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Vintage April 2012.

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APRIL 2012

The Henleys Mark,

Tanner, and Johnathan
Mark is an ATP and has been
a pilot since 1976
Tanner is a student pilot who
flies every chance she gets
Jonathan is 18 and has been
a private pilot for one year

Our L-4 was based in the US During WWII from 1943 to 1945. We bought
it early this year and have enjoyed every minute of it. The stearman was built
in 1942 during WWII and we have owned it since 1975.
Owning and operating antique aircraft has been a part of our family for 3
generations going back to 1963 when my father Tom bought a Piper Tripacer. Our family has owned aircraft ever since. Our aviation roots run
deep in this family, and that is why we choose AUA as our agency. They
have a long distinguished record of service with the types of aircraft we
operate, and understand our problems and concerns.

Thanks AUA

Mark Henley
AUA is Vintage Aircraft Association approved. To become a member of VAA call 800-843-3612.

Aviation insurance with the EAA Vintage Program offers:

Lower premiums with payment options QAdditional coverages
On-line quote request available QAUA is licensed in all states

Flexibility on the use of your aircraft


Experienced agents


Remember, Were Better Together!

The best is affordable. Give AUA a call its FREE!

Fly with the pros fly with AUA Inc.
Vintage April 2012.indd 2

3/29/12 2:57 PM

Vol. 40, No. 4




Straight and Level

Inspection time
by Geoff Robison


5 21,000-514-2,625
Volunteers make EAA AirVenture fun
by Steve Krog

6 VAA Board Appoints New Advisors

8 C3B Stearman
Yet another Ron Alexander project
by Budd Davisson


On Flying an Icon
by Rich Davidson

15 The Triple Tree Aerodrome Fly -in

Featuring phenomenal fun, fellowship and hospitality
by Sparky Barnes Sargent


Light Plane Heritage

Lessons from the Hawker Cygnet
by Bob Whittier


The Vintage Mechanic

Splicing a wood wing spar
by Robert G. Lock


The Vintage Instructor

Aborted takeoffs
by Steve Krog, CFI


Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy




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

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

Manager/Domestic, Sue Anderson
Tel: 920-426-6127
Fax: 920-426-4828
Partner Relationship Manager, Heidi Hamm
Tel: 920-426-6565
Independent Business Relationship Representative, Larry Phillip
Tel: 920-410-2916
Business Relations and Classified Advertising Coordinator, Trevor Janz
Tel: 920-426-6809

FRONT COVER: One of the most r ecognizable logos fr om the Golden Age of aviation is the
Wester n Air Expr ess ar twork as featur ed on the side of Ron Alexanders Stear man C3B.
Read mor e about the r estoration of this big biplane in Budd Davissons ar ticle star ting on
page 8. EAA photo by Chris Miller , Stear man C3B being own by Rich Davidson.

For missing or replacement magazines, or

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

BACK COVER: From the EAA ar chives comes this illustration ar twork from the Cur tiss Aer oplane and Motor Company of Hammondspor t, New Y ork. The color ful illustration depicting a
Cur tiss Jenny in a countr y setting is par t of an br ochure about the company and its air craft.


Vintage April 2012.indd 3

3/29/12 2:59 PM


Geoff Robison
president, VAA

Inspection time

s I write this on the 14 of

March, the temperature
here in northeast Indiana
reached 86 degrees. Oh,
how I have longed for the days
ahead that are certain to provide us
with soft warm breezes through the
open hangar door, along with reduced gas and electric bills that go
along with that March fantasy. Like
many of you in the northern half
of the United States, we have actually experienced a very mild winter here in northeast Indiana, but
we are really looking forward to the
springtime, and some premium flying time. I will be all set to go once
I get the C-170 annualed and a BFR
entry in the logbook.
With springs arrival its critically
important to again remind everyone to perform an extensive preflight inspection of your aircraft
prior to that first breakfast run. If
youre like me, your aircraft will
lay idle in the hangar for months
throughout the winter, and it is
clearly susceptible to those fuzzy
little four-legged visitors nesting in
the most remote areas of your airframe. Taildraggers are particularly
vulnerable to these little critters,
so you have to get in there and do
a thorough inspection including
the tail cone, the wings, under the
floorboards, and behind the panel.
Pull the inspection plates and use a
mirror and flashlight to get a good
look all around. If you see an unusual stain on your headliner that
you cant account for, you better
look into it! These critters can leave
behind very caustic materials that

over time will cause serious corrosion issues on your airframe. Even
if you have never seen any mice in
your hangar, it is always a very good
idea to set traps to keep their population to a minimum. Rock that
wing and sump a little more fuel

It is a r eal
disconcer ting feeling
when one of these
critters tries to r un up
your pant leg on your
initial takeof f run.
than normal to make certain you
have no contaminants in your fuel
system. Be sure to pop open the engine baffles and check for nesting
materials. I could go on and on, but
you get the idea here. Be thorough
in your inspection prior to that first
flight, and dont get in a hurry. It is
a real disconcerting feeling when
one of these critters tries to run up
your pant leg on your initial takeoff
run. Trust me, I know the feeling!
The Monocoupe restoration continues with recent focus on stripping and refinishing the numerous
metal parts and pieces that have to
be reinstalled on the airframe. We
are on track to having the 32-foot
one-piece wing reinstalled on the
airframe in mid-April during the
first spring work party in Oshkosh.
The ominous concept of user fees
continues to haunt certain operations
within the GA community. Even if

it doesnt directly affect our personal

operations, we certainly dont want
that camel to get his nose under the
tent flap! A $100 per flight user fee for
turbine-powered aircraft operating in
controlled airspace. Really?
We actually fought the good fight
and were able to yet again get user
fees removed from the heavily negotiated FAA funding bill that finally
emerged from the House and Senate and, after passage, was sent to
the executive branch for the presidents signature. Now, where is the
sensibility in signing the reauthorization bill and then submitting the
fiscal 2013 budget calling for this
new type of GA user fee, with the
supposed intent of reducing the deficit? Thank goodness we continue
to witness a continuously growing
level of bipartisan opposition to any
user fees by the Congressional GA
Caucus (now 195 members strong).
Because of their efforts I am pretty
confident now that any attempts at
creating any new user fees on the
GA community will very likely fail.
If you were one those who chose to
speak out to your representatives
in the U.S. Congress on the issue of
user fees, I thank you for your efforts, but lets all continue to fight
this good worthwhile fight. Please
consider engaging your congressional representatives on this pesky
initiative, and solicit their support
of no new user fees.
Just a reminder to all of our valued Vintage volunteers that our
first spring work party is scheduled
for April 13, 14, and 15. Come join
continued on page 38

2 APRIL 2012

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3/29/12 3:00 PM

AD Mandates Aeronca (Rogers)
Sedan Wing Inspection
The FAA recently issued Airworthiness Directive AD 2012-04-10 requiring owners of the Aeronca 15AC
Sedan to have initial inspections of
the exposed trailing edges on both
the upper and lower main spar cap
angles on both wings. The inspections are looking for signs of cracks,
intergranular exfoliation, and corrosion. While a wing failure has not
occurred in any of the approximately
255 Sedans on the FAA registration
rolls, corrosion in the structure of
a few Sedans was discovered and
prompted the FAA to issue the AD.
The first inspection must be accomplished within 25 hours time-inservice (TIS) after April 17, 2012 (the
effective date of the AD), or within
the next six months after that date.
If the wing has been repaired within
the past 10 years, different inspection intervals come into effect.
If significant corrosion is found,
the wing must be repaired by replacement of the spar cap angles,
and no splicing of those components is allowed.
If the initial inspection does not
reveal cracks, intergranular exfoliation, and corrosion, a more in-depth
inspection must be accomplished
within 12 months after April 17,
2012. The installation of inspection
panels and associated doubler plates
is needed to accomplish a visual inspection of the entire length of the
spar. The inspection and installation of the panels and plates must
be done in accordance with Burls
Aircraft LLC Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 15AC06-08-10, dated June
8, 2010; Burls Aircraft LLC Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 15AC06-0810, Amendment A, dated June 23,
2010; or Burls Aircraft LLC Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 15AC0608-10, Amendment B, dated June
23, 2010, Rev. Original, September

15, 2011; and FAA Advisory Circular

(AC) 43.13 - 1B, Change 1, Chapter
6. (The aircraft is known to the FAA
as the Burl A. Rogers 15AC Sedan,
since Burls Aircraft is the owner of
the type certificate previously held
by William Brad Mitchell, who had
acquired the TC from Aeronca, the
original manufacturer.)
Youll note the identification
number of the three versions of the
Burls bulletin is the same; only the
revision letter changes. Rogers advised us that the inspection method
is identical in all three of the references. Some changes to inspection
intervals and additional language required by the FAA were added in subsequent revisions. Service Bulletin
No. 15AC06-08-10, Amendment B,
dated September 15, 2011, is posted
on the companys website at www.
Frankly, it would have been simpler
to understand if only one reference
to the inspection service bulletin
were listed in the AD.
After each of the inspections, it
is recommended that the spar be
treated with a corrosion-inhibiting compound.
In the event the spar cap angles
must be replaced, the FAA estimated
that each wing could cost $8,000 to
repair, if the work were hired out to
a shop that charged $85 per hour for
the estimated 80 man-hours needed
to accomplish the job.
While we were under the impression that comments and procedures for an alternate method of
compliance (AMOC) were submitted to the docket during the public comment period, the FAA stated
that when it issued the AD a written,
detailed procedure had not been
submitted. The agency further mentioned it would consider an AMOC.
We understand that an inspection
procedure has been created using a
borescope to thoroughly inspect the

DiMatteo Named EAA

Vice President of AirVenture
Features and Attractions
Decorated U.S. naval aviator Jim DiMatteo has joined EAA as vice pr esident,
AirVenture features and attractions. DiMatteo will be r esponsible for developing and coor dinating the pr ograms for
the annual EAA AirV enture Oshkosh yin, The W orlds Greatest Aviation Celebration. DiMatteo led the successful
Centennial of Naval A viation Foundation
programs nationwide last year . He previously (2006-2010) ser ved as inter national race dir ector for the Red Bull Air
Race World Series.
During his 20-plus Navy car eer, DiMatteo flew mor e than 5,000 hours in
five different fighter air craft, including
72 combat missions in suppor t of Operation Deser t Storm. He also ser ved as
commanding of cer for TOPGUN Adversar y Squadrons in Florida and Nevada
(VFC-111 and VFC-13), wher e his squadrons earned the unprecedented Triple
Crown of Naval A viationtop honors
for operations, safety , and maintenance.
Following that achievement, DiMatteo
was promoted to a position r epor ting
directly to the commander of Naval Air
Forces, overseeing all TOPGUN Adversar y Programs.
Jim DiMatteo is an excellent addition
to the EAA staf f, said Rod Hightower ,
EAA president/CEO. His backgr ound,
exper tise, and leadership will enable us
to make EAA AirV enturealr eady The
Worlds Greatest Aviation Celebration
even better.


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3/29/12 3:00 PM

Beechcraft Pilot
Proficiency Program

Steve Wittmans J-1 Standard Photo

On the back cover of the Febr uary issue of Vintage Airplane, we ran a wonder ful
black and white photo of Steve Wittman with his Standar d J-1. We do need to clarify
one point, and we can elaborate fur ther on the photo, thanks to the gener osity of a
few of our r eaders.
First, the ANDERSON GARAGE, HAMIL TON, WIS adver tised on the side of the
fuselage of the J-1 is not near LaCr osse, but is actually right near Steves home town
of Byron, Wisconsin. That Hamilton has never been incorporated, and does not appear on the state map, but it is indeed a little bur g just west of Highway 41, along
Highway 175. Our thanks to Rollie Olm (who is still ying a 41 Cub), Nels Anderson,
and Carol Dodge for lling us in on the cor rect location for the Anderson Garage.
An early type of aerial adver tising was shown on the sides of the fuselage of
Steve Wittmans Standar d J-1. The Anderson Garage of Hamilton, Wisconsin, was
a part of the small town until it r ecently closed. Typical of small businesses of the
1920s, the garage also had a side business selling Atwater Kent radios. The building still exists, along the west side of highway 175, just nor th of the entrance to the
west side of the Michels Materials Hamilton quar ry. The location is just a few miles
north of Steve Wittmans home town of Byr on.
In addition, we also lear ned, with near cer tainty, the identity of the other fellow in
the photo; its Per ry Anderson, Steves par tner in the airplane (and later , his brotherin-law). Jim Stanton, of Lake Havasu City , Arizona, r eminded us of the chapter in The
Golden Age of Air Racing, written by Dr. Aaron King, in which Dr . King also points out
that the Standar d was Steves mount for his rst air race, which took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1926. He took second place.


