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Freedom and EAA

Vintage Aircraft Association
Chapter 37 in Auburn, Indiana, is
a truly exceptional group of individuals. Now nearly 70 members
strong, we are privileged to have a
hangar facility that consists of more
than 5,300 square feet, which also
houses an outstanding clubhouse
facility. Our clubhouse is decorated
with dozens of aviation artifacts,
antique aviation signs, photos,
and paintings. One unique, signed
photo is of the founder of the Experimental Aircraft Association. In
your chapter facility, you, too, may
have one of these highly treasured
photos, first published in the late
1980s, titled Freedom is what EAA
is all about. Here are the words of
our founder as they appear on this
most treasured aviation artifact:
Freedom to create and buildto
dreamto fly.
Freedom is something that is often
taken for granteduntil it is lost.
Freedom is a precious gift that has
been given to us by our forefathers and
by all who servedand diedin wars
fought in its name.
Yet, there are those who would chip
away, erode and destroy this
most basic right. Restrict our ingenuity and inventiveness.
Take away our availability to move
freely across our borders . . .
to dull our senses and blur our view
from the top.
For more than 35 years, EAA has
carried this banner of personal freedom. We have perseveredand won
many battles along the way. I believe
that, in some small way, we have

made a difference. 125,000 EAA

members, speaking with a strong and
unified voice, help keep the flame of
freedom burning brightly.
However, many challenges remain.
We need your help to fuel that fire
to build stronger representation in
Government affairs, continue
vigorous activities at the local
levelthrough EAAs strong Chapter
networkand further develop youth
programs so that the aviation challenges of the future can be met with
skill, talent and knowledge.
The price of Freedom is measured
not in time but in commitment.
Join us. Freedom is what EAA is all
Signed: Paul H. Poberezny
Isnt it amazing how so few of

You have to wonder,

Whats next?
these threats to our way of life have
really changed much over the past
20-plus years? Since he wrote these
words, its been 57 years since he
founded EAA, and we now number more than 170,000 members.
Yes, the EAA has accomplished a
great deal in the arena of government affairs before and after Paul
wrote these important words of wisdom. But many of these challenges
to our way of life are very much still
in existence today. I, like many of

my fellow aviators, remain deeply

concerned about our freedom to
fly. You have to wonder, Whats
next? Because of these continuous
threats, we all need to stay vigilant
and continue to engage ourselves
in the debate of all aviation issues,
local and otherwise. Be it throughthe-fence issues or airspace changes
or whatever, we need to continue
to be committed to the association
and speak with a strong and unified
voice in an effort to help keep the
flame of freedom burning brightly,
as Paul spoke about so many years
At least once every few months
when I catch myself walking past
this picture of Paul, I will pause
and read these words to yet again
remind myself why this organization is so important to my way of
life. It also continuously reinforces
my personal commitment to this
wonderful group, and it keeps me
focused on the importance of these
freedoms Paul referred to. Virtually
little has changed when it relates
to the threats to these freedoms we
still hear about on nearly a daily
basis. It also serves as a constant
reminder to me of my gratefulness and appreciation of all of our
Armed Services. Many thanks to all
of our service members, past and
present, for choosing to serve. We
are forever in your debt!
VAA is about participation: Be a
member! Be a volunteer! Be there!

Vol. 38, No. 2



IFC Straight & Level
Freedom and EAA
by Geoff Robison


2010 VAA Friends of the Red Barn Campaign

Larry Howards Lovely Laird

The thoroughbred of the airways
by Sparky Barnes Sargent


Dear Jenny . . .
A fellow never forgets his first love
by Bill Larmore


My Friend Albert Vollmecke


Part II
by Robert G. Lock


Light Plane Heritage

The 1923 Mummert Sportplane
by Jack McRae


The Vintage Mechanic

My thoughts on propeller care, Part I
by Robert G. Lock


The Vintage Instructor

That turn to final
by Steve Krog, CFI


Mystery Plane

EAA Publisher
Director of EAA Publications
Executive Director/Editor
Production/Special Project

by H.G. Frautschy


What Our Members Are Restoring


Classified Ads

Advertising Coordinator
Classified Ad Coordinator
Copy Editor
Director of Advertising

Tom Poberezny
Mary Jones
H.G. Frautschy
Kathleen Witman
Jim Koepnick
Bonnie Kratz
Sue Anderson
Lesley Poberezny
Colleen Walsh
Katrina Bradshaw

Display Advertising Representatives:

Specialized Publications Co.

FRONT COVER: Some of the rarest of antique biplanes around today are those
built by the E.M. Laird Airplane Company. World famous in their day, few were built
in quantity, meaning that even fewer sur vived the ensuing decades. This beautiful example of a Laird LC-1B-300 was restored by Larr y Howard. Read Sparky
Barnes Sargents ar ticle on its restoration beginning on page 6. EAA photo by Mike
Steineke; Cessna 210 photo plane flown by Bruce Moore.
BACK COVER: Hats in the Ring, by noted ar tist James Dietz, depicts the Nieupor t
28 biplanes of the Hat in the Ring 94th Aero Squadron in 1918. This detail of
the painting (the original is significantly wider; if this is widescreen, Dietzs painting
is Cinemascope!) also shows a Packard staff car. The painting is oil on canvas. It
was finished in time for the Automobile Fine Ar tists of America show at the Pebble
Beach Concors dElegance in 2009. No prints are available of the ar twork. For more
information on the ar twork of Jim Dietz, visit

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
U.S. Central Time Zone: Gary Worden and Todd Reese
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



DC-3 Celebration at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Theyre coming from everywhere;
some three dozen DC-3 and C-47 aircraft have already shown interest in
participating in The Last Time . . .,
the 75th anniversary celebration of
the aircraft at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010.
The list of potential aircraft that
will be participating in the DC-3
mass arrival is still being finalized,
but many of the participants are
listed at, a nonEAA website dedicated to the formation arrival coming to Oshkosh.
The registration list for the mass
arrival on July 26 has reached its
limit of 35 aircraft; its necessary be-

cause of limitations at the staging

airports. Other DC-3/C-47 operators
are welcome to participate, however,
by individually flying to AirVenture,
which will be held July 26-August
1 at Wittman Regional Airport in
Oshkosh. Those operating the aircraft
are asked to contact Adam Smith at
EAA headquarters at
This is a tremendous response in
just the several weeks since the 75th
anniversary commemoration was
announced, said Smith, EAAs vice
president of membership. We are
still receiving inquiries from owners of some very special DC-3s, and
we welcome all of them to be a part

of AirVenture 2010, whether or not

they are able to participate in the
mass arrival.
Several of the DC-3s have been regular visitors to Oshkosh in past years,
while others have made only rare appearances or have never been here.
In all, it promises to be the largest
airborne group of DC-3s assembled
since World War II, and likely the last.
One of the details being solved
currently is parking for this many
magnificent DC-3s at Oshkosh. Its
anticipated that AeroShell Square,
along with the Warbirds and Vintage aircraft parking areas, will be
fully engaged in showcasing these
venerable airplanes.
Fewer than 100 of the aircraft remain airworthy in the United States,
meaning that nearly half of the current fleet could be present at AirVenture 2010. The weeklong festivities
at Oshkosh will also include historical and technical forums/presentations, fly-bys, and a special evening
program commemorating the DC-3
at the Theater in the Woods.

Marking Cherokees 50th With Mass Oshkosh Arrival

Along with a DC-3 celebration at Oshkosh this summer, enthusiasts
will honor another iconic general-aviation airplane of the past halfcentury, the Piper Cherokee. A mass arrival of 50 aircraft will kick off the
celebration with other activities and programs included for Cherokee owners and enthusiasts throughout the week. All Piper Cherokee clubs and
owners groups are invited to participate.
According to the Cherokees to Oshkosh website, the mass arrival
of Cherokees will be on Friday, July 23, which is the weekend before AirVentures opening day. The Cherokees 2 Osh group has already filled its
maximum of 50 aircraft, but all Cherokee owners and pilots are welcome to
arrive at Oshkosh independently and participate in all the other festivities.
More than 30,000 Cherokees and their direct descendants, Piper
Warriors and Arrows, have been built since Piper received its FAA type
certificate in 1960.
Additional highlights and details of the Cherokee 50th anniversary will
be announced as they are finalized. You can learn more about the celebration at
Several other airplane groups are planning their traditional group flights to Oshkosh; to learn more, visit their
individual websites: Bonanzas to Oshkosh (, Mooney Caravan (, and
Cessnas to Oshkosh (



Bonus EAA Magazine

i ffor
Some Members
Those of you who are VAA members with a non EAA-magazine
membership may have noticed
that you received a January 2010
copy of the newly revamped EAA
Spor t Aviation. Rest assured
your membership status hasnt
changed, but EAA felt ever yone
should get a chance to see the
new Spor t Aviation, so all EAA
members received a copy. Stickers explaining the courtesy copy
were placed on the back of the
poly bag in which the magazine was mailed, but in case
you missed it, thats why you
received a copy. If youd like to
continue receiving the new Sport
Aviation, please call our membership ser vices depar tment at
1-800-Join-EAA (800-564-6322)
to upgrade your membership.





To nominate someone is easy. It just takes a little time and a little reminiscing on your part.
Mail nominating materials to:6!!(ALLOF&AME
Remember, your contemporary may be a candidate; nominate someone today!

continued on page 36


2010 VAA Friends of the Red Barn Campaign

The VAA annual fundraising campaign fuels VAA action
by H.G. Frautschy
Each year at EAA AirVenture
Oshkosh the largest single space for
the display of enthusiasts aircraft is
the Vintage parking and camping area.
For more than three decades its been
not only a picturesque scene of the
finest restored airplanes in this country,
but also a gathering place for aviation
people and their magnificent machines
to share knowledge and friendship.
Each day during the convention,
we get to see the widest variety
possible of airplanes, including a few
one-of-a-kind aircraft. Dont forget the
special Type Club parking area, where
we host many examples of a particular
manufacturers airplane. From
replica race planes to the American
Barnstormers Tour, the amazing colors
and outlines of the golden age of
aviation are on display for all to see
each year. All of this is possible through
the efforts of the nearly 500 VAA
volunteers, the volunteer VAA board of
directors, and the VAA staff.
Their passion is what makes it a
great place to be throughout the week at
Oshkosh; and its why so many visitors
and aviation enthusiasts come back
year after year to work, relax, and enjoy
aviations premier event. Its a place to
rekindle old friendships and make new
ones. A time to relax and enjoy aviation,
learn something new, and rub elbows
with our fellow aviators. As you can
imagine, it takes some fairly substantial
financial resources to underwrite such
an event, and the Vintage area at EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh is no exception.
The Vintage Aircraft Association
has, by necessity, elected to underwrite
a portion of its yearlong activities with
funds other than members dues.
The proceeds from this fund pay for
all sorts of volunteer activities and
improvements to the VAA area, as well
as supporting VAA advocacy efforts and
educational endeavors. It serves as
working capital for improvements such
as the new kitchen for the popular VAA


Tall Pines Caf, as well as for upkeep

of many structures. Theres never a
shortage of windows that need caulking,
doors that need to be replaced, and
roofs that need to be repaired. To be
certain, almost all of the labor involved
is performed by our dedicated and
talented volunteers, but what about the
cost of supplies and hardware?
Thats where our Friends of
the Red Barn campaign comes
init provides all of us, who wish,
the opportunity to assist in the vital
financial support of the VAAs activities.
Were most appreciative of the
contributions made by hundreds of
VAAers who see the tangible benefits
of supporting their fellow VAA members
in this manner. As a critical part of the
VAA budget, the fund pays for such
diverse items as VAA awards presented
during the annual EAA aircraft awards
program, special recognition for our
many volunteers, and expenses
associated with our special displays,
forums, and educational areas such
as the VAA Workshops and Type Clubs
located in the new Vintage Hangar.
Your annual contribution made in
the first half of 2010 will directly benefit
this years convention activities and VAA
programs throughout the year.
Please consider actively
participating in the 2010 VAA Friends of
the Red Barn Campaign. Your donation
is tax-deductible to the extent allowed
by law, and you can enhance your
participation if you work for a matchinggift company. You can do so by copying
and filling out the form included on
these pages, by filling out and sending
in the form included in the mailing that
will arrive in your mailbox in April, or by
donating online at www.VintageAircraft.
org/programs/redbarn.html. If you
desire more information concerning the
VAA Friends of the Red Barn Campaign,
feel free to call us at 920-426-6110.
Wed be happy to speak with you!

