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Midwestern Winters and Monocoupes

T he holidays have come

and gone, and here’s hop-

ing each of you experi-

enced a wonderful and

joyous Christmas season.

Happy New Year to you all as well. The holidays were especially excep- tional for my family. I am blessed with the fact that nearly all of my immediate and extended family live reasonably close by, and therefore the farthest travel we must endure during the holidays is to the in-laws, who mostly live within a couple of hours of our home. I am especially blessed with the fact that my three grandboys are a mere 20 minutes from my home. Here’s hoping that 2010 will be yet another grand year for all of aviation, as well as aviators. The year 2009 was a remarkably busy time for your Vintage Aircraft Association. A lot was accomplished during the year, including the new Vintage Hangar on the AirVenture grounds in Oshkosh and a much improved business relationship with EAA. A lot of work remains ahead as we continue to improve on the benefits of being a member of the Vintage Aircraft Association. The winter solstice has passed, and we are now in my favorite time of the year, where the days are fi- nally beginning to get a little lon- ger, rather than shorter. This is a really good sign that we may ac- tually have a spring sometime this year. Old Man Winter has really been barking at us here in North- east Indiana. The winds and low temps have been especially brutal so far. Oh, how I long for those

days of having the fresh-air breezes blowing in through the open doors of the hangar. I think I’ll have a lot of icicles to deal with before that happens again. I realize that I make it sound like there is no fun at all in aviation through the winter months, and of course this is not actually true. There is the sensational Skiplane Fly-In at EAA’s Pioneer Airport ev- ery January. This fly-in also serves as a birthday celebration for EAA’s first lady, Audrey Poberezny. This year’s event is scheduled for Janu- ary 23, 2010. By now you have all had the op- portunity to review the newly re- vised format of the January issue of Sport Aviation magazine, EAA’s flagship publication. I am confi- dent that this new format will be well-accepted by the membership as a significant enhancement of this publication. My hat is off to everyone at EAA who had a hand in this giant step forward in improv- ing Sport Aviation. It is exceptional in all areas when compared to similar magazines, aviation or oth- erwise. Congratulations to the lead- ership as well as the staff members who had a hand in this remarkable enhancement. Speaking of publications, be sure to check out the VAA’s relatively new e-newsletter. It’s easy to sub- scribe to, and it is chock-full of in- teresting news items relevant to the vintage aircraft movement. Simply go to and you’ll see a hyperlink near the top of the page to subscribe.

This past fall saw a lot of activ- ity at the Vintage Chapter 37 Han- gar here at home. With the Harold Neumann Monocoupe now back in the hangar, we have renewed our efforts to see this project through. We are now re-installing the in- terior in the fuselage and are also busy with installing the fully re- stored instrument panel and the skylight assembly. We are planning another visit to Oshkosh sometime this winter to prep and paint the one-piece wing assembly. We are finally approaching the end of our hangar addition here in Auburn, Indiana. I know, I have probably mentioned this in at least two or three other columns, but in actuality, by the time you read this column it will be officially com- pleted. Stop and see us if you get anywhere close to KGWB in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We would be happy to show it off to our fellow VAA/EAA members. Remember, it’s time to run your checklist and buckle your seat belts, because 2010 is shaping up to be yet another exciting year for the Vintage Aircraft Association. VAA is about participation: Be a member! Be a volunteer! Be there! Let’s all pull in the same direc- tion for the good of aviation. Re- member, we are better together. Join us and have it all. Come share the passion! See you at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh—July 26-August 1, 2010.

together. Join us and have it all. Come share the passion! See you at EAA AirVenture


Vol. 38, No. 1



IFC Straight & Level


EAA Publisher

Tom Poberezny

Director of EAA Publications

Mary Jones

Executive Director/Editor

H.G. Frautschy

Production/Special Project

Kathleen Witman


Jim Koepnick

Bonnie Kratz

Advertising Coordinator

Sue Anderson

Classified Ad Coordinator

Lesley Poberezny

Copy Editor

Colleen Walsh

Director of Advertising

Katrina Bradshaw

Display Advertising Representatives:

Specialized Publications Co.

U.S. Eastern Time Zone-Northeast: Ken Ross 609-822-3750 Fax: 609-957-5650

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Midwestern Winters and Monocoupes by Geoff Robison


A Biplane Dream Comes True

Earning her ticket in an RNF by Andy Heins

What’s the Story With That Prop?

Jim Nelson’s 250 Comanche by Budd Davisson

One Harlow’s Hallowed Family History

From grandfather to grandson by Sparky Barnes Sargent

My Friend Albert Vollmecke

Part I: His early career by Robert G. Lock

Light Plane Heritage

The Powell Racer by Jack McRae

Mystery Plane

by H.G. Frautschy

The Vintage Mechanic

Instrument systems by Robert G. Lock

Type Clubs

Classified Ads













FRONT COVER: Jim Nelson’s Piper PA-24 Comanche is one of those neat airplanes that at first glance you may miss the many fascinating details that make up this modi- fied family speedster. Read all about it in Budd Davisson’s article beginning on page 7. EAA photo by Bonnie Kratz. BACK COVER: The Harlow PJC-2 is often referred to as a “Baby Spartan.” They are both professor/student aircraft projects from a time when that type of arrange- ment created some of the greatest aircraft of the past century. Read about this res- toration by Matt Malkin of Seattle, Washington, in Sparky Barnes Sargent’s article starting on page 12. Photo by Gilles Auillard.


VDER Update

Since the announcement earlier this year that the FAA was creating an addition to the designated engineering representative (DER) program administered by the regional aircraft certification offices (ACO), the VAA has spoken or written to more than three dozen members interested in applying to become a DER. During our conversations, it’s become clear there are some misconceptions regarding the qualifications needed to be appointed a vintage DER (VDER). The VDER program is a specific designation under the umbrella

o f t h e D E R p r o g r a m — t h e

qualifications needed for becoming

a VDER are nearly identical to

those needed for being appointed

a DER by the FAA. It isn’t a “DER

light” program, nor does it create

a new program for those who

have no engineering expertise. That’s not to say the appointment can’t be made if someone is not an engineer; it simply means applicants must prove their expertise to be considered for the appointment. As stated in the Vintage DER Checklist, “The intent of the authority is to allow individuals who don’t meet the conventional DER appointment criteria to become VDERs with limited approval authority in multiple technical specialties for repairs and/or alterations of specific makes of vintage airplanes and/or engines.” It is intended to allow a person who has both real-world maintenance experience with a specific vintage aircraft type and

the appropriate level of engineering expertise to create engineering- related data that is acceptable to the ACO. The goal of the program

is to streamline the data-creation

process, shortening the time

2 JANUARY 2010

needed to gain an FAA approval for modification or repair data. That data still needs to be engineering-based, with a good dose of real-world maintenance added into the mix so that the data can be applied to subsequent work done on similar aircraft. An example of an ideal candidate for a VDER appointment would be an engineer who has been working with a particular type club on its

vintage aircraft, but who perhaps is currently only an “airframe DER”

or something similar.

VDER applicants’ educational background would have both maintenance and engineering components; a person with an aircraft maintenance engineering

degree would be a good candidate,

as would an aeronautical engineer

who is actively involved in type club maintenance-related activities. Another good candidate would be an airframe and powerplant

m e c h a n i c w i t h i n s p e c t i o n

authorization as well as engineering

expertise who has been regularly creating data the flight standards district office (FSDO)/ACO find acceptable without additional engineering work. Without a formal engineering degree, applicants must show the FAA they have the engineering expertise to generate the data. An example would be someone without a formal engineering degree who has worked with his local FSDO and ACO to create data related to field approvals. If his engineering work has been shown to be acceptable to the FAA, that experience can be used to show compliance with the requirements for a VDER appointment. The FAA can then choose to, upon his or her application, add a VDER designation to the appointment when the applicant can show that he or she has

engineering expertise to deal with the changes related to that type of vintage airplane.

I hope that helps explain the

expectations of the FAA with regard to the experience and educational

r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r a V D E R appointment. If you’d like to review the material concerning becoming

a VDER, you can read our checklist,

created in cooperation with the FAA, at der_checklist.pdf.

An Airport Christmas (Valley) Story

The airfield at the wonderfully named Christmas Valley, Oregon, is

not a facility one would think would

be in the center of a national aviation

debate. The airport has only five

taxiways leading to a single airstrip, primarily used by homeowners with their private aircraft hangared adjacent to their houses. EAA came to the aid of those aviators, however, when their airport access was threatened by

a new FAA policy announced

through a Compliance Guidance Letter issued on September 30, 2009. The letter outlined a policy that would eliminate “through-the- fence” (TTF) operations at publicly owned or financed airports. TTF

operations, prior to the letter’s date, were defined as those where the owner of a public airport permits access to the public landing area by residential homeowners with aircraft based on land adjacent to the airport and/or commercial operators offering an aeronautical activity. However, the new policy clearly stated, “Under no circumstances is the FAA to support any ‘through-the-fence’ agreement associated with residential use…”

T h i s p o l i c y — w h i c h w a s

forwarded to EAA and other associations for comment in mid-October, two weeks after its issuance—would severely restrict

private individuals, businesses, and emergency services from direct access to airports adjacent to their property. EAA immediately stepped in to defend aviation access for airports where TTF operations provide economic benefits and more to both a community and an aviation facility. Meanwhile, the residents at Christmas Valley found themselves in a quandary. FAA’s new policy would cut off access from the airfield where they had specifically purchased homes because of the airport access. EAA members at that airport contacted staff headquarters in Oshkosh to get help sorting out their options. In early October, EAA wrote to the FAA, stating how the new policy would effectively shut out Christmas Valley residents, the area’s primary airport users, which could eventually lead to the airport’s closure. This is just one example of hundreds of similar situations throughout the nation that shows how restricting TTF access could threaten an airport’s future. EAA staff asked members to join them in reviewing the FAA’s document and to post their comments at Oshkosh365 ( www. Oshkosh365.or g). These comments will be considered when EAA submits its official response, emphasizing a long-standing policy that promises to consider all local factors when determining whether to allow TTF operations at airports. For example, the Oshkosh365 online network showcases a home video produced by a couple in nearby Creswell, Oregon, whose home adjacent to Hobby Field includes a hangar for their aircraft. The video personifies the everyday aviators who use airport access as much as most of us use driveways for our cars and trucks. EAA’s efforts have already produced at least one piece of good news. On November 19, EAA received a letter from the FAA’s acting associate administrator for

airports, Catherine Lang, stating the agency would work with local authorities at Christmas Valley to better reflect its public purpose. Currently, previous TTF residential operations can remain, preserving homeowner access at the field. But this issue is far from settled nationwide. EAA staff and members will continue to work toward allowing airport access nationwide wherever it reasonably makes sense to develop aviation facilities. Your input is welcome as part of these efforts to promote aviation participation and to support the flying community.

The Final Word

By Earl Lawrence, EAA Vice President of Industry and Regulatory Affairs The FAA released a new Airport Compliance Manual, or FAA Order 5190.6, this past October. The document went from an original 94 pages to 691 pages! This policy covers the compliance items an airport must meet to qualify for federal funding of airport improvements. This funding comes from fuel taxes paid by pilots and aircraft owners like you. EAA contends FAA Order 5190.6B was issued without appropriate public input that would have helped facilitate broad community acceptance. Not only was there a lack of public input in the development of the vastly expanded policy, but the FAA also published the revision with an immediately effective date. Knowing the potential damage this policy change will have on thousands of airport managers, business operators, and pilots, EAA believes it’s only proper for the FAA to have a process for public review and comment. Making the situation worse, the FAA made the statement, “Under no circumstances is the FAA to support any ‘through-the- fence’ agreement associated with residential use….” It made that statement with the knowledge

that thousands of pilots and aircraft owners live in homes with TTF access, and that the general- aviation community is particularly passionate about the dream of living near or with their aircraft. The FAA listed many reasons why it believes you should not have clear access to a public airport, but EAA believes that each issue noted could be easily addressed. I n s t e a d o f f i g h t i n g T T F activities, I think the FAA should actively support such activity and work with communities to develop standardized criteria on how such agreements can be made while protecting the safety and viability of our nation’s public airports. What do you say? Share your comments in the Hangar Talk forum on .

It’s Electr(on)ic! EAA Offers More E-Newsletters

Two new electronic newsletters have joined the EAA family of publications: Briefing was launched in November for EAA Warbirds of America members and warbirds lovers, while Light Plane World, for ultralight and lightplane enthusiasts, launched in early December. Still to come is an as- yet unnamed publication for the International Aerobatic Club and aerobatic enthusiasts. Other e-publications include:

Experimenter, for homebuilt aircraft enthusiasts; Vintage Aircraft Online, for members of the Vintage Aircraft Association; Aviation Insider, the Young Eagles e-newsletter; Reach for the Sky, for those interested in learning to fly; Bits and Pieces, the e-newsletter for Canada; and E-Hotline, EAA’s flagship weekly e-newsletter, which reaches 90,000 members weekly. It’s easy to subscribe to EAA e-publications. Simply visit www. and select from the menu which titles you wish to receive.

Simply visit www. and select from the menu which titles you wish to receive. VINTAGE

A Biplane Dream

Comes True

Earning her ticket in an RNF


T his story begins in the spring of 2003 when I became acquainted w i t h a w o n d e r f u l woman, Susan Theo- dorelos, who possessed

a zest for life. Over the coming

months, we could always be found at the airport or a fly-in, which, looking back, shouldn’t be too sur- prising; she’s always been pursuing adventure in one form or another. Susan grew up the daughter of a naval aviator, moving frequently from city to city and country to country. She always maintained an interest in flying because of her father. She even collected airplane photos and built models. After re- ceiving her undergraduate degree, like her father, she joined the U.S.