The American Bonanza Society

has rolled out a new online version
of its highly regarded Bonanza Pilot Proficiency Program (BPPP). The
new plan allows pilots to complete
online a 13-module course containing all of the material covered in the
normal BPPP course seminars. After
pilots complete the online course
they can schedule up to four hours
of flight review and instruction with
an approved BPPP CFI who is most
conveniently located to the airplane
owner. Cost of the course and flight
instruction is $495, and you must be
an ABS member.


wing, but without the installation of

a large number of inspection holes.
We would also expect that some
may wish to submit an AMOC for
the installation of inspection panels
and doublers of their own design. In
most cases, Sedan owners will have
to repeat the inspection on an annual basis after the initial in-depth
inspection is accomplished. You can
download the AD from the FAAs
website at

From the Comfort of Someone Elses Home

If camping at EAA AirV enture Oshkosh just isnt your
thing and other lodging is booked, or if youd just rather
have a home away fr om home for your Oshkosh experience, a private r ental is the per fect option. Thousands
of people who come to AirV enture rent space in private
homes for their stay .
Along with hotel and dor mitor y listings, www.VisitOshkosh.
com includes hundr eds of private r entals. Both entir e resi-

dences and individual rooms are available. Some r entals offer

a full bed and br eakfast experience, and some even pr ovide
transpor tation to AirV enture.
Jack Morrissey, EAA 282894, r ented a bedroom for AirVenture 2011. The homeowner , Mark Cook, had been r enting his home for 25 years. One of his r egular renters, a
couple from Texas, has stayed with him for 20 years. Mark
is at his local baker y by 6 a.m. to make sur e his doughnuts
and rolls ar e fresh and right out of the oven, Jack said.
Over the years I have hear d many tales fr om various
attendees regarding what a gr eat family they ar e staying
with, and how gr eat the meals ar e, Jack said. One I r emember is a family who r ents out r ooms, and the father
is a retired airline captain and insists on feeding his r enters br eakfast in his full airline unifor m.
For private r entals, allows users to sear ch by number of r ooms and for speci c amenities, including Inter net access, car r ental by homeowner,
and pet-friendly homes. The website pr ovides contact information for each listing, and some include photos and
even videos.
If youre looking for somewher e to stay for EAA AirV enture Oshkosh, a private r ental may be the per fect t.

4 APRIL 2012

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Volunteers make EAA AirVenture fun



What are these numbers and what

do they represent? No, these numbers
are not this weeks winning Powerball
numbers, nor are they the current national debt figures! They may mean
nothing to you presented in this context. But they do represent a great
deal of dedication, toil, and sweat put
forth by very devoted Vintage volunteers during EAA AirVenture 11.
Each year, several weeks before the
opening day of AirVenture, dedicated
folks from all over the country begin
to arrive, offering their sweat equity
to make the fly-in a success, at least
in the Vintage Aircraft Association
(VAA) area. They come from all walks
of life: business owners, doctors,
teachers, architects, salespeople, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and
many other professions too numerous to list. In some cases, entire families volunteer. All have one purpose
in mind: Do whatever necessary to
make the Vintage area presentable,
safe, inviting, and fun for all fly-in
attendees, especially VAA members.
Each year more than 500 VAA
members step forward offering their
talents, whatever they may be, making the weeklong event a memorable
experience for all. In 2011, 514 members accumulated a total of 21,000
volunteer hours. That calculates out
to be the equivalent of 2,625 eighthour days, or an accumulated 7.2
years of volunteer time.

These volunteers can be found

throughout all VAA areas on the
EAA grounds from parking airplanes, to popping popcorn in
Vintage headquarters, to serving breakfast in the Tall Pines
Caf; some give hand-propping
instructions, while others host
the Vintage in Review area,
and still more volunteer their
time as representatives of type
clubs. It seems theres practically no end to what these
men and women seem to be
able to accomplish. It takes
a lot of people doing a lot of
things to keep thousands of
people satisfied while attending this annual event.
Although the number
grows each year, the vast majority
of VAA volunteers are repeaters.
Once they offer their time, meet,
and work with other volunteers,
friendships are established. Families become acquainted and these
friendships become lifelong.
Each year its like a family reunion
except, unlike most family gatherings, everyone gets along. All have
one purpose: Do whatever it takes
to make attending EAA AirVenture a
fun, memorable experience for all.
Next year, why not give a few
hours or one day of your time and
volunteer? It could prove to be an experience of a lifetime.


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VAA Board
Appoints New Advisors
ore than 30 years ago, the Vintage Aircraft
Association (back then it was known as the
Antique/Classic Division) board of directors began a program that would have longlasting benefits for the division and its membership.
They created a management environment that fosters
a better understanding of a potential board members
capabilities and interests. The new program, dubbed
the Antique/Classic advisor, gave men and women
who were interested in serving on the board the opportunity to learn more about themselves and the
division, while giving the board the opportunity to
evaluate a potential board member over a period of

Joe Norris
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Joe grew up
on a cranberry
farm in central Wisconsin.
Several neighbors had light
a i rc r a f t , a n d
some had airstrips on their
property, so it
was always easy to be around airplanes and airplane people. A close
friend of the family was the ag pilot Jim Miles (EAA 158), who introduced Joe to EAA by taking him to
Oshkosh for the EAA convention
in 1970, where they camped under
the wing of Jims Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser. Joe joined EAA in 1976
and became a lifetime member in
2002. Joe is also a lifetime member
of VAA (VAA 5982).
Joe earned his private pilot certificate in 1978, and bought his first
airplane in 1979a 1955 Piper TriPacer. He flew it for about a year
and then converted it to the PA20 Pacer (tailwheel) configuration.
During this time Joe helped form
EAA Chapter 706 in Wisconsin

months or years. Many folks who have served the

division as advisors have gone on to serve as directors, and our most recent presidents, Butch Joyce and
Geoff Robison, both started their volunteer leadership
careers as advisors.
During the fall board meeting, three new advisors
were appointed to serve the VAA board in that capacity. They are Joe Norris, Tim Popp, and Ron Alexander. In June of each year, as we present the slate for
the board of directors election, we publish a short biography and photo. So you can come to know these
individuals better, here are the biographies of our
three newest advisors.

Rapids, Wisconsin. Over time Joe

has earned commercial pilot and
flight instructor certificates with
airplane and helicopter ratings, as
well an A&P certificate with IA. Joe
also acted as a DAR for experimental aircraft for a number of years.
Joe has been actively involved
with EAA, serving as a technical counselor and flight advisor,
and has been an officer in two
EAA chapters. Joe has volunteered
at the EAA convention for many
years and was one of the five original members of the EAA Homebuilt
Aircraft Council.
In October of 2001 Joe was hired
as a senior aviation specialist in
EAAs aviation services department,
a job previously held by longtime
EAA employee Norm Petersen. In
2008 EAA created the position of
homebuilders community manager, and Joe was selected to fill
that role. In 2011 Joe decided to get
out from behind the desk and back
behind the stick, so he left EAA and
has been working as a flight instructor at Cub Air Flight in Hartford, Wisconsin. Joe has served as
the lead presenter for a series of
vintage airplane maintenance sem-

inars that take place in the Vintage

Hangar during EAA AirVenture.
Joe currently owns and maintains three vintage aircrafta
Cessna 180, a Piper Super Cub, and
a Waco UPF-7. He has previously
owned a Piper J-5A Cub Cruiser and
another Super Cub. Joe built and
flew a Sonerai II homebuilt and also
owned a homebuilt Pitts S-1C.

Tim Popp
Lawton, Michigan
Tim Popp
joined EAA in
1988 and is
now a lifetime
m e m b e r. H e
began taking
flying lessons
and attended
his first EAA
that same year and has attended every convention since. Tim earned
his private pilot certificate in 1989
and later added a tailwheel endorsement and an instrument rating. He
joined VAA in 1994, about the same
time he began volunteering with the
VAA Contemporary Aircraft Judges.
He currently serves as the vice chair-

6 APRIL 2012

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man of the group. He owns a 1958

Cessna 172, which he purchased in
1994 and has slowly restored over
the years. He is currently building a
Vans Aircraft RV-7. He is an active
member and past president of EAA
Chapter 221 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is an active Young Eagles
program participant, having flown
more than 500 Young Eagles over the
years. He earned his bachelors and
masters degrees from the University
of Michigan and is an environment,
health and safety manager for a major pharmaceutical company. He has
been happily married for more than
25 years to his wife, Liz, who also actively volunteers with the VAA.

Ron Alexander
Griffin, Georgia
Ron Alexander learned to
fly at age 16 in
his hometown
of Bloomington, Indiana.
He went into
the United
States Air Force
in 1964, completing pilot training in 1965. He
served a total of fi ve years in the
Air Force including a combat tour
in Vietnam. After military service,
he was hired by Delta Air Lines.
After starting his career in 1969,
he retired as a captain in 2002 after 33 years of service. Ron has
been involved with antique airplanes since 1975 when he first
b e g a n r e s t o r i n g a P T- 1 7 S t e a rman. In 1979 he founded Alexander Aeroplane Company, which
was later sold to Aircraft Spruce.
Ron also developed the SportAir
Workshops program that is currently being presented as the EAA
SportAir Workshops program. He
lives in Griffin, Georgia, where
he has several antique airplanes,
including a Stearman Model 6
and a Curtiss Jenny that is under restoration. He is developing
an antique airplane museum that
replicates the original Atlanta,
Georgia, airport.


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Yet another Ron Alexander project




8 APRIL 2012

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on Alexander
doesnt believe in
leaving a lot of
white space in life:
If there is spare
time available, put it to use. He
appears to be a man who looks
back at each day and says,
Did I invest it wisely and get
something accomplished?
He could easily be selected as
the poster boy for the Get er
done generation.

His C3B Stearman that was

on display at EAA AirVenture
(to longtime fly-in warriors:
read that as Oshkosh) 2011
was yet another immaculate
example of how he likes to see
his time and money invested:
Take a basic concept, in this
case, a really worn out airframe, and turn it into something that is beautiful yet
meant to be flown. In fact, the
airplane is representative of a
lot of the business and personal
philosophies that have always
guided Rons way of thinking.
For several decades Ron has
had a pretty high profile in

sport aviation. So high that

its easy for the casual observer
to pigeonhole him as one of
the high rollers and look no
deeper. He didnt develop that
kind of profile by accident, and
if someone feels driven to pigeonhole him (which is hard
to do), it should be as one of
aviations serious achievers and
entrepreneurs. He plays hard
(which is most visible), but he
works even harder and has a
natural flair for entrepreneurialism: He sees a need and builds a
business around it. A lot of businesses, actually (see the sidebar).
And then there is the C3B
Stearman. When Ron and his
partners combined Stits/PolyFiber, Randolph, and Ceconite, they were incorporated
into the Poly-Fiber operation
on Flabob Airport in Riverside,
California. A part of that operated as Flabob Restoration,
and thats where he took the
bedraggled C3B Stearman that
followed him home one day.


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The aft pilots cockpit of the C3B.

The for ward cockpit has just enough instr umentation to give a passenger/pilot enough infor mation to keep the Stear man pointed in the right

A brass venturi supplies vacuum to r un a pair of tur n & bank


Well, not quite W right. In an ef fort to pr eser ve the look of

the Stear man, the W right lettering is applied to the r ocker
boxes of the mor e-reasonable-to-maintain L ycoming R-680.

The fuel tank for the C3B is in the center section of the upper wing, so the oat-activated fuel
gauge is mounted on the bottom of the tank, so
the pilot can see it at a glance.
10 APRIL 2012

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. . . the lines visually flow from the spinner,

back up across the firewall to the fuselage.
Its very streamlined, in a clunky sort of way.
There was no specific reason I
got the C3B. I just happened to
like the type, and the 1928 models are fairly rare. Plus the deal that
popped up made sense. A tornado
had dropped a hangar on my beautiful PT-17, and his C3B was located
just a few miles away. The owner
of the C3B, a good friend, wanted
to restore the wrecked PT-17, so we
traded airplanes.
This particular C3B had seen
some of lifes rougher roads and,
judging from some of the tubing
modifications in the front seat, may
have been a duster/sprayer at one
time. It was typical of a lot of the
big old biplanes that go through
a series of hard times, with each
owner making additional, and usually worse, modifications and BandAid fixes. It was way past due for a

total rebuild.
The original Wright J-5 had
been replaced with a Continental
220, and the front seat had been
raised 10 inches. Dont ask why. We
dont know. Plus it had 30 pounds
of lead in front: It had a very aft
CG. But, it was flying. Sorta! In fact,
I flew it that way for several years
before I couldnt stand it anymore
and took it out to Flabob where I
turned Brian Newman, and his
helpers Hualdo and Nando Mendoza, loose on it.
All things considered, he says,
the wings werent too bad. We
didnt have to do any major woodwork, spars, etc., other than repairing a bunch of ribs and replacing
the hardware and leading edges.
The fuselage was another story.
About all we used from the fu-

selage was the tubing structure itself, and much of that had to be
replaced. The front tubing had
been cut and welded in a number
of places and had to be rearranged
to match factory drawings, a sure
sign that it had been a duster. And a
lot of it was corroded. Thats true of
all old airplanes, but dusters especially. The tail, being made of steel,
was also badly corroded, so we did
a lot of cutting and welding.
The landing gear not only wasnt
original, but also was rusted beyond saving. They would have
been welding patches to patches, so
they opted to build an entirely new
one. The major struts and leg tubing are all round but are faired either with aluminum or balsa wood
glued to the back of the tube and
wrapped in two layers of fabric and