Many services are provided to vintage

aircraft enthusiasts at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
From parking airplanes to feeding people at the
Tall Pines Caf and Red Barn, volunteers do it
all. Some may ask, If volunteers are providing
the services, where is the expense?
Glad you asked. The scooters for the
flightline crew need repair and batteries, and
the Red Barn needs paint, new windowsills,
updated wiring, and other sundry repairs, plus
we love to care for our volunteers with special
recognition caps and a pizza party. The list
really could go on and on, but no matter how
many expenses we can point out, the need
remains constant. The Friends of the Red Barn
fund helps pay for the VAA expenses at EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh, and its a crucial part of
the Vintage Aircraft Association budget.
Please help the VAA and our nearly 500
dedicated volunteers make this an unforgettable
experience for our many EAA AirVenture guests.
Your contribution now really does make a
difference. There are seven levels of gifts and
gift recognition. Thank you for whatever you
can do.
Here are some of the many activities the
Friends of the Red Barn fund underwrites:
Red Barn Information Desk Supplies
Participant Plaques and Supplies
Tonis Red Carpet Express Repairs and Radios
Caps for VAA Volunteers
Pizza Party for VAA Volunteers
Flightline Parking Scooters and Supplies
Breakfast for Past Grand Champions
Volunteer Booth Administrative Supplies
Membership Booth Administrative Supplies
Signs Throughout the Vintage Area
Red Barns and Other Buildings Maintenance
Tall Pines Caf dining tent
And More!

Please help the VAA make

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh an unforgettable
experience for our many guests.
Become a Friend of the Red Barn.
Diamond Plus
EAA VIP Center






Loyal Supporter
$99 & Under

2 people/Full
2 people/2 Days

2 people/1 Day

Full Week

Full Week

2 Days

2 Tickets

2 Tickets

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2 People/Full Wk

2 People/Full Wk

2 People/Full Wk

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Special FORB Cap

Two Passes to VAA Volunteer Party

Special Friends of the Red Barn Badge

Access to Volunteer Center

Donor Appreciation Certificate

Name Listed: Vintage Airplane Magazine,

Website, and Sign at Red Barn

VIP Air Show Seating

Close Auto Parking
Two Tickets to VAA Picnic
Tri-Motor Certificate
Breakfast at Tall Pines Caf

VAA Friends of the Red Barn

Name______________________________________________________________________EAA #___________ VAA #___________

Please choose your level of participation:
____ Silver Level Gift - $250.00
____ Diamond Plus - $1,250.00
____ Bronze Level Gift - $100.00
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____ Loyal Supporter Gift - ($99.00 or under)
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Please charge my Credit Card (below)

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OSHKOSH, WI 54903-3086

*Do you or your spouse work for a matching-gift company? If so, this gift may qualify for
a matching donation. Please ask your human resources department for the appropriate form.

Name of Company __________________________________________________________________

The Vintage Aircraft Association is a nonprofit educational organization under IRS 501c3 rules. Under federal law, the deduction from federal income tax for charitable contributions is limited to the amount by which any money (and the value of any property other than money) contributed exceeds the value of the goods or
services provided in exchange for the contribution. An appropriate receipt acknowledging your gift will be sent to you for IRS gift reporting reasons.


The thoroughbred
of the airways



he biplane was elegantly poised

on the flightline, its shimmering golden-bronze
wings and empennage softly framing a bold black fuselage, creating


a sublime semblance of the golden

years of aviation. This Laird LC1B-300 is a sight so alluring and
lovely that its somehow surprising to learn that this thoroughbred of the airways was quite the
workhorse after it first flew away
from Ashburn Field in Chicago in

September 1930. Lets wing our way

through the highlights of this biplanes life, as owner/restorer Larry
Howard shares its colorful details.

A Thoroughbreds History
First of all, lets place this Laird in
its appropriate contextthere were

Larry Howards





Popular Aviation January 1928

The first owner, A.D. Knapp,

lived in the Detroit area and soon
sold the biplane to another pilot
in the area. In May 1931, it was
purchased by Thomas Berry Colby,
vice president of Berry Brothers Incorporated (maker of Berryloid aircraft finishes). As with the previous
five airplanes the company owned,
the Laird was christened after its
advertising slogan, On the Wings
of Progress, and bore the number
VI. Colby flew it as an official
ship during the 1931 Ford National
Air Tour, says Larry. He was the
assistant timer and flew ahead of
the fleet. He took the times as the

Aero Digest April 1928

pilots arrived at each stop.
During the mid-to-late 1930s, the
biplane was flown to its new home
in Pennsylvania, and a banner release mechanism from a PCA-2
autogiro was installed. NC10402
started towing bannersfirst in
Pennsylvania and then at Miami
Beach. In 1941, yet another owner
installed a 30-gallon smoke-oil tank
in the front cockpit, and the Laird
was used for an additional form of
aerial advertisingskywriting.
The biplane changed hands several times during World War II and
was flown to its next home in Van
Nuys, California, in May 1945. Un-


only four LC-1B-300s built by the

E.M. Laird Airplane Company, and
each one was built by hand. The C
stands for commercial, and the 1B300 indicates that NC10402 was a
high-performance version, powered
by a Wright J-6-9 of 330 hp. There
were less than 40 Laird commercial
aircraft built all together, from 1925
up into the early 1930s, explains
Larry. Of those, there were about
three built with an OX-5 engine,
two with the Wright J-4, and most
of them had Wright J-5s. Four had
the Wright J-6-9s, of which this is
onethis airplane was built in 1930
and had a very fun life.

Aviation January 1928

The Laird, after conversion to a sprayer in 1952. Extensive modifications were made to the rudder, fin, and
cockpits, and a Lycoming R-680 had been installed in
place of the Wright.

NC10402 as it emerged from the E.M. Laird Airplane

Company at Ashburn Flying Field, Chicago.

Aero Digest June 1929

Aero Digest April 1930

fortunately it was wrecked on its arrival, says Larry, but after it was
rebuilt, it served for the United States
Army as a coastal patrol and target
tug off the coast of California.
In 1946, the Laird flew to Long
Beach with another owner and
was converted to a crop duster. A
hopper, venturi, and agitator were
installed, and all of the controls
were taken out and BT-13 controls
were put into it, says Larry, along
with a BT-13 tail wheel. It served as
a duster in southern California for
several years.
Then in 1952, the Laird was converted to a sprayer. A metal tank and
sprayer bars, along with a Lycoming R-680-13, were installed, and

the biplane worked in the California valley and Arizona for several
yearsup through 1957. By the late
1950s, the thoroughbred was retired to a dusters yard in Woodlake,
California, says Larry. It was discovered as a derelict behind a hangar there by local Dick Edmiston. He
rescued it in 1984 and spent years
trying to get it restored.



Enter Larry, a dentist (now retired) from Greenacres, Washington. He heard about the aircraft
from a patient. We were talking
about airplanes, and he said, I
know a guy who has a Lairdand
that started about a five-year com-

with Mr. Edmiston,
who owned the Laird but didnt
want to sell it.
Backing up just a bit, Larr y
sshares how he became interested
iin aviation. Ive dreamed of flyiing airplanes since I was a teenager, he recalls, smiling. In those
days Mechanicx Illustrated had cards
you could tear out and send in to
get a brochure about Cessnas and
Beechcraft and whatnot. EventuB
ally I bought the very aircraft that
I was dreaming aboutmy first
airplane was a 1957 straight-tail
Cessna 182, and then I had a V-tail
Bonanza. Thankfully, I got to know
Addison Pemberton [a neighborA
iing antiquer] who infected me with
tthe old-airplane disease. And before you know it, I was trying to
explain to my wife why I needed
to buy a wrecked Great Lakes in
Guatemala. I brought it back to the
United States and restored it from
the frame up.
It was during that time that he
began talking with Dick, and in November 2001, after completing the
Great Lakes, he bought the Laird.
Chuckling, he reflects, I kind of
went to grad school in the restoration game, straight from the grade
school of a Great Lakes to the Laird,
and I loved learning the skills involved. I live at Sky Meadows Airpark, and my hangar and shop is
just 100 feet from the house. I
dont like television, so I work in
my shop every evening, and it was
a fun project. It is very rewarding

During the Ford National Air Tour in 1931.

The Laird as a skywriter with a 30-gallon smoke-oil tank

in the front cockpit and extended stacks.


Larry Howard with his bare Laird in July 2005.


(Februar y 2004) Larr y Howard works on the wings.

You can also see the unusual aluminum tube fuselage
framework construction. All steel junctions were plated
with silver cadmium, and the aluminum tubing was
coated with zinc chromate.

It takes quite a few helping hands to carefully install the wings.


The neatly finished baggage compartment, aft of the pilots seat.

to see this aircraft come to life, after spending about nine years and
thousands of hours restoring it.

The distinctive rounded tail group

of the Laird.
10 FEBRUARY 2010


A good portion of those hours
were invested in research. In his
quest for drawings, he traveled to
the Smithsonian and the FAA office
in Chicago, but departed emptyhanded. He did collect some drawings when he communicated with
Matty Laird Jr. in Carson City. He
also spoke with a 90-year-old Laird
owner in Canada: Mr. Edmiston
had actually collected quite a few,
and he had communicated with
the Colby family, as well, says


The instruments were overhauled by Keystone in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania.


The folding windscreen for the front cockpit can easily be installed
or removed.

These 30 x 5 wheels were made by

Dick Fisher of California.

A spacious front cockpit seats twonote the fuel tank below the panel.


Larry. It was interesting, though,

that sometimes Id have two or
three drawings of the same part,
yet they were different, because
the airplanes were pretty much all
custom, hand-built to order; they
werent production line.

According to the late aviation historian Joseph Juptner, this model
Laird was cleaned up aerodynamically by the addition of a low-drag
cowl, and its lower wing roots were
neatly faired into the fuselageplus
it had the advantage of 30 extra
horses. With an upper wingspan of
34 feet and a lower span of 30 feet,
this thoroughbred measures 23 feet
9 inches from tip to tail. It came
equipped with a Pioneer instrument
panel, an Eclipse hand inertia starter,
and a Hamilton-Standard groundadjustable propeller. Its landing gear
was the split-axle type with rubber
shock cords for smoother landings,
Goodrich tires, and Bendix brakes.
Today, as powered by a 300-hp
Wright J-6-9, the Laird has an empty
weight of 1,958 pounds, a gross
weight of 3,022 pounds, and a useful
load of 1,064 pounds.

12 FEBRUARY 2010

The Lairds fuselage isnt made
from steel, as one might think. The
tubing that composes the complex
framework is all aluminum. The
tubing fits into steel clusters at
each station, explains Larry, and
the longerons slide through these
weldmentswhile the vertical and
horizontal tubes just nest in. There
is one bolt that bolts through the
longeron, to locate the longeron
fore and aft, but thats the only
bolting. Then there are tie rods
at each station in all directions
they go crosswise through the center of the station, and the sides,
bottom, and top all have cross tie
rods in them. There are up to 12
tie rods per station, with at least
60 tie rods in the whole fuselage.
Its very much like the construction of World War I airplanes that
were built out of wood, with steel
stations and tie cables. So the construction was difficult, especially
since those stations had corroded
after being a duster for years.
Larry built the adjustable aluminum seat for the rear cockpit by taking measurements from an original
one that he was able to locate. One

interesting feature that is easily visible in the cockpit is an elevated

floorboard, which neatly conceals
the flight control connections and
cables. Down in the belly, just
above the last station, is a plywood
floor that goes from the firewall all
the way to the back of the aft cockpit, he explains. All of the controls are underneath that plywood
floor; so the cockpit is very clean,
both front and back. You could
fill it up with marbles, and they
wouldnt run into the belly!
Another featurethe combined
rudder/brake pedalsrequires some
fancy footwork of the pilot. Theres
a structure that suspends the brake
mechanism under the floor, and
the rudder pedals rotate inward for
brake. The brakes are unique in that
the rudder pedals are longer on the
inside than they are on the outside. You have to push on the inboard side of the rudder pedals to
activate the brakes, which is quite a
difficult undertaking, to train yourself to do that, notes Larry, smiling.
Thats the hardest task of flying the
airplanegetting from landing to
braking. Also rare for the time was
that the throttle, mixture, and carb



Larry Howard

Rubber shock cords cushion the Lairds landings.

heat controls were located in the
sidewalls of the cockpit.

for an airplane of this vintage.