Navy, rising to the rank of lieuten- ant commander until she left the service in February 1993. Following her tour in the Navy, she went back to school and obtained her law de- gree. Upon graduation, she secured

a position with the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson in Dayton, Ohio. Over that first summer, Susan had the opportunity to ride in nu-

merous antique aircraft and quickly developed a love for antique open- cockpit biplanes. Her favorite ride of the year was at Brodhead, Wiscon- sin, in a 1930 Waco RNF owned by John Livesay of Pana, Illinois. She remarked to me after the flight, “If I ever had a chance to buy a biplane, an RNF would be my first choice.” She loved to fly, both as pas- senger and as a pilot. She was a natural. Finally I asked, “So why haven’t you ever learned to fly?” She stopped and thought about it for a few moments and simply an- swered, “I guess I never really con- sidered it.” The very next sentence was, “How do I start?” I explained what she should do in order to get the best training; she needed to go to Red Stewart Airfield in Waynesville, Ohio, and fly either its Piper J-3 Cub or its Aeronca 7AC Champ. As far as I’m concerned, if you learn tailwheel flying to begin with, everything else is easy. My bi- ased opinion is that it makes you a better pilot, as you truly learn how to control the airplane. I also had only one choice for an in- structor, Emerson Stewart, son of

owner “Cubby” Stewart. Emerson has grown up in tailwheel airplanes and is a local air show pilot, known for his amazing dead-stick routine in his Citabria. Susan began instruction in the Aeronca 7AC in June of 2003. Over the summer she took lessons pri- marily in the Champ but also a few in the J-3. By late fall she was close to solo, but then the typical Ohio bad weather hit. She did not resume flying again until Septem- ber 2004, and on October 7, 2004, she soloed the Aeronca 7AC with a total of 13.2 hours logged. It was a dream realized, and Susan returned with a smile on her face and tears of happiness in her eyes. Her very first thought was to make an excited phone call to her father, the Navy pilot. Naturally, he was extremely proud and was always keen to hear how her lessons were going and what flying adventures we had. She was able to make a few more solo flights before winter once again stepped in and stopped her flying. While at EAA AirVenture Osh- kosh 2005, we received bad news. Susan’s father had been hospital-

Our two Wacos, a 1935 Waco YKC-S, NC14620, and a 1930 Waco RNF, NC663Y. Susan’s

Our two Wacos, a 1935 Waco YKC-S, NC14620, and a 1930 Waco RNF, NC663Y.

a 1935 Waco YKC-S, NC14620, and a 1930 Waco RNF, NC663Y. Susan’s bright red and yellow

Susan’s bright red and yellow Waco RNF.

ized while visiting friends in At- lanta. Sadly, after a successful operation, her father suddenly col- lapsed and died. It was after the fu- neral that Susan made a decision. She would finish her flying, and she would do it in a biplane. Not just any biplane, but a Waco RNF, if she could find one for sale. The search began, but there were not many for sale. In fact, there were only two out of the 21 still flyable that were being offered. We contacted one of the sellers, Pam Cooley, and made arrangements to come inspect the airplane. Pam and I had been friends for nearly 20 years. Pam had purchased the airplane as a complete basket case in 1991 and completed the resto- ration in 1994. Susan and I went to look at the airplane and a deal was quickly sealed. Best of all, Pam agreed to deliver it! Fast-forward to October 28, 2005. Susan and a host of friends were

there patiently waiting with all eyes strained toward the east. Soon, Su- san heard the distinctive sound of a radial engine and quickly spotted the RNF in the distance. As the RNF entered the pattern, I looked over at Susan, and tears were streaming down her cheeks. She was simply overcome with emotion that this was truly happening. Pam circled around and set up for landing. Just as she was on short final I heard the power come in, and she flew it down the runway in a nice pass for all to enjoy. Susan was beyond giddy. After zipping around the pat- tern again, the Waco gently glided down to a perfect wheel landing on the pavement, and as the tail came down it rolled to a stop. Pam taxied the RNF over to the hangar and shut down. As Pam climbed down from the cockpit, Susan gave her a big hug and a heartfelt “thank you!” Pam laughed and then said, “If you have changed your mind let me know,

because this was a ball, and I’m will- ing to take it back.” To which Susan replied, “No way, it’s my airplane now!” We all had a great laugh and pushed the Waco into the hangar and opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the arrival. We were only able to make a few flights in the RNF prior to bad win- ter weather setting in. As spring 2006 arrived, Susan resumed her flying lessons. She became reac- quainted with the Aeronca Champ and quickly soloed again. We then had her go to the Piper J-3 to get used to not being able to see for- ward, especially when taxiing. She soloed the Cub in 6.8 hours on March 30, 2006. Susan flew it solo several times, and then we moved her to the Waco. After 5.6 hrs of dual instruction in the Waco she so- loed on May 21, 2006. At this point in time, over a three-year span, Su- san had a grand total of 29.7 hours logged and had soloed three differ- ent types of airplanes. She was now in command of her own little red biplane, and she never looked back. She could be found nearly every night at the airport either taking a lesson or flying around by herself. Over the next three years Susan spent a lot of time flying the RNF. In fact, just one month after soloing the Waco, she led a four-ship for- mation of Wacos on a short cross- country flight to the National Waco Club reunion! She continued to get 90-day signoffs to remain current, but she just didn’t take that last step to finish. What she dreaded most was having to fly something else besides her little Waco to ac- complish the requirements for ra- dio work and instrument and night flying. Finally, she had to relent and go fly a nosewheel airplane, a Cessna 152. Over this past summer she completed all the remaining requirements and now faced the checkride. The previous summer Susan had spoken to a local exam- iner, Martha Lunken, a local legend in her own right, about the possi- bility of using the Waco RNF for her checkride. Martha seemed to think

The Cub proved to be helpful as Susan transitioned to an airplane with less vis-

The Cub proved to be helpful as Susan transitioned to an airplane with less vis- ibility over the nose.

“So why haven’t you ever learned to fly?” She stopped and thought about it for a few moments and simply answered, “I guess I never really considered it How do I start?”

“I guess I never really considered it How do I start?” Andy, Susan, and the flying

Andy, Susan, and the flying Corgi, Maggie.

that might be possible and told Susan to call when she was ready. With her requirements completed and 206 hours now in her logbook, Susan called Martha. True to her word, Martha agreed to do the en- tire checkride in the Waco! Now all we had to do was wait for weather. October 20 was the day, and we awoke to blue skies with scattered clouds. The only issue was going to be the winds, which were fore- cast at 12 knots gusting to 20 knots from the south-southwest, mean- ing a direct crosswind to our east- west runway. Obviously we both

direct crosswind to our east- west runway. Obviously we both Susan soloed in this Champ. were

Susan soloed in this Champ.

were concerned, but Susan felt she could handle the situation. I, my- self, was having sympathy check- ride pains and was feeling nervous! Soon Susan disappeared and began the oral with Martha. After an hour or so they returned to the hangar to commence the flight. She was still smiling, and the crowd was growing bigger. They climbed into the Waco after the preflight, and I propped the airplane. The first thing Martha said over the battery- operated intercom was, “I love that smell!” They taxied out and quickly disappeared to the west. After an hour or so of pacing back and forth in the hangar and trying to keep busy, we heard a ra- dial engine entering the pattern. The winds had not died down, and we all stood out front to watch the

landing. Susan turned final, slipped down, and gently touched at the ap- proach end to the runway, rolling only about 50 feet before coming to a stop. As they taxied up to the hangar, I saw my wife was all smiles. Martha was smiling too and obvi- ously was having a good time. As they climbed down from the Waco, Martha declared that the little RNF was a fine-flying airplane, and she commented on how well Susan flew it. She remarked that of all the checkrides she has given over the years, this had to be one of the best, with maybe only her P-51 Mustang checkout beating this one. Needless to say, Susan was ecstatic, and she should be. She certainly has to be one of the only female pilots alive who can say she took her checkride in a 1930 Waco RNF!

has to be one of the only female pilots alive who can say she took her

What’s the Story With That Prop?

Jim Nelson’s 250 Comanche

I f you stood at the end of Row 91 on the EAA Air- Venture Oshkosh grounds, where Jim Nelson had his Comanche parked,

you could absolutely count on people’s reactions to it. They’d be walking along and casually glance over at Jim’s airplane. Maybe they’d smile slightly at its pleasing appearance. They’d be in the process of continuing to the next airplane, when they’d catch a glimpse of the Coman- che’s prop, do a double-take wor- thy of a vaudeville comedian, grab the sleeve of the guy next to them, and make a beeline for


the prop card, hoping it would explain what they were seeing.

They’d be staring at the unique “flaps” hanging off the back of each of the blades, with a thought balloon over their head that said,

“What the

It’s a shame that the unusual prop, which we’ll explain later, overshadows many of the more subtle details on what is a very subtle airplane. The airplane, a ’62 Comanche 250, is also unique in that it has never been restored. At least not in the conventional sense of the word. It hasn’t spent years in a hangar, having every single piece of skin and mechanism mas-



saged, straightened, caressed, and painted within an inch of its life. In fact, it is one of those airplanes that midway in its life, its new owner, Jim Nelson, most recently of Spearfish, South Dakota, started on such a long string of continual upgrades that the airplane never reached the point that it actually needed restoring. It has been “in progress” for so long, more than 20 years, that although the years went past, they never caught up with it. Even though it is 47 years old, it never spent a single day abandoned on the back tie-down line being ignored. It is just a good old airplane that was kept flying.

Jim is retired from several careers, the first being a U.S. Air Force naviga- tor who, among other things, spent much of the Cold War in an RB-47 snuggled up against the borders of countries such as China and Russia. He said, “I went in the Air Force in ’51 and stayed in for over 31 years, almost a third of it as aircrew, first on B-29s in Korea, then KC-97s, RB- 47s and finally, AC-47 gunships and C-47, flareships in Vietnam. I was fortunate enough to be involved in the ‘engine wars,’ where there was

a major amount of engine develop-

ment going on in qualifying the en- gines that would be powering the F-15, F-16, B-1, and B-2 bombers, to name just a few. What made it re-

ally fun was that, as deputy for pro- pulsion, my systems program office (SPO) managed those engine pro- grams for aircraft programs. Plus it was during the Reagan years, when there was plenty of defense budget to go around. When I got out in ’84

I almost immediately went to work

for General Electric in their aircraft engines group. I also spent some years on the board of Allison Ad- vanced Development Co., as well as doing some consulting work for the USAF on jet engine development and management. “I started pilot training in the Forbes AFB aero club, gaining my license in 1959. I flew in aero clubs at several other bases, gaining time in a variety of single-engine air- craft. I’d spend eight hours in an RB-47 training for overseas deploy-

8 JANUARY 2010

ments, then transition the next day into a Cub or an Aeronca. They also had Cessnas, Mooneys, Bonanzas, T-34s, and the Comanches. “Forbes is where I first flew in, and fell in love with, the Coman- che. I’d fly my family all over the place in them and especially liked that it was a fast, efficient hauler that was also pretty hard to load out of CG limits. “I bought my first airplane a little

over 21 years ago, and it was this very same Comanche, serial number 24- 3158, built in the last half of 1962. It was sitting in Cincinnati, and it was definitely nothing special. It was just a good, old, very sound airplane, with 1,100 hours on the engine. I bought it knowing that my goal was to update it where needed and make

it very much ‘my’ airplane.

“Much of what I was doing professionally at the time was en- gineering oriented, and I was con-

stantly solving problems and trying to be more efficient with our pro- pulsion projects. But those were huge projects, and even though I was in management, they weren’t ‘mine.’ The Comanche was going to be mine, pure and simple. I had

a whole series of things I wanted to

do to it, but I was in no hurry (nei- ther was our budget!). They would get done, when their time came, although in truth, by the time I got to some of the updates, it was time to redo some of the earlier ones. For instance, even though I’ve owned the airplane over 21 years and



Jim Nelson and his wife Ruth.

have been updating it constantly the whole time, I’ve done the in- strument panel three times, as I changed direction or new equip- ment was introduced. “The airplane was based at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, where I was working at GE. At the time, 1987, Dennis Walter, now at Clermont County Airport, Sporty’s home base, had his shop at Lunken and installed a new interior for me. At the same time we shaped the seats for more comfort. I did a little panel work at that time, but only to get rid of the old autopilot and add a new DG. “The airplane was never down for any long period of time, but we were constantly doing something to it, so it’s a little hard to put all of the modifications in order.


CRAIG VANDERKOLK PHOTOS The late Roy LoPresti spent a lot of time engineering revisions to the
CRAIG VANDERKOLK PHOTOS The late Roy LoPresti spent a lot of time engineering revisions to the

The late Roy LoPresti spent a lot of time engineering revisions to the Comanche to make it even faster. The changes include a new cowling with full-length nose wheel door and door motor, flap track fairings, flap gap seals, horizontal stabilator mass balance, and counterweights. The modification to the Hartzell propeller with the very noticeable trailing edge extensions, or flaps, is also a LoPresti design, manufactured by Hartzell.

“…those were huge projects, and even though I was in management, they weren’t ‘mine.’ The Comanche was going to be mine, pure and simple.”

“Shortly after the interior was in- stalled, copper wiring replaced the aluminum wiring of that era’s Co- manches, followed by a full panel of King radios and Johnston wing- tips. Those were specially shaped to flare upwards just enough to let the wingtip vortices spill around the wing in such a way that it im- proved the tip vortex action and, especially, aileron sensitivity. The tips also had the running lights faired into them. That was the first of many little changes we made with the goal of reducing drag and improving performance. “Drag reduction was why we changed the gear legs from the double-fork units to the single-fork ones. On the double-fork legs, the

units to the single-fork ones. On the double-fork legs, the The Johnston wingtips are specially shaped

The Johnston wingtips are specially shaped to flare upwards to allow the wingtip vortices to spill around the wing so that aileron sensitivity is enhanced.

around the wing so that aileron sensitivity is enhanced. Many pilots see the Piper Comanche as

Many pilots see the Piper Comanche as one of the sleekest four-place airplanes ever built in its original form. The design has lent itself well to modifications that enhance the already good performance of the low-wing four-place speedster.