Vintage April 2012.indd 13

3/29/12 3:04 PM

seven-cylinder Wrights like the J-6,

especially with all those long pushrod tubes. But, its a tough engine
to support these days, so we wanted
to go with something that had the
same look but was more modern
because we planned on flying the
airplane a lot. The 220 Continental just doesnt look right, even
though it is much newer and easier to maintain. The only engine
that looked right was the much
later 300-hp Lycoming R-680. But,
we couldnt be seen flying around
with a Lycoming engine on a C3B
Stearman, so we decided to camouflage it: We hand lettered Wright
on the rocker arm covers. Most
folks have to look twice, or three
times, to see its not a Wright.
The Lyc is also a little heavier and
combined with the 2D20 Ham-Standard prop helps the CG problem.
The fuel system was also rebuilt
in the interest of reliability. Instead
of having to use a wobble pump to
get fuel from the 28-gallon fuselage
tank up into the 46-gallon center
section tank so it would gravity
feed, both tanks are now plumbed
to gravity feed.
Antiques like the C3B were designed to work off grass fields, so
when they are put on pavement,
their manners are sometimes somewhat less than hospitable, which is
greatly aggravated by the marginal
tail wheels and brakes of the day.
Brian and the Mendozas solved
that for Ron by changing out the
old cable-operated brakes for Red
Line disc brakes and putting a steerable PT-17 tail wheel out back. It is
a Stearman part, so thats not really
too awful, is it?
The finished airplane is a classic
piece of aviation art. And, as so often happens, someone wanted that
airplane so badly that he was able
to talk Ron out of it. Where some
aviators are busy building replica
aircraft, Ron Alexander is too busy
building his Atlanta airport replica,
Candler Field, to fly it as much as
he would like. So, the C3B has gone
to a new, highly appreciative home.
And were all jealous.


dope. Just the way they would have

done it back in the day.
Ron says, The sheet metal was
essentially worthless. Barely good
enough for patterns and not even
good patterns. Brian did all of that,
and he really had his work cut out
for him. While it looks simple, its
really not. Especially with all the
beading, curves, and access panels. And it had to be right. Theres
something about the airplane that
draws your eyes to the engine and
everything around it, and if something isnt right, it would really
stick out. The spinner was spun in
Chino, California, and even though
that big old engine is between the
spinner and the sheet metal, its as
though it isnt there because the
lines visually flow from the spinner
back up across the firewall to the
fuselage. Its very streamlined, in a
clunky sort of way.
Its not too surprising to find
that the covering and finish on the
airplane is Poly-Fiber all the way
through: Poly-Fiber fabric painted
with Poly-Tone and Aerothane (six
coats of it) on the metal. What is
surprising, however, is to find that
there are no decals or vinyl markings on the airplane. All of the
Western Air Express air mail markings are paint with the wonderful
Western Air logo hand painted by
Louie Check of Little Louies.
One aspect of Rons plans for the
airplane that probably has hard-core
antiquers grinding their teeth was
that he actually wanted to fly the
airplane as if it were a regular airplane. He didnt want to constantly
worry about things breaking down.
Especially when he knew there were
acceptable ways to improve on some
of the systems. Ron is all for originality but not when it compromises
the reliability, safety, and maintainability of the airplane. At the same
time, he didnt want to deviate too
far from the antique mold, and that
began with the engine.
The original Wright J-5 is a
unique-looking engine, Ron says.
Being nine cylinders rather than
seven, it just looks busier than later

Ron Alexander:
Aviation Entrepreneur
Born in Bloomington, Indiana,
Ron says, Ive just always been an
aviation guy. No one in my family
had the bug, but somehow I caught
it and joined the CAP when I was
14. In fact, my first airplane ride was
in the back of a C-119 on a CAP trip.
I started flying a Champ, he remembers, when I was 16 and just
kept going. By the time I got into
Air Force ROTC in college, I already
had my commercial ticket and CFI.
Then, in 64 I went into the Air
Force and completed flight training
at Reese AFB.
Ron flew C-130s for a few years
before finding himself in Vietnam
flying the de Havilland C-7 Caribou. We did a lot of mission support for the special ops guys, most
of which was pretty interesting.
He doesnt mention it, but he received a Distinguished Flying Cross
for some of the flying, which attests
to the interest level attached to it.
I came out of the Air Force and
went right to work for the airlines, retiring 33 years later, in 2002. I started
out in DC-9s and ended up in 767s.
Ron worked for the airlines, but
he flew for himself. Almost immediately upon joining the airlines, he
started looking around for a vintage
or antique airplane. I really wanted
a Stearman, and there were lots of

12 APRIL 2012
Vintage April 2012.indd 14

3/29/12 3:05 PM

projects around, but at the time I

just couldnt quite swing something
that big. So, I bought the next best
thing: a J-3 Cub. At the time it cost
$3,500. I was based at OHare and
kept it at Olson Field, west of there.
Four years later I was moved to Atlanta, and the Cub came with me.
Unfortunately, it was tied down outside, and a thunderstorm severely
injured it. It was resurrected and
continues to fly today.
The airplane that really got me
started on the business side of aviation was a PT-17 Stearman project I finally found. It was an uncut
duster from the Shreveport, Louisiana, area, and I was determined to
finish it quickly. So, if I wasnt in
an airliner cockpit, I was out in my
workshop. I averaged 12-14 hours
a day, every day that I wasnt flying, on the project. I really loved
the work, and it was chosen as the
Best PT-17 at Galesburg that year.
So, I felt good about that.
A Stearman of any kind is a huge
project and entails every aspect of
building aircraft: wood, steel, fabric,
paint, aluminum. The airplane gave
Ron a crash course in aircraft building, from sourcing and ordering the
materials to developing the handson skills to put those materials to
work. In so doing, he clearly saw
what the amateur aviation craftsman was up against in every area.
First, I was having trouble finding supplies of all kinds, but especially covering materials. Although
there were sources out there, they
just werent convenient, and one
thing led to another and I wound up
buying a Stits distributorship. And,
since I was suddenly in the business
of selling aircraft-covering materialswhen I wasnt flying for the airlines, that isI found I was going to
need to both form a company and
come up with a catalog. The business was Alexander Aeroplane Company, and we put the first catalog
together on my kitchen table.
As we started marketing the
Stits products, I decided to expand
the product lines we were selling
and, amongst other things, became

a Randolph dope distributor. Then

it was other types of aircraft parts
and hardware. Before I knew it the
company had grown into a sizable
project of its own, and marketing
was central to it.
In 91 I thought it would be a
good marketing move to have a distinctive aircraft of our own to take
to fly-ins, so we bought a $50,000
DC-3 that was sitting at Tamiami,
Florida. We put about six months
worth of elbow grease into it including painting Alexander Aeroplane Co on the side and have
been using it to go to fly-ins since.
Although Ron knew airplanes
really well, that original Stearman
reminded him of all the things he
didnt know, and his entrepreneurial mind reasoned that he wasnt the
only airplane guy in that position.
To me, it seemed as if there was
a real need for hands-on education
in aviation. When we got the Aeroplane Company going, that became even more obvious because I
had to run classes for my salespeople. Most of them had come to us
from outside of aviation, so we had
to train every one of them on how
to use the stuff they were selling. I
felt that they had to be more than
order takers. For a company to be
successful in this field, they had to
be able to answer the tough questions. A good percentage of our
customers had never worked on an
airplane before and were naturally
looking to us for advice. So, as part
of building our customer service,
I had to formalize training for the
salespeople. From there it was a
simple and logical move to make
that same kind of training available to our customers, and an entirely new product line was born:
the SportAir Workshops.
Since so many of the skills we
were teaching were very portable,
we began setting up traveling roadshows, and that program took on
a life of its own and continued to
grow. Eventually, the EAA took over
the workshops, which I think was a
good move for all concerned. The
EAAs charter is based on education,

and ours was selling aircraft products, so the SportAir Workshops

concept works better in an educational environment.
Actually, staying up with all of
Rons various aviation business
dealings can get a little daunting.
For instance, he sold Alexander
Aeroplane Company to Jim Irwin,
owner of Aircraft Spruce, who reopened it as the eastern branch
of his own California-based company. Ron had also purchased PolyFiber from Ray Stits and left it based
at Flabob Airport in So-Cal. He
merged Poly-Fiber with Ceconite
and bought Randolph Paint Co., a
leading manufacturer of dope and
aircraft finishes, and brought that
out to Flabob as well.
Are you losing track? This is understandable. Us too.
Ron had always wanted his own
museum that would be a true flying
museum where every aspect of it not
only displayed aviations roots, but
also would put most of those aircraft
back in the air. He has sold out of all
of his various companies and now
concentrates on the Candler Field
Museum located in Williamson,
Georgia, just south of Atlanta.
The Candler Field Museum is
not exactly a museum. At least not
the way you think of museums. It
is to be an accurate re-creation of
the original Atlanta airport as it
existed in the 1920s when it was
still known as Candler Field. It
was named after Asa Candler, the
founder of Coca-Cola, who had
originally developed the land to be
a racetrack and sold it to Atlanta
to be its airport. Little by little Ron
is re-creating all of the buildings
that were on the airport at the time
(the American Airlines hangar and
Barnstormers Grill are finished,
and others are under construction).
Some house museum airplanes and
cars, while others will have unique
uses including apartments for aviation retirees. The replica of the art
deco Candler Field terminal will
house a hotel and banquet facility.
It can never be said that Ron Alexander doesnt think big.

Vintage April 2012.indd 15

3/29/12 3:05 PM



The very first C series Stearman

was delivered to its owner the same
month Lindbergh flew the Atlantic
and the last Model T drove off the
line. One year later, construction
on the C3B, seen here, began.
If you want to know how the
Stearman may fly, study it with its
history in mind. As a biplane you
know it will have great lift. Mounted
with an improved and slightly larger
powerplant than original, you
would also expect it to perform to
or exceed the standards of its peers.
Sitting tall on sturdy outrigger gear
and large diameter wheels with
high-pressure tires gives the aircraft
an impressive stance. Yet its presence is only a byproduct of engineering. Designed to handily carry
weight, driven forward by large diameter props, over wildly varying
landing surfaces, the gear accounted
for many design concerns of the
day. In terms of flying, though, you
should also see that P-factor and precession, along with a high center of
gravity, are things to be considered
during takeoff and landing. The fact
it was originally constructed with
a tail skid offers you the final critical piece; the plane was designed
and built to be flown to and from a
three-point attitude. Honor the design and it will honor you.
Equipped with minimum instrumentation and nothing extra in
terms of flight controls, from the pilots seat this aircraft feels surprisingly refined. Once comfortably
inside, the small cockpit opening
feels made to fit. This is partially
due to the rakish windscreen that
envelopes a large part of it. Inside,
though, the cockpit feels huge. Below the panel, mounted well forward, rudder pedals hang just in
front of a seemingly identical set
of pedals that come up out of the
floor that are actually the brakes.



These pedals are the most commonly asked about item in the cockpit, but they are surprisingly easy to
use, which is odd for aircraft of the
period. In the middle, a tall control
stick implies that leverage is critical
to the movement of the control surfaces. As for fuel, the selector offers
the options of off, main, and fuse to
control a supply of 72 gallons of gas.
Finally, left of the pilots seat, with
the control lever sticking forward, is
the stabilizer trim control that was
obviously sourced from or inspired
by Farmall, Oliver, or John Deere.
Taxiing the C3B requires the
same S-turn method used for most
vintage aircraft. Safely taxiing the
C3B requires it be exaggerated.
Despite having enough visibility
for takeoff and landing, the forward view, compromised by the
small cockpit opening, is restricted
enough to require extra attention.
Takeoffs in the B are fun and
easy. Push the throttle forward and
hold the stick neutral. Thanks to
the steerable tail wheel and outrigger gear, little effort is required to
keep her straight. Yet, even if she
wanted to wander, your groundspeed increases, the controls come
alive, and she lifts off so quickly
there is little time for you to screw
it up. Once in the air keep pulling back until your airspeed is stabilized at 55-60 mph and you are
on your way to vintage nirvana. A
look at your wingtips excites you.
In the B a 30-degree deck angle and
a 1,000-plus foot per minute climb
is not uncommon. Not every old
bird climbs like this, and still the
Stearman has more surprises.
Level flight is something the
C3B seems to have been made for.
Although some owners of other


C3s report just the opposite, Serial

number 241 is a dream traveler. As
if on a mission to go somewhere,
straight and level is how she wants
to fly. But that can also be an issue
for prospective owners. The planes
controls are a mix of effective rudder and elevator with ailerons that
seem at times to not exist. Therefore, if you dream of your own C3B
for short pleasure flights, it is not
the plane for you. The meandering
path of a local flier would quickly
exhaust anyone flying this machine.
On the other hand, if you dream of
filling the tanks and taking off for a
weekend destination, and for some
reason you think it should be done
in a vintage aircraft at 100 mph, you
could not find a better machine.
Landing the C3B is an exercise in
vintage flying that starts a mere few
hundred feet laterally from the end
of the runway. Pulling the power
to idle, the remainder of the approach involves lowering the nose
to maintain 70 mph and starting a
turn. Done correctly, you will roll
wings level roughly 200 feet from
the runway with an option to slip
off the remaining altitude. Touchdown happens in a three-point attitude with a speed south of 45,
and the rollout, like the takeoff, is
almost too short for you to screw
it up. Theres only one catch: the
Stearman airfoil. Flare 3 mph fast
and youll float 1,000 feet; do it 3
mph slow and you will touch down
with the grace of a rock.
Its a terrific airplane, and Im
privileged that Ron allowed me to
be his pilot at AirVenture 2011 because I truly love the B.
Rich Davidson and Ginger, his
aviator wife, are the proprietors of
Lee Bottom Flying Field in southern
Indiana, hard on the north bank of
the Ohio River. Visit their website at

