring.com

ADVISORS

Joe Norris
tailwheelpilot@hughes.net
920-688-2977

Membership Services
Directory

Tim Popp
60568 Springhaven Ct.
Lawton, MI 49065
269-624-5036
tlpopp@frontier.com

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

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Site: www.vintageaircraft.org
E-Mail: vintageaircraft@eaa.org
VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOCIATION
Current EAA members may join the Vintage Aircraft
Association and receive VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine
for an additional $42 per year.
EAA Membership, VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine and one
year membership in the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $52 per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included).
(Add $7 for International Postage.)

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.

Membership Services
Monday–Friday, 8:00 AM—6:00 PM CST

Join/Renew800-564-6322 membership@eaa.org
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
www.airventure.org

888-322-4636
airventure@eaa.org

Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Hotline
877-359-1232
www.sportpilot.org sportpilot@eaa.org
Auto Fuel STCs

920-426-4843

EAA Air Academy
www.airacademy.org

920-426-6880/4815
airacademy@eaa.org

stc@eaa.org

EAA Scholarships

920-426-6823

scholarships@eaa.org

Library Services/Research

920-426-4848

slurvey@eaa.org

EAA VISA Card

800-853-5576 ext. 8884

EAA Hertz Rent-A-Car Program
www.eaa.org/hertz

800-654-2200
membership@eaa.org

VAA Editor/Executive Director
www.vintageaircraft.org

920-426-4825
vintage@eaa.org

VAA Office

920-426-6110

tbooks@eaa.org

Copyright ©2012 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 549023-3086, e-mail: vintageaircraft@eaa.org. Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of
Vintage Airplane magazine, is $42 per year for EAA members and
$52 for non-EAA members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh,
Wisconsin 54902 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER:
Send address changes to Vintage Airplane, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh,
WI 54903-3086. CPC #40612608. 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.

40 JULY 2012

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6/28/12 8:45 AM

Come Visit Us

Ta k e F l i g h t w i t h F o r d a t A i r Ve n t u r e
• Steve Miller Band Concert: Monday
7:00PM next to the Ford Hangar
• Fly In Theater: Nightly Sunday –
Saturday 8:30PM @ Camp Scholler
• Great Escape : Ride the 5-story ferris
wheel adjacent to the Ford Hangar
• Fusion EcoBoost Launch: the
extreme bungee launch

• Cruisin’ Legends: See classic Fords
and happy owners on Knapp Street
• Dyno Challenge: ¼ mile runs to win
prizes @ Cruisin’ Legends
• Model T Experience: Tour in a
Model T @ Cruisin’ Legends
• Free Stuff : Hats @ the Hangar;
Canteens @ Cruisin' Legends!

• Da Blooze Bros. Live Concert:
Saturday 6:30PM @ Ford Hangar
• Red Tails Ford Mustang: One of a
kind build for the Young Eagles benefit
• Ford Autograph HQ: Autographs
from living legends
• Free Ice Cream: Nightly deliveries;
watch for the Transit Connect

The Privilege of Partnership
EAA members are eligible for special pricing on Ford Motor Company vehicles through Ford’s Partner Recognition Program.
To learn more on this exclusive opportunity for EAA members to save on a new Ford vehicle, please visit www.eaa.org/ford.

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