CRAIG VANDERKOLK PHOTOS The new medium/light blue interior with sculpted seats keeps a vintage ‘60s


CRAIG VANDERKOLK PHOTOS The new medium/light blue interior with sculpted seats keeps a vintage ‘60s feel

The new medium/light blue interior with sculpted seats keeps a vintage ‘60s feel to the airplane, while a neatly installed suite of modern avionics keeps the airplane up to date in modern airspace.

brake assemblies and part of the fork hang out into the airflow. The 337 for the installation requires some wing rib doublers for the sin- gle-fork installation and results in the brake assemblies and fork being completely retracted into the wheel wells, with a much cleaner lower- wing surface resulting. I also took the airplane to Webco in Newton, Kansas, for installation of half-inch glass all around during this period.” Even though he spent a lot of time working on the airplane, it flew more than it sat, and he and his wife and family thought noth- ing of crossing the country in it. “It was on one of those trips, when the engine was just about

10 JANUARY 2010

at TBO, 2,000 hours, when we de- cided it was time we overhaul it. Living in Prescott, Arizona, at the time and operating often at 11,000- 15,000 feet in the Arizona, Colo- rado, Utah, New Mexico areas, it was taking higher power settings to maintain speed and altitude. We figured since we were going to have to do the engine, we might as well do several other needed improve- ments, which we had planned to eventually do to the airplane and make it as efficient as possible.” When talking about “efficiency” of an airplane, that is another way of saying it’ll be made to go faster without adding any more horse- power so the miles per gallon go up.

More speed, same fuel burn. And with a Piper Comanche that meant the obvious: LoPresti speed mods. “While completing the engine overhaul at Arizona Air-Craftsman in 1998 and knowing my two-bladed prop was not going to pass the new AD for that series, we installed the LoPresti-designed, Hartzell-built, three-bladed, swept propeller (scimi- tar shape) and Comanche 260 engine counterweights to allow operation to 2700 rpm versus the Comanche 250 operating limits of 2550 rpm. The prop also has trailing edge ‘flaps’ to provide some additional ram air into the LoPresti cowl, which had yet to be installed. “In the spring of 1999, I took the airplane from Prescott to Vero Beach, where Roy LoPresti had his speed mod operation and had him do his cowl modification program on the airplane. That included his cowling with full-length nose wheel door and door motor, flap track fairings, flap gap seals, horizontal stabilator mass balance, and counterweights. “Everyone comments on the shape of the prop blades,” Jim said. “They are scimitar shaped to cut down the local Mach number in the airflow at the tips so they are further from going transonic, which makes them more efficient and quieter. The little trailing edge flaps were devel- oped by LoPresti, and his tests show that besides increasing the manifold pressure by nearly an inch because of the airflow pulses into the induc- tion system, the cowl design evens out the airflow across the cylinders. This provides better cooling and con- sistent cylinder head temperatures. When we’re flying, it warms up quickly, curing the takeoff and climb to just below redline [problem], then, no matter what we’re doing—cruis- ing, maneuvering, holding, letting down, whatever—the CHT tempera- tures stay relatively stable.” “This is the entire LoPresti pack- age, and it works. This airplane originally only did 176 mph against the factory-claimed 180 mph at cruise power, which many Coman- ches did achieve. I caution anyone

that they need to carefully cali- brate what their airplane will do in its original form before doing any modifications. I had calibrated the true airspeed annually over the 12 years I had owned it before modi- fication. I have similarly calibrated the true airspeed many times since modification and am confident in the 10-14 mph increase in TAS for my airplane. I have seen, on the oc- casion of a very calm fall or winter day, with close to standard atmo- sphere, TAS of 190-plus at 8,000 feet. However, I am typically in the range of 185-190. Recently, for ex- ample, I cruised consistently at 188 mph at normal power settings at 7,000-9,000 from Spearfish, South Dakota, to Kansas City, then to At- lanta and return. We went after this as an engineering project and care- fully calibrated everything, so we know that the 185-188 mph we’re

now seeing at cruise is real, as is the flat-out top end of 193-195 mph. So we actually did improve the perfor- mance a significant amount with no change in fuel burn per hour.” Since he was doing major things to the airframe, it seemed like a good time to do the panel again. “The instrument panel was done in bits and pieces going all the way back to the beginning, but the trend was to make it more mod- ern, which, considering that I was brought up on steam gauges, meant working in more glass and an S-TEC 30 autopilot, which required installation of a gyro-stabilized fluxgate heading system, with the autopilot itself done in two stages. We went through a King 135, then

a Garmin 300 and a Sandel EFIS.

I also replaced the King 155 radio


with an SL30. I have just added a Garmin 496, yoke-mounted, that is tied into the Garmin 300 and rep- licates the 300 output to the San- del, but also provides weather and terrain information. This combina- tion now comes close to the capa- bilities of a Garmin 430. “When you start playing with avionics, you never actually finish. We did put the Sandel EFIS right in the middle of the instrument ‘T’ where it’s in the center of your scan. But, who knows? I may yet change that again. “I have also installed an electric horizon as a backup to the vacuum horizon. In the many panel modifica- tions, we also moved the engine in- struments to the pilot’s side and put the mechanical CDI/glide slope on the right side, because the Sandel pro- vides an electronic CDI/glide slope. After the stint at LoPresti’s, the air- frame was definitely beginning to ac- quire a “work in progress” look as the various panels, including the cowl- ing, were still in primer. Plus, other than the speed mods, nothing had been done to the airplane to improve its cosmetics. It was time for a paint job to replace the 1982 Imron. “We took the airplane down to Arizona Aeropainting in Eloy, Ari- zona, in 2000 to have it stripped and painted. After stripping we found some prior repairs under the old paint that we didn’t think had been done very well. So, I took the unpainted airplane to Chan- dler Aviation, in Chandler, Arizona, where we installed some new wing skins and several new wing ribs to provide a virgin surface for the new fasteners. We also replaced some skin on the horizontal stabilator to

assure all structure was sound be- fore painting. “We also replaced the ‘coffee can’ air scoop on the top of the fu- selage with a Comanche 260 ven- tral fin and air scoop and removed the rotating beacon on top of the fuselage replacing it with a Whelen three-light system. Finally, we added Knots 2U wing-root fairings and a small nose wheel. We then returned the aircraft to Eloy to fin- ish the painting. The airframe itself was pretty clean, no corrosion, so by replacing the questionable skins, and doing an excellent strip and paint job, we wound up with a re- ally clean airframe. “We primed it and top-coated with Matterhorn White Jet Glo trimmed with Fighter Blue and Flight Red Acry Glo paints. That was nine years ago, and the paint has held up beautifully, without crack- ing, chipping, rough spots, etc.” As he stood back and looked at his airplane Jim came to an inescap- able conclusion, “From both a per- formance and an appearance point of view, there’s really not much else we can do to it. And when I look at the instrument panel, I can’t help but smile: This airplane has avionics capability (GPS, moving map, etc.) that was unknown to us when fly- ing the polar areas in RB-47s to get to the positions needed to gain the elec- tronic reconnaissance data needed to program equipment in our B-47 and B-52 bombers during the Cold War. In fact, in looking back, I’d have to say that we were working with some pretty crude equipment, although it was the most advanced available at that time. Even though we had ra- dar, electro-mechanical navigation computers, and such, we still did a lot of celestial navigation over the polar areas. “I’d also have to say that I’m really pleased with the way the Coman- che has turned out. It’s everything I’d hoped it would be. However, I saw the new-generation Garmin at a booth a few minutes ago and….” After more than 21 years, why should he stop updating now?

at a booth a few minutes ago and….” After more than 21 years, why should he

One Harlow’s

From grandfather to grandson


M att Malkin of Seattle, Washington, is a dou- bly fortunate young man. First, he inherited

his grandfather’s rare airplane, and second, his wife, Wendy, is happy to hop in the 1940 Harlow PJC-2 and fly with him. Last fall, the cou- ple attended the AAA annual fly-in in Blakesburg, Iowa. Matt’s PJC-2 turned many a head during the long weekend, and for quite a few, it was their first time seeing an air- worthy Harlow. The Harlow is a unique airplane in that it was the successful result of a class project. Just imagine de- signing and building a full-scale air- plane as a college student, guided by the expertise of Professor Har- low, who had real-world experi-

12 JANUARY 2010

ence as an aircraft engineer. The first model was the PJC-1, followed by the PJC-2, which incorporated a larger rudder and vertical stabilizer. Being similar in appearance to the Spartan Executive, yet smaller in stature, the PJC-2 has sometimes been called the “baby Spartan.” Eleven PJC-2s were built prior to the United States’ active engage- ment in World War II; today, there are only six listed on the FAA regis- try, one of which is in the EAA Air- Venture Museum.

Engineer Max

Max B. Harlow was a Stanford University aeronautical engineer- ing graduate who started using his engineering skills in 1928. He was chief engineer, or design engineer,

for aircraft companies such as Secu- rity National Aircraft Corp. of Van Nuys, California, and Kinner Air- plane & Motor Corp. Ltd. of Glen- dale, California. Harlow had his hand in a variety of projects for Lockheed, Kinner (Sportster K and Envoy C-7), Northrop, and Douglas (DC-2), as well as providing input on the Hughes H-1 Racer. Harlow began his professorial aeronautical career at Pasadena Junior College (PJC) in 1935. He soon persuaded admin- istrators to allow his aeronautical students to design and build an air- plane—the all-metal PJC-1—under his direct supervision. The students embarked upon the rather unusual project in late 1936. According to the Pasadena City College (formerly Pasadena Junior College) website


Family History

( missing/harlow/harlow.cfm), the first step was building an experimental plywood mock-up of the fuselage, which the students used to deter- mine cabin space and size. Then they went to the drawing board, design- ing and refining the design under Harlow’s watchful eye. Next, they built airframe components and pro- cured items such as the powerplant, propeller, wheels, and tires. Final as- sembly was completed at the local airport, and the airplane was ready to be test flown—a mere 10 months after the project had started. Aviation historian and author Jo- seph Juptner wrote that the PJC-1 was test flown on September 14, 1937. “As the last part of its certi- fication tests the PJC-1 was loaded

with 400 lbs. of ‘lead shot’ for the critical ‘spin test;’ crossed-controls during this maneuver had promoted an unrecoverable ‘flat spin,’ so the pilot parachuted out and the air- plane was destroyed. … the second airplane (PJC-2) was completed with limits in place to eliminate crossed- controls; it thus came through with its government approval [ATC #659] in August 1938. The Harlow Aircraft Co. was incorporated in 1939 with some money from Howard Hughes, and the plant was set up in a hangar on the Alhambra Airport [in Califor- nia].” (U.S. Civil Aircraft Series, Vol. 7) According to the Aircraft Year Book (1941), Harlow Aircraft Co. “com- pleted the development of two types, one a 4-place cabin plane of all-metal construction, powered with a 145 hp


Warner engine and fixed pitch Cur- tiss metal propeller, and the other a 2-place enclosed tandem trainer of all metal construction powered with a 165 hp Warner engine and a Ham- ilton constant speed propeller. Dur- ing the year Harlow secured an order of PC-5A trainers for export.”

Construction Features

The all-metal PJC-2 was designed to be strong and relatively simple to build. It’s neatly tapered, semi- monocoque fuselage was composed of narrow lengths of Alclad sheet riveted to transverse rings and lon- gitudinal extrusions. Its one-piece, cantilever wing was wide at the wing root and tapered toward the tip, and it also was semi-monocoque con- struction, with a NACA 23012 airfoil


Matt hopes to return the panel to its original configuration.

hopes to return the panel to its original confi guration. Close-up view of the Harlow’s stream-

Close-up view of the Harlow’s stream- lined metal fuselage.


Wendy and Matt Malkin enjoy the Harlow, in part thanks to the family heritage; Matt’s grandfather owned the airplane before him.

section. The PJC-2’s perforated, split- type flaps were electrically operated and had 45 degrees of deflection. The cantilever tail group was metal, with the exception of the elevators and rudders, which were fabric-covered. The Harlow sported electrically op- erated retractable landing gear and a lockable, full-swiveling tail wheel. The 21-inch wheels were equipped with hydraulic brakes, and Aerol (air- oil) shock absorbers cushioned the short-coupled airplane’s touchdown. The PJC-2 originally sold for $6,985. Matt’s four-place PJC-2 is now powered by a 165-hp Warner, with an Aeromatic 220 self-adjusting pro- peller. The airplane measures 23 feet


Matt likes the performance of this Aeromatic 220 self-adjusting propeller.


14 JANUARY 2010

4 inches from nose to tail wheel, and its one-piece wingspan is 35 feet 10

4 inches from nose to tail wheel, and its one-piece wingspan is 35 feet 10 inches. It has an empty weight of 1,661 pounds and a gross weight of 2,294 pounds. It carries 34 gallons of fuel and burns about 9.5 gph while cruising at 138 mph (max 160 mph) for a range of nearly 500 miles.

Grandpa “Mac”

Californian John C. MacPherson owned Serial No. 7 from 1960 until 2003. During World War II, “Mac” was a primary flight instructor, teach- ing in PT-19s, at Hemet, California. He worked a variety of jobs—one as a commercial fisherman, fishing al- bacore up and down the West Coast. “He also owned a wrecking yard in Lancaster, and he was an aircraft and powerplant (A&P) and inspection au- thorization (IA) mechanic for a very long time in Salinas,” said Matt. “He retired from the military in 1963 as a lieutenant colonel. One of his ‘claims to fame’ is that he flew the N9M fly- ing wing in 1945 while he was in the Army Air Corps at Muroc Army Air base [now Edwards Air Force Base].”

Serial No. 7

Serial No. 7 was completed Au- gust 5, 1940. Originally powered by a 145-hp Warner S-50A, it was equipped with a Curtiss fixed-pitch metal prop. Interestingly, this PJC-2 was first owned by the Civil Aero- nautics Administration (CAA) in Washington, D.C., and was used for business purposes. Records show that it had certificate number NC67 in

Records show that it had certificate number NC67 in Matt Malkin and his sister Anya on

Matt Malkin and his sister Anya on the wing of Grandpa Mac’s Harlow.

and his sister Anya on the wing of Grandpa Mac’s Harlow. The tallest fellow (third from

The tallest fellow (third from the left) in this group shot from World War II is Matt Malkin’s Grandpa Mac.