14 APRIL 2012

Vintage April 2012.indd 16

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The Triple Tree

Aerodrome Fly-in
Featuring phenomenal fun, fellowship and hospitality




lanked by lakes, trees, and

pastoral fields in a scenic
area near Greenville, South
Carolina, Triple Tree Aerodrome seems like something out of
a dream. Its expansive, emerald-

velvet runway stretches nearly to

the horizon from pattern altitude,
and its rather awe-inspiring to behold, especially during Triple Trees
annual fly-in, when hundreds of
airplanes migrate to the field in

well-orchestrated arrivals.
The pilots of those planes have
the uncommonly delightful opportunity to touch down and roll
out on a 7,000- by 400-foot grass
airfield, and they are heartily wel-


Vintage April 2012.indd 17

3/29/12 3:24 PM


Myriad airplanes on the ightline, and a tether ed hot air balloon in the backgr ound.


volunteer group of professional air traffic controllers give traffi c advisories

from their lofty perch in
Triple Trees refurbished
Wo r l d Wa r I I - v i n t a g e
control tower (which
was previously the active
tower at Donaldson Airbase in Greenville).
Lou Furlong of Georgia has attended several hundred fly-ins
throughout the past
50 years, and while
enjoyed all of them,
Pat and Mar y
Triple Tree immediately
comed to enjoy the became his favorite when he attended its fifth annual fly-in in
best amenities a fly-in has to offer.
The Triple Tree Fly-in is quickly September 2011. The arrival probecoming popular in the mid- cedures are well-thought-out and
southeast region, as evidenced by safe. Definitely first class! Once on
the 450 aircraft that flew in last the ground, I was impressed by the
year. Aviation-minded people are orderly flow of traffic, thanks to
encouraged to attend and camp the many trained volunteers, Furon-site in the virtually manicured long explains, adding with a smile,
there is shaded camping, and hot
camping areas.
Triple Tree has had flying ma- showers and hot food available for
chines ranging from powered breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They
parachutes and gliders to a Corsair even have a cook your own steak
and DC-3, including a wide variety night, and a centrally located paof classic, vintage, and experimen- vilion has flat-screen HDTV for
tal airplanes, fly in to the field. A the weekend football games! I was

most impressed with the positive

attitude of the many volunteers.
They went out of their way to ensure we were having a good time.
Once I met Triple Tree Aerodrome
owners Pat and Mary Lou Hartness,
and event organizer Pat Derrick, I
understood where all the enthusiasm comes from. They arent happy
until you are happy!

Genesis of Triple Tree

The Hartnesses first bought the
nearly 405 acres of neglected farm
property in 1997, and commenced
a tremendous amount of clearing,
moving earth, and groomingwith
a vision of creating a site for people
to enjoy aviation. All told, it took
them nine years to get the runway
to 7,000- by 400-feet wide and usable before they would invite the
public to a fly-in. Pat Hartness says:
When we bought the land, we
wanted to create as fun a place to
come fly as humanly possible, with
the lakes and the hiking trails and
the things that we claim makes
Triple Tree a different kind of flyin. He adds, In the interim, while
we were working on the land, we
established probably the largest
radio-control event on earthwe

16 APRIL 2012

Vintage April 2012.indd 18

3/29/12 3:06 PM

Airplanes everywhere!

The pavilion, surrounded

by aircraft.

Four hundred fifty aircraft flew in for the fifth annual fly-in.

bring 6,000 to 8,000 people in to

Triple Tree each year to participate
in our large-scale, radio-control
event, which is called the Joe Nall
Fly-in. But we could not have fullscale airplanes until we had a runway that we felt that would be safe
on approaches, and have plenty of
room for people that maybe arent

as gifted as someone else to land.

That was part of our ambition to
make the runway long, plus it was
possible to make it that long because of the way the land was presented to us.
The funding for the Aerodrome
improvements are derived partially
from the modest amounts charged

for camping and registration during

the Triple Tree fly-in, as well as the
Joe Nall Fly-in (a world-renowned
large-scale radio-control model-aircraft event), and from Pat Hartness
himself. The Nall, as it is sometimes called, was named in memory of Joe Nall, who was Hartness
college roommate at Furman University in Greenville.
Derrick explains, Joe later became the spokesman for the NTSB,
and he was an emcee at the R/C
events that Pat held before Joe was
killed in a plane crash down in
South America. (The 30th annual
Joe Nall Fly-in will be held in May
2012for more information, visit
Pat Hartness and the volunteers
have personally been leveling and
sanding the earth with heavy machinery and getting the runway settled for several years. Next, theyll
be sprigging 419 Tifton Bermuda
grass along 4,800 feet of the runway in early June 2012, so it will be
ready for the sixth annual fly-in in
early September. Hartness says:
We are making the runway
where it will be equivalent to a really fine fairway for golferssimilar
to the Augusta Nationalexcept
it will be for full-scale aircraft. You
can walk barefooted at Triple Tree,
and it feels like youre on a carpet.
I think thats a vast difference between our field and others. Why are
we so inclined this way? We want
the place to be discovered, and we
want it to be able to perpetuate itself. Once our foundation is established, it will own the property. Our
board of directors will be charged
with the responsibility of making
it work, in perpetuity. If it doesnt
work, the worst thing that can happen is that 405 acres will be a real
nice piece of green land forever. But
we want it to be aviation; we want
aviation written all over it!
Pat Hartness says his inspiration
for the Triple Tree Fly-in was nurtured by a desire he shared with
several friends:
We wanted to have a culture of
people that had the right attitude


Vintage April 2012.indd 19

3/29/12 3:06 PM


Walkway to the pavilion.


The roadside entrance to T riple Tree.

to host people and allow them to
have the best time that they could
haveand for us not to be the
bosses, but to be the best hosts and
hostesses we could be. That was really the incentive, and then with
the beauty of the place, we said,
How can we make it special, so
that it will catch on to the magnitude that people will come in
greater numbers, and we can be
very successful? The actual motivation behind that was to have
the best of the best, and really
work diligently to make it be that.
Pat [Derrick] is the first person I
talked to about dreams and aspirations for Triple Tree, and then we
shared it with our other 30 base
members who help us in the fullscale as well as the model events
that we host, which are numerous.
My wife, Mary Lou, is also very involved and supportive.

In fact, the Aerodrome was christened by Mary Lou. There were

three huge oak trees that were on
this piece of land that was previously farmed with cotton, pumpkins, and watermelons for many
years, recalls Hartness, adding,
then the farm became kind of derelict, but the three big oak trees remained, and my wife named it Triple Tree. One tree died in a recent
drought, but we planted another
one in its place.

Aviators at Heart
Part of Triple Trees success is the
fact that both Pats hail from a family
background in aviation, and have
been flying for years themselves.
Hartness, who soloed a Cessna 172
when he was 18 and has been flying
for 50 years now, fondly recalls his
earliest memory of aviation. When
he was just 4, his pilot parents took

him to visit Paris Mountain Airport in Greenville, South Carolina.

My mom and dad owned a Piper
Cub then, and just seeing and being around the airplanes, I could tell
thats exactly what I wanted to do,
Hartness explains, adding, my dad
was a captain with the Civil Air Patrol, and my mother was a lieutenant teaching cadets to fly during the
second World War.
As for airplanes, Hartness likes
them all. Hes owned a 1938 Spartan Executive for 40 years, which
he recently restored to a polished, mirror finish. It shares a
10,000-square-foot hangar with
his 1946 J-3 Cub, 1944 BT-13, Extra 330 LT, and a 1942 Stearman.
A Volksplane, which Hartness still
enjoys flying, represents his entry
into the world of homebuilding. I
built that back in 1971 and flew it
400 hours. It was my early experience with building and becoming
an EAA member, and I also have a
Phantom ultralight from that era
which I still enjoy flyingthats really flying!
Fly-in President Pat Derrick was
also introduced to aviation when
he was a child. His father had an
airplane, and Derrick started flying gliders in 1973 in Virginia. He
earned his power rating the next
year, when he was 21. After operating his own flight school and
flying for some companies in the
Greenville area, hes currently the
company pilot for Hartness International. Additionally, Derrick enjoys flying Hartness BT-13 during
a sunrise dawn patrol each morning during the fly-in.

18 APRIL 2012

Vintage April 2012.indd 20

3/29/12 3:06 PM

Activities Abound!
While activities abound at this
first-class airfield and its associated facilities, there is one activity
that isnt part of this fly-inthere
isnt any aircraft judging. That, Pat
Hartness explains, is simply because We just feel like if you come,
youre a winner! And those who
do arrive at Triple Tree will very
likely feel like winners, indeed. The
scenic acreage is accentuated by a
stately pavilion and gazebos, which
provide gathering places for aviators and their friends to relax and
enjoy each others company.
An aviator who flew perhaps the
longest cross-country to arrive at
Triple Tree this past September was
Presley Melton of Little Rock, Arkansas. He reflects, Triple Tree is
the best organized regional fly-in
Ive ever attended, and its absolutely a wonderful place for a flyin. The facilities and hospitality are
over the top. From the 7,000-foot
sod runway, to the steak cookout
on the patio, to the bathhouses
with built-in hairdryers, this place
is first class all the way. Pat Hartness has done everything he can
to make Triple Tree the best fly-in
airport. He built this airfield and
all its wonderful facilities because
he wants people to have a place to
come together and enjoy aviation.
Overall, Hartness describes a visit
to Triple Tree as being different
from going and landing at an asphalt runway, where you wonder
what to do next. Theres plenty to
do here! Its set up to help entertain and give the people a unique
destination. One thing that has
helped us do that, is that weve
learned a lot from the people that
have been coming here for the 29
years that weve run the Joe Nall
Fly-inwe have lots of experience
with hosting public events, says
Hartness, elaborating, Triple Tree
is like a really fun park, but its better than a park. We have the Enoree
River running right by one end of
our property, and weve created a
grassy beach area from a sandbar,


Aerial view of T riple Tree Aer odrome.

where supervised kids can wade in
the river.
There is also a 50-acre lake and
an eight-acre lake, where people
are welcome to catch fish and
have them for dinner if they like.
There are about seven miles of nature trails as well, which are neatly
maintained and wide enough for
golf carts, though most people
enjoy just strolling or jogging on
them. A large patio with an outdoor
fireplace offers a place where people
can sit in the shade of an umbrella
and watch planes landing and taking off. Theres no problem getting
from one end of the airfield to the
other to enjoy all these amenities;

ground transportation is available

in the form of school buses, which
are driven by volunteers.
Additionally, visitors can tour
the beginning of Triple Trees museum hangar, and see their collection of airplanes and model aircraft. Aviation-related seminars and
workshops are held during the flyin, and the Military History Club
of the Carolinas brings Jeeps and
other military vehicles for display.
Some of the volunteers arrange
tours of the magnificent downtown
Greenville area, while kids enjoy
their skateboards and bicycles, and
others enjoy camping with their
airplanes on the carpet of closely-


Vintage April 2012.indd 21

3/29/12 3:07 PM


Relaxing on the landscaped patio.

shows everywhere you
lookfrom the organized
arrival procedures published on their website
and the traffic advisories, to the folks directing
ground traffic and welcoming pilots and taking
care of their arrival needs
(such as fuel, camping,
registration, food). Simply put, its a low-stress,
just-for-fun event in a
beautiful setting, with
taxiways through the
woods to camping sites,
fishing ponds for kids of
all ages, free transportation from one end of the
field to the other, and lots
of aviation-minded folks
to mingle with. Where
else is all this available,
plus a 7,000- by 400-foot grass strip?
Many thanks to Pat Hartness for
sharing his aviation enthusiasm this
way with the public!

. . . beyond question,
engines and pistons
are nice, but the
smiling faces and

relationships are what

its really all about.
Pat Hartness
cut grass. Campers may indulge
themselves in the fully equipped
bathhouseswhich, in the womens area, boast granite countertops surrounding the sinks, with
eight thoughtfully designed private
showers and stalls.
One first-time attendee from
North Carolina described his experience at Triple Tree in this manner:
There are many impressive
things about the Triple Tree Flyin, but perhaps the most impressive is their theme of Fun, Fellowship, and Hospitality. That is just
what this fly-in is all about, and it

Youre Invited!
Even as the variety of activities
and attractive accommodations at
Triple Tree continues to broaden,
the Aerodromes lush, natural
beauty is perhaps the most distinctive draw for this fly-inenhanced, of course, by the contagious enthusiasm of the hosts
and volunteers. Simply stated, Pat
Hartness favorite aspects of the

fly-in revolve around the friendships and relationships it has allowed him to make:
These people are among the
finest people that I have ever met
in the world, and I look forward
to them making their pilgrimage
back to either the Nall or the Triple
Tree Fly-in. Beyond question, engines and pistons are nice, but the
smiling faces and relationships are
what its really all about.
Derrick echoes that sentiment,
adding, you would not believe
the amount of preparation for
the event in terms of the man
hours and the work involved, but
its something that we really look
forward to. We continually try
to make Triple Tree the Augusta
National [Golf Club] of airfi elds,
and we really look forward to seeing those friends that we get to
see once a year. When they leave,
we always have a tear in our eyes
when we wave them goodbye.
Pat Hartness cordially extends
an open invitation to aviators,
whatever type of aircraft they fly.
We have quite a variety, and everybody who is a pilot, a member of an aviation organization,
or a sincere aviation enthusiast
is welcome to attend. Come and
discover a different kind of flyin! And when we say different,
were not saying anybody elses
isnt good; ours is just different.
We dont want to be the biggest
fly-in; we just want it to be as
good as it can be. Thats what we
want aviation people to discover
about Triple Treeour Fun, Fellowship, and Hospitality!
Note: Triple Tree Aerodrome
(SC00) is located in Woodruff, South
Carolina (near Greenville, KGMU).
The dates for the sixth annual flyin are September 5-9, 2012. Fuel is
typically available on the field during the fly-in. For more information, visit
and To
watch some videos of Triple Tree,
tune in to

20 APRIL 2012

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3/29/12 3:07 PM

Light Plane Heritage

published in EAA Experimenter April 1993




EAA 1235

f a type of lightplane called

the Hawker Cygnet were to
show up in the ultralight section of a future fly-in, its very
likely that most spectators
would assume that it was another
interesting new design in this rapidly growing field of sport aviation.
In fact, because of its nicely
rounded wingtips, fairly cleanlined fuselage, and curvy rudder
outline, many would remark that
it had more eye appeal than some
other more straight-lined and angular types. It would therefore be
very amusing to stand to one side
and watch the expressions on their
faces as they read the descriptive

placard standing in front of itand

found out that this design was created in long-ago 1924!
Once that surprising information
had soaked into their gray matter,
many a younger aviation enthusiast might be prompted to ask, Say,
just how much progress has there
been in small aircraft design over
the last six decades?
Part of a well-thought-out reply
to that legitimate question would
have to be that the Cygnet was the
creation of a professional and very
competent design office. In addition to that, it was very carefully
conceived to have the best possible
chance of scoring high in a light-

plane design contest.

