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AirVenture thoughts

114 ultralights, 131 seaplanes, 40 aero

batic, and 33 rotorcraft! There were 797
commercial exhibitors and 2,128 foreign
visitors from 71 nations; the top three
nations were Canada with 492, Austra
lia with 229, and Brazil with 186 (and
these are the ones who registered!). There
were 37,000 campers and 865 on-site
media reps (from five different nations)!
We had more than 500 volunteers in
the Vintage area alone . .. you can just
imagine how many volunteers it took
overall to accomplish this task. And, was
it accomplished!
It was simply a magnificent accom
plishment ... you have to see It to believe
It-not so; yes, you can see It, but you
still will not believe it. You will not be
lieve it, because it Is not to be believed.
A Place Called Oshkosh.
It is the largest, cleanest, most beauti
As is said, "You have to see it to be fully run aviation spectacle in the world.
lieve It!" Indianapolis is called thegreat It is so overwhelming it will bring tears
est spectacle in racing. March Madness to your eyes! There is not just something
culminates in a Monday night colossus for everyone; there are zillions of things
frenzy. The post-season bowl games mes for everyone. From a Pletenpol to a brand
merize college football fans. The Super new (perfect) 1928 Boeing 40C to an F-22
Bowl is the greatest thing in all ofprofes Raptor that is so awesome that it is mind
sional football.
boggling in its performance. In the mean
But, none can hold a candle to a place while, Glacier Girl and the only flying
called Oshkosh for seven days in late SB2C in the world are sitting on AeroShell
July, early August each year. You have to Square ramp, just a few steps away from
see it to believe it-not so. You can see Dick Keyt's fabulous (36-plus-year-old
it all right, all seven days or even 10-14 (Dennis)) Polen Special experimental.
days ifyou count getting there early and
And, this is in the daytime . .. folks
staying a few days after. But even ifyou like Dick Rutan and Joe Kittinger step
see It, all of it, you still can't really and up in the evening at the Theater in the
totally believe it. There is so much of it Woods. Dick and Joe have something
... airplanes from Fond du Lac to Ap near 1,000 jet fighter combat missions in
pleton (well, almost) .. .more ofanything Southeast Asia between them! And just
and everything connected with airplanes across the road from the Red Barn sits
than you can ever imagine . .. 540,000 Dick and Patsy Jackson 's 1930 Sikorsky
people . .. more than 10,000 airplanes S-39, and next to Addison's 1928 Model
... 2,516 showplanes, including 972 40C Boeing is Al Stix's and John Con
homebuilts, 822 vintage, 404 warbirds, ouryer's Glenn Peck-restored and -flown
In my column over the past few
years you've read my heartfelt at
tempts to offer meaningful descrip
tions about the event we all know
as EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. I have
read and enjoyed a number of other
members' writings that have also at
tempted to share the emotion of this
event. When I read Charlie Harris'
offering in the August newsletter of
VAA Chapter 10, it really struck a
chord, and I knew right away it was
something that should be shared
with all of you, especially those who
may have never had the opportunity
to visit with us in late July. Here's
Charlie's amazing analysis of the
2008 event. Enjoy!

1929 Zenith biplane . .. all three being

the only flying examples of their type in
the world. Who can't believe this fairy
land of make-believe would make Walt
Disney blush in disbelief. Harry Houd
ini would shrink away in disgrace In the
presence ofsuch real magic. And speak
ing of magic, while all of this is unfold
ing, there Is a guy flying overhead in a
real rocket-powered EZ canard compos
ite! I'm not kidding . .. I couldn't make
this stuff up ifI tried. As I said, you can
see it, but you can't believe it. But . .. you
still have to see it; it's only the World's
Fair ofAirplanes and Who's Who ofAir
plane People!
Next year's dates are July 27-August
2, 2009. Burt Rutan's and Sir Richard
Branson's Virgin Galactic White Knight
Two has already committed, and per
haps, just perhaps, the most gorgeous,
brand-new, last-of-the-breed Gee Bee
Q.E.D. on this planet, or in the universe
... just perhaps. Make your plans now;
next July will be here before we know It!
Thanks for sharing your emotion
and excitement about AirVenture
Oshkosh, Charlie!
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009,
The World's Greatest Aviation Cel
ebration, is July 27 through August
Please do us all the favor of in
viting a friend to join the VAA, and
help keep us the strong association
we have all enjoyed for so many
years now.
VAA is about participation: Be a
member! Be a volunteer! Be there!

VOL. 36, No. 10

I Fe


o E


Straight & Level

AirVenture thoughts
by Geoff Robison



AirVenture 2008
A bright spot in aviation, Part I
by H.G. Frautschy and Sparky Barnes Sargent


The Regal RNF

/I Ask any pilot"
by Sparky Barnes Sargent


Light Plane Heritage

Clearing the workben ch
by Bob Whittier


The Vintage Mechanic

Part Two: Ignition system troubleshooting
by Robert G. Lock



What Our Members are Restoring

Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy


Classified Ads




EAA Publisher
Director of EAA Publicati ons
Executive Director/Editor
EAA Art Director
News Editor
Advertising Coordinator
Classified Ad Coordinator
Copy Editor
Director of Advertising

Tom Poberezny
Mary Jones
H.G. Frautschy
Olivia P. Trabbold
Ric Reynolds
Jim Koepnick
Bonnie Kratz
Sue Anderson
Louise Schoenike
Colleen Walsh
Katrina Bradshaw

Display Advertising Representatives:

u.s. Eastern Time Zone-Northeast and Eastern Canada: Ken Ross
Specialized Publications Co.
609-822-3750 Fax: 609-957-5650
kr4O@comcast .l1et
U.S. Eastern Time Zone-Southeast: Chester Baumgartner
Specialized Publications Co.
727532-4640 Fax: 727-532-4630

FRONT COVER: The Grand Champion Contemporary is thi s 1969 Cessna 172K, owned and

ftown by Stephanie Allen of Mukilteo, Washington . It's shown in formation with her husband's

Beech Bonanza, a previous award-winning restoration . For more on this yea r's EAA AirVenture,

see our artic le starting on page 6. EAA photo by Bonnie Kratz.

BACK COVER: The oldest flying Ford Tri -Motor is an outstanding subject for the discerning eye

of photographer John Slemp. Read more about John' s work on our VAA News page.


U.S. Central TI me Zone: Gary Worden

Specialized Publications Co.
800444-9932 Fax: 816-741-6458

U.S. Mountain and Pacific TIme Zones: John Gibson

Specialized Publications Co.
9167849593 Fax: 510-2 17-3796

Europe: Willi Tacke

Phone: +49(0) 1716980871 Fax: +49(0)8841/496012


ELT Requirements Clarified

The first week of September, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) sent out
reminders to U.S. aircraft owners
regarding upcoming changes in
emergency locator transmitter (ELT)
services. As of February I, 2009, sat
ellite coverage of 121.5 MHz ELTs
will end and only ground-based
monitoring will take place. NOAA
recommends that aircraft owners
transition to the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) stan
dard digital 406 MHz ELT systems.
This caused some confusion
among aircraft owners, many who
presume they are now required to
upgrade to the 406 MHz units.
However, there is no requirement
in the United States to upgrade to
the 406 MHz systems at this time.
Installing such a unit is solely an
option at the discretion of the air
craft owner.
Of course, operating with a
121.5/243 MHz ELT after the dead
line presents additional risks to pi
lots and passengers if a crash occurs,
especially in remote areas. Essen
tially, someone who crashes while
flying without a flight plan will de
pend on someone else to:
Recognize they are overdue
and notify the authorities to initi
ate a search over an indeterminate
area, or;
Hope someone hears the
121.5/243 MHz ELT on their radiO,
and calls it in.
Every moment lost after an air
craft crash is a moment closer to a
loss of life. While the FAA doesn't
mandate the upgrade, it's still an
idea worth considering, based on
the type of flying you do, and the
terrain you regularly fly over.
EAA fought to preserve the
rights of aircraft owners to choose
which ELT system is best suited
for their type of flying. News ar
ticles, NOAA/SARSAT exhibits in
the Federal Pavilion during Air

O CTO B ER 2008

Venture, and other efforts have in

creased aircraft owners' knowledge
and awareness of the differences
between the 121.5/243 MHz ELT
and the 406 MHz ELT, allowing
them to make an informed choice
on whether or not to upgrade. EAA
said that requiring an upgrade to
406 MHz ELTs, as the FAA proposed
several years ago, is too costly a
burden to place on recreational!
general aviation aircraft owners.
For those flying outside the
United States: While 406 MHz ELTs
are not mandatory for operating in
the United States, pilots who fly in
ternationally-to Canada or Mex
ico, for example-will be required
to upgrade their ELTs to the new
ICAO standard 406 MHz units af
ter February I, 2009. EAA is work
ing with Transport Canada to obtain
an exemption to this regulation for
aircraft transitioning through Can
ada to Alaska or those flying from
the northeastern part of the United
States to the west where the most di
rect flight route requires a short tran
sition through Canadian airspace.
Read a story about ELTs and the
upcoming changes at www.AirVenture.

ADIZ Training Required for

D.C. Metro Area VFR Pilots
The FAA issued a final rule in Au
gust ordering "special awareness"
training for any pilot who flies un
der visual flight rules (VFR) within a
60-nautical-rnile radius of the Ronald

Annual Meetings,


The minutes of the annual

membership meeting of the Ex
perimental Aircraft Association
Inc. held August 2, 2008, are avail
able in the October 2008 issue of
EAA Sport Aviation magazine.
During the annual meeting of
the Vintage Aircraft Association,
the results of the election of direc
tors and officers were announced.
Elected to two-year terms were:
Geoff Robison, President
Steve Nesse, Secretary
Steve Krog
Robert D. "Bob" Lumley
Dave Clark
John Berendt
Espie "Butch" Joyce Jr.
Steve Bender
Jeannie Lehman Hill
Reagan Washington National Air
port (DCA) VOR/DME in Washing
ton, D.C. The rule becomes effective
on February 9, 2009, and involves
training developed and provided by
the FAA at
The FAA says its primary focus is
to educate the pilot community in
an effort to reduce the number of
unauthorized flights into the D.C. air
defense identification zone (ADIZ)
and the flight-restricted zone .
EAA and other general aviation or
ganizations have voiced opposition
to this mandatory training require
ment. EAA's Doug Macnair, vice pres
ident of government relations, said,
"While we wish that this new require
ment had not come along, this final
rule is the government's measured
response to more than 3,000 ADIZ
incursions that have occurred." All
of the incursions were determined to
be non-criminal in nature, but each
incursion places an unnecessary bur
den on federal, state, and local law
enforcement resources.

The mandatory awareness train

ing is the least onerous intervention
the government can take, Macnair
added. "If incursions continue after
this training requirement has been
in place for a while, we'll have an
even more difficult time opposing
those who want to greatly increase
restricted areas, so it's really up to us
to become more vigilant."
The rule requires a VFR pilot to
complete the free online training
course and download a certificate of
training completion. That certificate
would have to be presented upon re
quest to authorized representatives
of the FAA, National Transportation
Safety Board, Transportation Security
Administration, or any federal, state,
or local law enforcement officer.
EAA and other general aviation
organizations have worked tirelessly
to minimize the impact of airspace
and other operational restrictions on
general aviation in the wake of the
September II, 2001, terrorist attacks,
but the pressure from national secu
rity interests for greater restrictions is
continual and has in no way dimin
ished with the passage of time. EAA
will continue to do everything we
can to educate top level elected and
security officials of the true nature
of general aviation and press for rea
soned and risk-based approaches to
security as necessary.

--..-. -- ---'"

e-. _ _ .. _ _ _ _ ......-_"-,,,.. _ _ , _... .

.... ""'~


~--"'~ --


-- ....

Aviation Calendar of Events

By simply typing in your ZIP
code, you can search the world's
largest aviation calendar and find
out what aviation events are hap
pening in your area. If you or your
chapter would like to add an avia
tion event to the calendar, you can
also easily do so by using an online
form . This calendar is a true asset for
grassroots aviation! Where are you
flying this weekend?

To ease the transition from a

printed calendar with a very lim
ited number of events to an on
line aviation events calendar that
is amazing in its scope, Vintage Air
plane will continue its printed cal
endar of events through December
of 2008. Starting in 2009, the cal
endar of events will available exclu
sively online.

Curtiss Robin Club

Major Fly-Ins
Southeast Regional Fly-In
Middleton Field Airport (GZH), Evergreen,
October 24-26,2008
Copperstate Regional Fly-In
Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ),
Casa Grande, Arizona
October 23-26, 2008
u.S. Sport Aviation Expo
Sebring Regional Airport (SEF),
Sebring, Florida
January 22-25, 2009

The Curtiss Challenger-powered

Curtiss Robin restored by John
erry Bowden.