1940 and 1941. CAA pilots flew it 118.5 hours in its first year, and in May 1942, they increased its range by having an auxiliary fuel tank in- stalled in the baggage compartment. Historian Juptner, in his U.S. Civil Aircraft Series, Vol. 7, stated, “The ‘Harlow’ was a lovely little airplane of very advanced design…. The first large order came from the Bureau of Air Commerce which stationed the airplanes in districts scattered around the country for use by government inspectors. Even tho’ the prototype (PJC-1) had crashed in an unfair ‘spin test,’ the Bureau felt somewhat obligated for the mishap and gave the subsequent examples a clean bill of health, as it were. The government inspector-pilots enjoyed the little ‘Harlow,’ and were more than happy to use it in their work.” After World War II, a February 19,

1946, bill of sale stated: “That the War Assets Corporation, a corporation created by Reconstruction Finance


is authorized, by the

Surplus Property Board … to dispose of the following described property owned by the United States of Amer- ica and which has been declared to be surplus pursuant to said Surplus Property Act of 1944: 1 Harlow Air-

craft, Model PJC-2 Manufacturer’s Se- rial No. 7, Identification No. NC-67 [and a handwritten NC65296], For and in consideration of the sum of One Thousand, Seven Hundred and

Fifty Dollars

unto I. Lease whose

address is Dublin, Georgia.” I. Lease sold the Harlow PJC-2 “Interstate” the very next day to 34-year-old N.A. Kalt of Dallas, Texas—who ended up buying and selling the airplane three times in the next five years.

Throughout the years, the airplane


was based in a variety of states, in- cluding Michigan, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and California. Matt, commenting on one facet of the airplane’s history, said, “An inter- esting claim to fame for this Harlow is that the maintenance logbook is signed by William Barnes, ‘Pancho’ Barnes’ son.” In 1954, Serial No. 7 was owned by Kansas City Flying Service and Air College Inc., and they completely overhauled the airplane. John C. MacPherson bought N65296 in De- cember 1960 from James K. Stuart of Lancaster, California.

Family Memories

Matt inherited NC65296 in Octo- ber 2003 after his maternal Grandpa Mac passed on. “The family decided that I would be the one to take care of it,” reflected Matt. “Grandpa orig- inally bought the airplane in Lan- caster, California, and in the 1970s he moved to Salinas, California, where he had it the majority of the time he spent with it. His flying was all just private flying, for pleasure. During the summers my mom and my sister and I would visit him. I did [fly with him in this airplane], and there are photos of my sister and [me] stand- ing on the wing. I was probably 8 or 9 years old then, so it’s likely that this was the first small plane that I was ever in. I do remember my grand- father being a pretty positive influ- ence in my young life; he was a man of good humor and just a real gentle character—and someone I admired greatly as a child.” Matt soloed in a Cessna 150 and has logged close to 800 hours since then. Like his grandfather, his flying

16 JANUARY 2010

is all for pleasure. He transitioned to

tailwheel flying in an Aeronca Champ and recalled that he “had never been

in a plane that light or that small, and

I really enjoyed it. My flying club had

a Citabria, so I’ve done Citabria fly-

ing as well. The PJC-2 is my first air- plane, and it was probably Grandpa’s very first airplane, too. My mom used to go flying with Grandpa in this air- plane, and so did my uncle—he said

it flies great upside down!”

Grandson Matt

Since the Harlow was down south in Salinas and Matt was living in Se- attle, he literally traveled the extra miles for about nine months in or- der to bring NC65296 into airwor- thy condition. “Every month I’d go down there,” said Matt. “I’d fly com-

mercially to San Jose, rent a car, stay with my grandmother at her house, and spend a weekend working on the plane. It was generally flyable, though out of annual, and it needed

a bunch of minor things. Clay An-

derson helped me work on it, and

I also worked with my Uncle Tim,

who was a mechanic, and he knew the airplane well, since he’d worked on it with Grandpa.” When the PJC-2 was ready to be flown, Matt had the good fortune of finding a local instructor at Sali- nas who had once given Mac a bi- ennial flight review in the airplane. “He checked me out in it—the Har- low has brakes on both the left and right sides—and we flew together on several weekends. I never felt un- comfortable in the airplane,” Matt said and smiled. “It’s actually fairly well-behaved, though it’s a little short-coupled, so on the ground you

watch out. But I think I’m fairly con- servative—both weatherwise and all other forms—so I try to just main- tain within what I know my capabili- ties and my envelope to be. When

I was speaking with Grandpa about

the Harlow before he passed on, he told me to maintain 90 mph on fi- nal, and I’ve always done that. He never really said why; I think it’s just that he wanted me to be safe. It’s a fairly honest airplane; the stall char- acteristics are a little bit odd because it does drop the left wing pretty hard, but I think that has to do with [the fact that] over the years it’s been ground-looped, and it’s had a gear- up landing, so it’s been a little bit twisted here and there.” Today the airplane is flying fre- quently in the skies above Seattle, and Matt is happy to have the opportunity to keep his grandfather’s spirit alive by flying and caring for the Harlow. “He loved this airplane,” said Matt thoughtfully. “He certainly had style, and I think this was one of his ways of expressing it. He was very frugal, and I think this airplane represented some- thing very extravagant for him, and it reflected his sense of style and class.” Matt hasn’t changed the Harlow very much in the six years he’s been flying it. The interior upholstery is what his grandfather chose in the early 1990s, and the sheepskin cov- ering on the door handle was his grandmother’s special touch. “The in- strument panel probably isn’t origi- nal, and at some point I’d like to bring it back to original,” said Matt. “I had the yokes chrome-plated not too long ago. I think the airplane was originally polished, but this paint scheme was what my grandfather chose. I do think about him when I fly it—one particu- lar time was when I flew my mom and my stepfather around, and it made me think about the family aspect of the Harlow, which is something unique to

rare airplane like this. I feel that I’ve been handed this tremendous privi- lege, and it’s an honor.” That’s quite an honor, indeed— and it’s likely that Matt will fly the family’s hallowed Harlow far into the future.


quite an honor, indeed— and it’s likely that Matt will fly the family’s hallowed Harlow far
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My Friend Albert Vollmecke Part 1: His early career BY ROBERT G. LOCK FIGURE 1
My Friend
Albert Vollmecke
Part 1: His early career

Albert A. Voellmecke

(the original spelling was Vollmecke, but he changed it because people in America could not pronounce his name correctly) was a native of Os- nabrueck, Westphalia, Germany, born in 1901. He was a 1925 graduate of the Technical University of Braun- schweig with a degree in mechani- cal engineering with an aeronautical option. Soon after his graduation he was appointed technical head of the Aeronautical Research Association, a government-financed organization maintained in connection with the university. It was while serving in this capacity that he assisted in launching the gliding competitions in 1925. At the conclusion of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles had limited Germany to production of aircraft powered with engines up to only 80 hp. Subsequently the Germans became experts at building and fly- ing gliders. They created glider clubs for young boys and perfected the art of gliding. Vollmecke competed in glider contests and was a firm believer that glider experiments in Germany, France, and other countries did more to advance flying after World War I than any other factor. In 1923 he won second place in a competition held in Wasserkuppe,

Germany, remaining aloft for two and

a half hours in an engine-less plane,

depending solely on the mountain air currents and his delicately attuned “flying sense” to sustain his flight. He was widely known in Germany as one of the original promoters of the annual gliding competition that did much to stimulate the advancement

of aeronautical science. Vollmecke designed and flew some of the most successful gliders of the time. In Figure 1, a glider rests on a lawn near a building in Germany. This photo, found in a bound volume of aircraft inventions and patents dated 1919 and given to me by Mr. Voll-

mecke, shows what very well may be an early picture of one of his designs. There is no way to determine this fact, but this is not a clipping from

a book or newspaper but a very early

black and white photograph. There is a vague similarity in the shape of the rudder top and size of the vertical stabilizer when compared with the shape and size of his Command-Aire model 3 and 5 designs. The Arkansas Democrat published

a story about Albert Vollmecke on November 6, 1927, and reported, “In his homeland, they refer to Voll- mecke as a cousin of Captain Gustav Tweer, famous German ace who, at

the age of 23, succeeded the great Im- melmann as squadron commander when the ‘ace of aces’ was shot down over the lines in WWI. Tweer was of- ficially credited with bringing down 32 planes, a record that was surpassed by few on the other side. By a strange freak of fate he survived all his air bat- tles only to lose his life while testing a new plane behind the lines. The plane caught fire and Tweer fell to his death when he leaped from the burning machine at a height of 100 feet near Hanover. Vollmecke was too young to enter the German air service until the closing year of the war, when he attended an army flying school. The hostilities came to an end after he had finished the course and been assigned to an air unit on the western front.” Vollmecke told the story of a brave German aviator who was engaged to his sister. This aviator died when his flying machine caught fire in the air and he jumped from the craft before it hit the ground. Could it have been this man, Gustav Tweer? Tweer was born July 5, 1893, in Osnabrueck, Germany, and died November 1, 1916, in Hanover, Germany, at the young age of 23. He learned to fly and earned German pilot license number 180 on April 18, 1912. He became a protégé of the French looping and

FIGURE 2 diving aviator Adolphe Pegoud. The photograph in Figure 2 is Tweer and his


diving aviator Adolphe Pegoud. The photograph in Figure 2 is Tweer and his Bleriot monoplane. Pegoud had met Louis Bleriot and learned to fly in a Bleriot monoplane. Pegoud made the first parachute jump from an airplane from an altitude of 250 meters on August 13, 1913, and accomplished the first loop on Sep- tember 21, 1913, in a Bleriot Type XI machine. Pegoud died in World War I when he was shot down by a former student from Germany. He was only 26 years old. In 1914 Tweer met Bleriot in France. He learned flying and be- came an early “Sturz- und Schlei- fenflieger” (diving and looping pilot) like Pegoud.

Figure 3 is a German postcard showing the Frenchman Pegoud looping his Bleriot monoplane. Note this illustration is very similar to the card in Figure 3 showing the Ger- man Tweer. Both aviators died young; Tweer at the age of 23 years and Pe- goud at the age of 26 years. A rare postcard (Figure 4) shows Tweer looping his Bleriot monoplane, the feat he learned from Pegoud, who was considered the first “art” flier. Tweer organized imperial flight day on June 1912 on the Vehrter running place, a racecourse in Germany. He made several flight demonstrations of looping and stunting before his death. He is buried in Osnabrueck on the Johannisfriedhof, the city of Voll- mecke’s birth. Vollmecke was employed by the Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke, Germa- ny’s second largest manufacturer of aircraft, as a designing engineer. He had been with Heinkel for three and a half years before coming to the United States in January 1927 as a company representative and scout for the fac- tory. Heinkel had designed a small low-powered training airplane, and the factory was interested in seeing if the airplane could be manufactured in the United States under license. He was also instructed to report on American aviation developments and transmit to his employer all worth- while new ideas he discovered. He found the field of civilian aviation so active and promising that he decided to sever his connection with Hein-

kel and remain in this country, if he could make a satisfactory connection with an American firm. The opportunity came when he learned, through an aviation publi- cation, that Arkansas, Aircraft Com- pany of Little Rock, Arkansas was seeking a highly qualified expert to serve as chief engineer. When com- pany officials learned of Vollmecke’s exceptional qualifications, they de- cided he was the man they were look- ing for and promptly offered him a contract, which he found acceptable and signed immediately. He took charge of the Arkansas Aircraft Company’s plant at the foot of East 17th Street in late September 1927. Vollmecke immediately pro- vided a touch of German efficiency for the design and production of air- planes. Naturally, Vollmecke hoped to put into practice some of the ad- vanced ideas he gathered in connec- tion with his work as a designer in Germany. The officials at Arkansas Aircraft Company offered him a “free hand” in the introduction of innova- tions, within reasonable limits. Charles M. Taylor, vice president of Command-Aire Inc. in 1929 and 1930, reported on one of Vollmecke’s innovations brought over from Ger- many. “Vollmecke had an interesting program in mind which he post- poned and then abandoned when he started designing for Command- Aire. His plan was a novel way for fast delivery of newspapers throughout the country. Carrying a load of daily

for fast delivery of newspapers throughout the country. Carrying a load of daily FIGURE 3 FIGURE


for fast delivery of newspapers throughout the country. Carrying a load of daily FIGURE 3 FIGURE


FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 newspapers in cargo type airplanes with built-in hoppers, papers would be


FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 newspapers in cargo type airplanes with built-in hoppers, papers would be jettisoned


newspapers in cargo type airplanes with built-in hoppers, papers would be jettisoned over a designated spot from where local carriers would pick them up and deliver them to their customers. [See the company sta- tionary in Figure 5.] Some mornings when I pick up my morning paper it looks like they were using Voll- mecke’s invention.” The ships were painted bright colors so people on the ground would know when the news- paper ship was approaching. The Heinkel Double Decker bi- plane was to be manufactured in two sizes. The Model 39 had a payload capacity of 1,150 pounds for freight or passengers, and the Model 40 had a payload capacity of 2,500 pounds of freight or 10 passengers (includ- ing two pilots). A bundle of 100 aver- age-size newspapers would weigh 28 pounds, thus in one trip the Heinkel H.D. 40 could deliver 8,707 papers. You can see the colorful paint scheme in Figures 6 and 7. The March 19, 1929, issue of AVI- ATION magazine carried a story re- garding the Heinkel H.D. 40 German freight and express plane (Figure 8), which was to be manufactured in America and powered by an Amer- ican engine. “The Arkansas Aircraft

