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Fresh air

Happy spri n gtime to the mem

bership of the Vintage Aircraft Asso
ciation! Although it has been quite
windy of late in my region, we have
finally experienced a good number
of days where we have been able to
open the doors of the chapter hangar.
We greatly enjoy the fresh air; we also
look forward to the utility bills taking
a giant leap downward each spring.
The spring weather has also now
allowed us to continue with the
construction of a new addit ion to
the chapter hangar here at DeKalb
County Airport in northeastern
Indiana. As you may well remem
ber, we had hoped to complete this
project last fall, but unfortunately,
old man winter snuck up on us
and had other ideas The plumbing
hookups for the restroom facilities
have now been installed, and we
are prepared to pour the concrete
foundation . God willing (and the
creek don't rise), we shou ld be able
to complete this exciting project by
Oshkosh time.
Speaking of vintage construction
projects, be sure to check out the
progress on the new Vintage Hangar
at Oshkosh that is well on its way to
meeting its construction schedule.
This is an impressive structure that
will be greatly enjoyed by our many
members who will be joining us again
at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Ju ly.
You can follow the progress of
this project on the Web at www.
EAA.oIg by clicking on Multimedia:
Photos, and on the right side, under
EAA Photo Galleries: VAA Vintage
Hangar Construction. We also have
video posted on our home page at

www., and there 's

a photo on the News page in this
issue of Vintage Airplane.
Executive Director H.G.
Frautschy has put put together a
nice pictorial of the progress on
both websites, and he will be add
ing additional photos and video as
the project continues.

As many of you are

already aware , we

recently learned that

significant progress

has been made in the

development of an

alternative fuel

for certificated

aircraft engines.

Many of you are aware that the

VAA sponsors a number of pre-con
vention volunteer work on week
ends at Oshkosh each year to help
prepare the grounds and structures
in the Vintage area of operations.
Our work party dates will be May
15-17, June 12-14, and July 23-25.
Anyone interested in participating
in one of these weekend work par
ties should contact VAA Chairman
of Maintenance Michael Blombach
at We have a
lot of finish work to be done in the

new hangar, including electrical and

plumbing work, rough-in construc
tion, and HVAC work. We will feed
you and provide housing if needed.
These work weekends are a lot of
fun. Hope to see you up there!
By the time you read this issue
you should have received your full
color mailing requesting your par
ticipation in our annual Friends of
the Red Barn campaign. I encourage
you to consider participating at any
level that you're comfortable with.
The Friends of the Red Barn is very
important to our annual budget;
it helps us ensure we can continue
to meet the needs of VAA members
during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh .
As many of you are already aware,
we recently learned that significant
progress has been made in the de
velopment of an alternative fuel for
certificated aircraft engines. This
fuel, 94Ul, may provide a long
term alternative that would poten
tially replace lOOll while imposing
the least amount of impact on the
flying community. EAA has con
ducted considerable research into
alternative aviation fuels to ensure
our members can pursue their pas
sion for flight. The industry doesn't
have all the answers yet, but the
testing of 94Ul could prove to be
a viable answer to a lot of the con
cerns we all have about the future
availability of lOOlL. Aircraft en
gine manufacturer Teledyne Conti
nental Motors began testing 94Ul
a year ago, and on March 25 of this
year, it made the first flight using
the fuel in a production GI000
continued on page 38

VOL. 37, NO.5




I Fe

Straight & Level

Fresh air
by Geoff Robison



Replicating a French Barracuda

Tom Wathen, Mark Lightsey, and the Caudron C.460
by Budd Davisson


Those Wonderful Widgeons

Flying since the'40s
by Sparky Barnes Sargent


Light Plane Heritage

Uncle Bob's Midwing Midway
Part II
by Bob Whittier


The Vintage Mechanic

Some thoughts on restoration and airworthiness
by Robert G. Lock


The Vintage Instructor

Weight ... wait, don't tell me
by Doug Stewart


Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy


Classified Ads


Tom Poberezny
EAA Publisher
Director of EAA Publications Mary Jones
H.G . Frautschy
Executive Director/Editor
Kathleen Witman
Production/Special Project
Jim Koepnick
Bonnie Kratz
Sue Anderson
Advertising Coordinator
Lesley Poberezny
Classified Ad Coordinator
Colleen Walsh
Copy Editor
Director of Advertising
Katrina Bradshaw
Display Advertising Representatives:
Specialized Publications Co.
U.S. Eastern Time Zone-Northeast: Ken Ross
609-822-3750 Fax: 609-957-5650

U.S. Eastern Time Zone-Southeast: Chester Baumgartner

727-532-4640 Fax: 727-532-4630


FRONT COVER: In 1936 during the National Air Races , Michel Detroyat and his Caudron
C.460 didn't just beat us, they cleaned our clock . This magnificent replica of the winner of
the Greve and Thompson Trophy races was built at Flabob Airport. See the article beginning

on page 6. Budd Davisson photo .

BACK COVER: Frank Marzich wheels into a left turn after departure from the annual Mid
west Antique Airplane Club's members-only fly-in in his 1944 Grumman G-44 Widgeon. For
more on a snazzy pair of Widgeons , please see Sparky Barnes Sargent's article beginning
on page 14. VAA photo. by H.G. Frautschy.

U.S. Central Time Zone: Gary Worden

800-444-9932 Fax: 816-741-6458
U.S. Mountain and Pacific Time Zones: John Gibson
916-784-9593 Fax: 510-217-3796

Europe: Willi Tacke

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


Flush Toilets!
... and other site improvements
to make AirVenture attendees more

It's not that often that something

as modest as a commode takes
center stage. But when talking to
EAA's members about the sweeping
changes coming to their conven
tion site, one simple priority con
sistently rated highly: flush toilets.
Focusing on flush toilets in a broad
discussion about the comprehen
sive AirVenture site-enhancement
program is like focusing on shoul
der harness adjustments in de
scribing a cross-country flight. It's
a small consideration in the big
scheme of things, something that
doesn 't really matter to anyone ...
except to you when your comfort
begins to suffer. And then it mat
ters a lot.
The lO-year, multimillion-dollar
plan to upgrade EAA's convention
site not only will bring improve
ments to roadways, layout, and
infrastructure (see last month's
Hotline in Sport Aviation), but also
will result in significant improve
ments in "creature comforts" for
attendees. The long-range vision
calls for flush toilets in many ar
eas, addit ional and refurbished
campground shower facilities,
more green spaces, additional
shaded rest areas, more benches,
campground hookups, expanded
wireless Internet availability, social
gathering pavilions, and an eve
ning sit-down dining option for
unwinding or celebrating special
occasions after the air show.
Enhancements in place for Air
Venture 2009 will cater to the most
compelling of the members' desires,
according to member surveys, focus
groups, and general feedback.
Accordingly, members will see
more shady retreats as they traverse
the grounds this year. liThe best

MAY 2009

John Berendt
Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Just as this issue was going
to press we learned that long
time VAA Director John Berendt
passed away early in the morning
of April IS, 2009, at the age of
74 . A lifetime EAA member (EAA
36591, VAA 984), John started fly
ing in the late 1950s and had his
interest in aviation renewed in
and most cost-effective way to cre
ate shade is with trees, and we had
a ready supply of trees that had to
be removed from the paths cleared
for new roadways and construc
tion," said Steve Taylor, EAA facili
ties manager. "We've transplanted
42 trees and added a few new ones
to strategic locations around the
site to create shade areas for relief
from the sun."
Many of these shade areas were
relocated around food venues so
visitors will be able to take advan
tage of some refreshments while
taking a break. In addition to the
trees, Taylor's facilities team is also
creating more seating and tables
equipped with large umbrellas.
Another conspicuous enhance
ment, particularly for campers, will
be the renovation and expansion
of four key shower facilities. The

1967 when he joined EAA Chap

ter 300 in Faribault, Minnesota.
John enthusiastically owned an
Aeronca 11AC Chief, a Fairchild
PT-19, and a Fairchild F-24. He's
best known as the president of
the Fairchild Club and editor of
the Fairchild Flyer.
John was a charter member of
VAA Chapter 13 in Albert Lea,
Minnesota. He was appointed an
advisor to the Antique/Classic Di
vision (now VAA) in 1989, and
after his election as a director in
1990, he continued to serve the
membership until his death. John
has been a volunteer at EAA Air
Venture Oshkosh since 1975, con
centrating his efforts on the VAA
forums and the Type Club tent,
and throughout the years John was
the volunteer who sent you your
membership longevity pins. We
will miss John's direct and forth
right manner as well as his pas
sionate commitment to aviation
and to the VAA. We extend our
condolences to his wife, Marge,
and his friends and family.
Bunkhouse, West, Stits, and North
40 shower houses will boast new
interiors with better lighting, up
graded shower stalls, lavatory sink
facilities ... and, of course (drum
roll), flush toilets. The toilets will
be added to the back half of each
shower house, with access from
both inside and outside the facility.
The number of available stalls will
vary from one to two dozen, ac
cording to each shower house's size.
Renovations to the other shower
houses and the addition of brand
new shower facilities are planned
for subsequent years.
Next month, we will highlight
new navigation, wayfinding, and
transportation routes, including a
map to acquaint readers with the
site's new layout showing locations
of the renovated shower houses
and the shady rest ,areas.

2009 AirVenture NOTAM

Available for Pre-Order
Get a jump on EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh 2009 by pre-ordering the
2009 notice to airmen (NOTAM) .
Although many of the procedures
are similar to previous years, there
are updates in nearly every area to
enhance safety, efficiency, and con
venience for the thousands of air
planes expected.
The EAA AirVenture NOTAM is
required reading and should be
part of a pilot's preflight prepara
tion. It outlines all arrival/depar
ture procedures, radio frequencies,
Wittman Regional Airport details,
and much more.
The 32-page booklets are ex
pected to be printed and available
later this month, along with an on
line version.
You can place your order at

Submit Your Type Club

Meeting Information
Many type clubs hold special
events, dinners, and meetings in
and around Oshkosh throughout
AirVenture week, and EAA provides
a listing on the AirVenture website.
If your type club plans to meet
here, visit
venture/type_clubs.html and com
plete the online form. The deadline
to submit information is July 14.
Call 888-322-4636, ext. 6112, or
e-mail for more

Submit Your Nominations for

Young Eagles Awards
The EAA Young Eagles program
is successful because of the efforts
of EAA member volunteers who
make significant contributions to
its overall success. EAA chapters
and individual EAA members are
encouraged to nominate outstand
ing volunteers for the annual Young
Eagles awards.
The following honors will be
presented by Program Chair
man Harrison Ford at AirVenture
this summer: Chapter Coordina

tor, Field Representative, Ground

Support Volunteer, Humanitarian
(presented for efforts to reach spe
cial needs Young Eagles), and the
Young Eagles Horizon award, rec
ognizing efforts to go beyond the

basic Young Eagles flight.

The nomination period is open
through June IS, and the official
nomination form is available at

VAA Work Parties

The new VAA Vintage Hangar is up, and now it is time for us to in
stall the interior offices, reconnect the water supply, and install electri
cal service to the other buildings in the VAA Red Barn area. There is
much to do before AirVenture 2009 , and we sure could benefit from
your skills, talents, and help. If you have any background in rough con
struction, finish work, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or if you would make
a good supervisor, please come up and help us during any of our work
weekends. Come for one day or all three days-it's up to you. All we ask
is that you check in with us via e-mail before you arrive so we can plan
our work and resources.
We have living accommodations for volunteers, and we will have
great evening meals supplied by chefs Steve Nesse (your regular host
at VAA' s Tall Pines Cafe) and Bob Lumley. We will also supply lunch.
Please let Archie James know ( if and when
you are coming so we can make arrangements for food and lodging.
Please bring tools ... hammers, drills, tape measures, etc.
The work weekends are as follows:
May 15, 16, 17-Finish the electrical to the office spaces, start the
electrical to the exhibition area of the new hangar, install paneling, and
connect the water and drainage.
June 12, 13, 14-Finish the cabinets in the Volunteer Center, finish
the trim to the other offices, connect the outside electrical, and finish
whatever else needs to be done.
July 23, 24, 25-Setup and cleanup before EAA AirVenture Osh
kosh 2009 .
See you there!
Mike Blombach,
Archie James,
Bob Brauer,

EM's Consolidated PT-3 will be featured at the Classic

Military Trainers Ultimate Fantasy Camp, October 9-11.