In 1923 there had been a contest at the airfield of Lympne (pronounced Limm) in the south of
England intended to encourage
the development of light and economical aircraft suitable for private

Above: The sole r emaining Hawker

Cygnet in flight, ar ound 1950, after being restor ed. Spot on fuselage
side below fr ont cockpit is sunlight
shining through the clear-doped fabric. Tiny windshields wer e typical of
early 1920s airplanes. One r eason
could be to minimize drag and to let
pilots feel air ow on their faces in
slips, etc.

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


Vintage April 2012.indd 23

3/29/12 3:07 PM


Oh what fun it is to taxi thr ough the grass and dandelions in a Hawker Cygnet! Restor ed around 1950,
G-EBMB is the sole r emaining example and is on display at the R.A.F . Museum, Hendon.
owners. While war-surplus military
planes were still in good supply,
they were fitted with powerful and
very fuel-hungry engines.
So much stress was placed on
fuel economy, in fact, that the rules
specified that engines that powered
entries must have cylinder displacements of not more than 750 cubic centimeters. Thats about the
displacement found in todays intermediate-weight motorcycles, so
you can understand that such engines were quite small for aircraft
use. [Editors note: The two-cylinder
Aeronca E-107 engine of 28 hp, which
powered the Aeronca C-2, displaced
107 cubic inches, or 1753 ccthat
equates to more than twice the maximum displacement allowed by the
contest organizers!HGF]
In fact, because no aircraft engine manufacturer at that time
produced such a tiny aero engine,
those who wanted to enter this contest had to turn to the air-cooled
and therefore reasonably light motorcycle engines then being manufactured. Even the best of these, of
course, represented what was available in 1923 in the way of metals,
bearings, valves, and other things,
which means they were really not
at all the equal of todays Harleys
and Hondas.
What engines they had to choose
from they modified as well as they
could to suit themthey hoped!
for flight. But because these mills
in many cases were forced to run
at as much as 50 percent over rated


Rear view of the same shows the double ailer on horns

used to minimize twisting of the light, full-span ailerons. Cockpits wer e a tight t, and the front one is awkward to get into.

power in order to coax planes aloft

in a useful manner, persistent engine trouble plagued everyone. By
the time the 1923 competition was
over, everyone agreed that it had
been a mistake to place so much
stress on fuel economy. After all,
the cost of gaser, petrolfor
weekend flying is but a small percentage of the overall cost of buying and owning an airplane.
Early in 1924 new rules were issued for the second Lympne contest to be held late that September.
They called for two-seat designs
suitable for training and crosscountry flying in an island nation
the size of Britain. Engine size was
increased to 1100 cc. [Editors note:
Still significantly smaller than even
the smallest of the Aeronca engines,
the E-107.HGF]
The new rules also laid stress on
achieving as wide a spread as possible between minimum and maximum speeds. They hoped thereby
to gain the ability to travel from
point to point at speeds temptingly
higher than the 30 mph average
then possible by motorcars on the
narrow, twisting roads of the 1920s.
And because they also wanted
these planes to be able to operate
out of small, unimproved fields
c o n v e n i e n t l y n e a r t o o w n e r s
homes and destinations, quick
takeoff and good obstructionclearing capability was specified.
To eliminate both the floaters,
too light and slow to be manageable in ordinarily windy weather,

and the brick, too fast and tricky

for inexperienced pilots, the rules
specified a cruising speed of not less
than 60 mph and a landing speed
of not more than 45 mph.
As a result, where most of the
1923 entrants had been monoplanes for the sake of achieving
lowest possible drag in order to attain the maximum possible miles
per gallon of fuel, biplanes predominated among the 1924 entries for
the sake of lightest possible weight
on one hand combined with greatest possible wing area on the other
hand in order to score well on takeoff and landing tests. Some of the
1923 entrants had been so carefully
designed to be fuel-stingy that they
achieved as much as 87 miles per
gallon of fuel.
Much use was made of wing
flapsthe first serious use of this
featurenot to help faster designs
to approach and land at acceptable speeds, but to enable modestly powered planes to take off
and climb out acceptably well. And
once aloft, to cruise at useful speeds
with the flaps retracted.
A number of prominent aircraft
manufacturing companies were attracted to the 1924 competition because of the possibility that success
with two-seaters might open up a
worthwhile civilian market. One
of these firms was the H.G. Hawker
Engineering Company Ltd., which
had emerged from the famous Sopwith Company that had closed
down in 1920.

22 APRIL 2012

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3/29/12 3:07 PM

Designed specifically to scor e as high as

possible in a 1924 design competition, the
Hawker Cygnet amounted to a specialized
airplane. The landing gear looks comically
small, but it gave the smaller pr opeller ample ground clearance and helped keep the
planes weight to a minimum.

During World War I, Sopwith

had specialized in fighter aircraft in
which both light weight and high
strength were vital qualities. The
Lympne two-seater project was put
into the hands of a young engineer named Sydney Camm. He had
joined Hawker in 1923, and this
planenamed the Cygnetwas his
first aircraft design project.
Of course, Camm drew on the
experience of others at Hawker, but
clearly he was a capable designer
and learned much from the small
but well-thought-out Cygnet. Proof
of this lies in the fact that he went
on to design the fast Hawker Fury
fighter biplane of the mid-1930s and
then created the memorable Hawker
Hurricane fighter of World War II.
The Cygnet (which means a
young swan) was a smallish airplane in that it weighed only 373
pounds empty and grossed at 730
pounds. But it wasnt exactly tiny
by reason of having a wingspan
of 28 feet and total wing area of
165 square feet. While it wouldnt

qualify as an ultralight under the

current U.S. empty weight limit
of 254 pounds, it was still very
much a lightplane. It helps to
grasp this by pointing out that
the Aeronca C-3 two-seater lightplane of 1931 was considered to
be a very light aircraft by American pilots. It had a 113 cubic
inch (1852 cc), 36-hp engine,
weighed 461 pounds empty and
875 pounds gross, and had 142
square feet of wing area.
The twin-cylinder, horizontally
opposed four-cycle engines used
on the Cygnet weighed from 95
to 105 pounds. In contrast, todays
two-cycle ultralight engines in the
27- to 38-hp range typically weigh
between 42 and 62 pounds.
Beginning with an assumed engine weight of about 100 pounds,
Camm was left with only 273
pounds for the complete airframe.
To create a two-seater of fairly
generous proportions within that
weight limit with the materials and
construction techniques available

in 1924 called for engineering work

of a high caliber.
All or most of the spruce fuselage longerons and cross-members
were routed to I-shaped cross sections to achieve stiffness with minimum weight. The fuselage frame
employed the efficient Warren truss
and was assembled with plywood
gussets riveted and screwed into
place. Thats something that simply
is not approved of today. To save
a small amount of weight, the fuselage was made less than two feet
wide. As a consequence, the cockpits
were a tight fit for all but the
smaller pilots.
The wing spars were of the box
type, with spruce upper and lower
flanges separated by plywood webs.
This called for much more hand labor than the flat, solid spruce spars
typically used in later American
lightplanes. To make such spars,
rough lumber is merely fed through
a planer to achieve desired crosssectional dimensions, and comparatively little labor is involved.


Vintage April 2012.indd 25

3/29/12 3:08 PM

This drawing by retired Boeing engineer Geor ge Visk illustrates ef fect of air foil thickness on inter ference in air ow
between the two wings of a biplane. In Figur e 3, shaded ar ea shows air ow overlap that can pr oduce a mysterious rumbling sound. Staggering the wings or making the lower one of r educed chord as in Figur e 4 ar e some
ways to r educe inter ference. The air foil used in the wings also af fects ow.
But these box spars put the spruce
where it would handle loads to
best advantage, and so this type of
construction saved a worthwhile
amount of weight.
The wing interplane struts were
also of spruce, each being made in
two pieces, routed out, and then
glued together to create hollow struts.
Both weight and drag were reduced.
Because the stabilizer spar was
made the same way, it was strong
enough to serve its purpose without
external struts or tie rods. Throughout the plane an effort was made to
keep the number of metal fittings
to a minimum.
The vertical tail consisted of a
balanced rudder only, with no fin.
Since this rudder was able to stand
by itself, the weight of a fin and its

brace wires was saved.

Because of the planes overall
proportions, there was not much
gap between the top of the fuselage and the underside of the top
wings center section. Also, the center section support struts were held
true with crisscrossed brace wires
that would have been in the way
of cockpit entry. So the front cockpit was located a little ahead of the
center section. Overall balance was
retained despite this forward positioning of that seat, thanks to the
engines light weight in the nose.
Getting in to and out of the front
cockpit called for some wriggling,
but once a person was in it, forward
visibility was superb.
The landing gear had an almost
comically undersized look to it, but

its design made good engineering

sense. Because of modest propeller
diameter, it did not have to be long
to offer adequate propeller ground
clearance. Since a plane as light as
the Cygnet would not usually be
flown on more blustery days, the
gear did not have to be particularly
wide. The short, straight axle was
light in weight and automatically
lined up right and left wheels. It
was lashed to the landing gear vee
struts with rubber shock cord. Because these struts were short, they
were light and also stiff, as a result
of which they could be made of
spruce instead of steel tubing. The
only shortcoming of the low-riding
straight axle was that it could drag
through tall grass when operating
from an unmowed field.

Early 1930s Cur tiss Condor, left, had top wing set high above fuselage to minimize squeezing of air
ow in
gap between upper and lower wing. The 1929 Boeing 80A, right, had wing attached to fuselage top. The smaller
chord of the lower wing accomplished essentially the same thing. A similar ar rangement was used on the 1924
Hawker Cygnet.
24 APRIL 2012

Vintage April 2012.indd 26

3/29/12 3:08 PM

The sesquiplane concept takes various for ms and

can be used to achieve various ends. In W orld War
I Nieupor t fighters (above left), small lower wings
were basically the lower beams of a low-drag biplane
arrangement. In the 1927 Buhl (above right) abbr eviated lower wings wer e used to conver t what was
originally a big-winged biplane into what was almost
a monoplane, for the sake of speed. The 1929 Bir d
Biplane (right) had small lower wings in or der to provide a passenger walkway to the fr ont cockpit and
allowed the use of a lar ge but light top wing for aer odynamic ef ciency.
You will notice in photos that
the Cygnet had only clear dope on
its fabric covering. This too represented a small but useful savings in
weight over pigmented dope. During the latter part of World War I
it became fashionable for fighter
pilots to apply gaudy paint jobs to
their planes. Some of them were
unpleasantly surprised to discover
how much the weight of the paint
reduced their planes performance.
Perhaps this was one of the Sopwith peoples wartime lessons that
was passed onto Hawker personnel.
The Cygnet was designed so that
the wings could be folded back for
storage, so it was probably assumed
that a clear dope finish would have
acceptable durability. And we must
remember that the plane was designed to win a contest rather than
to look wonderful in a showroom.
To achieve folding, upper and lower
wings were positioned so that the
fitting on the rear spars of all wings
were on a vertical line.
Full-span ailerons were incorporated on both upper and lower
wings. The control system was designed so that in ordinary flight,

aileron action only was achieved

when the control stick was moved.
But when taking off, all four could
be moderately depressed to deepen
the airfoils camber and so increase
lift. Once at the desired altitude, the
flaps could be retracted to flatten
out the airfoil shape and increase
cruising speed. This was yet another
feature that would have made the
Cygnet expensive to manufacture.
Because the ailerons were both
long and lightly built, the use of
single control horns on each one
would have subjected it to serious
twisting stresses. So each aileron
was provided with two horns to
spread out the control loads.
The lower wings were of less
chord than the upper ones and
herein lies an airplane design story
that is rarely if ever put into print.
Were going to tell it because it
helps not only to appreciate the
Cygnet but also to understand biplane design in general.
Today we rarely use the word
sesquiplane, but it was often used
in the 1920s. It means one-anda-half and describes a biplane
in which the lower wing is half

or less the area of the upper one.