Aero Friedrichshafen
Messe Friedrichshafen,
Friedrichshafen, Gennany
April 2-5, 2009
Sun 'n Fun Fly-In
Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL),
Lakeland, Florida
April 21-26, 2009

Terry Bowden (left, with his fa

ther, John, on the right) is the
new editor of the Curtiss Robin

Jim Haynes wrote to advise us

that the Curtiss Robin newslet
ter he has edited for 21 years, The
Robin Flyleaf, will cease to be
published. The good news is that
with Jim's blessing, a replacement
newsletter will be published by a
new editor. The baton has been
passed to Terry Bowden. Terry
and his father, John Bowden, re
stored Curtiss Robin NC82H.
Terry's an experienced aircraft
mechanic and enthusiastic writer,
and we look forward to the new
Robin publication. You can con
tact Terry at:
Terry Bowden
2457 Texas Highway 236
Moody, TX 76557

Golden West Regional Fly-In

Yuba County Airport (Myv),
Marysville, California
June 12-14, 2009
Virginia Regional Festival of Flight
Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ),
Suffolk, Virginia
May 30-31, 2008
Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In
Front Range Airport (FTG),
Watkins, Colorado


Arlington Fly-In
Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO),
Arlington, Washington
July 8-12, 2009

EAA A1rVenture Oshkosh

Wittman Regional Airport (OSH),
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
July 27-August 2, 2009
For details on EAA chapter fly-ins and
other local aviation events, visit

Back Cover Notes: Th is month ' s back

cover introduces a photographer I be
lieve we'll see a lot more of in the com
ing years. John Slemp is a professional
photographer from Atlanta, Georgia ,
who has been captivated by the images
of aviation. His first visit to EAA AirVen
ture has triggered a remarkab le set of
photographs, many of which you can
view on his website at www.Aerographs.
com. His photograph of the tai l of the
oldest flying Ford 4-AT-B Tri-Motor, re
stored for Greg Herrick 's Yellowstone
Aviation, shows the captivating nature
of the beauty in a man-made structure.
You can reach John at the website above
or at his studio, 75 Bennett Street NW,
Suite H-2, Atlanta, GA 30309, 866-711
8440, or via e-mail at john@johns/emp.
com. For a wider view of John's spec
tacular work, visit his other website at

EAA Sport Aviation Online

Did you know that EAA members have instant access to more than 50 years-that'S 59,000 pages!-of EAA
Sport Aviation magaZine? Every page of every issue between 1953 and 2006 has been carefully scanned and ar
chived so you can get more out of your EAA membership.
Imagine ...
Having instant access to the knowledge and information in tens of thousands of articles.
Searching by keyword, by title, or by author and having results delivered right to your desktop in conve
nient PDF format.
Researching your building or restoration project or look

ing up flying qualities of a specific aircraft. _ . and doing a

deep dive into decades worth of aviation

writing. No more stacks of old magazines

cluttering up your garage or workshop.

Visit http://Members, log in

with your user name and password, and

immerse yourself in the history of recre

ational and sport aviation!

Plans are being made to create a similar

online archive of the monthly publications

of EAA's speCial-interest publications, Vin

tage Airplane, Warbirds, NAFI Mentor, and

Sport Aerobatics . As we get closer to that

enhanced member benefit, we'll make an


OC T OBE R 2008

News continued on page 31



P.O. Box 3086

OSHKOSH , WI 54903-3086


Klemm Memories
Upon reading the July 2008 issue, I
recognized the Aeromarine-Klemm as a
plane in my past (pg. 22).
I found my first logbook that my fa
ther had prepared for me and found
three entries dated October 30, 1938,
November 20, and December 5 of the
same year. They were in a Klemm that
my dad had rented to take me for a
rid.e. I was totally surprised to see that
the tail numbers were the same.
I was 9 years old at the time, and the
flights were from Floyd Bennett Field.
I am still flying now, and u pon
the sale of my beloved Bonanza two
months ago, I ordered a SportCruiser
light-sport aircraft.
I look forward to each issue.
R.M. Brann

Our Back Cover

Grumman Mallard
This letter is regard ing the back
cover of Vintage Airplane Vol. 36, No.
8, August 2008 displaying the artwork
of Barry Ross. N2442H, serial number
J13, is a Grumman Mallard delivered
on January 23, 1947. Originally, this
Grumman Mallard was first owned by
Lord Beaverbrook of Montreal, Can

ada, as CF-FFG. It was sold to Maj . Her

bert P. Ho lt, who on June 14, 1948,
sold it to Asiatic Petroleum. Asiatic Pe
troleum transferred it in April 1951 to
New Guinea Petroleum. On January
IS, 1955, the plane was re-registered
in Dutch New Guinea and returned to
Dutch New Guinea Petroleum (NNGP)
on August 3, 1960. Dutch New Guinea
abandoned the Mallard at Biak, New
Guinea, and it was sold in 1962 to East
Coast Air-Australia.
Later in 1962, the Mallard was trans
ferred to Trans Australian Air, who on
September 11 , 1963, sold the Grum
man to Utah Construction and Mining
of New Zealand. Air Pacific Fiji Island
bought the Mallard from New Zealand
on February 25, 1969.
The pilot of Fiji Air landed long
on a single engine at Suva, Fiji, and
overshot into the jungle about half a
mile from the end of the runway. The
Ma ll ard was abandoned by Fiji Air
and offered for sale, as it was. Crow
Inc. bought the plane on March 24,
1971, and my son, Eric Barnum, reg
istered it with our home street num
ber, N2442H. H stands for our street,
Hempstead Street, and 2442, our house
number. I removed it from the jungle
full of rainwater. The abandoned plane
had a 4-inch vine growing through the
door and out the copilot window, both
of which were left open for the years it
was left in the jungle. Upon removal
from the jungle, I spent one and a half
months restoring it to an airworthy
cond ition. I installed 17 ordinary gas
barrels manifolded in the interior, a
transfer pump, and a 35-gallon barrel
of oil and an air pump. I put gauges
on the oil tanks and installed one new

engine. I then flew it home to Toledo,

Ohio, with an automatic direction
finder sitting on the right seat, along
with a handheld VHF and HF radio.
Dry cell batteries were under the copi
lot seat. Two days took me from Fiji to
Funafuti and Tarawa. I refueled out of
55-gallon barrels at Tarawa and flew to
Johnson Island. I stayed four days at
Johnson Island. From there to Hono
lulu to Hila, where we stayed two days,
then direct to San FranCiSCO, and then
on to Toledo, Ohio, in two days.
After a total restoration and paint,
I sold it to Barnett Leasing on Decem
ber 19,1973. Barnett Leasing sold it to
Segul Air on May 9, 1975. R.H. Slade of
Burlington, Ontario, Canada, bought
the plane in July 1978. The Mallard
was re-registered as C-GRZI to Sladeco
of Dallas, Texas, on January 12, 1979.
Siadeco sold it to Chalk's International
Airlines on October 25, 1979, who
then sold it to Steve Hamilton of Car
son City, Nevada. The plane has been
registered N2442H from March 1998
to the current date. Mr. Hamilton has
completely restored the Mallard to its
original state.
There's an interesting story of this
aircraft, written in German in the
logbooks. The plane lost an engine
somewhere around New Guinea,
where it landed on the water. The pi
lots and passengers, for fear of their

lives, taxied several hundred miles on

one engine to avoid islands they were
passing which were known to be in
habited by cannibals.
Reference the book Grumman Mal
lard by Fred Hotson and Matthew E
Rodnia Jr. for details and pictures of ev
ery Mallard ever built since 1959. The
book was published in Canada, 2006.
See for details.
Leon E. Barnum

Glenn Peck, restorer of this massive Zenith biplane, swings around in the Antique parking area. The Zenith,
owned by the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum at Dauster Field in Creve Coeur, Missouri, was presented
with the Silver Age Outstanding Open Cockpit Biplane trophy.

he "chink-chink-chink" sound of tent pegs being

hammered into the soft sod by early arrivals. The
rhythmic "kersplotch" of the condensed dew land
ing in the grass outside your tent. An unidentified
bird standing in the tree above your tent, sounding his wake
up call a few minutes before the guy in the campsite across
the street does his best impression of a raspy-voiced, slightly
hung-over rooster. The small voices heard from far away as
your fellow campers awaken and greet one another while they
head to the showers.
As you become vaguely aware of morning, the wonderful
realization comes to mind that you're camping in Oshkosh,
snuggled in your warm sleeping bag in the early morning chill,
and there are still a few days left to savor mornings like this.
Whoohoo! Time to get crackin'.
All those sounds and sensations are just a part of the vis
ceral experience that members have when they travel to Witt
man Regional Airport for our annual EAA fly-in and convention,
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. There's so much to see and do, it's
impossible to do it all, but if you're like most of us, you'll sure
do your darndest to try!
In the Vintage Aircraft Association area, there are more than
800 showplanes to park, 513 volunteers to coordinate, and
thousands of meals to serve to EAA members in the Tall Pines
Cafe. Hundreds of questions will be answered at the informa
tion and hospitality center in the VAA Red Barn, with gallons of
lemonade washing down hundreds of bags of fresh, crunchy
salty popcorn popped by volunteers. Nearly 200 new VAA mem
bers will be signed up, and across the sidewalk under the big
welcome arch, volunteers will help other volunteers by keeping
track of the hours they donate. Sandwiches will be made in
the VAA volunteer kitchen and consumed by the hungry vol un

teers from the flightline and judging corps. The Type Club Tent
will host more than two dozen type clubs during the week, and
more than 506 of the airplanes parked in the area will be vis
ited by the VAA judges. At the end of the week, the volunteers
will whoop and holler during their annual evening appreciation
party, and after the aircraft awards are presented on Saturday
night, the winners and their friends and family will gather for a
reception hosted by VAA for their benefit.
As you awaken on the last Sunday morning, the sounds of
air escaping from air mattresses and the rustle of tent-flys be
ing shaken out will surround you. Tent poles will click and clack
as they are folded up and tucked into their skinny sack. You 'll
hear the grumble of a Jacobs mounted on a Cessna 195 as
it mutters its discontent at having to get up so early. After a
stumble or two, it'll settle down to a pleasing "cahrumph, cah
rumph, cahrumph " as it warms up to the idea of a flight that
morning. The little Lycomings and Continentals will cough a
time or two as the throttle is put to them just a bit too early,
but like the Jacobs, they'll stretch and warm themselves as
the silvery dew gets blasted up the windshield and back along
the fuselage.
By the next Monday morning, it's almost as if it's been
a dream. Were there really that many of us in Oshkosh? It
hardly seems possible. Now there are only the airplane ghosts
tramped into the sod, and the funny yellow-green colored grass
where a tent had been for the past week. But you can be sure
of one thing-most of us will be back next year.
Here in Oshkosh we'll be waiting for you . Bring your airplane
and your tent. We'll do our best to make it a great week in rec
reational aviation's hometown.
Here are just a few of the great airplanes and people who
made this year's convention fantastic.

Three generations of the Parish

family stand in front of the win
ner of a Silver Lindy for the Re
serve Grand Champion Classic,
their Beech 018. From left to
right we have Robert Parish; his
father, John; and John's grand
sons, Mac, Will, and John III.
Behind John III is grandmother
Charlotte. To her left are John Ju
nior and Charles Parish.

It's the end of the day, and after

a fun day of "AirVenturing, " Je
rome Pfister (left) and his buddy
Merlin Batesel rest under the
wing of Merlin's 1947 Luscombe
8F. The guys came to the EAA fly
in and convention from Missouri.

Brooks Peterson shows off his

uniform du jour on Tuesday eve
ning. His Cessna 140, Miss
Jacq, is very distinctive in its
color scheme that recalls the mil
itary markings used just prior to
World War II. Brooks hails from
Stockton, California.


EAA is in the process of building a replica of the Bleriot XI English Channel-crossing airplane . EAA mechanic
Gary Buettner and a crew of volunteers and staff are making splendid progress, as displayed in one of the tents
near the workshop aJea.
Thanks to a fortu itous trade , the EAA Bleriot project has this original three-cylinder 25-hp Anzani engine to
power it. The freshly overhauled motor was run numerous times during the convention. Ted Mossman , one of
EAA's most experienced mechanics, preps the engine for one of the demonstrations .


The VAA helped facilitate a series of meetings with

the staffers from the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate.
Steve Pierce of the Short Wing Piper Club (center, rear)
briefs the FAA's Kim Smith, the director of the Small
Airplane Directorate (right), and, going around the ta
ble, VAA Director Emeritus Buck Hilbert and the FAA's
David Showers , John Colomy, Carol Giles, Marty Bailey,
and Kawehi Lum .

Four sentinels of the flightline ; this quartet of Staggerwings provided a nice centerpiece of the Antique parking area.

EAA President Tom Poberezny greets Father Tom Roland, a

longtime EAAer and pilot who donated his Ercoupe to EAA's col
lection more than 25 years ago.

Pilot Andrew Smith of Hillsboro , Texas ,

brought his longtime friend Don Curtis to the
south end of the VAA parking area. And rew's
been coming to the convention for many years
and won an award in 1998.

Jonathan Scholl's attractive Cessna 195

banks away from EAA's Cessna 210
photo ship near Waupaca, Wisconsin.
The Cessna Businessliner is still just as
capable as it was 50 years ago. Jona
than 's 195 is the winner of the Class IV
(236 hp & Higher) Classic Lindy.