Surprisingly, most of the wing
hardware, along with the original
flying and landing wires, survived
those long years of neglect. That
was a big help, he comments.
The wings are built of spruce with
truss construction ribs. The cap
strips are all routed, and the center
webs are reinforced plywood with
diagonal reinforcing strips. There
are two very healthy spruce spars,
so each wing is very strong, and the
ailerons are built of wood, as well.
All the wood construction is new,
of course, which is not surprising

The tail group is of mixed construction; the horizontal stabilizer

is built of wood, but the fin, rudder, and elevators are all welded steel
tubing. They presented yet another
challenge to this restorer. Theyd all
been extensively modified when it
was a duster, Larry details. At one
stage, the aircraft had a Cessna T-50
tail wheel installed, and the bottom
foot of the rudder had been cut off to
accommodate that. It had a balanced
rudder and fin design built on top of
it, so I rebuilt all of those parts. Some
of the structural welding was done
by Matt Burrows of Spokane.

The Lairds trim system is rather

nice, with a full trimming stabilizer. A Johnson bar provides gross
trim control, and a wheel directly
behind that provides a fine trim
control. You can trim it up at any
power setting to fly straight and
level, says Larry, which is nice!
You cant do that with all old airplanes. Its a pushrod affair that
actually works a bell crank, which
jacks the tail up and down.

Since Larry lives in Washington,
where mountains loom large on
the horizon, he decided to go with
a later version of the Wright Whirlwind, instead of the older snap
cap engine. Radial mechanic
Al Holloway of California overhauled the Wright J-6-9 R975-11.
This one is a sacrificial oiler engine, so it has pressure lubrication
to the valves on the top half of the
engine and gravity lubrication to
the ones on the bottom. Its a very
nice, clean-running engineit does
not leak very much at all, he says,
adding, John Swander of Missouri
built the cowling ring for it.

Finishing Touches
Meticulous with his restoration,
Larry took the time to include
several nice yet subtle finishing touches for his rare Laird. For
one, he installed a brass trim plate
along the top edge of the front
cockpit, which has LAIRD neatly
engraved on its top, polished surface. Brass buckles and latches fasten the front cockpit and baggage
compartment (there are two) covers, and a three-piece folding windscreen for the front cockpit can be
quickly installed or removed with
brass thumbscrews.
But perhaps the crown jewels
of these extra details are the navigation lights. Originally, the Laird
was equipped with Pioneer lights,
which could be ordered through
the Nicholas-Beazley catalog of
the day. Ive only seen them on
two other airplanes, and I couldnt
locate any, explains Larry, so


NC10402s first flight was in September 2008, and Larry logged about
20 hours before winter set in. This
past spring, it returned to the sky.
Weve put about 120 hours on the
airplane this year already, he says.
The Laird maneuvers nicely on
the ground, thanks to its steerable
tail wheel and BT-13 brakes. Accelerating down the runway on its 30 x 5
wheels (made by Dick Fisher of California), the biplane begins levitating
skyward at 80 mph. Its a very spirited aircraft on takeoff, says Larry,
smiling. It climbs out somewhat
over 1,600 feet per minute, and the
takeoff run is very short. Its got a
very skinny wing with a little undercamber on the bottom of the
wings, and I was real concerned that
it would have a lot of adverse yaw
and be a snappy staller. Well, it is a
snappy staller, but it has very little
adverse yaw once its in the air. Its
a very fast airplane and cruises between 125 to 135 mph at 1950 rpm.
Were burning between 16 and 17
gph, and it carries 74 gallons total,
with 53 in the main tank (located
in the front cockpit) and 23 in the
wing center section tank. So its got
long legs and has about three and a
half hours duration.
In flight, the Laird has very nice
control harmony. Its fairly neutral
in pitch, so it will hold pitch without a struggle, but its not nearly
as pitch stable as a modern airplane. But in smooth air, you can
fly it hands-off for a long time, he
says. Landing is a little more of a
challenge. It sits a little high on the

14 FEBRUARY 2010


Aloft in the Laird

gear, and the way the wheels are set

up, the camber actually changes
when its in flight attitude, the gear
has a neutral toe in and toe out. But
as the weight of the aircraft comes
down on the wheels, they toe in
because of that camber. So in normal landing configuration, its very
docile, and it rolls out straight and
handles just fine. It much prefers a
three-point landing; it tends to dart
and weave on a wheel landing, he
explains. During crosswind landings, youve got to get it going
straight, or else itll skip, and with
all the bungee cords in there, its
like a slingshotso it can relaunch
itself pretty easily. And at that
point, it quits flying all together!
So we tend to make approaches
at about 80 mph and start to flare
at 75, and once you get to 55, its
done flying all together. You have
to be very near the ground or it will
land, because the thin airfoil does
not allow it to float. Yet the aircraft
glides surprisingly well; compared
to something like a PT Stearman,
it will glide 50 percent better at the
same speed. Its taken most people
who have flown it a while to get
used to thatyou have to fly a little bit bigger approach because it
doesnt like to come down.
One of the most rewarding aspects of this restoration is that, after all those long years of work,
Larry has discovered that he really
does like flying the Laird. Its a
nice-flying airplane, and it is pretty
much as Matty Laird advertised it
the thoroughbred of the airways. It
has a beautiful combination of performance and looks. The fact that
its the one and only is certainly
fun, he says, smiling, and I love
to show the airplane, because not
many people have seen onethere
are not many Lairds around.
Larrys years of research and hard
work have also been formally recognized, with accolades including the
Silver Age (1928-1936) Champion Bronze Lindy at AirVenture 2009
and the Antique Pre-1936 Sweepstakes and the Ken Love awards at
the Antique Airplane Association


I made my own light bases using

rubber molds and lost wax casting.
I reproduced the lights, the lenses,
and the castings [for the fixtures].
A few modifications were also
made for safe operations in todays
environment. They include modern avionics, such as a transponder,
encoder, GPS/comm, emergency locator transmitter, and a fuel flow meter. Additionally, a Scott tail wheel
(as opposed to a tailskid) and hydraulic brakes have been installed.

fly-in. Were flying it extensively

this year, and then the future is
uncertain for the airplane, relates
Larry. I hope it lives a long life,
and Im hoping that I can move on
and build something else. Id love
to build a World War I aircraft
maybe a Sopwith Pup. Thats kind
of my thought, so Im looking for a
Le Rhone rotary engine.
And in the meantime, keep an
eye open for this owner/restorer
and his rare Laird LC-1B-300 at
fly-inswhere the antique flying
machines gather together to effortlessly transport us back to the
golden age of aviation.

Bernhard Rouschal,
ATP, Lufthansa German Airlines

15.000+ hours in more than

70 different types of planes
from J3-Cubs to the A340-600

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good insurance for my experimental planes was a bit
more of a challenge. But then somebody recommended
the friendly folks at AUA and it became an easy
and flawless cooperation instantly. Thanks.
Bernhard Rouschal
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Dear Jenny
A fellow never forgets his first love

ne bright, sunny July

day in 1929, I was a
12-year-old Iowa farm
kid out at the Ottumwa
Airport for a Saturday
afternoon air show. The air was rich
with engine sounds, sweet with the
wonderful aroma of hot oil, inline
and radial engines playing sweet
music to my ears, and there were
airplanes everywhere. Tied down!
Sitting loose! Taxiing! Taking off!
Thundering overhead! Landing!
Whatever! I was in heaven!
There were glistening monoplanes, including my favorite, a
Ranger-powered low-wing Buhl
Pup. Biplanes were at many hardstands, as well, including powerful Wacos, red Eaglerocks, even an
ancient Lincoln Standardanda
Curtis JN-4 biplane (affectionately

16 FEBRUARY 2010


known by all us flight buffs as a

Jenny). It was squatting off to itself
over near the gas trucks, like an old
crow that had flapped down to rest
in a cornfield. I was to find out a bit
later that those good old birds were
usually World War I vintage. In
fact, that particular craft probably
looked like it had been through the
entire conflict. But on that momentous Saturday in 1929, it looked to
me like it was brand new!
There was a sloppy-lettered,
marked-up sign erected near the
plane, indicating that plane rides
had been TWO DOLLARS but
were now ONE DOLLAR! Well! It
just so happened I had one dollar
from Dad for that day. That was my
Saturday pay. That was all I had,
and I was lucky to get that! It was
supposed to last not only for the air

show, but also for the entire Saturday. That included a double-feature
Western later that afternoon in the
old Rialto (Rathole) theater in Ottumwa; Bob Steele in one show,
Col. Tim McCoy in the other one,
followed by a great serial segment
of Don Winslow of the Navy. I
was to give up all of that, plus a
huge hamburger at the Canteen
Lunch later, to pay for the wonder
of my first flight!
A leather-jacketed, hairlinemustached, glossy-booted hero
with helmet and goggles hanging
around his neck was posed like
Tarzan by the Jenny. I discovered
later from Ole Oleson, the airport
manager, that the pilot was really a
skinny balding old WWI vet with a
scraggy scattering of mangy lip hair
he called a mustache. And that he

Above: 12-year-old Bill Larmore with his parents in 1929.

Left: Until federal air regulations came into effect, war-surplus Curtiss Jenny biplanes and similar airplanes were used by barnstorming pilots to eke out a meager living. Bill Larmores experience with a
barnstormer and his tired Jenny would keep him enthralled with aviation for a lifetime.
had slept under the wing in his outfit while sobering up from a lively
night before at the Twinkle Inn. Be
that as it may, at that special moment, to me, he was a movie star.
I was ushered into the Jennys
front cockpit by the pilot while being grimly ordered not to step on the
already-tattered wing root, and was
belted into an apple-crate-style seat
behind a yellowed, badly scratched
windscreen. I was left to observe the
instrument panel while the pilot
staggered around to the propeller. I
now recall seeing an old Sperry compass, an engine oil-pressure gauge,
a tachometer, an ammeter, a large
off/on switch, and a couple of rustylooking snap switches for added
wingtip running lights. Thats all I
can remember. At the time, however,
I felt as if I had just been introduced
to a major wonder of the world!
My hero checked the wheel
chocks, grabbed the badly scarred
wooden propeller blade, pulled the
wheezing engine through a couple of
times, and then, wonder of wonders,
actually involved me in the startup!
Turn on your ignition switch! he
bellowed. Yeah! That big one! When
its on, holler CONTACT! I did so,

feeling like I had just been awarded

the Congressional Medal of Honor!
The pilot snapped the prop
through, and the engine started. It
shook as if it were setting loose in
the bedplates. But instead of fleeing for his life, he yanked the wheel
chocks himself, ducked under the
wing as the plane began to creep
forward, and leaped into the rear
cockpit. The next miraculous moment we were shaking, rattling, and
rolling out onto the old graveled
east-west runway, with rocks flying
out from under the metal tailskid.
Then the tail was off the ground. A
kick of the rudder to line up with
the runway, an asthmatic burst from
the old engine, an ever-increasing
duck-waddle, and we were in the
air. I was flying! I was in heaven!
But there was a snake in my Eden.
The underpowered 90-hp V-8 OX-5
liquid-cooled engine. It announced
its traitorous intentions by starting
to throw large globs of grease. That
was accompanied by the sound of a
boiler factory running amuck! Looking ahead at the engine, I was petrified to observe that right in front of
me one of the all-too-exposed leftbank engine cylinder-head rocker

arms was loose and flailing around

like a blacksmiths hammer!
We are going to die! I had that
interesting thought as the seat of
my pants started to be in definitely
damp danger. We will crash in the
muddy, murky old Des Moines river
below, and our bodies will never be
recovered, and Ill never ever have
a real date with Donna . . . or with
Helen . . . or with Evi . . . or even
with that one with the buck teeth
. . . but the pilot, hero that he was,
proved to be fearless and even unconcerned. He grinned like a hungry
hedgehog, made a daring thumbs-up
gesture, and we completed the entire 10-minute flight. Later I was to
discover that such an adventure was,
for him and his noble equipment,
the rule, rather than the exception.
In closing this odyssey, I want
to make this final important statement: In my 91 years of life to date,
I have forgotten many names (even
my own on occasion!), but there
are only two names Ill never forgetthe wonderful name of my beloved wife of 61 years, Eloise, and
the name of the other lady who
captivated me at the age of 12. I
will never forget . . . Jenny!