Most sesquiplanes had a large upper wing and a small lower one.
The Cygnet, by the way, was not
a sesquiplane. The usual reason for
using the sesquiplane design was
to minimize loss of lift that results
when fast-moving air finds itself
squeezed between the underside
of the top wing and top side of the
lower onewhile at the same time
retaining the biplanes advantage
of light weight and rigidity that results from trussing the two wings
together with struts and tie rods set
at effective angles.
Some months ago we noticed
in a picture that the lower wing of
the Boeing 80A trimotor transport
plane of 1929 had less chord than
the upper onebut was still not
small enough to make this a sesquiplane. At recent Oshkosh conventions we noticed the same thing
on the beautifully restored Pitcairn
Speedwing and Mailwing biplanes.
The Cygnet wings were like this,
too. We wondered why.
So we wrote to the Boeing company, whose public relations office
passed our letter along to Mr. George


Vintage April 2012.indd 27

3/29/12 3:08 PM

This 1924 Cygnet was power ed by a ver y unreliable inverted vee Anzani engine. While the plane was indeed a ver y
light draft, it was by no means tiny . The gure of the man helps visualize the 28-foot span of the top wing.
Visk, a retired Boeing engineer for
reply. The next several paragraphs
are based on the very informative
two-page letter he sent us.
While experimenting with gliders
in 1902, the Wright brothers built
a simple wind tunnel and from the
information it gave them concluded
that the gap between upper and
lower wings of a biplane should be
equal to the wings chord.
This proved to be an acceptable spacing for wings using the
very thin airfoils they and others
used in the 1903-1913 period. As
the dashed lines in Figure 1 show,
each thin airfoil displaces a modest
amount of air, and therefore interference between upper and lower
wings is not present.
Between 1914 and about 1924
thicker airfoils gradually came into
use. They gave much better lift-todrag ratios and also afforded the
thicker wing sections needed to
enclose deeper and stronger spars.
Their extra thickness caused them
to displace more air as shown in
Figure 2, but still not enough to
impair wing lift. The sharp leading
edges of these airfoils resulted in
sudden and vicious stall characteristics that caused many crashes.
Work done by such researchers
as Virginius E. Clark in the early
1920s resulted in the now very wellknown Clark Y and similar airfoils.
They had well-rounded leading
edges, flat or almost flat undersides,
and more efficiently curved upper
sides. Aircraft speeds and hence

ranges increasedLindberghs Spirit

of St. Louis used the Clark Y.

When biplanes
began to use
the new, thicker
airfoils, more air
was displaced as
shown in Figure 3.
The all-metal Ford Tri-Motor also
demonstrated the monoplanes
lower drag and greater speed and
thus range. But early, lower-powered
versions could not take off with a
full load of passengers from such
transcontinental airway stops as
Cheyenne in Wyoming, which is
6,300 feet above sea level.
To provide the newly organized
Boeing Air Transport Company airline with a plane able to take off
from Cheyenne with a full passenger load aboard, the Boeing aircraft
factory developed the Model 80 trimotor. It was a biplane with lots of
wing area: 1,250 square feet compared to the Fords 785.
When biplanes began to use the
new, thicker airfoils, more air was
displaced as shown in Figure 3. If
the wings were too close together,

air displaced by the top surface of

the lower wing began to impinge on
air displaced by the lower surface of
the upper one. Note the shaded area
in Figure 3. This interference created
a new and initially very mystifying
phenomenon in the form of a peculiar rumbling sound. Because we
cannot see what rushing air is doing, it took some heavy thinking to
pinpoint the cause of this strange
and disturbing rumble.
To stop it, one solution arrived
at was to increase the gap between
biplane wings, as can be seen in the
Curtiss Condor twin-engined biplane shown in the accompanying
photo. Another solution was to stagger the wings as shown in Figure 4.
In the 18-passenger Boeing 80A
the fuselage was so large and deep
that it seemed reasonable to mount
the big upper wing directly on top
of it. By so doing the long cabane
struts used on the Condors center
section could be eliminated and the
interplane struts made shorter. We
dont know if the Boeing 80A ever
had a rumble problem, but its possible that the narrower chord of the
lower wing could have prevented
it from appearing by reason of disturbing less air on its upper side.
But it must have had structural and
aerodynamic advantages that well
soon describe.
While staggering a biplanes wings
as in Figure 4 does cope with the
interference problem, it also makes
interplane struts longer and so increases their weight and drag. The

26 APRIL 2012

Vintage April 2012.indd 28

3/29/12 3:08 PM

new and more varied strut and tie

rod angles that stagger tends to introduce can complicate stress analysis.
The Nieuport fighter of World
War I, shown above, with its long
and quite narrow lower wing, is a
true sesquiplane. The reason this
layout was used had little to do
with interplane airflow interference
but was the outcome of designer
Edouard Nieuports strong feeling
that drag should be reduced to a
minimum. His skimpy lower wings
were basically beams employed so
that the rigid and sturdy biplane
structural layout could be used but
with as few struts and wires as possible. The Nieuports were such good
fighters that the Germans hastened
to use the same idea in their Albatros fighters.
The lower pinions of these sesquiplanes can be called wings
by reason of the fact that in order
to streamline their single spars, it
made sense to fair them with ribs
and give these ribs an airfoil shape
so as to coax some lift out of them.
But these single-spar lower wings
had so little torsional stiffness that
in the fast dives often used in combat flying, they could start to flutter
so violently as to cause Nieuports
and Albatroses to disintegrate.
But this does not mean that all
sesquiplanes are bad. The Buhl
Airsedan of 1927 started out as a
load-carrying biplane having an
upper wing of 42-foot span and a
lower one of 32-foot span. To get
more speed, another model of the
same ship was fitted with an upper
wing of 36-foot span and a lower
one of 20-foot span, making it a
true sesquiplane.
The new, small lower wings had
a fairly wide chord at their roots but
tapered drastically so that at their
tips, they were just short of being
pointed. This taper gave them adequate torsional stiffness for civilian flying.
Another sesquiplane that appeared in 1929 was the Bird Biplane. It originated as an attempt to
get the best possible performance
out of the heavy, low-powered war-

surplus Curtiss OX-5 engine. The

one pictured has a lighter and more
reliable Kinner radial engine. The
fuselage of a biplane divides its
lower wings into right and left panels, but the upper one is unbroken.
By making it as long and broad as
possible, its aerodynamic efficiency
is increased because of the mathematics involved in what is called
scale effect. At the same time, the
birds noticeably smaller lower wings
allowed the use of biplane-type trussing and also provided a convenient
walkway for passengers entering and
leaving the front cockpit.
Now to get back to the Cygnet.
It obviously was not a sesquiplane,
yet its lower wing had noticeably
less chord than the upper one.
Why? We cannot know exactly
what went on in Sydney Camms
mind almost 70 years ago, but we
can make an educated guess.
In both this little plane and the
huge Boeing trimotor, the lower
wings are large enough to house

two spars rather than the single one

found in the Nieuport and Albatros
lower wings. This led to strut and
tie rod layouts able to assure good
torsional stiffness.
And there could very well have
been an aerodynamic advantage.
Again, remember that we cannot see just what rushing air is
doing. There is an aircraft design
term called induced drag. Tape a
length of light cord to the trailing
edge of an airplane, and when in
flight, you will be able to see clearly
that instead of streaming straight
backward, it will stream with a
quite noticeable downward angle.
This visualizes the downward impetus given to a volume of air by
the wing that produces an equal
but opposite reaction in the form of
lift. To thus force air downward creates induced drag. Overcoming it
is where a significant amount of an
engines power is used.
The long, narrow wings of sailplanes and moderately powered air-


Vintage April 2012.indd 29

3/29/12 4:45 PM

The A.B.C. Scorpion engine, left, was used in one of the 1925 Cygnets. It suf
fered from valve tr ouble. The much
more reliable Bristol Cher ub, right, per formed dependably in the 1924 competition. Note its similarity to the pr esent-day twin-cylinder Mosler engines of similar horsepower .
craft built to climb to great altitudes
(the U-2 spy plane) or fly long distances with modest fuel consumption (Rutans Voyager) have high
aspect ratio wings to keep induced
drag as low as possible.
Now considering the Cygnet, its
wings had a thin airfoil, there was
generous gap, and speed was modest. Therefore the narrower chord
of its lower wing could not have
had anything to do with the factors
concerned in Figures 1 to 4.
But notice that the lower wing is
shorter than the upper one for such
reasons as ground clearance during
sharp turns on a runway. If a short
lower wing had the same chord as
the longer upper one, it would have
a lower aspect ratioand low aspect
ratio is a power-stealer whenever a
wing is flying at high angle of attack, due to greater induced drag.
But by reducing the chord of a
shorter lower wing, its aspect ratio
is kept the same as that of the top
wing. When trying to coax a useful
rate of climb out of a lower-powered
plane, or getting a big plane off a
high-altitude airport with a heavy
load aboard, this is important.
Hawker built two Cygnets for the
1924 Lympne competition. One
was fitted with an inverted-vee Anzani engine, the other with a horizontally opposed A.B.C. Scorpion.
Both engines were bedeviled with

problems such as broken rocker

arm brackets, a bad magneto, and
broken valves. When the Cygnets
could fly, they performed credibly,
however, due to their high structural efficiency and wing flaps.
There was general agreement that
the 1100 cc engines used that year
were being overstressed by reason
of being run at around 50 percent
over rated capacities in order to fly
In 1925 the much-improved
and quite reliable Bristol Cherub
engine was available. The rules
then stated that any engine could
be used that did not weigh more
than 170 pounds. By boring out the
cylinders 5 mm, Bristol raised the
Cherubs displacement to 1228 cc
to get it to produce 33 hp at 2900
rpm and 36 hp at 3200 rpm. This
slight increase in power plus the
Cherubs excellent reliability enables the Cygnets to perform very
credibly. On a tour around England
of almost 2,000 miles, one of them
averaged 65 mph and 39.2 mpg.
The slow-flight test was conducted along a runway with the
stipulation that planes must not
ascend higher than 20 feet, yet at
the same time should not let their
wheels touch ground. That called
for some skillful low-and-slow flying. One pilot negotiated the course
at 34 mph while another did it at

44 mph. In races, speeds in the 75

to 80 mph range were attained. The
general agreement at Lympne was
that the Cygnet design represented
the first practical light biplane.
However, a market for ver y
low-powered lightplanes just did
not develop.
In February of 1925 the 60-hp de
Havilland Gipsy Moth biplane came
onto the market. It was comfortable,
reasonably fast, versatile, and had
enough reserve power to cope effectively with bad air conditions. It and
similar biplanes caught on so quickly
that they put an end to Lympne designs for all practical purposes.
The two Cygnets were registered
G-EBJH and G-EBMB to qualify
them for general sport flying use.
The former was destroyed in a 1929
crash, while the latter was put into
storage in 1927. In the late 1940s
it was restored to flying condition,
flown at a number of air shows,
and then put on permanent display
at the Royal Air Force Museum at
Hendon near London, alongside
examples of some of Sir Sydney
Camms other designs. The lesson
of the Hawker Cygnets and other
two-seaters with 1200 cc engines
might well be that planes that are
very highly engineered to do well
in competitions often do not do
very well in normal usage. Theyre
too highly bred.

28 APRIL 2012

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3/29/12 3:09 PM




Splicing a wood wing spar

Illustration 1CallAir A-9 damaged fr ont wing spar with

split showing grain slope.
In last months column we discussed wood defects.
In this issue we look at splicing a wood wing spar due
to an accident with a CallAir A-9 licensed in the restricted category for agricultural operations. The left
outboard wing of the aircraft had tangled with the top
of a tree. The tree won the contest: Tree 1, Spar 0. The
good thing about a wooden spar is that it will break
rather than bend, and leaving a short section of spar
in the top of a tree is better than losing the whole airplane. The owner and pilot didnt want to disassemble
the ship to make the repair, so he asked if I could repair the wing and get the airplane back into the air as
soon as possible. That was the task at hand.
Illustration 1 shows the wing as I first saw it. Note
the long split inboard when the spar was forced aft
and that the break occurs at a fixed point of the compression member. The slope of the split indicates grain
slope. Closely following guidance in Advisory Circular AC43.13-1B, the scarf cut must be made down the
grain slope.

Illustration 2Beginning the scar f cut down the grain

Illustration 2 shows the beginning of the scarf cut
measuring a minimum of 10-to-1. The spar is 1-1/4
inches thick, thus making the cut 12-1/2 inches in
length. Only enough fabric is cut away to gain necessary access along the remaining spar. You may be surprised to see the saw I was using, but make no mistake,
this is a precision tool. I use a ripsaw that is dedicated
solely to making spar cuts; therefore, the chisel-like
teeth are very sharp. A cut like this takes about one
hour to make, as extreme care must be taken to assure
the cut is as straight as possible. This saves time in the
long run when the surface must be hand planed.


Vintage April 2012.indd 31

3/29/12 3:09 PM

Illustration 4Scar f cut on spar almost planed at.

Illustration 3Scar f cut completed.

Illustration 3 shows the 10-to-1 scarf cut. A scarf
joint in a wood structure assures grain continuation
and places the bond line in shear load. Properly executed, the finished product will return 100 percent
strength back into the wing spar. The next step is to
hand plane the old spar to make the surface completely smooth and flat. This is not as easy as it looks
because one is working on a vertical plane, making it
much more difficult.