'Ultimate' Fantasy:
Classic Military Trainers
You won't want to miss this chance of a lifetime to
experience unforgettable flights in two incredible aircraft
from EAA's collection of military trainers-a Consoli
dated PT-3 and a North American T-6 .
EM's Classic Military Trainers Ultimate Fantasy Flight
Camp, October 9-11, will include a course on the history

Send Your Young Eagte to Camp!

Cutline: Air Academy campers get to test their
abilities on EAA's Challenge Course.
-Session 1: June 15-19,2009
-Session 2: June 21-25,2009

of perhaps the most interesting period of military train

ers: the 1930s. Participants will have a rare opportu
nity to fly in the only remaining airworthy PT-3, plus take
a second flight in the famed " pilot maker," the North
American T-6. Flights include a preflight briefing on the
aircraft and its controls.
EAA pilots and instructors will perform the take
off, demonstrate in the air how the controls work,
and then it is your turn! To learn more on this and
other EAA Fantasy Flight Camps, visit www.Fantasy

VAA Vintage Hangar Project

Nears Completion
After a particularly harsh win
ter in east-central Wisconsin, we've
enjoyed a nice stretch of workable
weather as the construction crew

MAY 2009

The EAA Young Eagles Camp is designed as an

introduction to the wonderful world of aviation
for students ages 12-13. This program uses small
group activities and close counselor relationships
to present the basics of flight in a science camp
format that is a unique combination of fun and
discovery. Primary activities include rocketry and
learning about how balloons fly and about avia
tion history and flight.
There are plenty of opportunities for kids to
learn about aviation at the EAA Air Academy. To
learn more, visit

from MPB Builders completed the

framing and outer shell of the new
Vintage Hangar project. Here it is
in its unpainted state after all exte
rior work has been completed. Now
it's time for a swarm of VAA vol

unteers to descend upon it and fi

nalize the interior work that needs
to be done and paint the exterior.
See the item on page 3 for more de
tails on how you can volunteer to



P.O. Box 3086

OSHKOSH, WI 54903-3086

In the March 2009 issue of

Vintage Airplane I was extremely
interested in the well-written ar
ticle-The Vintage Mechanic
on page 24, by Robert G. Lock.
Repairs, aHerationl, maintenance,
Regarding the importance of
preventive maintenance ....- -- -.....
locating original factory draw
ings for a particular antique/clas
sic airplane, I would like to offer
:r: ~=~I:t~t:::~~::::' Originally, these ~'=..:~~~:;:.;~j:rt~l~ ::::
the following information.
;==='=~ conversions were =I=:--=~:::,rl:t::
As many of you know (you
~.:=~~~~~ completed with a :::~:.J':;::'.t.=
old-timers) or perhaps do not
r-" \.,
from the eM_
know (you young-timers), I
Try doing a com~;!,~:ln ""'-'11O
~!::~.;~:t~=~ plete engine change oo!::~~~~d~:i~.~~~~~=:;
have been researching and col
without any type of
lecting both historical and tech
=n~~I:::;:~~o;,.'::; "approved data" in ~-=J*'~~It. :!.!!i
nical information on airplanes
~::; :=:~.:,~~
today's world.
==........,.~ r~::If;'::-r."::

built by the Ryan Aeronautical

Iut', .,
Corporation of San Diego, Cali
fornia, for well over 40 years,
if not more. In about 1961 (I
think) I started the Ryan Type
Club (now the International Ryan drafting standards, so they could be
Club) for the very purpose of help
more easily read and interpreted. I
ing owners of existing Ryan built have sold many sets (not cheap) all
airplanes with historical and tech
over the world for use in restora
nical information, so they could tions and repairs of existing ships.
There was even a scratch-built rep
keep these beautiful flying ma
lica made (and flown) from one set,
chines airworthy.
And, du e to my working most which I had the pleasure of making
of my life as a senior engineering a test flight in. If I had closed my
design draftsman, I and a good eyes (of course one does not do that
friend (another Ryan enthusiast) in a Ryan ST), I would have sworn
searched both in this country as it was an original; it was that good.
So, in agreement with Mr. Lock,
well as abroad for original prints
(some pretty dog-eared) of just such locating such priceless and valu
drawings and, more directly, of the able drawings can be difficult in
deed, especially if we wish to keep
beautiful Ryan ST, STA, STA Spe
these beautiful machines from the
cial, STM, etc. airplanes (not the PT
22). I spent thousands of hours in "golden age" of aviation flying for
a cold basement, nights, redrawing our future generations to see and
those documents to more modern appreciate, and to develop an inter





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est in, like us old-timers.

The set I have available consists
of well over 100 beautiful working
drawings and is, to my knowledge,
the only one in existence. You may
wish to have a set for either build
ing up a replica or perhaps just an
exact scale model. I can also supply
112 construction drawings, taken
in the Ryan plant in the early '30s.
Incidentally, my very first air
plane was a 1929 Command-Aire
3C3, OX-S powered, and carried
registration NC90 1E. I st ill have
the old wood prop from that air
plane. See my article, published in
the September 2001 issue of Vintage
Airplane, page 9.
Ev Cassagneres
Cheshire, Connecticut

estled in the hills on

the edge of Riverside,
California, Flabob Air
port has a form of aer
ial patina to it. It's as if it has been
fondled by generations of loving
hands, which have smoothed the
sharp edges and worn the finish,
thereby giving it a friendly, lived-in
feel. Many of the hangars are rusty,
while others, at the high-rent end of
the airport, have been painted and
cleaned and generally upgraded.
But they still look like a well-worn
pair of high-quality boots: polished
but soft to the touch. And that is
the character of Flabob. It is an en
thusiast's airport. And as an enthu
siast haven, it has given birth to
more outstanding airplanes than
most. But it surely holds the world's
record for producing flying replicas
of golden age racers. And today the
shark-like outline of the Caudron
C.460 curving onto final says that

MAY 2009

the spirit of Bill Turner, the long

time replica king, still lives on at
the airport he called home for so
many years.
The Caudron C.460 is another
of aviation philanthropist/entre
preneur Tom Wathen's projects. He
and Bill Turner created some fantas
tic airplanes (Turner-Laird SpeCial
and de Havilland Comet, to name
just a few), and his latest partner in
creative aerial crime is Mark Light
sey of AeroCraftsman. Mark, who
based his business just over the hill
on Hemet-Ryan Airport for years, is
a relative newcomer to Flabob.
Mark says, "I was restoring air
planes at Hemet and using lots of
Poly-Fiber products, so I knew jon
Goldenbaum of Poly-Fiber, who
also had a restoration shop on Fla
bob. Then his guy there moved,
which left Flabob with no one do
ing restoration work, so john talked
me into moving over there. It was a

good move, and I'm loving it."

Mark came into airplanes the
same way most people do, via mod
els and a very early interest. He got
his private pilot certificate in high
school at Long Beach, California,
but then started hanging out up at
another Southern California sport
aviation hot spot, Santa Paula.
"I got my license at Long Beach,
but actually learned to fly at Santa
Paula, where I was renting Cubs,
Champs, etc.
"Then one day I was browsing
through the hangars and ran across
this super friendly guy who was re
storing a Ryan ST. We talked while he
worked, and it occurred to me that
this guy had the coolest job in the
world. Even at that age, I couldn't
think of any other job that would be
as much fun and so satisfying."
He later learned the source of
his inspiration was none other
than jim Dewey, another South

ern California legendary airman,

airplane creator, and restorer.
Mark got a "real" job working
for the gas company, but old air
planes almost immediately started
working on him.
"I was living in Hemet but com
muted to Hawthorne in an old Bel
lanca Cruisair. When you put that
amount of time on an old airplane,
you can't help but learn how to
work on it. Then I built a Cor
ben Super Ace with a Model A for
power. I was always out at the air
port working on something, and
people kept dropping by, 'Hey, can
you help me with this? Can you
make this part for me?' and about
10 years ago, I had enough busi
ness going that I jumped out on
my own. And here I am building
wild-looking French airplanes."
As he tells it, Tom Wathen had
the Caudron shuffling from front
to back burner for a number of
years before Mark took the proj
ect over.
"Tom likes to do airplanes that
were winners. Plus it has to be

In 1936

.. . Michel


and his


C.460 didn't

just beat

us, they


our clock.

Running in a pair of sideways-mounted Ole" channels, the entire canopy

and windshield slides forward to allow access to the cockpit. An advan
tage to the forward-sliding canopy is that there is no worry of losing it
at speed because air pressure keeps it closed.


something no one else has done.

After doing such a long series of
racers together, Bill Turner and
he decided the Caudron would be
the next project because it fit both
of his criteria: It had won both the
Greve and the Thompson trophies
in 1936, and no one was working
on one. So, Bill got started cut
ting wood. Unfortunately, Bill was
taken seriously ill and died just af
ter they got the basic fuselage box
roughed out."
The project gathered dust for a
while, and then Tom struck a deal
with another builder. This one said
they'd have to back up and basically
build the box all over again. And
that was the stage it was in when
Mark came on board, although there
was one little piece of information
he didn't have until very recently.

MAY 2009

"What I didn't know was that

Tom had gone to France and come
back with a complete set of original
construction drawings for the air
plane. They apparently were used
on the project for a little while
then totally disappeared. I didn't
know any of this when I started
the project, so I just plowed ahead
as if no worthwhile information
of any kind was available, which
meant going the model airplane
and photo route and designing
everything yourself. Now that we
have it flying, I'm not sure I want
to see the drawings."
Building any airplane from
scratch with no plans is a heroic,
semi-masochistic project . How
ever, when the airplane is as well
known as a Caudron C.460, the
difficulty factor increases consid

erably. Because it has to look like

a specific airplane, you're terribly
constrained in your design work.
On the one hand, you have the
areas and basic dimensions avail
able, but on the other, every time
a detail is even slightly wrong, ev
ery modeler and history buff on
the planet comes out of the wood
work to tell you. The net result is
that besides having to design and
invent every aspect of the aerody
namics and structure, voluminous
historical research has to be done
to make sure the final product is
as close to being indistinguish
able from the original as possible.
Which often isn't easy.
"When we got the fuselage, it
had been set up for a Ranger and
that was going to cause some se
rious problems, both mechanical

and appearance-wise."
What he was referring to is that
the Ranger is a bigger engine than
the original Renault engine. Also the
bigger nose on the case was likely to
cause cowling changes. How
ever, a bigger problem with the
Ranger was that it was a quite
slow-turning engine, which ne
cessitated a fairly long prop to
get enough thrust, and the tiny
airplane just didn't have enough
ground clearance for that.
"We looked around and
started measuring the six
cylinder Moravia LOM en
gines, one of which is 260
hp at 3000 rpm. And it's su
percharged. It appeared to
be slightly lighter than the
original Renault and smaller
in displacement, 364 cubic

inches versus nearly 500 inches.

But, we could get it with a con
stant-speed prop, which would be
a huge improvement over trying
to run a fixed-pitch on a Ranger.

With an airplane that was, in

theory, going to be fairly fast, a
fixed-pitch prop would be a real
detriment. The original had a
two-position prop: You took off in


coarse pitch; then, when you were

up and running, ram air pressure
triggered an automatic change to a
finer pitch. A constant-speed prop
turning faster wou ld be about the
right diameter, around 6 feet, and
it would work well at both ends of
the envelope. Once we discovered
the LOM we never looked back."