You can buy your tickets online now and save time and money.
Go to
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J U LY 2 6 A U G U S T 1

My Friend

Albert Vollmecke
Part 2

nother idea
that Albert Vollmecke brought
to CommandAire from Germany was the
formation here in the United
States of glider clubs to teach
young boys how to fly an airplane. The program had been so
successful in Germany that Albert
reasoned, why not here? He undertook a project to design a small
primary glider that CommandAire could market to glider clubs
that would spring up across the
United States.
Application was made (see Figure 1) to the Aeronautics Branch
of the Department of Commerce
December 19, 1927, just after Albert Vollmecke became employed
with Arkansas Aircraft Company.
The stated purpose of the airplane was experimental. Later
he intended there would be production of the gliders for sale to
organizations such as Boy Scouts
of America and community glider


clubs, the same as in Germany,

and to individuals who wished to
have a small plane for experimental purposes. Will be completed
January 1st, 1928 at our factory,
Little Rock, Arkansas. In the application a description of the airplane appears, Biplane Glider for
motorless flying. Steel tube fuselage
and wooden wings. Controls same
as conventional airplane. Designed
by our engineer Mr. Albert Voellmecke, formerly of the Ernst Heinkel
Airplane Works, Germany.
Because of the pressures of designing and producing powered
biplanes, the glider idea never
was put into production. In a
letter from the company dated
July 22, 1928, to the Aeronautics
Branch, an explanation appears.
For your infor mation this was
a glider, and through the press of
other business was never assembled.
We will likely sell it shortly to some
of the boys in the factory who expect
to complete it and install a small
motor of some sort. We will see that
they make application for identifi-

cation numbers at the proper time.

Enclosed, fi nd the metal identifi cation plate for the glider. The records
of the company were recently moved
from the factory to an uptown office, and the license itself has apparently been lost as we cannot
find it. W.S. Shannon, on behalf
of Arkansas Aircraft Company,
signed the communication. Four
North Little Rock boys spent two
years completing a glider. First
flights of the glider were made
by Albert Vollmecke, chief engineer at Command-Aire Incorporated, who furnished plans and
sketches of the glider. However,
it was not the biplane glider he
proposed that Arkansas Aircraft
Company manufactured.
On Sunday, June 1, 1930, the
Arkansas Democrat reported,
Gliding became a reality in Little
Rock Friday when four North Little
Rock youths, shown in the picture,
took their first gliding lessons in a
glider they built themselves during
the past 18 months. They worked on
the glider after school hours and at


Figure 2
Figure 1

night. At the top, the glider is shown

in flight with Albert Voellmecke,
chief engineer at Command-Aire,
Inc., at the controls. He made two
flights of about 75 yards each, attaining an altitude of about 25 feet.
The four glider builders are shown
below. From left to right they are:
Hubert MacDonald, Elmo Bachus,
Buddy Pyles and Weldon Clark.
(See Figure 2)
At the completion of the test
f l i g h t s M r. Vo l l m e c k e s t a t e d ,
Glider training is good for preliminary training of an airplane pilot.
He himself was a glider pilot,
having made a fl ight of two and
one half hours in Germany in
1923. In several countries, before a
person is permitted to train to fly an
airplane, he must be a glider pilot.
Flying a glider is much safer for the
beginner than flying an airplane,
as the glider very rarely gets over
25 feet from the ground. If it fell,
it would be less than a jump from
the same height and consequently
is very safe. If the glider is broken,

20 FEBRUARY 2010

repairs can be made easily and

without much expense. Vollmecke
further stated, Gliding should become popular in the United States
since Colonel Lindbergh demonstrated its safety. Training should
begin on a primary type, after which
a sailplane can be flown. The Ozark
mountains should furnish excellent
opportunities for a sailplane pilot to
make a new long-distance record in
a motorless plane.
O n e o f Vo l l m e c k e s c r o w n ing achievements while at Command-Aire was the design and
construction of a small racing
aircraft powered by an American Cirrus four-cylinder, inline
engine. It would be entered in
the All American Cirrus Derby,
a 5,541-mile race that began on
July 21, 1930, in Detroit, Michigan, and ended 11 days later. The
story of the Little Rocket racer is
quite interesting; the construction, the race, and the final chapter of the airplane are a great
insight into the inner workings

of a long-since-departed company. 1930 was also the year of

the final chapter for CommandAire Incorporated, as it fell into
bankruptcy and quickly ceased
to exist.
The Little Rocket racer was a
single-seat low-wing monoplane
constructed mostly of wood
and powered by a 110-hp supercharged American Cirrus fourcylinder, inline, upright, aircooled engine. With pilot Lee
Gehlbach at the controls, it won
the Cirrus Derby with an average
speed of 127.11 miles per hour.
Sponsored by American Cirrus
Engines Incorporated, a unit of
Allied Motor Industries Incorporated, the derby was organized
to demonstrate the possibilities
of long-distance flight by light
airplanes. The course of 5,541
miles took contestants from Det r o i t , s o u t h t o Te x a s , w e s t t o
California, and back to Detroit
over the mountains and deserts
of the South and Southwest. It

Figure 3

Figure 4

presented all the difficulties of

flying that may be found in the
confines of the United States, yet
10 of the 18 ships that started
completed the course on schedule. In only one instance was the
withdrawal of a plane the result
of engine trouble. Lee Gehlbach,
the winner flying the CommandAire Little Rocket, averaged 145
miles per hour while in the air.
On one lap, that from Detroit to
Buffalo, New York, he attained a

speed of 200 miles per hour.

A number of private investors
from the Little Rock area put up
approximately $10,000 to have
the ship designed and built. It
was built for the Little Rock Racing Association Incorporated.
Gilbert Leigh was president, R.B.
Snowden Jr. was vice president,
and Charles E. Shoemaker Jr. was
secretary treasurer. The aircraft
was constructed July 7, 1930,
and issued registration number
X-10403. Manufacturers serial
number was R-1, and the model
number was MR-1. CommandAire vice president Charles M.
Taylor stated, The Little Rocket,
Command-Aire, Little Rock, and
the state of Arkansas got national
publicity as the Little Rocket, flown
by Lee Gehlbach, won most of the
daily legs as well as being declared
the over-all winner of the race. This
was one of those few cases where the
local financial sponsorssome 40
people including Governor Parnell
got their money back with a profit.
Figure 3. Aero Digest, September 1930, published a drawing,
which depicts the course, complete with stops and miles between stops.

When Gehlbach returned to

Little Rock with the racer, he was
treated as an air hero. The Arkansas Gazette reported, Little Rock
got its fi rst glimpse of its air hero
as he trailed behind a formation of
fi ve National Guard planes as they
circled the city shortly before noon
Wednesday. Immediately upon arrival at the Municipal Airport the
tiny monoplane was loaded on a
truck and the procession through
the business district started, headed
by Gehlbach, state, county and municipal offi cials. Gehlbach, smiling
and still wearing the grimy pilots
uniform, was seated on the top of
a large touring car, which had been
lowered. The event recalled the reception given for Lindbergh shortly
after his epochal Atlantic flight.
Following the small ship were
cars with state and local officials,
including Albert Vollmecke, designer of the plane; officials of
the Little Rock Racing Association, which sponsored the plane;
officials of Command-Aire Incorporated, which built the plane;
and members of the city council.
After the celebration was over,
the plane was offered for sale by
the racing association (see Figure 4). It was sold to Mr. Jack
Walker of Little Rock, Arkansas,
for the sum of $750. Included in
the sale was the following: one
Little Rocket racing airplane, one
second-hand 28-foot Irving backpack parachute, one extra blade
for the propeller of Little Rocket,
and one small lot of parts for the
engine. This was not the end of
the story of the Little Rocket by
any means. The plane would race
again at the National Air Races
held in Chicago from August 24
to September 1, 1930, this time
flown by E.Z. Newsom.
( E d i t o r s N o t e : Ye a r s l a t e r, a
faithful flying replica of the Little
Rocket was built by Joe Araldi; its
on display at the Florida Air Museum on the grounds of the Sun n
Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida.)
The end was near for Command-Aire Incorporated as the


Figure 5
Depression that gripped the country starting with the stock market
crash in 1929 was about to take its
toll on many small airplane-manufacturing companies. In Albert
Vollmeckes brief four-plus years
with Command-Aire, the company received 14 approved type
certificates (ATC) that resulted in
the construction of 116 aircraft
powered by the Curtiss OX-5 engines. The company built approximately 184 aircraft of all types;
a respectable record for only four
years of operation.
Vollmecke detailed to me the
story of his design of a larger and
more powerful Little Rocket
type aircraft that featured a retractable landing gear. The design
was for a pursuit-type ship for the
U.S. government, and his compilation of sketches was presented
for review. However, the company ceased operations before
any negotiations could be completed for a prototype ship.
In one interview with Albert
Vollmecke I asked what it was
like in the last few weeks of
Command-Aire as an employee
and well-known designer. First
he indicated that the president, Bob Snowden Jr., had his
hands in several business entities in 1930, primarily his large
farming operation, the frozen
food business, and other interests. No matter how bad things
got for the general public, they
all needed to eat, which meant
Snowden would have an income
from his agricultural interests.
However, there would be little

22 FEBRUARY 2010

Figure 6

In several
countries, before a
person is permitted
to train to fly an
airplane he must
be a glider pilot.
Flying a glider is
much safer for the
beginner than flying
an airplane, as the
glider very rarely
gets over 25 feet
from the ground.
money available in the market to
purchase such an extravagance
as an airplane. Therefore he paid
little attention to the floundering Command-Aire Incorporated.
In the last days, Vollmecke said
he took all his ATC drawings and
locked them in the large safe

located in the factory building.

Then, he and others turned out
the lights, walked out the front
door, and locked it. The days of
Command-Aire had ended.
When asked who was Neil
Romich, Vollmecke answered,
Romich joined Command-Aire in
1930, just before the company went
into receivership. He was in charge
of production, replacing a fellow by
the name of Fielding. Romich and
Bob Snowden moved small parts,
including wings, fuselages, empennage, etc. to a National Guard
building on the municipal airport.
They planned to build more airplanes later when money was more
plentiful, but they never did.
Now unemployed and with
the country on hard times, Vollmecke had to find work to support his wife, Maja, and their two
sons, Walter and Albert Jr. He
found a job with the Civil Works
Administration program for airport construction in Arkansas. He
was an advisor and inspector in
the construction of airway beacons for airmail pilots flying at
night. Although this program
lasted only a short time, 13 new
airports were constructed and
nine existing ones improved. On
the horizon was looming greater
government control of civilian
aviation. Seeing this, Vollmecke
applied for a position with the

Figure 7

Figure 8

Bureau of Aeronautics in 1933.

He was not the only talented person with aircraft experience to
join the government; however,
his career would be solidified as
he climbed the ranks of the Civil
Aeronautics Administration and
finally the Federal Aviation Administration. Vollmecke was to
make a tremendous mark on aviation, with his experience in design at Command-Aire and Ernst
Heinkel Airplane Works giving
him a tremendous background as
he started his new career.

In the April 1980 issue of OX-5

News, Moving over to the CAA/
FAA in 1933, and for the next 30
years, as an Aeronautical Engineer,
Vollmecke originated and developed
many advanced designs regarded as
major contributions to the safety and
performance of all types of civil and
military aircraft. He served in the
early 40s as Senior Member of the
Air Force/Navy/Civil Aircraft Design
Criteria Committee that achieved
standardization of design, testing
and analysis of new and modified
aircraft. The result of this was a tre-

mendous savings in money and engineering manpower during WWII.