10 OCTOBER 2008

Sparky's Notebook

We asked VAA member and Vintage Airplane contributing editor Marcia

"Sparky" Barnes-Sargent to visit with VAAers on the flightline. Here are
some of the interesting folks she met.

Father and son, Todd

and Taylor Reed, flew
their 1941 Piper J-5A
Cub (NC41396) from
Greensburg, Indiana,
to AirVenture this year. While they've both visited AirVenture before, this was their first time flying in with the
vintage airplane they've owned for nine years. Todd, who built model airplanes as a youngster, enjoys "the
people, sights, and experience of being with all of the aviation nuts who are gathered in Oshkosh," and says
with a chuckle, "We belong with them! The J-5A is real fun flying. It carries three (small) people, 25 gallons
of fuel, and cruises about 80 mph, making it a reasonable cross-country airplane."

EAA member Ken Kinsler hadn't been to Oshkosh

since the early 1970s. He flew his 1946 Aeronca
11AC Chief (N9129E) from Mannford, Oklahoma,
to Kansas, where he met up with a buddy who
was flying another Chief, and together they com
pleted their two-day flight to Wittman Field. It was
his first time flying into AirVenture, and he particu
larly enjoyed perusing all of the vendor booths and
display areas, as well as strolling the flightline,
looking at airplanes.

EAA and VAA member Dale Haag flew this 85-hp 1947
Ercoupe 415-CD from Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Wau
sau, Wisconsin, and then on to AirVenture as one of a
large gaggle of Ercoupes. Haag flies N3308H in mem
ory of his father, who rescued the neglected airplane
from a field and restored it 15 years ago under the
supervision of Dick Nerling. "My father never had a pi
lot's license, but one day he found a Tri-Pacer, and my
brother and I helped him restore it-then he found the
Ercoupe, and he'd always liked those," shares Haag.


The fantastic restoration of the only flying

Boeing 40 mailplane was flown to the con
vention by Addison Pemberton . The resto
ration's accomplishment was recognized
as the Grand Champion Antique of EAA Air
Venture 2008. After their arrival , the Pem
berton family pauses in the glorious late
afternoon sun. From left to right we have
son Jay; his wife , Elin; Addison's wife,
Wendy; son Ryan; and Ryan 's wife, Taryn.

Kent Pietsch's air show act with an Interstate Ca

detis always entertaining to watch. We ' ll have
more on Kent and his remarkable career in a fu
ture issue of Vintage Airplane.






Paul Applegate's beautiful Waco YKS-6 has a

color scheme that honors the markings of Wiley
Post's famous globe-circling Lockheed Vega, the
Winnie Mae. Paul and his family camp with their
airplane every year.

12 OCTOBER 2 008

We'li have more coverage of the people

and planes of AirVenture in next month's
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The Regal RNF

"Ask any pilot"


egal in its burgundy

and silver, NC8SSV
was proudly poised
on the flightline at
the Sun 'n Fun Fly
In at Lakeland, Florida, this year, a
noble representative of Waco's fam
ily lineage. Its current owner, John
"Lites" Leenhouts of Jacksonville,
Florida, considers himself fortunate
to have this 1930 Waco in his pos
>-- session, and enjoys sharing it with
~ other antique and vintage enthusi
~ asts. He acquired it in 2005 and has


~ The pilot flies from the rear

~ cockpit; two passengers can sit
~ in the front.

14 OCTOB ER 2008

been actively flying it since then,

logging 130 hours in it.
Manufactured under approved
type certificate number 311 in
1930 by Waco Aircraft Company in
Troy, Ohio, NC855V was originally
equipped with a 110-hp Warner
Scarab engine and a wooden Hart
zell propeller. The RNF was the first
of the Waco "F" series; "R" stood for
its Warner engine, "N" signified the
wing and fuselage design, and "F"
denoted the model series. It was de
signed to carry two passengers and
15 pounds of baggage in its front
cockpit, while the pilot flew from
the rear-yet dual controls gave a
single front-seat occupant the op
portunity to try his hand at flying
this fine machine.
The Waco RNF was quite popu
lar among pilots of the day, with
excellent short-field performance
and handling characteristics, along
with its sturdy construction . Its
welded steel tubing fuselage was
neatly faired to shape with wooden
formers, and its tail was also built
of welded steel tubing. Its wings

were built with spruce spars and

spruce/plywood ribs, and the air
frame was covered with fabric.
The RNF's outrigger gear had oleo
spring shock absorption to cushion
its landings, and its horizontal sta
bilizers were adjustable in flight, via
a jackscrew. Two 16-gallon center
section fuel tanks gave it a range
of around 400 miles. According to
aviation historian Joseph Juptner
(Vol. 4, U.S. Civil Aircraft Seri es),
the RNF, as powered by the 1l0-hp
Warner, had a maximum speed of
112 mph, with a cruising speed of
95 mph and a landing speed of 35
mph. Its upper wing spanned 29
feet 6 inches, and its lower wing
spanned 27 feet 5 inches . The bi
plane measured 20 feet 8 inches
long, stood 8 feet 4 inches tall, and
weighed 1,150 pounds empty, with
a gross weight of 1,897 pounds. The
type certificate was apparently later
amended for the installation of a
125-hp Warner, with a correspond
ing gross weight increase to 1,938
pounds. The RNF was also certifi
cated for Edo L floats.

The Waco RNF's popularity ex

tended beyond the borders of the
United States; there were several fly
ing in other countries, as well. Andy
Heins of the National Waco Club
sheds some light on this topic, stat
ing "a total of 181 RNFs were built,
although two of these were fuselages
only. Of these, the following went
to foreign countries: China-I, Ar
gentina-3, Norway-2, Canada-I,
and Brazil-22." Today, 43 Waco
RNFs are listed on the FAA Registry,
and Heins indicates that 21 are in
flying condition (and his wife, Su
san, owns two of those).

Acquiring NC855V
In 2005, Leenhouts received a
phone call from "Hank" Avery, then
owner of NC855V. Avery wanted
Leenhouts to make an offer for the
Waco . "Hank's health was going
down, and he knew I loved the air
plane, " shares Leenhouts, explain
ing "I'd met him a couple of years
before, through a mutual friend,
Tommy Hennessey, and had ad
mired and shown an interest in his


Close-up view of the throttle/

brake lever.

Leenhouts demonstrates the braking

port ion ofthe throttle/ brake lever.

cockpit," chuckles Leenhouts, "so I

asked him how I would know what
the engine rpms were, and he told
me, 'You'll figure it out, it's not that
hard.' He takes off, flies around, and
comes back and lands on the grass
then says, 'Okay, now taxi.' Well, the
brakes are weird, because the brakes
are [combined with the throttle le
ver] . For throttle, you move the lever
fore and aft, and then side to side to
activate the brakes-that's the origi
nal setup. Then he told me, 'Alright,
it's your airplane.' Yeehah, this is go
ing to be a fun one-so I run that
throttle up and the tail comes up and
then we're flying! It's just stick and
rudder, seat of the pants flying-I go
around the pattern and do six land
ings-then he told me, 'You own
the airplane!' That was all the flight
time I had in it; the very next morn
ing, a friend and I flew it from Sil
ver Creek to Jacksonville, Florida. We
didn't have a GPS; we just flew by
dead reckoning-and I've been hav
ing fun with it ever since!"

Flying the RNF

Retired U.S. Navy Capt. John "Lites" Leenhouts loves flying his RNF.

Waco-so he called me. As it ended

up, I made an offer that I thought
he'd turn down, but instead, he told
me to come get the airplane."
When Leenhouts arrived at Silver
Creek Airport in Morganton, North
Carolina, to complete the purchase
of NC855Y, he'd never even been up


for a flight in it-or any Waco, for

that matter. So he was in for a bit of
a surprise when he went up for a fa
miliarization flight-he noticed as he
climbed into the roomy front cock
pit that there were no instruments
in the panel. "Hank's friend checked
me out in it, and he was in the rear

As Leenhouts has logged time

aloft in his Waco, he's gained even
more appreciation for its fine flying
characteristics-and its nostalgia.
"The RNF dates to a time when life
was so much simpler and so much
more enjoyable," he reflects, "with
out the complexity of the high-tech
world of the 21st century."
The RNF's upper and lower aile
rons make it a very responsive and
nimble airplane, with "a very nice
roll rate, and it's very controllable at
low speeds, so somewhere around
40 mph it still handles like a dream.
It can get airborne in about 300 feet
when fully loaded, and it'll fly as
far as you want to go at 85 mph.
The Hamilton Standard ground
adjustable prop was set for climb
when I bought the airplane, and it
was only cruising around 75 mph.
I've adjusted it for speed, and now
it flies very comfortably at 8S mph.
It 's a very docile airplane; when
you stall it, it just kind of mushes
down. It's fully aerobatic, and when
you push the nose downhill, it'll

Close-up view of the Waco's

outrigger gear.

go from 85 mph to 120 mph just

about like that," says Leenhouts,
snapping his fingers.
Historian Joseph Juptner writes
the following when describing the
RNF: "Just to prove what a good pilot
could do with the RNF, Johnnie Liv
ingston entered the 'dead-stick' land
ing contests at the 1930 National Air
Races held in Chicago. With several
scores remarkably 'close to the mark,'
Livingston came up with 2 first, 2
second, and 2 third place wins in the
daily events. In the 'Balloon busting'
contests he deftly wheeled the RNF
to 3 first place wins with almost the
grace of a ballet dancer."

Chain of Ownership
It's always interesting to pore
through aircraft records and docu
ments, and once in a while, a glitter
ing gem of history is brought to light.
This Waco's early chain of ownership
goes like this: On June 6, 1930, Waco
Aircraft Company issued a certificate
of transfer (bill of sale) for NC855V to
Mr. Phil Love, of Lambert Field in St.
Louis, Missouri. Love owned the bi
plane for barely a month; on July 3,
1930, a record, transfer, and reassign
ment form shows that he sold the
Waco to Harry H. Knight, of 401 01

Note the clean lines of the RNF.

ive Street, St. Louis, Missouri. Knight's

"most convenient flying field" was
listed as Curtiss Steinberg Field, St.
Louis. Knight owned NC855V a lit
tle more than two years, and during
that time, he made a few changes to
the biplane. He had a metal propeller
and Townend ring installed in June
1931. Then on August 25, 1932, an
operation inspection report indicated
that a 125-hp Warner was installed
in place of the original 1l0-hp War
ner. The next record, transfer, and re
assignment form reveals that Knight
sold the Waco to Frank H. Robertson
of Robertson, Missouri, on Septem
ber 27, 1932; Robertson's "most con
venient flying field" was listed as St.
Louis Municipal Airport.
Upon discovering Love's ad
dress of Lambert Field, I became
intrigued and decided to invest
some time researching the history
surrounding Love. It wasn't long
before I cautiously surmised that
he was the Phillip "Red" Love who
was Charles Lindbergh's classmate
and buddy, and a fellow CAM-2 air
mail pilot. Not only that, but that
Harry H. Knight helped fund Lind
bergh's trans-Atlantic New York
to-Paris flight, and that Robertson
was of the Robertson Aircraft Cor-

This RNF began life with a 110

hp Warner, but today it has a
145-hp Warner

poration and also an airmail pilot.

It just didn't seem to be a coinci

dence that Robertson's signature on

corporate checks made out to C.A.
Lindbergh and Harry Hall Knight
matched the Robertson signature
in NC855V's aircraft records.
Mike Gretz, president of the
Antique Airplane Association's
Airpower Museum, has intently
studied Lindbergh's life and times,
and corroborated my suppositions.
He states, "From the documents
and letters I have seen between Phil
Love and Lindbergh in the 1920s
and '30s, I am convinced that Phil
Love was Lindbergh's closest avia
tion friend and confidant during
the first half of Lindbergh's life .. .1
believe Lindbergh considered Love
his equal in all matters aviation ...
The trail [of ownership] from Love
to Knight to Frank Robertson is
the clincher. They were all Lam
bert Field buddies of Lindbergh's.
Yes, Knight was one of Lindbergh's
two most important financial back
ers for the flight of The Spirit of St.
Louis (the other being Harold M.
Bixby). And yes, Frank Robertson
was the co-owner of Robertson Air
craft Corp., who Lindbergh worked
for. Frank and his brother Bill were


The RNF has two center-section fuel tanks, with a total fuel capacity of 32 gallons.

d ,





. :1:



. . . {)


This photograph shows NC855V In one of its

previous color schemes.

also backers of The Spirit of st. Louis

flight. It all ties together very well."
Robertson owned NC885V for
about three months and then sold
it to C.A. Thomas of the then-no
table and prosperous Thomas Fruit
Co. of Joplin, Missouri, on De
cember 21, 1932. At that time, the
Waco had 256 hours and 30 min
utes of total time. After that, it flew
from Missouri to Colorado and
then Nebraska, where it was owned
by Rapid Air Lines Corporation of
Omaha during 1933 and 1934. Its
total flight time by September 1933
was 382 hours, and 671 hours by
August 1934. The Waco was around
Wold-Chamberlain Field in Min


NC855V on the flightline at Wold-Chamberlain Field

in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the 1930s.

neapolis, Minnesota, in September

of 1937 and 1938-which is likely
around the time that Leenhouts'
historical photograph of NC855V
was taken as it sat on the ramp,
ready to give rides.
Another interesting tidbit is that
Grimes position lights were in
stalled in October 1939, along with
a Grimes warning light on the lead
ing edge of the upper left wing, and
automotive spotlights (for land
ing lights) on the lower end of the
front struts-and this is nicely illus
trated by the historical photograph
shared by Andy Heins.
NC855V was used for sightseeing
rides in Minneapolis in the early

1940s, and it was owned by two fly

ing clubs during 1944-first, Milan
Flying Service in Minneapolis, and
then Rutherford Flying Club in Ru
therford, Tennessee. Fast-forward
to 1960-the Waco had accumu
lated 1,323 hours and 20 minutes
of flight time, and that was when
owner Robert S. Sherman of Tuc
son, Arizona, had another engine
installed. The original plywood en
gine support ring was replaced with
a steel engine mount ring, and a
Warner Series SO engine rated at 145
hp at 2050 rpm was installed, along
with a Hamilton Standard ground
adjustable propeller. NC855V is still
powered by this engine.