At that point research on the

airframe began in earnest. This
meant finding every p h oto possi
ble along with every kind of draw
ing available . With on ly mode l
airplane drawings in their hands,
it meant they had to continu
ally check the accuracy of those
against photos of the real airplane

Flabob legend Ed Marquart got the

builders started in the right direc
tion on the landing gear when he
donated a pair of Culver V shock
struts to the cause. The motion
that closes the gear doors is so
complicated that to call it "mon
key motion" would be doing a dis
service to monkeys everywhere.

using comparative geometry: Find

something that's a known dimen
sion, like the prop (in side view),
and use that to create a scale to
get the rest of the dimensions.
Mark says, "We found one set of
drawings from the American Air
Racing Society that was extremely
accurate and pulled the airfoil off
those. We don't know what the air
foil is, but it is perfectly symmetri
cal. Fortunately, it handles fine in
the air, so we made a good choice.
"They had already enlisted the
aid of Tony Furukawa, who works
full time over at Charlie Nichols
warbird operation, doing both
wood- and metalwork, and he be
came the wing guy. However, the
wings and fuselage had never seen
one another, and I wanted to get
them together to see if we had
any problems in that area, and
we did: No provisions had been
made in the fuselage for mount
ing the wings, so we wound up

completely rebuilding the front

half of the fuselage. Again."
Since they had no drawings for
anything, they relied on the tried
and true method of looking at simi
lar airplanes and using their struc
ture as guides for their design work.
Mark got with George Pereira,
who designed the GP-4, which is
similar in weight and speed to the
Caudron, and used his wing at
tach system. It's a one-piece wing
that comes up into the fuselage,
so it's not too complicated. One
of Mark's previous customers was
a retired Boeing engineer, and he
looked over their shoulders to
make sure they didn't do some
thing really stupid .
liThe wing uses a laminated,
solid spar for the center, which
tapers and slowly becomes a box
spar toward the tips.
liThe ailerons work on a unique
torque tube system, the design of
which is driven by the total lack
of space in the fuselage, which is
true of just about everything. I sit
on the floor and still had to cheat
the canopy up just a little just
to fit in it. In fact, the trim and
tail wheel lock are on the right
side, making it look as if I have
to change hands on the stick to
get them, but that's not the case.
I can reach almost nothing on the
left side of the airplane with my
left hand because I'm so crowded .
It's only 22 inches across, so it's
much easier to reach across the
airplane with my left hand.
liThe landing gear was actually
the most challenging part of the
airplane, so we started with that.
When down, the wheels have to be
well in front of the spar, but when
the gear comes up, it has to move
back to put the wheel behind the
spar. We know the originals had
some sort of helical gear system in
there, but even if we knew how it
worked, we didn't have those capa
bilities. So, we came up with a ge
ometry that accomplished the same
thing. Electrically driven hydraulics
bring the gear up and down, but a
gas strut forces the link over center

Cleveland Would Never Be the Same

To hardcore air racing fans, 1936 will forever be known as

"The Year the French Came to Cleveland." In a sport that had
national prominence just below that of baseball with
exactly the same level of strictly American testosterone, it was
unthinkable that some effete Europeans could come over here
and beat us at our own game. But they did. Actually Michel De
troyat and his Caudron C.460 didn't just beat us, they cleaned
our clock. In the Greve Trophy race, Detroyat was 22 miles
faster than Harold Neumann in a Folkerts, and in the Thomp
son Trophy race, he blazed across the line 16 mph faster than
Earl Ortman in the Keith Rider R-3. Margins like that don't con
stitute winning: They amount to a trouncing.
In the defense of the good old United States, at least one
point has to be made: Air racing in the United States was
essentially a 3-D form of small-town drag racing. Every air
plane was hand built by amateurs in their backyards and han
gars, and every single team was nickel-and-diming their way
around the racing circuit. The Caudron was built by anything
but a bunch of amateurs, and its racing was part of a corpo
rate strategy. In fact, Caudron had been a major force in the
French aviation industry, which was considerable, by the way,
since around 1912. For it to show up at Cleveland was the
equivalent of having a team officially fielded by Boeing lined
up next to you at Reno. The airplane was a professionally de
signed and built machine. And it wasn't designed to come to
America. That was something of an afterthought.
The airplane was originally designed to compete in the Coupe
Deutsch de la Meurthe race of 1934, Europe's premier aerial
free-for-all, which a Caudron won. Naturally! Then its racers
started playing with the record book. That summer Raymond
Delmotte fired up the long, lean racer and set an absolute,
world land-plane speed record of 314 mph. We say "Iand
plane" because the absolute overall speed record was held by
a Macchi-Castoldi M.C.72 seaplane at an amazing 443 mph. A
Schneider Cup racer, the Macchi-Castoldi could outrun a Mus
tang (which hadn't even been dreamt of yet) at low altitude.
The Caudron C.460 (they built three of them) was the fast
est airplane in the world, and when Howard Hughes set his
sights on becoming the "Fastest Man in the World" in his H-1,
the Caudron was the bird to beat.
To put it in perspective, when Michel Detroyat ran the pylons
for the first time to qualify at Cleveland, his slowest lap time
was faster than any airplane in its class had ever run the py
lons. It was a fast, and terribly competitive, airplane.

t t

The gear was the most difficult part of the airplane to design because
the wheels start in front of the spar but retract behind it.

Tom Wathen: racer angel, airport

savior, sport aviation legend, and
all-around good guy. He sponsored
the Caudron project.

Mark Lightsey looks huge in this

photo because the airplane is decep
tively tiny, and he barely fits in it.

Left to right. Hualdo Mendoza, Don (Pops) Newman, Nando Mendoza,

Carah Durell, Austin Jones, Mark Lightsey, and Barry Kennedy with the
completed Caudron C.460 replica.
12 MAY 2009

to lock it down.
"We had pictures of the gear
but didn't know exactly which
way we were going to go when
the late Ed Marquart stopped by.
He said, ' I may have something
that'll help here,' and we went
back and scrounged around in his
goodie pile. He came back with
a set of Culver V struts that were
the right size, so we built the gear
legs around the shock strut.
"And then there were the multi
faceted gear doors. Getting them
sequenced was a chore, too. We
still have some work to do in that
area because they aren't closing
completely tight."
The fuselage was covered with 3/32
aircraft plywood, but on the wings

Mark used the metric equivalent, cov

ering it all with Poly-Fiber products.
liThe covering and painting sys
tem is a new product manufactured
by Poly-Fiber for the Ceconite STC.
It's called Star Gloss, and it went
on really slick," Mark says .
When you see how tiny the air
plane is and how Mark fills up the
cockpit and then you look at Fla
bob's 40 -foot wide runway, you
have to wonder how it flies.
liThe good news is that the nose
is really narrow and the flaps re
ally get the nose down so you
have the runway in sight until
you flare, but on the ground you
can barely see the sides.
liOn my first takeoff, I elected not
to use any of the split-flaps. I brought
the tail up and it hit 70, then 80,
then 90, and it showed absolutely
no indication it was going to leave
the ground. At 100 I tugged on the
stick a little, and it came right off.
That symmetrical wing needs angle
of attack to fly. Now, I use 15 degrees
of flap and hold it slightly tail low,
and it flies off really easily.
"I know it looks like it ought to
be a real handful in the air, but the
controls are really quite nice. It isn't
sensitive at all. However, it is abso
lutely neutral on all axes. If you put
a wing down, it'll stay down. Same
way with the rudder and elevator. Be
cause it has so much side area ahead
of the CG, if I pull the nose to the
side with rudder, it'll fly sideways all
day long. There is zero dihedral ef
fect: You absolutely can't pick up a
wing with rudder.
"With this smaller engine, 260 hp
versus 340 in the original and the
smaller displacement, it's not wildly
fast-200 mph or so, although in a
gentle letdown I did see 240 mph
true." The original set a world record
at 314 mph in 1934, which must have
been "interesting" to say the least.
"I put the gear down on down
wind at 140 mph and work to get
it over the fence at 100 mph. With
the split-flaps down at 45 degrees,
as it comes into ground effect it not
only slows down quickly, but has a
pronounced ground effect cushion,

The long barracuda shape of the C.460 replica is emphasized by the

French tricolor stripe. The tiny 75-square-foot wing is partially respon
sible for the original 's 314-mph top speed.

so I have a lot of time to get it set

up for touchdown."
liThe tail wheel is lockable, and
I don't think you could control the
airp lane on landing if it weren't
locked. The pilot's weight is so far
back and there's so much weight
out forward that if the airplane
started to move Sideways on the
runway, it would be like a dumbbell
and really want to come around
hard. With the locking tail wheel,
it's not that bad and a little rudder
and brake holds it."
So, now that Tom and Mark have
created their airplane, what's next?
"Tom is working with some air
show people in Europe who really
want to see the airp lane, so we're
dismantling it and taking it to Eu
rope for the summer. We're going to

hit the Geneva Classics show, and

France is having a 100th anniversary
of Caudron show. In total, we're go
ing to hit eight to 10 shows."
Mark is quick to point out that
he didn't do this by himself and
wants to credit the Caudron kids
who were part of his crew.
"I know I'm going to miss some
body, and if I do, I'm sorry. But I have
to thank Bill Hill, Tony Furakawa,
Nando and Hualdo Mendoza, Don
Newman, Larry Gudde, Barry Ken
nedy, Carah Durell, Austin Jones,
John Nelson, Rob Gold, and espe
cially Tom Wathen. It may be a little
airplane, but it took a lot of hands
and a lot of hours to get it fin ished.
Every time I strap it on I think of
Tom Wathen, and I think of these
guys. They really pulled it off." . . . .






Flying since the'40s

by Sparky Barnes Sargent
Two eye-catching Grumman
Widgeons nestled wingtip to wing
tip on the grass at EAA AirVenture
Oshkjos 2008-one, a 1943 G-44,
and the other, a 1944 G-44. Stand
ing side by side, they exemplified
the ways in which Widgeons have
evolved since the 1940s, when they
were manufactured by Grumman
Aircraft Corporation in Bethpage,
Long Island, New York.

The prototype Grumman Wid

14 MAY 2009

geon (G-44) first took to the skies in

the summer of 1940 and received
a pproved type certificate (ATC)
734 in April 1941. Nestling in the
Grumman family lineage between
the Goose and the Mallard, around
300 Widgeons were manufactured.
Originally designed for civil avia
tors-be they executives or recre
ational pilots-about three dozen
G-44s were sold before the Widgeon
found its way into the hands of
military aviators. The U.S. Army Air
Forces obtained more thim a dozen

Widgeons in 1942, and, quite natu

rally, both the U.S. Coast Guard and
the Navy were interested in such a
utilitarian, multipurpose amphib
ian. It could be handily rigged to
carry a depth charge for coastal pa
trol, and it could also be used as
both a trainer and a liaison aircraft.
Ultimately, by 1945, there were 25
Widgeons at work for the Guard,
and more than 130 employed by
the Navy (per ]uptner's U.S. Civil
Aircraft, Vol. 8).
The twin-engine Widgeon is a

fairly rare bird and easily a favor

ite among those who are fond of
vintage amphibians-for both its
eye appeal and performance. With
its durable design and sporty ma
neuverability, the Widgeon origi
nally had seating for four or five
people, and it featured all-metal
construction, cantilever wings,
and a semi-monocoque two-step
hull, with an overall length of 31
feet,S inches and a wingspan of
40 feet. The G-44A featured a few
improvements over the original
G-44-including a modified hull
and seating for six-and those
were available for the civilian mar
ket in 1949. Today, there are only
74 G-44s and 43 G-44As listed on
the FAA Registry-and very likely
not all of those are airworthy.

several engine conversions

over the years. The Gannet
conversion (Pace, Masan
dorf) featured 300-hp Ly
coming R-680 radials,
while other conversions
used 260-hp Continental
IO-470-Ds or the 260-hp
Lycoming GO-435s. McK
innon Enterprises of Or
egon developed its own
conversion using the 270
hp Lycoming GO-480s
with three-bladed pro
pellers and increased fuel
capacity. The McKinnon
Super Widgeon responded
happily to the conversion,
showing improved speed,
climb, and range. Other
features included mod
ern avionics and retract
able wingtip floats, along
with various creature com
forts ranging from wider
windows to a larger door,
soundproofing, and even an escape
hatch. The McKinnon conversion
also included changes to the struc
ture and hull, thereby allowing
an increased maximum take-off
weight. Yet another engine conver
sion uses the turbocharged 350-hp
Lycoming TIO-540s. Through the
years, Widgeons have also been
modified with droop tips and a
one-piece windshield.

Brian Van Wagnen of Jackson,
Michigan, has been flying since
he was 14, mowing grass to pay
for flying lessons. "They had wa
ter airplanes, which I was attracted
to right away since I grew up on
a lake," says Van Wagnen with a
smile, "and I was fortunate enough
to get around one of these when I
was 16. Al Meyers of Meyers Aircraft
had a Widgeon down at Tecumseh,
and I was flying a Volmer [an ex
perimental amphibian designed by
Volmer Jensen] at the time with a
guy-they took me out in the Wid
geon, and I fell in love with it! So
I've been flying them for a long
time, and I do have one at home. I
fly for American out of O'Hare, but
I'm really a seaplane nut."
Van Wagnen explains that Jim
Hagedorn "contacted me to ferry
the airplane and then give him some
dual in it. This airplane was restored
many years ago, and it was already
nice when he bought it from Mike
Reece in Portland, Oregon . Then
Jim added a stripe and logo to the
exterior, along with a new interior
and panel done by Modern Aero
in Egan, Minnesota. I don't know a
lot about this airplane's history, but
these little holes on the fuselage
were for a depth charge rack, when
it was used for coastal patrol dur
ing World War II. Then it went into


As with many older aircraft,

the Widgeon has morphed some
what since the 1940s-most nota
bly, those modifications include its
powerplants. Originally powered by
two 200-hp inline Ranger engines
with Sensenich fixed-pitch wooden
propellers, the Widgeon has had

This 1943 Grumman Widgeon's wings have been metalized aft of the spar.