The replacement spar section is then cut at the

same scarf angle as the original cut was made. Care
must again be taken to assure the cut is as straight
and flat as possible. The new spar section is placed
in a vise, and the scarf is carefully cut. It is then laid
on a bench and hand planed to fit the existing spar
cut. Note that the most difficult cut and hand plane
scarf is completed first, then the easier cut and plane
task is completed, assuring a perfect fit between the
two surfaces. The AC recommends that these surfaces
not be sanded because small fragments of sanding
dust will enter the wood fiber and weaken the glue
joint. Illustration 4 shows the scarf almost completely
planedjust a little more to remove the low spot that
the camera captured.
After the two scarf cuts are perfectly matched, the
joint must be assembled within an eight-hour period
because moisture can enter the wood fibers and reduce
the repaired spars overall strength. The fit between
original and replacement spars must be very accurate.
I use a straight edge to lie along, across, and diagonally
across the planed surfaces to assure flatness.
The length of each cut must exactly match. Since
this repair is critical to safety of flight, I must assure
that each step is correctly done because, once bonded,
it cannot be tested.

What Our Members Are Restoring

A you nearing completion of a r estoration? Or is it done and

busy ying and showing it of f? If so, wed like to hear fr om
you Send us a 4-by-6-inch print fr om a commer cial sour ce (no
printers, pleasethose prints just dont scan well) or a
4300-dpi digital photo. A JPG fr om your 2.5-megapixel
(o higher) digital camera is ne. You can bur n photos to a CD,
o if your e on a high-speed Inter net connection, you can e-mail
along with a text-only or W ord document describing your
(If your e-mail pr ogram asks if youd like to make the
photos smaller, say no.) For mor e tips on cr eating photos we
can publish, visit V AAs website at
Check the
the News
page for a hyperlink to W ant To Send Us A Photograph?

For more information, you can also e-mail us at or call

us at 920-42
30 APRIL 2012

Vintage April 2012.indd 32

3/29/12 3:10 PM


Illustration 5New section of spar fitted and glued

ready for installation of plywood doublers.
Illustration 5 shows the spar joint glued together and
ready to attach the plywood doublers. Whenever possible
I bond the scarf joint and attach plywood doublers in one
step to save time. This splice was done in July 1970, and
there were two FAA-approved types of synthetic glues at
that timePlastic Resin and Resorcinol. In this instance I
used Plastic Resin glue from Weldwood. I liked that glue
because it did not stain the wood as Resorcinol did.




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Illustration 6Parallel clamps apply pr essur e to spar

Illustration 6 shows the spar splice with clamping pressure applied by the use of parallel clamps, which I always
use. These type of clamps (often called Jorgensen clamps)
spread the pressure more evenly than C-clamps. Minimum curing temperature is 70F, and I leave the clamps
on overnight. If the temperature might drop below 70F,
then the area is tented and a small heater is installed to
maintain the critical curing temperature. Never allow curing temperature to drop below minimum because a 100
percent cure is not possible. A test sample should be made
by gluing and clamping short sections of spruce together
and placing the test article next to the actual splice to
cure in the same environment as the actual splice. This
sample is placed in a vise and tested to destruction, and
the glue line closely examined for airworthiness.

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Vintage April 2012.indd 33

3/29/12 3:10 PM

Illustration 7Method of fabricating test samples of

wing spar splice for destr uctive testing.
Illustration 7 shows a method of making test samples
of spruce for destruction testing to assure you have a good
bond on the spar splice. Cut two samples of spruce and assure the surfaces are perfectly flat. Using the same batch
of glue mixed to bond the actual spar repair, spread glue
evenly on both surfaces, allow to set for about a minute,
then spread more glue, and assemble the two pieces so that
there are 1-2 inches overhang from the joint to allow for
breaking. Place the test sample next to the spar splice so
it receives the same cure time and temperature as the actual repair. When clamps are removed from the actual spar
splice, remove the clamp from the test sample, place one
end in a vise, and a clamp on other end. Proceed to twist,
push, and pull until the wood fractures. Closely inspect
the test sample. If done properly, the wood will fail before
the bond line, or if the bond line breaks, there should be
wood fibers attached to the bond. Failure of the bond will
indicate that the spar splice is suspect, and it should be recut and glued. I generally do a test sample before gluing
the actual splice just to make sure the adhesive is good.

Illustration 9New leading edge and berglass wingtip

Illustration 9 shows new leading edge installed. After covering the leading edge, note the small area of
fabric that has been cut aft of the spar to gain access
into the structure. In this aircraft, the leading edge was
screwed to ribs and nailed into filler blocks on the top
and bottom of the spar.

Illustration 10Fabric r epair bonded in place awaiting

nish coats.

Illustration 8Splice completed, new leading edge ribs

installed, and main ribs r epaired by splicing.
Illustration 8 shows the splice completed, sanded,
and varnished. New leading edge ribs are nailed in
place, and center ribs have been repaired by splicing
in new front sections. Note that limited fabric was removed to gain access into the wing structure needed
during the repair. I never remove large sections of fabric hastily, but rather small sections cut larger only for
access. The fabric is attached to the ribs using small
No. 4 sheet metal screws. A new fiberglass wingtip was
installed, and the next step here is to install new leading edge metal.

Illustration 10 shows fabric wrapped around the

leading edge and bonded into place. The owner of
the aircraft employed a mechanic, but he had never
completed a wing spar splice; thats why I was contracted. I installed the fabric repair but only bonded
it to the structurehis mechanic finished the job. An
FAA Form 337 was completed because the spar splice
and fabric repair is a major repair, and the aircraft was
returned to service shortly after this photo was taken.

My total time to make the repair for the owner was

three days, thus saving him plenty of time and the
cost of having to remove the wing from the fuselage.
I used this slide series in my instruction of wood aircraft structures while employed at Reedley College.
My gosh, this was done in July 1970. Was this 41-plus
years ago? Oh my, it seems like yesterday, but I was
only 31 years old when this happened. Egad!

32 APRIL 2012

Vintage April 2012.indd 34

3/29/12 3:10 PM

our lis t
Check these off yt

Whats on YOUR
AirVenture bucket list?

t concer
O Opening nigh
iller Band
with the Steve Mrd Motor Company
Presente d by the


O Tora! Tora! Tora
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Piper J-3 Cub
oolittle Raiders,
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Fly my Cub to Oshkosh

Call 1-800-564-6322
Share your bucket list ideas at

Copyright 2012 EAA

Vintage April 2012.indd 35

July 23-29

The Worlds Greatest Aviation Celebration

3/29/12 3:10 PM


BY Steve Krog, CFI

Aborted takeoffs

t was a beautiful late fall afternoon. My friend Bob

was anxiously preparing to make the very first test
flight in his newly restored J3C-65 Cub. The restoration had taken several years, but prior to that effort,
the Cub had been stored in a barn for more than
30 years. All control cables had been replaced and were
checked one final time. The engine and engine accessories had been overhauled several years earlier but had been
pickled until being installed on the restored Cub. Engine test runs were conducted including a full power static
check. Everything seemed to check out normal.
After doing one final magneto and carb heat check,
Bob taxied into position, smoothly applied full power,
and headed down the 3,000-foot hard-surface Runway 29.
The tail came off the ground; the engine sounded strong
and ran smoothly. Just as the main wheels lifted off the
surface, the engine was suddenly quiet. Instantly, Bob
dropped the nose, executed a wheel landing, and rolled to
the end of the runway. A perfectly executed aborted takeoff, and no harm was done to either the plane or the pilot!
Magnetos were again checked, fuel lines were disconnected, and fuel flow was checked. The carburetor fuel
screen was checked for restriction and contamination, as
was the gascolator. Fuel was drained and collected from
the carb fuel bowl, again looking for any sign of contamination. All systems were pronounced fit, and a full-power
static run was again done. Everyone thought it must have
been a fluke thing. With no hint of the problem repeating
itself, Bob once again taxied to the very end of Runway 29
for another try.
After aligning with the runway, full power was applied
and the Cub again lifted off. This time the Cub managed
to get to about 20 feet in the air before the engine went
completely silent. Bob repeated his actions, lowering the
nose, touching down in a wheel-landing configuration,
and rolling to a stop at runways end. Two engine failures
and two aborted takeoffs were enough. It was time to examine all systems in much more detail.
Some of us may fly for our entire career and never
experience a real time aborted takeoff or a forced
landing. Others have experienced them in several different airplanes.
When was the last time you executed an aborted takeoff?

With rare exception, your response is probably, Not since

my checkride! And that could have been anywhere from
one to 40 years ago.
All of my students, past and present, as well as many individuals with whom I conduct flight reviews, think that I
am, at times, rather devious. Every time I see a throttle knob
pushed to full power without a hand on the knob, I have a
tendency to quickly pull it, either back to idle or to an approximate 50 percent power setting, and then ask, What
are you going to do? Its not something I do to scare the
individual, but rather it is an exercise to get them to think.
I require aborted takeoff training of all students with
whom I fly. Someday any one of them may experience
one in a real-time situation. A little practice may well help
them instantly recognize the situation and take immediate corrective action. I think of aborted takeoff training
much like spin training. Unless youve experienced it a
time or two, how will you instantly recognize the situation and what will you do in response?
A search of the FAA accident reports collected over the
past several years indicates the most common error committed in an aborted takeoff is loss of directional control.
Pilots encountering this situation for the first time become
baffled by the loss of power and forget to fly the airplane
back onto the runway.
The airplane, already in a nose-high, low-airspeed configuration, stalls in a second or two if no corrective action
is taken. It then drops onto the runway and bounces. At
this point the pilot is usually just along for the ride as no
action was taken to keep the airplane on the ground and
aligned with the runway. Add to that situation a good
crosswind, and its easy to see why these incidents end up
as loss of directional control followed by a ride through
the drainage ditch paralleling the runway. When the dust
settles, gear and wingtip damage usually result, along with
possible prop damage.
In that case, the landing following the aborted takeoff
results in a very expensive, time-consuming repair along
with a badly bruised ego. Sadly, the damage could probably have been prevented had the pilot had some experience with aborted takeoff training.
While sitting in a nice big easy chair reading this article,
ask yourself, What would I have done had Bobs situation

34 APRIL 2012

Vintage April 2012.indd 36

3/29/12 3:11 PM

happened to me? With time to think through the situation, it really isnt difficult. But now, visualize this scenario. You have just finished a large stack of pancakes and
four or five link sausages, talked to at least two dozen fellow pilots, and youre now ready to head home.
The fly-in breakfast was held at a small grass-strip airport with airplanes parked right up to the edge on both
sides of the runway, and there are some very large trees
that youll need to clear at the far end. Add to this a steady
crosswind. You are number three for takeoff, and there are
four more airplanes behind you just as anxious as you are
to get going. Your mind is thinking through everything
except an aborted takeoff at this point.
Having to abort a takeoff is not a common occurrence,
but it is something that should be a part of your mental
checklist every time you align your airplane with the runway centerline.
What situations might you encounter requiring an
aborted takeoff? Certainly either a silent or very roughrunning engine is cause for abandoning the takeoff. But
there are times when a deer or other wildlife may be on
the runway. I once had to abort a takeoff early one morning in South Dakota when a herd of antelope decided to
occupy the runway ahead of me just as I added full power.
Ground vehicles and other aircraft inadvertently moving onto the runway is another potential for an aborted
takeoff, especially at the smaller airports from which we
fly, but it can happen anywhere. This situation has been
defined by the FAA as a runway incursion.
I was once a passenger on a fully loaded Boeing 747 taking off from Kennedy Airport in New York. Just as the pilot
began rotation and the nose came off the ground, the engines went to full reverse. Everything in the cabin began
to shake, overhead bins opened, and luggage was flying
everywhere. My wife grabbed my arm and asked what was
happening. I remember the incident vividly to this day.
I told her to prepare for a swim as the only place for this
airplane to go was in the water. The very seasoned captain
brought the 747 to a halt well before colliding with another aircraft that had taxied partway onto our runway.
Eight hours later we were safely aboard a second aircraft
and again on our way. I found out later the 747 had blown
14 tires, required a mandatory inspection of all engine
mounts, and needed a complete change of brakes.
The steps that I have my students follow include:
Lower the nose: It is vital that you prevent a stall.
Then level, flare, and follow through as you would a normal landing.
Move the throttle to idle: In case the engine would
cough or catch for an instant. A quick burst of power for
a second or two would add a great deal of confusion and
possible loss of control of the airplane. You are committed to
landing the airplane. Do everything in your power to make
it happen with no additional surprises.
Maintain directional control: Keep flying the airplane until it comes to a complete stop. There is no sense
in damaging the airplane after you are back on the ground.

After surprising the student with one or two simulated aborted takeoffs, it becomes second nature to anticipate experiencing another whenever they fly with me.
Anticipation followed by practice creates a positive habit.
One additional exercise I like to do with students when
working in the traffic pattern is this: Every 10-15 seconds
Ill ask what they would do and where would they go if the
engine were to quit this instant:
While on climb-out
On crosswind
While turning downwind
At midpoint on downwind
While turning to base leg
This is also a good exercise for anyone. It is quite easy to
become complacent, especially when flying from the same
airport. Take a moment or two the next time you go for a
flight and ask yourself these same questions while in the
pattern. It may prevent a nonevent from becoming an incident or even an accident!
Bobs Test Flight Conclusion
After removing and disassembling the carburetor, it
was found that the needle and jet were incorrect. It was
meant for a carburetor in conjunction with a mechanical fuel pump. The head pressure for a gravity-fed system
was not great enough to allow proper fuel flow. When
the correct needle and jet were installed, no further problems were encountered.