Company of Little Rock, Ark., manu- facturer of commercial airplanes, an- nounces it is now preparing to put in production a type of plane suitable for freight and express carriers by air lines operating on regular schedules. This plane can also be furnished with a patented mechanical dropping de- vice for the handling of certain com- modities. This device was primarily designed for the delivery of newspa- pers, and several of the large Euro- pean newspapers are now using this plane equipped with the dropping de- vice in the daily delivery of their pa- pers to distant towns. [Figure 9] “The plane was designed by the Ernst Heinkel Airplane Works of War- nemuende, Germany, and is known in Europe as the Heinkel model H.D. 40. It is through Albert Vollmecke, chief engineer for the Arkansas Air- craft Company, who until recently was associated with the Heinkel Works in Germany, that arrange- ments are being made to manufacture this plane in America. “The H.D. 40 follows Heinkel prac- tice in construction in that it has a large welded steel tubular fuselage with high lift wood wings. It is planned that these planes will be powered with Pratt and Whitney ‘Wasp’ or ‘Hornet’

engines or with Wright ‘Cyclone’ en- gines. The plane was designed in com- pliance with the requirements of the German Technical Department for Aeronautics at Adlershof.” Neither Ar- kansas Aircraft nor Command-Aire ever constructed the airplane, which was to be manufactured in the United States under license to Heinkel. The Arkansas Democrat newspaper dated Sunday, November 6, 1927, re- ported the following interview of Albert Vollmecke, “Just before my de- parture from Germany I saw, under construction, a huge plane designed to carry 100 passengers. It will soon be ready for testing and I believe it will prove a success marking the beginning of a new era in commercial flying. This plane, built primarily for experimental purposes, will be driven by six motors of 1,000 horsepower each.” Vollmecke predicted that the trans-Atlantic planes of the near future would be big hydro- planes that would fly at great height, perhaps 15,000 feet and more, thus soaring high above all fog and atmo- spheric disturbances. This was pre- dicted just after Charles Lindbergh had flown solo nonstop from New York to Paris. Vollmecke offered another fore- cast for the future. Diesel engines will eventually be substituted for gasoline

FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 motors. The fuel consumption of the diesel is much lower than


FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 motors. The fuel consumption of the diesel is much lower than the


motors. The fuel consumption of the diesel is much lower than the types of gasoline motors that were in use for aerial purposes. This, he predicted, would help solve one of the most trouble- some problems of long-distance flight—the excessive weight of the fuel that had to be carried. All this in November 1927! Vollmecke’s ideas on air- craft design came mostly from Germany. In his collection of technical books was a three- volume set of design ideas for every type of aeronautical de- vice one could imagine. Gustav V. Lachmann wrote one such technical paper that Vollmecke commonly referred to. It was authored July 1925 in Germany but recorded by the National Advisory Committee for Aero- nautics (NACA) in Washing- ton, D.C., in July 1926 (Figure 10). The title is “Development of Light and Small Airplanes.” Vollmecke was always looking for the ideal light low-powered airplane. He was looking for ef- ficiency and safety, and his de- signs reflected this philosophy. This poor-quality photo- graph in Figure 11 comes from Dr. G. Lachmann’s NACA re- port number 370. It is a small low-powered lightweight ship produced by the Ernst Hein- kel Airplane Works in Warne- muende, Germany. Asked if he had designed or helped de-

sign this airplane, Vollmecke said no, but he had flown it on several occasions. Vollmecke added, “The wings folded for storage, and it had full-span slotted ailerons. The wing brace struts and fittings were poorly designed. While doing acrobat- ics a wing failed and the air- craft was destroyed.” Note the full-span ailerons as developed and reported on by Dr. Lach- mann in his May 1926 report as published by the NACA in Technical Memorandum num- ber 393, dated January 1927. In his report, Dr. Lachmann con- cluded, “There is no doubt that this form of lateral control has greatly increased the safety of flight in the region of the stall. It is quite likely that it could, with advantage, be applied to fighting airplanes, as the abil- ity to start a turn rapidly and to maintain lateral control when stalled with full engine, on a turn of minimum radius, is of very great importance. Both model and full-scale ex- periments were made to see whether the drag of the air- plane had been increased by the somewhat drastic alterations in the shape of the wings in the region of the ailerons. On the model the increase in drag co- efficient was about 0.001, and on the full scale airplane was too small to be detected.” It was

continued on page 32

full scale airplane was too small to be detected.” It was continued on page 32 FIGURE


full scale airplane was too small to be detected.” It was continued on page 32 FIGURE


Light Plane Heritage

published in EAA Experimenter February 1957, May 1989

published in EAA Experimenter February 1957, May 1989 T HE P OWELL R ACER BY J



EAA 93

T he Powell Racer, which was flown in the 1925 Na- tional Air Races, was one of the most successful light-

planes built at that time. It is one of the few airplanes that has the distinction of having won every race in which it was entered. Its extremely small size can be appreciated by comparing the scale drawings with those of the Lin- coln Sport biplane and the Pietenpol Air Camper. Powered with a Bristol Cherub engine, the little ship won the Aero Digest trophy, the Scientific Ameri- can trophy, and $2,000 in prize money. It clearly showed the superiority of the horizontally opposed engine over the converted-motorcycle engines then used in most of the lightplanes.

The Powell Racer was the result of some very skilled design and con- struction work by Professor C.H. Pow- ell, who was at that time in charge of the Aeronautics Department of the University of Detroit. Professor Pow-

ell had previously been employed in the Aerodynamics Department of the Sopwith Aviation Company in England, and the design of the racer shows the effects of his experience there. It was built along conventional lines scaled down to a wingspan of 15 feet 9 inches with extreme attention paid to detail design in order to save weight and decrease drag for high performance. The design and con- struction were done with the help of Powell’s students, and the aircraft was intended as a practical application of the theory taught in the aeronautical engineering courses. The fuselage was of all wood con- struction consisting of four main longerons and several lighter string- ers, with bulkheads of 3/8-inch ply- wood. The entire fuselage aft of the firewall was covered with 1/16-inch birch plywood. The landing gear consisted of two welded V’s of streamline steel tubing

with a steel channel spreader bar sup- porting the two-piece axle. Each axle was hinged at its inboard end, which was about one-third of the distance between the wheels. Shock absorb- ers were rubber shock cord wrapped around the outer end of the axles and landing gear struts. The tires were 17- 1/2 inches in diameter. The wings were of conventional two-spar wood construction with plywood web-type ribs using the RAF 15 airfoil. The wire bracing was of streamline 10-32 drawn steel tie rods. Because of the high drag of standard wire fittings, a special type of end fitting was designed that could be buried in the wing and still allow the wire to swivel in all direc- tions without putting a bend in the threads. This was a difficult prob- lem, as the rear spar was only 1-3/4 inches deep and the front spar was 2 inches deep. Ailerons were used on the lower wing only with a torque

tube drive from the cockpit. The up- per wing was built in one piece. The

tube drive from the cockpit. The up- per wing was built in one piece. The short span allowed the dihedral to be built in with no splicing. The tail surfaces were constructed with a plywood web making up most of the structure. The hinges for the tail surfaces consisted of continuous strips of leather, which worked well. The elevator control system had a pushrod back as far as the rear seat and a cable system from there to the eleva- tor. The aileron control system used torque tubes and push-pull rods. The rudder was operated by rudder pedals with a conventional cable system. A standard 8-gallon fuel tank was

installed in the fuselage forward of the cockpit, but for the races a special 2-1/2 gallon tank was made. The Bristol Cherub engine used was imported from England. It was rated at 22 hp at 2500 rpm, but it was run at speeds up to 3200 rpm. The displacement was 66.8 cubic inches. A larger fuel pump was installed, and three-ring pistons were used instead of the standard two rings. The weight of the engine was 81 pounds, and fuel consumption at cruising speed was 1.4 gallons per hour. The propel- ler had a 4-foot 3-inch diameter and a 3-foot pitch and was a special Curtiss Reed metal type.

At the 1925 National Air Races held at Mitchell Field, New York, the Powell Racer was flown by Jerry V. Dack of Dayton, Ohio, and proved to be the fastest lightplane entered.




24 JANUARY 2010 At the 1925 National Air Races held at Mitchell Field, New York,
24 JANUARY 2010 At the 1925 National Air Races held at Mitchell Field, New York,

24 JANUARY 2010

At the 1925 National Air Races held at Mitchell Field, New York, the Powell Racer was flown by Jerry V. Dack of Dayton, Ohio, and proved to be the fastest lightplane entered. Its best lap speed was 76 mph in the Scientific American Trophy Race and was about 8 mph faster than the second-place winner. The little ship was very responsive to the controls, and the pylon turns were flown in

a manner that resembled the larger

Curtiss racers. On account of its small size the Powell Racer appeared to be flying extremely fast. The engine ran smoothly without any of the diffi- culties that continually bothered the motorcycle-engine-powered ships. An altitude test was made by pilot Dack, during which time he reached 9,800 feet in 38 minutes. He was forced to return at this point due to the cold weather, although the airplane was still climbing at a good rate and had sufficient fuel available to continue.

The specifications of the Powell Racer

Empty weight



Gross weight with 150-pound pilot and 2-1/2 gallons fuel



Wing area

76 square feet

Fuel capacity

8 gallons

After its success at the National Air Races, the Powell Racer was re- turned to the University of Detroit, where it was used for experimental work in the test lab. It was eventu- ally broken up in the course of static tests performed by the aeronautical engineering students. In the 1932 edition of the Flying and Glider Manual there was published

a how-to-build article by Orville Hick-

man on an airplane called the Powell P.H. Racer. These plans were based on the original Powell Racer, but they in- cluded a steel tube fuselage and tail surfaces and other changes. It is not known if any airplane of this modi- fied design was ever built.


Aero Digest, October 19, 1925 Aviation, December 31, 1925 Flying and Glider Manual, 1932

was ever built. References: Aero Digest , October 19, 1925 Aviation , December 31, 1925 Flying
JUST A REMINDER You can buy your tickets online now and save time and money.
You can buy your tickets online now and save time and money.
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This month’s Mystery Plane comes to us from an e-mail sent by Bill Goebel of Rhome, Texas. It’s a scan of a photo he recently purchased on eBay. The outline certainly looks familiar, and the slats add a bit of technical interest to the shot.

and the slats add a bit of technical interest to the shot. Send your answer to

Send your answer to EAA, Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your answer needs to be in no later than February 15 for inclusion in the April 2010 issue of Vintage Airplane. You can also send your re- sponse 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.


Plane” in the subject line. OCTOBER’S MYSTERY ANSWER We enjoy your suggestions for Mystery Planes—in fact,

We enjoy your suggestions for Mystery Planes—in fact, more than half of our subjects are sent to us by members, often via e-mail. Please remember that if you want to scan the photo for use in Mystery Plane, it must be at 300 dpi resolution or greater. You may send a lower- resolution version to us for our re-

view, but the final version has to be at that level of detail or it will not print properly. Our October Mystery Plane was an interesting multiengine airplane from the Curtiss factory. Here’s our first answer:

The October Mystery Plane would be a Curtiss Kingbird. Probably the last

Kingbird that existed was (NC622V) operated by Alaska Coastal Airlines out of Juneau until it was wrecked in 1952? It was wrecked at the Tulsequah Mine just on the Canadian side of the border on the Taku River about 50 miles from here. They get an enormous amount of snow in that area, and rather than plow the runway, they just compacted the snow with a Caterpillar tractor. The Kingbird with its large Airwheels usually had no problems. The accident happened in early spring; the tires broke through the crust and the airplane ended up on its back and was not rebuilt. My dad, Don Bedford, worked on the King- bird a lot because Alaska Coastal was mostly a seaplane operation based out of downtown Juneau, and the Kingbird was based at the airport 10 miles out- side of town but near my parents’ home.

The construction of the Kingbird was fairly conventional (steel truss wing spars and aluminum ribs, fabric-covered aluminum structure tail surfaces, etc.) except that the fuselage structure was aluminum tubing secured together with aluminum gussets and rivets. The fuselage was so flexible that a heavy load or hard landing could (and did) wrinkle and even tear the fabric. The wing spars were used for many years as the core of the roof structure in a wood shed here. We just rounded up the spars, vertical fins, and a few other bits and pieces and shipped them to the Aviation Heritage Museum in Anchorage. The original Kingbird engines were Wrights rated at 300 hp. Coastal’s airplane had later Wrights installed that were rated at 420 hp. But the installation called for throttle stops “limiting” them to 300. The airplane was said to be a marvel- ous performer. Legendary bush pilot and founder of Alaska Coastal Airlines Shell Simmons when he was in his 80s told me that if he was “just a little younger,” he’d round up a Kingbird and go barn- storming in the States.—Dennis Bed- ford, Juneau, Alaska And a portion of a note from Dave Jackson of Toulon, Illinois:

The photo in Vintage Airplane is the D2 flown by Walter Beech and Owen G. Harned in the 1930 National Air Tour and shows the aircraft waiting to be flagged off from the starting line. They finished in sixth place. The Vintage Airplane version of the photo has the race number, #9, blacked out. Much more information about the Kingbird can be found in Joseph P. Juptner’s U.S. Civil Aircraft Series Vol. 4, page 158. Plus this bit of information: A Kingbird D-3 was operated in the Skag- way, Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon, area by White Pass Airways and later by British Yukon Navigation Co. from 1931 to 1942.—Gerry Norberg, Win- nipeg, Manitoba, Canada It seems the Kingbird had a per- sonal connection for a few of our members. Here are excerpts from two notes we received. From Craig Kern, Dayton, Ohio:

My father, Frank B. Kern, was a production test pilot for the Curtiss- Robertson Division (Lambert Field, St.