"AI Meyers of
Meyers Aircraft had
a Widgeon down
at Tecumseh, and
. they took me
out in the
Widgeon, and I fell
in love with it!"
-Brian Van Wagnen
Note the immaculate interior and up-t<HIate panel.

Even the wheel well and shock

strut look brand new.

N135MG won the Transport Category Champion Bronze Lindy at

AirVenture 2008.
Brian Van
Wagnen of
Michigan, flew
the Widgeon
to AirVenture
for owner
Jim Hagedorn.

Close-up view of the

Grumman logo on
'--_ _ _ _ __''"'_ _ _ _ _ _---' the fuselage.
16 MAY 2009

This Widgeon is powered by Continental 10-520s.

ing, "the flight controls are fabric

covered on all the Widgeons, with
the exception that some of them
have had the flaps metalized-but
this one hasn't."
Van Wagnen thoroughly enjoyed
flying the Widgeon to EAA AirVen
ture Oshkosh for its first visit-es
pecially wh en it came time for the
judging and awards. N135MG made
both its pilot and its owner happy
when it was awarded the Transport
Category Champion Bronze Lindy
at the end of EAA AirVenture 2008.


Close-up view of t he tail.

civilian hands, and at some point

it was converted by Dean Franklin
in Miami to the Continental 470s.
Later on, someone changed it to the
300-hp Continental 10-520s with
McCauley props, which it has now.
There aren't a lot of Continental
powered Widgeons."

Other mods on this 1943 Wid

geon include an auxiliary fuel tank
in the wing, which increases its to
tal fuel capacity from 108 to 156 gal
lons; Cleveland wheels and brakes;
and a heater in the cabin. "Also, the
wing has been metalized aft of the
spar," explains Van Wagnen, add

Frank Marzich of Rockford, Il

linois, started hanging out at air
ports when he was just 10 years
old. He was a flight instructor dur
ing his college years at Ohio State,
and soon th ereafter he began flying
charters an d corporate fligh ts be
fore he signed on with the airlines.
Marzich credits Van Wagnen for
getting him involved in the world
of Widgeons. "Through Brian, I was
able to go to seaplane splash-ins,
and people would give me rides.
I'd been up in Gooses, Widgeons,
and Lake Amphibians, and Brian
was letting me fly his little airplane
arou nd when this one came availV I N T AG E AIRPL A NE


The Widgeon's flight controls are


Close-up view of the wheel well.

Unlike most general-aviation air

craft, the Widgeon has a round
nose, which gives the pilot a dif
ferent sight picture from that of a
typical airplane "square" nose.

Frank Marzich of Illinois enjoys fly

ing his Widgeon to splash-ins and
fly-ins, such as AirVenture.

MAY 2009

Here you can see the entryway into the cabin.

N744G 's panel- note the handsome wood yokes.

able," explains Marzich, "so I've

owned it about 10 years now. "
N744G is one of the few rag
wing Widgeons that hasn't been
metalized, and Marzich has logged
somewhere close to 400 hours on it
since he's owned it. Describing the
mods to his 1944 Widgeon, Mar
zich says, "It has a McKinnon en
gine conversion, which was done
back in the 1950s; it's powered by
two 260-hp Lycoming GO-435C
series engines. This one does have
a little electro-hydraulic power
pack, so we've gotten away from
the generator and hydraulic pump
run by each motor. And this one

has two batteries in it for backup .

It holds 100 gallons of fuel, and
it can carry 40 gallons in each tip
tank. But when you get another 80
gallons in this thing, you can only
have a few people on board, and
then you can't land on water with
tip loads, because they're supposed
to give you buoyancy."
Marzich can't help but smile
when he describes his N744G's fly
ing characteristics. "It has abso
lutely delightful ailerons on it; it
is a sweet airplane and flies really
nice-of course, there's a lot of mass
out there on the wings, so it can get
into a little Dutch roll in rough air,

if you let it. The biggest attraction

of this airplane is on the water, and
coming out of the water," he says,
smiling broadly. "When you're in
full displacement taxi, you just turn
around like a fishing boat, and then
all of a sudden you just jam the
power to it, and the monster just
lurches up-and this one comes
out of the water really fast, in 9 or
10 seconds-and you get up on the
step and it takes another second to
pick up speed. It's pretty impres
sive, because the water is spraying
up all around and the windows are
getting wet."
As much as he loves it on the
water, he says it also "handles real
nice on the land; the only thing
that's a little different is that with
the round nose on it-like the bow
of a ship-your ight picture is not
square like in must airplanes. So
it's not so easy to tell if you're in a
crab. You ask yourself, 'Where on
that roundness do I really want to
put the horizon?' It takes a little
bit of getting used to, to see when
your nose is straight, because other
airplanes have a boxier nose and
it's pretty easy to see when those
lines line up on the runway. At first,
it's pretty easy to land crooked, be
cause you don't know what you're
looking for-but if you use your pe
ripheral you can catch your drift.
So you get used to looking out the
side, and then you'll pick out where
that runway line should be on the
nose up there, and pretty soon that
will start to come together."
N744G was restored by Chuck
Greenhill and Tim McCarter in the
early 1990s, according to Marzich,
and it, too, is an award winner, hav
ing won Best Amphibian at the Sun
'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida,
in 1994.
The next time you're at a fly-in
or splash-in, keep your eyes open
for those wonderful Widgeons, and
take a closer look at each and ev
ery one you see to try and spot one
or more of the numerous modifi
cations they've come to embody
throughout their fabulous flying
career since the '40s.


Light Plane Heritage


EAA Experimenter

AUGU ST 1994

Uncle Bob's Midwing Midway

Part II

EAA 1235

ast month we told how designer Grover C. Loen

ing in 1918 created a shoulder-wing monoplane
that was significantly simpler, lighter, and faster
than the biplanes then being used in World War I.
This M-8 also had an advantage from the impor
tant standpoint of military logistics. Warplanes built in
Europe were picked up at factories by ferry pilots and
flown comparatively short distances to the battlefront.
But when the United States entered the war in April of
1917, it did not take our military people long to realize
that aircraft built in this country would have to be dis
mantled after being test-flown and then crated for ship
ment to Europe.
To keep shipping crate size as small as possible, the cen
ter sections of biplanes would have to be removed to keep

crate height to a minimum. Once the planes had been

uncrated in Europe, mechanics would have to reinstall
the center sections and take care to rig them accurately.
Slight misalignment of a center section would translate
into appreciable misalignment of long upper wings.
When procurement officers saw that the Loening
M-8 had no center section and only two wing panels in
stead of the biplane'S four, they realized how much easier
Lead: Heath midwing of 1926 would draw an admiring
crowd if it appeared at a 1994 ultralight gathering.
Cantilever wing spanned 26 feet. Spruce and plywood
fuselage with integral landing gear weighed only 22
pounds. Ship was 274 pounds empty. Did 109 mph with
a 32-hp English Bristol Cherub opposed twin engine.

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

MAY 2009

developer of th e now wide ly used

Poly-Fibe r ai rcraft covering mate
ria ls, created one- and two-seater
midwing designs called the Flut-R
Bugs, wh ich became popular among
homebuilt airplane enth usiasts. In
recent years, Randy Schlitter of Kan
sas h as re-created a line of RANS ul
tralights. It includes the S-9 and S-lO
aerobat ic mode ls, which are mid
wings. In Te n nessee, Wayne Ison's
TEAM Inc. organization developed
The midwing design has been used in numerous types of homebuilt air th e very popul ar miniMAX ultra
planes, such as this Cassutt speedster and the similar-looking Monerai. light, which also is a midwing.
None made the choice of mid
Absence of dihedral can simplify construction of cantilever wing spars.
wing configuration capriciously.
In d isc ussing Little Audrey, Po
berezn y said, "I chose the midwing
configuration basically for structural
reason s. It is easier, and a bit safer,
to have struts in tension u nder the
wings rat her than in compression
as they would h ave to be on a strut
braced low-wing. I also wanted the
greatest possible proportion of the
total wing area within the propeller
slipstream to coax more lift out of
it during takeoff or in the event of
a go-around ."
He went on to say, "I once flew a
Cub th at had been modified into a
high-wing twin by installing Lycom
Brothers Paul and Norman Poberezny built the low-wing Pober Sport ings on both right and left wings.
P-5 in 1959. Paul found that the low wing's larger wing struts had sig During the run-up prior to takeoff, I
nificantly higher turbulence on the upper wing surface at the wing strut chanced to look down at the wheels
juncture than his midwing Little Audrey, which required much smaller and was surprised to notice that tire
struts below the wing.
deflection was much less th an nor
mal. This showed that even with the
monoplanes would be to ship overseas. Had that war ship at a standstill, so much air being driven over the
dragged on into 1919, it is very possible the M-Ss might wings by the propellers was generating an appreciable
have seen a lot of action.
amount of lift."
You won't read about this in coffee table books, but the
He also related how when flying four-engined KC-97
fact is that aviation progress has always been based on planes for the National Guard, he and other pilots found
seemingly small and obscure developments such as Mr. that the slipstreams of the four big propellers working over
Loening's decision that the battle plane he was starting so much of the total wing area generated surprising lift. By
to design should be a shoulder-wing monoplane rather chopping engine power at just the right time during land
than a biplanes. While it never went to war, it performed ing flare-outs, they could make these planes promptly sit
so much better than the two-wingers that it started other down onto the runways in good, "solid" landings.
From now on, whenever you are looking at three-view
deSigners to thinking. As the 1920s moved onward, more
and more monoplanes rolled out of factories, and a sig drawings of airplanes, in the front views notice both how
nificant number of them were shoulder-wing designs much and how little of the propeller discs cover the cen
that bore a strong resemblance to the M-S.
tral portions of the wings of assorted ships. In some para
When gathering material for these articles, we con sols with high-mounted wings, very little slipstream works
tacted people who had firsthand experience with mid on the central part of the wings. One of the drawings with
wings. In the mid-19S0s EAA Founder Paul Poberezny this article is a front view of Roscoe Turner's racer-a mid
built a Single-seat midwing he named Little Audrey, af Wing-and in it you can see how much of the slipstream
ter his wife. Also in that decade, Ray Stits of California, works on the wings. Many old-time airplanes take off and



Some military planes used the midwing concept to ad

vantage. In the Martin B-l0 of 1935, above, and some
later bombers, it created space in fuselage bellies for
bomb bays. Top right, the 1937 Douglas 0-47A carried
pilot, observer, and rear gunner. Observer could move
into belly to see through underwing windows. Belly
hatch opened for verti cal photography and dropping
messages, etc. Right, midwing design allowed Grum
man to draw on biplane experience when creating its
first monoplane , the F4F-4 Wildcat. Since it is a big
ship, the pilot could sit above the wing to clear the main spar. This high position combined with small diam
eter of twin-row radial engine gave excellent forward visibility for combat and carrier landings.