Vollmecke joined the government to help regulate the growing field of aviation in 1933. The
Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce would
be reorganized and renamed in
1934, becoming the Bureau of
Air Commerce; it was still within
the Department of Commerce.
In 1938, Congress created the
Civil Aeronautics Agency, which
would be known as the CAA. A
change from agency to administration came a short time
later, and Vollmecke, with all his
talent, began to climb the ladder
toward the top.
As civilian aviation continued to grow in the 1930s and
1940s, Vollmecke was assigned
the formidable task to develop a
manual for the repair of aircraft.
This was to be a document for
mechanics to make approved
repairs on wood and steel tube
aircraft. Prior to this publication,
each repair had to be inspected
and approved by a government offi cial, which was a timeconsuming task and caused great
delays and frustration to mechanics and owners since ideas
on correct procedure for repairs
varied among mechanics.
Vollmecke assembled a small
group of design engineers in
Washington, D.C., and set out
to create the document. He designed splices for wood and steel
tube structures that still appear
today in the FAAs Advisory Circular (AC) 43.13-1B.
When asked how he and his
committee went about the task,
he said, We looked at how to put
the margin of safety back into an
aircraft after it had been damaged.
I designed the scarf splice for wood
wing spars and most of the steel
tube splices. We sent the drawings to
craftsmen in the Washington, D.C.,
area, and they made samples of the
repairs. Then we had them tested to
destruction to see if they worked.
The fi rst publication was Aero-


nautics Bulletin No. 7-H (see Figure 5), signed by Daniel C. Roper,
Secretary of Commerce, on September 23, 1935. The document
became effective January 1, 1936.
In this document there appear
several drawings of steel tube repairs and of splices to wood wing
spars and ribs. It is most likely in
Aeronautics Bulletin No. 7-H that
Vollmecke and his committee designed the repairs. The drawings
are very similar to those found
in Civil Aeronautics Manual (CAM)
18 and FAA Advisor y Circular

Aeronautics bulletins appeared in 1927 beginning with
No. 7, Airworthiness Requirements
for Aircraft. This document was
needed to comply with government regulations regarding
ATCs. Aeronautics Bulletin 7 was
amended to AB-7A September 1,
1934. Aeronautics Bulletin No. 7-H
is significant because it was the
fi rst document to address alterations and repairs to certificated
aircraft. Prior to AB-7H there was
no documented repair procedure

Since the EAA y-in (AirVenture) arrived in Oshkosh

in 1970, the Brown Arch has been the gateway to
countless aviation dreams and accomplishments. This is
the original and traditional entry to the Oshkosh ight line.
Millions of people have walked under this arch to discover
the innovation, imagination, and craftsmanship within
the thousands of airplanes that have been a part of the
Oshkosh Experience.
The EAA grounds and AirVenture Oshkosh have
expanded greatly since 1970, but the ingenuity, camaraderie
and high standards remain the same. The Brown Arch
represents all of those EAA attributes, becoming a favorite
gathering point. Meet you at the Brown Arch is a part of
the Oshkosh lexicon that stretches across generations.
From this place, aviations premier event provides a
year-round spirit that reaches every corner of the aviation Purchase your brick NOW and have it
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your home.
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The design, symmetrical in nature, will consist of

3,000 tribute bricks, each measuring 2 feet by 2 feet.
Within the design is a Biplane made up of 160 bricks
120 bricks make up the wings, 20 reect the struts,
6 complete the cockpit, and 16 bricks stand for
the landing gear. Four Compass Rose bricks two
anking the North and two anking the South will
make up the cowling of the Biplane design. The center
piece in the Compass Rose will be the ofcial NOAA marker
providing the distance to Kitty Hawk.

Inscription Guidance*:
Full brick (24x24 square):
30 characters across with up to 11 lines of text
Half brick (12x24 square):
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Quarter brick (12x12 square):
16 characters with up to 6 lines of text
* Logos can be reproduced on the brick for an additional
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visit or contact
EAAs Development Ofce at 1-800-236-1025.

24 FEBRUARY 2010

if an aircraft was damaged.

Figure 6 shows a sketch of a
structural tube splice using an
inside sleeve (as originally published in AB-7H it is Figure 5).
Vollmecke led the committee
who designed and tested these
types of repairs for both 1025 and
4130 alloy steel tubing. All ships
with ATCs used either this type
of steel tubing for fabrication of
the structure. Figure 7 (Figure 9
in AB-7H) is the method of splicing solid or laminated rectangular
wing spars. This basic design is
still used to this day. If properly
cut, finished, glued, clamped, and
cured, the splice is as strong as the
wood itself. It is called a scarf
splice, the angle being 10 times
the thickness of the spar. This
type splice puts the glue in shear
and gives grain continuation.
Figure 8 (Figure 17 in AB-7H) is
a typical rib splice at a spar. While
similar to the splice shown in the
current AC43.13-1B, it is not the
same. There is good reason to
believe that Vollmecke either designed or had a hand in the design
of these major repairs to primary
aircraft structural components.
Vollmeckes main concern in
aircraft design was always safety,
and the designs for major repairs
to aircraft primary structure reflect this vision. To design a repair
that, when properly completed,
is as strong as the structure itself
is noteworthy. He was indeed a
genius, a person with immense
talent. Former Command-Aire
Vice President Charles M. Taylor,
in his presentation of November
11, 1983, stated, The National
Advisory Committee for Aeronauticsthe NACAappointed him
[Vollmecke] as a member of the
Committee on Aircraft Construction
and on the Research Advisory Committee on Aircraft Structures.
In next months installment, Ill
have more on this accomplished man,
including his involvement in the construction of the worlds largest wooden
aircraft, the Hughes H-4.

Adult and youth aprons with
various airplanes images
flying through the skies
are useful and fun
for parent and child.
Adult 5265450900000
Youth 5265450800000

Telephone Orders: 800-843-3612

From US and Canada (All Others Call 920-426-5912)

Or send to: EAA Mail Orders, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086
Limited supplies available.
*Shipping and handling NOT included. Major credit cards accepted. WI residents add 5% sales tax.

A.Oshkosh The Spirt of Aviation Wood Plaque

Approximate size: 12 X 6 x 1

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Light Plane Heritage

published in EAA Experimenter October1989



by Jack McRae
EAA 93

he second of the Mummert homebuilt

lightplanes, which appeared at Roosevelt Field
in 1923, was intended to be a low-powered,
inexpensive airplane with a good cruising
range and low operating cost. It was an all-wood
midwing monoplane of very clean design, powered with
a 74-cubic-inch Harley-Davidson V-twin motorcycle
engine, rated at 18 hp. It was designed and built in his
spare time by the Curtiss engineer Harvey C. Mummert.
The fuselage was of monocoque construction, using
three-ply maple veneer skin, spruce frames, and three
longerons, with the single longeron at the bottom.
The engine mount was a formed sheet steel piece to
absorb the engine vibration. Gas and oil tanks were
mounted between the firewall and the cockpit, which
was said to be roomy and comfortable, with good
vision provided forward.

A steel tube landing gear was used, with shock

absorbers mounted inside the fuselage. The propeller
was a miniature Curtiss Reed-type of twisted aluminum.
It was 52 inches in diameter and had a maximum rpm
of 2800. A propeller spinner and cowling added to the
neat appearance.
The cantilever one-piece wing was fabric-covered and
had two spruce spars of box beam design. The spars were
continuous across the fuselage, and they were fastened to
the top longerons with pins that could be easily removed
and the wings quickly detached for towing behind a
car. The wing ribs had cap strips glued to a 1/28-inch
plywood web. The ailerons were plywood-covered.
A variable-gearing arrangement between the stick and
the control surfaces was used to prevent the airplane
from being too sensitive on the controls at high speeds
and to allow ample movements of the control surfaces

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

26 FEBRUARY 2010

for small stick displacement at low speeds.

The tail surfaces were of wood construction with
plywood covering and well-faired into the fuselage.
The wingspan was 20 feet and the length 14 feet
1 inch. The empty weight was 286 pounds. Cruising
speed was estimated to be 75 mph.
Test flying was done by the Curtiss pilot Jack
Pierson. The plane was apparently successful until,
during a demonstration of short-field landings, the
wheels hooked on some electric wires at the edge of
the field, which resulted in the loss of the airplane, but
without injury to the pilot.
It was reported that Mummert corresponded with
the Polish lightplane builders Pawel and Jan Gabriel
of Bydgoszcz, Poland, concerning lightplane design.
In 1924-25 the Gabriel brothers designed and built
the L-7 ultralight airplane, which was very similar
to the Mummert Sportplane and was powered with
a 24-hp Indian motorcycle engine. A photo of this
airplane appears in the 1970 German book Das Buch
der Deutschen Luftfahrttechnik, by Bruno Lange.
References: Aviation Magazine, August 13, 1923;
interviews with Curtiss engineers of the 1920-30 era.
Photos are from the collection of Charlie Geignetter,
former Curtiss engineer.
Note: In this Light Plane Heritage series, we have
endeavored to present the many outstanding light airplanes
of the past to illustrate the longtime interest in the
purely personal airplane. Fortunately, we have enlisted
the assistance of two very knowledgeable colleagues to
contribute articles on these many forgotten airplanes.
Jack McRae (EAA 93) of Huntington Station, New York, is

well-known for his interest in early homebuilts. Owen Billman

(EAA 648) of Mayfield, New York, also is well-known to EAAers.
We hope you will share our enjoyment as we review the
development of the purely personal sport airplanes in future
articles. Send us your favorites to be included in the series.
If you have photos, lend them, and well get them copied.
And let us know if you enjoy the series.George A. Hardie
Jr., EAA Historian Emeritus
2010 Editors Note: The late George Hardie Jr.s note
from 20 years ago is still valid todaywere always open to
articles on vintage lightplanes. All we ask is that you share
your sources with the editor here at EAA so we can properly
credit them within the article. Feel free to contact us via
e-mail at, or at the address shown
in the back of the magazine in our Membership Services

Har vey Mummer t, in front of the

Mummert Sportplane, circa 1923.





My thoughts on propeller care, Part I

Figure 1
Wire pointer shown fastened to No. 5 rocker box on
Wright R-760 engine. Its a quick and simple way to verify
prop pitch.

This article will cover some thoughts on the care

and maintenance of propellers, specifically groundadjustable props. For the antique aircraft, there are
three types of materials from which propellers can be
manufacturedwood, aluminum, and steel. I have experience with each of these three types of props. But
first lets make sure that we understand that per the
Federal Aviation Regulations, a mechanic can perform
the following maintenance on propellers: 1) remove
and install, 2) check track, 3) smooth leading edges
due to minor nicks, 4) paint the face and tips of the
prop, and 5) varnish wood props. Airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanics may make major repairs to
propellers in accordance with Advisory Circular (AC)
43.13-1B. It is important to remember that a prop must
retain the balance recommended by the manufacturer,

28 FEBRUARY 2010

both spanwise and chordwise. So care must be taken

not to disturb the balance by adding excessive finishes.
It is possible to finely balance a propeller with paint
or varnish; however, a propeller maintenance shop is
usually the only source for prop balance. FAA Advisory
Circular 43.13-1B is a good guide for care and maintenance of aircraft propellers.
Perhaps a quick discussion of engine crankshaft
sizing would be in order at this time. Crankshafts
were sized according to SAE standards. These sizes
were No. 1 and No. 2 tapered and No. 20, No. 30,
No. 40, No. 50, and No. 60 splined. Older engines,
such as the Wright J-5 and Curtiss OX-5 had tapered
crankshafts. Other small single-row radial engines,
such as Continental W-670, Lycoming R-680, Jacobs R-755 series, and Warner had crankshafts that
were SAE No. 20 spline, while the Wright J-6-5, J-6-7,
J-6-9 and Pratt & Whitney R-985 series engines were
No. 30 spline. Propeller hubs, whether they were for
wood or metal props, were manufactured according

Figure 2
The pointer is made using a length of 3/32-inch diameter
welding rod with 1/4-inch inside diameter loop formed
on one end.

to an approved type certifi cate (ATC) to match engine propeller shaft sizes.