Louis, Missouri) of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation from August 1929 until December 1930. During this time he flew Curtiss Robins, Thrushes, and the Kingbird. He first flew the Kingbird on February 28, 1930, and delivered the first Kingbird (NC600V) to Eastern Air Transport at Richmond, Virginia, on December 9, 1930. He subsequently re- tired from Eastern Air Lines on October 25, 1967, after flying his last trip to Vietnam in a DC-8-61. And this little addition: As a per- sonal side note, the chief engineer and chief test pilot on the project was H. Lloyd Child. Lloyd was the pilot for my first airplane ride in August 1937 in Buffalo, New York.—Pete Jansen, Seattle, Washington Other correct answers were re- ceived from Brian Baker, Sun City, Arizona; Allen Herr, Yuba City, Cali- fornia; Andy Heins, Dayton, Ohio; Wayne Muxlow, Minneapolis, Min- nesota; Tom Lymburn, Princeton, Minnesota; Wayne Van Valkenburgh, Jasper, Georgia; and James Stubner, Mercer Island, Washington.

Minnesota; Wayne Van Valkenburgh, Jasper, Georgia; and James Stubner, Mercer Island, Washington. VINTAGE AIRPLANE 27
Minnesota; Wayne Van Valkenburgh, Jasper, Georgia; and James Stubner, Mercer Island, Washington. VINTAGE AIRPLANE 27



THE Vintage Mechanic BY ROBERT G. LOCK Instrument systems O ur subject for this issue
THE Vintage Mechanic
THE Vintage


Instrument systems

O ur subject for this issue is instrument systems.

Discussion will focus on the primary instrument

panel, those instruments required by regulation

to install directly below the compass. There are two

methods to correct a compass for deviation; use a com- pass rose at the local airport or use a master compass. The most common method is to place the airplane on a compass rose and make mechanical corrections to the instrument in the N-S and E-W headings. On the face of the compass are two screws marked N-S and E-W. These screws rotate tiny magnets to cause the compass card to move. Always use a

non-magnetic screwdriver when ad- justing. I take a small piece of brass brazing rod and flatten it to turn the screws. The most accurate compass correction will be with the electrical system “ON” and the engine run- ning and the tail positioned as it would be for flight. Most folks don’t run the engine. If there are no elec- trical wires near the compass, then there’s no need to activate the elec- trical system.

91.205 (b) for visual flight rules daytime flight.

These instruments would be airspeed indicator, altim- eter, magnetic direction indicator, engine tachometer (for each engine), oil pressure and oil temperature

gauges (for each engine), a coolant temp gauge for liq- uid-cooled engines, a manifold pres-

sure gauge for each altitude engine, and a fuel gauge for each fuel tank. Also needed is a landing gear posi- tion indicator for aircraft equipped with retractable landing gear. The owner may wish for further instrumentation, but the above gauges are required equipment. Other instruments may be added by necessity, such as an ammeter if an electrical system is installed, a fuel pressure gauge if a pressure-fed fuel system is installed, and a turn and bank indicator or a rate-of-climb in- dicator. All instruments should be installed using brass hardware. This is done to protect the compass from magnetic deviation. Now, let’s look at the primary instruments individ- ually, starting with the compass.

An airframe and powerplant mechanic (A&P) can’t make any adjustments to aircraft instruments other than “swinging the compass.”


Place the aircraft on the compass rose with the main landing gear on the E-W line and the tail wheel on the N-S line (longitudinal axis aligned over the N-S line), and then

move the N-S screw until the com- pass reads 0 degrees (north). Move the airplane 180 degrees, line up on N-S and E-W lines, and note the compass reading. Example: If the com- pass reads 176 degrees instead of 180 degrees, adjust the heading until the compass reads 178 degrees (take 1/2 of the error and adjust the N-S screw). Then repeat the process on the E-W direction. Once the cardinal headings are adjusted, don’t make any more adjust- ments. Now, place the airplane in the north heading and note the compass reading on a piece of paper.

COMPASS: The magnetic compass is preferably installed in line with the center of the fuselage. Ac- curacy of the compass is affected by metallic objects that are magnetic. Therefore, non-magnetic hardware is always used for installation. Compass deviation is caused by anything magnetic located nearby, such as steel hardware and/or electrical wires. Deviation can be corrected by “swinging the compass” once the air- plane is completed. You will need a correction card

28 JANUARY 2010

FIGURE 1 Then move the airplane so as to change the heading by 30 degrees,


Then move the airplane so as to change the heading by 30 degrees, noting the compass reading, until back to the north heading. Your fig- ures can then be transferred to the compass correction card that will be installed just below the compass. If there are heading errors of more than 10 degrees, the compass must be overhauled or replaced. Figure 1 details a typical compass correc- tion card.

TACHOMETER (Figure 2): All old tachs were mechanically driven off the engine accessory case. There were no electric or recording tachs


made in the early days. Use care when measuring the length of the drive cable and housing; don’t make it too long, as excessive coils or changes in direction can cause friction and errors in rpm indica- tion. Note the direction of the tach cable drive at the engine, and make sure the drive cable is wound in the direction of the engine drive, not in opposition to the drive direc- tion. Also note that the drive cable is slightly longer than the housing so as to properly engage in both the engine drive and tachometer

instrument fitting. I lubricate my drive cables with graphite grease during assembly. There is an oil seal or other type of mechanism in the engine drive to keep oil from en- tering the tach drive housing and eventually getting into the instru- ment. If oil ever appears in the in- strument, check the oil seal on the accessory case of the engine. The tachometer should be “redlined” at maximum operating rpm. A simple red radial line adjacent to the ap- propriate rpm will suffice. Have the instrument overhaul shop install the red line at the time of overhaul or place the marking on the instru- ment glass. If the marking is placed on the glass, provide a small white line crossing from the instrument case to the glass so any glass rota- tion can be detected.

OIL PRESSURE GAUGE (Fig- ure 3): Oil pressure gauges are Bourdon tube instruments. Inside the instrument is a small semi- circular tube that “springs out” un- der pressure. This tube drives the needle through a series of gears and rocker arms. Aluminum tub- ing is used to connect the instru- ment to the pressure port on the engine. The most common tube di- ameter is 3/16 inch, although 1/4 inch may be used. There should be

is 3/16 inch, although 1/4 inch may be used. There should be FIGURE 3 a flexible


a flexible area of tubing at the en-

gine attachment point. Either use a hose or coil the tube so it is free to flex when the engine moves in the mount. Initial installation of the tube to the instrument should be done by first removing all air from the line. Disconnect the line from the instrument and turn the engine over with the starter until oil in the line is visible; reconnect the line to the instrument fitting. The engine operating oil pressure, both max- imum and minimum, should be marked with small red radial lines.

OIL TEMPERATURE GAUGE (Figure 4): The oil temp gauge is also a Bourdon tube type instru- ment; however, a capillary line and bulb is permanently connected to

the back of the instrument. The line

is filled with methyl chloride, a liq-

uid that expands with temperature, thus causing the Bourdon tube to move. Small changes in movement cause the needle to read a tempera- ture. Never cut or twist the capillary line off the instrument or the liquid will immediately turn to a gas and the instrument will becomes use- less. The capillary line should be the desired length; however, excess length can be carefully coiled and clamped behind the instrument panel. The oil temperature gauge should have a red radial line indi- cating the maximum inlet oil tem- perature as specified by the engine manufacturer.

AIRSPEED INDICATOR (Fig- ure 5): Airspeed indicators are pi- tot and static instruments; that is, they operate by measuring the dif- ference between pitot (ram air) and static (ambient) pressures. A com- mon location for the pitot/static probes on a biplane is on the left or right interplane strut, about four-fifths of the gap above the lower wing. Pitot (ram air) oper- ates a diaphragm, which expands under pressure and moves a se- ries of rocker arms and gears that make the needle move. Static air surrounds the diaphragm inside

FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 30 JANUARY 2010 FIGURE 6 the case of the instrument. There


FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 30 JANUARY 2010 FIGURE 6 the case of the instrument. There usually


FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 30 JANUARY 2010 FIGURE 6 the case of the instrument. There usually

30 JANUARY 2010


the case of the instrument. There usually is a tee connection that al- lows static air to be connected to the altimeter, and through another tee to the rate-of-climb instrument (if installed). Some simple installa- tions will have the static air source directed only to the airspeed indi- cator; the altimeter static air will be opened directly into the cockpit of the airplane through a 1/8-inch pipe plug with a small-drilled hole. The airspeed indicator should have a red radial line marking the never- exceed speed (V NE ) of the aircraft. Figure 6 shows a typical early pitot-static installation to an air- speed indicator.

ALTIMETER (Figure 7): There are two types of altimeters used in the older airplanes: standard and sensitive. Both use static air de- rived from the pitot/static system. The instrument case is airtight and contains one to three sealed dia- phragms that expand as the aircraft gains altitude. This expansion is transferred to a needle that reads the aircraft’s altitude. Standard al- timeters contain just one needle on the dial, and the local “altim- eter setting” in inches of mercury cannot be set; you just set it to the field elevation or zero, depending on your needs that day. These in- struments have significant accuracy errors and are best set to zero so as to read the airplane altitude above the ground. Sensitive altimeters have a window to adjust the instru-

FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 ment to the local altimeter setting. In the United States we


FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 ment to the local altimeter setting. In the United States we use


ment to the local altimeter setting. In the United States we use inches of mercury as the unit of measure- ment. When these instruments are accurate they are actually an aner- oid barometer, which uses a type of diaphragm that is more sensitive to smaller pressure changes than

a simple diaphragm. To use it, set

the needle on the field elevation and the instrument will tell you the barometric pressure in inches of mercury. When installing the sensi- tive altimeter, a placard on the rear of the case should indicate that the instrument is a 0-20,000 foot altim- eter. Sensitive altimeters have two or three needles on the dial and an adjusting knob at the 6 o’clock or 8 o’clock position. The sensitive al- timeter can be overhauled and cer- tified for accuracy; the standard altimeter can be overhauled but cannot be certified for accuracy.

PLUMBING: The most common

type of tubing for instrument sys- tems is soft aluminum alloy 3003.

It is easily hand-formed and flared,

and standard aluminum AN fittings (blue in color) can be used. Route the tubing so it does not chafe, and clamp it to the structure if necessary.

OPERATION: Aircraft instru- ments need a certain amount of vi-

bration to work properly. It there is no vibration, the needles tend to be jumpy, especially the airspeed indicator and the altimeter. Some instrument panels were shock- mounted, and some were not. Many older airplanes did not have shock-mounted panels; rather the panels were mounted directly to the fuselage frames.

TROUBLESHOOTING: A most common problem will be an ob- struction in the pitot line causing an erroneous reading on the air- speed indicator. Remove the pi- tot line from the instrument case (it’s the one in the middle) and re- verse blow out the line with com- pressed air. Caution: Use a regulator and start at 20 psi; continue rais- ing pressure until the obstruction is removed. Don’t blast away with a line pressure of 100 psi and above or you can do damage to the sys- tem, especially if rubber hose was used to join the tubing together. If oil temperature gauge accuracy is in question, heat water until it boils, place the instrument probe in the water, and check the reading. It should read 212°F or 100°C. No ad- justment can be made to the instru- ment. At overhaul each instrument has a calibration card furnished, and you might want to review that card.

An airframe and powerplant (A&P) mechanic can’t make any ad- justments to aircraft instruments other than “swinging the com- pass.” If instrument indication is not accurate, the gauge should be removed and sent to a qualified repair station for maintenance. However, most simple aircraft in- struments will give many years of trouble-free service. If problems do occur, check the system first before removing the instrument.

MAGNETO SWITCHES (Fig- ure 8): Magneto switches “ground” magnetos when the switch is placed in the “OFF” position. When the switch is on “BOTH,” the left and right magneto grounding circuits are “open.” When checking mag- netos for proper operation, if the switch is on “L,” the right magneto is grounded; if the switch is on “R,” the left magneto is grounded. At idle speed, moving the switch to the “OFF” position will ground the output of both magnetos, causing the engine to stop. If it doesn’t, then one or both magnetos are not grounded (we call this “hot mags”). You can check the magneto switch circuits with an ohmmeter or con- tinuity light. Wiring from magne- tos to the switch (P-leads) should be shielded, and the shielding

grounded on both ends of the wire.


Some instruments require range markings. The airspeed indicator needs a red radial line at the max- imum operational airspeed (V NE ); the oil pressure gauge needs a red radial line marking minimum and maximum pressure. The oil temper- ature gauge needs a red radial line marking maximum inlet oil tem- perature. The tachometer needs a red radial line at maximum engine rpm. Engine operating limits can be gleaned from the manufacturer’s overhaul manual. Placards state op- erational limitation requirements. Examples are “Solo Rear Seat Only,” “Intentional Spins Prohibited,” and “Avoid Continuous Operation Below 1650 rpm and Above 1800 rpm.” Markings and placards must be in plain view of the pilot. FAA type certificate aircraft and en- gine data sheets (TCDS) are a good source for placarding and mark- ings. The FAA Aircraft and Engine Listing is a poor source for this in- formation, since it contains such limited data. Since all older air- craft rarely had flight operations manuals, they must be operated in accordance with markings and placards, commonly called the Operation Limitations. Some air- craft had a CAA-issued Operation Limitations form, which listed engine and airspeed limits. This form was to be displayed in full view of the pilot.

CONCLUSION: Simple mark- ings and placards are important to the proper operation of the aircraft and engine. I suggest you include a copy of the type design data for the aircraft and engine in your paper- work file and even in the data car- ried in the aircraft. There is a large difference in data contained in FAA Aircraft or Engine Specifications versus the FAA Aircraft or Engine Listing. Your A&P mechanic or A&P with an inspection authorization can be helpful in obtaining this in- formation. Happy flying!