climb out so well as to startle modern fliers. Their slow

turning engines drive large-diameter propellers. You have
now learned one of the "mysterious" reasons why some
planes are eagles and other are turkeys.
Poberezny also told us that some time after the Little
Audrey project, he built a low-wing, the Pober Sport. It had
two struts above each wing. Tests with yarn tufts attached
to the upper surface of one wing showed that there was
much turbulence in the areas where the struts met the
wings, with appreciable loss of lift. In addition to this loss
of lift, the struts had to be made of heavier streamlined
steel tubing to give adequate resistance to buckling under
the compression load applied to them. At fly-ins you will
notice that most ultralights are designed to have wing
struts in tension rather than compression.
Discussing his firm's miniMAX, Wayne Ison said, "We
chose the midwing configuration because careful engi
neering is required to keep an ultralight within the le
gal weight limit. Calculations showed that by attaching
wing roots to the top longerons instead of using cabane
struts as on a parasol, we got maximum strength for the
amount of material used. We achieved simplicity of con
struction for the sake of inexperienced builders. The mid
wing configuration also allowed us to run lift struts from
the landing gear to the undersides of the wings, which
kept them short and stiff enough to allow us to dispense
with the cost, weight, and drag of the jury struts needed
to stiffen the central portions of longer struts.//
Mr. Schlitter of RANS Similarly states that the good
strength-to-weight characteristic of the midwing layout
is why he chose this configuration for the S-9 and S-10
models. He pOinted out that when considering ultra
lights of comparatively short wingspans, the overhead
struts of a low-wing would affect lift over an objection
ably larger proportion of the total wing area . The fab
ric-covered steel tube fuselage frame he uses makes it
22 MAY 2009

structurally easy to incorporate admirably large windows

just below the wings.
In an informative and much-appreciated letter, Ray Stits
told us that the reason he chose the midwing configura
tion for his first Flut-R-Bug was to concentrate the differ
ent airframe loads into as compact an area as pOSSible, and
also for the sake of structural strength with low weight.
It was originally intended to power that first, quite small
Flut-R-Bug with a VW engine. Thus it was imperative to
keep weight as low as possible consistent with safety. But
in 1955, techniques for converting those auto engines for
flight were in their infancy, and stories reaching Ray about
problems various people had encountered prompted him
to switch to a 65-hp aviation engine. This led to the basic
design evolving into the two-seat Flut-R-Bugs.
These planes were fitted with cockpit canopies built
up of metal strips. Right and left sides had transparent
plastic panels, while the top areas were fabric-covered
to shield occupants' heads from the hot sun. Test flights
were made with and without these canopies and also
with and without the plastic side panels. The airplanes
did not have the kind of instrumentation needed to
make really accurate performance measurements, but the
pilots did sense that these midwings flew better and with
less turbulence effects with full canopies in place.
Tests with lengths of yarn were conducted on a side
by-side Flut-R-Bug having a full canopy, and the pilots
were surprised to observe that after leaving the trailing
edge at the root, air reversed direction and flowed for
ward and upward at a 45-degree angle along the side
window. However, only 18 inches outboard the flow was
normal. Ray therefore came to feel that many planes
have similar airflow problems of which the builders are
not aware because of not having made yarn tests.
He also said one just can't tell by looking at a plane.
They flew one SA-6A tandem-seater with no side plastic

Top left, French Bernard set 278 mph speed record in 1924. Hispano-Suiza engine of 450 hp had 12 cylinders
in three banks of four each. Cowl over right and left banks blended cleanly into roots of midwing. Center and
top right, Wittman Buster of late 1940s had flat-four 85-hp engine and used same idea in its cowling, as did
others. Bottom drawings show Art Chester's Jeep of mid-1930s. It had a gull wing similar to Stinson Reliant.
Spars were deepest and strongest where struts attached. Fairly open angle at junctures of struts with wing
undersides minimized drag from "squeezing" air in these angles. Shorter wing chord at roots minimized size
of juncture between wings and fuselage. Short wingspans of racers afforded good bracing angles.


"~,,,,"'~~ ~ ~~ffl


The valley where a low-wing meets a round or

oval fuselage, A, is a big drag generator. Effi
cient root fillets, B, are complicated and costly
to make. Flat-sided fuselages, C, became a "'!!!55=======;]~
common solution to this problem. At D, round
cowling on 1,000-hp P&W Twin Wasp on Ros
coe Turner's late-1930s racer led to round fuse
lage. Use of midwing concept offered simplest,
cleanest wing-to-fuselage juncture. Wing and
stabilizer are on prop thrust line. Pilot weight
aft balances big engine. Visualize this ship on
the ground and note how wing blocks forward
view. At E, Chester's Goon replaced Jeep. Mid
wing design provided a deep fuselage belly into
which to install short, sturdy, retractable land
ing gear. Would be hard to retract it into the
thin cantilever wing.



Interesting things can be done with midwings. In 1955 Ray Stits designed this single-seater SA-SA Flut-R-Bug.
Inboard ends of wings detached from fuselage and swung upward. At same t ime, wing struts pivoted on t heir
bolts and wings ended up folded , with roots upward and tips downward. Could fit into odd hangar spaces. Wing
panels were only 8 feet long, overall span proved to give too poor span loading for good takeoff and climb, so
2 feet were spliced to each wingtip to increase span. Tips would then touch the ground if folded; change was
made to detachable wings racked on each side of the fuselage . This ship led to later two-seat Flut-R-Bugs.

on the canopy but just the top fabric in place and expe
rienced no turbulence. Then some builders of this model
began to report experiencing turbulence over the tail sur
faces in tight left turns at cruising speed. Simple, single
curvature, triangular fairings made of sheet aluminum
and installed in the angle between wing leading edges
and the fuselage cured this by delaying airflow separa
tion. Live and learn.
As far as we know, no wind tunnel tests have been
made of small, simple midwing planes designed and
built on tight budgets-not enough such midwings have
been built to attract the attention of the wind tunnel
people. Probably some have been made for larger, faster
military types, but one could spend much time trying to
hunt down the decades-old reports that resulted.
When one looks at the accompanying side-view draw
ing of the Grumman Wildcat, it becomes readily appar
ent that the enclosed cockpit positioned so far above the
juncture of wing roots and fuselage sides could cause no
turbulence problems. But when we look at pictures of as
sorted smaller midwings, with the inboard ends of their
wings close to large open cockpits, common sense says
turbulence must result. One has to consider each mid
wing individually. Generalizations are risky.
On studying photos and drawings of midwi ng and
shoulder-wing aircraft accompanying this article, you
can spot both "clean" and "dirty" designs.
The midwing configuration has been used in some
military planes. It left generous belly space available for
bomb bays in bombers. But because the wing spars ran
right through the middle of fuselages, converting such
bombers to passenger-carrying craft was either impos
sible or discouragingly expensive.
For reasons involving production considerations,
cabin pressurization, weight, performance, and so on,
many large and fast all-metal planes have been designed
with circular or oval fuselage cross sections. Acute an
gles appear where low-mounted wings meet such fuse

MAY 2009

lages. The classic cure for the aerodynamic drag created

there is to install well-shaped sheet aluminum fillets hav
ing elaborate curves requiring much work and expense.
This is one reason why many low-wings have fuselages
with flat bottoms and sides. They can get by with much
simpler fairings or none at all. The drawings in this ar
ticle make it easy to visualize what this is all about. Read
Tony Bingelis' article on fairings in the April 1992 issue
of Experimenter.
Now look at the draWings of Roscoe Turner's big rac
ing plane, the LTR-14. The l,OOO-hp P&W Twin Wasp
engine that powered it was of the radial type, today often
referred to as a "round" engine. The NACA drag-reducing
cowling fitted around it was, therefore, round as seen
from the front . This dictated that the fuselage cross sec
tion should be round to blend in with it.
And now notice where the wings join this fuselage.
The angles are obtuse rather than acute. Airflow was
thus smooth and easy in this area, and so even such a
fast plane as this could get by without large and complex
wing root fillets. Their absence left more of each wing's
inboard area open to the beneficial effect of the big pro
peller's slipstream. Since this plane carried only the pilot,
a midships cabin space was not needed and so the mid
wing configuration was ideal.
As the 1930s moved on, the Grumman people real
ized they would have to switch from light and sturdy but
high-drag biplanes to the monoplane configuration to
meet the Navy's demand for greater speed. The resulting
F4F-4 Wildcat was a midwing. The more we study it, the
more we appreciate how logical this choice was.
It allowed Grumman to make use of the light, compact,
into-the-fuselage retractable landing gear it had developed
for its biplanes. Engineers could readily adapt design and
production methods developed for all-metal biplane fuse
lages to this first venture into the monoplane field.
In biplanes, upper and lower wings are more or less
equidistant from the propeller thrust line. This results

in little change of trim with movement of the throt

tle. Because the midwing layout duplicates this setup,
Grumman engineers probably felt using it for the Wild
cat would help Navy pilots accustomed to biplanes to
make the transition to monoplanes.
For the same reason the Turner racer did not have
them, the Wildcat also had no big wing root fillets. The
twin-row, 14-cylinder P&W Twin Wasp engine chosen
to power this design similarly had a round cowling that
blended into a round fuselage. But because this engine
was 48 inches in diameter compared to the S4 inches of
single-row radials of the same power, cowling diameter
was minimized to the benefit of forward visibility when
making carrier landings or firing at enemy aircraft.
To maintain good streamline form aft of the engine,
the fuselage was of quite appreciable diameter. This al
lowed the pilot seat and controls to be located completely
above the wing. The pilot's head was thus positioned
quite high and therefore to the benefit of visibility both
forward and to each side.
The reason why later Grumman fighters were low
wings was because the Wildcat's landing gear track had
to be made quite narrow to retract into the fuselage. It
was too narrow to handle the enormous propeller torque
created by more powerful engines. The reason why the
Vought F4U Corsair used an inverted gull wing was be
cause this layout retained the midwing's simple, clean,
wing-to-fuselage juncture while also enabling short,
light, sturdy landing gear legs to be positioned well out
from the fuselage centerline. The more one looks into
and thinks about the design features of any successful air
plane, the better one appreciates the amount of engineer
ing talent put into it.
Many racing planes of the 1930s and 1940s were
of the midwing type. Their short wingspans allowed
streamlined steel tube struts or tie rods to be used with
favorable bracing angles. The design and construc

tion of two-spar-braced wings was well understood by

airplane builders of those days, and they were compara
tively easy and inexpensive to build.
The quest for speed led deSigners into cantilever wings
that reqUired increasingly sophisticated engineering as
speeds and stresses increased. The midwing configuration
allowed such wings to be simply, lightly, and strongly at
tached to the fuselage framework. Airfoils tended to be
quite thin for the sake of speed, and it was a challenge
to retract landing gears into the available space. Again,
the midwing configuration worked well because landing
gears could be retracted into the ample fuselage space in
the area below the wing.
Mention has been made of the similarity between
biplanes and midwings in regard to minimal change
of trim with changes in throttle setting. Flying racing
planes around closed courses called for as much skill
and concentration as does driving an Indianapolis race
car. The planes flew very fast and not very far above the
ground. Pilots must watch instruments, get into position
to round pylons, and keep track of competing planes.
It would be easy to lose sight of altitude for even a mo
ment and let the plane fly into the ground. We wondered
if the midwing's minimal change of trim was one of the
reasons those race pilots liked the type, so we asked no
less an authority than Steve Wittman about it.
He replied that yes, they were aware of this and ap
preciated it, but it was not the major reason for choos
ing midwings. When simple-to-build wings braced with
streamlined tie rods were used, the layout lent itself to
fastening both upper and lower rods to the fuselage. As
in the Turner racer, there could be streamlining advan
tages. Both low-wings and midwings afforded good visi
bility ahead when racers banked around pylons. Minimal
change of trim came as a welcome bonus.
Compared to high-wing monoplanes, the downward
visibility of midwings is fundamentally poor. Very few

We see many ideas in midwings. Left , RANS aerobatic ships have large windows below wings to give very
good view below. Right, designed in Belgium after World War II by Mr. E.O. Tips, the VW-powered Tipsy Nipper
had t ricycle gear. This put wing trailing edge well above ground. Arrow points to flap that hinges downward.
Stirrup-like step at lower end facilitates boarding. Picture is of a neat rubber-powered scale model by Sieg
fried Glockner of Germany.


position. That's why some racing

and aerobatic ships are low-wings.
On the other hand, light mid
wings intended for sport flying
usually have engines of modest
weight, and to get proper balance
pilot seats are located where wings
join the fuselage. In such ships
downward visibility can be nil.
This might not bother a pilot who
normally flies cross-country over
monotonous terrain, but could be
considered unacceptable by one
who likes to fly over scenic regions.
The midwing design finds applications today. Above, Pushy Cat has its It's worth noting that TEAM Inc.

wing on the propeller thrust line. Does 265 mph on a 200-cubic-inch en offers customers a choice between

gine. Below, the popular miniMAX ultralight uses the midwing idea to its midwing MiniMAX and high

simplify construction and reduce weight compared to a high-wing. Tall wing Hi-MAX.