WOOD PROPELLERS: Inspect wood props to assure

continued airworthiness. The inspection should include visually looking for cracks, dents, warpage, glue
failure, and delaminations between the wood laminates. Also, the hub bolt torque should be checked.
Loose hub bolts can cause elongation of the holes in
the prop hub. Wood propellers are manufactured from
yellow birch, and the laminations are bonded with
Resorcinol glue. Wood prop leading edges are protected by brass tipping fastened to the wood by copper
rivets and steel screws. After attachment, the screw and
rivet heads are secured in place by soft solder. Check
for loose screws and/or rivets by observing the condition of the solder. Thin cracks in the solder around the
outer edge of the fastener (which is covered by the solder) indicate the fastener is working in the hole, and it
and the tipping are becoming loose.
If the hub bolts are loose, check for possible elongation of the holes and for wear between the steel hub
and wood propeller. All varnish should be in good
condition. If the varnish is faulty, showing cracks, or
checking (where the varnish is failing with a web of
fine cracks all over the surface), carefully sand and recoat both blades with a good grade exterior spar or epoxy varnish. Remember, balance is critical to smooth
engine operation. Typical critical data on a wood prop
that operates at 2100 rpm shows that the tips will
travel at roughly 612 mph, or Mach 0.80. Wood does
not fatigue like metal; therefore, a good visual inspection of the prop and its attaching hardware should be
conducted at regular intervals. Avoid operating the
propeller in the rain as it will effectively remove the
varnish coating.
I recently came across a Hamilton Standard Propeller
Corporation brochure dated 1930. It details two- and
three-blade ground-adjustable models and contains
some interesting data regarding care and maintenance.
Hamilton Standard manufactured two hubs that fit
most small single-row radial engines that used either
the SAE No. 20 or No. 30 crankshafts. These hubs were:
1) The 5404, ATC 250, rated to 330 hp at 2200 rpm.
Crankshaft size for the 5404 hub is a No. 20 spline, and
it weighs 30 pounds.
2) The 5406, ATC 251, is rated to 500 hp at 2500
rpm. Crankshaft size for the 5406 hub is a No. 30
spline, and it weighs 32 pounds.
Its interesting to note that the Hamilton Standard 5406
hub for my Wright R-760 (235 hp) is rated for any engine
up to 500 hp at 2500 rpm; however, the 4350F aluminum
blades are rated for only 125 hp each (250 total engine
hp). The 4350F (11C1) blades will work in both 5404 (SAE
No. 20 spline) and 5406 (SAE No. 30 spline) hubs.

Like engine crankshaft sizes, hub sizes were also

based on an SAE numbering system. The SAE No. 0 size
hub is used for engines up to 125 hp, including the
Warner, Kinner, OX-5, LeBlond, G\ipsy, etc. The SAE
No. 1 size hub can be used on engines with either SAE
No. 20 or No. 30 crankshafts. On larger engines, such
as the Pratt & Whitney Hornet and Wright Cyclone,
the SAE No. 1-1/2 size is used for two-blade propellers.
The SAE No. 2 size is used for geared engines requiring
propellers of a large diameter.
Im going to extract this Hamilton Standard data
and list some of it here in this column. The quotes are
directly from this manual.
Dynamic Balance of the Propeller: The running or
dynamic balance of the propeller is ordinarily roughly
checked by testing the track of the propeller. The
propeller is mounted on the engine or on a suitable
mandrel, and the blades are swung through an arc of
180 degrees. Both blades should pass through exactly
the same path, and the amount by which they fail to
do so is the error in track. For this reason Hamilton
Standard Propellers are set very accurately at the factory, the two opposite blades being set to correspond
to within 1/10 of 1 degree. It is not always possible to
set these blades accurately in the field, but it is recommended that an effort be made to keep the angle of the
two blades alike within 2/10 of 1 degree.
Here, a side note from the author may be helpful. A
certain prop shop recently overhauled and returned to
service two 5406AR-4350F Hamilton Standard props
for a pair of Wright-powered biplanes. Both engines
had vibration modes around 1400-1550 rpm; they
were so bad that we didnt run the engines in that
range, only to accelerate or decelerate. After they had
been overhauled at the shop and reinstalled on the airplanes, I checked the blade angles and found that both
props had a deviation in blade angle greater than specified above. One blade had 0.090 inches more pitch
than the other. I reset the blade pitch, and now both
engines operate smoothly. Figures 1 and 2 show the
special tool I used to check/reset the pitch.
According to the Hamilton Standard manual,
When it is desired to change the rpm of the engine at
full throttle by adjusting the pitch of the propeller, the
following general rule may be applied. The engine will
slow down 60 rpm for each degree of increase in pitch
and will speed up 60 rpm for each degree of decrease
in pitch.
Care of Propeller Blades. Whenever there is any
sign of pitting on the leading edge of a blade, it must
be attended to immediately. If the pitting is at all bad,
the rough edges should be smoothed with a fine file,
the whole leading edge smoothed down with fine
sandpaper and finished with crocus cloth. However,
the file should be avoided if possible and be used only
when the pitting is so extensive as to make its use necessary. Occasionally, when severe pitting occurs, it may


be necessary to remove so much material that the propeller becomes unbalanced. This condition must be
watched for and be corrected.
(Editors Note: Be careful when choosing abrasive cloth.
Sometimes the term crocus cloth is used generically when
referring to abrasive cloth, but it originally was an iron
oxide product. Crocus cloth made
using iron oxide is appropriate for
use only on steel propeller blades
and should not be used on aluminum blades. The iron oxide abrasive particles used to create crocus
cloth will induce dissimilar metal
corrosion if used on aluminum.
If its necessary to use abrasive
cloth when dressing out a pit on
an aluminum blade, use mineralbased abrasives such as emery
Vibration: The question of
vibration in the powerplant,
propeller and mounting is a
very important one. There are,
of course, a number of possible causes of vibration. One of
the most obvious causes is the
static unbalance of the propeller and that can be controlled
by inspection. The dynamic
unbalance of the propeller
can be controlled within fairly
close limits by checking the
face alignment or track of the
blades at a number of stations.
An aerodynamic unbalance
of the propeller may be caused,
as is well known, by unequal
angle setting of the two blades.
It may also be caused by improper template fit of the two blades, resulting in different characteristics for the airfoil, and this feature
is carefully controlled by inspection at the Hamilton
Standard plant.
Hamilton Standards book continues: Unequal
amount of stiffness in the two blades may also cause vibration, as the blades will deflect by unequal amounts.
In Hamilton Standard Propellers, this condition will
not be found, as the material is carefully tested to ensure uniformity of structure and hardness.
There are, of course, possibilities of vibration coming from the engine, even assuming good distribution,
ignition and timing. One of these is the uneven torque
reaction due to the gas pressure. A second source of vibration comes from improper balance of the reciprocating parts.
However, vibration frequently occurs at certain
speeds, and is comparatively small in amount at other

speeds. This is often the result of the period of vibration of some of the parts coinciding with the rate of
engine impulses or with the rate of revolution. It can
sometimes be eliminated by changes in the mounting
of the engine or by changes in propeller design.
Climb and/or cruise performance of the airplane
is in direct relationship to propeller pitch. There are climb
props and cruise props.
Climb props allow the engine
to develop maximum rpm at
full throttle, thus achieving
maximum rate-of-climb. Quoting from the manual, For example, it may be desired to get
out of a small field even at the
expense of the speed of the airplane. In this case the propeller should be set at a low pitch,
allowing the engine to turn-up
fast on take-off. The plane will
then get off the ground in a
short distance.
On the other hand, it may
be desirable to economize
on fuel. For this, the pitch of
the propeller should be set at
a high angle and the engine
held down to a low rpm at full
throttle. This setting will give
the greatest economy of fuel,
or, in other words, the most
miles per gallon.
The Hamilton Standard
manual further states, Adjustment of Pitch for High Speed:
For racing or any other type of
flying in which high speed is
important, an intermediate setting between these two will be found the most desirable. In determining the best setting (or the prop) for
speed, the pilot should try several pitch settings, flying
level and at full throttle with each setting. A reading of
the airspeed meter should be taken during each test.
The setting which gives the greatest speed is, of course,
the one most suitable for that particular airplane.
Before I leave this interesting little manual, there is
one more bit of information I found fascinating. The
manual says, Shoulders on Blade Ends: The shoulders
on the blade ends are so designated that the shearing strength and the crushing strength are equal and,
though nearly so, are not quite as great as the tensile
strength of the smallest section of the blade end. Tensile tests on these blade ends show that they fail at
320,000 lbs. load for the No. 1 size. This corresponds to
a factor of safety of approximately 5 for our standard
10 ft. propeller when turning at 1800 rpm.

The propeller is
mounted on the
engine or on a
suitable mandrel,
and the blades are
swung through an arc of
180 degrees.
Both blades should
pass through exactly
the same path,
and the amount by
which they fail to do so
is the error in track.

30 FEBRUARY 2010

STEEL PROPELLERS: My only experience with steel propellers is on

the McCauley installed on stock
Stearman aircraft. These props
have been around for a long time,
and there is an airworthiness directive (AD) on the prop requiring disassembly and inspection
every 100 hours time in service,
which makes this prop expensive
to operate. The McCauley has steel
blades with a steel hub, making it
heavy. The AD requires disassembly, magnafluxing, and a visual
inspection of hub and shank end
of blades for pitting corrosion. If
corrosion pits or any evidence of
cracks are found, the component is
red tagged and scrapped. I have
four McCauley props in my shop
that have been scrapped by prop
shops. Many owners have decided
that the prop is too expensive to
operate and have opted to replace
it with a wood prop or a Hamilton
Standard with 5404 or 5406 partnumbered hubs. Finding a 5404,
20-spline prop hub can be difficult and expensive. My experience
shows that the 5406, 30-spline
hub is more prevalent.
Again, propeller pitch is set by the
manufacturer or the propeller repair
shop. Prop pitch is generally set at
the 42-inch station (42 inches measured from hub center line) for many
props. Smaller props may use the 36inch station; the manufacturer determines the exact station location.
220-hp Continental-powered Waco
aircraft left the factory with Curtiss
Reed aluminum alloy propellers.
Curtiss Reed propellers featured
small hubs and graceful blades and
were a one-piece prop. Length and
pitch angle could be varied slightly
by an approved propeller facility.
Care of this type of prop was similar
to the Hamilton Standard groundadjustable models; leading-edge
care and corrosion protection is important. Never let surface corrosion
get to the advanced stage of pitting,
especially near the hub where aerodynamic forces are concentrated.

I hope this information will be

useful for both owners and mechanics. Let me stress again that
the owner cannot make any repairs to the propeller; A&P mechanics are very limited in what
they can legally perform. If there
are questions regarding the propeller, especially the older props,
contact a propeller repair facility.
Make sure it is familiar with the
type of prop you have; some shops
wont deal with the older groundadjustable props. Good luck and
happy flying.