32 JANUARY 2010

this in- formation. Happy flying! 32 JANUARY 2010 Vollmecke continued from Page 21 FIGURE 11 FIGURE


continued from Page 21

flying! 32 JANUARY 2010 Vollmecke continued from Page 21 FIGURE 11 FIGURE 12 this type of


32 JANUARY 2010 Vollmecke continued from Page 21 FIGURE 11 FIGURE 12 this type of aileron


this type of aileron sys- tem Vollmecke used on all Command-Aire air- craft he designed. It is interesting to digress slightly at this point to explore an invention of a British aircraft designer, Mr. L.G. Frise (pronounced Freeze). In the June 12, 1942, issue of THE AEROPLANE, there ap- peared an article titled, “I AM AN AIRCRAFT DESIGNER,” which is the report of a talk given on the Forces Programme of the BBC on Monday, May 25, 1942. Mr. Frise stated, “I have been asked to mention the Frise aile- ron, which I patented

as far back as 1921. The aileron, as you know, is the control on the wing tips used to carry out most of an aeroplane’s maneuvers. This idea was born whilst I was working on a means of improving the safety of flight, and it was awarded the Wakefield Gold Medal by the Royal Aeronautical Society. “This control became practically standard throughout the world, and soon its original purpose of improving safety was overshadowed by its ability to increase the fighting maneuverability of aircraft in war. The only enemy aircraft not so fitted at the beginning of the War [WW2] was the Messerschmitt ME-109, but this suffered so badly at the hands of the Spitfires and Hurricanes using the Frise aileron, that it is not surprising to find that the latest model of the Messerschmitt, the 109F, has returned to the fight wearing Frise ailerons.” Is it possible that the English chap Frise and the German Lachmann invented the same system independently of each other? It is also interesting to note that when Mr. Vollmecke was asked if he had employed the Frise slotted aileron on his Command-Aire designs, he replied, “Oh no, I used the slotted aileron invented by the German, Dr. Lachmann.” In the original factory photograph furnished by Albert Vollmecke (Fig- ure 12), his Lachmann slotted aileron is shown; the design is great for low-speed lateral control. Note the sketch for license numbers on the left lower wing, but not yet painted. This type of aileron offers superior low- speed roll control. The photograph was taken outside the factory building in Little Rock, probably early 1929. The photographer’s name, Wolff, is in the lower right corner of picture. Mr. Wolff did most of the factory photos, and his trade name was Wolff-foto.

is in the lower right corner of picture. Mr. Wolff did most of the factory photos,
TYPE CLUBS Aeronca Aviators Club Robert Szego P.O. Box 66 Coxsackie, NY 12051 518-731-3131


Aeronca Aviators Club

Robert Szego P.O. Box 66 Coxsackie, NY 12051

518-731-3131 Dues: $29 1-yr, $55 2-yrs; Int’l $37 1-yr, $69 2-yrs Aeronca Aviator, Qtrly

Fearless Aeronca Aviators (f-AA)

John Rodkey

280 Big Sur Dr.

Goleta, CA 93117

805-968-1274 Dues: None, contribute with email exchanges Email at listinfo/aeronca

National Aeronca Assoc.

Auster Club

Stuart Bain 31 Swain Court Lake Ronkonkoma New York, NY 1179


Beech Aero Club

Chris Linderman, President P.O. Box 899 Georgetown, KY 40324


Publication: 3/yr

T-34 Association, Inc.

880 North County Road, 900-E

Tuscola, IL 61953


Mentor Monitor, Qtrly

Bellanca-Champion Club

Cessna 150/152 Club

Robert Szego P.O. Box 100 Coxsackie, NY 12051

Lori Parsons P.O. Box 1917 Atascadero, CA 93423-1917



$38 1-yr, $72 2-yrs; Int’l $43 1-y, $81 2-yrs Publication: B-C Contact!, Qtrly

$35/yr Internet; $45/yr Print U.S. Int’l see website Publication: 6/yr

Bird Airplane Club

Cessna Flyer Assoc.

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


Trevor Janz Waupaca Municipal Airport The Blue Hangar


Postage donation

P.O. Box 381 Waupaca, WI 54981

American Bonanza Society

Nancy Johnson, Exec. Dir.


Mid-Continent Airport


PO Box 12888

Publication: Monthly

Wichita, KS 67277 $55/yr. US/Canada

Cessna Owner Organization

Dan Weiler N7450 Aanstad Rd. Iola, WI 54945

ABS Magazine, Monthly


Nat’l Bücker Jungmiester Club

Celesta Price

300 Estelle Rice Dr.

Moody, TX 76557


Bücker Club


Buhl LA-1 “Bull Pup” Owners Group

William R. “Bill” Goebel

894 Heritage Creek Dr.

Rhome, TX 76078


Int’l Bird Dog Assoc. (L-19/O-1)

Sam Dawson 7 Kristin Circle Niceville, FL 32578

850-678-5024 $30/yr US; $50 Int’l Magazine Qtrly; E-newsletter Monthly


Publication: Monthly

Cessna Pilots Assoc.

John Frank, Exec. Director 3940 Mitchell Rd. Santa Maria, CA 93456

805-934-0493 $55 US, Canada, Mexico; $70 Int’l CPA Magazine, Monthly E-ATIS Electronic Wkly

Cessna T-50 “The Flying Bobcats”

Jon D. Larson P.O. Box 566 Auburn, WA 98071


Contact club for dues info Publication: Qtrly

Eastern Cessna 190/195 Assoc.

Cliff Crabs

25575 Butternut Ridge Road

North Olmsted, OH 44070

440-777-4025 $15 initial, then as required Publication: 4/yr

Int’l Cessna 120/140 Assoc.

Christian Vehrs, President

225 Middling Lane

Fayetteville, GA 30214


$25/yr US

Publication: 6/yr

Int’l Cessna 170 Assoc.

22 Vista View Ln. Cody, WY 82414


Ercoupe Owners Club

Carolyn T. Carden P.O. Box 7117 Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

910-575-2758 $25/yr Electronic $30/yr Paper Coupe Capers, Monthly

Fairchild Club

Mike Kelly 92 N. Circle Dr. Coldwater, MI 49036



Publication: Qtrly

Fairchild Fan Club

Robert L. Taylor


O. Box 127


Blakesburg, IA 52536


News, Qtrly


Int’l Cessna 180/185 Club

Keith Peterman

40087 Mission Blvd. # 392

Fremont, CA 94539-3680



Publication: 6/yr

Int’l Cessna 195 Club

Coyle Schwab

632 N. Tyler Rd.

St. Charles, IL 60174



Web area for Members Only

Corben Club

Robert Taylor P.O. Box 127 Blakesburg, IA 52536

641-938-2773 $18 for 3 magazines

Culver Club

Brent Taylor P.O. Box 127 Blakesburg, IA 52536

641-938-2773 $18 for 3 issues

de Havilland Moth & Chipmunk Club

David M. Harris 2024 75th St. Kenosha, WI 53143

262-652-7043 Paper Tiger, 4-6/yr Electronic $18 for 3 issues. Fairchild Fan

Int’l Fleet Club

Jim Catalano 8 Westlin Ln. Cornwall, NY 12518

845-534-3947 Home.html Contributions Publication: 3-4/yr

Funk Aircraft Owners Assoc.

Thad Shelnutt 2836 California Av. Carmichael, CA 95608



Funk Flyer, Monthly

Great Lakes Club

Robert L. Taylor

P. O. Box 127

Blakesburg, IA 52536

641-938-2773 $18 for 3 issues

The American Yankee Assoc.

Stewart Wilson P.O. Box 1531 Cameron Park, CA 95682

530-676-4292 $50/yr US & Int’l 1 st yr U.S. +$7.50; Int’l +$10 American STAR, 6/yr

Canadian Harvard Aircraft Assoc.

244411 Airport Road; Box 175 Tillsonburg, ON N4G 4H5 Canada



ROAR of the Harvard, Qtrly

Hatz Biplane Assoc.

Chuck Brownlow P.O. Box 85 Wild Rose, WI 54984



Publication: Qtrly

Hatz Club

Barry Taylor P. O. Box 127 Blakesburg, IA 52536

641-938-2773 $18 for 3 issues, Hatz Herald

Heath Parasol Club

William Schlapman 6431 Paulson Road Winneconne, WI 54986


Howard Club & Howard Aircraft Foundation

Dennis Lyons, Treasurer P.O. Box 38 San Miguel, CA 93451



Publication: Qtrly

The Arctic & Interstate League

Steve Dawson, 262-642-3649 Wayne Forshey, 740-472-1481 Newsletter Qtrly via email

Interstate Club

Robert L. Taylor P.O. Box 127 Blakesburg, IA 52536

641-938-2773 $18 for 3 issues, Interstate Intercom

Continental Luscombe Assoc.

Mike Culver, President & Editor 17514 NE 33 rd Pl. Redmond, WI 98052

425-861-8307 $25/yr US; $27.50 Canada; $30 Int’l USD The Courant, 6/yr

Luscombe Association

Steve Krog

1002 Heather Lane

Hartford, WI 53027

262-966-7627 $30 US/Canada; $35 Int’l USD Publication: 6/yr

The Luscombe Endowment Inc.

Doug Combs

2487 S. Gilbert Rd Unit # 106, PMB 113

Gilbert, AZ 85295

480-650-0883 Donations. Online and Print

Meyers Aircraft Owners Assoc.

Doug Eshelman

1563 Timber Ridge Dr.

Brentwood, TN 37027

615-400-3382 Postage fund donation Newsletter: 3-4/yr

Monocoupe Club

Frank & Carol Kerner

1218 Kingstowne Place

St. Charles, MO 63304

636-939-3322 Optional, help cover website fees

Western Assoc. of Mooney Mites

Michael Harms P.O. Box 391641 Mountain View, CA 94039

650-966-8292 Dues: None

N3N Owners & Restorers Assoc.

H. Ronald Kempka

2380 Country Road #217

Cheyenne, WY 82009



Newsletter: 2/yr

American Navion Society

Gary Rankin PMB 335, 16420 SE McGillivray # 103 Vancouver, WA 98683 May - Oct: 360-833-9921 Nov - April: 623-975-4052 $60/yr US; $64 Canada; $74 Int’l USD The Navioneer, 6/yr

Navion Pilots Assoc.

Jon Hartman P.O. Box 6656 Ventura, CA 93006



Navion Skies

Raleigh Morrow P.O. Box 2678 Lodi, CA 95241


Fax: 209-367-9390 Email newsletter monthly

Parrakeet Pilot Club

Barry Taylor Box 127 Blakesburg, IA 52536

641-938-2773 $18 for 3 issues The Parrakeet Pilot

Brodhead Pietenpol Assoc.

Doc Mosher P.O. Box 3501 Oshkosh, WI 54903-3501


Publication: Qtrly

Cub Club

Steve Krog

1002 Heather Lane

Hartford, WI 53027

262-966-7627 $35 US/Canada; $40 Int’l USD Cub Clues, 6/yr

Int’l Comanche Society

PO Box 1810 Traverse City, MI 49685-1810

888-300-0082 $66/yr US, Canada, Mexico The Comanche Flyer, Monthly

Piper Apache Club

John J. Lumley

6778 Skyline Drive

Delray Beach, FL 33446



Piper Aviation Museum Foundation

John R. Merinar, President 1 Piper Way Lock Haven, PA 17745



The Cub Reporter, Qtrly

Piper Flyer Assoc.

Trevor Janz Waupaca Municipal Airport The Blue Hangar P.O. Box 381 Waupaca, WI 54981



Piper Flyer, monthly

Piper Owner Society

N7450 Aanstad Rd. Iola, WI 54945

866-697-4737 $49.95/yr U.S., add $20 Int’l Publication: Monthly

Steve Pierce 196 Hwy. 380 East Graham, TX 76450

940-549-6415 Donations: Min $25/yr Online Discussion Forum

Straight & Level Productions, Inc PO Box 150 Waldron, MO 64092

816-200-2827 Donations: Min. $25/yr Online Discussion Forum

Porterfield Airplane Club

Tom Porterfield 3350 Cty. Rd. U; Hangar A Abernathy, TX 79311


Rearwin Club

Robert L. Taylor P. O. Box 127 Blakesburg, IA 52536

641-938-2773 $18 for 3 issues

Int’l Ryan Club

John R. Hodges 11298 Twin Spires Dr. Flint, TX 75762

903-894-8993 $15/yr Internet, message boards

1-26 Association (Schweizer)

Beverly Beckwith 106 W Crosswind Ct. Tullahoma, TN 37388


$15/yr (website has add’l options) Publication: 6/yr

Stearman Restorers Assoc.

7000 Merrill Ave., Box 90

Chino Airport Chino, CA 91710 $35/yr US The Flying Wire, Qtrly

Stinson Historical & Restoration Society

Robert Taylor P.O. Box 127 Blakesburg, IA 52536

641-938-2773 $24 for 3 issues Publication: SHARS

Int’l Stinson Club

Anthony L. Wright

2264 Los Robles Road

Meadow Vista, CA 95722



Publication: Monthly

National Stinson Club

George Alleman

1229 Rising Hill Road West

Placerville, CA 95667 530-622-4004 voice & fax $20 US & Canada; $25 Int’l Stinson Plane Talk, 4/yr

Sentinel Owner & Pilots Assoc.

(Stinson L-5) James H. Gray

1951 W. Coolbrook Ave.

Phoenix, AZ 85023

602-795-0413 $22 Electronic $30 US/Canada Print $35 Int’l Print Newsletter: Qtrly

West Coast Swift Wing

Gerry or Carol Hampton

3195 Bonanza Dr.

Cameron Park, CA 95682 530-676-7755 voice & fax


Publication: Monthly

Taylorcraft Foundation, Inc.

13820 Union Ave. NE

Alliance, OH 44601



Taylorcraft Owners Club

Steve Krog

1002 Heather Lane

Hartford, WI 53027



Publication: Qtrly

Travel Air Club

Robert L. Taylor P. O. Box 127 Blakesburg, IA 52536

641-938-2773 $18 for 3 issues Travel Air Talks

Travel Air Restorers Assoc.

Jerry Impellezzeri

4925 Wilma Way

San Jose, CA 95124

408-356-3407 $15/yr US; $20 Int’l Travel Air Log, Qtrly

American Waco Club, Inc.

Phil Coulson

28415 Springbrook Dr.

Lawton, MI 49065

269-624-6490 $35 US; $45 Int’l Waco World News, 6/yr

National Waco Club

Andy Heins 50 La Belle St. Dayton, OH 45403

937-313-5931 $25/yr US; $30 Int’l Waco Pilot, 6/yr

Western Waco Assoc.