Openings or windows on fuse

vertical tail carries a useful amount of its area above turbulence coming
lage sides of midwings have been
back from cockpit in open models.
much used as a way to improve
downward visibility. In some cases
the visibility gain has been mar
ginal, in others quite worthwhile .
Punch a small hole in a piece of
paper. When you hold the paper
some inches ahead of one of your
eyes you can see little through
the hole. But your arc of vision
increases substantially the closer
you bring the card to your eye. The
same effect governs the visibility
through airplane windows. Study
the illustrations used in these ar
general-purpose civilian midwings have been manufac
ticles and evaluate how different shoulder-Wings and
tured because of this. But there is variation in downward midwings rate in this regard.
visibility among midwings. The high cockpit positioning
Some years ago we corresponded with Robert
on the Grumman Wildcat offered quite good visibility Thompson]r. (now deceased) of Ohio. He was very
not only ahead, but also to each side, and fighter pilots well-informed on Heath light planes, and in discuss
seldom have need to look directly below. A low-wing ing the Heath Center-Wing, he stated that it was a
with low-set cockpit and a lot of dihedral can offer poorer much better windy-day plane than was the Parasol.
visibility to the side, it should be noted.
In the air, this had something to do with the fact
The late-1930s Douglas 0-47 A and other observa
that it had a shorter wingspan and consequently
tion/reconnaissance planes had pilot seats located at higher wing loading. In landing and taxiing work,
or even ahead of the wing's leading edge so as to pro
a crosswind working on a Parasol's high-mounted
vide quite good downward visibility. The same can wing had appreciably more tendency to tip the ship
be said of the light Short Satellite sport plane.
onto its downwind wingtip than was the case with
Racing planes had powerful and therefore heavy the Center-Wing. Mr. Ison of TEAM Inc. substanti
engines in their noses. To balance them pilot seats ates this by observing that the midwing miniMAX
were located aft of the wings. Depending on the par
is more manageable than the Hi-MAX in crosswind
ticular plane, visibility dead ahead could be poor, to conditions. He also states that the midwing model
the sides and in racing turns it could be good, and has a faster response to the ailerons than does the
downward on each side, good enough to see check
high-wing. This would be because in the midwing,
points when flying cross-country.
the wing is positioned closer to the ship's vertical
In planes having such aft-located cockpits, a mid
center of gravity.
wing ahead of the pilot could block forward visibil
A long time ago we read that for much the
ity seriously when a taildragger was in three-point same reason , midwings ride better in rough air

MAY 2009

than other types. When plunging into a gust, drag

acting on a high-mounted wing causes a momen
tary tail-down action. In the case of a low-wing it
would cause a nose-down action. Ison of TEAM
and Schlitter of RANS said they have not noticed
this effect, but that might be because their planes
are quite light. Probably what we read applies to
heavier and faster midwings. Read "Exploring the
Parasol Monoplane" in the March 1993 issue of Ex
perimenter; note particularly the drawing on page
20 and interpolate to midwings.
With less wing drag compared to biplanes, mono
planes have become popular among aerobatic pi
lots, and many monoplanes are midwings. Lower
drag translates into better performance in the spec
tacular upward-zooming maneuvers now so much a
part of competition and air show work. The mini
mal change of trim with throttle movement that
has long made biplanes popular similarly makes the
midwing configuration advantageous in aerobatic
work. The simple but very strong attachment of
wing to fuselage is an advantage when vigorous use
of the ailerons is made.
Some midwings have no dihedral, others a notice
able amount. "Flat" wings are often seen on racers
and aerobatic ships. Having no dihedral can simplify
the construction of box spars for cantilever wings.
Sometimes a one-piece cantilever wing turns out
to be both lighter and stronger than a similar one
consisting of three panels connected with steel fit
tings. Often the absence of dihedral can make a mid
wing respond to the ailerons faster or make it handle
better in inverted flight. A designer has to think of
many things.
On the other hand, dihedral is common on light
midwings intended for sport flying. We have seen
nothing in airplane design textbooks on midwing di
hedral. In the early 1960s EAA published a softcover
book entitled EAA Aircraft File Number 3, DESIGN,
Volume 1. On page 22 is an article by Bill Meadow
croft on "Dihedral Effects." The calculations it pres
ents use a midwing design as a subject.
Dihedral, fin area, and spiral stability are closely
interrelated, but this is a subject very little under
stood by most amateur deSigners. There's a sec
tion on spiral stability in Model Airplane Design, by
Charles Hampson Grant. It was originally published
in 1941 by Jay Publishing of New York and in 1983
by Charles H. Grant Associates Inc., Manchester Ver
mont. This section runs from page 108 to page 114
and uses diagrams of parasol and midwing free flight
models to illustrate the aerodynamics involved.
EAA's Library will copy and mail to you the Mead
owcroft article and the Grant book's coverage of spi
ral stability. Contact the library at, or
call 920-426-4848.
The chapter on "What the Airplane Wants to Do"

in Wolfgang Langewiesche's well-known book Stick

and Rudder has something to say about spiral dives,
which are to full-size planes what spiral stability is to
free-flight models.
Cockpit entry and exit can be more of a problem
to the designer of a midwing than other types. In
ships having the cockpit between the wing roots it's
usual to provide a step of some sort at a convenient
location on the side of the fuselage and a step pad or
walkway on the wing root. Some sort of handhold
is also needed, especially in taildraggers, by which
a pilot can lower himself into and pull himself up
out of the seat. Wire-braced midwings like the Buhl
Bull Pup are nice in this respect, because the cabane
struts to which the overhead wing tie rods are at
tached also serve as a convenient and sturdy hand
hold. Such struts also provide pilot protection in the
event of a nose-over.
Strut-braced mid wings such as the miniMAX
and RANS aerobatic models have no such overhead
structures. The former is boarded from ahead of the
wing by means of a step in the fuselage just above
the landing gear. The RANS planes have projecting
footsteps on their fuselages and pads on the tops of
their rear wing spars and are boarded from behind
the wing.
It's easy to step from the ground to the wingwalk
of a lOW-Wing, but in some designs one must then
clamber over a rear wing strut to reach the cockpit.
But once up on the wingwalk of a midwing, the path
to the cockpit is clear. In small parasol monoplanes
there's often not much clearance between the top of
the fuselage and underside of the wing, which calls
for some squirming to get in and out.
Turbulent airflow and therefore much drag can be
created by the combination of a usefully high wind
shield ahead of an open cockpit, the cabane struts,
and the underside of the wing of a parasol mono
plane. Based on Heath Parasol components, the 1929
Church Midwing was much cleaner in this area and
appreciably faster. Plans for it are in the 1931 Flying
and Glider Manual reprint available from EAA (and
on the EAA online store at and are in
teresting to study.
Because visibility downward and to the side, and
boarding and getting out are critical aspects of de
signing a good midwing, it is advisable to build a
mock-up before actual construction is begun.
We ask readers not to interpret these two articles as
meaning that we endorse the midwing configuration
and rush to their drafting boards. Our objective is to
create a better general understanding of this seldom
written-about type. Over the years there have been
very successful midwings and also some miserable
ones. The good ones resulted from careful evaluation
of how the midwing configuration might lend itself
to a particular application.



Some thoughts on
restoration and airworthiness
As the aviation industry contin
ued to grow in the middle 1920s,
Congress, in an attempt to create a
uniform set of regulations govern
ing aviation, created the Aeronautics
Branch of the Department of Com
merce. The Aeronautics Branch (re
named the Bureau of Air Commerce
in 1934) began to create new docu
ments, one of which was Aeronautics
Bulletin 7H (right, top). This docu
ment spelled out the first published
data on making repairs to certificated
aircraft in the United States. The pub
lication date was January I, 1936.
This was the first data published to
aid mechanics in accomplishing re
pairs and alterations of aircraft.
By 1938 the government contin
ued to evolve its oversight of avia
tion by creating the Civil Aeronautics
Administration (CAA). It created the
Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) and
Civil Aviation Manuals (CAM). Re
quirements for approved type certifi
cates (ATC) were now contained in
the CARs; CAR 3 was certification re
quirements for small aircraft. Also to
appear was the "mechanic's bible,"
CAM 18 (right), which spelled out re
quirements for maintenance, repair,
and alterations to airframes, power
plants, propellers, and appliances.
CAM 18 was an expansion of Aero
nautics Bulletin 7H and may have
first appeared in 1941. This publica
tion was to eventually evolve into
the present FAA Advisory Circular
AC43.13-1B that gives advisory data
on major repairs to aircraft structure.
Annual relicensing of aircraft was
28 MAY 2009






o..wH . '-oIh>.~







inspected for issuance of a permanent

airworthiness certificate, then upon
the restoration of that aircraft, appli
cation would be made to the FAA and
a conformity inspection would have
to be completed before a new perma
nent certificate could be issued.
As the workload for CAA inspectors
increased, a new method of licensing
was created. The designated airworthi
ness maintenance inspector (DAM!)
was selected as a means to license air
craft annually. These selected DAMls
were well-experienced, certificated
Aircraft and Engine (A&E) mechan
ics who were hand-selected by local
CAA maintenance inspectors. The air
worthiness certificate was still reissued
every 12 calendar months, but in the
middle 1950s, about the time the CAA
evolved into the FAA (Federal Avia
tion Agency), things began to change
for airworthiness certificates. They be
came permanent. The aircraft could
be relicensed every year by the DAM!.
When the CAA evolved into the FAA,
regulations changed to create an "au
thorized inspector. The designation
A&E was also changed to airframe and
powerplant mechanic; thus the A&P
with inspection authorization (A&P/
IA) was created. So today, the A&P/IA
can return-to-service annual inspec
tions, many major repairs, and some
major alterations. An A&P mechanic
was eligible for the IA after three years
of active experience and by taking a
comprehensive written test. I remem
ber my IA test lasted seven hours!
Congress created the Federal Avia
tion Agency in 1958, and soon after,

CAM 18 was effective until the

current FAA created the Advisory
Circular system.

required and a new airworthiness

certificate was issued to the owner
after the airplane was approved for
return-to-service. These certificates
expired after 12 calendar months
and were subsequently reissued. Fig
ure 1 shows the old renewable air
worthiness certificate.
Today, if an old aircraft was never

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Form 60 8

Figure 1.
IS iI us ration above s a copy taken
'AA air
worthiness paperwork file. The original registration number, NC150M, has
been assigned to another airplane due to inactivity. These early airworthi
ness certificates were issued annually and therefore had an expiration
date. Note that the airworthiness certificate is signed by a CAA inspector,
as mechanics could not relicense aircraft in those days.

the word"Agency" was dropped in

favor of "Administration." And that
is what it is today, the Federal Avia
tion Administration. Government
control and bureaucracy continues
to grow ever larger.
While we are on the subject of the
FAA and airworthiness, perhaps an
easy method to distinguish differ
ences between a major repair and a
major alteration is to apply the fol
lowing: 1) If the repair returns the
aircraft to its original type certificate,
affects airworthiness, and cannot be
done using elementary techniques,
then it is a major repair; 2) If the re
pair (or modification) alters confor
mity to the original type certificate,
then it is a major alteration.
If an A&P mechanic cannot ap
prove a major repair or alteration,
then a "field approval" by an FAA
maintenance inspector must be ob
tained. At times it may be beneficial
to solicit the aid of a DER (designated
engineering representative) or a DAR
(designated airworthiness represen
tative) to speed the process. An alter
native to this, in the case of a major
alteration, would be to obtain a sup
plemental type certificate (STC).
I have an STC on my Command
Aire biplane for an engine change.
It took almost four years and many
aspirin tablets to quell the massive
headaches associated with this pro
cess. Note that the date of application

Figure 2 . The Wright engine instal

lation in my Command-Aire.

was January 1,1986, and the date of

issuance was July 16, 1990. Perhaps
a future story on FAA field approvals
could prove interesting. This STC is a
one-time approval for installation of
Figure 3.
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Stacks of 50-pound glass bead bags to gain mechanical advantage dur

ing pull test.


Nearing the end of a very long day and a successful engine mount pull
t est. That's me to the left (not looking very happy) and my father, Leon
ard, to the right. In the center is FAA inspector AI Strickfaden. If we
look slightly overheated, it was due to a temperature of over 100F in
my shop when we completed the test in late afternoon.

a Wright R-760-8 engine in NC997E.

The STC required an engine mount
pull test to 7.441s; I believe this was
beyond the limits of design in 1929.
But it was either do the test or cancel
the STC application, so I did the test!
Figure 2 shows the Wright engine in
stallation in my Command-Aire.
The FAA required an engine mount
pull test. I constructed a very simple
"I" beam arrangement and made the
problem into a weight-and-balance
solution. By calculating the amount
of pull to be exerted on the engine
mount structure, I used the axle cen
terline as a fulcrum point and deter
mined how much weight to place on
a plywood mount I had fabricated at
the horizontal stabilizer attach points.
Figure 3 shows my notes on how
to conduct the pull test. Adding
SO-pound bags of glass beads pro
vided a down load in the aft fuselage,
thus causing a downward pull on the
engine mount structure. It worked
and the fuselage supported 7.441s!
So much for the engine mount pull
test. It was one of the most difficult
tasks I've ever undertaken in the avia
tion business. To this day there is a very
slight bow in the lower longerons be
tween clusters, no doubt caused by the
tremendous load during the pull test.
If an aircraft never had a perma
nent airworthiness certificate, then
one must be obtained. Here again, the
FAA issues the certificate. As I men
tioned before, to obtain that treasured
piece of paper, you must submit an ap
plication and prove the airplane "con
30 MAY 2009

forms to its original type certificate.