This black and white photo depicts

NC855V with the automotive
spotlights that were installed as
landing lights on the lower portion
of the front struts in 1939.

The next significant transfer of

ownership transpired on December
6, 1963, when William C. Hiller of
Louisiana sold the Waco to Silver
Creek Aviation in Morganton, North
Carolina-and ultimately put it in
the hands of one Herbert H. Avery.
You might say that the 33-year-old
biplane had landed at its long-term
care facility, for that's where it re
mained until 2005. "Hank" Avery was
a U.S. Marine Corps captain and pi
lot during World War II, and became
a prominent citizen and business
man in Morganton, North Carolina,
in the years following the war. Avery
was well-known for his collection of
warbirds and antique aircraft, which
he kept at Silver Creek Airport. In
November 1993, Avery "updated"
the Waco by having Catawba Valley
Aviation in Hickory install avionics
in it; those included a radio, tran
sponder, and altitude encoder. One
month later, A&P Greg Deal signed
off on the installation of a Phoenix
wind charger (alternator). Deal had
also removed the old cotton fabric
(from a re-cover job in 1971), disas
sembled the aircraft, primed the air
frame, re-covered it with Ceconite,
and reassembled it with new hard
ware. After logging around 1,800
hours' total time, NC855V was all
spruced up and ready to fly through
modern-day airspace.
That pretty much brings us
up toJune 17, 2005, when Leen
houts purchased the Waco from
Avery's Antique Airplanes Inc. But
the other interesting aspect of this

story is just how Leenhouts became

involved with aviation in the first
place, and the heights to which he
has soared since then.

Dreams Take Flight

Enamored as he is with vintage
and antique airplanes, it's not sur
prising that this is the third biplane
Leenhouts has owned. First, he had
a 1946 Stampe, which he loved fly
ing-but he sold it to pay for his
daughter's college tuition. He re
ally wanted another biplane, and
several years later, a Stearman flew
into his life-and he still owns that
one. His love for biplanes-and
jets-started when he was a young
ster. "I grew up as a kid who just
loved airplanes, and I really wanted
a biplane because I just loved that
era. I was a small kid and I got beat
up a lot, and I always wanted to be
bigger than the other guy, but stat
ure wasn't going to get me there,"
laughs Leenhouts good-naturedly,
"so I had to do something to set
myself apart-to be important, to
be bigger than me. When I was
about 14, I was down visiting my
grandparents in Ft. Worth, Texas,
and Caswell Air Force Base had an
air show going on. I hitchhiked up
there, and that's when I decided I
wanted to be a fighter pilot."
Leenhouts applied himself in
school, went to college, and signed
on with the Navy. "I flew A-7 Cor
sairs from 1975 up through Desert
Storm and was a Landing Signal
Officer in my junior officer days,"
explains Leenhouts energetically,
"which gave me the additional op
portunity to cross-train in the F-14
Tomcat as well-I qualified in one

week, because that's all the time I

had! From 1977 through Janu
ary 1986, I flew the A-7 day and
night, and the F-14 Tomcat during
the day off of several carriers in the
Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic
Ocean. During that time, I became
the Senior Landing Signal Officer for
the Atlantic Fleet in Virginia, and I
flew off every ship on the Atlantic
coast with every Tomcat Squadron
for two years-I had a great time;
it was a blast! I transitioned to F/A
18 Hornets in 1991, after returning
from the Gulf War I."
Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Leen
houts was the Strike Fighter Wing
Atlantic commander; he retired in
2000, after 27-1/2 years with the
Navy. He received numerous med
als and made 1,645 carrierarrested
landings (425 of which were made
at night) during his career-the
most ever in U.S. history. Today,
he is employed by Northrop Grum
man Technical Services as an F/A-18
Program Manager for Modification,
Repair and Overhaul at Cecil Field
Operations in Florida.
There's no doubt that Leenhouts
has achieved-if not surpassed-his
childhood goal of setting himself
apart from others. And aviation has
been his ticket for the greatest ride
of his life-from supersonic to sub
sonic, he's happiest aloft, whether
he's in front of a screaming jet en
gine or behind an old throaty radial,
with his worldview framed by fabric
covered wings, and the heart-warm
ing sound of wind singing through
the wires . Hmm-wonder what
Love, Knight, and Robertson would
think of NC855V's newest owner, if
they were still around!


Light Plane Heritage


EAA Experimenter


Clearing the workbench


Wheels and Tires

In recent Ligh t Plane Heritage
columns we have discussed the
Klemm lightplane of the 1920s and
the Nicholas-Beazley monoplane
built in Missouri in the early 1930s.
Space limitations did not permit
mentioning a number of interest
ing points involving these aircraft.
So, because there are useful things
to know, this month's column will
be devoted to them.
In the story of Baron von Koenig
Warthausen's round-the-world adven
ture in a Klemm, we told of incidents
in which the slim, high-pressure tires
on the ship's wheels sank into soft
sand and caused difficulty in taking
off. Some readers probably wondered
why he didn't equip the plane with
fat, low-pressure tires that would not
have done this.
There are two reasons. When he
took off from Berlin to fly nonstop to
Moscow, he had no thought in mind
of undertaking a round-the-world
journey. So he prepared the Klemm
only for that flight. And when he
made the flight, what are today called
"air wheels" were just beginning to
appear on the scene in the United
States and were either little known or
not yet available in Germany.
In the earlier Nicholas-Beazley
article, mention was made of a por
poising action sometimes devel
oping when taking off from some
unpaved runways. Early NB-8 land-

Goodyear Air Wheels were popular in the early 1930s but had certain dis
advantages. Limited space within very small hubs posed a problem when
trying to install brakes, and scrubbing action on paved runways led to
rapid tread wear. The plane here is a 1931 Brewster Fleet biplane fitted
with a 220-hp Continental in place of t he original 100- to 125-hp Kinner.

ing gears were rigid tripod struc

tures having no shock absorbers,
the softness of the air wheels be
ing relied upon to absorb land
ing shocks. As one of these planes
gained speed, the fuselage and thus
the plane as a whole developed a
pitching action as the up-to-speed
tires "fought" with an uneven run
way surface. Other lightplanes that
had also adopted these then-new
wheels also encountered this prob
lem, and rigid gears were soon re
placed with ones incorporating
shock absorbers.
Designers of these planes had
decided to use the new air wheels
on the basis of enthusiastic pro
motional material put out by the

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company,

which had developed them and in
troduced them in 1929 under the
trade name Goodyear Air Wheels.
The lesson to be learned from this
is that what works well on some
test airplanes and under most con
ditions may sometimes not work
well on other planes or under con
ditions not envisioned or tested for
by a manufacturer.
Obviously the porpoising ten
dency will not appear when taking
off from paved or smoother unpaved
runways. Some of today's ultralights
rely solely on the tires on their wheels
to absorb landing shocks, and a little
thought tells us why it works satis
factorily for them . They are much

Editor's Note: Longtime aviation enthusiasts will recognize the byline of Bob Whittier. Bob has been a regular con
tributor to EM publications since the founding of the organization, as well as a knowledgeable author fOT other avia
tion and boating magazines. Bob's Light Plane Heritage series in EM's Experimenter magazine often touched on aircraft
and concepts related to vintage aircraft and their history. Since many of OUI members have not had the opportunity to
read this series, we plan on publishing those LPH articles that would be of interest to VM members. Enjoy!-HGF

OCTO B ER 2008

At left, the drag ring fitted to the five-cylinder radial engine on a Nich
olas-Beazley NB-S. At right, to get best results from the more sophis
ticated NACA type of cowling, the fuselage behind the engine must be
shaped to match the aft end of the cowling.

In 1923 NACA began to operate this impressive-looking variable-density

wind tunnel offering controlled air pressure to obtain uniformity of test
results from different models.

An early approach to the problem of radial engine drag was to install a

large propeller hub spinner such as on this early Lockheed Vega.

lighter than those old planes that

were equipped with rigid landing
gears and Air Wheels, and also they
take off after such short runs that
they do not get into the porpoising
condition that sometimes appeared
during longer takeoff runs.
We can learn other interesting
things from a review of the history
of airplane tires. Early aircraft were
put together from whatever mate
rials and components were then
available, and they made do with
tires originally developed for as
sorted light ground vehicles . The
vast increase in aircraft produc
tion brought on by World War I
prompted rubber companies to de
velop tires to suit aviation needs.
A common feature was smooth
tread with no nonskid patterns of
any kind. This was reasonable be
cause smooth tire surfaces should
logically cause minimal air resistance
at flying speeds. Also, tread patterns
would tend to pick up pebbles and
then hurl them backward and up
ward to damage fabric-covered wings.
And since planes of that time relied
on tailskids to slow them down af
ter landing, wheel brakes were not
installed and therefore tires did not
need nonskid patterns.
Rubber was so scarce in Germany
toward the end of that war that air
plane factories were occasionally
forced to adopt strange solutions to
tire shortages. Sometimes they had
skilled rope workers make up "tires"
from rope, resembling oversize rope
quoits used in the garden game by
that name. These were pried onto
wheel rims and at least allowed
completed warplanes to get into ac
tion. A few planes were even fitted
with wooden wheels, amounting
to ox cart wheels made as lightly
and neatly as possible. As the say
ing goes, "There's always more than
one way to do something!"
The period between Lindbergh's
daring flight from New York to Paris
in May of 1927 and the stock mar
ket crash of October 1929 was one
of great activity and progress in air
craft design and construction. Most
airports still had unpaved runways


Figure i-Air Wheel carcasses ex

perience much flexing at the outer
edges of their tread areas. On
abrasive paved runway surfaces
this leads to rapid wear. (Aviation
Handbook, 193i, p.486)

with various surfaces such as sod,

gravel, sand , clay, and cinders.
Smoothness, firmness, and rapidity
of drainage varied widely.
The slim, high-pressure tires
then in common use typically car
ried from 40 to 60 pounds of air
pressure and could easily sink into
soft ground, as illustrated by the
well-known slow acceleration of
th e Spirit of St. Louis when Lindy
took off from a rain-soaked runway.
Sometimes when landing cross
wind, the tire on the downwind
wheel peeled off its rim, wrapped
itself around the wheel and axle,
and caused the plane to ground
lOOp. High-pressure tires could send
quite a jolt through a plane's struc
ture when it landed on one of the
paved runways that began to ap
pear in the late 1920s.
After a period of development
and testing, Goodyear introduced
its Air Wheels as an answer to these
problems. The fat new tires carried
from as little as 7 or 8 to not more
than 15 pounds of air pressure, put
a big "footprint" onto the ground,
and came in several sizes suited to
small- and medium-sized aircraft.
Goodyear used a 5,400-pound Fok
ker Super Universal cabin mono
plane fitted with 37-inch Air
Wheels carrying only 7 pounds of
22 OCTOBE R 2008

air pressure for test and demonstra

tion work. Its original oleo shock
struts were replaced with ones of
rigid steel tubing for this duty.
When aviation people first saw
these new tires, they quite under
standably thought they would create
much more air resistance than the
slim and, to them, more air-cleav
ing, narrow high-pressure ones.
It was true that for a given load
carrying capacity, an Air Wheel had
more fron tal area. But both wind
tunnel and flight tests showed that
the new Air Wheels more nearly ap
proached an ideal streamline shape
and created less drag.
The Army's Wright Field in Ohio
tested a pair of 22 x 10 Air Wheels
against its 30 x 5 high-pressure
equivalents and found that the fat
ties created 25 percent less drag. A
plane originally fitted with 30 x 5
tires cruised 5 miles an hour faster
when fitted with 22 x 10 Air Wheels.
To be fair, it should be mentioned
that some other tests showed neg
ligible difference in drag, possibly
due to the layout of a test plane's
landing gear struts and attendant
interface drag properties.
Test flights revealed unexpected
advantages of Air Wheels, which we
have come to refer to simply as "air
wheels." Their soft surfaces yielded
easily to small bumps in gravel and
sod surfaces and rode over them
with enough less resistance as to
measurably shorten takeoff runs.
Test pilots soon observed that they
reduced the airplane's tendency to
ground loop. However, they also
found that when a plane having Air
Wheels ran into a sizable puddle on
a runway, the effect was somewhat
like a bu ll dozer running into a
snowbank at an equivalent speed.
When Air Whee ls appeared on
the scene, rubber-cord shock struts
were just beginning to give way to
hydraulic or oleo struts. These new
struts contained numerous care
fully machined metal parts, so they
were both heavier and more ex
pensive than the shock-cord types.
Their advantage lies in the fact that
where stretched rubber stores up en