Rich Nurge

7780 Oak Spring Circle

Gilroy, CA 95020

408-858-8018 $10/yr Electronic; $20 Print Publication: Qtrly

Other Aviation Organizations

Aircraft Engine Historical Society

1019 Old Monrovia Road NW Ste 201

Huntsville, AL 35806


American Aviation

Historical Society

2333 Otis Street

Santa Ana, CA 92704


$39.95/yr U.S.

Publication: Qtrly

Beechcraft Heritage Museum

P.O. Box 550; 570 Old Shelbyville Hwy Tullahoma, TN 37388

931-455-1994 $50/yr; $60 Int’l USD

Cross & Cockade

Bob Sheldon, Secretary

14329 S. Calhoun Ave.

Burnham, IL 60633



Publication: 6/yr

Deaf Pilots Assoc.

Kevin Willis, DPA Treasurer

4641 Myra Avenue

Cypress, CA 90630


Eastern Reg. U.S. Air Racing Assoc.

Jack Dianiska, President

26726 Henry Road

Bay Village, OH 44140


Florida Antique Biplane Assoc.

Larry Robinson

10906 Denoeu Road

Boynton Beach, FL 33472



The Flying Wire, Monthly

Florida Cub Flyers

Larry Robinson

10906 Denoeu Road

Boynton Beach, FL 33472



Cub Tales, Monthly

Int’l Fellowship of Flying Rotarians

Peter More

1437 Kinnard Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90024


$40/yr US

Int’l Flying Farmers

105 S. Broadway Wichita, KS 67202



Publication: 6/yr

Int’l Liaison Pilot & Aircraft Assoc.(ILPA)

Bill Stratton

16518 Ledgestone

San Antonio, TX 78232 210-490-4572 voice & fax


Liaison Spoken Here

Int’l Wheelchair Aviators

P.O. Box 4140 Big Bear Lake, CA 92315



Lake Amphibian Flyers Club

Marc Rodstein

7188 Mandarin Dr.

Boca Raton, FL 33433

561-483-6566 $59, $69 Int’l Lake Flyer newsletter

National Air Racing Group

Betty Sherman

1932 Mahan Avenue

Richland, WA 99354

509-946-5690 $15 for first member in household $3 for each additional Professional Airracing, 4-13/yr

Nat’l Assoc. of Priest Pilots


Pilots $20/yr What Our Members Are Restoring Are you nearing completion
What Our Members Are Restoring Are you nearing completion of a restoration? Or is it
What Our Members Are Restoring
Are you nearing completion of a restoration? Or is it done and you’re busy
flying and showing it off? If so, we’d like to hear from you. Send us a 4-by-6-inch
print from a commercial source (no home printers, please—those prints just don’t
scan well) or a 4-by-6-inch, 300-dpi digital photo. A JPG from your 2.5-megapixel
(or higher) digital camera is fine. You can burn photos to a CD, or if you’re on a
high-speed Internet connection, you can e-mail them along with a text-only or Word
document describing your airplane. (If your e-mail program asks if you’d like to
make the photos smaller, say no.) For more tips on creating photos we can publish,
visit VAA’s website at Check the News page for a hyperlink
to Want To Send Us A Photograph?
For more information, you can also e-mail us at or call us at

Ninety-Nines, Inc.,

Swift Museum Foundation

Women Pilots Organization

Charlie Nelson


Amelia Earhart Rd.

P. O. Box 644

Oklahoma City, OK 73159

Athens, TN 37371-0644


Headquarters: 423-745-9547

Parts Department: 423-744-9696 Charlie:



Publication: 6/yr

North American Trainer Assoc.


(T6, T28, NA64, NA50, P51, B25)


Publication: Monthly

Kathy & Stoney Stonich 25801 NE Hinness Rd.

United Flying Octogenarians

Brush Prairie, WA 98606

Bart Bratko 19 Bay State Rd.


Natick, MA 10760

$50 U.S./Canada; $60 Int’l USD NATA Skylines, Qtrly


OX5 Aviation Pioneers

UFO newsletter, 6/yr

R.R. “Duke” Iden, Treasurer

3015 Homeworth Rd.

Vintage Sailplane Assoc.

Alliance, OH 44601


Sapphire Dr.


Hoffman Estates, IL 60195

Dues: $20/yr


OX5 News, Monthly

Bungee Cord, Qtrly

Seaplane Pilots Assoc.

3859 Laird Blvd.

Waco Historical Society/ Waco Aircraft Museum

Lakeland, FL 33811

Karen Purke, Exec. Dir.



South County Rd. 25A $45/yr U.S.; $55/yr Int’l

Troy, OH 45373 937-335-9226; 1-5 Sat-Sun

Water Flying, 6/yr


Sentimental Journey to Cub Haven

WACO Word, 4/yr

Anna “Rusty”Wallace P.O. Box J-3 Lock Haven, PA 17745-0496

Women in Aviation, Int’l

3647 State Route 503 South


West Alexandria, OH 45381

937-839-4647 $12/yr Individual, $17 Family $39/yr; $29 students

Publication: 2/yr

Aviation for Women, 6/yr

Silver Wings Fraternity

WWI Aeroplanes, Inc.

Jerry Reece

3288 Cherryview Ct.

PO Box 730 Red Hook, NY 12571-0730

North Bend, OH 45052




Slipstream, Qtrly

Society of Air Racing Historians

Herman Schaub 168 Marion Lane Berea, OH 44017

440-234-2301 $20/yr US; $23 Int’l Publication: 6/yr

EAA Calendar of Aviation Events Is Now Online

EAA’s online Calendar of Events is the “go-to” spot on the Web to list and find aviation events in your area. The user-friendly, searchable format makes it the perfect web- based tool for planning your local trips to a fly-in. In EAA’s online Calendar of Events, you can search for events at any given time within a certain radius of any airport by entering the identifier or a ZIP code, and you can further define your search to look for just the types of events you’d like to attend. We invite you to access the EAA online Calendar of Events at

Upcoming Major Fly-Ins

U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Sebring Regional Airport (SEF) Sebring, Florida January 21-24, 2010 www.Spor

AERO Friedrichshafen Messe Friedrichshafen Friedrichshafen, Germany April 8-11, 2010

Sun ’n Fun Fly-In Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL) Lakeland, Florida April 13-18, 2010

Virginia Regional Festival of Flight Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ) Suffolk, Virginia May 22-23, 2010

Golden West Regional Fly-In and Air Show Yuba County Airport (MYV) Marysville, California June 11-13, 2010

Arlington Fly-In Arlington Municipal Airport (AWO) Arlington, Washington July 7-11, 2010

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) Oshkosh, Wisconsin July 26-August 1, 2010

Colorado Sport International Air Show and Rocky Mountain Regional Fly-In Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC) Denver, Colorado August 28-29 2010 www.COSpor

Copperstate Fly-In Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ) Casa Grande, Arizona October 21-23, 2010

Southeast Regional Fly-In Middleton Field Airport (GZH) Evergreen, Alabama October 22-24, 2010

For details on hundreds of upcoming aviation happenings, including EAA chapter fly-ins, Young Eagles rallies, and other local aviation events, visit the EAA Calendar of Events located at .


S o m e t h i n g



t o

b u y,


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


Flying wires available. 1994 pricing. Visit or call 800-517-9278. , Aviations’ Leading Marketplace

AIRPLANE T-SHIRTS 150 different airplanes available. WE PROBABLY HAVE YOUR AIRPLANE! or call 1-800-645-7739. We also do Custom T-shirts and Caps for Clubs.


Southern Utah # 1 Airpark in Southwest. Grassy Meadows Sky Ranch UT47. Rare Find: Mega home with 7,000 sq ft Hangar, runway access, on 2.6 Acres. Nice selection of Hangar/Homes & Lots on 1 to 2.5 Acres for Sale. or Call Nick Berg 435-668-3800.


Always Flying Aircraft Restoration, LLC:

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

A&P & I.A. 740-472- 1481 Ohio and bordering states A ERO C LASSIC “C OLLECTOR S
A&P & I.A. 740-472- 1481 Ohio and bordering states A ERO C LASSIC “C OLLECTOR S



Vintage Tires

New USA Production

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

New General Aviation Sizes Available:

the good times … New General Aviation Sizes Available: 500 x 5, 600 x 6, 700

500 x 5, 600 x 6, 700 x 8

Desser has the largest stock and selection of Vintage and Warbird tires in the world. Contact us with your requirements.

tires in the world. Contact us with your requirements. In Support Of Aviation Since 1920…. Telephone:

In Support Of Aviation Since 1920….

Telephone: 800-247-8473 or 323-721-4900 FAX: 323-721-7888

Acco St., Montebello, CA 90640

Chelsea Ave, Memphis, TN 38106







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

Vice-President George Daubner N57W34837 Pondview Ln Oconomowoc, WI 53066



Secretary Steve Nesse 2009 Highland Ave. Albert Lea, MN 56007



Steve Bender 85 Brush Hill Road Sherborn, MA 01770


David Bennett

375 Killdeer Ct

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


Espie “Butch” Joyce

704 N. Regional Rd.

Lincoln, CA 95648

Greensboro, NC 27409



Jerry Brown 4605 Hickory Wood Row Greenwood, IN 46143

Dan Knutson 106 Tena Marie Circle Lodi, WI 53555



Dave Clark

Steve Krog

635 Vestal Lane

1002 Heather Ln.

Plainfield, IN 46168

Hartford, WI 53027



John S. Copeland

Robert D. “Bob” Lumley


South 124th St.

1A Deacon Street Northborough, MA 01532

Brookfield, WI 53005



Phil Coulson

S.H. “Wes” Schmid

28415 Springbrook Dr.


Lefeber Avenue

Lawton, MI 49065

Wauwatosa, WI 53213



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




Robert C. Brauer 9345 S. Hoyne Chicago, IL 60643 E.E. “Buck” Hilbert 8102 Leech Rd.
Robert C. Brauer
9345 S. Hoyne
Chicago, IL
E.E. “Buck” Hilbert
8102 Leech Rd.
Union, IL 60180
Gene Chase
2159 Carlton Rd.
Oshkosh, WI 54904
Gene Morris
Steve Court
Roanoke, TX 76262
Ronald C. Fritz
15401 Sparta Ave.
Kent City, MI
John Turgyan
PO Box 219
New Egypt, NJ 08533

Membership Services Directory

Enjoy the many benefits of EAA and EAA’s Vintage Aircraft Association

benefits of EAA and EAA’s Vintage Aircraft Association TM EAA Aviation Center, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh

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

Phone (920) 426-4800

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Sites:,,


EAA and Division Membership Services (8:00 AM–7:00 PM

Monday–Friday CST)


FAX 920-426-4873

•New/renew memberships

•Address changes

•Merchandise sales

•Gift memberships

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh


Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Hotline



Programs and Activities


Auto Fuel STCs






• EAA Air Academy


• EAA Scholarships


Flight Instructor information


Library Services/Research




AUA Vintage Insurance Plan



EAA Aircraft Insurance Plan



800-853-5576 ext. 8884


EAA Hertz Rent-A-Car Program


EAA Enterprise Rent-A-Car Program




VAA Office

FAX 920-426-6579

EAA Members Information Line

888-EAA-INFO (322-4636)

Use this toll-free number for: information about AirVenture Oshkosh; aeromedical and technical aviation questions; chapters; and Young Eagles. Please have your membership number ready when calling. Office hours are 8:15 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Monday - Friday, CST)



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


Current EAA members may add EAA SPORT PILOT magazine for an additional $20 per year. EAA Membership and EAA SPORT PILOT magazine is available for $40 per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not in- cluded). (Add $16 for Foreign Postage.)


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


Current EAA members may join the International Aerobatic Club, Inc. Divi- sion and receive SPORT AEROBATICS magazine for an additional $45 per year. EAA Membership, SPORT AEROBAT- ICS magazine and one year membership in the IAC Division is available for $55 per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included). (Add $18 for Foreign Postage.)


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


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

Copyright ©2010 by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association, All rights reserved. VINTAGE AIRPLANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN 0091-6943) is published and owned exclusively by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association of the Experimental Aircraft Association and is published monthly at EAA Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Rd., PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54903-3086, e-mail: Membership to Vintage Aircraft Association, which includes 12 issues of Vintage Airplane magazine, is $36 per year for EAA members and $46 for non-EAA members. Periodicals Postage paid at Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Vintage Airplane, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. PM 40063731 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Pitney Bowes IMS, Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5. FOREIGN AND APO ADDRESSES — Please allow at least two months for delivery of VINTAGE AIRPLANE to foreign and APO addresses via surface mail. ADVERTISING — Vintage Aircraft Association does not guarantee or endorse any product offered through the advertising. We invite constructive criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained through our advertising so that corrective measures can be taken. EDITORIAL POLICY: Members are encouraged to submit stories and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests entirely with the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material should be sent to: Editor, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Phone 920-426-4800. EAA® and EAA SPORT AVIATION®, the EAA Logo® and Aeronautica™ are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service marks of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. The use of these trademarks and service marks without the permission of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. is strictly prohibited.

Enjoy the privilege of partnership EAA Members who are considering the purchase EcoBoost Leads the
Enjoy the privilege of partnership EAA Members who are considering the purchase EcoBoost Leads the

Enjoy the privilege of partnership

EAA Members who are considering the purchase

EcoBoost Leads the Charge

New Breed of Turbo Engines

or lease of a new Ford Motor Company vehicle

should be sure to take advantage of the

Ford Partner Recognition Program.

to take advantage of the Ford P artner Recognition Program. Exclusive Pricing. Exceptionally Simple! Ford Motor

Exclusive Pricing. Exceptionally Simple!

Ford Motor Company, in association with EAA,

is proud to offer members the opportunity to

save on the purchase or lease of vehicles from

Ford Motor Company’s family of brands.

Get your personal identification number (PIN)

and learn about the great value of Partner

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Certain restrictions apply. Available at

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Popular Mechanics “Breakthrough Award.”