Sometimes this is very difficult, espe
cially if the original type design data
is missing. At the FAA headquarters in
Washington, D.C, I have seen file cab
inets with drawers containing type de
sign data. Just like in Joe Juptner's U.S.
Civil Aircraft books, each drawer had
folders with the original ATC number
at the top. Some of the folders con
tained data; some folders were empty.
When the folder was empty, the FAA
has no type design data other than
the data that is published in Aircraft,
Engine and Propeller Listing, which is
very limited.
Just what is type design data, you
ask? Upon original granting of the
ATC to Command-Aire for my airplane
in March 1927, type design data was
in the form of draWings, engineering
data, photographs, and any other type
of data required by the Aeronautics
Branch of the Department, and later
the CAA, for manufacturing approval
of a particular model of aircraft.
For the coveted permanent air
worthiness certificate, an FAA repre
sentative will conduct a conformity
inspection. Basis for the inspection
could be one or more of the following:

- FAA Aircraft, Engine and Propeller

Listing or specification sheets micro
fiche (now CD-ROM) of original re
cords containing airworthiness and
registration data.
- Factory drawings (if available).
- Aircraft and engine operation
In addition, a current weight-and

balance report with critical forward and

aft center of gravity loading, a loading
schedule (if required), and appropriate
placarding must be included. A list of
reqUired, optional, and special equip
ment must accompany the weight-and
balance data. And lastly, FAA Form 337
(Major Repair and Major Alteration)
must be completed by the supervising
A&P/IA. Aircraft and engine logbooks
must have appropriate entries made by
authorized individuals, and registration
data must be shown.
After many months (or should
I say years) of restoration work, per
haps that small piece of paper that
in your hand. Categories of the Air
worthiness Certificate are: NORMAL,
certificates are: STANDARD (NC), RE
ATC data is also known as type de
sign data. Type design data can be
found in the Aircraft Listing, Engine
Listing and Propeller Listing, an FAA
publication for fewer than SO airplanes
registered, and the Aircraft, Engine and
Propeller Specifications for the "middle
aged" aircraft, with more than SO air
planes registered.
For the older vintage airplanes
the above is the only type design
data available. If you are really lucky
there may be copies of original fac
tory drawings available as a valuable
su pplement. However, most of the
factory drawings for many antique air
craft have been destroyed or the FAA
will not release them. For the Waco
and Boeing Stearman restorers, fac
tory drawings are available. The Waco
drawings are available at the National
Air and Space Museum in Washing
ton, D.C, and the Boeing Stearman
drawings are available on CD from
private individuals. Drawings are most
valuable when restoring or repairing
aircraft. I searched for the Command
Aire drawings, but I have determined
that they have been destroyed. How
ever, in my search I did locate some
valuable type design data from a most
unusual source, which might fuel an
other story someday.



Every part is
the tightest Original Equipment Manufacturers specifications.
Our quality control continually tests repairs and certifies new repairs to keep the
cost of aircraft engine maintenance down. The quality really does go in
each re-machinecl part before the yellow tag goes on.



2860 N. Sheridan Road, Tulsa, OK 74115 Phone: 918-836-6872 Fax: 918-836-4419


Weight . . . wait, don't tell me

Not too long ago, a potential cli
ent called me seeking training for a
tailwheel endorsement. He had heard
that I conducted the training in my
Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser and was
hoping that he would fit inside. Need
less to say, the bells and whistles went
off inside my head. "Fit inside?" I
asked. "Umm, yeah," he replied, "you
see, I'm a little on the heavy side."
"Well, how much do you weigh?" I
asked. "You are aware that there is a
maximum certified weight limit for
the airplane that we can't exceed."
"I weigh about 330 pounds," he
answered. Doing a quick calcula
tion in my head I realized that be
tween us, plus the empty weight of
the airplane, we would be close to
max gross weight, and that wasn't
even accounting for any fuel. "That
will be pushing our weight limits,"
I responded, "but if we start with
only half fuel we should be okay.
You realize, though, that in order
to remain within the center of grav
ity envelope you will have to sit in
front, and it might be a bit tight for
you up there."
He replied that he understood
what I was saying, but he had been
searching for an airplane and an in
structor for quite some time and I
was the first one he had found who
was willing to give it a try. He was
willing to make the long drive to the
airport where I'm based in order to
see if he would fit.
I had my doubts, but as I almost
always will go the extra mile to help
someone who wants to fly get in the
air, I wasn't going to deter this gen

MAY 2009

tleman. However, I must say that

this was not the first time I had re
ceived this type of request, especially
since the advent of the light-sport
certificate. Many people have called
me wanting to receive training who
are just too heavy to fit in any of the
airplanes that qualify for operation
under light-sport rules, i.e. a maxi
mum cert ified gross weight not to
exceed 1,320 pounds.

... it is so easy to

exceed the limits

that many

instructors take

a very cavalier

approach and tell

their clients,

"Just a few

pounds overweight

won't matter."

My guess is that most of these

folks, whose avoirdupois is on the
large side, typically also have some
type of medical problem associated
with their obesity that prevents
them from obtaining a third-class
medical certificate. What with the
light-sport certificate requiring only
a "driver's license" medical, they
see this as their avenue into the air.
They see a way around the rules, but
if they weigh all the consequences,

they will realize there is one law for

which there is no escape: the law
of gravity. It's as if they are saying:
"Weight? Wait, don't tell me."
Seeing as how many of the leg
acy aircraft we fly easily fit into the
light-sport aircraft (LSA) category, it
seems like it might be worthwhile
to review the many issues that need
to be considered relative to weight
and balance. Let's look at maximum
certified gross weight first, as that is
the area that most often will be at
or over the limits, particularly with
airplanes like Cubs, Champs, Vaga
bonds, Taylorcraft, and even that
venerable trainer for so many pilots,
the Cessna 150/152 (which, by the
way, does not meet LSA rules).
For many of these airplanes, with
pilots of today's typical weights, it is
not very difficult to exceed the max
gross weight limits. In fact it is so
easy to exceed the limits that many
instructors take a very cavalier ap
proach and tell their clients, "Just a
few pounds overweight won't mat
ter." In doing so a horrible mental
ity is created, especially for neophyte
pilots who are so susceptible to the
"rule of primacy" : The things we
learn first are the things that stick.
Thus they start off their flying careers
thinking that it's no big deal to exceed
the weight limits of our airplanes.
As an examiner I often ask an appli
cant if an airplane will fly if it weighs
more than max gross, provided the
center of gravity (CG) limits are not
exceeded. I usually get the true an
swer of "yes, it will." But then I fol
low up with the question of what is

the greatest danger of flying in this

condition. I'll typically get theses an
swers: It will take more runway to take
off and land, the stall speed will be
higher, and it won't climb as quickly.
All of these answers are correct, but
it's almost as if I have to go fishing
to get to the greatest danger, and for
that there is only one answer: the risk
of structural damage. I am amazed at
how many pilots don't come up with
that answer immediately.
I'll then follow up with questions
relative to the center of gravity. I
ask, what are the dangers of exceed
ing the forward CG limits? Most pi
lots answer correctly that it will be
difficult, if not impossible, to rotate
on takeoff and that when landing it
might be hard, or again impossible,
to flare . Some appropriately men
tion that it will raise the stall speed.
I then move on to the dangers of
having the CG aft of the limits. To
this I will often get answers again
related to the takeoff and landing
phases of the flight. Some will discuss
the fact that it will be less stable with
the CG aft. But when I ask about the
greatest danger of having the CG aft
of the rearward limits, it concerns
me that not every applicant comes
up with the immediate answer that
in that condition it might be impos
sible to recover from a stall.
I then move on to another
weight-and-balance scenario. In
this scenario, two pilots, Jack Sprat
and his wife (you remember them,
"Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife
could eat no lean.") are going for a
flight in their Piper Cub. The winds
aloft are blowing and there is an
AIRMET for moderate turbulence
along their route. I now ask, if you
were them, how would you load the
airplane? Who would get to sit in
the front, Jack or his wife?
Unfortunately, not every pilot can
answer this type of question. Most, if
not all, pilots know how to calculate
weight and balance. They know that
weight times arm equals moment,
and that if you total the moments
and divide that number by the total
weight, the number you will get is an
other arm. That arm is the center of

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gravity of the airplane, as loaded.

Virtually all pilots know that
when dealing with weight and bal
ance, weight is equal to 16 ounces
to the pound, the arm is not an ap
pendage coming from their shoul
der but a distance from a measuring
point (the datum line), and that a
moment is more than a short period
of time while they think up the an
swer, but a number representing a
force (when you calculate weight
and balance may the force be with
you). Most pilots are also keenly
aware of the dangers of exceeding
the limits of weight and balance,
but not all pilots are truly aware
of the ramifications of moving the
weight around in the airplane while
remaining within the limits.
In the course of a practical test, a
flight review, or an FAA Wings pro
gram, I ask them about how they
would load the airplane for a given
condition. Do they consider the load
ing relative to possible turbulence or
their desire to have the most stable
aircraft they can have? If instead I
present a scenario where the highest
cruise airspeed or greatest endurance
is sought, many of the pilots I interact
with are unable to answer.
They are either unaware, have
forgotten, or perhaps were never
taught that the farther forward the
CG is the more stable the aircraft
will be, and also that it will have a
higher stall speed. Conversely, the
farther aft the CG is located, the air
plane will be less stable and thus less
down force will be required by the
horizontal stabilizer, and since the
horizontal stabilizer will be flying at

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a lesser angle of attack, there will be

less induced drag, yielding a higher
cruise speed and thus greater range.
The reason for this lack of knowl
edge is most likely rooted in the fact
that too many instructors are just
teaching to the practical test standard
rather than teaching the practical ap
plication of the knowledge of the con
sequences of weight and balance. I
can understand if someone enamored
of flight, who has been waiting most
of his or her life to finally be able to
begin flight training, might not yet
be aware of the issues of weight and
balance, but for those who are ready
for a practical test, or worse yet are al
ready certificated, there is no excuse.
Now, lest you say, "I waited, but
you didn't tell me," unfortunately the
gentleman referenced in the begin
ning of the article was unable to fit in
side my PA-12. I couldn't help but feel
the man's disappointment, but there
really was nothing I could do to help
him out, or in, for that matter.
Regardless of the size of the air
plane you fly, please remember that
it is susceptible to the effects of
weight and balance. Ensure that it
falls within all the limits relative to
not only maximum certified gross
weight, but also the fore and aft lim
its of the CG envelope. And hope
fully you won't have to wait ... for
blue skies and tail winds.
Doug Stewart is the 2004 National
CFI of the Year, a NAFI Master In
structor, and a designated pilot ex
aminer. He operates DSFI Inc. (www. based at the Columbia
County Airport (lBi).






Send your answer to EAA,

Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box

3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903

3086. Your answer needs to
be in no later than June 15 for
inclusion in the August 2009
issue of Vintage Airplane.
You can also send your re
sponse via e-mail. Send your
answer to mysteryplane@eaa.
org. Be sure to include your
name plus your city and state
in the body of your note and
put "(Month) Mystery Plane"
in the subject line.


Two views of the 1927-1928

Lehman Weil man-powered

Our February Mystery Plane

came to us from VAA member/
editorial volunteer Wesley Smith.
It was a real long shot from the
1920s, and we didn't get any
responses on that airplane. It was
the 1927-1928 Lehman Weil man
powered airplane. We've included
another view of the aircraft on
this page.
We did receive a follow-up

MAY 2009

note from longtime member and

aviation writer John Underwood
regarding the Nielsen Golden Bear:
Re the Nielsen Coupe, N883E:
The crowd swarmed it after the
landing gear collapsed while it
was taxiing for takeoff for the
featured deliberate crash. Don't
know who the pilot was, but Jack
Irwin of Meteorplane fame had
offered it for sale, with or without

its 150-hp Comet engine. Anyway,

the crowd stripped it bare, leaving
the engine and prop, which were
the only items of value left intact.
Incidentally, Richard Korman was
the designer, and a second X-job
was reported under construction
as of April 1929, but it appears
not to have been completed. The
debut of the Golden Bear se e ms
to have coincided with the Wall
Street "crash" of October 1929.
John Underwood
Glendale, California

Walter Kessler

Hampshire, IL

Started flying 62 years ago

Flying the DH 82-A Tiger

Moth Biplane for the past
27 years

"Your insurance program surely gives one peace of mind, what

with all the regulations necessary to fly safely in today's busy
environment. We have been insured by AUA for about 18
years and have been very happy with the savings and service
accorded us by your fine people."