ergy and can release it in the form

of bouncy landings, hydraulic fluid
suddenly being forced through a
small metering orifice dissipates the
energy in landing shocks by con
verting it into heat.
Goodyear pOinted out that since
Air Wheels made it possible to dis
pense entirely with shock struts, the
simple, rigid landing gears possible
with them would avoid the man
ufacturing cost and service prob
lems inherent in the pivoted joints
necessary when any kind of shock
struts were used. It also noticed that
the soft ride afforded by Air Wheels
would reduce general wear and tear
on all parts of an airframe.
When people expressed concern
about the possibility of Air Wheels
being too bouncy, Goodyear had a
ready answer. Although air pressure
in them was low, there was a large
volume of it. The sudden buildup
of pressure attendant to contacting
a runway surface would dissipate
energy and control bouncing.
Several makes of small planes ad
opted Air Wheels. But they did not
remain popular for long. More and
more runways were being paved in
the 1930s as depression-time pub
lic works projects. In Figure 1 you
can see that when an airwheel tire
is properly inflated for the load it is
to carry, there is considerable flex
ing in the shoulder area. Grass is
soft and yielding, and the small
grains that compose soil tend to
displace when a tire presses on
them, so planes that operated from
unpaved fields did not encoun
ter undue tread wear when fitted
with airwheels . But the millions
of grains of sand in concrete and
blacktop pavement are locked in
place and are not displaced by tire
pressure . So airwheels used regu
larly on paved runways tended to
wear through to the fabric rather
soon at the shoulder areas.
The small-diameter characteris
tic of airwheel hubs left very little
room for brakes. If multiple-disc
brakes similar to bicycle coaster
brakes were incorporated in the
hubs, they would be shielded from

cooli n g air by the fat tires. If the

large-diameter drum brakes then
commonly used on aircraft were in
stalled on the inboard sides of air
wheel hubs, their greater diameter
would put them at risk of damage
in the event of a flat tire.
In the first five years of the 1930s,
the speed of commercial planes was
increasing steadily and streamlin
ing became of increased concern.
Pants to fit airwheels would have to
be correspondingly fa t, bulky, and
heavy. Next time you see a J-3 Cub
fitted with pants at a fly-in, visual
ize how huge similar pants wou ld
have to be to cover the airwheels
on a larger and heavier plane. And
the bulk of airwheels would be a se
rious problem on retractable land
ing gears.
Recognizing these truths, Good
year introd u ced what are now
called semi-airwheels. This type is
wh at we see on everyth ing from
Taylorcrafts and Aeron ca Champs
up to DC-3s. Their larger h ubs are
better adapted to the installation of
brakes. They are soft enough to ab
sorb landing jolts, yet th eir treads
are wi de enough to re~ist sinking
into soft grou nd. Deep grooves on
th eir trea d areas provide escape
ch anne ls for runway water. They
don't fl ex so much at their shoul
ders, so tread wear is less . Pants to
cover them are of acceptable pro
portions, and they are slim enough
to work acceptably when used on
retractable landing gears. They rep
resent a happy compromise.

In the Nicholas-Beazley article
[p ub lis hed in the May 2008 issue
of Vintage Airplane], a photo of the
plane shows the ship's five-cylinder
Genet radial engine fitted with a
ring-shaped cowling. Readers whose
aero nautica l experience does not
go back to the 1930s will find it in
teresting to learn something about
such cowlings.
Introduced in 1909, rotary en
gines were much used in aviation
up to the end of World War I. A ro
t ary engine's crankshaft projects

Figure 2a-Streamlined cones fit

ted behind cylinders of a radial en
gine. (Aircraft Yearbook, 1.930)

Figure 2b-Radial engine fitted

with a Townend ring to usefully
reduce drag. (Aircraft Yearbook,

from the back side of the crankcase

and is firmly attached to the fuse
lage. The crankcase and the cylin
ders mounted on it thus revolve
around the stationary crankshaft.
The propeller is bolted to the front
side of the crankcase and thus is
made to rotate with it. The cylinder
revolves in a blur that is fascinating
and often amazing to watch.
In those days foundries had not
yet learned how to cast aluminum
cylinder heads with many thin,
integral cooling fins. So rotary en
gine cylinders were machined from
solid billets of steel. Lathe work in
volved in shaping cooling fins on
the cylinder barrels was straightfor
ward enough, but fussy milling was
needed for fins on cylinder heads.
Depth and number of fins was thus
quite limited. That is what brought
rotary engines into being. It was
reasoned t h at the heads on cylin
ders spinning at around 1200 rpm
would be subject to a rapid and
steady airflow.
By 1918 engine deSigners realized
that England's 23S-hp Bentley ro
tary engine represented the limit of
development for this type. Air enter
ing the back end of the long, hollow
crankshaft flowed forward to the
crankcase and there encountered
such turbu lence getting past the

connecting rods on its way to the

cylinders that breathing was choked.
Seven or nine cylinders spinning
around in the air consumed an ap
preciable amount of power. Exhaust
fumes and flames exiting directly
into the cowling created an ever
present fire hazard. Unburned oil
exiting with the exhaust added to
this and also formed sticky black de
posits on hot metal surfaces.
So deSigners abandoned rota
ries and turned to learning how
to make satisfactory finned alumi
num cylinder heads for fixed radial
engines. The radial engine offered
attractive advantages. Both the
crankcase and the crankshaft inside
it were short and therefore agree
ably light yet strong. All cylinders
were equally exposed to the flow of
cooling air. By the late 1920s, radial
engines were reliable and in wide
spread use.
New monoplanes having less
wing drag than biplanes allowed
speeds to creep steadily upward.
Soon planes were cruising at 100
plus mph. Despite their reliability
and light weight, the large frontal
area of air-cooled radials created an
increasing and worrisome amount
of engine drag.
An early approach to the problem
was to install rather large and sharp
nosed propeller hub spinners to give
fuselages as a whole a theoretically
excellent streamlined shape. But this
gave only modest speed increases,
on the order of 2 percent. The spin
ner on the well-known Spirit of st.
Louis is a typical example. Another
idea was to install behind each cyl
inder a streamlined conical fair
ing made from sheet aluminum as
shown in Figure 2a.
But neither approach addressed
the real problem. Radial engines are
typically from 33 to 4S inches in
diameter. There is enough space be
tween the cylinders of three- and
five-cylinder radials for some air to
slip between them and flow aft, but
when there are seven or nine cyl
inders, there is an increasing ten
dency for a radial engine to act like
a solid, flat disc set at right angles



to the airflow. The engi n e tends

to do to the air what a cannonball
does when dropped into water
blast it aside. A radial thus disturbs
a column of air roughly twice its
own diameter. And t hat is where
the worrisome drag is.
Much research went into finding
a solution. One was the "Townend
ring" seen on the Nicholas-Beazley
and in Figure 2b. Townend was the
name of the English researcher who
developed it (and it is not spelled
Townsend). In the United States
this design is commonly called a
"drag ring" or "speed ring."
It worked by catching the air
shoved outward by the engine's
blunt mass and by so doing sub
stantially reduced the diameter of
the column of disturbed air. It also
controlled and guided the air so as
to also send a less turbulent flow
back to the tail surfaces.
In Figure 3a is shown the shape of
a typical Townend or drag ring. Note
the angle at which it is set-it works
very much as does a leading edge
slot on a wing. Much work went into
finding the best width and angle for a
ring to be installed on any particular
engine and fuselage combination.
A significant advantage of the
drag ring was that it could payoff
usefully when there were seven or
nine cylinders. A neat and sturdy
drag ring represented a substantial
amount of finicky sheet metal work
and so was not cheap. It's anyone's
guess why Nicholas-Beazley fit
ted these rings to the five-cylinder
Genet engines on its modestly
priced NB -8s . It coul d have been
simply to conceal a somewhat clut
tered-looking engine or, by control
ling airflow to the tail surfaces, to
give better control close to and in
stalled flight . Any increase in speed
on such a slow and "dirty" plane
would have been slight.
At the same time Townend was
developing his ring in England,
the National Advisory Committee
on Aeronautics (NACA, and now
NASA) was working on the problem
in its wind tunnels at Langley Field
in Virginia. It developed what came

OCTO B E R 2008

Figure 3a-The Townend ring de

veloped in England was a simple
but useful advance in engine
drag reduction.

Figure 3b-The NACA cowling

with much wider skirt achieved
even better drag reduction. Open
ing B in this particular one proved
most effective. The forward end
of the plane 's fuselage must be
shaped to work with the cowl.

to be called the NACA cowling. It

has a much longer cord than the
Townend ring, as can be seen in Fig
ure 3b. The shape and dimensions
of the air exiting at its aft end is crit
ical to both streamlining and engine
cooling, and in the example shown,
shape B proves to be the best.
As a matter of fact, before cowl
flaps came into use, the problem
of providing ample air for cooling
while sti ll having good streamli n
ing led to an obscure but interest
ing bit of aviation lore. Because
they would have to climb hard
and fast to intercept approaching
enemy planes, several U.S. Army
and Navy fighter p lanes of the
early to mid-1930s used Townend
rings instead of NACA cowlings .
The less-restricted airflow out of
a Townend ring was a safeg uard
against overheating in long, fu ll
power cl i mbs . Well -designe d
NACA cowlings cou ld give speed
increases typically running from
about 8 percent to 13 percent. To
get good results from an NACA
cowling t he front end of the fu
selage ju st behind it has to be

rounded out to match. This is easy

enough to do when a new plane is
being des igned from scratch.
As horizontally opposed four
cyli nder lightplane engines became
increasingly popu lar in the late
1930s, knowledge gained in work
with radial engine cowling inlet
outlet ratios, cylinder baffling, and
outlet port designs was very help
ful in designing good cowlings.
The Nicholas-Beazley article men
tioned that the designer chose the
English RAF 34 airfoil for his wing.
That airfoil was seldom used by Amer
ican deSigners. We conjectured that it
might have appealed to Tom Kirkup
because of its gentle stall and/or its
small center of pressure travel. As an
elaboration on this, it's useful to men
tion that in the World War I and early
1920s periods, airfoil research work
was done in several different wind
tunne ls in Europe and the United
States. They varied appreciably in size,
speed, turbulence quirks, and sensitiv
ity of their measuring instruments.
Th is meant that while tests on
several airfoil mode ls in any par
ticular tunnel would provide useful
comparative figures for them, data
on a large number of airfoils issued
by several different tunnels tended
to be conflicting and confUSing.
All those tunnels operated at at
mospheric pressure. Now this gets
us into a highly technical aspect of
aerodynamics, but to put it simply
there is a factor called "scale effect."
This is another reason why confus
ing results were produced by testing
a small model of a certain wing in
one tunnel and a larger one in the
same or another tunnel. Compare
the flight capabilities of a 24-inch
span model airplane with those of
a similar model of 48-inch span to
get an idea of what this is all about.
A wing measuring 8 inches by 48
inches seems twice as big as one mea
suring 4 inches by 24 inches, but in
fact had four times as much area!
In 1923 the NACA put into op
eration a variab le-density wind
tunnelBy altering the air pressure
inside this completely enclosed, recontinued 011 page 39


Part Two:
Ignition system troubleshooting
Unless you have the correct tools, timing a magneto to
the engine can be frustrating. First, let's review some de
tails about the magneto. If the magneto has come from
an overhaul facility, it should be ready to install. The
overhaul facility should have provided a maintenance re
lease tag (commonly called a "yellow tag") and a copy of
the work order showing what was done to the magneto.
The engine should be set to the proper full advance
piston firing position in the number 1 cylinder on the
compression stroke. I use a Time Rite (Figure 1) to set
the piston location on the Wright R-760 engine at 2S de
grees before top dead center. Remove all front spark plugs
and rotate the engine until you feel compression on the
number 1 cylinder. The master spline on the crankshaft
will align the propeller centerline with the centerline of
the number 1 cylinder. Move the crankshaft back until
the prop makes a 4S-degree angle to the centerline of
the number 1 cylinder. By referring to the instructions,
choose the correct card and arm assembly for the Time
Rite, in this case card 4A and pivot arm "e" with the
hook end pointed down.
Insert the Time Rite assembly into the front spark
plug hole on the number 1 cylinder and rotate the prop
to bring the piston through the full top dead center po
sition on the compression stroke (Figure 2). Rock the
propeller to the left and right of the cylinder centerline.
Move the prop back to about the 4S-degree position. Ad
just the scale to read zero degrees on the card. The scale
card is now positioned to show the piston at top dead
center (Figure 3).
Slide the pointer up past the timing point, in this case
2S degrees. Move the prop by tapping on the trailing edge
with your hand until the pointer reads 2S degrees on the
scale card. The engine is set to receive the magneto. Hold
the magneto in the "E" gap position and engage it into
the magneto drive on the engine accessory case. Move
the magneto until the slots are positioned in the center
of the attaching studs, install the washers and nuts, and
tighten them so the nuts just barely touch the magneto
surface. Attach a timing light to the magneto points and
tap the magneto until the points just open. Snug down


Step 3
Turn the engine in the direc; .
tion of rotation so that the piston
goes through the tOP center poSi.
tion. This will leave the slide
pointer at the highest point of
piston travel. This operation
takes the place of findi ng tOP
dead center, necessary with all
other methods of engine timing.