Sources for Technical Data:

FAA AC43.13-1B, Chapter 8, Section 4
Hamilton Standard Propeller manual
dated 1930
Good Wood, Smithsonian Air &
Space magazine, dated June/July
FAA propeller listing for Hamilton Standard blades and hubs
FAA engine listing for various radial

ces in Techno
Despite Advan

the Best W
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MacuHealth with LMZ3 contains

ALL three carotenoids found in the
retina to help maintain eye health
throughout our later years.*
This formula combines powerful
antioxidants that help protect tissues
against the potentially damaging eects
of harmful blue light and is designed
specially to support macular health.*
Patented formula contains
Meso-Zeaxanthin, the only
carotenoid found exclusively
in the macula.
Use Discount Code LOVE2FLY
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. | | 800.874.5274 | 904.642.9330


STEEL PROPELLERS: My only experience with steel propellers is on

the McCauley installed on stock
Stearman aircraft. These props
have been around for a long time,
and there is an airworthiness directive (AD) on the prop requiring disassembly and inspection
every 100 hours time in service,
which makes this prop expensive
to operate. The McCauley has steel
blades with a steel hub, making it
heavy. The AD requires disassembly, magnafluxing, and a visual
inspection of hub and shank end
of blades for pitting corrosion. If
corrosion pits or any evidence of
cracks are found, the component is
red tagged and scrapped. I have
four McCauley props in my shop
that have been scrapped by prop
shops. Many owners have decided
that the prop is too expensive to
operate and have opted to replace
it with a wood prop or a Hamilton
Standard with 5404 or 5406 partnumbered hubs. Finding a 5404,
20-spline prop hub can be difficult and expensive. My experience
shows that the 5406, 30-spline
hub is more prevalent.
Again, propeller pitch is set by the
manufacturer or the propeller repair
shop. Prop pitch is generally set at
the 42-inch station (42 inches measured from hub center line) for many
props. Smaller props may use the 36inch station; the manufacturer determines the exact station location.
220-hp Continental-powered Waco
aircraft left the factory with Curtiss
Reed aluminum alloy propellers.
Curtiss Reed propellers featured
small hubs and graceful blades and
were a one-piece prop. Length and
pitch angle could be varied slightly
by an approved propeller facility.
Care of this type of prop was similar
to the Hamilton Standard groundadjustable models; leading-edge
care and corrosion protection is important. Never let surface corrosion
get to the advanced stage of pitting,
especially near the hub where aerodynamic forces are concentrated.

I hope this information will be

useful for both owners and mechanics. Let me stress again that
the owner cannot make any repairs to the propeller; A&P mechanics are very limited in what
they can legally perform. If there
are questions regarding the propeller, especially the older props,
contact a propeller repair facility.
Make sure it is familiar with the
type of prop you have; some shops
wont deal with the older groundadjustable props. Good luck and
happy flying.

Sources for Technical Data:

FAA AC43.13-1B, Chapter 8, Section 4
Hamilton Standard Propeller manual
dated 1930
Good Wood, Smithsonian Air &
Space magazine, dated June/July
FAA propeller listing for Hamilton Standard blades and hubs
FAA engine listing for various radial

ces in Techno

the Best W
A Unique Supplement
to Support Eye Health*

MacuHealth with LMZ3 contains

ALL three carotenoids found in the
retina to help maintain eye health
throughout our later years.*
This formula combines powerful
antioxidants that help protect tissues
against the potentially damaging eects
of harmful blue light and is designed
specially to support macular health.*
Patented formula contains
Meso-Zeaxanthin, the only
carotenoid found exclusively
in the macula.
Use Discount Code LOVE2FLY
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. | | 800.874.5274 | 904.642.9330


STEEL PROPELLERS: My only experience with steel propellers is on

the McCauley installed on stock
Stearman aircraft. These props
have been around for a long time,
and there is an airworthiness directive (AD) on the prop requiring disassembly and inspection
every 100 hours time in service,
which makes this prop expensive
to operate. The McCauley has steel
blades with a steel hub, making it
heavy. The AD requires disassembly, magnafluxing, and a visual
inspection of hub and shank end
of blades for pitting corrosion. If
corrosion pits or any evidence of
cracks are found, the component is
red tagged and scrapped. I have
four McCauley props in my shop
that have been scrapped by prop
shops. Many owners have decided
that the prop is too expensive to
operate and have opted to replace
it with a wood prop or a Hamilton
Standard with 5404 or 5406 partnumbered hubs. Finding a 5404,
20-spline prop hub can be difficult and expensive. My experience
shows that the 5406, 30-spline
hub is more prevalent.
Again, propeller pitch is set by the
manufacturer or the propeller repair
shop. Prop pitch is generally set at
the 42-inch station (42 inches measured from hub center line) for many
props. Smaller props may use the 36inch station; the manufacturer determines the exact station location.

I hope this information will be

useful for both owners and mechanics. Let me stress again that
the owner cannot make any repairs to the propeller; A&P mechanics are very limited in what
they can legally perform. If there
are questions regarding the propeller, especially the older props,
contact a propeller repair facility.
Make sure it is familiar with the
type of prop you have; some shops
wont deal with the older groundadjustable props. Good luck and
happy flying.

Sources for Technical Data:

FAA AC43.13-1B, Chapter 8, Section 4
Hamilton Standard Propeller manual
dated 1930
Good Wood, Smithsonian Air &
Space magazine, dated June/July
FAA propeller listing for Hamilton Standard blades and hubs
FAA engine listing for various radial


220-hp Continental-powered Waco
aircraft left the factory with Curtiss
Reed aluminum alloy propellers.
Curtiss Reed propellers featured
small hubs and graceful blades and
were a one-piece prop. Length and
pitch angle could be varied slightly
by an approved propeller facility.
Care of this type of prop was similar
to the Hamilton Standard groundadjustable models; leading-edge
care and corrosion protection is important. Never let surface corrosion
get to the advanced stage of pitting,
especially near the hub where aerodynamic forces are concentrated.


BY Steve Krog, CFI

That turn to final

any of you reading
this article are
experienced pilots
and have excellent
flight safety records, while
others are relatively new to
the world of Classic, Antique,
and Contemporary tailwheel
fl ying. However, both groups are
probably thinking, Who is this
guy and what does he know about
flying old airplanes?
I have had the pleasure of flying
airplanes and providing flight
instruction for more than 40 years.
For the past 25 years Ive focused
almost exclusively on tailwheel
(conventional gear) instruction,
providing me an opportunity to
fly with a lot of individuals in a lot
of different tailwheel airplanes.
I offer primary instruction,
tailwheel instruction leading
to a tailwheel endorsement,
FA A W I N G S i n s t r u c t i o n , a n d
numerous FAA-required flight
reviews. Most of the flying time
has been uneventful, but some
has proven to be quite interesting!
One can always learn something
new and helpful from the
viewpoints of others. For those of
you who are relatively new to the
world of vintage tailwheel fl ying,
you may find this information
of interest as you prepare for the
2010 flying season.
Perhaps the single greatest
weakness I see in pilots young and
old is the portion of the traffic
pattern from the point of power

32 FEBRUARY 2010

reduction to landing, especially

the turn from base leg to final.
Why should that be so hard? Its
not! But executing that portion
of the flight smoothly, safely, and
comfortably can be a challenge
when additional factors are added
to the equation.
L e t s t a k e a c l o s e l o o k a t a
typical scenario that you may face
when flying into a nontowered
airport. The wind is from 260
degrees at 10-12 knots, and the
active runway at our destination
is Runway 29. The airplane you
are flying could be any one of
a dozen different models, as
many have similar approach and
landing speeds. In this case youre
slowing to 90 mph after applying
carburetor heat and making the
i n i t i a l p o w e r r e d u c t i o n . Yo u r
final approach speed will be
70 mph. The traffic pattern is
the traditional left-hand with a
published traffi c pattern altitude
of 1,000 feet AGL.
Whats so unusual about this?
You deal with this scenario all the
time at your own airport. How
can this be a problem?
So far, it isnt anything unusual.
But lets add to the equation the
fact that we have two additional
airplanes in the pattern. The
fi rst is a slower airplane ahead of
you just making the turn from
downwind to the base leg. The
second airplane is a light twin
entering the traffic pattern behind
you, and based on his radio call,

hes in a hurry!
Entering the traffic pattern using
the normal 45-degree approach,
you turn to 110 degrees, apply
carburetor heat at the runway
midpoint, make your initial
power reduction to 1200 rpm,
and establish your 90-mph glide
attitude. While completing the
pre-landing checklist assuring the
fuel selector is on the proper tank,
making trim adjustments, and
securing maps and other loose items
lying on the seat, you momentarily
lose sight of the slower airplane in
front of you. It takes a few seconds,
but the airplane is finally located.
Man, he sure is taking his time,
you think! Youll need to extend
your downwind leg just a bit to give
him more time for his approach.
Now where is that twin behind you?
Finally, the slow airplane is on
final approach. Youre wingtip to
wingtip, he on final and you on
downwind, so the turn to base can
be initiated. As you establish your
bank angle for the turn, things dont
seem quite right. But no problem.
Youve landed this beautiful old
bird many times before.
Gosh, that slow plane in front of
you is sure taking his sweet time.
To compensate, you roll out of
your base turn a few degrees early
and add 100 rpm. That should
provide a few seconds more time
and better spacing. Things still
dont seem quite right. You have
no worries, though.
After what seems to be an

eternity, the slower airplane is

finally on the ground and rolling
out. You can begin your turn to
final. Just as you start your turn
the twin behind you radios that
he is on base leg and beginning his
turn to final. You think to yourself,
whats he doing? Doesnt he know
Im here? Doesnt he see me? While
your neck is straining to look
behind you, your beautiful bird is
still flying the base leg heading.
As you initiate your turn to final
you realize that youve overshot
the runway by a little and youre a
little too high. You need to realign
yourself with the centerline and
reduce the power.
Without realizing it, while in
the turn to final, youve added a
little bottom rudder to speed up
the turn and to help get realigned.
The bank angle seems a little
steep, and you apply opposite
aileron to keep the bank at a
comfortable 30 degrees. Straining
in your seat you take a quick
look over your left and right
shoulder tr ying to locate that
fast-approaching twin supposedly
on your tail, and unknowingly,
you have applied some backpressure. Wow. What started out
to be a normal pleasure flight has
caused some stress. Small beads
of perspiration form just below
the bill of your flying cap. You
cant find the airplane behind
you, your airplane is too high and
not aligned with the runway, and
without realizing it, youve added
even more bottom rudder to help
with the alignment. This is a
classic stall/spin predicament, the
most common cause of accidents
in general aviation.
It is only then that you recognize
that knot in your stomach. Your
gut is telling you this is not where
you want to be. Listen to it! This
is neither a comfortable nor
safe situation in which you find
yourself. Roll out of your turn, add
power, and go around!
Before we go back and do a quick
analysis of this situation, lets put
things into perspective. Youre

sitting at the controls of a nicely

restored airplane. Youve put your
heart, soul, and a fair amount of
money into the beautiful old bird.
Why risk your $30,000 - $150,000
investment trying to salvage a
landing for the cost of a couple of
bucks worth of avgas?

Whats so
unusual about
this? You deal
with this scenario
all the time at
your own airport.
How can this be
a problem?
Now, lets go back to the point of
the pattern entry and look at what
could have been done differently.
First, you had an approximate
15-mph quartering tailwind
from the right increasing your
ground speed significantly while
pushing you toward the runway.
A 5-degree crab angle to the right
and slightly less power would
correct the downwind leg. You
might even put your airplane
in a slow-flight configuration
extending the downwind leg by
5-10 seconds beyond the normal
no-traffic approach. Then you

can make the base leg turn when

wingtip to wingtip with the
traffic ahead of you, which will
usually provide adequate spacing
when the airplanes have similar
performance parameters.
The turn to base also requires
a slight crab angle to the left to
compensate for the wind that
is now pushing you away from
the runway. Upon completing
the base leg turn, you should
have approximately 500 feet of
altitude (assuming youre not
on a 2-mile final!). Due to the
now left-quartering tailwind,
the turn to final will need to be
initiated a few seconds earlier
than normal. Doing so should
eliminate overshooting the
runway and prevent the desire to
apply additional bottom rudder
pressure. From this point the
approach and landing can be
conducted normally and safely.
As a longtime flight instructor in
these old airplanes, I like to have
students begin the turn to final
with a shallow (15-degree) angle of
bank. This provides the flexibility
to either safely increase or decrease
the angle of bank to align the
airplane with the centerline of
the runway and never exceed a
30-degree bank angle.
A d d i t i o n a l l y, i t i s a g o o d
practice to review slow flight in
your airplane from time to time.
Know your airplane and what it
is safely capable of before finding
out the hard way in the traffic
pattern and under pressure.
Steve Krog
Steve learned to fly in 1968 and
has been flight instructing since
1973. For the past 25 years he has
focused on tailwheel fl ight training
in all types and models of tailwheel
aircraft. Located in Hartford, WI
(HXF), he also owns a small flight
school, training sport and private
Pilots in tailwheel airplanes. Steve
and his wife Sharon run the Cub
Club and Luscombe Association type
clubs. He has been an EAA and VAA
member since 1982.