Scan this QR code with your smartphone
or tablet device to view our complete line


Vintage April 2012.indd 37

3/29/12 3:11 PM


This months Mystery Plane comes to us from the
Kinzinger collection of the EAA library.

Send your answer to EAA, Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box

3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your answer needs to
be in no later than May 10 for inclusion in the July
2012 issue of Vintage Airplane.

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.


We enjoy your suggestions for Mystery Planein fact, more than half of
our subjects are sent to us by members, often via e-mail. Please remember that if you want to scan the photo
for use in Mystery Plane, it must be at
a resolution of 300 dpi or greater. You
may send a lower-resolution version
to us for our review, but the nal version has to be at that level of detail or
it will not print properly. Also, please
let us know where the photo came
from; we dont want to willfully violate someones copyright.

36 APRIL 2012

Vintage April 2012.indd 38

3/29/12 3:11 PM

Januarys Mystery Plane came

to us from the Kinzinger collection of the EAA Library. At the
time of its construction, it was the
largest aircraft built by this wellknown company.
Our answer comes from Larry
The January 2012 Mystery Plane is
the Cessna C-106 Loadmaster, completed and flown in January 1943. The
original Cessna designator was Engineering Project 260 or P-260. From
starting on the drawing board to first
flight took fewer than six months.
The C-106 was an attempt to
provide maximum cargo load uplift
using a minimum of strategic materials. The two-crew C-106 could
carry 2,440 pounds of cargo in 596
cubic feet of area. Empty weight was
9,000 pounds, with a maximum gross
weight of 14,000 pounds. The fuselage was fabric-covered steel tubing.
Wings and tail surfaces were plywood-covered. The only aluminum
skin was around the cockpit and the
engine nacelles. Control surfaces were
fabric. Power was provided by two
Pratt and Whitney R-134s, providing
600 hp for takeoff using two bladed
constant-speed propellers.
Two company owned P-260 prototypes were built and given the military
designations of C-106 (Civil Registration NX24176 pictured) and C106A (Civil Registration NX 44600)
for military testing. U.S. insignia on
the civilian airplanes was due to a
U.S. letter of intent, for 500 of the
200-mph airplanes. After some flight
testing, the USAAF asked for modifications, which led to the development of the C-106A, which first flew
on April 9, 1943. The C-106A had a
redesigned fuselage and cargo door,
as well as full-feathering and 10-foot
diameter Hamilton Standard threebladed propellers.
A 1943 Cessna publicity release
noted the characteristics which
would make the Loadmaster valuable
as a military cargo plane would also
make it adaptable after the war for
freight service in the high altitudes
of the Andes regions of South Amer-

ica and other points of the world. The

planes ability to take off after only a
short run would make it possible to
use them on some of the tiny landing
fields maintained by mining companies in the mountainous regions despite the thin air. They could also take
off from small fields hacked out of the

The C-106 was

an attempt to
provide maximum
cargo load
uplift using
a minimum of

jungles near rubber and banana plantations. The planes would also be useful for freight feeder service in smaller
U.S. and foreign communities.
Unfortunately the letter of intent
was canceled when the required materials (plywood) could not be acquired in suffi cient quantity to meet
production schedules. Both aircraft
were scrapped before the end of the

war. The dimensions of the C-106

and C-106A were identical, with a
wingspan of 64 feet 8 inches, a length
of 51 feet 2 inches, and a height of 11
feet 4-1/2 inches. Cheers,
Larry Knechtel,
Seattle, Washington
Wes Smith, one of our most
faithful readers and correspondents
of this column, adds this:
Curiously, the C-106 retained its civilian registration number on the tail,
but it was painted in olive drab and
gray camouflage, with the early wartime star and circle insignia, which
predates 1943, but was still often used
on civil aircraft inducted into military
use. Presumably, the registration was
painted in yellow, as were the military
serial numbers of other impressed military UC and C (i.e., utility cargo
and cargo) types. In fact, this is the
only example Ive ever seen of this (cf:
W.T. Larkins photo on the Aerofiles
website). Id have to check with Dana
Bell, but I think this is unique.
Like the Waco (unbuilt) YC-62,
the Junkers C-79 (JU-52,) and the
Stout UC-10, the Cessna C-106
and C-106A are two of the most
enigmatic types of American World
War II aircraft ever built.
Other correct answers were received from Richard Berghoff,
Butternut, Wisconsin; Thomas
Lymburn, Princeton, Minnesota;
Joe Tarafas, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Lars Gleitsmann, Anchorage, Alaska; Eiron Attwood,
Fairbanks, Alaska; Jerry W. Furnas, San Diego, California; John
Raichl and Philip J. Bales, Astoria,
Oregon; John Jack Klein, Austin, Arkansas; Gerry Mahoney,
Diamond Point, Washington; Bill
Meyer, Newport Beach, California; Ed Cook, Davie, Florida; Max
Platts, Coeur dAlene, Idaho; Peter Havriluk, Granby, Connecticut; Hillis Cunliffe, Millbrook,
Alabama; John Collett, Goodland, Kansas; Robert Ross, Pigeon,
Michigan; Wayne Muxlow, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Mike
Schulz, Norfolk, Nebraska.


Vintage April 2012.indd 39

3/29/12 3:12 PM


S o m e t h i n g t o b u y,
sell, or trade?
Classi ed Word Ads: $5.50 per 10 wor ds,
180 words maximum, with boldface lead-in
on rst line.
Classi ed Display Ads: One column wide
(2.167 inches) by 1, 2, or 3 inches high at
$20 per inch. Black and white only , and no
frequency discounts.
Adver tising Closing Dates: 10th of second
month prior to desir ed issue date (i.e., Januar y
10 is the closing date for the Mar ch issue). V AA
reser ves the right to r eject any adver tising in
conict with its policies. Rates cover one inser tion
per issue. Classified ads ar e not accepted via
phone. Payment must accompany or der. Word
ads may be sent via fax (920-426-4828) or e-mail
( using cr edit card payment
(all cards accepted). Include name on car d,
complete address, type of car d, 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.


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unmodified. PT17, A75N1, N56292.
Cont-R670, SMOH=434, TT=1720, San
Jose, Calif., 3/31/2012, Reserve $23,000. (360)8357789.


continued from page 2
us for a really fun time and some
great camaraderie. Even though
you may have never participated in
our pre-convention activities in the
past, you should feel free to come
join us in upgrading and maintaining the VAA convention facilities.
You are guaranteed to have a good
time, and you will leave with a real
sense of accomplishment. Just contact our VAA chairman of maintenance, Michael Blombach, at his
e-mail address of michael846@aol.
com so he can properly plan for
your attendance.
AirVenture planning continues at
a heightened pace. The Cubs2Oshkosh event is coming together quite
nicely, with a good number of Cub
owners making their plans to attend.
Stay up to date on the all the latest
information regarding all planned
AirVenture Piper Cub events at www.
The VAA board of directors is scheduled to meet on April 12, and we have

a laundry list of items to attend to.

The primary topics of discussion
at our spring board meeting are typically all about how we can improve
on all the offerings the VAA is engaged in that make your visit to the
Worlds Greatest Aviation Celebration the best that it can be.
VAA is about participation:
Be a member! Be a volunteer!
Be there!
Do yourself a favor and ask a
friend to join up with us.
Lets all pull in the same direction for the overall good of aviation.
Remember, we are better together. Join us and have it all.
Come share the passion!
Hope to see you at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the 60th annual celebration of flight July 23 through
July 29, 2012.

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Always Flying Aircraft Restoration, LLC:
Annual Inspections, Airframe recovering,
fabric repairs and complete restorations.
Wayne A. Forshey A&P & I.A. 740-4721481 Ohio and bordering states.
Restoration, fabric, paint, fabrications,
paperwork. With 53 completed projects,
Wacos, Moths, Champs, Lakes, Pitts etc.
Test flights and delivery. Indiana 480-2092680, www.

38 APRIL 2012

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Large Stain Glass Art Panel. Colorful antique airplanes in action. Brighten a room with light streaming through an aviation
theme piece. 3-feet long x 12-inches high. 5265751300000


Womens Jacket

Wood airplanes are handcrafted in Wisconsin. Beautiful decoration yet sturdy enough
for little hands. Pilots are removable for play.
Tri-plane 5265657300000
was $34.95


Rose colored cotton canvas jacket.

Just the right weight for spring
and summer. Biplane is embroidered on the left chest.

Mens Jacket
Lightweight cotton M-65 Jacket in
Khaki. Hood zips into collar. Pockets
are plentiful!


was $69.90


Seaplane 5265657500000

was $32.95

Monoplane 5265657400000

was $31.95
Telephone Orders: 800-843-3612
From US and Canada (All Others Call 920-426-5912)
*Shipping and handling NOT included. Major credit cards accepted. WI residents add 5% sales tax.

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Enjoy the many benets of the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association

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

Steve Nesse
2009 Highland Ave.
Albert Lea, MN 56007

George Daubner
N57W34837 Pondview Ln
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Dan Knutson
106 Tena Marie Circle
Lodi, WI 53555


Steve Bender
85 Brush Hill Road
Sherborn, MA 01770

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

Espie Butch Joyce

6257 NC 704
Madison, NC 27025

David Bennett
375 Killdeer Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648

Phil Coulson
28415 Springbrook Dr.
Lawton, MI 49065

Steve Krog
1002 Heather Ln.
Hartford, WI 53027

Jerry Brown
4605 Hickory Wood Row
Greenwood, IN 46143

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

Robert D. Bob Lumley

1265 South 124th St.
Brookfield, WI 53005

Dave Clark
635 Vestal Lane
Plainfield, IN 46168

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

S.H. Wes Schmid

2359 Lefeber Avenue
Wauwatosa, WI 53213

Robert C. Brauer
9345 S. Hoyne
Chicago, IL 60643
Gene Chase
8555 S. Lewis Ave., #32
Tulsa, OK 74137

Ronald C. Fritz
15401 Sparta Ave.
Kent City, MI 49330

E.E. Buck Hilbert

8102 Leech Rd.
Union, IL 60180

Charles W. Harris
PO Box 470350
Tulsa, OK 74147

Gene Morris
5936 Steve Court
Roanoke, TX 76262


Joe Norris

PO Box 3086, Oshkosh WI 54903-3086

Phone (920) 426-4800

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Site:

Current EAA members may join the Vintage Aircraft
Association and receive VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine
for an additional $42 per year.
EAA Membership, VINTAGE AIRPLANE magazine and one
year membership in the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $52 per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included).
(Add $7 for International Postage.)

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


John Turgyan
PO Box 219
New Egypt, NJ 08533
Ron Alexander
118 Huff Daland Circle
Griffin, GA 30223-6827

Membership Services

Tim Popp
60568 Springhaven Ct.
Lawton, MI 49065

Please submit your remittance with a check or

draft drawn on a United States bank payable in United
States dollars. Add required Foreign Postage amount
for each membership.

Membership Services
MondayFriday, 8:00 AM6:00 PM CST

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh


Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Hotline

Auto Fuel STCs


EAA Air Academy


EAA Scholarships


Library Services/Research


VAA Insurance Plan


EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan

800-853-5576 ext. 8884

EAA Hertz Rent-A-Car Program


VAA Editor/Executive Director




Copyright 2012 by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association,

All rights reserved.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN 0091-6943) is published
and owned exclusively by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association of
the Experimental Aircraft Association and is published monthly at
EAA Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Rd., PO Box 3086, Oshkosh,
Wisconsin 549023-3086, e-mail: Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of
Vintage Airplane magazine, is $42 per year for EAA members and
$52 for non-EAA members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh,
Wisconsin 54902 and at additional mailing oces. POSTMASTER:
Send address changes to Vintage Airplane, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh,
WI 54903-3086. CPC #40612608. FOREIGN AND APO ADDRESSES
Please allow at least two months for delivery of VINTAGE AIRPLANE
to foreign and APO addresses via surface mail. ADVERTISING
Vintage Aircraft Association does not guarantee or endorse any
product oered through the advertising. We invite constructive
criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained
through our advertising so that corrective measures can be taken.
EDITORIAL POLICY: Members are encouraged to submit stories
and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely
those of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests
entirely with the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material
should be sent to: Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh,
WI 54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800.
EAA and EAA SPORT AVIATION, the EAA Logo and Aeronautica are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service
marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. The use of
these trademarks and service marks without the permission of the
Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

40 APRIL 2012

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Drive one.

The 2013 Ford Taurus

The Most Innovative Full-size Sedan

The Privilege of Partnership

The new Ford Taurus delivers more of what large sedan customers
really want for the 2013 model year better fuel economy with the
advanced 2.0 liter EcoBoostTM, more technology, design renement,
improved craftsmanship and enhanced driving dynamics keeps Taurus
a rolling showcase of technology leadership. The new Taurus builds on
a legacy of safety, as the current model earned an Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick rating.

EAA members are eligible for special pricing on Ford Motor Company
vehicles through Fords Partner Recognition Program. To learn more
on this exclusive opportunity for EAA members to save on a new
Ford vehicle, please visit


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