Step 4

Set the 0 position of the scale opposite the slide pointer refer
ence mark. Be sure (hat the correct scale is used for the engine
being timed.





USE GAUGE # 11-1217.














the attach nuts, rotate the prop

back, move the pointer to around
35 degrees, and tap the prop toward
the firing point. The points should
just begin to open at the 25-degree
mark. Rotate the propeller in the
direction of rotation and adjust the
magneto until the points just open
at the firing point as specified by
the manufacturer of the engine.
Another method to set the crank
shaft and piston firing position is


by use of a timing disc attached

to the crankshaft of the engine.
I prefer to use the Time Rite be
cause it has been my preference
for the past 50 years!
If a mechanic has replaced the
point assembly, the first step is
to set the maximum point gap
opening (Figure 4). In the Scin
tilla VMN?DF magneto, set the
point gap opening to 0.010 inch
minimum, 0.012 inch desired,
and 0.014 inch maximum. Align
the timing marks on the magneto
case (B and BB) with timing marks
on the large gear (A and AA). When
these marks are aligned the points
should just begin to open. This is
called the "E" gap. This is where the
magneto should be engaged into
the engine accessory drive.
Timing of the Bendix SF? mag
neto is very similar to the Scintilla
VMN series (Figure 5). The Time Rite
setup is the same, but the means of
setting the "E" gap on the Bendix is

slightly different. Instructions for

the timing of the Bendix SF? mag
neto as reprinted from service in
structions dated January 1943 are
shown. You will need a 6 inch scale
or small straight edge to bridge be
tween the fixed timing marks on
the magneto case (Figure 6). It is
also important to locate where the
firing finger is pointing because it
must be located at the harness lead
for the number 1 cylinder. Note
that the magneto is turned to align
the timing mark" A" on the distrib
utor rotor with mark "B" etched
on the case. It will be necessary to
rotate the magneto shaft through
several turns until scale "K" aligns
the step on the cam with the tim
ing mark "M" etched on the case.
Once the magneto "E" gap is set on
the number 1 cylinder, the mag
neto may be engaged into the ac
cessory drive gear.
There are two methods to check
the "E" gap point opening-use of
a timing light or a cellophane strip.
Timing lights are rather straightfor
ward; simply follow the instructions
as to how to set up the lights. If cel
lophane is used, cut a piece of the
material about 1/4 inch by 1 inch
and open the pOints to slide the cel
lophane between the points. Pull
gently on the cellophane and have
someone tap the propeller toward
the firing point . When the points
start to open, the cellophane will be
released from between the points.
It's an old trick, but it works. It can
be used for field timing of a mag
neto, and there will usually be a
source for cellophane, as it is still
used for wrapping of commodities.
Although I never have smoked, cig
arette wrappers make a good source
for cellophane. As an alternative,
use a clean 0.0015 inch feeler gauge
in place of the cellophane.
If you were in the middle of no
where and a magneto decided to
cause problems, you will have to
ship in a replacement magneto. To
field time a magneto without the
use of a timing light or piston fir
ing position indicator in the num
ber 1 cylinder, you might try this.

Remove the spark plug from the

number 1 cylinder and rotate the
prop until you locate the compres
sion stroke . Again, make sure the
magneto switch is in the OFF posi
tion before moving the prop . The
propeller centerline will align with
the cylinder centerline; back off the
prop about 4S degrees. (This is true
for a metal propeller; some wood
propellers may be indexed 90 de
grees to the crankshaft throw.)
Insert a strip of cellophane be
tween the points of the good
magneto and tap the prop in the
direction of rotation until the
strip is released. If the specifica
tions state that both magnetos fire
at the same piston position, the
engine is ready to receive the re
placement magneto. Insert the cel
lophane strip in the points of the
replacement magneto and align
the timing marks. When the strip
is released, this is the "E" gap . Hold
the large gear or distributor rotor in
this position and install the mag
neto. Snug the retaining nuts, rein
sert the cellophane strip, and move
the magneto in its slots until the
strip is released. The engine should
run fine at this point. However, if
the rpm drop is a little excessive,
loosen the retaining nuts slightly
and rotate the magneto in one di
rection, until the end of the slot is
reached . Snug down the nuts and
run the engine. If the rpm drop got
better, you lucked out and went
in the right direction. If the rpm
drop got a little worse, you went
in the wrong direction. Loosen the
retaining nuts and move the mag
neto in the opposite direction un
til it reaches the limit of the slot .
Tighten the nuts and run the en
gine again.
This concludes our discussion of
ignition system troubleshooting.
Hopefully most of the important is
sues were covered. Remember, there
is more than one way to trouble
shoot a problem, and I have only
presented my experience on this
subject. However there is only one
way to time a magneto to an engine
properly: the right way.





October 4-5


October 11-12
October 18-19


October 24-26
Oct31-Nov 2
November 1-2

2~ days
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November 8-9
November 14-16
De(ember 5-7
January 16-18
January 17-18

2 ~ days
2 ~ days
2 ~ days

Composite Construction, Fabri(
Covering, Electri(al Systems, Bosic
Sheet Metal, Test Flying Your Project,
& What's Involved in Kitbuilding
Van's RV Assembly
Basic Sheet Metal, Electrical Systems
and What's Involved In Kitbuilding
TlG Welding
Repairman (ELSA) Inspection-Airplane
Composite Construction, Fabric
Covering, Eledriml Systems, Bask Sheet Metal,
Gas Welding, Test Flying Your Project,
& What's Involved in Kitbuilding
Van's RV Assembly
Repairman (ELSA) Inspection-Airplane
Repairman (ELSA) Inspection-Airplane
TlG Welding
Composite Construction,
Electrical Systems &Avionics, Fabric Covering,
Gas Welding, Dis(over Aircraft Building,
Basi( Sheet Metal, Test Flying Your Project,
& What's Involved in Kitbuilding

Riverside, CA

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Arlington, WA
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Complete 2008 Schedule online


EAA SportAir Sponsors:







Moises M. Ortiz, an EAA, Vintage Aircraft Association, and International Aerobatic Club
member, sent us this very nice photo of a de Havilland Tiger Moth owned and flown by Wil
liam Norris. The shot was taken next to Patillas Airport on the southeast side of Puerto Rico.
The Piper J-3 camera ship was flown by Onel Norris, William's son, with Moises shooting
from the back seat.



My dad, Gerry Miller, and I just com

pleted the restoration of my 450 Stear
man this year, after spending almost
three solid years working on her.
I've owned NSOOOV since 1999
and put her down in 2005 for a com
plete restoration.
Items accomplished during the res
toration were brand new wings, cen
ter section, bird cages, AN hardware,
control cables, wiring, navigation and
strobe lights, rotating beacon, cockpit
sheet metal, firewall, avionics, control
system bearings, fabric, and paint. Also
new are Redline brakes and a smoke system, along with a 0 since
major overhaul Pratt & Whitney R-98S.
We accomplished all work, other than the engine overhaul.
This is my second complete restoration and my dad's 20th. He
has been an airframe and powerplant mechanic since 1951, and
has had inspection authorization since the early 1970s.
The absolute best part about this experience was the time I spent with my dad. No matter where I look on the
airplane when I'm flying it, I can remember exactly what dad and I were doing and talking about at that moment.
I'm just so proud of how she turned out and the experience that I gained during the process.
Randy Miller, Grand Junction, Colorado


Mike Hughes
Billerica/ MA

_ Licensed pilot for 30 years with

13/500 liours

_ Obtained ATP and has a type rating

in the A-320 Airbus
_ Employed as an engineering
consultant and commercial pilot

"I came to AUA in 1986 after purchasing a Cessna Birddog/

C-305. I regard my agent as a friend although we have never met
face to face. When I purchased my second aircraft/ a Piper Twin
Comanche/ AUA worked with an underwriter that could insure both
my planes/ saving me a good deal of money. It has been a pleasure
working with AUA all these years/ with many more to come.//

- Mike Hughes

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30 OCTOBER 2008

Slick Magneto
Service Bulletin

Service Bulletin

_._-_ ___--_

Unison Indus
....... _._
... ...._..... ... I
_ .. .. v. _____
tries, the manufac
turer of the Slick
brand of magnetos,
issued Service Bul
letin SB3-08 (now
SB-3A) earlier in
the year concern
.. - ... _._
ing an excessive
... _----_
.. -... ..
wear problem with
... _

a particular range
__ 0"'
of magnetos. Fol :fT-l:F-I
low-up FAA Special
Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE
08-33 was issued in August. SAIBs can be down
loaded from the FAA website at
Those magnetos affected have shown signs
of excessive carbon brush wear. The conduc
tive dust from the brush is deposited inside the
distributor block and gear junction, which can
cause a misfire. Eventually, the brush can wear
to the point that contact is lost and the magneto
will stop functioning. If a pair of magnetos from
the same production lot (or with replacement
distributor blocks and gear assemblies from the
suspect production lot) is installed, the strong
possibility exists that both mags will fail in the
same time frame, typically well before the 500
hour time period called out for an inspection in
Slick maintenance publications. We urge mem
bers who have magnetos that fall within the date
range specified to have their magnetos inspected
in accordance with the bulletin.
The service bulletin affects:
Slick and LASAR magnetos with serial
numbers beginning with 0409XXXX through
08080453 .
Slick and LASAR magnetos that have had
the carbon brush or distributor block assembly
replaced with components packaged between
September 1, 2004, and August 14, 2008.
You can download a copy of the bulletin on
Unison's website at
fault_setup .asp.
Normally, technical publications for Unison
components are only available by subscription,
but in this case, Unison has agreed to make the
bulletin available for free. The download link is
on the right side of the above web page. .......


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Send your answer t o EAA, Vintage
Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh , WI
54 903-3 0 86 . Yo ur a n swer ne ed s t o
be in no later than November 10 for
inclusion in the January 2008 issue of
Vintage Airplane.
You can also send your response via
e-mail. Send your answer to Mystery Be sure to include your
name plus your city and state in the
body of your n ote and put (Month)
Mystery Plane" in the subj ect line.


July's Mystery Plane also came to

us from Ted Businger's collection.
Our answer comes to us from Wes
ley Smith:
Anyway - The July 2008 Mystery

Plane is the (or one of the) 1925 (actu

ally, 1925-27) Crawford Courier(s) .
The Crawford Courier shows up in
the records in 1925 . The Crawford
Airplane and Supply Co. was located
at 300 Mildred Ave., in Venice, Cal-

The Crawford Courier, September 1926, at Eddie Martin's airport in Santa

Ana, California. This was Art Goebel's accident with the Courier, during which
he cartwheeled the airplane but didn 't ding the prop! Roy Russell photo, Ted
Businger collection.

OCTO B E R 2008

ifornia, in 1924. By 1925, the loca

tion had changed to 350 Washington
Blvd . According to www.Aerofiles .
com the Courier was powered by a
45-hp Anzani radial, had a span of 19
feet, a useful load of 350 pounds, a
maximum velocity of 90 mph, and
a stall of around 30 mph. The Cou
rier was priced at $1,500, and the con
struction number (TW-5) was sold to
Crawford's sales manager, Takeo Wa
tanabe, whom was apparently hon
ored by the use of his initials.
Aerofiles specu la tes t hat there
could have been four other Couriers
(TW-l/TW-4). Indeed, photographic
evidence for t his may exist. One
NASM Laser Videod isc image (Disc
I, Side A, Frame 24,151) shows a (or
the) Courier with three men standing
in front, arms outstretched, showing
the diminutive span . In this photo,
the aerodyn amic balances from the
u pper wing ail erons appea r to be
missing, and have possibly been trun

cated. This could indicate another Courier, or it may have

just been a repair following the crash shown in Vintage
Airplane. In Frame 24,153, the image is unfortunately in
verted, but the legend on the vertical rudder (Courier No.
1) shown on the Aerofiles image may be different (it's im
possible to tell with the television set that I used to view
the image). Moreover, unlike the Aerofiles image, there
is a large circle painted on the port side of the fuselage,
which has the letters "SF" above the number 42. In addi
tion to this, the image also has the small "circle and star"
emblem on the fuselage (ahead of the SF 42 emblem),
which is shown on the Aerofiles image. So, there is some
evidence for the existence of other Couriers, albeit scant,
and debatable.