This months Mystery Plane comes to us via Wes Smith
of Springfield, Illinois.

Send your answer to EAA,

Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086,
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your
answer needs to be in no later
than March 20 for inclusion in

the May 2010 issue of Vintage

You can also send your response via e-mail. Send your
answer to

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.


Our November Mystery
Plane also came to us from Wes
Smith. Its the 1934 Potez 56
from France. Built first for business use, it soon caught the attention of the French military.
Tom Lymburn of Princeton,
Minnesota, sent us a detailed

34 FEBRUARY 2010

The November Mystery Plane is the 1934 Potez

56 prototype, first flown on June 18, 1934, later
shown at the Paris Aeronautical Salon and registered F-ANSU. The same photo appears in John
Strouds European Transport Aircraft Since 1910 (Putnam, 1966). Designed by Louis Coroller as an executive transport, the Potez 56 was said to have
good flight characteristics and was quite stable.
A clean all-wood aircraft with retractable landing
gear, it was powered by a pair of 185-hp Potez 9Ab
nine-cylinder air-cooled radials in NACA cowlings.
The Model 56 accommodated six passengers in addition to the pilot and copilot and had a mail compartment in the nose. Variable pitch props are said
to have improved takeoff qualities. Cleaned-up
cowlings and refined cockpit lines were also retrofitted to standard Model 56 (also called Model 560)
production aircraft. Some sources compare the Potez 56 to the British Airspeed Envoy/Oxford.
The prototype entered service on May 15, 1935,
on Ste Potez Aero Services Bordeaux-Toulouse-Marseilles-Nice-Bastia route. Six examples served LANChile, at least 11 flew with SARTA (later LARES) in
Romania from 1935 until World War II, and Regie
Air Afrique in North Africa used two (F-ANMZ and
F-AOCB). The standard transport had a top speed
of 168 mph, a ceiling of 19,600 feet, and a range of
over 400 miles.
Further models followed, including the 1936 Potez 56E with an arrester hook for operation off the
aircraft carrier Bearn; three armed Potez 566s with
240-hp Potez radials had a top speed of 193 mph.
In 1937, 22 Potez 567s were built for the French
navy with provisions for target towing, and 26 Potez 568 multiengine trainers, with the instructor
sitting behind the pilot, were built for the lArmee
de lAir. These also saw use as liaison, day/night reconnaissance, and unit hacks. Total civil and military production is believed to be 72, with the last
examples delivered at the time of French surrender
in June 1940.
Crew: 2
Capacity: 6 passengers
Length: 38 feet 10-1/4 inches
Wingspan: 52 feet 6 inches
Height: 15 feet 1-1/4 inches
Empty weight: 4,211 pounds
Gross weight: 6,570 pounds
Powerplant: Two Potez 9Ab 185-hp radial piston engines
Maximum speed: 168 mph
Range: 404 miles
Service ceiling: 19,685 feet


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things are better left the way they
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tune to the exciting times in aviation.
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the rest, but also look exceptional on all General Aviation
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tread life and UV treated rubber resists aging.
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for all your supplies. Use as a traveling pack for
any of your away-from-home needs. Sturdy
material construction with the VAA logo.
Choose from two styles.
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Telephone Orders: 800-843-3612

From US and Canada (All Others Call 920-426-5912)

Only one other correct answer was received, sent by

Wayne Muxlow, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Or send to: EAA Mail Orders, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086
Limited supplies available.
*Shipping and handling NOT included. Major credit cards accepted. WI residents add 5% sales tax.


EAA Calendar of Aviation Events Is Now Online

EAAs 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 webbased tool for planning your local trips to a fly-in.
In EAAs online Calendar of Events, you can search
for events at any given time within a certain 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 youd like to attend.
We invite you to access the EAA online Calendar of
Events at

NEWS continued from page 3

Upcoming Major Fly-Ins

AERO Friedrichshafen
Messe Friedrichshafen
Friedrichshafen, Germany
April 8-11, 2010
Sun n Fun Fly-In
Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL)
Lakeland, Florida
April 13-18, 2010
Virginia Regional Festival of Flight
Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ)
Suffolk, Virginia
May 22-23, 2010
Golden West Regional Fly-In and Air Show
Yuba County Airport (MYV)
Marysville, California
June 11-13, 2010
Arlington Fly-In
Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO)
Arlington, Washington
July 7-11, 2010
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
Wittman Regional Airport (OSH)
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
July 26-August 1, 2010
Colorado Sport International Air Show and Rocky
Mountain Regional Fly-In
Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC)
Denver, Colorado
August 28-29 2010
Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In
Grimes Field Airport (I74), Urbana, Ohio
September 11-12, 2010
Copperstate Fly-In
Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ)
Casa Grande, Arizona
October 21-23, 2010
Southeast Regional Fly-In
Middleton Field Airport (GZH)
Evergreen, Alabama
October 22-24, 2010
For details on hundreds of upcoming aviation happenings,
including EAA chapter fly-ins, Young Eagles rallies, and other
local aviation events, visit the EAA Calendar of Events located

36 FEBRUARY 2010

Nows the Time to Plan!

AirVenture may seem a long way
off, but its never too early to make
your Oshkosh plans. Fortunately
theres a place that has all the information you need to get started:
Take advantage of this comprehensive website to explore your
various housing options, from hotels and motels throughout the area
to private housing, college dormitories, and campingwww.AirVenture.
Looking for a way to cut travel
expenses? Check out the RideShare program (
rideshare), where you can offer your
extra seat to a fellow member or
find transportation for yourself.
For information about getting
here, visit
if you plan to fly to Oshkosh or if com-

ing via ground.

And while youre at it, you can
always pre-purchase admission by
clicking on the red Buy Tickets
link in the main menu.
As we approach the convention,
the AirVenture website is updated
regularly so theres always something
new to learn about programs, schedules, services, and other information.

Book Review Contact Info

We have some revised information if you wish to order the two
books reviewed in last months issue.
For Sparky Barnes Sargents book,
A Hunger for the Sky, her website for
ordering is http://Home.Windstream.
You can also order it through
Wind Canyon Books; Women in Aviation International; Swift Museum
Foundation Inc., Athens, Tennessee
(accepts credit cards via phone call); the
99s Museum of Women Pilots, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and the Tennessee Museum of Aviation.
For Carl Gunthers book, Harold
F. Pitcairn: Aviator, Inventor, and Developer of the Autogiro, you can contact the publishers representative,
Mr. Nash, at rob.nash@newchurch.
org or 267-502-4922.

hat O
ur M
embers Are Restoring

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

and youre busy flying and showing it off? If so, wed like to
hear from you. Send us a 4-by-6-inch print from a commercial
source (no home printers, pleasethose prints just dont
scan well) or a 4-by-6-inch, 300-dpi digital photo. A JPG from
your 2.5-megapixel (or higher) digital camera is fine. You can
burn photos to a CD, or if youre 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 youd like to make the photos smaller, say no.) For
more tips on creating photos we can publish, visit VAAs
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 vintageaircraft@ or call us at 920-426-4825.

S o m e t h i n g t o b u y, s e l l , o r t r a d e ?

Classified Word Ads: $5.50 per 10 words, 180 words maximum, with boldface lead-in on first line.
Classified Display Ads: One column wide (2.167 inches) by 1, 2, or 3 inches high at $20 per inch. Black and white only,
and no frequency discounts.
Advertising Closing Dates: 10th of second month prior to desired issue date (i.e., January 10 is the closing date for the
March issue). VAA reserves the right to reject any advertising in conflict with its policies. Rates cover one insertion per issue.
Classified ads are not accepted via phone. Payment must accompany order. Word ads may be sent via fax (920-426-6845)
or e-mail ( using credit card payment (all cards accepted). Include name on card, complete address,
type of card, card number, and expiration date. Make checks payable to EAA. Address advertising correspondence to EAA
Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.

Flying wires available. 1994 pricing. Visit www. or call 800-517-9278.
AIRPLANE T-SHIRTS 150 different airplanes
AIRPLANE! or call
1-800-645-7739. We also do Custom T-shirts
and Caps for Clubs.

w w w. a e r o l i s t . o r g , A v i a t i o n s L e a d i n g

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

Go Wide.

Go Deep.

All homebuilding,
all the time.

Light Plane World

For EAAs ultralight and
light-sport community.

Vintage Aircraft Online

A staple for antique and
classic aircraft fans.

Warbirds Brieng
Warbird owners, yers, and
enthusiasts debrief here.

Get more out of your membershipand your passion for aviation

with EAAs family of publications.

Plus e-newsletters for

Canada, learning to y, Young
Eagles, and more! Go to
and sign up today.

Geoff Robison
1521 E. MacGregor Dr.
New Haven, IN 46774

George Daubner
N57W34837 Pondview Ln
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Steve Nesse
2009 Highland Ave.
Albert Lea, MN 56007


Steve Bender
85 Brush Hill Road
Sherborn, MA 01770

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

David Bennett
375 Killdeer Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648

Espie Butch Joyce

704 N. Regional Rd.
Greensboro, NC 27409

Jerry Brown
4605 Hickory Wood Row
Greenwood, IN 46143

Dan Knutson
106 Tena Marie Circle
Lodi, WI 53555

Dave Clark
635 Vestal Lane
Plainfield, IN 46168

Steve Krog
1002 Heather Ln.
Hartford, WI 53027

John S. Copeland
1A Deacon Street
Northborough, MA 01532

Robert D. Bob Lumley

1265 South 124th St.
Brookfield, WI 53005

Phil Coulson
28415 Springbrook Dr.
Lawton, MI 49065

S.H. Wes Schmid

2359 Lefeber Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Dale A. Gustafson
7724 Shady Hills Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46278

Membership Services Directory

Enjoy the many benefits of EAA and
EAAs Vintage Aircraft Association
Phone (920) 426-4800

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Chicago, IL 60643

E.E. Buck Hilbert

8102 Leech Rd.
Union, IL 60180

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2159 Carlton Rd.
Oshkosh, WI 54904

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Roanoke, TX 76262

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Kent City, MI 49330

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Membership in the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is $40 for one year, including 12 issues
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Copyright 2010 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 at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes
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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.
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and service marks without the permission of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited.


What Our Members

Are Restoring
Texas Ercoupe 415D
Glenn Chiappe of Austin, Texas, sent us these nice photos and
a write-up about the Ercoupe he restored for his father, Gene
Chiappe of Granbury, Texas.

My dads 1946 415D Ercoupe project started out as a simple re-covering of the fabric wings. I volunteered to do the
work, thinking Id have it done in a couple months. (Doesnt
that sound familiar?Editor) Well, about 15 months later it
flew again. The wings were in worse shape inside than we
expected, so all new leading edges and several new wing ribs
needed installing.
It was my first re-covering job, but I had a great coachAP/
IA Bob McBride Jr.watching over my work. (Bob has three
EAA Lindy aircraft awards on his bookshelf). The covering is
made by Air-Tech Inc., and the paint is Aerothane Nevada
Silver. After obtaining a supplemental type certificate from
Skyport Services, we installed the shoulder harnesses. The
interior was repainted, new carpet and upholstery installed,
new wiring replaced the old, and I also added a landing
light. Lots of elbow grease went into polishing it out. The

40 FEBRUARY 2010

panel is redone all stock, but we are searching for glovebox

doors and yoke centers to complete it . . . let me know if anyone has any leads! It flies greatand you dont need rudder
pedals to have a real FUN airplane!
If you have glovebox doors or plastic yoke center pieces
that youd like to get to Glenn, you can contact him through
us by sending an e-mail to Please put
Ercoupe Parts for Glenn in the subject line.

Enjoy the privilege of partnership

And Apparently Quite Well.

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purchase or lease of a new Ford Motor
Company vehicle should be sure to take
advantage of the opportunity to save with
the Ford Partner Recognition Program.
Get your personal identication number (PIN)
and learn about the great value of Partner
Recognition/X-Plan at
Certain restrictions apply. Available
at participating dealers. Please refer

2010 Ford Fusion + Hybrid

The most fuel-efcient midsize sedan in Ameria.
Now Motor Trends 2010 Car of the Year.