- Walt Kessler

AUA is Vintage Aircraft Association approved. To become a member of VAA call 8008433612.

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MAY 2009

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address, type of card , card n umber, and
expiration date. Make checks payable to EAA.
Address advertising correspondence to EAA
Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box
3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086 .

For Sale: Economical C-120. TT-1247
TTAF-4326 - TT E-35, Intercom, King
Transponder, Metalized Wings. $23,000
Based SLM - Todd: 575-737-9057

EAA's online Calendar of Events is the "go-to'

spot on the Web to list and find aviation events
in your area. The user-friendly, searchable format
makes it the perfect wetrbased tool for planning
your local trips to afly-in.
In EAA's online Calendar of Events, you can
search for events at any given time within acertain
radius of any airport by entering the identifier or a
ZIP code, and you can further define your search to
look for just the types of events you'd like to attend.
We invite you to access the EAA online Calendar
of Events at http:;jwww.eaa.orgjcalendarj

Upcoming Major Fly-Ins

Virginia Regional Festival of Flight
Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ), Suffolk. VA
May 30-31, 2009

Golden West Regional Fly-In
Yuba County Airport (Myv), Marysville, CA
June 12-14, 2009
Arlington Fly-In
Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO), Arlington, WA
July 8-12, 2009
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
Wittman Regional Airport (OSH), Oshkosh, WI
July 27-August 2, 2009


Colorado Sport International Air Show

and Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In
Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC), Denver, CO
August 22-23, 2009

Flying wires available. 1994 pricing. Visit or call 800

51 7-9278.


Always Flying Aircraft Restoration,

LLC: Annual Inspections, Airframe

recovering, fabric repairs and
complete restorations.
Wayne A. Forshey A&P & I.A. 740-472-1481
Ohio and bordering states

Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In

Grimes Field Airport (174), Urbana, OH
September 12-13, 2009
Copperstate Regional Fly-In
Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ), Casa Grande, AI.
October 22-25, 2009
Southeast Regional Fly-In
Middleton Field Airport (GZH), Evergreen, AL
October 23-25, 2009

Flight Comes

Members get in FREE!

Phone: (920) 426-4818


2010 Events

u.s. Sport Aviation Expo

Sebring Regional Airport (SEF), Sebring, Florida
February 2-4, 2010
Aero Friedrichshafen
Messe Friedrichshafen, Friedrichshafen, Germany
April 8-11, 2010



Sun 'n Fun Fly-In

Lakeland Under Regional Airport (LAL), Lakeland,
April 13-18, 2010


MAY 2009

continued from inside front cover

equipped Hawker-Beechcraft Model

36 Bonanza. TCM believes 94UL av
gas is the best option because pro
duction and distribution infrastruc
ture already exists, and its higher oc
tane allows many engine models to
use it with minimum impact. TCM
plans to proceed with certification
on existing engines and evaluate ad
ditional fuel options, including bio
fuel. These developments may not
provide all of the answers needed
to address all of the concerns of the
vintage aircraft owner, but it is cer
tainly a promising development. To
learn more about the Continental
Motors Alternative Fuels Strategy,
visit www.TCMLink .com and watch
the video of its recent test flight.
Another company I am aware of
who is also researching and develop
ing an alternative to lOOLL is Swift
Enterprises in Lafayette, Indiana. This
company is pioneering the devel
opment of a synthetic aviation fuel
to replace 100LL. Check this com
pany out at
I recently attended a presentation by
this company, and it is stating that
the advantages of SwiftFuel are seam
less replacement of l00LL (no engine
modifications), 15 percent increase
in range over l00LL (no oxygenates),
20 percent drop in pollutants over
the current lOOLL fuel, 15 percent
more volumetric energy than l00LL,
and no need for stabilizers or addi
tives. These are all impressive devel
opments! Stay tuned, because this is
where the industry is headed, and it
is going to be exciting.
Please do us all the favor of invit
ing a friend to join the VAA, and
help keep us the strong association
we have all enjoyed for so many
years now.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009,
The World's Greatest Aviation Cel
ebration, is July 27 through August

Stewart Aircran Finishing Svstems

Your One STOP
Quality Shop

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Air Tractor
North American

1-888-388-8803 (to/1 heel or 1-780-447-5955 Fax: 1-780-447-5980


STC'd for Certified Aircraft

Aircraft Finishes of the Future Today!

Stewart Systems provides a complete line

of environmentally friendly Aircraft Finishing
Products for fabric, metal and composite aircraft.


Finishing Systems

5500 Sullivan St. , Cashmere, WA 98815

1-888-356-7659 (1-888-EKO-POLY)



Vintage Tires
New USA Production



Are you nearing completion of a restoration? Or is it done

and you 're busy flying and showing it off? If so, we'd like to
hear from you_ Send us a 4-by-6-inch print from a commercial
source (no home printers, please-those prints just don't
scan well) or a 4-by-6-inch, 300-<lpi digital photo. A JPG from
your 2.5-megapixel (or higher) digital camera is fine. You can
burn photos to a CD, or if you're on a high-speed Internet
connection, you can e-mail them along with a text-only or Word
document describing your airplane. (If your e-mail program
asks if you 'd like to make the photos smaller, say no.) For
more tips on creating photos we can publish, visit VAA's
website at Check the News page for
a hyperlink to Want To Send Us A Photograph?
For more Information, you can also e-mail us at vlntagealrcraft@ or call us at 920-426-4825.


Show off your pride and joy with a

fresh set of Vintage Rubber. These
newly minted tires are FAA-TSO'd
and speed rated to 120 MPH. Some
things are better left the way they
were, and in the 40's and 50's, these tires were perfectly in
tune to the exciting times in aviation.
Not only do these tires set your vintage plane apart from
the rest, but also look exceptional on all General Aviation
aircraft. Deep 8/32nd tread depth offers above average
tread life and UV treated rubber resists aging.
First impressions last a lifetime, so put these
bring back the good times .....
New General Aviation Sizes Available:

500 x 5, 600 x 6, 700 x 8

Oesser has the largest stock and

selection of Vintage and Warbird
tires in the world. Contact us
Telephone: 800-247-8473 or
323-721-4900 FAX: 323-721-7888

1/1I3'/1~~~ 6900 Acco St. , Montebello, CA 90640



3400 Chelsea Ave, Memphis, TN 38106






Geoff Robison


George Daubner

1521 E. MacGregor Dr.

2448 Lough Lane

Hartford, WI 53027


New Haven, IN 46774


Steve Nesse

Charles W. Harris

2009 Highland Ave.

Albert Lea, MN 56007

7215 East 46th St.

Tulsa, OK 74147



Steve Bender
85 Brush Hill Road
Sherborn, MA 01770

David Bennett
375 Killdeer Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648

john Berendt
7645 Echo Point Rd.
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

jerry Brown
4605 Hickory Wood Row

Greenwood, IN 46143
Dave Clark

635 Vestal Lane

Dale A. Gustafson
7724 Shady Hills Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46278
jeannie Hill
P.O. Box 328

Harvard, IL 60033-0328


Espie "Butch" joyce

704 N. Regional Rd .
Greensboro, NC 27409

Dan Knutson

106 Tena Marie Circle

Lodi, WI 53555

Steve Krog

lOO2 Heather Ln.

Plainfield, IN 46168
317 -839-4500

Hartford, WI 53027

john S. Copeland

Robert D. "Bob" Lumley

1265 South 124th St.
Brookfield, WI 53005

lA Deacon Street
Northborough, MA 01532
copelmld l

Phil Coulson

S.H. "Wes" Schmid

28415 Springbrook Dr.

Lawton, MI 49065
rcouisonS16 @Cs .com

Wauwatosa, WI 53213

2359 Lefeber Avenue



Robert C. Brauer
9345 S. Hoyne
Chicago, IL 60643

E.E. "Buck" Hilbert

8102 Leech Rd.
Union, IL 60180

Gene Chase

Gene Morris

2159 Carlton Rd.

Oshkosh, WI 54904

5936 Steve Court

Roanoke, TX 76262

Ronald C. Fritz

john Turgyan

15401 Sparta Ave.

Kent City, MI 49330

1'0 Box 219

New Egypt, Nj 08533
609-758-29 IO

Membershi:R Services Directory




:1iI .

""AI' '7

~ TM

EAA Aviation Center, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh WI 54903-3086

Phone (920) 426-4800

Fax (920) 426-48 73

Web Sites:,, E-Mail: vintageairaa{

Monday-Friday CST)
EAA and Division Membership Services (8:00 AM-7:00 PM
FAX 92()'426-4873
-New/renew memberships -Address changes -Merchandise sales -Gift memberships
EM AirVenture Oshkosh
Sport Pilot/ Light-Sport Aircraft Hotline 877-359-1232
Programs and Activities
Auto Fuel STCs
- EM Air Academy
- EM Scholarships
Right Instructor information
Library Services/Research
AUA Vintage Insurance Plan
www.eaa.orJUmemberbenefits membership@eaa.orf<
EM Aircraft Insurance Plan
80().853-5576 ext. 8884
EM Hertz Rent-A-Car Program
EM Enterprise Rent-A-Car Program
VAA Office
FAX 920-426-6579
888-EAA-INFO (322-4636)

EAA Members Information Une

Use this toll-free number for: information about AirVenture Oshkosh; aeromedical and technical aviation questions;

chapters; and Young Eagles. Please have your membership number ready when calling.

Office hours are 8:15 a.m. -5:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday, CST)


Membership in the Experimental Aircraft
Association, Inc. is $40 for one year, inelud
ing 12 issues of SPORT AVIATION. Family
membership is an additional $10 ann ually.
Junior Membership (under 19 years of age)
is available at $23 annually. All major credit
cards accepted for membership. (Add $16 for
Foreign Postage,)


Curre nt EAA m embers may add EAA
SPORT PILOT magazine for an additional
$20 per year.
EAA Members hip and EAA SPORT
PILOT maga zine is available for $40 per
yea r (SPORT AVIATION magazine not ineluded). (Add $16 for Foreign Postage.)


Current EAA members may join the
Vintage Aircraft Association and receive
VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine for an ad
ditional $36 per year.
magazine and one year membership in the EAA
Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $46
per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not ineluded). (Add $7 for Foreign Postage.)


Current EAA members may join the

International Aerobatic Club, Inc. Divi
sion and receive SPORT AEROBATICS
magazine for an additional $45 per year.
ICS m agazine and one year membership
in the lAC Division is available for $55
per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine
not included). (Add $18 for Foreign

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

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

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

Copyright t<l2009 by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association, All rights reserved.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association of the Experimental Aircraft Association and is published monthly at EAA
Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Rd., PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903-3086, e-mail: Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of Vintage Airplane
magazine, is $36 per year for EAA members and $46 for non-EAA members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 and al additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes
to Vintage Airplane, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. PM 40063731 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Pitney Bowes IMS, Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6.15. FOREIGN AND APO
ADDRESSES - Please allow at least two months for delivery of VINTAGE AIRPLANE to foreign and APO addresses via surface mail. ADVERTISING - Vintage Aircraft Association does not guarantee or endorse

any product offered through the advertising. We invite constructive criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained through our advertising so that corrective measures can be taken.
EDITORIAL POLICY: Members are encouraged to subm~ stories and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests entirely
with the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material should be senl to: Ed~or, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800.
EAA and EAA SPORT AVIATION, the EAA Logo and Aaronautica'" are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. The use of these trademarks

and service marks without the pennission of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited.


MAY 2009

Drive one.


And People Like Wnat We're Saying."

Introducing the New 2010

Ford Fusion + Hybrid
The most fuel-efficient midsize sedan*

CertaIn resb1cIions apply. Available at

parIicipa1Ing dealers. Please refer to or calI8OO-JOIN fAA.

"The 2010 Fusion is the best gasoline-electric hybrid yet."

-USA Today, February 2009

"Fun and fuel economy have finally gotten married in a mid-size sedan."
-Car and Driver, February 2009

"The new benchmark among mid-size hybrid sedans."

-AUTOMOBILE Magazine, March 2009

"Wait, so has somebody invented the car of the future and didn't
tell us?"
-Los Angeles Times, December 2008
'Fusion Hybrid EPA estimated 41 cityl36 highway mileage.