Mystel}' Plane Extra

Henry Crawford
Harvey]. Crawford was born in Missouri on November
11, 1889. He began his aviation career in 1900, when he
is said to have made his first balloon ascension and para
chute descent from his father's balloon. By 1907, Craw
ford was making balloon ascensions in conjunction with
his brother (or father?), William F. Crawford, in Wapeto,
Washington. NASM Laser Videodisc 2, Side B, Frames
6972 and 5980 contain photos of at least one balloon,
W.H. Crawford (relationship to Harvey is, again, unclear,
as is the middle initial, which is not clearly visible on the
television I used to view the image), and two newspaper
stories captioned "Balloons Here at Wapeto Park" and
"Balloons at Wapeto?" respectively. Crawford supposedly
constructed a heavier-than-air aircraft during 1908, but
details are lacking to this writer, other than it was appar
ently a biplane powered by a 40-hp Elbridge engine that
was replaced with a 50-hp Gnome Omega. During 1910
11, Crawford is said to have also built a Curtiss-type pow
ered by a 50-hp Call engine. This aircraft is claimed to
have been the first built in Washington state.
During 1911, Crawford moved from Puyallup, Wash
ington, to Los Angeles, California, and had constructed
another Curtiss-type. In 1912, he participated in the
Dominguez Air Meet, where he won first prize for a dura
tion flight of two hours and 20 minutes. During this same
time, Crawford constructed an aircraft with William A.
Denchie. Notably, this modified Curtiss-type, pOSSibly the
same machine he built with Denchie, was fitted with a
"boat-like, prow-shaped" nacelle that was used to partially
enclose the pilot and passenger. This aircraft is most likely
the one mentioned in Aero (V3 N26. March 30, 1912.
"Stites Gives Hour Demonstration at San Bernardino," p
518. The text states in part: " ...Crawford in an original bi
plane, and an Emerson motor, came to grief early in the
afternoon and fell 20 feet, smashing his machine and suf
fering numerous bruises ..."). By 1913, Crawford had made
quite a name for himself, flying Curtiss-types from Sunset
Field in California and all along the west coast. During
The Great War, Crawford volunteered for service, but was
rejected for what has been described as "minor physical


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reasons" (
As mentioned in the Mystery Plane
answer, the Crawford Courier shows
up in the records in 1925.
In 1926, several surplus Crawford
aircraft were apparently rebuilt and
sold as the Crawford Sport (this may
be where the confusion about other
Couriers comes in). Courier TW-5
was sold to Watanabe and registered
as the Crawford-Watanabe Sport in
1927. In addition to the Sport, there
were two other versions: a larger, one
place variant with a 95-hp Anzani,
which had a span of 22 feet and an
overall length of 18 feet. There was
also apparently an even larger version
that was intended for a transglobal
flight. The latter appears to have
crashed near Herber, Utah, killing the
Japanese pilot, known only by the
name Goto. Watanabe, incidentally,
was no relation to Fukuo Watanabe
(his original name, prior to adoption,
was Fukuo Fujishiro), a prominent
name in Japanese aeronautics.
Other aircraft associated with
Crawford include the Commercial,
1925; Runabout, exact date unknown;
Flying Armored Car, 1928; Crawford
A-I, 1928; Crawford Metal Plane No.1
(also known as the C-1), 1928; the
William F. Crawford Special, 1929;
Crawford Glider (the last three of the
six built were actually powered air
craft, deSignated as the Crawford HW,
SR-3, and V-40-S in accordance with
the powerplants used), 1930; and the
Crawford CLM, 1931.
Built in 1925, the Crawford Com
mercial was a five-place open-cockpit
biplane. It was sold to Varney Airlines
pilot Roy Warren in 1926 and dam
aged "beyond repair" (www.Aerofiles.
com) in July of 1928. Powered by a
180-hp Wright-Martin Hisso engine,
the "Commercial had a span of 36
feet 4 inches and an overall length of
27 feet 9 inches."
The Crawford A-I, built in
1928, was intended for the home
built market, and about five were ap
parently constructed. According to
Aviation (February 6, 1928. "Manu
facturers' Specifications on American
Commercial Airplanes and Seaplanes
as Compiled by Aviation," pp 326


327), the A-I was a two-place high

wing (parasol) monoplane powered
by an 80-hp Le Rhone rotary radial.
The span was 30 feet, and the wing
area was 150 square feet, with an over
all length of 17 feet 9 inches and a
height of 8 feet. The cost was $1,500,
the empty weight was 950 pounds,
and the maximum velocity was 95
mph, with a cruise velocity of 64 mph
and a landing velocity of 47 mph. The
service ceiling was 18,000 feet, and
the A-I could carry 40 gallons of fuel,
giving a range of 500 miles. One A-I,
built by Dennis Sullivan of Herkimer,
New York, registered his aircraft as the
I-OS, creating some confusion.
Of particular interest is the 1928
Flying Armored Car. While this air
craft was apparently never built,
photos of a Junkers 013) F13 appear
in connection with the Crawford
name on NASM Laser Videodisc 2,
Side B. The cowling, apparent long
span wing, and lack of a short-chord
vertical stabilizer appear to contrain
dicate that it could have been a rela
tively late-production, imported F13
(most likely it was an F13h, which
was built specifically for the U.S. mar
ket) and not an early F13, marketed as
the Oohn) Larsen J1.6 (some sources
claim that JL stood for Junkers Lar
sen). Interestingly, Videodisc Frame
5,989 contains a newspaper account
of the aircraft, which states in part:
"Bremen Prototype Used Here-Ear
lier Copy of Airship in Movies." Cer
tainly, I have never seen a Junkers F13
used in a motion picture-particularly
a U.S. motion picture!
Abroad, the Soviets also used the
F13 under the designations JU 13
and, later, PS-2, for imported, and Fili
built, Junkers F13s. The Soviet gov
ernment signed an agreement with
Junkers on February 6, 1922, for li
cense production of the F13 and built
several other Junkers designs under li
cense, including the JuG 1 (G24) that
was used to locate the crew of the air
ship N 4 Italia after it crashed during
its ill-fated 1928 polar flight. Taken
aboard the icebreaker Krasin, the JuG
I, nicknamed the Krasin Med'ved (The
Red Bear) and piloted by R.G. Chukh
novsky, it was involved in the search

for the missing crew. Another Junk

ers, a JU 13, flying from the Soviet
icebreaker Malygin, was lost during
the mission, as was the Latecoere fly
ing boat No. 47 Latham, which car
ried the famed arctic explorer Roald
Amundsen. These events were com
memorated in the 1971 "Italo-Soviet"
film The Red Tent, which starred Sean
Connery, Peter Finch, Claudia Car
dinale, and Hardy Kruger (who also
acted in the original version of The
Flight ofthe Phoenix). Eventually, it was
the Krasinthat was able to rescue most
of the Italia's crew, with the exception
of Gen. Nobile, who was rescued by
Swedish pilot Lt. Einar Lundborg and
his observer, Lt. Birger Schyberg, fly
ing a ski-equipped Fokker c.v.
As I'm certain the readers of Vintage
Airplane will know, the Bremen was a
modified Junkers J33 (W33 was used
for the seaplane version; another des
ignation, J-33-L, has also been men
tioned for the Bremen: Aviation. April
23, 1928. "German Plane Crosses
North Atlantic East to West: Junkers
"Bremen" Flies, 2,125 mi. Non-Stop
from Ireland to Labrador," pp 1150
1151). While the Bremen (German
registration 0 1167) made the first
east-west Atlantic crossing in early
1928, it was not a nonstop crossing
over the entire route. Interestingly, ap
proXimately 10 years and four months
after the flight of the Bremen, Doug
las "Wrong Way" Corrigan would also
land at Baldonnel Aerodrome near
Dublin on July 18, 1938 (The Bre
men landed in Ireland on April 12,
1928, at 5:38 a.m. local time). After
the flight, the Bremen was displayed
at an exhibition at Quebec before be
ing returned to Germany in Septem
ber 1928. After being displayed at the
International Aviation Exhibition at
Berlin, the aircraft was restored at Des
sau before the owner (von Huenefeld)
presented the aircraft to the Museum
of the City of New York. It was then
hung in a foyer of Grand Central Sta
tion in New York City before being
purchased by the Henry Ford Museum
at Dearborn, Michigan (it is currently
on loan and is displayed at the Bre
men airport in Germany).
Of course, the involvement of an

F13h with Crawford, and the Flying ternal construction, inclusive of the
Armored Car, is a story yet to be told. drag and brace struts. This was cov
According to Aerofiles, the Flying Ar ered by corrugated duralumin sheet
mored Car had bulletproof glass and ing, which varied from 20-gauge at
shielding around the cockpit, and was the center to 26-gauge at the tips, and
to be armed with three unspecified was riveted to the internal spar and
machine guns. While never built, the strut structure. The 34-foot wing span
aircraft was intended to be used to tapered from a 6-foot 6-inch chord at
transport valuable cargo, in the same the center to a 3-foot 3-inch chord at
manner as a conventional armored the tips. Incidence of the wing var
car. Oddly enough, in 1922, Larsen ied from 2 degrees at the center to 0
built a ground-attack version of the degrees at the tips. No true ribs were
basic F13 design, powered by a 400 used in the wing, with the exception
hp Liberty V-12 that was armed with of the master ribs," used at either
30 (!) Thompson submachine guns end of each semi-span half, the two
(each equipped with a 100-round sections being bolted together at the
magazine) firing through the floor. center of the entire wing. False ribs
This fate of that aircraft, known as were placed at 2-foot intervals along
the JL.12, also remains a mystery the length of each wing half in order
(any connection between the Craw to preserve the Junkers airfoil shape.
ford Flying Armored Car and the The tapered ailerons, obviously quite
JL.12 is apocryphal, at best). In fact, similar to the Junkers F13, were made
other than the JL.12, the only other. of 26-gauge duralumin and were riv
armed F13s were two that were oper eted to dural tubing that was hinged
ated by the Persian (Iranian) air force to the rear spar by three hinges.
Like the wing, the mono
in 1924. Other military users of the
F13 included the Luftwaffe, the So coque fuselage was also of Junk
viet air force, the Chilean army, the ers-type corrugated duralumin
Afghan air force, and Kuomintang construction. Twenty-gauge duralu
in China. Nevertheless, it is interest min was used up to the front of the
ing that F13s soldiered on around the pilot's cockpit, with 22-gauge being
globe into the mid-1930s, with some used aft to the end of the fuselage.
serving as ambulances with the Span Rectangular bulkheads were spaced
ish Red Cross, the Japanese Flying at approXimately 26-inch intervals
Corps, and the Swedish Red Cross.
and were made of 14-gauge duralu
The interest in Junkers technol min. The overall length of the Metal
ogy led to Crawford's next design, the Plane, inclusive of the empennage
Metal Plane No.1, (some sources refer and engine, was 24 feet 9 inches and
to this aircraft as the C-l), also built was mounted on a stalky Fokker-type
in 1928 (Aviation. August 18, 1928. main landing gear, the original leaf
"Crawford Metal Plane: A Parasol spring tail skid being replaced by a
Type Monoplane With the Full Canti castering "laminated" (probably con
lever Junkers Wing and Powered With centric tubing) tube-type. This gave
a 165 hp Gnome Engine," pp 531, the Metal Plane No.1 a maximum
551-554). This aircraft, stated to have height of 8 feet 4 inches.
been the first all-metal design built
The tail surfaces, like the ailerons,
in Southern California, was, like the were made of 26-gauge duralumin
A-I, a two-place parasol monoplane. and were riveted to the internal tub
Constructed of duralumin, it was reg ing. A partial cowling was attached
istered as X-5563 and was test-flown to the Gnome rotary radial and was
by Jimmy Angel from Dycer Airport faired to the fuselage sides by partial
near Los Angeles.
cone-shaped fairings attached to the
The Junkers-type construction was fuselage sides. A 9-inch turtle deck
most prominent in the design of the completed the construction of the up
214-square-foot wing, which was of per fuselage. The fuselage also housed
tapered plan form and had multispar a 22-gallon fuel tank just ahead of the
(14-gauge duralumin was used) in passenger's cockpit, and two 15-galII

36 OCTOBER 2008

Ion tanks (a total of 52 gallons) were

incorporated into the inner section
of each wing semi-span. Access to the
front passenger's cockpit was made via
a door on the starboard side of the fu
selage, as the flat bottom of the wing
was mounted only 4 inches above the
upper cowling. Thus, visibility was
quite restricted from this position.
An 8-gallon oil tank was mounted
behind the firewall, a definite neces
sity with a rotary radial engine.
The wing was attached to the fu
selage by eight 2-inch steel tube ex
ternal brace struts, with iron rivets
used at all stress points. All other riv
ets used in the aircraft were of dural
alloy. The attachments fittings used
between the lower spars and fuselage
longerons were, like the struts, made
of steel alloy. The entire airplane, both
internally and externally, was painted
with a gray engine enamel. All control
surfaces were operated by push-pull
tube arrangements, with the exception
of the vertical rudder, which was oper
ated by 3/32-inch steel wire. Built in a
16-foot garage and a small backyard,
the aircraft construction was originally
started by Mr. Henry Laurich (the
eventual owner), with the engineer
ing and final work being finished by
Crawford. The cost of the Metal Plane
No.1 was about $2,700, and according
to Aviation, Crawford is said to have
started three types of new aircraft for
his new company, based on the Junk
ers-type design philosophy. This in
cluded a six-place cabin monoplane,
which is stated to have already been
sold. This airplane was to have used
the upturned wingtips of a design sim
ilar to those used on the Bremen. A
toilet with hot and cold water was
also to be incorporated. Of the other
two types, one was to be a two-place
trainer, and the other, a four-place pas
senger-carrying aircraft, possibly re
ferred to as the Cabriolet. Of all these
projected designs, the only one which
was apparently completed appears to
have been the Cabriolet, which be
came the 1929 William F. Crawford
Special (described below).
Performance of the Metal Plane
No.1 included a VMAX of 148 mph, a
Vc of 130 mph, and a Vso of 30 mph.

The take-off distance was said to be

100 feet, and the landing distance 300
feet. The initial climb rate was 1,600
feet per minute, and the service ceiling
was 20,000 feet. The gross weight was
2,900 pounds, with a payload of 1,000
pounds and a maximum disposable
load of 1,800 pounds, giving an empty
weight of 1,100 pounds. In a loaded
condition, the wing loading was 13.7
pounds per square feet, and the power
loading was 17.6 pounds/hp. Subse
quent details of the Metal Plane No.

1 are lacking and, like previous Craw

ford designs, faded into the annals of
aviation obscurity. But this was not
the end of the Crawford story.
In the early spring of 1929, new of
a high-wing trimotor monoplane, de
signed by William F. Crawford (not
Harvey) was tested by test pilot Jimmy
Angel at Seal Beach, California (Avia
tion. March 30, 1929. "Airplane De
scriptions: Crawford Monoplane," p
963). Known as the Crawford SpeCial,
this aircraft was of relatively conven

tional construction, with the exception

of the wing, which had a span of 36
feet and was constructed of diagonally
placed, welded chrome molybdenum
steel tubing (the interiors being treated
with Lionoil, and the exteriors being
red metal oxide; the entire airframe was
also composed of this material). No
drag brace wires were used, the leading
edge being made of 3/32-inch plywood,
and the trailing edge made of 24-gauge
"V" iron. The USA No. 34 airfoil was
maintained by wing ribs spaced 1 foot

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This VAA Calendar of Events is a fraction of those posted on the newest page on
the EAA website. To submit an event, or to view the most up to date list, please visit
the EAA website at During 2008, we'll publish this calendar
as we transition to an all-web based calendar for 2009. This list does not constitute
approval, sponsorship, involvement, control or direction of any fly-in, seminar, fly
market or other event.
October 3-5 - Camden, SC, USA. VAA Chapter 3 Fall Fly-In. (CON). All Classes Welcome!
BBQ on field Friday evening. EAAjudging all classes Sat. Awards Dinner Sat night.
Contact: Jim Wilson, Phone: 843-753-7138, Email :
October 3-5 - Oshkosh, WI. The Golden Era of Aviation/ EAA Vintage Biplane & Spirit of
St Louis Fantasy Flight Camp. Have you ever fantasized about flying a certain airplane
or dreamed about becoming a part of history? Here is a once in a lifetime experience
for aviation enthusiasts. Learn about great vintage aircraft and take a ride you'll never
forget. Contact:, Phone: 920-426-6880, Email :
October 4 - Syracuse, KS. Syracuse Antique and Classic Fly-In . Syracuse Hamilton
Co. Airport (3K3). Lots of antiques, classics, warbirds, experimentals and powered
'chutes. Chamber sponsors chili cookoff and burgers and brats at noon . Great time
always had by all! Contact: Steve Phillips, Phone: 620-384-5835, Email:
October 4 -5 - Hagerstown , MD, Washington. EAA Chapter 36 Fly-In and Fairchild Reunion .
Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR). This event held on Papa Ramp at Hagerstown
Aviation Services, Hagerstown Regional Airport (KHGR). Great fun for young and old.
Excellent food , all day long. Start Time: 8 am-4 pm . Contact: Joseph Boyle, Phone:
301-797-1875, Email:
Oct ober 17-19 - Oshkosh, WI. Ford Tri-Motor Fantasy Flight Camp. EAA's weekend
program gets flight enthusiasts up close and flying in this airplane. Contact:
bcampbell@eaa .org, Phone: 920-426-6880, Email:
October 18-19 - Weirwood, VA. Campbell Field Airport 75th Anniversary Fly-In & Campout.
Campbell Field Airport (9VG). Come celebrate 75 years of aviation at Campbell
Field Airport on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Virginia. The airport was founded
by D.M .Keliam in 1933 and has changed little over the past 75 years. Re-live the
excitement of grassroots aviation at the last public use grass airport in Virginia.
"Come Roll on the Grass" 11:00 am-5:00 pm. Contact: Gordon Campbell, (757) 442
7519, Email:
October 19 - Hanson, MA. EAA Chapter 279 Fly-in Breakfast. Cranland Airport (28M).
EAA Colonial Chapter 279. 8 am-11 am. All you can eat for a $6 donation. Children
up to and including 12 years of age are half price if accompanied by an adult parent.
Fly, drive, ride or walk in rain or shine, Don't miss it! Antiques, Classics, Homebuilts,
Ultralights and all means of flight are welcome! The Best Breakfast on the East Coast.
Contact: Carl Patturelli , Email:
October 24 - Oshkosh, WI. 2008 EAA Sport Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
EAA AirVenture Museum. EAA, its affiliates and divisions honor the newest members
of the EAA Sport Aviation Halls of Fame at this festive gala event held at the EAA
AirVenture Museum. Phone: 920-426-6880, Email: museum@eaa.orgfor more
information including ticket prices .
October 25 - Georgetown, DE. Wings and Wheels 2008. Sussex county airport (GEO).
Free public admission . Antique/Vintage and Warbirds judging and trophies. Free
private aircrew hospitality area. Large antique and hot rod car show, along with food
vendors, airplane rides, vendors, and live band. Sponsored as an outreach program of
the Delaware Aviation Museum. 10 am-6 pm Contact: Larry Kelley, Phone: 410-991
2356, Email:
November 2 - Santa Pau la, CA. First Sunday Open House. Aviation Museum Of Santa
Paula (SZP). Aviation Museum of Santa Paula/SZP Airport Open House Display Day.
Fly in, display your aircraft for tax credit; come to gift booth for sign off. Museum and
private hangars open to amaze you with collections inside. You never know what you
might see at SZP! Start Time: 10 am-3 pm Contact: Judy, Phone: 805-525-1109,



apart along the length of the tapered,

externally braced wing (dihedral and
incidence of each semi-span panel be
ing 0 degrees in both instances) . The
maximum chord of the 21O-square-foot
wing was 7 feet 6 inches, and the mini
mum chord was 3 feet 6 inches. Both
semi-span panels were hinged at the
upper longerons, the brace struts being
attached to the lower longerons. The
overall length of the four-place Craw
ford SpeCial was 22 feet 6 inches, and
the height was 6 feet 9 inches. The
empty weight was 1,450 pounds, the
gross weight being 2,450 pounds.
The engines of the Crawford Special
tri-motor were 216-cubic-inch, three
cylinder, 40-hp (at 1800 rpm) Szekely
SR-3 (Model L) radials, of notoriously
questionable reliability; the propellers
were of Crawford manufacture. Dur
ing flight testing, the aircraft demon
strated a maximum speed of 100 mph,
with the engines running at 1600
rpm. A cruising speed of 75 mph and
a landing speed of 35 mph were also
recorded. With an initial climb rate of
1,000 feet per minute, the Crawford
SpeCial had a service ceiling of 15,000
feet. The Flightex fabric covering was
doped, and painted, with Berry Bros.
finishing supplies. The pilot sat alone
in the enclosed cockpit, and the pas
sengers sat on a bench-type seat at the
rear of the cabin. The position of the
oil tank was considered to be a bit un
usual in that it was placed under the
patented one-piece combination hori
zontal stabilizer, and elevator (today,
we call this a stabilator). In the case
of the Crawford Special, the stabilator
was hinged at 1/3 chord, the approxi
mate location of the center of pres
sure. Two SO-gallon fuel tanks were
housed in each wing panel, for a total
of 100 gallons. Ailerons, and a vertical
rudder of conventional design, were
used. The main landing gear was com
prised of Gross Aero struts and 30
inch by 5-inch wheels.
Unfortunately, the fate of the Craw
ford SpeCial is unclear to this writer,
as are those of the next Crawford de
sign: the 1930 Glider, of which the
last three were actually powered air
craft. Today, they might be loosely
classed as ultralights, although their

exact weight is apparently not known

(at least to me). Whatever the case,
they were powered by a variety of
engines, which were used as their
designations. These included the Hen
derson-powered HW (603W), the Sze
kely-powered SR-3 (604W), and the
Lawrance-powered (7) V-40-S (infor
mation on this engine installation is
lacking; the aircraft was registered as
605W). The first three Gliders(IIN,
878N, and 879N) apparently were ac
tually nonpowered gliders.
Crawford's final design was the CLM
(XI2207). This was a large six-place,
high-wing cabin monoplane that had
a wing-plan form striking similar to
the Junkers F13 and J33, and utilized
the corrugated Junkers-type construc
tion of the Metal Plane No. 1. It had
large faired wheels located beneath
the enclosed cabin and was powered
by a 220-hp Wright Whirlwind. The
span of the CLM was 42 feet, and the
overall length was 28 feet. This was to
be Crawford's last hurrah, however.
In 1927 the company had become
the Crawford All-Metal Airplane and
Motor Manufacturoy, located at 2225
American Avenue (today, Long Beach
Boulevard), Long Beach, Seal Beach,
California. At this time the Crawford
Aeronautical School was also operat
ing at Clover Field, Santa Monica, Cal
ifornia (the Couriers were flown from
this location). In 1929 the company
became the Crawford Airplane Co.,
Venice, Calif. The final name of the
company was the Crawford All-Metal
Airplane Co. Inc., located at Los Ange
les; and in 1930, Crawford joined the
Consolidated Aircraft Corporation: "...
in construction of flying boats for the
Navy... " (www.EarlyAviators .com).De
spite all the name changes, and tech
nolOgical innovations, the depression
of the 1930s spelled the end of Craw
ford's aeronautical endeavors . The
company entered bankruptcy in 1938,
two years after Crawford, a member
of The Early Birds organization (mem
bership required a solo flight prior to
December 17,1916), had attended
its annual banquet at Sunset Boule
vard in September of 1936 (Harvey
also attended the National Air Races
in 1936). This was relatively close

to the area where the Crawford Fly

ing School had operated more than 20
years earlier.
In his latter years, Harvey contin
ued to have an interest in aviation,
but made his living in the metal-pro
cessing business. In 1950, he became
associated with the Mojave Smelting
Company, at Mojave, California. He
passed away at Antelope Valley Hos
pital November 8, 1971, and was sur
vived by three brothers and one sister
(Ed, Jim, and John, and Esther Mc
Neilly, respectively). Prior to his death,
he was under the care of his friend
W.H. Rasmussen, Mojave, Califor
nia. His obituary was printed in the
January 1972 (No. 78) issue of Chirp,
the newsletter of The Early Birds.
While I am indebted to www.Aero
files. com and for
much of the Crawford material con
tained in this e-mail, I would be remiss
if I did not mention the book on Junk
ers aircraft: Junkers Aircraft & Engines
1913-1945, by Anthony L. Kay (Put
nam). Also, the two-volume set: Ger

man Aircraft in Russian and Soviet Service

1915-1940 and German Aircraft in Rus
sian and Soviet Service 1941-1951, by
Andrei Alexandrov and Genadi Petrov
(Schiffer). Another highly useful book
on pre- World War II Soviet aviation
and its use of Junkers Aircraft is So
viet Aircraft and Aviation 1917-1941, by
Lennart Andersson (Putnam). ~

continued from page 24

circulating type tunnel, air viscosity

could be controlled to suit whatever
tests were being run . Airfoils de
veloped by several different atmo
spheric-pressure tunnels could thus
be tested under controlled condi
tions so as to produce uniform and
thus more reliable data.
It took much time to run tests on
hundreds of models and then to pub
lish the results. So during the 1920s
airfoil choice ranged all the way from
using exotic calculations to guess
work. Some deSigners simply used
airfoils that "looked good" or which
they heard had worked well on other
planes. Many American airplane com
panies in fact developed and used
their own airfoils, including Boeing,
Curtiss, Fokker, Laird, Loening, Stear
man, Pitcairn, and Travel Air.
It wasn't until the early 1930s,
therefore, that the popular Clark,
Goettingen, Eiffel, St. Cyr, RAF, U.S.
Army, and U.S. Navy airfoils began to
be replaced by NACA ones such as the
2412,4412, and 23012. Airfoil devel
opment work still goes on, with so
phisticated computers and even more
advanced wind tunnels being used
to create shapes that although very
advanced, would surely surprise and
sometimes puzzle the old-timers. ~








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